Premises & Recreation – 13th November 2014

The Premises & Recreation Sub-Committee of West Bergholt Parish Council met on 13th November to consider a range of issues and decisions affecting the Premises and Recreational facilities under their jurisdiction.  Updates on Play equipment, Practice Goal, Orpen Hall & Annual Fireworks display.  The formal report to the Parish Council is as follows:

Premises & Recreation Report

Sub-committee meeting held on Thursday 13th November 2014 at the John Lampon Hall

Councillors present Phil Walby, Jenny Church, Murray Harlow, Rosemary James, Andrew Savage
Apologies  Rachel Howard

Victoria Beckwith Cole in attendance.

1. Budget for next year
Andrew in attendance to discuss preparation for next year’s budget for Orpen Hall. He will forward the agreed budget to sub-committee. AS
2 Orpen Hall
a.   Letting for New Year’s Eve agreed. Vicky is able to unlock and lock up after the event. Hirer is responsible person, it is a charitable function. Agreed to levy increased deposit of £200 to cover risk of damage. VBC
b.   Cleaning problem appears to be resolved. Mike has now taken on a new cleaner. To be monitored for the next month to assess improvement or need to still have a meeting with Mike.  PW
c.   The problem with the locking chairs has been caused by the wrong clips being supplied. The company will attend and rectify the problem. VBC
d.   “Snagging” problems following decoration of halls have been satisfactorily rectified by decorators.
e.   PAT testing has been completed.
3 Practice goal area on field
Ivor has prepared the goal area and laid foundation work. The artificial turf will be laid when Ivor returns from Jury service. PW
4 Film night
To be put on hold until the New Year. Discussions to be arranged with Bernard. PW
5 Play Equipment
Inspection report has been read.  Await talking to Ivor about what is required to make fully safe all equipment. The areas of concern are all low risk. The area is underused at this present time because of the weather. PW
6 Heathlands Firework display
The event went very smoothly, good liaison with PTA. Posts at entrance were removed to avoid damage on entry. Reinstated on Monday following display and are now secure. All rubbish was picked up and skip removed. Minimal damage to grass, replaced with new turf.
Date of next meeting to be notified.



Orpen Hall Car Park Finished

Resplendent in the evening sun today the Hall car park appears transformed from its former pot-holed and generally dishevelled appearance of late.  Groupbridge  our doughty and endlessly accommodating contractor has departed leaving only the portaloo as evidence of the workforce and equipment which has been a feature of the car park over the past 6 weeks.

Over the summer holidays the following work has been carried out:

  • Old surfacing scraped off and potholes filled in
  • Surface levelled and prepared to form the hidden (but essential) base-course of the parking area
  • New kerbing has been laid to the perimeter
  • Two new soakaways have been installed to take drained rainwater away out of harm’s way
  • French drains have been installed for water to percolate through to the edges
  • New drains installed and pipework fitted
  • New blacktop course laid to the entire car park
  • Planting areas prepared
  • Cycle stands installed
  • Ramps installed to some hall entrances
  • 44 regular car parking spaces marked out together with4 disabled spaces and a loading bay
  • Access to adjacent areas of the Muga and football pitch created and protected from encroachment

Some of these features are shown in the slide show.

All this has been achieved with minimal inconvenience to hall and Lorkin Daniell field users. There are one or two “snagging areas” to revisit in the coming weeks and planting areas will be planned for landscaping activities (both hard and soft landscaping will be employed).

The Parish Council would like to reiterate its thanks to: Groupbridge  (especially Chris Souter the Project Manager)  our excellent contractor, to Doldens  our designers and contract managers, to nearby residents and hall and Lorkin Daniell field users. Especial thanks also go to Essex County Council for their generous grant of £12,000.

