Honorary Secretary’s report for 2019
2019 was another busy year at the hall In April 2019, the hall hosted the Herrison Hospital Reunion – an event attended by over 900 people. There were memorabilia displays, reunions of staff members and an opportunity for residents to find out what Charlton Down used to be like when it was Herrison Hospital.
The Ballroom was used to film courtroom scenes of a new film “Lawrence after Arabia” which was due to hold its premiere in March 2020 but due to Covid-19 this has had to be postponed until April 2021. A screening of the film at the hall has been pencilled in for May 2021.
In July, the trustees of the hall hosted another successful summer party for residents of Charlton Down. This is always a wonderful opportunity for the village to come together and helps to build the community spirit within the village. The event is free to attend and this year there was a hog roast, a disco and a children’s entertainer along with a village cake competition with entries from both children and adults. At the event, trustees asked residents for some feedback as to the type of events they would like to see held at the hall. There was a wide range of suggestions but one idea that was very popular was a barn dance, so the trustees organised a barn dance in November which was very well attended by nearly 100 people.
The hall continues to cater for its regular users, such as ballroom dancing, Jive Classes, Jellytots toddler group, over 55’s table-tennis, T’ai Chi and meetings and even some dog training classes. 4 weddings have been held at the hall this year and numerous children’s parties. There have been some wonderful musical events including the Dorset Music Service’s Spring Recital, The Budapest Orchestra, Russian Choirs and Jazz in the Village as well as a Christmas Showman Spectacular magic event.
Looking forward, the creation of a community café is still in the pipeline with extensive work being done on the kitchen and Watts Room. The trustees hope to change the emphasis of the hall to a place that offers more and more to the community in Charlton Down.