Ecchinswell Village Hall & Recreational Centre
Ecchinswell Village Hall and Recreational Centre was established as a charity in 1967, with the aim of "improving the conditions of life for the inhabitants of Ecchinswell, Bishop’s Green and Sydmonton" and that remains as true today as it was at the time. Everything that the Hall does is in support of that aim, maintaining and improving the amenities we all enjoy and encouraging their use.
There have been many changes since 1967, the two most obvious ones being the total rebuild of the main hall in 1996, followed shortly thereafter by the addition of the children's Playpark. The first was facilitated by the sale of a parcel of land in the corner of the old car-park, grants from Basingstoke & Deane and Hampshire Councils and from the Foundation for Sports and Art, underpinned by a massive fundraising effort and personal donations. The total raised was in excess of £215,000, and thanks, in particular must go to the late Pattie Coldwell, who led the Management Committee at the time.
The Playpark came about through the determination of Mandy Sainsbury to provide somewhere safe for the youngest members of the Parish to play safely. Mandy drove the fund-raising effort that established the Playpark, which was dedicated to her in 2015 and is now officially known as 'Mandy's Play Park'.
Since 1996, there have been a number of further improvements, including the installation of a suspended ceiling and a sprung wooden floor in the main hall, kitchen refurbishment, improvements to the heating system and insulation, security systems, DMX-controlled lighting and sound systems, Wi-Fi, new curtains and drapes, etc. Outside the main building, there is a similar picture: the Playpark has been completely upgraded, with soft flooring, a bird's-nest swing and zip-wire added, the car park is now finished with tarmac, upgrades made to the changing rooms, and the football pitches have been reconfigured to allow for junior teams to play adjacent to senior teams. We are indebted to Greenham Common Trust and to other government departments for their continuing support and to everyone who supports events at the Hall.
Despite that, there is always something else that needs attention! The Hall depends entirely on volunteers - if you feel you are able to contribute in any way, either as a trustee or via the fund-raising committee, through your ideas, your skills or simply through attendance at events, we'd love to hear from you. All contact details are at the foot of the page.