Village Hall Diamond Celebration 2008....

Refurbished Tennis Court now a Multi Purpose Activity Area
Newly extended and improved bar area

Beckingham cum Saundby Village Hall celebrated their 60th year with a Diamond Jubilee Open Day and the Official Opening of the refurbished tennis court on Saturday 6th September 2008. Open from 11am onwards people were welcome to drop in anytime to see the new court and enjoy the activities. Tables were laid out festooned with coloured balloons and refreshments included tea and coffee served all day along with tasty hot pork rolls from 12 noon. Real ales, fine wines and soft drinks were also served from the newly refitted and much improved bar.

The local village History Group put on a display with many photos showing the history of both villages including a rolling slide show as well as several files of historical information for people to browse through.

The Groups book of Photographic Memories of Beckingham cum Saundby put together in 2007 and their newly created Owl notepads were also available for sale. The display included a selection of pages from the Village Website together with a file of all pages on the site up to that date for people to view. The Village Hall had a separate display of some interesting documents relating to the history of the Hall and Playing Field. There was also a treasure hunt laid on.

The official opening of the newly refurbished tennis court, which is to be used as a multi purpose activity area, took place at 2pm. In the very early years of the Village Hall and Playing Field there had been a thriving tennis club with some dedicated players, some of whom, now retired of course, were able to attend the days events.
History Group Display with Chair Freda Proudley and Webmistress Maxine Downes
Mrs Barabara West and her grandson performing the Opening Ceremony with Village Hall Vice Chair Mrs Joan Sangar

They included Barbara West, Doreen Lambert, Sheila Parker, Margaret Harrison, Rex Madin, Doug Adams, Shirley Wilson, John Searson and Joan Sanger. Mrs Barbara West performed the opening ceremony by cutting the ribbon with a little help from her grandson Aziz. Unfortunately, they had only just started when it began to pour with rain and the ceremony had to be finished inside the Hall.

Village Hall Vice Chair Mrs Joan Sanger explained that the improvements to the court had been instigated by Mrs Shirley Brasher (nee Bloomer), retired international tennis champion and widow of Chris Brasher, athlete, broadcaster and co founder of the London Marathon. Mrs Brasher, who is also related to major benefactors of the village the Watson family, performed the opening ceremony of the extended and improved Village Hall in 2007.

Shortly afterwards she offered a donation of 3,500 from the Chris Brasher Fund towards improving the tennis court. This together with a grant of 16,000 obtained from WREN enabled the work to be carried out this summer, by Surface Renovations of Sutton Bonnington, Loughborough and was finished just in time for the 60th celebrations.

Mrs West gave a short speech saying how much she, along with others, had enjoyed playing tennis on the original courts (there used to be three) and wished everyone who used the new one the same pleasure and fun, encouraging all ages to enjoy the area. Indeed such was her own enthusiasm for the game she remembered even playing there on one Christmas morning! There was some talk later in the afternoon of having a session entitled "Rusty Racquets!" After the ceremony there was a tasty buffet available to all and a toast to the new amenity was made by Village Hall Chair Robert Markham.
Guests and visitors enjoying the buffet

In the evening a ticket only hot supper was held to which 45 people attended enjoying a delicious meal of Shepherds Pie followed by Apple Pie, provided by committee members. Afterwards, Freda Proudley who is Chair of the local History Group, gave an interesting and informative talk, including a slide show, on the history of the villages, with the help of Albert Phillipson.
Despite the bad weather many people attended the celebrations. Sincere thanks go to the donors, the hard work and efforts of everyone who helped organise the day and all those who attended, making it such a success. It is hoped that the new multi purpose activity area will become a much appreciated and respected amenity enjoyed by the whole community.

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