THE Maltings was abuzz with well-wishers of all ages last Saturday as thousands of people flocked to celebrate the much-loved community hub’s 50th birthday.

Farnham Maltings traces its origins to 1969, when a conversation on a golf course led to a group of local people deciding to save the Maltings for the town.

It was purchased from brewing giant Courage for the knock-down price of £30,000 and, thanks to the efforts of thousands of volunteers, board members, staff and supporters, has grown to become a flourishing community arts centre – revered not just in Farnham but across the south of England.

To celebrate the landmark occasion, the Maltings threw open its doors on Saturday for a free showcase of all it does best – including a series of talks, workshops and have-a-go sessions, performances, live music and a bounty of fun activities for families.

The Mayor of Farnham, David Attfield, cut the ceremonial birthday cake and took part in a number of activities during the day – notably joining youngsters for a boogie in the Silent Disco.

Children also enjoyed the Actual Reality Arcade’s life-sized Frogger, Marble Run and Space Invader games – to name a few.

Performances included Ignite gave an opportunity for young people and adults who take part in the Maltings’ community programmes to perform in the Great Hall.

And the Herald’s Daniel Gee and Eddie Pearce joined Maltings director Gavin Stride for discussions on the future of the Maltings and Farnham, while Paralympian Rachel Morris also gave a talk.