Jan Hayward & Dorothy Pooley - Commumity Centre

Extracts from "Haversham Estate And the Parish I Grew Up In" by David C. Brightman April 2000

When W.W.II ended a few residence held a meeting outside the Tudor Stores with a view to forming a Social Centre Committee. This was done and the first temporary premises were the old Prisoner of War Camp, or at least the use of one of the huts.

For many years this hut was the centre of the nightlife in Haversham with wild nights of debauchery consisting of Whist Drives, Beetle Drives, Dances, Parties, W.I., Dahlia Society, and well attended Youth Club. Bert Pooley was at one time leader and entertainment secretary. Money raised at these events went towards the future Social Centre on The Crescent, which probably through monetary reasons was combined with the School. The old Social Centre was finally closed in December 1958, and the W.I. members travelled to Wolverton until 1959. The final meeting and disbandment of the Haversham W.I. was in November 1992 at the Social Centre/School.

Wolverton Express 21 May 1965
Earl Howe, chairman of the Bucks Education Committee, cracking a joke during his speech at the opening of Haversham School on Wednesday. Also on the platform are the Rector Rev. B. E. Mather, Lady Howe and Mr. David Kitchener, the school headmaster.

Haversham School and Social Centre opened

Earl Howe, chairman of the Buckinghamshire Education Committee, performed the official opening ceremony of Haversham County Primary School and Social Centre on Wednesday afternoon.

The social centre was handed over in June last year, and the school had been in use for sometime.

The Chairman of North Bucks Divisional Executive, Mrs. H. A. G. Durbridge, spoke of the important and very special occasion. It was the first time in North Bucks such a joint enterprise had been undertaken, and although it was always exciting to receive a new school for an old one, it was even more exciting when they had a social centre as well.

Replacing the old

However much money the County Council spent on new schools, first places for the new population had to be found, said Mrs. Durbridge, and they were always disappointed and dissatisfied with the progress made in replacing old schools. She congratulated the village on its persistence and foresight, and said one of the agitators Mr. Frank Allen, was disappointed at not being able to travel from the West Country to be present.

Headmaster Mr. D. R. Kitchener, said the work would be made easier with the modern surroundings. He also thanked the pupils for their behaviour, saying that there was no accident, pilfering or vandalism.

The history of the social centre was traced by Mr. J. H. Thomas, chairman of the committee, who said the village tried to maintain the spirit of the neighbourliness fostered during the 1939-1945 war. They began in a disused prisoner-of –war camp, but worked to try and provide a better social centre.

Unfortunately, they could not find land on which to erect the building and interest began to drop. Activities eased and membership shrank, but the committee continued to meet and its balance of £800 was invested.

They were in the doldrums, said Mr. Thomas, but then came “the star on the horizon.” There was talk of a new primary school for the village and with it, a social centre. Their balance increased to £1,000, but this was not enough, and they had to wait for Phase II after part of the school had been completed.

From the date in June when the centre was handed over it had “gone like a bomb,” said the chairman, and was now being used on an average of four nights a week.

Earl Howe said it was his first visit to Haversham, and spike of the team effort which had resulted in the new premises.

After opening the building, Lord Howe announced a holiday for the children.

The building was dedicated by the Rev. B. E. Mather, chairman of the School Managers, and Mr. H. W. Tarrant, a social centre committee member, proposed a vote of thanks.

From Monday May 31, there will be an “at home” week, when parents and friends are invited to inspect the school.

1966 W.I. Book

The Social Centre

The Social Centre is managed by a committee. The members of this committee are elected by the residents at the Annual General meeting and the organisations which use the Centre also appoint a representative to the committee. Of the regular users of the Social Centre, the British Legion, the Women’s Institute and the Youth Club are the only organisations which used the old Social Centre. Between the closing of the old hut in December 1958 and the coming into use of the new centre in July 1964, the Women’s Institute was the only organisation to continue to function. For eighteen months they used a hall in Wolverton and used a coach to transport members to and from meetings. When the first phase of the school was finished, the Institute met in a classroom, but the members were very glad when the new hall became available, because primary school chairs are not very comfortable for adults!

Curtains for the Social Centre

These were provided by the Women’s Institute to match the ones in the school section of the hall.

