The Church Institute, our venue for Talk, tea and cake on 27th May

A postcard of the Institute in Balsham

A postcard of the Institute in Balsham

The Church Institute is next to Long Thatch. It was built in 1913 but did you know that it wasn't funded by the church?

Although it is called the Church Institute it was built with funds raised by ’public subscription’.  We think the name may have come from it's location rather than it's funding.

The Institute has played a big part in Balsham village life.  During the First World War, it was used as an overspill from the Park House VAD Hospital. Girls were taught cookery using a coal-fired cooker and boys were taught woodwork here. Dances have been held there over the years. During the 1930s Balsham had a small band which used the space.

The Institute has played host to many functions from wedding receptions, funeral receptions to birthday parties. The community still use it today just as we are for our event this Bank Holiday Sunday. It is a location for whist drives, keep fit classes, meetings for various organisations, play groups, jumble sales. The Institute plays host to the Balsham Picture House and the Balsham Community Market.

It is a wonderful legacy, handed down by our predecessors over 100 years ago, who generously donated their money from meagre earnings.

What are your memories of the Institute? Do you have any photos of the building through the years? Do share them with us on social media, comment here. We'd love to hear them at our Talk, Tea and Cakes on 27th May too.