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A Brief History of the Village Hall

In 1958 the Buckden Recreation Ground and Village Hall Trust was formed from the amalgamation of the War Memorial Playing Fields (deeds dated 1953 and 1958) and the Rifle Range and Recreation Rooms (deeds 1921 and 1949).

The Rifle Range had been built for village use by the Cranfield family (local farmers and flour/grain millers).   There was a grand red brick building in Church Street with an indoor rifle range, billiard hall and a substantial state. The building was used daily except for Sundays by various village organisations. Dances were held every Saturday and although most of the dancing was to records there were also a number of live bands.

The War Memorial Playing Fields came from plans to purchase the Vineyards after the village had decided it would prefer a `living` war memorial to those who had fallen in the two World Wars. A large fundraising effort followed and finally the land was bought, a children`s play area established and the football pitch moved to this location.

Sadly the Rifle Range was no longer the centre of village social life. Generally the style of music was becoming louder and the method of delivery more sophisticated. On top of that there was no parking for the influx of vehicles.

A village meeting was called and it was remarkably well attended with all the interested parties being represented. It was a lively meeting but after much discussion, some of it quite passionate, it was eventually decided by a majority vote that the new Village Hall should go ahead and the Village Hall Trust was born.

Nowadays the Village Hall along with the associated sports and leisure facilities is managed by the Trust which was registered with the Charity Commission in 1962 with a Governing Document registered in 1969. The Trust is a registered charity and has the Buckden Parish Council as Custodian Trustee.

The Village Hall itself was enlarged to its present size as a Millennium project with the benefit of a grant from Millennium Commission and donations from local residents, village clubs and local councils including the Parish Council.

The Trustees are comprised of representatives appointed by various village clubs and organisations along with village members appointed at the Annual General Meeting. The Trust is, therefore, organised and managed by the villagers for the villagers.

The Hall complex and the surrounding car park, sports and leisure facilities – in all a total land area of 4.25 hectares – are owned by the village.

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