The curtains were made complete with lining by members of the Institute at a total cost of £53 18. 5. They were hung in time for the official opening of the Social Centre and School

Curtain Material Heals “Galaxy” by A. Birch Design of the curtains

Since the opening of the Social Centre a Ladies Keep Fit Class, A Mothers Club (was started in March 1961) and an Old Time Dancing class have been started. The British Legion have re-started monthly whist drives and the Youth Club has been reformed. The Social Centre committee sponsor parties and dances and the hall is occasionally let for private functions. This year 1965 has been very important for the social life of the community.

Members of Haversham Mothers’ Club and the newly formed Youth Club joined forces recently to provide an afternoon’s entertainment for widows and elderly residents of the village. Mrs. T. Paton, president of the Mothers’ Club, who welcomed the visitors, was introduced by Mrs. J. Wright.

Tea was provided out of the Social Centre funds and beautifully arranged. The tables and hall were decorated for the occasion.

Films on “travel in the East” were shown by Miss P. W. Wright, of Wolverton, and later those who wished to played whist, and others remained for a chat.

Mr. Jelly thanked those who had helped organise the afternoon.

Special thanks were due to Carolyn Potter, Cynthia MacLaren, Jane Hootton, Elizabeth Ellery and Jane Scott who gave up most of their day to ensure the success of the party Rodney Bowler assisted with teas.

The Mothers’ Club thanked all who willingly gave help with cooking, sewing, transport, etc., and expressed the hope that this venture will become an annual event.

Wolverton Express January 9th 1965


Over 65 elderly residents of Haversham and district enjoyed an afternoon tea and evening’s entertainment in the Social Centre.

The meal had been prepared by members of the Mothers’ Club, and financed by the Social
. Entertainment was provided by the Brooklands Club Choir, and everyone joined in
the community singing with gusto.

Members of the Youth Club particularly Jane Hootton, helped prepare and serve at the party. Thanks were extended to all who helped with transport and with clearing up afterwards.

1982 W.I. Book

Clubs & Societies that used the Social Centre in 1982

Haversham Mother & Toddler Group

The Mother & Toddler Group in Haversham was started in March 1981 by Haversham Mother's Club and is being run at the moment by two members, Mrs. Pauline Walker and Mrs. Linda Markham. The Group was started mainly for young or new mums to get to meet other mums in the same position as themselves. Some new mums with just one child at home sometimes find it difficult to get to know other mums in the community.
The Group meets once a week on Wednesday afternoons 2.30-4.00 p.m. (school holidays excepted) in the kitchen of the Social Centre. The children's ages range from 0-3 years, although 3-5 year olds are welcome to attend with their younger brothers or sisters. The fee is 25p each week which includes a 'cuppa' for the mums and a drink of orange for the children. A weekly raffle also takes place which helps the group with fund raising for new enuipment. The winner of the raffle is asked to provide a small prize for the following week.

The Group started virtually from scratch with 'Nill' funds. A few toys were donated by well wishers and so was the tea, sugar, etc. With the help of the weekly raffle, plus a Tupperware party and a few other fund raisers we have been able to provide soroegood new toys and equipment for the children.

The children coming up to Playgroup age particularly, like to do gluing and painting and cutting out old cards and magazines. They also like to play in the sand tray which Playgroup very kindly allows us to use. Playgroup liaison with Mother and Toddler Group is very good which helps us a great deal.

At the moment we havve eleven mums with toddlers on our books, but as it is sometimes not always possible to attend a meetingsevery week, we just expect them when we see them. To data though, attendance has been very encouraging.

Haversham Mother Club Playgroup

The playgroup is run by a supervisor and three helpers, for children between the age of three and five years. There are twenty children registered at the moment, and seven sessions per week, at a charge of 55p per session, are run.

The number of children varies at each session, between eight and fifteen, depending on whether the kitchen of the Social Centre is used or the small hall.

During the course of the year we have had outings to various places of interest, such as a farm, to see the lambs, the library, where we stayed for story-time, and a summer outing where the children dressed up and had a party. The highlight of the children's year is the Christmas Concert and party.

