We are encouraging everyone interested in the future of The Old Bluecoat School to become a Friend. We will value your support and we shall be keeping all our Friends abreast of developments. As you will be aware, the exterior of the building has been re-furbished at a cost of £150K. We are now drawing up plans to remodel and refurbish the interior. All monies received from our Friends (£200 for life membership or £20 p.a.) is being held in a sinking fund for to meet future maintenance costs.
“The Old Bluecoat School, Thatcham was full of enthusiasm and friendly chatter at the annual get-together of the ‘Friends of the OBS’” on the 22nd February 2019 D.C.H Williams OBE
‘Friends of the Old Blue Coat School met at OBS for a social evening and to receive up to date news on the building’s fortunes. Among the audience were Mrs Carol Jackson-Doerge, Chairman of West Berkshire District Counci and Mrs Jan Cover, Mayor of Thtatcham. Also present were two Deputy Lieutenants – Dr Christina Hill Wiliams, wife of the Chairman and Mr Willie Hartley- Russell, a direct descendant of Lady Winchcombe, who founded the original Charity school by which the building is still affectionately known.
New Trustee Keith Benjamin kindly persuaded the Benjamin family and friends to provide the musical entertainment. Keith’s daughter Victoria is a professional musician and has played several times at the ‘Tea and Cake’ concerts now run by Trust Treasuer Simon Witcomb on Sunday afternoons, once a month.
Chairman Clive Williams gave an upbeat review of what was happening at OBS. There is a real buzz about for such small room. It is remarkable how many groups are hiring it. It is now hired for 40 hours a week.
Vice-Chairman Mark Thomas then briefed the assembled company on the interior refurbishment project. The north facing windows will shortly have grilles installed to combat any futher attempts at vandalism and the Trust also has permission to install CCTV, should further protection be needed.
Trustee Angela Bates was standing down after 9 years and the Chairman paid tribute to the tremendous amount of work she had undertaken for the Trust. He made a presentation to Angela on behalf of her fellow Trustees. Angela was always going to be a hard act to follow and indeed it had not proved possible to find other Trustees to take over her many duties. But in view of the Trust’s improved financial position, the Trust had advertised for a paid Administrator and the Chairman stated he was delighted to introduce Ali Watkinson, who had taken on the new role with relish.
The evening finished wth a Q&A session and an invitation to attend the Trust’s AGM on 16th April’.
Clive Williams OBS, The Thatcham (Old Bluecoat School) Charity. April 2019