History of Hertford Heath Village Hall
Before the Village Hall was built, the School and Mission Room were used for village activities. However, as the village grew, it was felt that a larger and more modern building was needed to accommodate the swelling number of people and their activities.
A suitable site was made available by Haileybury College. They leased the land (part of Priors Wood) at a rent of 10 shillings for 60 years to run from 25th March 1934. The rent was increased to £250 a year in 2004 and is increased in line with inflation every five years.
In 1933, a start was made to raise money for a hall. An extract from the Hertfordshire Mercury dated 25th January 1935 reads: “Friends and neighbours have rallied round and supported local efforts so generously that to date £800 has been raised by donations, dances, concerts, whist drives, etc. The Carnegie Trust, through the kind offices of the National Council of Social Service, has made a grant of £225 and a further loan, for five years free of interest, of £500 was obtained.”
The building of the Hall was well under way by this time, but the efforts in the village had still to go on to pay off loans and to raise more money to buy furniture for the Hall. Even the children gave their pennies at school.
The Hall was built by a local firm, H Fitch & Sons for the sum of £1528 12s 10d and was handed over on 4th May 1935.
It was built of yellow stock bricks inside and out, roofed with dark red double roman clay tiles and was designed to seat 200 people. This number has since been reduced to 100 to comply with present-day safety regulations.
Over the years, a number of additions have been made to the Hall, including a kitchen, bar area, disabled toilet and, thanks to a very generous bequest from John Benson who served on the Management Committee for a number of years, a large store room.
John’s daughter, Valerie Howarth, opened the John Benson Room on 1st September 2010.