LOOKING back on 50 years of fond memories created at Legge House will be at the heart of a spring fair fundraiser this weekend.
The Wroughton residential centre is celebrating its golden anniversary this year and to mark the milestone occasion, an afternoon of fun has been planned for Sunday with hundreds of families expected to make a return to the much-loved house.
For the last five decades, Legge House has offered youngsters somewhere to stay when on educational trips and was originally built in 1865 as the village school.
Now, husband and wife team Mark and Sheila Tubey, who have managed the centre since 2011, hope that past guests come back for the fair which hopes to raise money for a formal celebration next month.
Sheila, 58, said she's always surprised when people pop into Legge House to see how it has changed from when they stayed - with many recalling their stay from 40 years ago.
“One day we had someone drive up into the car park and I was cooking outside when I saw the car," she said. "This man came to the door and said to me, I was here as a child 35 years ago and said it hadn’t changed but that it brought back so many memories for him which was lovely to hear.
“Having that experience made me think that there must be so many other memories like that out there. At first we didn’t know what we were doing but we provide an opportunity and an environment for children to make lasting memories.
“By schools coming here, it means that children have the experience of going away which many haven’t ever had before.
“Staying away on residential trips with school is part of growing up and part of children’s development.
“It does mean a lot that we’re able to celebrate 50 years."
Legge House was initially opened as a Diocesan centre for Youth, for Conferences and a Meeting Place in 1967 and although it is still owned by the Diocese, Mark and Sheila work the centre as an independent charity.
The income is achieved by having groups to stay for a day from hosting birthdays, weddings and funerals as well as corporate conferences.
A fundraiser on Sunday will start at 12.30pm in the form of a bring and share lunch followed by a spring fair in the grounds.
There will be a whole host of traditional games and activities on offer for children as well as a tombola and raffle.
Sheila and Mark are also hoping that from this weekend, they might be able to find out more information about Miss Legge who the building is named after.
“It would be lovely to find a relative of Miss Legge especially if they were able to come to the fundraiser. We are also trying to write a memories book as well to show the importance of the place and how it has continued over the years.”
The golden anniversary formal celebration will then be held on June 25 following the parish church’s Patronal Festival.