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Shiplake Memorial Hall

Shiplake memorial Hall

The hall was opened in 1927.

A major modernisation of the Hall replacing the antiquated kitchen and toilets, building a new entrance and replacing the existing leaky flat roofs with insulated pitched roofs was formally opened on 26th October 2013. The picture shows the hall before the modernisation.


Updating your Will? - Please Remember the Memorial Hall

Shiplake Memorial Hall is a registered charity and a vital asset for our community, being used for many different events, classes, amateur dramatics and functions. Built over 90 years ago, the structure is now showing its age and the trustees are planning for a number of major capital refurbishment projects that will be needed during the coming years. Although income currently just covers operating costs, paying for major project work relies on fund raising and grants, plus a small reserve fund built up over the years. We need to try and build up our reserves much more to enable future major repairs and improvements, for example, replacing and insulating the main roof which is likely to cost around £100,000.

If you are updating your will, why not include a legacy to the hall to contribute to helping ensure that the hall continues to be available for future generations? Gifts to charities bequeathed by will are exempt from Inheritance Tax.

Fundraiser at Shiplake Memorial Hall


On Sunday 11th August, between 12pm and 5pm, there is a Fairy Festival Fundraiser taking place at Shiplake Memorial Hall and Field which is organised by Rays of Violet Light Energy Healing.

There is no set charge for entry but a suggested donation of £10 for a family of 4 to attend to go towards the fundraising for a little girl suffering from cystic fibrosis.

Activities include fairy story-telling, arts and crafts workshops, pottery painting, art classes, family yoga classes, sound bath therapy healing, meditation classes, fairy doors, flower garlands, best dressed fairy competition, glitter tattoos, face painting, hair braiding, henna art, fairy wings, fairy doors, arts and crafts, astrology readings, mediums, clairvoyants, aura photography, healing area, angels and fairies cards, dreamcatchers, clothes, crystals, music and vegan food. Something for everyone to enjoy!

This is a sure to be a great family event appealing to all ages and, of course, a great opportunity for children (and adults) to dress up!

More information can be found on the Rays of Violet Energy Healing Facebook page or by calling Janine on 07901 938649

Article created / last edited: 2 August 2019

Summer of Rockets

Shiplake Memorial Hall played host to the BBC drama series Sumer of Rockets earlier this year. The attached photos are from the televised first episode.

Article created / last edited: 14 June 2019

Annual General Meeting 2019

The Annual General Meeting of the Shiplake Memorial Hall took place on on 25th March 2019. Although the Hall had a sound year financially, it faces an increasing number of challenges. If it is to remain a vital asset  the Hall Trustees will need the support of the wider community. For more detail of this and a fuller report on the proceedings please click here

To learn more please email: secretary@shiplakehall.com.

Article created / last edited: 1 April 2019

SHIPLAKE'S QUIZ NIGHT - Friday March 1st 7:45pm

Are you ready for the challenge? Tickets are on sale now for Shiplake Memorial Hall’s very own Quiz Night on Friday 1stMarch 2019 at 7:45pm.

Tickets are £10 each which includes nibbles and 2 bottles of wine on each table.  Bring a team of 6-8 people or we can put you in a team.

All profits from the night will go to one of our selected charities chosen by the winning team on the night.

To book, email lottie@shiplakehall.com

Click here to get a sense of the fun you will have and support the local community.

Article created / last edited: 18 January 2019

Assistant Caretaker required for Shiplake Memorial Hall

Shiplake Memorial Hall is busy and vibrant and we are seeking an Assistant Caretaker to provide back-up to the caretaker as necessary, including during holiday or sickness absence.

 Key tasks include: 

  • Providing additional help in preparing for, or clearing after, a hirer event, particularly on Sunday mornings.
  • Covering urgent hirer call-outs including after 9pm.
  • Assisting the Caretaker when he/she is undertaking two-person maintenance jobs.
  • Maintaining and tidying the hall gardens and boundary hedges

The role is varied and would suit a self-employed person living in or near Shiplake with their own transport. Hours vary according to need.

