Naburn's historic Reading Room has received a make-over to to turn it into a more user-friendly space and it is now available for use by village groups as a small meeting or activities venue free of charge.
The small brick building in Front Street was a Victorian idea deployed in many villages to provide 'enlightenment' for local people, who could not afford books or a newspaper or could not read. Typically, one newspaper and books might be available there for everyone to share...to read or to be read to them. Reading Rooms became a village hub for other 'entertainment' too and were seen as a wholesome alternative to a pub.
Naburn's Reading Room has been used in recent years as a Doctor's peripatetic surgery and still doubles up as the village's Post Office as well as the venue for the monthly meetings of Naburb Parish Council. We are keen to see the facility develop again in a useful and wider community role and complement the larger Village Hall.
In recent months the heating and insulation in the room have been improved and the space has been carpeted. Now, thanks to a grant from the City of York Council, negotiated by our Ward Councillor, Suzie Mercer, most of the old upright chairs have been replaced by comfortable armchair seating with facilities for coffee and tea making (a kettle and cups). There are toilet facilities too.
It is suitable for use by small groups. There are eight armchairs, but it can be used by up to 12 people by using some of the original upright seats.
These are early days as we experiment with the Reading Room's potential and word gets around the village about its availability, but a Sewing Group, set up to produce additional bunting for a village event, has already used it successfully on a couple of occasions (see image) and have given it the thumbs up.
The Parish Council hopes that this lovely old village asset will contribute further to Naburn's sense of community and if you are interested in using it, the facility is FREE...just bring your own coffee/tea and milk. All we ask is that you leave it as you found it...and wash up! You can book The Reading Room by contacting the Parish Council Clerk via email and she will put you in touch with the key holder who will also make the booking.