Frequently Asked Questions

It’s the RecSoc knowledgebase!


Q. How do I get to the RAL RecSoc (building R58)?

A. We’re close to the Visitor’s Centre (R112) on the main RAL site - you can go through the turnstile in the fence to get to the RecSoc. The South Car park is the closest car park.

Q. Can anyone use the RAL RecSoc and its facilities?

A. We are a members-only club focussing on the employees, contractors, and students of companies located on the Harwell Science Campus. Our joining page gives you all the relevant information.

The Lounge

Q. When is the bar open?

A. The Lounge bar is open most Tuesday to Friday lunchtimes from 12:15 - 1:15 pm, but at present these opening times cannot be guaranteed.

Q. So... beer?

A. Amongst other things, yes! As well as alcoholic beverages we have soft drinks, hot drinks, and snacks. Of course, we expect any alcoholic drinks to be consumed responsibly and on the RecSoc premises, and we operate a strict Challenge 25 policy.

Q. OK, so what else is in the Lounge?

A. Big TV, comfy seats, plants, a pool table, dartboard, and artwork created by our own Arts & Crafts club.

Q. I heard there's a barbecue there too?

A. Yes there is. In 2022 we purchased a shiny new gas-fuelled outdoor kitchen which you can use for a gathering or leaving do by prior arrangement. Fill out the lounge booking form to get the ball rolling.

Hiring the RecSoc for Events

Q. Can I host a party / leaving do / private gathering using the RecSoc facilities?

A. Yes you can. The Lounge can be booked by any RecSoc member for just this kind of thing. As well as that you can optionally book the Sports Hall for a disco or to use our own bouncy castle, and/or the Table Tennis room adjacent to the Lounge for an additional activity space, or somewhere to provide a cold buffet etc.

Q. Wait - you have a bouncy castle?

A. Indeed we do! It is for indoor use only and, while it is regularly inspected according to PIPA standards, it is used at the hirer’s risk. We provide padded mats to surround the castle when in use.

Q. Can I hire the Lounge at any time, or only during work hours?

A. You can hire the Lounge during work hours on a weekday, in the evenings, or at weekends. Bear in mind that during work hours there is unlikely to be any parking available. Conversely, for weekend events you will need to contact RAL Security and arrange with them to open up the barriers on Road Five in order to access the building.

Q. What's the maximum capacity of the Lounge?

A. With the normal table arrangement, approximately 50 seated. Moving the tables to the side gives you a capacity around 100 standing room only.

Q. Can we have the bar open for a private event?

A. Yes. Make the relevant request on the booking form. We charge £15 per hour for a trained staff member to run the bar during your event. For corporate and official events related to conferences or meetings on site, for example, the rate is £30 / hour.

Q. Excellent. What about cleaning / tidying up?

A. Well, as a responsible and courteous user of the RecSoc you will be only too happy to return everything to the state it was in when you arrived! This includes disposing of rubbish in black sacks, sorting any recycling correctly, and giving the floor a hoover if it needs it. If you hire the BBQ there are additional guidelines to this effect.