The Hatley Village Association was formed by Hatley Parish Council on 17 January 2012
Its original purpose was to raise money to maintain the inside of Hatley Village Hall – it has since been widened to be a village fund for use in East Hatley and Hatley St George. Monies raised, including from the Coffee Mornings and the Fête, are held by Hatley Parish Council.
Its funds to date have paid for redecorating the hall and supplying new curtains, tables and chairs (the latter also with a grant from South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Community Chest). In 2016, a new kitchen was installed, mostly financed by a grant from Awards for All.
The idea for the Association arose from a survey, created by Alan Pinney and circulated to all homes in East Hatley and Hatley St George in November 2011, which gave useful clues to what uses could be made of the hall.
The Association has a volunteer committee – Alan Pinney, John O’Sullivan, Martin Ward, Mervyn Lack, Sarah Brennan and Sarah Titmus.
What the HVA does
The committee meets regularly to plan events, including occasional talks, the Hatley Quiz in the Village Hall on the first Saturday in February, the Hatley Fête (pictured) on the first Sunday in July on the playing field in Hatley St George and the Christmas Tea in the Village Hall on the first Sunday in December.
The monthly Coffee Mornings and annual Pancake Race are thanks to the initiative and hard work of Linda Hudson and Mervyn Lack (ably assisted by ace cake maker, Sue Wright).
Suggestions and skills, please
If you’ve ideas, suggestions or thoughts on what events you’d like to see happening or other ways of generating an income for Hatley Village Hall, please let committee members know via this website’s contact us page and we’ll pass your on suggestions.
And if you’d like to contribute your skills to the HVA, please complete this form and return it to one of the committee members.
Booking Hatley Village Hall
If you’d like to hire the hall for an event there’s a booking form and hire agreement you can download.
Brief history of Hatley Villages Committee
The Hatley Villages Committee was originally set up by the Hatley Social & Athletic Club in the 1940s to organise a Christmas party for the children of East Hatley and Hatley St George. When the club eventually folded, the villages decided to continue the event under the auspices of the Parish Council, who promised to see a chairperson was elected; a committee was formed to raise funds and organise the party.
Money came in from whist drives and dances in the old village hall adjacent to Rookery Nook, demolished when the new village hall was built. Villagers and parents also made donations. Presents were purchased by the committee for each child up to the age of 14 from ‘Larkinsons’, the old department store in Biggleswade, and the Father Christmas outfit was made by a committee member. By the early 1970s a raffle was being held for fundraising, but when the licensing laws made this difficult, dances, usually of the disco variety, were used to bring in funds.
The party was a ‘two-tier’ event with one for the younger children and another for the older ones. These were always well attended. Over the years a variety of ideas were tried and originally party games featured largely. They were noisy affairs between competing teams. Then came more modern ideas – such as cartoons, Punch & Judy shows, entertainers and the introduction of carol singing with sherry and mince pies for parents and villagers before home time.
Events for children
By the early 1990s new families were moving into the village and the committee decided it would be good to introduce more events for the children throughout the year. And so the pancake race, Easter egg hunt, Hallowe’en disco party and carol singing around the village were introduced into the calendar. The committee also organised ‘Hatley Hey Day’.
This ran for two years and, although profitable, involved too much work for the small number of people on the committee. At about this time funding was difficult but they were able to carry on with the help of the Village Hall Committee, who waived the hire charge; the Hatley Sports & Social Club, which provided the decorations and Christmas tree; and parents who supplied a present for their own children.
Round about the year 2000, the name was changed to ‘The Hatley Villages Committee’ in an attempt to draw together occupants of East Hatley and Hatley St George into various social activities. Despite there being only a quarter mile stretch of road between them, the denizens of the two communities, being true Brits, very much go their own rather separate ways.
In 2002 the committee published a handsome booklet to mark the Queen’s Jubilee. With photographs and potted biographies of families, pictures of St Denis’ church in 1910 and 2002 and a history of the Hatleys by Ishbel Beatty, it is an interesting snap shot of the community as it was at the time.
The Committee disbanded in March 2012 after Hatley Village Association was formed. The annual report for 2005 / 2006 survives.
Page checked / updated 4th March 2019.