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Village Halls Domesday Book 2021
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Village halls in Durham
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Bishop Middleham Village Hall
It has been a busy and exciting time for the Village Hall with lots to look forward to in 2021. Despite having to close our doors due to Covid-19, work continues to develop our facilities to ensure they remain a valued space for our community members and groups.
Bishopton Village Hall
The existing timber-built hall was originally a 1920’s school in nearby Greatham. It was dismantled and re-erected in Bishopton in 1959, a brick-built annexe was then attached to provide a meeting room, kitchen and toilet. Our Hall together with the nearby Bishopton Playground forms the hub of our village of 156 dwellings and 360 residents. The Hall hosted a wide variety of events and activities until the first lockdown forced us to close. Before the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2019, we held morning coffee, Brownie meetings, Yoga, Swing Fit, Fund raising events for the newly acquired Playground. We shall continue to provide, as we have done for a hundred and ten years, a venue for events and activities that meets the requirements of the local residents of all ages and abilities We provide a sense of place, pride and belonging to villagers and encourages a spirit of community. We are now planning activities for when we come out of lockdown. We now are on Bishopton Village website and have a Facebook page.
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Blackhall Community Centre
A fully accessible centre which offers a range of activities, we have a fitness centre, licensed bar and a cafe with home cooked food.
Butterknowle Village Hall
A wonderful hall in the heart of our rural community. We will be celebrating our 60th anniversary next year , in one form or another. We can’t wait to reopen and welcome back our many users and groups.
Facebook Butterknowle Village Hall.
Cowshill and Lanehead Village Hall
The building originally opened as a Mission Hall in 1909 to be used for Sunday services whilst the Parish Church was moved into Cowshill. Following extensive renovation the building was re opened a as a village hall in 2006. Situated at the head of Weardale at an altitude of 1400feet the building serves as a vital hub for the settlements at the head of the dale. The hall is run as a charity and is funded by a combination of fund raising events and grant donations from various authorities. The hall holds weekly Saturday morning coffee mornings and has a bring and buy shop both of which prove very popular with locals and also visitors to the dale. A number of clubs and societies use the hall regularly and the hall is also available for bookings for people and businesses to hold events. The hall is classed as Covid secure and everyone is looking forward to the day we are able to re open.
Ebchester Community Centre
Formerly the Village school dating from 1876, the Community Centre was set up in 1972. In normal times, the Centre hosts a number of popular village activities including Toddlers, WI, St Ebbas Church events, Carpet bowls, Fitness groups, Karate and JuJitsu. It is a popular venue for children’s parties and other family celebrations. Extensively refurbished internally during the first COVID 19 Lockdown in 2020, it became a Covid Secure venue thanks to Risk assessment guidance from ACRE. We re-opened in August 2020, only to close again with further Government restrictions. We are looking forward to the time when we are allowed by Government to re-open, by which time we will have had Broadband and WiFi installed thanks to a People’s Postcode Lottery grant. Funding information is regularly provided by Durham Community Action.
Frosterley Village Hall & Institute
Frosterley is a small village in Weardale, County Durham. Its village hall opened in 1909 to provide for the leisure needs of the local quarrymen. In the mid-19th century, the population of the village more than trebled with the start of commercial quarrying to extract the limestone deposits that surrounded the village. The Hall was built by the quarrymen, who all contributed a penny a week from their wages towards the cost. The owner of Rogerley Quarry, Valentine Rippon, donated the land for the Hall, while the Darlington Pease family who owned other Frosterley quarries donated the bricks and also helped meet the cost. The Hall belongs to the village and its residents, and is run and maintained for the benefit of the local community. It operates as a charity and is run by a Board of Trustees, all of whom are volunteers. The Hall is used for a wide range of activities, including craft classes, exercise groups, educational talks, public and community group meetings, live music events, charity fund raisers, choir recitals, weddings, theatre performances, children’s parties, martial arts classes, elections, funerals, snooker and pool, exhibitions and school concerts. Over the years, as the needs of our community have changed, the Hall has been refurbished and updated. 2021 has seen our latest refurbishment project take place. This is converting a former disused caretaker’s flat on the ground floor and joining it to an existing meeting room at the rear of the Hall to create a more accessible community space. The meeting room is having double bi-fold doors installed which will open on to the Hall’s garden and bathe the new space in natural light. These improvements have been made possible thanks to funds raised within the community, kind donations, and generous funding from ACRE, the National Lottery, The Clothworkers’ Foundation, Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation, Sir James Knott Trust, Councillor John Shuttleworth’s AAP Neighbourhood Budget and the Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust. As and when Covid restrictions permit, the Trustees are doing essential maintenance work, including giving the Hall’s garden a make-over. Many of our regular users have missed the social life that our Hall facilities, and the Trustees are keen to welcome them back!
