The GAF Centre
Located in Old Bursledon the GAF Centre, built 1868, was originally the ballroom to the adjacent country house Greyladyes. The building later became a Catholic Chapel before being bought by GAF in 2005.
The building is Grade II listed and is approached through a doorway, set in a high wall, from School Road. A small courtyard gives entry to the main hall which is a large space capable of holding 70 people seated in front of a small stage.
Off the main hall are a small kitchen, office and other facilities.
‘The GAF Centre is occasionally available for private functions. Each application is dealt with on an individual basis.
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The structure was originally a ballroom extension to the main house, called Elm Lodge. It was built about 1868 by William Charles Humphreys, Sheriff of Hampshire.
In 1873 Elm Lodge was rented to Captain Shawe-Storey There are accounts from this time that suggest that the ballroom was being used by the village as a community hall providing a venue for Parish Council meetings.
In 1905 Mrs Shawe-Storey, now widowed, bought Elm Lodge and changed the name to Greyladyes. In 1906 the ballroom was converted to a private chapel.
The Chapel functioned as a private place of worship until Mrs Shawe-Storey’s death in 1937. The house and chapel were sold, but shortly after were requisitioned by the army on the outbreak of World War II.
During the war, it was home to mainly Canadian troops. After the war, the house was bought by a property developer and the chapel passed to the Catholic Church, and served the local Catholic community until 2005 when it was purchased by GAF.
The GAF Centre is a 150-year Grade II listed building with a challenging access down a flight of steps. However, with the help of personal donations and a grant from Tesco’s local “One Stop”, £14,000 was raised to make GAF accessible to all members of the community. In 2019 we install a disabled wheelchair lift, in keeping with the Grade II nature of the building it overcomes the problem of wheelchair access.