A milestone for community centre in its second decade

Pasty Baker, left and Karen Clark, managers of the Thame Barns Centre
Pasty Baker, left and Karen Clark, managers of the Thame Barns Centre

A thriving community centre which once stood derelict is celebrating its 20th birthday this month and staff are throwing a big party.

Once a derelict farm building, the Thame Barns Centre was renovated and opened in 1994, and now the centre managers are searching for people involved in the early days to attend the party on Saturday, October 18.

Karen Clark and Patsy Baker run the centre together, and are hoping to find the volunteers who were involved in the transformation so that they can see it as it is now.

The county council acquired the farm during the depression in the 1930s and eventually sold the land to the town council and St Mary’s Church in the 1990s for community use.

During that time the community came together, fund raised and were awarded grants to transform the derelict farm into the busy, bustling community facility which exists today.

The building in Church Road is the home of many clubs and groups, and holds art classes and Zumba sessions as well as much more.

The centre still has a board of trustees from the St Mary’s Church and Thame Town Council, who employ Karen and Patsy to run it.

On October 18, the centre will be open from 10.30am to 4pm with tea, coffee and cake available all day as well as a nostalgic exhibition of things past and present.

Party-goers will enjoy a hog roast lunch at 1pm, followed by cake and speeches.

From 7pm, the centre’s former manager John Thomas is organising a ‘sing-a-round’, and all are welcome to either perform or just listen to the musically-talented people of Thame.

For more information, visit www.thamebarncentre.co.uk or call 01844 217308.