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A Community Spirit

The village hall, built in 1902 and known as the ‘Reading Rooms’, has been the centre of village life in Cavenham for almost a Century. Used as a venue for children’s parties, dances and wedding receptions etc;. A suspended stage at one end of the hall was used for both adult and children’s pantomimes. Such shows included ‘Aladdin’, ‘Snow White’, ‘Babes in theWood’ and ‘Cinderella’, this last one running weekly in surrounding villages from January 1953 until the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in June of that year. All these pantomimes were written and produced by Reuben Gooch, one of the founders and honorary secretary of The Cavenham and Lackford Working Mens Club, the main stay of the village hall and still going strong after more than 50 years.

cricket.jpg (39615 bytes)Other recreational activities included cricket and football. Cavenham had teams in both. The original playing fields were situated in the meadow behind the post office. A fine double fronted wooden pavilion was used for scoring and changing. In the later half of the 1940’s the pitch and pavilion were move to a new site within the park, near to the Park Gate Lodge. team.jpg (70499 bytes)The unused drive to the demolished Cavenham Hall ran right through the pitch. Cricket was popular every Saturday and especially Sundays, when many villagers would come to watch the matches against other local teams. Games were played throughout the later 1940’s to late 1950’s.

jubilee.jpg (61014 bytes)As an Estate Village, the working people of Cavenham were almost all employed on the Estate. The community was a close knit one and monumental events were marked with great village celebrations, such as V.E. Day, Coronations and Jubilees. The street procession in the photograph marks Cavenham's celebration of the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary in 1935. 

©2000 Michael Gooch.



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