Chesham Travel Guide

Culture and recreation

Community facilities

The Elgiva Hall opened on its original location in 1976. In 1998, having made way for an enlarged supermarket development the Elgiva was rebuilt as a purpose-built theatre on its current site and reopened as the New Elgiva. Now rebranded The Elgiva it is a 300 seated/400 standing capacity theatre, with a Dolby Digital 35mm cinema and is owned and managed by Chesham Town Council. The Elgiva presents a wide-ranging programme of professional and amateur theatre productions, musicals, comedy, dance, one night shows and concerts, pantomimes, films, exhibitions and other public and private events by both professional and community organisations. The Little Theatre by the Park is a facility owned by the Town Council and leased to the Little Theatre Trustees. It is the home to the Chesham Bois Catholic Players and used by other local theatre companies and is used for dance and exercise groups.

Chesham Museum is a newly established museum for the town and surrounding area which opened in 2004 having first been conceived in 1981. Initially it was housed in temporary premises at The Stables behind the Gamekeeper's Lodge Pub in Bellingdon Road. Since October 2009 it has been located at 15 Market Square. There is also an annual Schools of Chesham carnival, Beer festival and bi-annual Chesham festival.

Chesham Library opened in Chesham in 1923 in a room at Cemetery Lodge on Berkhamsted Road. In 1927, it moved into new premises at 33 High Street on the Broadway which it shared with Chesham Urban District Council. After the war it expanded. A children's section was added in 1952. In 1971 the library moved to Elgiva Lane, a site it shared with the Elgive Theatre prior to the latter's relocation to new premises. Since then it has been updated to provide better access and improved internal facilities including the evolution of the reference library into a Study Centre. It also houses a special collection of Victorian era children's books including some previously owned by Florence Nightingale.

The White Hill Centre, the site of an old school, is run by Chesham and District Community Association and since 1976 has provided educational, recreational social activities and facilities for societies and the local community to meet.

Opposite the town centre is Lowndes Park, a large park with playgrounds and formerly an open air paddling pool. There is a large pond in the park, known as Skottowe's Pond. Lowndes Park was donated to the town of Chesham in 1953. Prior to this it was part of the garden that belonged to the Lowndes family. The Moor, originally an island created by the diversion of the Chess to power mills is today an open space used for recreation and the location for travelling fairs which moved from their traditional location in the town centre in 1938. There are two public swimming pools in the town. An outdoor pool at the Moor in Waterside and a roofed pool (and leisure centre), next to Chesham Grammar School at the top of White Hill. The Town Council manages 227 allotments spread across three sites. There are 135 footpaths in the Chesham area and in May 2010 the town became the first in the Chilterns to be recognised as a "Walkers are Welcome Town".

Sport

Chesham United F.C. is the local football club which plays in the Southern League. At the end of the 2009-2010 season it was promoted to the Premier Division. It was formed in 1917 through the merger of Chesham Generals (the team of the Chesham General Baptist church now called Broadway Baptist Church), which was founded in 1887, and Chesham Town FC (started as the football team of Christ Church, Waterside), a founding member of the Southern League which started out in 1894 as Chesham FC. The club's most successful period was during the 1967-68 season when it reached the final of the FA Amateur Cup at Wembley but lost out to Leytonstone F.C. 1-0 in front of a crowd of 54,000. The club has struggled financially and performance-wise over recent years but has recently had a cash injection from a new financial backer.

Chesham cricket club was founded in 1848 and is one of the oldest clubs in the Thames Valley Cricket League. Its home ground is at Amy Lane. In addition to four senior Saturday XIs it also runs two Sunday XIs and a women's side. Chesham also has a Junior section, which competes in Buckinghamshire and national competitions.

Chesham Rugby union Club ('The Stags'), was founded in 1980 and play their rugby at Chesham Park Community College.

Town twinning and cultural exchanges

Chesham has twinned with three towns in other countries. It is organised by the Chesham Town Twinning Association. The first link-up was in 1980 with Friedrichsdorf, at the foot of the Taunus Hills near Frankfurt, Germany. Next followed the association with Houilles, a commune of Paris, France, in 1986 and thirdly, in 1995 a tie-up with Archena, in the Murcia region of Spain.

Emmanuel Church is linked with a church in Prague, Czech Republic and the British Legion is linked with its Canadian equivalent in Buckingham, Quebec.

source: Wikipedia

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