As the lead for the Parish Council on this work I would like to thank the following for their assistance. Firstly my fellow Cllrs on the PC project team Bob Tyrell, Andrew Savage and Brian Butcher, as well as those who assisted with co-ordination, namely the Hall Administrator Vicky Beckwith-Cole, the Chair of the Environment Committee Phil Walby and last but by no means least our PC Chair John Gill-Ross whose almost daily inspections towards the end of the project ensured we picked up many of the users’ needs, using his long experience of the way the community interacts with the hall and environs.

I hope the community makes good use of the car park over the coming months and years. I hope readers will agree with me that the work has been transformative.

Chris Stevenson, Chair of Planning and Development Committee – 10th September 2014.

Black-top on at Orpen Hall car park

New tarmac on Orpen hall car park
New tarmac at Orpen Hall car park

The Orpen Hall Car Park resurfacing project is nearing completion and will be finished by the end of August, leaving the area spick and span and ready for the more intensive day to day usage which will resume in the autumn.

Over the past week a new black- top macadam surface has been laid which neatly complements the extensive repairs to the car park foundations, hall entrance treatments, kerbing and drainage work which has been going on since the end of July.

White-lining next step

The remaining work to be completed in the coming days includes white lining the car park area to show clearly where users may park and unload. It will also include disabled and cycle parking areas. There will be tidying up activities of course to remove excess debris, materials and the contractors plant and equipment.

Planting to follow

Following the completion of the works there will be a planting scheme drawn up for the new planting areas adjacent to the hall itself.

Parking Spaces

There have been some comments about the amount of parking that will be available after the works, and the access arrangements to the hall entrances. Approximately 40 marked spaces will be available together with a loading bay, 7 disabled spaces and parking for bicycles.  Access to the MUGA area, hall entrances, emergency access points, have all been enhanced such that they are not blocked off in the future by parked cars while the hall is in use.  This was a key feature of the design and indeed a fire and safety assessment pointed out the lack of ramps to some of the access points.

Thanks to residents & users

The Parish Council would like to thank hall users for their forbearance during these works.  Most of the time at least some parking has been available, however it won’t be long until the whole car park is available once more.  We won’t be doing this again for at least another 30 years so any inconvenience is over for a while!

Orpen Hall Car Park starting to take shape

This picture update shows some progress made on the car park over the past week, with some photos taken by Doldens.  We are beginning to see the benefit of separating the hall from the car park already, with the new kerbing redefining the relationship between the building and the tarmac. We sometimes don’t appreciate the aesthetics of the original hall design, and the revised car park treatment will bring this out.  Life isn’t only about functionality and low maintenance!


Orpen Hall Car Park resurfacing

Yesterday marked the start of works to renew the surface of the Orpen Hall Car Park. The Parish Council (PC) has appointed Groupbridge contractors to carry out the work following a tender exercise carried out in June and approved at June’s PC meeting.

Preparing for work on Orpen Hall car parkWork preparation continuesMaterials ready

Orpen Hall car park surface has deteriorated

Over the years the car park surface has gradually deteriorated and settlement over the last 10 years has resulted in ponding and puddles occurring after heavy rain. The surface is in fact very poor in places such that a lot of repairs will be needed prior to the new surface being applied.  In addition to the new Tarmac surface some further drainage will be added to ensure that rainwater is collected and distributed either to new soakaways or to new French drains that will be installed along the longest edges of the car park.

After resurfacing the Orpen Hall car park will be re-lined and two sets of cycle parking stands installed near the entrances to the halls; disabled parking bays will be provided and ramps installed to ensure the hall is DDA compliant. A further feature will be to separate the car park surface from the main building to enhance the appearance of the hall.  Planting will take place around the outside of the hall to soften the hard edges of the car park and building.  A plan of the finished car park is shown below or you can click the following link for the most recent  full size construction plan in PDF form – Orpen Hall car parking layout.

