Village Hall

July 2019

First Phase of the Village Hall Declared officially Open on 10th July

With a cut from Vic Cross’s golden scissors the ribbon fell away and the new kitchen part of the refurbishment was declared open.  Around eighty-five villagers came along to the more formal evening to see the completed first phase of the Village Hall Refurbishment some seven years after it was first recognised that the Hall needed a serious upgrade.  Celebrating with some fizz and a buffet, those who attended were able to see the improvements that have been made.  The revised and illuminated signage means that people will no longer drive past the Hall, the improved entrance and driveway will make those visiting the Hall by car or by foot that bit safer and the new cement boarding makes the Hall much more appealing from the outside. Meanwhile, on the inside, the assessible toilets and newly-finished kitchen will make the Hall a more attractive venue for parties and life celebrations.

There are So Many People to Thank….

The trustees thank all those major donors who provided the main funding for the refurbishment as follows: 

Parish Council-The Hall, Parish Council-Feasibility Study, Garfield Weston Foundation, Norfolk Community Foundation/Borough Council, The Mallard, The Bowls Club, National Lottery Awards for All, TFCC Communities Foundation (WREN), Tesco Bags for Life, West Norfolk Wins, Bingo Evenings, Film Night, Tennis and Multisport Club, and the Quiz Night.

The trustees gave a big thank you to all those individuals and families who have donated to the Refurbishment, either by attending or organising fund-raisers or by an individual donation. Thanks were also given to Jo and Mark Froment who donated the carcasses, doors and ovens to modernise the kitchen.      Special mentions were given to those ‘Refurbishment Volunteers’ who had completed work to save on costs namely, Robin Arbenz for the kitchen, Tom and Mike Read for fitting the kitchen worktops, Brian Francis for painting the toilets, corridor and kitchen, Baz Pratt for the signs and design, Arthur Allen for financial planning and to Alan Petto for making and refurbishing handy bits of metalwork.

It is clear that Quinn Construction Services were the right company to complete the building work. Under the calm and considered management of Paul Quinn the various constructions have gone very smoothly with excellent rapport between Paul and the Refurbishment Committee. Equally, Christian Mountney, our chartered surveyor, who has been with the development since day one devising plans and helping with always sound advice, proved to be an excellent project manager and the trustees are grateful to him.

Phase 1 of the refurbishment took place after consulting with local people about their ideas on how to improve the Hall. The evening concluded with villagers being consulted on what improvements they would like to see as Phase 2 of the Refurbishment.

If you have thoughts on how the fabric of the Village Hall could be improved, then please submit your ideas on


June 2019

Come and celebrate the completion of Phase 1 of the Village Hall Refurbishment

The Village Hall Trustees are pleased to announce that the first phase of the Village Hall Refurbishment is complete. Quinns, the contractors, have completed their part of the project on time and on budget with minimum disruption to the normal events at the Hall and Social Club. We’re pretty much there for Phase 1. Just a bit of tidying to do.

To celebrate, there will be an Opening Evening held at the Hall on

Wednesday 10th July at 6.30pm and all in the Village are invited. Opening Ceremony at 6.45 pm.


Please come along and see the improvements that have been made to the access to the Hall, the facilities and the overall appearance of the building. You will also have the opportunity to be involved in the thought process of ‘what happens next’ in Phase 2.

Ceremonies will be kept to a minimum but there will be a ribbon cutting and acknowledgements to all those who have contributed or been involved with the refurbishment.

Please come along at 6.30pm – light refreshments will be available.

The Village Hall

Update May 2019

Happenings at the Village Hall!

You may have seen there’s a lot happening at the Hall as the refurbishment has well and truly got underway.  Apart from an issue with finding traces of asbestos in the old floor of the ladies’ loos which has all been safely removed but has added to the costs of completing the toilets, it’s all been relatively plain sailing.

So far, most of the usual activities held at the Hall have been able to continue with just the minor inconvenience of having to use the changing room toilet facilities. The Trustees thank you for your patience whilst the work is in progress and hope that, by the end of the month, you will see it’s all been worthwhile.

Regarding funding, we are very grateful to the Parish Council for being so supportive, as the major contributor, by donating £75,000 for the project. Also, we have made our first claim for the initial part of our WREN grant and there’s good news too about two other smaller awards we’ve received during April. The Trustees applied for support both from the Borough Council Small Grants Scheme and The Garfield Weston Foundation (a family-founded, charitable grant-making foundation) which supports a wide range of causes across the UK. We are pleased to report that we were successful in both cases. These two awards, however, were smaller than we were hoping for but, nevertheless, very welcome. Consequently, to complete the work, we will have to reach further into our reserves than we would like.