The children have usually been to Mothers and Toddlers Club before they start Playgroup so they are familiar with the premises. What we try to give then, first and forenost, is the confidence to be independent. By the time the children go to school, which is in the term in which they are five, we have taught them their basic colours, numbers and how to write and recognise, their own names. Perhaps the moet important things they lern are how to share with others, to talk and take their turn in talking to each other and adults, and how to enjoy themselves away from their mums and their home environment.

Haversham First Brownie Pack

Brown Owl : Miss Southwood
Tiger Lily : Mrs. Finn

Meetings take place place, during term time, in the Social Centre from

6 p.m. to 7.30pm. (7 p.m on W.I. nights). It ie attended by approximately10 girls between the age of 7 and 10½ years. These are divided into two groups called the Elves and the Pixies, and each group (or six) is led by a Sixer and & Seconder.

Activities include Christmas party, carol singing for charity, playing games and having quizzes. Earlier in the year they met other Brownie Packs at the Brownie Revels.

This week, ending the 7th November, they are dressing up as Guys to celebrate Bonfire Night.

Haversham Cub Scouts

Haversham First Cub Scouts held their first Pack Evening on June 6 1978. To this meet lag came 12 prospective Cub Scouts, the basic minimum allowed for a Pack, who later formed Red Six and Blue Six.

The gold/brown scarves, which have to be specially made, were a long time coming and it was a half-uniformed Pack which made its first official trip to London during the summer holidays to visit Scott's "Discovery", the Natural History Museum and Baden-Powell House.

That year the Christmas entertainment was a variety show with the Cubs' and leaders performing magical tricks, jokes, songs and carols round a "Camp Fire" at H.Q. - accompanied by liberal amounts of sherry to make the offering considerably more palatable to the audience!

By now the Pack was beginning to increase in size and badges and arrows were beginning to appear on hitherto bare green expanses of uniform. Peak attendance was achieved in 1980 when 30 Cubs were on roll and, although numbers have dropped as low as 15 since then, at present [1982] there is an excellent, reliable and (mostly!) hardworking regular attendance of 19.

The keywords of Cub Scout activities are "work and fun", and it has been to these ends that the Pack has operated over its 4 years. At District level it has taken part in Fun Days at Cosgrove Quarries, General knowledge quizzes, Dorothy Cook competitions - an annual district competition to determine the Pack with the most scouting know-how and Sports Days in which the boys have achieved a 3rd and 2nd placing in spite of having the considerable disadvantage of being the smallest Pack in the District.

The culmination of each Cub Scout's career and the dread of his Leaders' is his annual trip to Camp, although the first step in this direction was a disaster. The Pack was one of many to attend a District Camp and there it was discovered that the Haversham Cub Scout is much happier in small numbers. Sad to say many were put off completely by this experience, but the two following Camps at Braid Wood and at The Quarries, where the Pack camped alone - in 1980 as Prehistoric Men and in 1981 as P.W.s, - were much happier occasions. This year's Camp will see the Pack again at The Quarries with almost every Cub taking part.

1980 also marked a further milestone in the career of Haversham 1st. It was the year the Pack raised enough money to buy its own tent and celebrated the momentous occasion by pitching it outside H.Q.
From the leaders' point of view, however, 1979 will hold the moat emotional memory - when the Pack lost the first of its original members and three joined the Bradwell Scout Troop. It is still a tear-jerking memory to recall 3 small boys stepping over a rope in the middle of Scout H.Q. Bradwell, leaving Akala and Baloo on one side and crossing into the more adventurous world of the Scout on the other. Although 2 of these boys have since moved away it is a matter of pride within the Pack that there are 2 of Haversham 1st 's Cubs camping today with the Scouts in Bury Field, to be followed within the next few months by some other enthusiastic youngsters who wish to continue to "do thier best".

Jackie Brown as Mrs. Thatcher
Jill Littlejohn & Beryl Flack as maids
Mother & Young Wives Club

Mothers and Young Wives Club was established in Haversham 18 Years ago [in 1964]. Our aim is to encourage both newley married ladies and mothers to come along to our monthly meetings which are held at the Social Centre on the 3rd Wednesday in every month, at 7.30p.m. Our subscriptions are £1.50 per year and a charge of 25p is made at the monthly meetings. The meetings consist of a talk given by many different organisations, companies etc. ranging from Theatre, Dressmaking, Cookery, Antiques etc. with refreshments and raffle. We have a membership of 52 end our meetings uaually average 25 people.

