Friday, 18 June 2021

Gala dinner to celebrate centenary of village hall

A GALA is to be held to celebrate the centenary of Remenham parish hall.

A GALA is to be held to celebrate the centenary of Remenham parish hall.

The black-tie event, which will be held in a marquee in the gardens of the hall on September 28, will include a three-course dinner for 150 people, a cabaret by Vocalarity and dancing.

Organiser Ann Burley said: “I’m sure it’s going to be a really good evening. We do like to do big events in Remenham when we can.

“We had a big street party for the Queen’s diamond jubilee last year and a tea party and evening event the year before for the royal wedding.

“We’ve also done the golden and silver jubilees and we have the village fair in the first weekend of September.” Ms Burley said Remenham parish was spread out with people living in Remenham Hill, by the church, in Aston and in Wargrave Road.

“We like to do events at the parish hall to bring people together,” she said. “It’s the only centrepiece of the village because we don’t have a shop and the only pub is the Flower Pot, so it’s an important thing to celebrate.”

The hall was built in 1913 on land owned by the neighbouring St Nicholas’ Church and donated to the parish by Viscount Hambleden.

Peter Sly, who has chaired the parish hall committee for 15 years, said: “The viscount paid for its erection. We have details of the speeches made on the day it opened.

“It’s fair to say he thought it would keep the working men of the village out of the pub. It was going to be for darts and that sort of thing.”

The hall is run by a committee of residents and the chairman is usually a member of the church.

It was used as a headquarters for the Home Guard during the Second World War and is often used to accommodate schools’ rowers during Henley Royal Regatta.

The hall went into a period of decline during the Seventies and Eighties before committee members raised money to refurbish it.

The kitchen was recently remodelled and a small annexe has been built to store chairs and equipment.The hall is a popular venue for wedding receptions and is also used for birthday and anniversary parties. An annual three-night show by the Remenham Thespians is held there towards the end of the year and a dog club event is held in the garden.

Mr Sly, who has lived in the village with his wife Pat for 35 years, said: “I think it’s fair to say it’s one of the finest village halls around.

“It has the advantage of having a lot of car parking and it gets used a great deal throughout the year.

“We’ve had quite a few parties in there. It’s a fairly decent sized hall but it’s not too big so that a family doesn’t feel dwarfed. It will comfortably hold between 70 and 100 people. We’ve modernised it and it’s very beautiful now. Everyone is terribly impressed when they go inside and see what we’ve done to it. It’s nicely decorated, the curtains are beautiful and the lighting is sophisticated and modern.

“The hall has been very successful and we’re very pleased it has reached 100 years.”

The current Lady Hambleden will be invited to the gala. A limited number of tickets costing £25 are available. To buy one, call Ms Burley on (01491) 578859 or email

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