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Beckingham Village Hall

Beckingham Village Hall, Play Area and Playing Field

The Village Hall was acquired in 1948 with the help of Miss Nora Watson, a major benefactor to the village, who was also instrumental in raising funds for equipment. The Village Hall and Playing Field are held in Trust and run by a committee of members from various groups, organisations and residents within the village.

The Hall has had many changes and improvements over the years and was reopened in March 2007 by Mrs Shirley Brasher (Miss Nora Watson’s niece) after major refurbishments and extension. It is well used for larger functions, meetings and activities by groups and organisations within and outside the village. The facilities include a large function room with tables and chairs, ladies and gents toilets, toilet for disabled, a new fitted kitchen, two new changing rooms with showers and a smaller meeting room. The Hall capacity is 120 with tables and chairs or 220 without.
The Playing Field dating from before 1944, is approximately 7 and half acres which includes a football pitch. There is also a small play park for 4 to 12 year olds and a hard tennis court. The tennis court was completely refurbished into a multi purpose activity area in the summer of 2008 and reopened in September during the Diamond Jubilee Celebration. In June 2010 as a result the village Parish Plan a newly constructed Multi Use Games Area next to the tennis court was opened by John Mann MP during a Village Hall Fun Sports Day.

The children’s play area was much improved in 2012/2013. New equipment includes a cone climber, kiddies swings, a roundabout with wheelchair access, a zip wire and two picnic tables. The adults, young and old, have not been forgotten with five outdoor gym exercise items erected next to the Multi Use Games Area. In January 2022 more improvements and maintenance of Play Park equipment were completed including new swings and Clamber Stack.  This was enabled through a grant from FCC Communities Foundation, the work being carried out by Greyhound Leisure Ltd.  All these valuable amenities are there for everyone to enjoy it is hoped, for many years to come. A defibrillator has also been installed at the Village Hall.

For details of hire rates for village hall and playing field, for availability and to book please contact the Booking Secretary on 848756.


Coffee Morning- every Monday 10.00 to 11,30am

Seated Exercise – every Monday 2.00 to 2.45pm

Taekwondo – every Monday 6.00 to 8.00pm – restarts 11th September

U3A Art Class – every Tuesday 9th and 23rd April

Bingo – every other Thursday 11th and 25th April

Line Dancing – every Friday 7.00 to 8.30pm

Snappers Camera Club – 1.30 to 3.30pm Friday 5th April

Pub Night – Friday 5th April

History Group – last Thursday every month 7.00pm 25th April

Village Hall Open Day

Saturday 24th March 2007 was the official Opening Day for the newly extended and modernised Village Hall. Refurbishments included showers and changing rooms, modern enlarged kitchen and playgroup building. Grants were obtained from The Big Lottery, Wren, Biffa, Hanson Environment and Garfield Weston Charitable Trust.

Donations had been received from Nottinghamshire County Council, Bassetlaw District Council, Beckingham cum Saundby Parish Council, Bland Burgess and Hethershaw, North Notts Lions, village residents and numerous fund raising events.

Mrs Shirley Brasher (nee Bloomer), the niece of Miss Nora Watson, kindly accepted an invitation to perform the Opening Ceremony, travelling from London to do so. In 1948, Miss Nora Watson donated the playing field on which the Hall now stands and obtained the Village Hall from Nottinghamshire Social Services. The Watson family, who owned Beckingham Shipyard, were major benefactors to the village. Shirley used to play tennis in the garden of Orchard House, whilst staying with the Watsons as a child during the 2nd World War. She went on to become British and European No. 1 tennis player and married Chris Brasher who was one of the first four minute milers, co-founder of the London Marathon and the 1956 Melbourne Olympics Steeplechase Gold Medallist.

Local clubs and organisations were invited to set up displays of their work in the Hall for the Open Day, these were many and varied. The Parish Council display included the Willow Works renovations, the Spinney improvements, information on Neighbourhood Watch, the Cycle Track, details of the village website and the progress of the Parish Plan. The Local History Group had many photos and documents reflecting the history of Beckingham and Saundby, including a photo of Mrs Brasher as a child in the garden of Orchard House. The RSPB had a display showing details of the proposed Beckingham Marshes.

There were exhibits by the Beckingham Institute with information on its facilities, which are open to all over 10yrs of age and the Bowls Club with its history and activities. The newly formed Gardening Club had a very colourful display with items donated by R & G Gardening Centre in Saundby.