To aid ouir funds we have an annual coffee morning, bazaar and Christmas Dance.

In January the children are invited to pantomime or Christimas Party and in June the Senior Citizens are treated to teas at the Social Centre followed by Mystery Trip.

Haversham Ladies Keep Fit Class

Haveraham Ladies Keep Fit Class came into being in 1964 soon after tte Social Centre was built. The Social Centre Committee diacussed various ideas for posaible activities, and when Mrs. Connie Clarke suggested Ladies Keep Fit she was given the responsibility of sounding out probable membership. As the reaponse waa enthusiastic the next step was to find a leader and an approach was made to Mrs. Olive Styles, who was already involved in similar classes in Wolverton. All arrangements being satisfactory to both sidea, the first class was held in September 1964 with the intention of holding one every Monday evening until Christmas and a second term to follow from the New Year to Eaater.

From the outset the venture was most successful and the format remained the same until certain members suggested that the class would benefit from being under the aegis of the Bucks. County Council Adult Education Programme. When presented with this the Social Centre Committee agreed to the change and from then onward the Haversham class became part of the North Bucks. Keep Fit Association. The main advantage was being eligible to take part in the Rallies held twice yearly, in the Autumn and Spring, when all the classes met to exchange ideas and give various demonstrations, thereby fostering further endeavour and enthusiasm.

Thia particular form of Keep Fit was based originally on the framework introduced by Eileen Fowler, that ia to say movements to music, and over the years various members as well as the leader have invented exercises to fit certain pieces of music, continually trying to introduce new movements and variations of well-known ones for interest and variety. Haversham has always found it most convenient to use records and a great deal of enjoyment has been gained from moving ia prescribed ways to popular tunea, including the use of balls, hoops, scarves and clubs.

There is a good deal of confusion and misunderstanding about the term "Keep Fit" but, since Haveraham has always welcomed anyone who wiahea to join in - and that has meant an age range of late teens to senior citizens - it has held to the principle of exercising the muscles and joints of the body only in so far as the individual fees capable of and is willing to do. Invariably, of course, given time, most members have found themselves able to do much more than they anticipated when first starting and admit to feeling more than ready to begin again after the summer break. Originally the class lasted two hours with a break in the middle but this was eventually changed to one and a half hours straight through which proved to be much better.

For eaae of movement all classes wear leotards and tights and the colours preferred vary considerably but Haversham has always worn black; some people choose to exercise in bare feet while others prefer to wear slippers.

After 18 years it is a measure of the popularity and happy atmoaphere of the Haversham class that Olive Styles is still the Leader of tbe original class are still members.

Haversham Badminton Club

The open meeting which heralded the formation of Haversham Badminton Club packed the lower end of the Social Centre, and in its first year, the early seventies, the Club had 32 members, and held sessions twice a week, on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings. As the Wednesday evenings; gradually emerged as the more popular, the Sunday mornings were eventually dropped. This, however, led to a lower restricted membership of 20, since one evening on one court did not allow individual menbers sufficient playing time.

The Club's first Chairman was; Mr. Gerald Stimpson, and he, together with Mr. Cliff Horrocks, who gave excellent and loyal service as the Club's Secretary for eight years, aided by a variety of Committees, established the Club's strong reputation. It was through them that vrhen the Milton Keynes Badminton League was formed in 1977, Haversham Badminton Club became an inaugural member and where it still remains as a small but recognisable force today. Many friendships were struck on court in the early days which are still being renewed with each passing season.

Althouth the membership is now much reduced there is no lack of keenness, and 1979 saw the emergence of a Ladies' Team, to be followed by a Mens, in addition to the already established two mixed teams. It is no mean feat for a Club with only 13-15 members to field 4 teams in a League and never be short of players. At present the mixed 'A' team is awaiting promotion to Division 2 of the 7-Division mixed League; the mixed 'B' team is near the top of Division 5; the Ladies lie third in the 2nd Division of the Ladies' League; the men's team is placed about mid-way up Division 3 of the Men's and expects an improved position next year; the under-14 Juniors have more than held their own in the newly-formed Junior League. The under-18's had a tougher time as they have come later to the game and have been meeting County standard opposition, but they have fought gamely. It is unfortunate that their resulst cannot reflect the spirit which chartactericed their play.

