At a public meeting on 13th May 1967, chaired by Mr Geoffrey Charles, the constitution for the Marlow Community Association was adopted. The Association met in Rookery Cottage, a small two up, two down building provided by the then Marlow Urban District Council (MUDC). The Association raised funds continuously and aimed to get planning permission to build their own premises on the Rookery Gardens site in 1970.
Planning permission was given and then withdrawn after objections by local residents. As no suitable site was available in Marlow, thoughts of a purpose built building had to be abandoned, and Liston Hall was offered to the Association by Mrs Nesta Liston.
Since then, Liston Hall has become a very popular letting venue for Marlow and the surrounding area.
Liston Hall was first used as a Primitive Methodist Church in 1874. Around the building on the outside are 13 York stone tablets, each carved with the names of people whose efforts brought the building into being (examples of the stones are shown above).
It cost in the region of £700 and was filled each Sunday with the congregation singing hymns accompanied by a harmonium. When the church joined forces with the Methodists in Spittal Street the building was bought by Mrs Forbes Liston, who presented it to the people of Marlow as a public hall.
Since ceasing to be a Church, the hall has been used as a County Library, Labour Exchange, dance hall, theatre, Weights and Measure Inspection Centre, clinic and finally in 1970, the home of the Marlow Community Association (MCA).
When the MUDC merged with Wycombe District Council (WDC), the new Council took on ownership of the building. This was not a popular decision with the residents of Marlow and, after discussions with WDC, it was given back to MCA. With the help of WDC and Help the Aged, a very useful extension was built on the front of the building, which is now the Garden Room.