All St.Church showed details of their planned extension and funding obtained, along with other information about the church. There was an exhibit by the Methodist Chapel, which has since closed and is now a private residence. The Friendship Group, who celebrated their 15th Anniversary this year, had their new Favourite Recipes with useful hints book available on their stall. Unfortunately the Friendship Group no longer exists. Other displays included the Primary School, Beavers, Cubs and Scouts and the Youth Club showing their activities and achievements. Last but not least, the Village Halls exhibit showed details of their recent refurbishments and some history of the hall.

The Opening Ceremony was from 12.30 to 2pm and invited guests included John Mann MP, the Mayor of Retford, Nottinghamshire County Councillor and District Councillor Ken Bullivant, all display holders and some residents of the Parish from the very early days of the Hall. Village Hall Chair Joan Sangar welcomed all and paid tribute to the sponsors and the hard work of everyone involved in the renovations.

Mrs Shirley Brasher congratulated the community on its achievements and recalled fond memories of her stay in the village and of her Aunt, Miss Nora, as the residents knew her. She then presented a cheque of £1,000 to the Village Hall Committee, from the Chris Brasher Trust Fund, before unveiling the Commemorative Plaque.

An excellent light buffet followed with tea and coffee, which was available throughout the day. The Hall was opened up to all the Parish community in the afternoon who were invited to come and view the displays and inspect the improvements for themselves. It was very well attended, an enjoyable time had by all, particularly those sharing memories with old acquaintances. The day ended with a Celebration Disco in the evening, enjoyed by the younger members of the community.

Thanks must go to all those who organised the days events and who were involved in any way, particularly Nev Hethershaw who worked tirelessly on grant applications and for many months supervised the ongoing work of contractors. The modernised Village Hall has been achieved through much hard work and is a valuable amenity to the residents of Beckingham cum Saundby. Keep a look out for the new ventures and ideas planned for its use, it needs your support!

Village Hall Diamond Celebration 2008

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.

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.

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 went 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.

Village Hall Multi Use Games Area

Following the highly successful Parish Plan conducted in Beckingham-cum-Saundby in 2007, a serious omission in the facilities for the youth of the village was uncovered: a place for them to play! Extensive research and analysis highlighted the obvious need for a multi-use games area.

The Parish Plan group then arranged various other group representatives within the village to meet and explore the possibility of achieving such. The daunting task of raising funds was left to a small, but enthusiastic group of individuals.

 Tireless work and form filling of grant applications resulted in some £63,000 being raised in order to create a safe, contained area on the village playing field for all ages to play sports such as netball, football, cricket and basketball.

The management of the project benefited greatly from local builder and committee member, Jonathan Heath, who has overseen the project from the beginning. The MUGA committee has also arranged Race Nights, Music Concerts and Discos which have brought the people of the village together with a common goal in mind. These fundraising activities raised over £5,500. Thanks to the generosity of several individuals and organisations, the whole project has been completed in less than two years. The facility has been inspected by RoSPA and will be maintained by Beckingham and Saundby Village Hall Committee providing a much needed facility in the village.

Grateful thanks are expressed to all grant providers as without their support this could not have been achieved, these include; Lafarge Aggregates, WREN Recycling, Nottinghamshire County Council and Bassetlaw District Councilor Ken Bullivant.

 Along with Nottinghamshire County Councilor Liz Yates, Beckingham cum Saundby Parish Council, Lincolnshire Co-op, PING Golf and the local Youth Club.

The official opening took place at 2pm on Sunday 6th June 2010, with the opening ceremony being performed by John Mann MP. Invitations were sent to all the grant providers and sponsors to show appreciation for their support. The event was incorporated into the Village Hall Fun Sports Day and included games and sports in which everyone was invited to take part. Refreshments and a raffle were provided by the Village Hall Committee.

Mick Leek (who used to live in the village) bought over his team who play on the village playing field in the Gainsborough Sunday league. Gary Brittan’s village team beat them 2-1 in the final. Special thanks go to Gary and Mick for helping out.

The Ladies also had a kick about and included Gary’s wife Penny along with his two daughters, Sophie Heath, Nicole Mellors and many more from the village.

The Tug of War took place with the village men beating the footballers in the main event, other mixed pulls took place. There was also Welly Wanging and Splat the Rat! as well as a bouncy castle for the younger children. The day finished with a family game of Rounders. Medals were presented to the team game winners. Despite the extremely wet start to the day the weather did improve and the event was considered a success. Grateful thanks went to all members of the MUGA Committee for their hard work and efforts as well as to everyone else who was involved, helped and supported. It is hoped that this new facility will be much enjoyed and appreciated by the whole community.

