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Clayhidon Parish Hall archive 2012


Villages in Action Season 2012- 2013 at Clayhidon Parish Hall 

BEE HILL WRITES: We bid for a variety of different acts and were delighted to hear that we had been awarded three great shows; one theatre, one opera/comedy and the third jazz/theatre.

A true story written and performed by Tom and John Frankland is an Edinburgh Festival Fringe award winning drama. This will be on Wednesday 28th November. 
Drawing on Tom & John’s Pythonesque sense of humour, the show based on hundreds of inherited letters, written by Tom’s grandparents, which revealed the astonishing life and love of a couple living through two world wars and a recession. The performance is described as playful, moving and surprising; a tale of love won and love lost and wholly inappropriate girlfriends.
Festival Review: “Like all the best true stories, there’s a totally sensational plot twist near the end which had us literally gasping with amazement” 

This is an amusing and original classical tenor double act that presents a range of music from opera, swing and showstoppers. It is also one of the funniest and most entertaining shows that you can see. 
The show will be on Thursday 21st February.
No other act will take you from Verdi and Elvis Presley to Lloyd Webber, via Rachmaninoff and Donald Duck – don’t be surprised to find your feet tapping, your sides splitting and your heart breaking!
See their website: 
Newark Palace Theatre Review: “Great singing, great fun and great entertainment; these guys should be on prescription” 

FEMMES FATALES is presented by the highly regarded jazz vocalist Sarah Moule and pianist Jenny Carr, who will bring us “Songs for the Fallen, Wild and Wicked ...” 
This new show combines music with theatre and celebrates the Femme Fatale in all her feisty g
lory as heroine, heartbreaker, rule-breaker and role model.
Although it contains nothing dangerously saucy it is aimed at adult audiences who have variously described it as “compelling”, “empowering” and “highly original”. This show will be on Friday 15th March. 
See the website: and sample some of Sarah’s superb singing.
Russell Davies, Radio 2 C.D. Review: “The excellent Sarah Moule .... drama producers talk about actors lifting text off the page and Sarah does just that with these songs”
Jazz UK Review: “One of the finest vocalists in the U.K.” 

 For more information about any of these shows please contact Bee Hill on telephone: 01823 680 347 or email:  or see the Villages in Action website:





After the renovations, anyone for painting?

A lot of renovations have been undertaken at the Hall in the last couple of months including roofing, repointing and the damp proofing of the gents toilets and the rear exit passageway. 

These last two areas now need decoration so we are hoping that some volunteer painters will be able to join us from for a stint in-between Wednesday 20th and Friday 22nd June.

Brian Wheaton has again kindly volunteered to lead the project – we are very grateful for his patient and skilful leadership. 

If you think you can help please let Caroline Bendle know on T: 681047 – it would be good if we could spread out the volunteer sessions throughout the week.

Thundering success
The Thunderbridge Bluegrass Boys who appeared at the Hall on March 23rd were a thundering success. Not only were they excellent instrumentalists but they had also superb voices; their close harmony singing of both traditional bluegrass and their own compositions was really impressive. This was the second of our freelance gigs and was a sell-out earning £750 for funds – a big help when paying for the building work.

The demands for encores certainly indicated that the audience and those who had booked too late would like to see them return to Clayhidon. We have taken note!

The Hall Committee were very grateful to the Parish Council which again awarded to Parish Hall a sizeable grant  - there is always work to be done on such an old building and hardware to upgrade – recently the square table have been re-topped – so their generosity is much appreciated.

Villages in Action Season 2012 - 13 
Some of us attended the menu launch for the next V in A season; again we were presented with a treasure trove of delights from which to choose.

We have made bids for five events knowing that we will be lucky indeed to be offered three events now that the reduction of grants to V in A means that money has to be spread more thinly.

So we bid for a variety of different acts including:
  • a renowned jazz duo, vocalist Sarah Moule and pianist, Jenny Carr presenting a show entitled  “Femmes Fatales”; 
  • an Edinburgh Fringe award winning drama “Frankland & Sons”, a true story written and performed by  Tom and John  Frankland; 
  • “Opera Dudes” an amusing and original classical tenor double act;
  • the “New Rope String Band” who combine circus, clowning, vaudeville with beautiful acoustic music 
  • music & songs from Anthony John Clarke, a much recorded & well known performer  from the Folk Tradition who has performed all over the world including headlining on the Fairport Convention Tour.
We know that whatever shows we are allocated they will be superb so watch this space to see the outcome of the bids and remember to book early!

