Beckingham Institute ...

The Institute and its adjoining terrace of houses on High Street was built in 1908 on behalf of the Watson family, who at that time ran a prosperous ship-building business on the river at the end of Old Trent Road. Originating in London, the Watsons had been distressed by the lack of recreational facilities available for working people, which they considered contributed to the problems of drink and crime. They were determined that at least in Beckingham things would be different. Accordingly the Institute was built as a recreation facility for the village, while the adjacent houses were for rent, but only to members of the Institute. The houses have been sold, although the Institute still owns the Caretaker's accommodation and the flat immediately above the Institute.
Institute circa 1917
Beckingham Institute
Membership was, and still is, open to anyone over the age of thirteen, resident within five miles of the village, and, unusually for that period, women were not only welcome as members, but had special provision made for them to have the same number of members on the Executive Committee as the men. The rules provide that there shall be no gambling or drinking of alcohol on the premises.
Institute Plaque
brickwork detail

The Institute is vested in the Council for World Mission, a Registered Charity number 232868 (formerly the London Missionary Society Corporation) as Trustees, and is managed on behalf of the Trustees by an Executive Committee. Little is known of the early history of the Institute. During the 1939-45 war the building was used by the Army, and the records (including the minute books), which were kept in the reading room, all disappeared and have never been traced. The building is a fine example of the Edwardian period, but its age means that there is a constant need for repair and maintenance work. Whilst the present Committee has made great strides in improving the financial position, repairs absorb such a proportion of the available funds that there is little left for improving the range of activities that can be carried on in the building. In 2009 the renovations were carried out on the roof. There is a seperate page on this, see link below.
Interior of The Institute

At present the Institute provides for billiards, snooker, darts, pool and dominoes. It is open from 10.00 a.m. until 10.00 p.m. every day of the week except Sunday, and is closed on Christmas Day, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Membership is currently 6.00 per adult per calendar year and 12 per family. (Young persons aged thirteen and under must be accompanied by an adult).

For the Institute today please click here
For Institute roof renovation please click here
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