SFS Therapy’s new premises has a long history!
SFS Therapy has relocated to ‘The Upper Room’, 38a Hyde Road, Upper Stratton, Swindon, SN2 7SB! You will find the premises directly opposite the old Stratton Gospel Hall in Hyde Road and the entrance to Arkell’s Brewery. Before and after photograph’s are at the end of this article.
A Brief History of ‘The Upper Room’
As a lover of history, I decided to find out as much as I could about the premises. I managed to gather some interesting information, and would love to hear from anyone who may be able to add to this.
‘The Upper Room’ has a long history. It is located in the Kingsdown Area of Upper Stratton, an area which in the late 19th Century was a hamlet. The Hamlet consisted of: Arkell’s Brewery; The Kingsdown Inn; Beechcroft House, and a growing number of roadside cottages. It had a pastoral setting and was surrounded by open land (Stratton St Margaret, 2006).
Therapy through song!
In the late 19th Century, Christians from Swindon would hold open-air meetings in the Hamlet where they would preach salvation by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In 1881 their meeting was interrupted by a particularly intense rain storm and, according to Furze (2000) the Christians were invited into the home of Mr & Mrs Keen and their daughters, where they continued to hold their meetings until 1914. In 1914 the owner of the Upper Room, a Mr G. Hale offered the premises to the Christian Group to hold their meetings in. They took up his offer and held their gospel meetings in the Upper Room for the next 10 years, until Arkell’s Brewery built the Gospel Hall opposite.
Therapy through a community spirit!
I was unable to find any archived evidence for the Upper Room immediately after this period. However, I was able to establish that from the 1950’s until the 1980’s the Upper Room was used as a meeting place by the Stratton Labour Party. Residents of Hyde Road have confirmed that during this period they would attend Whist Drive meetings with their parents to raise money for the Labour Party. They described these as ‘lively and fun’ events which were held fortnightly and which all the local villagers would attend. They would drink tea midway through, and if they were lucky might even win a shilling or two! The hall could hold up to 10 tables with 4 people per table – I’m guessing these could be quite cramped affairs, although from what I’ve been told they were always fun!
We were fortunate to be gifted 38a Hyde Road from the late Peter Speake. Peter had left the building empty for nearly 40 years and we believe he would have been amazed at the transformation of the building. We have tried to keep many of the original features, although as a non-political person, I did remove the photograph of Clement Atlee! I also felt the church pews wouldn’t be appropriate.
The Upper Hall now comprises of a comfortable waiting room which I also use for initial consultations. It has bi-fold sound proofed doors separating the waiting room from the therapy room. The therapy room has been refurbished to allow for a calm and tranquil setting. To add to the client’s privacy, the two areas can be separated by both the bi-fold doors and curtains.
Outside in the courtyard we have refurbished the original toilet block. I hope you’ll agree that it’s a definite improvement on the previous look! Parking is available either in the garage underneath the upper hall, on the driveway of 36 Hyde Road, or in either Ridgeway Road or Boundary Close, both of which are approximately a 3 minute walk from 38a Hyde Road.
At SFS Therapy, I work with a range of issues including anxiety, depression, PTSD, Phobias, and addictions. To book your free initial consultation you can email su*@sf********.com or telephone: 01793 677817 or 07876808642.
a range of before and after photographs.