Who we are
Wethersfield Village Hall stands at the heart of the village alongside the picturesque green in the historic village of Wethersfield. The village is surrounded by the rolling countryside of North Essex.
The hall was the former maltings of the Wethersfield Brewery and was built in the 1840s. In 1920 Mr & Mrs Maberly, the owners of the brewery, made over the freehold of the Maltings to the Parish Council for use as a village hall.
Wethersfield Parish Council is the Freeholder and Property Trustee and the management of the hall is the responsibility of a Charitable Incorporated Organisation made up of the Management Trustees. In 2016 the Hall was registered as a charity becoming Wethersfield Village Hall Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Since then the board of trustees has been engaged in raising funds for the refurbishment of the hall which had been allowed to deteriorate over a period of time. The hall was stuck in the 1940s but now work is underway to provide a fine 21st century venue for the people of Wethersfield.
What we do
The Hall provides a venue for the people of Wethersfield for the purpose of recreation, public meetings, a place for local clubs and association to enjoy and performances by the local drama group. New clubs are encouraged and welcomed as are non community hirers.
The completion of the current refurbishment will offer a far more attractive environment for all of the above. In addition, the hall will be suitable for meetings, corporate events, celebrations of all kinds and weddings. The Green at Wethersfield offers a delightful location for wedding photographs.
There are two halls, a main hall and a small hall.
The main hall is 22m x 8m. At one end of the hall is the stage suitable for use by drama/music group productions, bands and speakers. There is a simple public address system.
There are sufficient tables and chairs for theatre style seating and banqueting layout. There are modern male, female and disabled toilets.
The small hall is approximately 10m x 5m. There is a moveable bar counter and direct access to the kitchen. This room is suitable for meetings and small group activities. The sound-proofing of this hall has been improved so that activities can take place in both halls simultaneously (provided they are not excessively noisy). There is a rear access from Old Mill Chase which can be used b y users of the small hall and there is also a unisex WC accessible from the small hall. Unfortunately there is no disabled WC in this part of the building and the rear access involves steps.
There is a fully equipped kitchen including two fridge-freezers, a free standing freezer, microwaves and a cooker. A bain-marie and warming cupboards are available for additional cost.
Following the conveyance of the brewery Maltings to the Parish Council in 1921 for use as a village hall, in 1948 the remainder of the property, the Kiln Rooms and Malt Chamber, were gifted to the Council for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Parish by the Executors of Mrs Maberly who had died in 1942.
Mrs Maberly had felt that it was important that men returning from the Great War and unable find employment should have a meeting place to socialise. A section of the hall was set aside as a reading room and meeting place and the back of the room for billiards. The Club was set up in 1923, funded partly by villagers who bought shares to help fund the project.
The first annual general meeting of the shareholders and others interested in the welfare of the Village Hall was held in the hall on 29th September 1922.The Hall had been opened on 9th December 1921 at a social evening. This opening meeting was successful in every way with 300 people attending and £50 collected towards the cost of boarding the existing concrete floor of the Hall to make it suitable for dancing. Soon after another £20 was raised and the floor was laid. Thereafter there were weekly dances with over forty people attending each time. There were whist drives, children’s parties, social evenings, Women’s Institute meetings and “theatricals” twice a year. In 1922 a Badminton Club was formed with some 30 members.
Mrs Maberly’s dream of the Village Hall provided a special place for all kinds of social activities. The committee had appealed to the people of Wethersfield to help raise funds to provide a hall of which they could be justly proud. So it was again in 2017 when the Board of Trustees launched an envelope appeal for funds to start the restoration process. We are delighted to say that in less than two years, thanks to the help given by various grant providers as well as local residents and the Parish Council, the project is complete and we have what we believe is the best village hall in the area.
When the original deed was drawn up it was written:
“The Council covenants with the Donors as follows: For ever hereafter to support and maintain and improve the property hereby conveyed as and for the purpose of a Public and Recreation and Assembly Hall in conjunction with the aforesaid Parish Hall….”
The Parish Council is the Freeholder. The hall is managed by a Board of Management Trustees of the Wethersfield Village Hall Charitable Incorporated Organisation (Registered Charity No: 1171017), these Management Trustees are in post for a year and are appointed by local clubs and associations or nominated by residents of Wethersfield and elected at the Annual General Meeting.
The trustees of the Wethersfield Village Hall CIO are always keen to hear from users and potential users of the hall with ideas, suggestions and offers of help. If you would like to contact us please write to the Chair, Mair Godley, using the email address firstname.lastname@example.org
How to Book
If you’re interested in hiring out our venue, please click here to contact us regarding availability and prices.