The Trustees would therefore appreciate any financial contribution you can make, small or large, to help us finish the refurbishment on-time and to the standard we would choose. 

Such contributions can be made to Vic Cross at the Hall or by bank transfer to our Co-operative Bank account, Sort Code 08 92 99   Account Number 65693630 00.

4th March 2019

Press Release : GOOD NEWS!

Funding approved for the Village Hall Refurbishment in Great Massingham.

Villagers in Great Massingham are set to get a much-improved Village Hall thanks to a £44,700 grant from the funding body WREN.

The money, awarded by WREN’s FCC Community Action Fund, will contribute to the total refurbishment of the Hall’s kitchen, entrance, driveway and more accessible toilets, as well improving the overall look of the building, to facilitate greater usage to serve the local community in and around Great Massingham.  The objective is to further enhance this crucial and well-used local amenity to provide a venue to support those who would benefit from more social interaction. It will also better enable the people of Great Massingham who seek to hold life celebrations within their own community.

Philip Ward, Chair of the Village Hall Trustees, believes the improvements will make a huge difference to the lives of the people living in the area.

He says: “This project will provide a real boost to the people of Massingham and surrounding villages.  It’s fantastic that WREN has awarded us this money and we’re really looking forward to our improved Hall taking shape in the next few months”.

WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, biodiversity and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.

Richard Smith, WREN’s senior grant manager, says: “We’re delighted to be supporting the building refurbishment works at Great Massingham Village Hall project and pleased our funding will make such a difference to so many groups of people across the area. WREN is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that benefit local communities and we’re looking forward to this one having a positive impact very soon.”

Mr. Ward hopes the refurbished Village Hall will be ready for use by mid-June. “As well as WREN providing the final funding to get us to our target to enable the refurbishment, the Trustees are grateful to our own Parish Council for their fantastic support and to the people of Massingham who have worked hard with organising and supporting events at the Hall to raise funds and to get this project underway.”


Great Massingham has a large hall which is used for a variety of village functions, from plays and pantomimes, through to dances, musical entertainment and sports events plus regular events:

Keep Fit                           Not during the refurbishment

Bingo                                Fridays at 7.30pm

Auction                            Most Sundays

Coronation Club            4th Wednesday in the month from 2pm to 4pm

West Norfolk Radio      Sundays from 7pm to 10.00pm (live music broadcasts)

Craft & Chat                    2nd Monday in the month from 2pm to 4.30pm in the Bar

Trefoil Guild                  2nd Thursday of each month at 7pm.

Film Night                        3rd Thursday in the month from 7pm for 7.30pm

Short Mat Bowls            Resumes in the Autumn

Quiz Nights                     4th Thursday of the month in the Bar from 7pm for 7.30pm

Historical Society          2nd Monday at 7.30 pm

Youth Club                     Tuesdays from 6.45pm – 9.15 pm

Yoga With a Chair        Tuesdays from 10am until 11am

It is also available for private hire.  Contact the Village Hall Management for details on 520588/520387

The Village Hall is also home to the Great Massingham Bowls,  and Tennis & Multi-Sports clubs.

The Village Hall has a Facebook page @  great massingham village hall


£10 for Adults, £7 for Senior Citizens and £5 for over 14yrs & in full-time education.

Please note, that despite increased costs from our suppliers, this will not be passed on to members and charges will be maintained at  the previous year’s levels, in order to maintain membership at as good a value as possible.

Renewed or first-time Membership can be paid at the Social Club.  Thank you for your continued support.

New Hall Hire Charges From 1st August 2018

(First Increase since 2010)

1. Private Hire Rate £15 per hour. Minimum 2 hrs. (Includes children’s parties etc when bar is not open.)
2. Private Hire Rate, including bar, £25 per hour. Min. 3hrs. (Includes christenings, engagement, birthday parties and funeral
receptions when the bar is open.
3. Wedding Hire Rate (Village residents) £100 per day.
4. Wedding Hire Rate (Non-village residents) £150 per day.
5. Affiliated Clubs Hire Rate £10 per hour.
6. Christmas Eve & New Year’s Eve £50 per hr.