To learn more please email: secretary@shiplakehall.com with a brief CV.

Article created / last edited: 4 December 2018

100 years ago today (9th October 2018) ...

.....Reginald and Lydia Mardon's elder son, Reginald, was killed in the advance on Le Cateau in the closing days of the Great War. As a memorial to him and " for the use of their fellow Parishioners" they donated an area of land off what is now Memorial Avenue and funded the construction of the Memorial Hall and Institute - now the Shiplake Memorial Hall. They also bought and donated an adjacent field, which now accommodates the Bowling Club and Tennis Club as well as a sports pitch. 

We are grateful for their generous bequest to the villages and for the sacrifice paid by Reginald Mardon and so many others in the First World War.

The pictures show the Memorial plaque, on the north face of the building, and a commemorative cross placed there by Jean Povey.  

You can read more about the history of the hall at www.shiplakehall.com

Article created / last edited: 10 October 2018

Shiplake Memorial Hall - A New Chairman

At the recent Memorial Hall AGM, Hugh Lacy stood down as Chairman after three years in the role. We are very grateful to Hugh for his public service over what have been challenging times for the Hall. He will remain as a trustee enabling him to continue sharing, in the years to come, his understanding and expertise gained over a long involvement with the Hall. The new Chairman is Robert Partridge, who has been a trustee for 10 years and will lead the management team in developing a number of fresh ideas to help bring the Hall into the 21st Century and ensure that this valuable community asset continues to thrive ……………watch this space, exciting things ahead!

The Trustees of Memorial Hall

Article created / last edited: 10 September 2018

MEMORIAL HALL AGM - 30th April 2018

The Hall and fields are an important and highly appreciated part of life in Shiplake and our neighbouring parishes. Why not attend the AGM and find out how you might take (more) advantage of what it offers. Below are the details of when and where.....click here to see the agenda for the meeting.

 Notice is hereby given that The 69th Annual General Meeting of the Shiplake Memorial Hall and Institute will be held at Shiplake Memorial Hall, Memorial Avenue, Shiplake at 7.30pm on Monday 30th April 2018

Shiplake Parish Council on behalf of Memorial Hall Trustees

Article created / last edited: 18 April 2018

Upcoming Event - Amber & the Professors

Amber & the Professors are a fun-loving swing band that create vintage-style records out of modern pop songs! In honour of the release of their debut EP album, Amber & the Professors are getting together with Reading-based foodies Pop-Up Reading again for their second collaboration. The Bathtub Club, who hosted a sell-out vintage do in October last year, are seriously looking forward to putting on this Vintage Ball EP Launch Party!

This totally unique event, which takes place on 27th October, includes an optional return journey on a retro Routemaster Bus to from Reading Station to Shiplake Memorial Hall (photo opportunity!), Prosecco on arrival, 3-course dinner cooked by local foodies at Pop-Up Reading/Nomad Bakery, support act and full show by Amber & the Professors 7-piece swing band. Dancing and dressing up in Black Tie and Glamour are fully encouraged. Every guest gets to take home a copy of the CD too!

To buy your tickets, click here.                                                    Official Event Page

Article created / last edited: 17 September 2017


Having received complaints of fouling of the Memorial Hall Recreation Ground by dogs and not wanting to ban them entirely from the Ground the Trustees have concluded that the only practical solution is to require that all dogs on the Ground should be on a lead. This assumes, of course, that owners will in any event remove and dispose of any of their own dog’s poos appropriately in the interests of all users of the Ground, most of whom are children.

Notices to this effect have recently been displayed at the Ground but it is disappointing to find that two of these have already been stolen. These have been replaced but there is a cost to the charity which maintains the Hall and the Ground.