All credit for the Junior team must go to Mrs. Pauline Tebbut who began the Junior Club in 1980. she has run it on Saturday mornings since; has organised its two tournaments per year - where the adults could learn muout will-to-win and, helped initally by Mrs. Jean Myere andmore recently by Mrs. Jean Korscevic, raising some excellent players, hopefully to take the Club from strength to strength in the years to come.

The Adult Club also runs two Annual Tournaments. The highlight of the year is the November American Tournament, when each man plays with and against each lady in nixed doubles and the highest male and female scorers take individual trophies. However, since twelve months is a long time to wait for the next competition, a secondary Tournament takes place at the end of February, when the two winners are presented with bottles of wine.

On several occasions the Club has looked like foundering, but, held together by the strength of a few, and often by the will of its present Chairman - Mr. Brian Lancaster - who, as one of the original members has always been determined that the Club should not fail, it now enters its second decade at the peak of its achievement.

Modern Sequence Dancing

One of the quite popular pastimes enjoyed by the 'younger senior citizens' in Haversham is the Modern Sequence Dancing. This takes place in the Social Centre, and every Tuesday evening at 7.45 p.m. cars begin to arrive from a radius of two to twelve miles.
Every week about forty keen dancers arrive for an 8 o'clock start to their evening's pleasure, dancing to records until 10 p.m., with a break at 9 o'clock for a cup of tea and a raffle.

Mr. & Mrs, Thompson were the original M.C.'s when they lived in The Crescent, Haveresham. They led the dancing for nine years, and then Mr. A Mrs. Saunders took it on and have continued up to the present time. They put on a new dance about once a month from scripts of the prize winning dances from the Dance Teachers Association.

At Christmas time a party is held, inducing a buffet supper, which is thoroughly enjoyed by all. The Dancing carries on until June, with a break over the holiday period, restarting in September.

Mr. & Mrs. Sabin were keen supporters until a short time ago, when they uesd to open up the hall, bring refreshments, and lock up afterwards. Since they decided to retire, Mrs. H. Tarrent and Mr. B. Holland volunteered to carry on the good work, and their help is much appreciated.

The dancers take it in turns to make the tea, and the raffle prize winners do the washing up, which always causes a laugh - altogether it is quite a happy affair.

Haversham W. I. 1982

Members of Haversham W.I. - taken October Meeting 1982

Our meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month in the Social Centre at 7.30 p.m.

During 1982 we have again had a most enjoyable year. Our membership was maintained, numbering 39, and there was an average of 36 members at each meeting.

A very interesting and varied programme of speakers had been arranged by our very hard-working: Committee, and once again the cookery demonstrations seem to be the most popular.

During the year there was an outing to the Repertory Theatre at Northampton to see "The Spider's Web" by Agatha Christie, which was very much enjoyed by all.

The May meeting was, as usual, on "Resolutions" and this was held at the home of our President, Mrs. Paton, who provided very mouth-watering refreshments. The proceeds from this meeting, amounting to £32, were donated to the Willen Hospice. Another outing in June was made to the Wild Fowl Trust at Great Linford gravel pits.This again greatly enjoyed by all and the hope was expressed that a further visit could be made some time in the not too distant future.

We had a most delightful birthday party in February, when the Committee provided an excellent buffet. Mrs. Pat Marshall, one of our members, entertained us with a lovely programme of songs, beautifully presented, and accompanied at the piano by Mrs. Barbara Chambers. We had a very lively speech from Mrs. Thomas, Group Convenor, end finally we drank a toast, in sherry, to our Institute, and with slices of delicious birthday cake, made by our retiring President, Mrs. Burgess, we all felt very satisfied that we had duly celebrated another year, and looked forward to many more.

Twice a year the Group meeting, comprising six W.I.'s, numbering160 members is held at the Social Centre.