The Reading Room is our village meeting place. It is host to many of the societies and social activities which take place in the village.

We have just completed a major renovation and extension to the building. We are delighted with our new facility and hope you are as well.

The hall is available to hire for private and public events. The capacity of the hall has increased due to the the renovation.  The maximum capacity of the hall is 120 but the actual capacity will vary depending on the event being held. We can now comfortably seat 66 at a dining type event. 

For more information or to make a booking please contact Jayne Spiller  on 01242 820598 or or complete the booking form on this website.

Details of the cost of hiring the hall can be found here. 

The Reading Room Address is:

Shipton Reading Room, Shipton Oliffe, Cheltenham GL54 4JQ

The Reading Room is managed by a committee of Trustees who are responsible for the running and upkeep of the building.

The Trustees are:

Susan Livesey 

Steve Smith  - Secretary & Treasurer

Jayne Spiller

Pamela Todd

Pete Kealy 

Steve Cooke -Chair

A History of our Reading Room

The Shipton Reading Roomwas built in 1909 from Cotswold stone largely through the efforts of Mr R F Stratton (who lived at South Farm), with support of two trustees and a local land owner. The work was done, under supervision, by the village community, including Mr George Wyatt.

The room was provided for the men and boys of the village for reading and recreation. Initially, the furnishings consisted of large wooden armchairs and card tables. Later, a billiard table, quoits board and darts board were purchased. Whist drives were held regularly and people from nearby villages would attend. The room was open every evening except Sundays and the men would go there after tea to read the papers and discuss the day’s events. The majority of the men worked on the local farms and newspapers and books were provided by villagers.

The village Hop proved very popular during the war years and there was no shortage of male partners. The lads from the RAF base at Chedworth would arrive on bicycles, soldiers would walk from their Nissan huts located in a field at the far end of Syreford Road, and Americans stationed at Sandywell Park would also attend.

After the war, due to a lack of maintenance, the building was somewhat dilapidated and a village meeting decided that the building should have a change of function and become the village hall, whilst retaining its previous name. The building took a new lease of life with redecoration and other improvements, including the installation of electricity and the building of toilets and a kitchen. As few people in the village had cars, the hall became a centre for local social and other activities and regular, successful events were held.

Sadly, the spirit that was created was not to last, and with the advent of TV and widespread private and public transport, the hall was much less used. This was not helped by there still being no proper heating. A new committee was formed in the 1970’s and fundraising enabled the hall to be re-wired and some heaters purchased. A suspended ceilinghelped to retain heat in the early 1980’s and this improved appearance and warmth helped to improve bookings.

In recent years an enthusiastic committee has co-ordinated much work to improve the facility further including complete redecoration, wooden floor refurbishment, replacement ceiling tiles, roof tile and gable end repairs. The facility now boasts excellent facilities and regular social functions and other events ensure that the Reading Room remains at the centre of village life.