Village Hall

September 2020

The Hall and Bar are beginning a trial opening during September, to see if it is viable. Please read the ‘Frequently Asked Questions & Answers’ below to give you an idea of  the procedures. Remember to adhere to the one way system and to sign in.       

Help us to make this work! See Bar details right.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Re-opening of the Village Hall & Bar

Have you put your prices up to cover the cost of the closure?     No, our prices remain the same for September.

Can we bring our own chairs and sit outside in our family groups?   Yes.

Will there be table service for ordering drinks?   No, one member of the group will have to go to the bar and buy the drinks for the group.

Will we have to sign in? Yes, a member of your group, bubble, must sign in and give a contact telephone number at the bar before you can be served.

Will hand sanitiser be provided? Yes, as you enter and leave the bar, also in the toilets (along with bacterial/virus preventative spray).

Can we bring our own food and eat outside or inside? Yes, we are happy for you to bring food e.g. a takeaway from local pubs or chips from the van, but you must buy your drinks from the bar.

How do we pay? Like the village shop, we prefer you to pay contactless.

Will there be a one way system in the bar?  Yes, you will enter near the snooker room and exit near the tennis courts.

Will the toilets be available for people drinking outside?   Yes, if your group has been signed in at the bar. You must use the one way system.

What do we do with dirty glasses?   There will be a used glass area, inside and out, where you can leave your glasses.

Will I be able to sit at the bar?    No, you will buy your drinks and take them to a table.

Do I have to wear a mask inside the building?    No, but if you feel safer wearing a mask to order your drinks, or go to the toilet, you may do that. It is your choice.

Can we still play pool?      Yes, but cues must be returned to the bar for cleaning after each game.

Will the snooker room be open?      Yes, for regular snooker players who have devised their own safety protocol.

Please note: Other regular events such as Film Night (September 17th), Quiz Nights and Craft & Chat are beginning to open up. See the Mallard for these details. 

August 2020

When to Reopen the Village Hall and Social Club?

Currently the Village Hall and Social Club are closed. The Trustees have reduced the cost of running the building as much as possible whilst it is not in use. We have been able to furlough Debbie, Pat and Marian. The bulk of the beer we had in stock has been disposed of as it was past its sell-by date. However, we will be able to claim some money back for this from the brewing industries’ ‘Return your beer’ scheme. Many thanks to a couple of volunteers who have decorated the Social Club to welcome back members when we can reopen. Whilst one or two people have asked when the Social Club will reopen, we have had no requests to reopen the Hall, as people are wary about meeting in closed spaces.

The financial viability of the Social Club depends upon events in the Hall and the clubs and societies that use it so, the decision to restock and open the Club will be dependent upon the community’s confidence in coming back and using the facilities. Against this background, the Trustees have decided that the Hall and Club remain closed for the time being but will seek to open the building again in September.

This will be dependent upon the pandemic situation continuing to improve and our ability to implement prevailing Covid 19 prevention measures. Clearly, the safety of our members is our prime concern.

Some members have asked about paying their subscriptions, even though the Club is closed, to help it out financially – thank you.  The Trustees have decided to waive the membership fee until next April.  If you would like to help us, you could go online and take part in the weekly ‘West Norfolk Wins’ Lottery as a supporter of Great Massingham Village Hall.                                            Trustees of the Village Hall

Plans for the Jubilee/Playing Field 

During the COVID 19 lockdown, the Trustees of the Village Hall have had time to consider how the Hall can better serve the Village. It has been frustrating that, thanks to the pandemic, the Hall is beyond the use of the community for the time being.

One big facility the Hall manages is the Jubilee Field which serves as home to the outdoor gym, the children’s play area and the bigger play equipment. It is also home to a large area set aside in the event the Village will, one day, have a football team again. The other parts of the field are just a wide expanse of grass that needs mowing on a regular basis, throughout the year.

To make these remaining areas more useful to the Village, the Trustees have, working with the Biodiversity group, developed a plan to create two separate wooded areas, one of which will have, within it, a primula and foxglove glade. A wildflower meadow surrounding a picnic area with a walk linking with the woodland glade are also envisaged. There are also plans for areas of heritage fruit trees subject to suitable varieties being found.

The overall objectives are to make the Jubilee Field more user friendly for the village, to create spaces for wildlife and make the area visually more attractive, whilst still maintaining its role as a potential sports field with actual play areas.

