A Centenary to Remember

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Empire day it used to be – but it is now another day to remember as the Old Barn Hall celebrated a hundred years since the hall was given to the community. It was May 24th 1906 when Arthur Bird gave the village hall to Great Bookham after conversion from the old barn that stood in Sole Farm, and it was 2006 when the Old Barn Hall, bedecked with Union Jacks, was filled to capacity with clubs and societies commemorating the day with stalls and exhibits and a display of the history of the Old Barn Hall. Two of Arthur Bird’s descendants (in picture at top) were welcomed to see the appreciation of the village for his gift. Nobody could have foreseen one hundred years ago the development of the village as it is today or the birth of some hundred clubs and societies covering nearly every possible activity. Very few other villages can equal what we have today.

In the evening an invited audience of some 150 filled the hall for drinks and extras to complete the celebrations led by our chairman, Keith Slark, and the cutting of a celebratory cake by the president, Beryl Warne. Entertainment was provided by the Barbershop chorus, the Downsmen, to enthusiastic appreciation by the audience. Their selection of songs by both the chorus and a solo guitar was aided by audience participation in at least one number.

It was altogether a day to remember.

Martin Warwick

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