We know that freelance gigs can pay their way and make a handsome profit if the artists are well chosen. Now we have a network of other talented performers who we could call on to supplement our V in A allocation. So that even though our V in A allocation may reduce we will be able to continue to put on independent shows from time to time.

Lastly we are sad to say goodbye and thank you to two members of the committee, Mary Criddle, who is moving, and Phil May. Phil has represented the Country Music Club which has done so much for the hall over the years; he assures us that he will be only a phone call away if help is needed.

Last year we welcomed onto the committee two new members, Thelma Blackmore and Jeremy Cogswell; both are already very committed in their work for and support of the Hall.

                                                                                                                                        Bee Hill


Action-packed month at the parish hall

March has been a busy month at the Hall, which hosted several very successful events.

Big Breakfast raises £1,000
First off was The Big Breakfast; many hungry folk gathered to be very well fed, have the opportunity of a good chat and help raise over £1,000 for Cancer Research UK. We have Pam Reynolds and her happy team of helpers to thank for such a splendid event –well done to you alL. 

Quiz Night
The Quiz with quizmaster Peter Walter followed soon after. There was a good turnout of very animated contestants. Last year’s winners – Smith & Saunders were on holiday so weren’t there to defend their title which was won this time by the Cider Drinkers: Margaret Blackmore, Julian Day & Alex & Bee Hill. They were closely followed by the “Bits of Fluff” (again photos on the website). Entry fees and the raffle raised a splendid £198 for hall funds.

Bluegrass gig sold out
Our first gig of the year on Friday 23rd featuring the widely acclaimed local band, the Thunderbridge Bluegrass Boys,  proved to popular that we sold out two months ahead of time; so a big sorry to those of you who weren’t able to get tickets. Rest assured - we will have them back ‘ere long! 

Villages in Action campaign goes on
We regret to say that the MDDC’s cut to the funding of this excellent scheme was not re-instated on appeal. We will continue the campaign for proper funding of the scheme using the media to highlight both the need for access to good quality entertainment in rural areas and the many benefits we derive from the scheme, not least the contribution it makes tomaking our hall an exciting venue and to keeping it financially sound. It is vital that we do all we can to keep the expertise of the 1.5 staff that run the scheme and the organisational structure that supports it alive and healthy. We will explore other avenues of funding so if you have any bright ideas please do let me know at or telephone 01823 680 347. 

Volunteers need to complete hall redecoration
Once the weather is predictably warm we will set about the last task of Hall redecoration left outstanding after the completion of insulation work in the gents’ loos and the back corridor. We hope to recruit a few volunteers willing to wield a paintbrush; with a busy group we could finish the job really quickly. There’s generally a lot of light-hearted chatter when our volunteers gather so the time passes very fast and very sociably.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Caroline Bendle, the hall caretaker, on 681047 if you are willing to lend a hand. 

Walk Clayhidon's footpaths - and park at the hall
With spring just around the corner, it’s time put on walking boots and enjoy the many footpaths of Clayhidon’s Culm and Bolham valleys and hills. You can hear the carolling of birdsong and see wonderful spring flowers including wild daffodils in the meadows beside the Culm River, primroses in the hedge banks and soon there will be wood anemones (windflowers), violets and bluebells in the woodlands. 

If you don’t possess an Ordinance Survey map of your own you can find a large scale and very detailed map of all Clayhidon footpaths on the North-facing sidewall in between the front door and the kitchen window at the Parish Hall.You are also most welcome to use the car park if you want to set off on a circular walk from there. 

Hall for hire
The Hall is available for private hire at the very reasonable rate of only £8 per hour inclusive of use of kitchen facilities and heating. It is ideal for parties, rehearsals (we are told by visiting professional bands that the acoustics are ace!) and clubs requiring a spacious, well lit location. Enquiries and bookings can be made by contacting Caroline Bendle on 01823 681 047.