“Showing what community spirit was all about”
The Centre is run by The Northchurch and District Association which is a registered charity (Registered charity number: 236409).
Ours is truly a community hall built by the people of Northchurch and its history dates back to the early 1960s. A public meeting was held by the then Rector in 1962, when it was agreed that the old church hall (which was in the grounds of the school) was in a sorry state and a new hall was needed.
It appeared that there were government grants available but we had to show that 25% of the funds to build the hall could be raised locally. So the Northchurch and District Association was formed in July 1964 and all residents of the area (broadly from Cross Oak Road to Dudswell) were invited to become members. Mrs Talbot-Ponsonby was appointed membership secretary and with Mrs Penn, she found between 35 and 40 people who called door to door on their neighbours and friends each month to collect subscriptions: minimum subscription: sixpence(6d) a month or five guineas for life membership! Many people subscribed regularly knowing that they would probably never be able to use the centre.
By November 1964, the Association had 365 subscribing members, £470 in the bank and £270 under deeds of covenant. But the call went out for more members and road stewards/collectors. By February 1965 membership was over 550 people and the contract for the purchase of the Bell Lane site was signed. Dances, jumble sales, coffee mornings, bring and buy sales, Easter Raffles and Summer Fetes were all being organised to help raise funds. The Association needed to raise £9,600, and in June 1967, after raising a substantial proportion of this and showing that the rest would be found, our plans for the Centre were approved and the grants allocated. Grants were received from the Ministry of Education, Berkhamsted Urban District Council, Northchurch Parish Council, Berkhamsted Rural District Council and Herts County Council.
Building work commenced in early 1968 and the building was officially opened in September 1968 – four years after the subscription list was opened. Not all the required finance had been raised but with the help of interest-free loans the cost of the building and equipment was paid by the opening date. Fund raising activities and the regular subscriptions continued however and the final repayments of the loans were made in October 1970.
Since the closing of the subscription fund, all persons over 18 in Northchurch and the Western part of Berkhamsted are now automatically members. The property is vested in four trustees. A Management Committee of up to twelve elected members is responsible for looking after the running of the Centre. Th members of the management committee must either live in the area mentioned above or be regular users of the Centre. These members are elected at the Annual General Meeting.
Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) is held in July each year and everyone is welcome. If you wish to find out more details about the AGM or are interested in joining the Management Committee please contact the Administrator on 01442 863243 or using the enquiry form below.