Rates are open to negotiation for regular, repeat bookings & charity events.
Each application to be judged on its merits & approval by the Management Committee.
Hall hire includes 1 hr either side of the booking, free of charge for setting up and clearing up afterwards, UNTIL 12 MIDNIGHT.

All hours after midnight Private Hire Rate

Village Hall News – August 2017

Submission for Sport England Grant Fails

Not great news this month I’m afraid.  You may recall we are making a series of applications to various funding sources to improve facilities at The Hall.  Our submission to the Big Lottery Fund to refurbish the front of the Hall and especially the kitchen is still being considered by the Lottery Funding Support Group.  We understand that the decision-making process is delayed due to the weight of submissions and the holiday season.  We expect a response from them in the early part of September.

Our application to Sport England for funds to improve the sporting facilities at the Hall has be unsuccessful.  In truth, we knew this would always be a long shot since the fund for which was available to us was targeted at running sporting projects rather than funding capital projects.  It didn’t help us that the fund was oversubscribed by a factor of five!  We are, however, undaunted and are already hatching plans to find financial support from another Lottery Fund to further enhance the sports facilities the Village Hall can offer.

At the time of writing the Trustees are finalising a grant submission to WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental) to help fund the planned Hall Refurbishment.  WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, biodiversity and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.  We are eligible to claim from them by being within ten miles of the Blackborough End land fill site.  WREN will provide funds to provide for ‘fixtures and fittings’ but not for the actual structure of any refurbishment we undertake.  That is, money for windows, electrical work, plumbing and so on.  By the time you read this our submission will have been submitted on 23rd August.  However, once again, we cannot be complacent since competition for WREN funding is considerable.  Requests for funding from the most recent round of requests exceeded £6 million and they regularly decline worthwhile projects due to funding restrictions.

Hopefully, next month we have some more positive news to tell you.  Until then we are constantly seeking other ways to improve the Hall so that it continues its vital roles for our community.

Philip Ward, of behalf of the Trustees.

     Charles Dewar our Benefactor



Charles was born on the 28th of April 1858 and died on the 12th of September 1933 at the age of 75

He married Jane Smart in June 1889 and then moved Abbey Farm, Great Massingham with Jane.  His son John Arthur Dewar was born on the 3rd of August 1891 and became Chairman and Director of John Dewar & Sons.


Census 1911 


Charles was a Justice of the Peace, County Councillor and President of the Norfolk Chamber of Agriculture. His legacy in Great Massingham lives on with the land bequeathed to the community for the Village Hall.  More recently, Charles Dewar Close was named in his honour.




The Dewar family at Great Massingham


Charles enjoyed his role in Great Massingham as a “gentleman farmer” and was held in high regard within the community.




Charles and his wife are buried in the church yard in St. Mary’s Church in Great Massingham


Latest on the Village Hall Rejuvenation – May/June 2017

There has been a lot going on behind scenes with the Refurbishment Committee working hard to overcome the obstacles that must be cleared before the project can get underway.
Firstly, a very big thank you to the Parish Council who have pledged a very significant sum to match funding we are seeking from the Big Lottery Fund. This support strengthens our case with the Big Lottery and should greatly improve our chances of financial support.
Given that we have costed plans for the planned rejuvenation the issue that has worried us from day one is VAT. Despite being for a charitable purpose and funded by money from charitable sources we were still in line to be liable to VAT at 20 per cent. This, as you can imagine, makes a huge difference to what we could achieve. After seeking advice from a VAT specialist and Community Action Norfolk (CAN) we have found a way to mitigate the potential burden to a manageable level.
This potentially frees up funds to improve the entrance and drive to the Hall. We have costed plans now to improve the sightlines down the road when leaving the Hall, improve the lighting along the drive and plans to introduce a delineated path to keep pedestrians and vehicles apart. Hopefully, this should make coming to and leaving the Hall a lot safer especially for those on foot.
To achieve this change in VAT status we will need to modify the way the Hall is constituted to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). The downside to this move is that it will take more time as we work with CAN and complete the legal process, (although it should not delay our Big Lottery submission) the upsides are we can modify our constitution and improve our VAT position. In addition, we will have only one registry to deal with – The Charity Commission, whereas a limited company charity also must file accounts with Companies House and the Village Hall will have a legal personality of its own, enabling it to conduct business in its own name, instead of the names of the trustees.
So, it’s onwards and upwards towards the refurbishment. We will keep you informed of progress in future Mallards.