There are various national organisations which give generous financial support for tree-planting schemes like ours and, in collaboration with the Biodiversity Project, applications are being prepared now. We envisage that costs for maintaining the redeveloped Jubilee Field should be similar to those the Village Hall currently has for grass cutting and related maintenance work.              Trustees of the Hall

July 2020

We have all missed the use of this valued social hub. The Trustees are keeping a close eye on the advice from government. As you know it can change so quickly.

It will be too much of a challenge to meet all the safety regulations required under the lockdown advice. When a gradual opening of the social club can happen there will be announcements on posters in the shop, on the village hall noticeboard, on the Village Website Home Page and via our Facebook Page. At the moment staff are furloughed.

March 2020

We are sorry to announce that The Village Hall is now closed, for the time being, due to the Coronavirus outbreak and the strict rules connected with that. It is a real pity to have such a great facility and not be able to use it at the moment but we are sure you all understand the importance of us all keeping to the strict guidelines during the outbreak. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before we can start up again.

The closure obviously means that all regular events and activities are also on hold.

Membership Fees

Membership fees for 2020 are now due. We had intended delivering everyone an application form for the current year, with the April Mallard but delivery wasn’t possible.

You can download below, the Application form for completion to return to the Social Club at the Village Hall.

Village Hall Membership Form 2020

We look forward to seeing you all again soon.

February 2020

Village Hall Kitchen gets Five Star Rating

You’ll be pleased to hear after the waiting, the time and the effort and, not let’s forget the money raised, the Village Hall Kitchen has received a

Five Star Food Hygiene Certificate!

After a recent assessment carried out by Borough Council inspectors the Hall kitchen has been rated ‘Very Good’. This achievement makes the Hall an even better choice as a venue for your celebrations.

At the inspection, the officer checked the following three elements:-

One of the key objectives of the on-going refurbishment of the Village Hall was to make it more attractive and affordable for ‘Lifetime Celebrations’ and ‘Events on your Doorstep’.  Now, when you hire the Hall for that special event you have the option, for just a small additional sum, of having access to a first-class well-equipped kitchen.                                                                      Village Hall Trustees

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                           Wednesdays 1.30pm to 2.30pm

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


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 History

Charles Dewar was the main benefactor of our Village HallWho was he?

He 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.

He took a great interest in village life, helping to finance the construction of the original village hall, which was built by the villagers in 1924 using their own unpaid voluntary labour. In 1937 his widow Mrs. Dewar gifted a parcel of land behind the village hall which became the current playing field. The naming of Charles Dewar Close seemed a fitting, if somewhat overdue, gesture of thanks towards this very generous couple

His son John Arthur Dewar was born on the 3rd of August 1891 and became Chairman and Director of John Dewar & Sons.

Census 1911 tells us…….    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. Read on…..

New Hall is Built After Devastating Fire

The original Great Massingham Village Hall, as mentioned above, was opened in 1925 after landowner Charles Dewar donated the playing field and land for the hall. It was built by voluntary labour with each working man in the village contributing a set number of hours. Sadly, the original building burned down in March 1943.

The Rev. A.J. Davies, who was President of the hall at the time, gave generous help in the darkest days when the village was without a hall. He opened the Rectory as a club until other accommodation could be found.

An army hut was acquired as a temporary hall ( see picture right ) and, again, the Rector came forward and provided chairs and card tables and he even gave his full-sized billiards table.

In the early fifties, a new hall was built. You can see the building of the new hall in progress, also in the picture right. Arthur Britton is the man in the centre holding a saw and Herbert Mason, who repaired cycles, is far right.

Hail our Hall

The official opening of the new Massingham Village Hall was performed, on  Sunday 11th September 1955, by Mrs. F. Lincoln Ralphs, wife of the Chief Education Officer for Norfolk. The Rev A.J. Davies (chairman) was supported by the trustees, management committee and representatives of Freebridge Rural Council.

In his opening remarks, the Chairman recalled the debt of gratitude the village owed to the late Charles Dewar, in particular, for making the hall possible. You can see below a picture of the current Village Hall when first completed  and some of the people present at the opening ceremony.

Charles Dewar enjoyed his role in Great Massingham as a ‘gentleman farmer’ and was held in high regard within the community. He and his wife are buried in St. Mary’s, churchyard, Great Massingham. (see below)




Minuteman Press
Dabbling Duck
Parsley Barn
Community Cars
West Heath Barn
Massingham Village Hall & Club
Karl Andrews
Golden Years Norfolk