11:30AM, Friday 19 July 2019
A snooker club was renamed at a special ceremony on Saturday to mark 100 years since it was gifted to the men of Twyford returning from the First World War.
The special event saw 50 people attend to watch former High Sheriff of Berkshire Lady Elizabeth Godsal OBE unveil a sign officially renaming Twyford Snooker Club as Twyford Memorial Hall.
The new sign includes a triangular symbol showcasing 15 poppies, replicated from a design by local botanical artist Lorna Minton.
Following the unveiling, chairman David Warner invited attendees to toast the new name, hoping for it to remain ‘a vibrant part of the community for a long time ahead.’
The hall, which was initially known as Twyford Men’s Club, was gifted to Rev Robert Ackworth on July 13, 1919 and has been renamed in honour of the unique memorial at its entrance, which is believed to have been created by a returnee from the war.
David Warner said: “It is quite a unique memorial inside the hall, which lists all of the men of the village who went to war in the First World War, including the ones who have died.
“Obviously you see those on crosses and commemorations all over the place, but it’s very unusual to see a list of all the names of the men who came back. It's what makes it a little bit different.”
Following years of deterioration, in 2013 members began a fundraising project to pay for its renovation, which was funded by a host of sponsors and donors, including the Louis Baylis Trust.
The work, which has been partly completed, has seen the building’s exterior and interior memorial hall refurbished, with only the back room, which was used as a committee and reading room, left to be renovated.
Discussing the refurbishment at the event, David said honorary secretary, Malcom George’s ‘tireless efforts have done more than anyone to get us to where we are today’.
The ceremony saw members, friends, sponsors and donors look around the newly-renovated building and a host of snooker-themed activities after.
Speaking at the event, David said: “Once more, I’d like to thank all those here and those who could not be here, who have helped us reach this milestone.”
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