Orpen Hall Car Park layout

Co-ordination of the work is being undertaken by Doldens who are acting as agents to the PC and supervising the works.  It is not anticipated that the work will unduly inconvenience the community since the work will coincide with the school holidays and at a time when the hall is not so heavily used.  Access to the halls will not be affected and the repair work will be undertaken in two phases such that there is as much parking available at any one time as is possible. During this time one of the entrances will be out of action so as to isolate a portion of the car park for the works to take place safely. There will be a time in mid to late August when the whole surface will be re-paved meaning that the car park will be unavailable for up to three days. This will be well advertised in advance.

Timetable and contact

The timetable sees work being undertaken from yesterday (21st July) to the end of August, you can download an outline copy of the most recent timetable by clicking the link: Orpen Hall car park Programme.  Regular hall users have been informed already as have those with single bookings over this period.

The work is being funded using PC earmarked funds of £50,000 and a grant from Essex County. Council for £12,000.

If any reader has concerns or queries they should contact the hall administrator ([antibot mailto=”[email protected]”]), or Parish Clerk (Parish Clerk ([antibot mailto=”[email protected]”]), in the first instance who will either answer queries or obtain information from our agent and/or contractor.

Orpen Players – Deep Blue Sea

deep blue seaThe Orpen Players next production, running from 15th – 17th May, is The Deep Blue Sea by Terrence Rattigan.  Starting at 8pm each day, doors open at 7:30pm, tickets cost £6 for the Thursday and £7 for the Friday & Saturday performances.  Tickets can be bought either from:

  • Roger Milne – 241048;
  • Orpen Players’ website at;
  • Ash’s Store (from 3rd May); and
  • On the door (subject t availability).

Supper & Show

For more of an evening out  dine at the Treble Tile before the performance from selected menu + show ticket for £20 per head – must be booked in advance with the Treble Tile 01206 241712.

Plot summary

The Deep Blue Sea begins with the discovery by her neighbours of Hester Collyer who has tried and failed to commit suicide.  Some time before, she left her husband, a respectable High Court Judge, for a semi-alcoholic former RAF pilot, Freddy Page.  The relationship was physical and passionate but his ardour has cooled, leaving her emotionally stranded and desperate.  The aftershocks of her attempted suicide unravel even the remnants of this relationship, but by the end she is brought to a hard decision to live, partly through the intercession of another resident of the tenement house, Mr. Miller, an ex-doctor, struck off for what seems to have been a homosexual offence.  These two outcasts, socially ostracised for their ‘excessive’ loves, find a curious and moving kinship.

An actor, who played Freddy recently had this to say:

It’s a play about love and lust. But also about what it was like to live after the war. Freddy was a Spitfire pilot in World War II. He came out of that a war hero and worked as a test pilot, but lost his nerve and hit the bottle. Before we join the play he’s met Hester and pours his heart out to her at a time when people were very closed up. We join them at the nadir of their relationship.

Source: Wikipedia.

Model Railways Open Day

Colchester & District Model Railway ClubColchester & District Model Railway Club are hosting an Open Day at the Orpen Hall on 6th April between 11:00 – 16:00.  Entry is free, although all donations are welcomed, and refreshments are available.

Previous Open Days have seen a number of layouts, like the St Aida’s Quay layout pictured below, to either enthuse new followers or remind older generations of the fun they used to have.  Experts will be on hand to answer your questions and there is also a second-hand stall that might just kick-start a lifelong passion.

Model Railway Layout

Cinderella with Supper & Show

Cinderella's Ugly SisterCinderella at the Orpen Hall

Peter Cox has once again written and directed this fabulous interpretation of the classic Cinderella. This exciting and wonderful show will have you laughing and cheering right from the start. Our award winning cast return again and we also have some new faces to the Orpen Stage!


  • Scott Sophos & Ben Maytham as The Ugly Sisters,
  • Anne Sexton as The Fairy Godmother,
  • Holly Snowling as Buttons,
  • Phoebe Stringer & Kim Bennett as Prince Charming & Dandini,
  • Mike Poole as The Baron,
  • Niamh Bennet-Dix & George Dooley as Nip and Tuck,
  • Debs MacMahon as The Wicked Stepmother and
  • congratulations to Sophie Peterson who was a chorus member last year for securing the title role of Cinderella.


