Anniversary celebrations at Clavering Village Hall

A TEA party was held on Sunday to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the opening of Clavering Village Hall.

The Village Hall Committee invited over 140 people who had given service to the hall and almost 100 were able to attend.

Guests, including Sir Alan Haselhurst MP, enjoyed a tea prepared and served by Trevor and Sally Oliver and their staff. Music was provided by Kath Taylor and her brass quintet.

Newly-appointed chairman of the committee, Paul Dyster, made a presentation of a collage of past activities in the village hall to the retiring chairman, Eggie Abrahams, in recognition of his 46 years service.

The chairman also introduced Arnold Hitchcock, chairman of the hall in the 1960s, and James Butler, son of R.A. Butler who opened the hall in 1937.

The celebration cake, made by Enid Denchfield, was cut by June Holland (n�e Riley) who – aged seven – had presented a bouquet of flowers at the first event in the hall in August 1937.

The chairman then introduced Arnold Hitchcock (chairman of the hall in the 1960s) whose family had started farming in Clavering the year the hall was built.

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Mr Hitchcock gave a speech about the ongoing connections between those who worked so tirelessly in the 1930s to raise the funds with which to build the hall and those present at the tea party.

He also commended the effective way in which the committee had, over the last 40 years, raised funds through the annual art show and fete to enable the hall to be maintained to such a high standard at the same time generating a sufficient cash reserve to meet future eventualities.

He then asked the assembled company to raise their glasses to toast Mr Abrahams in recognition of the outstanding part he had played in the life of the hall – and the village – over so many years.

Mr Abrahams thanked everyone present for all the help he had received while chairman and wished the new committee every success in the future. This was greeted by applause from all present.

Mr Dyster then introduced James Butler – son of R.A. Butler – who spoke briefly about his father and how what his father had said at the opening of the hall in 1937 – namely that “Life in a village is the best sort of Life” – still held good today.