Village Hall History

It all began in 1944 when the Football Club was being formed. The only other sports club at this time was a Cricket Club and the two clubs decided the village should have a proper sports ground so they would not have to ask local farmers for the use of a field. A village meeting was called to rally support, which was well attended. From this meeting the Watson family, who owned Beckingham Shipyard and were benefactors to the village, donated a 7.7 acres field in May 1946, which is now the playing field and many people promised to help raise funds for equipment.

The Walhead brothers made a detailed plan for the layout of the tennis courts,a bowling green, a play park for children, along with football, cricket and hockey pitches. Under a working committee headed by Miss Nora Watson things began to take shape.

Equipment was installed paid for with money raised from various events. During 1947 the committee decided that a village hall was needed to complete the project. Miss Watson visited the County Hall in Nottingham to talk to those who dealt with village halls and her visit was successful. The Rural Council allocated a village hall to Beckingham, measuring 60 feet long by 24 feet wide, which was delivered in September 1947. The hall was erected and by June 1948 water, electricity and sewerage were connected. The Official Opening of the Playing Field took place on 12th June 1948, Mr Howden the Managing Director of Newells Engineering was asked to perform the ceremony.

The Opening Ceremony of the Village Hall was on 3rd September 1948. The formation of the tennis, bowls and hockey clubs now took place. The first Committee of Management was elected comprising of representatives from 16 village clubs and organisations and 8 trustees.

It was done under the Chairmanship of Mr Leslie Selby, and registered as a charity.  The clubs and organisations represented included Church Councils, Parish  Councils, Womens Institute, Beckingham Institute, School Managers, Pioneer Club, Village Produce Association and six sports Clubs. The first Annual General Meeting of the Beckingham and Saundby Village Hall Management Committee was held in May 1950. A caretaker/groundsman was employed at a weekly wage of 30 shillings per week, the rest were volunteers.

During the next few years dressing rooms were added, paid for by the Football and Cricket Clubs. In 1978 the hall was extended towards the tennis courts and in 1980 was further extended towards the Bowling Green. At the same time the kitchen and car park were enlarged. All the work done on the playing field was voluntary, the clubs being self-supporting, paying rent for the courts, greens and pitches.

Over the years the play equipment has gradually been removed, due to both deterioration and more stringent safety rules. The last of several play items erected in the 1950s and 60s, the swings and the roundabout, were removed in 2001.

A Millennium project to improve the play park resulted in two wooden adventure items being installed, thanks to donations from the Parish Council and Awards for All. These were complemented by new swings erected in July 2001.

In October 2001 the small group of committee members asked the villagers “Do you want a village hall?”, to which there was a great response, resulting in a larger committee being formed. Over the next few years grants of £240,000 were obtained and on the Open Day 24 March 2007 Mrs Shirley Brasher (nee Bloomer), the niece of Miss Nora Watson, opened the modernised and extended village hall with a purpose built nursery for Pre-school, changing rooms, a modern kitchen, new windows, central heating system, fire alarm and facilities for the disabled to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 2004.

In 2008 the Village Hall celebrated their 60th year with a Diamond Jubilee Open Day. The day incorporated the Official Opening of the newly refurbished tennis court – to be used as a multi purpose activity area.

 This was made possible with a generous donation of £3,500 from Mrs Shirley Brasher, along with a grant of £16,000. Mrs Shirley West, one of the original members of the thriving tennis club of the early years performed the opening ceremony.

Other original members of the tennis club were also invited to the event. In 2009/2010 as a result of the village Parish Plan a Multi Use Games Area was constructed with the help of grants of £63,000 and fundraising by the MUGA Committee. This was opened in June 2010 by John Mann MP during a Village Hall Fun Sports Day.

The children’s play area was much improved in 2012/2013, thanks to the hard work of Don Brown and financed by Nottinghamshire County Council. New equipment includes a cone climber, kiddies swings, a roundabout with wheelchair access, a zip wire and two picnic tables.

The adults, young and old, were not been forgotten with five outdoor gym exercise items erected next to the Multi Use Games Area. These facilities and items of equipment are valuable amenities to the community for everyone to enjoy, it is hoped for many years to come.

Village Hall and Playing Field Opening 1948

Village Hall and Playing Field Today