This fabulous show will sell out so book early to avoid disappointment – as this news update is posted the matinee performances are already sold out!  Remaining performances are:

  • 31st January 8pm;
  • 1st February 8pm;
  • 7th February 8pm;
  • 8th February 8pm.

Tickets for the panto alone are priced £7 adults and £5 children with a 50p booking fee if booking online.  If you prefer you can buy your tickets from Ash’s store or by calling Orpen players on 01206 241048.

Supper & Cinderella

The Treble Tile and the Orpen Players have joined together in an initiative designed to provide a special night out in the village for their patrons. They are offering a special ticket that entitles the bearer to a meal followed by an evening’s entertainment.

The Treble Tile menu will consist of a choice from bangers and mash, fish and chips or a vegetarian option, a glass of house wine or pint of beer and a cup of tea or coffee.  The combination ticket of £20 will get you a meal at 6pm giving you time to take your (included) seats for the show, these tickets must be booked in advance directly with the Treble Tile on 01206 241712.

Results of Village Bulletin Annual Quiz 2013

Orpen Players - Winners of Annual Quiz 2013
Orpen Players – Winners of Annual Quiz 2013
Bernard Colbron presenting runners-up prizes
Bernard Colbron presenting runners-up prizes

Village Bulletin Annual Quiz

The Quiz Night organised by the Village Bulletin Team was held in September and was a great success, with twelve teams entering.  They were all from local organisations or a groups of friends, as the criteria for entry is that at least part of the team must be residents of West Bergholt.

The quizmaster was Susan Leng who also wrote the questions.  Some teams surprised themselves with how much they knew on certain subjects – and when they did well, they wished they had played their joker, which  doubles the team’s points in that round!  However, each team distinguished themselves in some way and the team with two teenagers congratulated themselves on having someone who knew an answer about  “Grand Theft Auto V”.

Quiz in aid of Teenage Cancer TrustBernard Colbron, editor of the Bulletin, kept the scoreboard up to date.  Other members of the team ably assisted with marking, and distributing answer sheets as well as refreshments and a big raffle.  With two extra helpers the evening ran very smoothly, and, thanks to the Parish Council who kindly allowed the use of the Orpen Hall free, the evening raised £270 for “The Teenage Cancer Trust” which is very dear to the hearts of many people in West Bergholt.

The final winners, after a closely run contest, who went home with the Challenge Cup, were  The Orpen Players.   They were also the previous winners – will they make it a hat-trick next year ?  The runner-up  prize went to a family team from Albany Road – they too are determined to capture the cup next year !    Come along and join us next time, and see if you can be “The Brains of Bergholt”

Unfinished Business – a ‘whodunnit comedy farce’

Unfinished Business – a ‘whodunnit comedy farce’

whodunnitThe Orpen Players present The World Premier of a ‘whodunnit comedy farce’ Unfinished Business by local playwright David Wenden.

Directed by Andrew Bott.

Who killed the policeman? Who killed the treasure seeker? A stormy night, a lonely cottage and a sweet little old lady are the ingredients for this wickedly funny spoof ‘whodunnit’!

Performance dates

  • Thur  24th October 2013     8pm     £6
  • Fri     25th October 2013.    8pm     £7
  • Sat    26th October 2013     8pm     £7
Doors open 30 minutes before performance.

Venue: The Orpen Memorial Hall, West Bergholt.

Tickets available NOW online at  or by calling Roger Milne 01206 241048 also available at Ash’s Store West Bergholt from 12th October.

New!!  Special offer for Supper & a Show

Supper & Show in conjunction with The Treble Tile of West Bergholt – £20 buys you a show ticket and supper from special menu – for details contact The Treble Tile 01206 241712