The trustees of the Bircham Centre in Reepham have put together a programme to celebrate its centenary in 2019.
A Centenary Fund will also be launched to carry out essential maintenance work to ensure the building is kept in good order for future generations to enjoy and benefit from the facilities it offers.
The centre, previously known as Hackford House, was owned by Samuel Bircham (1841–1923), a local resident and landowner. The building is Grade II listed (parts of the building date back to the Jacobean period) and fronts onto the Market Place in Reepham.
During its history the building has been used for a number of purposes, including serving as the rectory for the parish of Hackford and Whitwell. During the First World War, the main building was used as a Red Cross rehabilitation hospital.
In 1919, following the end of the war, Samuel Bircham gave the building to the town to be held in trust by the people of Reepham for use as a reading room and community meeting place.
The Bircham Centre now houses the town’s library, a charity shop, the Reepham Archive, the administration office for the parish church and facilities used by many different local groups, including the Women’s Institute, the bridge club, a Knit & Natter group and a baby clinic.
There are a homeopath and reflexologist working from the centre, which also houses an art gallery that displays work by local artists, and the weekly country market.
The Bircham Centre is overseen by a committee of 12 trustees; it relies heavily on the hard work of its volunteers and on donations. All money obtained from rent and the shop is used to maintain and run the centre, as no legacy was left to maintain the building and garden.
Recently, the Bircham Centre has been successful in obtaining a grant from the National Lottery Awards for All, which will help with the cost of the centenary celebrations and also to overhaul the garden. However, there is still a long way to go in fundraising for essential works to the building.
If you would like to support the Bircham Centre and its activities, why not become a member of the 200 club? This costs just £1 per month.
For more information, contact Bircham Centre administrator Polly Brockis on 01603 8792422 or email
The centenary programme will be published shortly.