VilInst. The Village Institute.
On the 10th of January 1879 an important meeting was held to discuss the provision of a Club and Reading Room for the village of Windlesham.
The chair was taken by the Rector, and in his opening remarks the Rector said that the chief reason which made it so important to provide such an institution could be expressed in one word and that word was DRINK.
He went on to say that drink was the cause of the largest proportion of all the crime, the poverty and the misery in England. When the working men went to the only place where they could meet was the public house. The English Gentlemen had at one time to meet in taverns and hard drinking, loss of time, health and character were the consequence. Now they have their own clubs the improvement is immense in many ways. He hoped that the working-men of Windlesham would soon have a Club and Reading Room of,their own.
A Provisional Committee was set up to “solicit subscriptions and donations, to register the names of those willing to join, to take, fit up and furnish
suitable premises and to prepare draft rules for ultimate adoption by the members”
The Committee was composed of the Rector John Freshfield, T.Sellar Esq., Admiral strange, Rev.C.B.Fendall, Mr.Ledger, Mr.S.Christmas, Mr.Clowett, Mr.Medhurst and Mr.Wheeler.
1879. Conveyance of land (part of Highland Plat, plot 191 on 1843 Tithe Map) situated in Windlesham County of Surrey. (Dog Kennel Lane)
Land conveyed by Daniel Mason to Rev.John Minet Freshfield, the Rev.Charles Bathurst Fendall and Vice Admiral James Newburgh Strange, for the sum of £55.0, The conveyance stipulated that a Working Men’s Club and Reading Room should be built thereon. The building was opened in 1880.
In 1901 the building was extended by Mrs.Christie of “Ribsden”, in memory of her late husband, Richard Copley Christie, M.A., LL.D.
Parish Magazine December 1902. Institute Notes.
The gas has now been laid on to the buildings, and the light is much appreciated.
The new incandescent lamp at the entrance gate lights up a very dark piece of road, and has proved very useful already.
1904, Windsor & Eton Express. Windlesham
Dramatic Performances in aid of St.Alban’s Organ Fund, were held at the Institute Windlesham.
The, Institute in which they were held is a noble monument, consisting of several rooms and a spacious concert hall possessing excellent acoustic properties.
In May 1945, Rear Admiral Archibald Cochrane R.N. conveyed to William Richard
Oldham Esq, and others, a parcel of land on which are now the bowling-green and Tennis courts.
The club by this time was known as the “Windlesham Institute”.
In 1997 the hall was changed into a theatre with a new stage, changing rooms and other facilities.
The whole complex is now called: The Windlesham Club and Theatre.