We hope the local residents may help us with this and may be prepared to draw the notices to the attention of the owners of any dogs running free. Please report any problems to the trustees via manager@shiplakehall.com

Thank you

Article created / last edited: 5 May 2017

Larch Trees on the Border of the Shiplake Memorial Hall Recreation Ground

The row of sixteen Larch trees on the far boundary of the Memorial Hall ground have been causing problems for several years. The roots have been causing damage to the adjoining properties and in particular the foundations of the buildings, even of those at some distance from the field itself.  Attempts have been made in the past to remedy the problem by topping the trees but with only limited and temporary success. Further and progressive damage has recently become evident and the Hall Trustees have regretfully concluded that the only solution is to fell the trees in question, a number of which are in any case in a somewhat dilapidated state, and propose to replace them with others of a species more suited to the locality. The Council have confirmed that the trees are not protected. 

To minimise disturbance the felling will take place in three stages, over the next three months and the works will be carried out by qualified and experienced tree surgeons. The adjoining home owner principally affected is aware of and is content with this resolution of this long outstanding problem.

Article created / last edited: 4 October 2016

The Hall in Use

  • Laid out for a Wedding
  • The Kitchen
  • Stage set up for Pantomime
  • Laid out for a Wedding
  • Plenty of room for a Bouncy Castle
  • Let the Party begin
  • New Main Entrance

The beautiful main hall is a popular venue for a wide range of activities, including fitness and dancing classes, meetings, exhibitions, concerts, drama productions and fund raising events. Together with its adjoining, professional catering standard kitchen, it makes an ideal venue for celebration events, and regularly accommodates wedding receptions, wedding anniversaries, adult parties and children's parties.

The photo gallery to the right shows the hall in use.

For more information on the Hall please visit our website or call our bookings line on 0118 324 3303.

Article created / last edited: 20 June 2015

To be opened in 2064 - Time Capsules Unveiled

Pictures of Shiplake, diaries and children’s toys were among items placed inside two time capsules to represent life in the village. Trustees of Shiplake's Memorial Hall organised a competition for villagers to submit suggestions for what to include in the wooden boxes. The contest was launched to commemorate the £430,000 modernisation of the building in October 2013.

The capsules were attached to the wall of the hall in Memorial Avenue before an unveiling ceremony with the winners. Isabella Barlow, seven, of Northfield Road, won the under-11s category, while the Blanchard family, of Badgers Walk, won the senior category.

Each capsule has a plaque, saying: “The Way We Were, July 2014.” Underneath is etched who filled it and a request that it should be opened in 50 years’ time.

Isabella, who pulled a curtain to unveil her box, said she was happy to have won and that she would be taking her friends and family to see her box. She included a photograph of her classmates at Shiplake Primary School in their school uniform and pictures of the village, including Shiplake Lock where she likes visiting the ducks.

The Blanchards filled their capsule with diary entries from friends and families in the village, photographs of the memorial hall before and after its refurbishment and an aerial shot of the village. 

The photo was taken at the unveiling of the time capsules.

Article created / last edited: 18 February 2015

Full Steam Ahead at the Memorial Hall

Today saw one of the more unusual hires of the Hall when Stephen Howard, a Henley resident, used it to check out his latest G-gauge exhibition model railway. The layout  consists of a number of sections joined together, but overall is so large that it had never before been put fully together. Steve and a team of volunteers used the Hall to rehearse the assembly of the whole layout and test its operation, prior to taking it on exhibition nationally. Unfortunately, because of the Hall's smoke detection system all the running trials were with electrically powered locomotives!

Article created / last edited: 26 November 2014

Hogwarts Memorial Hall

Many hirers choose to decorate the Memorial Hall to reflect the theme of their party but none have achieved so complete a transformation as that to celebrate Harry Potter fan Nicole’s 16th birthday.

Full story

Article created / last edited: 21 March 2014

F1 Racing at Shiplake Memorial Hall!

Another unusual use of the Hall!

For a recent suprise birthday celebration the floor of the Shiplake Memorial Hall was converted into a racetrack. Memories of childhood Scalextric sets came flooding back as budding F1 drivers got to grips with remote controlled cars in a number of practice heats. After the main races were over the track was quickly cleared away and tables brought in from the sides for the birthday celebration meal.

Article created / last edited: 7 March 2015