About Us

Cookham Dean Women's Institutewas founded in 1920.  A meeting was held in the Drill Hall – now the Village Hall - and according to the minutes about 50 women attended. The rules and meanings of an Institute were explained and it was unanimously decided to go ahead.  The meetings generally followed the same pattern as they do today (if it's notbroke don't fix it).

In November 1931 the Institute was offered a small piece of land for a hall on the corner of Sterlings Lane,behind the Church at a rent of one shilling a year.  Funds were raised by the members for the purchase and erection of a First World War prefabricated wooden building  (the Hall the Institute meets in today).  In March 1932 the first meeting was held there.  By March 1954 the owner of the land died and the site was sold.  In 1956 notice was given to quit and the hall was dismantled  and the pieces lay under a tarpaulin for many months in a corner of the church orchard.

There was great difficulty infinding an alternative piece of land but after a long search the Church Commissioners were persuaded to rent the Institute a small area of glebeland.  The rent increased  so that finally after long and difficult negotiations the land was purchased in 1981. In 2003 the institute was bequeathed a generous legacy from a past member which made it possible to extend and renovate the Hall and make it the attractive and comfortable meeting place that it is today.  The hall and garden are owned and maintainedby the members.

The County Chairman, Mrs Jean Sheppard declares the newly renovated Hall open.