Dreams do come true

beaconsfieldbash02Almost 25 years ago, a public meeting was called in Shipton to afford every parishioner a say on whether or not to build a new village hall; the old one had undoubtedly seen better days.

There was a unanimous call for a new hall and the work of fund-raising began. Estimated costs were £250,000; final costs were nearer £750,000. With a lot of hardwork from all the villagers and several substantial donations and grants, work was started. On 4th July 1998 we finally cut the ribbon and the hall was open for business. Dream come true!

Knowing how successful the hall has been over the past 20 years it seemed appropriate to hold a big event to celebrate. Planning was slow to begin with. Those of us who have been involved for 25 years needed the guidance of some of the younger, family villagers, and suddenly there they were offering their help, ideas and expertise. Another dream come true!
July 18th was the chosen day, and it was to be a family event run on a limited budget so that parents did not need to dip hands in pockets to pay out. In the evening we planned a Supper Dance with £25 tickets just covering basic costs. No raffle needed, but we hoped everyone would drink enough for the bar profit to subsidise afternoon costs.

The atmosphere on the recreation field was vibrant with families enjoying the games and activities on the field or relaxing to music from the Rock Project. The hall was packed for performances by the Wychwood Singers, the Wychcraft Rock and Pop choir and the wonderful Saplings. For many, children and adults alike, this was their first public performance. Our thanks go to every one of them.

That evening, the bar ran out of beer and white wine but it did not seem to stop anyone enjoying themselves.

So many were involved that it is hard to thank everyone, but mention must go to Chris, Lucy and Aleesha for their input, and for the art group for the decorative murals which will grace the hall to remind us of such a superb day. Perhaps they will feel like doing it again for the Silver Jubilee as we ‘originals’ will be past our usefulness by then. It looks as if the bar takings did pay for the event, so that is another dream come true!

Christine Halliday

October – November 2018