Kingsclere Village Club
The Village Club is run entirely by volunteers, managed by a Board of Trustees who are responsible for decision making and day to day running of the building. They are appointed at the AGM, to which members of the public are encouraged to attend as this is local communities opportunity to hold the Board accountable for its actions.
If you have a skill to offer and are interested in enhancing your CV by demonstrating how you make a difference within the charitable sector, please contact the clerk or our chairman to discuss how best you can get involved.
Maintaining the fabric of the historic building, as well as working to maximise use of the building, are the focus of the Board's work. The range of skills that are particularly useful include office skills, cleaning, building and decorating, legal skills, book-keeping, marketing, and gardening.
The building was donated to villagers by the children of Mr and Mrs William Holding and started life as workers cottages that were originally built in the mid 1700s. In 1832 the cottages are faced with ‘Newbury Blue’ brickwork which together with their distinctive Bath stone porches are an important part of the Kingsclere Conservation Area.
The cottages originally housed workers in an adjacent malt house but in 1880 the cottages were converted to become the Kingsclere Coffee and Reading Rooms on the initiative of William Holding DL, a great local beneficiary. The Reading Rooms provided a great social and education facility for the residents of the Kingsclere area as a temperance alternative to the eleven village pubs. One cottage provided a caretaker’s house and the other was extended to create the Reading Rooms. Other facilities includes a sports room (now the library) and a ladies room (now the Holding room).
Mrs Holding died in 1919, followed by her husband in 1921. In 1921 the building was presented to the community by their children in memory of their parents.
Kingsclere Village Club was formed as a charity to run the building. In 1922 the main hall was built as a billiard room to house billiard tables, and in the 1950's a wooden toilet block was added. For years the rooms were let to the Women's Institute, Choral Society, Red Cross and Brownies. At the end of the last war the local Food Office was here weekly to distribute orange juice and cod liver oil. The present library room is where the children came a generation ago to have their dental inspection and treatment.
However, in the years following the Second World War it fell into serious decline from which it was rescued by a joint initiative of the Charity Commissioners and the Kingsclere Parish Council. A separate board of trustees was formed with a revised deed of trust giving village hall status to the building. Since this time it has become a thriving centre for learning and leisure activities.