Clubs and Community (including some information on how to make a longbow)

Chris Oattes
Chris Oattes

The latest news from clubs and community groups in your area.

First World War stories for social club members

At the last meeting of the Gade Social Club, members enjoyed listening to Margaret Holmes reading one of her stories about the life of a family during the First World War.

Margaret told of the hard life they endured with the shortage of food and how they grew their own vegetables and kept chickens.

They lived in a cottage in the grounds of the manor house, which during the war was turned into a convalescent home for sick soldiers. The mother kept the family together and more so after hearing of the death of her husband etc.

Everyone agreed margaret writes a good story. Sylvia Timms read a poem about a cat and a mouse - it was very funny. Brenda Hurford read a poem about a man managing with the housework while his wife was in hospital, which caused a laugh. The afternoon ended with a quiz. To inquire about the club, phone 01442 262156.

Award ceremony success for community choir

Rosie Sutton, the chair of the Dacorum Community Choir, along with other members, attended the Heart of Flame award ceremony in the Weston Auditorium at the University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, on the evening of Saturday October 4.

The choir had been one of 25 nominees in the most creative business/organisation of the year category. They are proud to have reached the final six.

But the Hertfordshire Schools Gala 2014, organised by the Herts Music Service, won a Hertfordshire Lifestyle and Legacy Partnership Award.

The choir are especially proud of this achievement, not only because they took part, but because their musical director Rufus Frowde was the artistic director of the Gala. They feel it was a well-deserved recognition of the work Rufus and others in the music service put in to making the gala an unforgettable experience for performers and audience alike.

In December the choir welcomes the Melodia Choir from Neu-Isenburg, Germany, Hemel Hempstead’s twin town and have a programme planned for the weekend which includes a barn dance to welcome the visitors and a concert at St. John’s Church, Boxmoor, on Saturday, December 6.

As well as the two choirs, the Dacorum Youth Orchestra will be taking part. Further details will be available on the website. Dacorum Community Choir, a mixed voice choir, meets on Tuesdays in term time between 9.45am and 11.15am at Hemel Hempstead’s Astley Cooper School.

They number about a hundred and new members can join at any time of the year. All are welcome - there is no audition and fees are very reasonable.

You will find more details on, by phoning membership secretary Dianne on 01442 874988, or you can just come to a rehearsal.

Stroke support organisation celebrates 25th anniversary

The Berkhamsted/Tring Stroke Support has this year celebrated its 25th anniversary.

The group offers invaluable help and support to those who have been affected by strokes. Meetings are held every fortnight at the Northchurch Social Centre in Bell Lane and run from 10.30am to 1.30pm.

Its activities include exercises led by qualified physiotherapists, quizzes, speakers, pub lunches, outings and an annual visit to the seaside.

To celebrate our 25th anniversary, the group had a pub lunch at the Village Gate in Wendover, a visit to Paradise Wildlife Park and its annual seaside outing this year was to Eastbourne.

Music is an important part of the group’s programme and members have been entertained by a former Bluebell Girl and an accordionist.

For its Christmas outing, members will be going to see SS Broadway at Wicksteed Park and for Christmas lunch they will be going to Shendish Manor in Hemel Hempstead.

All meetings and activities are run a by a band of volunteers, but the group can always do with more help.

Chairman Ian Hines said: “We would be very pleased in particular to hear from anyone who would be willing to take on the role of treasurer or secretary, car drivers to collect members and also from anyone who would like to help generally at our meetings.

“If you are interested in joining us or would like more information please contact Ian Hines on 01442 381606.”

Art of longbow making explored by Hemel man

The art of longbow making has been practiced for centuries and while the tools used have moved into the 21st century, the fundamental requirements remain the same – a piece of wood (stave) and lots of elbow grease!

Recently, Silver Arrow Archery in Edlesborough hosted it’s biannual longbow making course.

On the course was archer and Hemel Hempstead man Chris Oattes took part as it seemed like fun and he wanted to try a longbow.

Chris learned about what makes a longbow and the different methods required to make one. When interviewed about the course, he said: “I’m looking forward to see if something I’ve made with my own hands works properly!”

Archer and Milton Keynes resident David O’Donnell wanted to learn more about the history of the longbow and how to make them in the future.

He learned about the different woods used and said: “Shooting my bow will be the pinnacle of the weekend and I hope I hit the target!”

To book a place on Silver Arrow Archery’s April course visit or call 01525 229374.

Charity concert on Remembrance Day

A gala charity concert will be will be held at 3pm in The Old Bull Theatre in Barnet High Street on Remembrance Day – Sunday, November 9.

The concert will be given by Oddfellows Brass – a band with a great reputation in aid of Hope for Children, a small charity started and run by a local man Dr. Bob Parsons who recently was awarded an OBE for his work.

Oddfellows Brass, which is based in Manchester, is sponsored by the Oddfellows Friendly Society and has gained its reputation by its performances at Oddfellows events throughout the country and especially by those at band competitions. The programme will make a strong reference to Remembrance Day and will include a Remembrance Day ceremony.

Tickets cost £12.00 and can be purchased via the theatre or from