A makeover for the Henfield Hall!

For the past 40 plus years the Hall has been the centre of community life for Henfield, providing a base for many of the 200 clubs and societies that flourish in the village.

The Henfield Hall was officially opened in November 1974 after several years of hard work and fund raising in the local community. It is totally self funded by the community and is a registered charity, managed by a group of trustees formed by members of the organisations that use the Hall regularly. The Hall provides the home for the Parish Council and also houses our local museum which is run by volunteers dedicated to the history of our village and its surroundings. The local amateur theatre company produces up to five shows a year at the Hall and a travelling cinema attends the village regularly. A weekly self help group for the elderly meets socially for lunch and leisure activities.

In 2016 a group of volunteers from the Henfield Theatre Company Workshop Team had just completed the redecoration of the Henfield Haven and decided to offer their services to The Henfield Hall. The 2017-2020 Henfield Hall Refurbishment Project was born. Over the past few years the Hall had been suffering badly from a leaking roof, which had damaged the interior. Funds were raised to repair and replace the roof but the interior was dated, tired and in need of modernisation.

The team of volunteers working with the Trustees drew up a Refurbishment Plan which involved some repairs to the exterior of the building as well as a complete redecoration and modernisation of the interior. At this time a local builder – Nigel Parsons, who had worked with the volunteers at the Haven heard about the Refurbishment Project at the Hall and offered his support.

With Nigel’s help and teaching, the group carried out repairs and replacement of the rotting facia boarding around the building during the spring/summer of 2016 and at that time also agreed to a three phase redecoration project: Phase 1 – The Entrance Hall and Foyer 2017; Phase 2 – The Garden Suite and kitchen; Phase 3 – The Main Hall.

The Entrance Hall and Foyer was completed during the Summer of 2017 with the Volunteer group working many weeks to complete modernisation of the area with new ceilings and lighting, decoration, carpets and furniture. Funds to achieve this were raised by the Hall trustees as well as a number of companies providing support and materials. The transformation was dramatic and the volunteers were keen to continue with phase 2 the following year.

In 2018 the Garden room was closed for two months in the summer and underwent a complete makeover. The wooden ceiling was replaced, LED lighting fitted, new flooring and new curtains created and hung, the room was redecorated and a bright welcoming colour scheme used. The kitchen also underwent some further work with new work tops fitted.

By 2019 the Main hall roof was still leaking and plans were submitted with the local planning authority to replace the faulty material. During this period the group carried out general repairs and repainting of some smaller areas that had not been covered by the first phases of the project.

The following year, planning permission was granted in order to replace the faulty roof. With a grant from the local authority, this was done at the end of the summer 2020.

During July, August and September the Volunteers working under Covid 19 restrictions took advantage of the longer than expected Hall closure and completely stripped out all of the timber cladding in the main hall. The Volunteers began the mammoth job of relining the walls and repairing and preparing the Hall for decoration. As soon as the roof was water tight work began on the complete overhaul of the interior. New ceilings and LED lighting were installed, new double glazed windows fitted, new curtains including the stage drapes made and fitted and the Hall walls and woodwork repainted with the project finishing by the middle of October.

Covid 19 has put restrictions on the use of the Hall. However a full cleaning regime has been implemented and we will be able to welcome back groups and organisations following government guidelines. We hope that in the not too distant future we will be able to get back to normal providing full service to the local community groups as well as providing a key entertainment and cultural centre for Henfield.

Thanks to the help of the Henfield Theatre Company volunteers and other volunteers, and the support of Nigel Parsons, Brewers Ltd, Tracey Smyth, Howdens Ltd, Hamfelds and Martin Moore SDT Securities, we now have a fabulous updated asset in the village and we look forward to seeing you there soon.

Peter Sheppard

To book the hall for your next event please go to: Henfield Hall website