Centre History

The right honourable Charles Booth

Thringstone House Community Centre is reputed to be the first Community Centre in the country. Bequeathed by Charles and Mary Booth in 1903 to the people of Thringstone and surrounding villages.

Booth was a wealthy merchant from the Port of Liverpool who travelled regularly to London. He rented Grace Dieu Manor as a half way staging post, and brought his wife Mary and 5 children to the manor in 1886.

During their life at Grace Dieu manor, Mary Booth established meetings for the women of Thringstone who came up to the manor to talk, have tea, sew, read and generally socialise, and were a great success.

Charles wanted to do something for the men of the village and in 1901 Thringstone House was bought for this purpose. This new club provided a reading room and games room with allotments in an adjacent field.  

In 1911 the premises was extended incorporating a large hall on the first floor for dances and private functions. In this year a Deed of Trust was formed which was taken over by Leicestershire County Council in 1950. The "Club House" as it affectionately became known has provided for the physical, mental and social need of the communities ever since. 

Charles wanted to help relieve the suffering of the poor in the East End of London. Over 17 years he produced volumes of statistics which led the government to pass the first Old Age Pension Act in 1908. Copies of LIFE & LABOUR IN LONDON complete with maps can be viewed at the Community Centre.