Keeping the Village Hall shipshape

We are continuing to work on our application for the ‘Big Lottery Reaching Communities Building Fund’ and thanks go to Ben Francis, who has a track record of successful applications, for advising the Trustees on literally ‘ticking the right boxes’.  We hope to be able to submit an application in the next few weeks after fully costing proposals and consulting further with those who use and organise events at the Hall.

In the meantime, the Hall still needs to be maintained ahead of any major refurbishment.  You may have noticed that recently we have replaced the windows in the changing rooms, replaced the rear door to improve accessibility to help in the event of an emergency and renewed the soffits around the Social Club and Snooker room.  Thank you to Ash Gage and his colleagues at West Norfolk Windows & Conservatories Ltd

The double doors to the left of the Hall entrance are rotting and in a need of replacement, especially as they are the first thing you see as you approach the Hall, the outside door to the ‘lambing yard’ has deteriorated too far as well to simply rub down and paint, so there are plans to replace this too in the next few weeks.  Yes, these will be done away with as part of the planned major refurbishment but the trustees feel we need to be keeping the Hall, and be seen to be keeping the Hall, in a good state of repair in the meantime and whilst potential funders are visiting the Hall.

On the inside, we will be carrying out some remedial work on the kitchen to replace one of the work surfaces and repair the floor and crack in the wall.

The trustees will continue to keep you updated with improvements at The Village Hall.

Progress with the Village Hall Regeneration

You will be aware that there has been a team of Village Hall Trustees, ably assisted by Christian Mountney our Chartered Surveyor, who have been working on a refurbishment of the Village Hall.  The two main objectives being to rescue parts of the building that are beyond economic repair and at the same time make the Hall more functional, accessible, environmentally sound, safe and attractive to those who would hold events there. This is with a view to increasing the number of people, in our community, who would use and value the Hall.

As part of the planning process we have discussed widely with those of you who manage and organise events at the Hall, those of you who attend events at the Hall and via an evening Consultation Meeting, provided a platform for all those in the village to come and comment on the proposed drawings.  As a consequence, we derived sets of plans that would meet the criteria set with flexibility to their extent and ensuing cost.

These plans were sent out to tender to four builders and disappointingly, the quotes came in at considerably over our working budget.  This sent us ‘back to the drawing board’ to see what could be achieved with our potential budget and delayed the process.  Subsequently, we have identified that the National Lottery Fund has changed the criteria under which it allocates its funds and we believe now that, with the background work we have undertaken, it may be possible to get an award from their ‘Reaching Communities Buildings’ funds.  We have been in consultation with WREN, Awards for All, Love Norfolk, The Mallard (who have kindly promised a donation) and we have funds produced by or donated to the Hall.  Importantly, the Parish Council has indicated it may be a major contributor to help make the refurbishment possible.

These sources and potential sources for funds need to be confirmed and totalled so that we can plan the final extent of what can be achieved. It is hoped we will be able to finance our original plan.  The nature of this type of project where we are relying on charitable donations, trying to get the best value for money and deliver a good result, is that you take two steps forward and one back and the process always takes longer than anyone would like.

There is still a lot of work to do but, the Hall Trustees are confident that the refurbishment can be completed now in a reasonable time frame to produce a Village Hall of which we can be even more proud.

We will keep you informed of the progress we are making and will provide an estimated start and finish date as soon as we are able to do so.

New sound system at the Village Hall!

There’s a new all-singing, all dancing sound system in the Village Hall, making the hall an even better venue for functions and parties. The system will play music from CDs, iPads or other Bluetooth devices. With the ceiling mounted projector, films can be screened from DVD or Blu-ray discs with near cinema quality 7.1 Surround Sound coming from seven speakers.

With a suitable lap-top, it’s easy to run slide shows and the set-up will accommodate up to four microphones for amateur dramatics. A Hearing Loop has also been fitted. The system is easy to use and, with a little training, is available for those hiring the hall for private functions or for village organisations who use the hall.

The new kit and installation cost just under £3,000 with half the funds coming from the ‘Comic Relief Local Communities Fund’ and the balance from The Film Club and the Village Hall.

Quiz Nights
Film Nights
Parsley Barn
Massingham Village Hall & Club
Community Cars
West Heath Barn
Karl Andrews
Dabbling Duck