The Recreation Room ...

This was originally a Primitive Methodist Chapel, the date on the building is shown as 1836 but it is believed to be earlier. There are records of a Society of Methodists in Beckingham consisting of 10 members in 1788. The Chapel was built in front of the old Pinfold, which is shown on the 1777 Enclosure map but the chapel is not. Whites directory 1832 states that a Methodist Chapel was built in Beckingham in 1807 then extended in 1821, which may refer to this building or the original Wesleyan Chapel in the High Street. It was used as a "Free Prayer" Chapel in 1841. A Certificate stating that it was used as a place of worship before 1852 and would continue to be used as such by Primitives was granted in 1861.
Painting of Primitive Chapel 1935
Early photo of Chapel - date unknown

Kelly's directory states that there was still a Primitive Methodist Chapel in use in the village in 1925. It is unclear exactly when it stopped being used as a Chapel, but after the 2nd World War it was used for recreational purposes. When Misterton Rural Council existed, they used the building for their meetings. Other purposes included being used as a hairdressers' two days a week. Although no longer a place of worship it was still registered as a place to be married up until the 1960's. However, it gradually fell into a state of disrepair and was eventually closed in 1971.

The Watson family obtained the building and Miss Nora Watson sold it to the Parish Council for 50 in the late 1970's, on condition that it was used for the benefit of the whole community.

A major renovation took place at a cost of 14,000, with the help of donations from local firms, BP Explorations, Trent Wharfage and Brashes, as well as money received from Parish Council funds and a Bassetlaw District Council Grant. The renovations included an extension for toilets and a kitchen as well as furniture and fittings. It kept its distinctive Victorian appearance with the 2 arched windows on both its front and side and a clay tiled roof. The original low wall and the iron railings were removed long ago, the railings probably going to the war effort.

It was reopened as a new Recreation Room in October 1983 with a cheese and wine buffet, to which 70 people attended. The opening ceremony was performed by the then Chairman of Bassetlaw District Council, Mrs Connie Tucker. Rob Clarke of BP Explorations, Robert Marshall of Brashes, Richard Adams Chairman of the Parish Council and Councillor Derek Weir also attended.
Chapel date stone 1836

Best Kept Village 1985 Commemorative Plaque
There is a plaque on the outside wall of the building commemorating Beckingham winning the Best Kept Village Competition in Group B in 1985, for which the village was presented with an Oak Tree, 100 and a Commemorative Certificate. A ceremony was held with refreshments in the Recreation Room with everyone in the village being invited. People were asked for suggestions on what the 100 should be spent on, and it was decided to purchase a bench seat to be placed somewhere in the village, this was duly done. The Oak Tree was planted on the Green and the certificate was framed and can be seen inside the building. Beckingham has come close to winning several times since then, including coming 3rd in 2007.
Also on display inside is a wooden model of a ship, presented by the Watson family and made by a Mr Jervis who was a draughtsman for Watson's Shipyard. The model was later framed in a glass cabinet.


In the late 1980's the Parish Council applied to have the building listed, this was refused. A ramp and railings were added to the front of the building in 1993. There is a useful map on the outside wall showing all footpaths in Beckingham and Saundby, along with a Parish Council notice board. Today, the Recreation Room is well used for small functions, various meetings and activities and also used in conjunction with activities on the Green. The location of the Recreation Room is particularly useful to those who are less mobile, being in the centre of the village.
It was well known for some time that the building suffered from damp problems, the outside rendering was in a bad state of repair and among other things the boiler needed replacing. After some discussion the Parish Council decided to undertake improvements and refurbishments and these were carried out in July and August of 2008, organised by the Parish Clerk.
Recreation Room 2007

Recreation Room 2008
This included removing some of the plaster on the walls inside and replacing, along with damproofing and complete redecoration. The kitchen was refitted with new units and worktops along with new flooring. A new central heating and hot water boiler was fitted. New carpeting, curtains and blinds were added generously donated by Baris Facades and Linings Ltd. A new facility of a projector and screen were also fitted with the expert help of Chris du Feu and is available for use by the community, local organisations and businesses using the building. Outside the old rendering was completely removed, the walls damp proofed and re rendered with a Tyrolean finish as before. The outside was repainted, the guttering replaced and the flat roof of the extension was also replaced. These improvements to the building along with the Spinney landscaping and the already established Green will hopefully make for a far more attractive and useful amenity for the community.


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