Hurworth Village Hall
Hurworth Village Hall is a lively and well used building offering the people of Hurworth on Tees a meeting place for exercise, crafts, socialising, learning and family gatherings. The Hall was built in 1864 for the Temperance Movement in Hurworth. It now has a varied programme of classes and is available for private hire. Hurworth Village Hall is a registered charity, being incorporated in 1960. It is run by the Trustees and the many wonderful volunteers who give their time and energy to making this an inviting community resource. We look forward to re-opening our doors after the Covid-19 pandemic and seeing our friends across the Hurworth area once again.
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Lanchester Community Association
Founded over 50 years ago, the association's function is to facilitate local groups and organisations to educate, entertain and develop interests in activities across the community. We also provide various rooms for social events. We have a gym open to anyone who wants to improve their fitness. The centre has been used for diverse events from baby and toddler groups through to meetings including a judicial public enquiry on the development of the village. Learn to sew, play table tennis or bridge or sing with our male voice choir, we have a suitable venue for you.
Middleton St George Community Centre
Our Community Centre was built around 1930 as a Pumping Station with four reservoirs on the site, and although not a listed building, it is considered “a non-designated heritage asset” by Darlington Borough Council’s Planning Department, and regarded as a “handsome” building. When the Pumping Station was no longer needed, the area was converted into the Water Park for leisure activities, and the Pump House became a new village hall, filling a much needed void. The freehold was sold to the Middleton St George Community Association by the Parish Council on 23 December 1980, for the sum of £15,000. The Parish Council and community members put £5000 into a bank account to cover necessary improvements. On 19 May 2006, the property was placed in trust with the Official Custodian for Charities on behalf of the Middleton St George Community Association. Run and managed by a small number of voluntary Trustees, it offers a central hub for classes and activities from multiple hirers; the perfect venue for private parties; plus a full time day nursery. A delightful place, which benefits the residents of the village and beyond. Working in partnership with Darlington Borough Council, the Trustees are thrilled to be able to take part in the community COVID-19 mass testing programme, currently offering asymptomatic testing at the centre. A very positive service in what has been a challenging year for us all.
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Sadberge Village Hall
St. John’s hall meadowfield
New build opened 2019 after five years of fundraising.
Sunniside Community Centre
Sunniside is an ex coal mining village in County Durham and suffers from many of the problems that effect rural areas, however there is a strong sense of identity. At the heart of the village is the community centre and is the focus for a variety of different activities and groups. Covid 19 has given us the time to refurbish and reflect on the community centre. Refurbish a full facelift, walls painted and a new laminate floor, window blinds fitted. The centre now has a new start and with that future plans being undertaken. These include future courses, training and leisure activities. We are optimistic in keeping the centre at the heart of the village free for all.
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Trimdon Station Community Centre
We started life in 1928 as Deaf Hill welfare Hall, paid for by the subscriptions of miners. The colliery closed in 1967 and the centre had other groups running it. In 1992 after falling in disrepair a group came together ‘Deaf Hill Ward Regeneration Partnership’ and set about repairing the building and updating it. Since then the Partnership have delivered many community services for young and old, and was supported by the Parish council, unfortunately the Parish Council removed all funding to support the building and support for the service we provide. This year has been difficult as we have had to close the building but have still delivered some service to our community. The future, we believe will take a lot of rebuilding, building trust and confidence for those attending, thoughts on trying to attract new users is also needed. The main thing will be funding and long term funding to see us through this difficult time.
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Winston Village Hall
Covid Secure and ready to welcome community members again as soon as we’re able to
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Witton Park Village Hall
Witton Park is a small village of around 3000 people, we no longer have a shop or pub. The building itself is about 25yrs old but was built on the site of a much older community building. The village itself is the actual starting point of the Stockton and Darlington Railway - the first train starting from the village and being hauled up and over the hills to Shildon where it was attached to the first Locomotive to be hauled then to Darlington and on to Stockton. It is also known as “the village that would not die” being put into Category D by the council for total demolition in the 1960s. During the first lockdown we completely redecorated the hall and laid an extension to our carpark. We are shortly to build an extension to the side of the building for much needed storage. During the week we usually have regular classes including Pilates and art classes, host Rainbows and Brownies and hold a very well attended (and much missed) Bingo night. The hall is well used by the local community for birthday, christening and occasion wedding parties, the latter may be in decline as our local church is has just been closed. Looking forward it is hoped we can take advantage of the upcoming 200th anniversary of the opening of the S&D Railway and keep our doors open for the local community.
Woodham Village Community Association
Formed in 1986 we have trebled footfall over last 12 years and average over 800 visits per week
Yarm Youth & Community Centre
Here at our hall we run a group called Yarm Lunch Club for the over 65’s in our local area. Under normal circumstances this would be a place for them to meet up and socialise whilst enjoying a low cost, freshly cooked meal. Our aim is to reduce loneliness and make those who are alone feel included and cared for. Since lockdown we have turned to cooking meals for hone delivery so that we have been able to stay in contact with our members and stay within reach if they need someone to chat to and to share news of their friends. Photo courtesy of Mike Lowe

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