19th-century wooden building still very much in the pink
Chiltern Open Air Museum
THE very striking pink building on the Village Green here is a Vicarage Room. Originally from Lashlake Road, Thame, Oxfordshire, it was in the grounds of the vicarage and later moved to Bierton Road, in Aylesbury.
The museum was asked to rescue the building when developers took over the site. During the dismantling stage in 1989, the team found a mummified cat under the floor!
The Vicarage Room is a wooden framed, prefabricated building with a corrugated iron roof, painted in contrasting pink and cream, although the pink was originally Fenton Red that has now faded. All the small panes of glass, except one, are original. The interior is just as striking with a pink painted brown paper finish on the upper walls and vertical dark wooden panelling on the lower walls.
Records show that the room was officially opened on Thursday, December 13, 1894 by the Rural Dean, the Reverend EJ Howman. The Thame Gazette tells us that lots of community events were held in it, including Church Lads Brigade parades, lectures, bible class socials, monthly meetings of the Church of England and its Men’s Society.
The building was put up for auction in 1913 when the church moved to another location and it was bought by the auctioneer, who moved it to his own premises in Aylesbury. His grandson, John Milburn, donated it to the museum.
Now one of our most popular buildings, the Vicarage Room has starred in comedy programmes such as Mitchell and Webb and Harry and Paul, and is the scene of many Victorian School workshops for schools, craft activities and exhibitions enjoyed by our visitors.
The Thame Vicarage Room has already been moved twice during its lifetime Chalfont St Giles www.coam.org.uk 01494 871 117