The Grafham Room – originally called ‘Grafham Grange Room’ – was built in 1907 by Catherine Shepherd, daughter of James McAndrew of Grafham Grange, in memory of her father. She died early the following year, leaving the room to her son, James Shepherd, who owned it until 1930. During this period, the control and management was in the hands of a Committee who operated it ‘for purposes of recreation and entertainment for the parishioners of the Hamlet of Grafham’.
In 1930 James Shepherd transferred the ownership to
Major R.A.Godwin-Austin of Smithbrook Manor; D.S.Elliott of Whipley
Manor and Enid Griffiths of Lea Farm, as Trustees ‘upon trust to permit
same to be used, occupied, or enjoyed by persons resident in the Hamlet
of Grafham, to be run on non political and non sectarian lines, and used
primarily for purposes conducive to the welfare, entertainment and
recreation of the Hamlet’. The Room was then named in the conveyance as
‘the Grafham Room’ the title ‘Grafham Grange Room’ being dropped.
1945 part of the land between the Grafham Room and the cottages to the
south, known as ‘the Orchard’ was bought by the trustees and held by
them on the same terms as the Room itself.
trustees have now all died and been replaced. The present Trustees are
John Compton, John Parrott, Phil Scattergood and Lesley Spencer. Adrian
Elliott (second generation) also serves on the Management Committee.
room has no income except from lettings and donations. It is let
regularly to The Grafham and Smithbrook Womens Institute (One afternoon a
month); the Young Farmers on Friday evenings and, though not connected
to the Church, the hall is used by the Parish Council Committee. Hire of
the Room is not limited to the residents of Grafham but they do have
priority. Other regulars include educational users in the shape of
Educational Trust Directors meetings, teaching, examinations and
‘painting’ weeks. The remaining income is generated by the hire of the
Room for parties, socials and musicians' rehearsals.
Room originally was looked after by a caretaker at a nominal Fee. On her
death and the subsequent sale of the neighbouring property this
devolved on to the Management Committee who do voluntary maintenance
tasks, jointly and independently.