Thatcham Arts Festival 2020

Although the OBS are not opening to the general public, there are still plenty of great events going on virtually.

The Old Bluecoat School recently played host to the photographic and art exhibitions.

Below are photo’s of some of the amazing art work that was submitted, many by local amateur artists.

Photo’s by permission of Sue Lloyd

Covid – 19 Update.


We are pleased to announce that the Old Bluecoat school is now available for hire and hope that some of our regular groups can return soon.

We have taken steps to make the building as hygienic as possible, with many safety measures and adaptions made.




We will update our bookings calendar soon.

If you interested in hiring the OBS, please call Ali Watkinson on 07570 097332.



Building News

January 30th 2020

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News of the replastering work.

The plaster on the interior south wall, next to the main road, has been removed by our contractors Ellis and Co. As visitors will have seen, the old plaster was crumbling and had proved impossible to patch because of the rain and road spray damp penetrating the solid wall.  Record photographs were taken by Dr Nick Young of Thatcham Historical Society of the unexpected construction of flints and medieval bricks.  The exterior of the OBS walls are 100% flints.

Three coats of lime plaster are to be reapplied which will allow the long trapped moisture in the wall to gradually escape.  The first plaster coat was applied on 14th Jan and we are waiting for it to dry before applying the second cost.  Although we expected the first coat to dry in a week or so, the damp weather and flint wall have slowed the drying time down. Heaters have been installed to help, and we expect that the second coat can be applied in the week commencing 3rd February. Hopefully the second and third plaster coats should dry faster because they are thinner.  

Provisionally, depending on the weather, we expect that the OBS can be reopened to hirers during week commencing the 24th.  

Mark Thomas Vice Chairman

7th December 2019

The interior plaster on the south wall facing the A4, has been crumbling for years. After investigation we believe that the damage is caused by moisture in the solid wall from the traffic spray and because the wall faces the prevailing rain.  We are going to remove the all the unsuitable 1970’s plaster on the south wall and renew it with lime plaster, which will allow the wall to breathe and let trapped moisture escape.

We will be closing the OBS to hirers from 6th January 2020 for an expected four to six weeks to allow the work to be done.   We have arranged alternative temporary accommodation for our hirers thanks to Thatcham Town Council, the Parish Hall and Brimpton Primary School. All hirers have been notified by Ali Watkinson.  The exact length of time will depend on the drying time for the layers of traditional lime plaster and if any repairs are needed to the flint wall underneath.

Bookings can be made for later in February by contacting 07570 097332 or emailing Please see calendar for relocation info.

The Trustees approached several local firms to provide cost estimates for the work, as well as the contractor who did the external refurbishment of the OBS building in 2014.  Ellis and Co, of Shepton Mallet, Somerset, were chosen based on a competitive price and their good knowledge of the OBS. 

Mark Thomas Vice Chairman

Teaching music, changing lives!

What an amazing afternoon!

Staff and students from Berkshire Maestros performed music from Benjamin Britten and Mozart to Sondheim and Gershwin.

All the concert was of the highest standard, and many thanks goes to Trevor Defferd for accompanying the musicians and Simon Witcomb for organising the event.

Below is Sophie Hallam performing an aria from The Magic Flute.

Sunday 6 May – Matt Lowe Cello Recital

Matt Lowe – Cello Recital 
Old Bluecoat School, Thatcham RG18 4JT
Sunday, 6th May, 2018 4 p.m.
Matt Lowe, Cello, is Director of Music at Bradfield College having led a busy and diverse musical life performing as a soloist, chamber musician and teacher.  He has performed with many national orchestras and taught at prestigious international cello courses.  He will be performing works by Martinu, Mendelssohn and Popper.
Matt will be accompanied by John Paul Elkins, who is a multi-award winning piano soloist and who has performed all around Europe.  Education and outreach work is enormously important to Joh Paul, who gives workshops and master classes as well as teaching at St. Paul’s School.
Tickets £10 adult, £5 schoolchild
Available from Picture It, 17 High Street, Thatcham RG19 3JG or on the door
Call Simon on 01635 869 869 or email