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Grand Opening of Highwood Village Hall

July 16th 2011 - The Grand Opening of the new Highwood Village Hall was an exciting occasion attended by over 300 supporters of the local community.

Graham Gooch OBE officially opened the Hall, unveiling a commemorative plaque with David Cameron (Chairman of the Highwood Parish Council) and Petra Pipkin (Highwood Village Hall Committee) and then kindly signing autographs for his cricketing fans.

David Cameron welcomed everyone in his opening speech and thanked all the grant providers, financial supporters, volunteers, the Highwood Village Hall Committee for all their hard work and especially Petra whose vision and dedication made the project possible. Graham Gooch praised the community for building the new sustainable facility and Kate Millner, (art teacher from Highwood Primary School) explained how the children, parents, governors and staff came together to create an inspirational artwork depicting how the Village Hall would promote community inclusiveness, opportunity, and hope.

Notable guests included HM Lord Lieutenant of Essex Lord Petre, Rt. Hon Sir Alan Haselhurst MP, Cllr Rodney Bass Chairman of Essex County Council, The Deputy Mayor and Mayoress of Chelmsford Borough Council, representatives from key grant providers / financial sponsors and over 300 residents from the local community.

The day continued with music and dancing from the Chelmsford Morris Men and Women www.chelmsfordmorris.co.uk, a Country and Western dance display from Highwood Primary School and celebratory teas and cakes given to all!

Outside the summer fete continued despite the rain, with sideshows and stalls including storytelling from Kate Millner of www.fallenmoon.co.uk, a climbing wall, face painting, tombolas, coconut shy, BBQ, home-made produce and craft stalls.

This was followed in the evening with a celebratory party and sumptuous meal kindly prepared and donated by Damon Godding of Spencer Anne's Catering www.spencerannescatering.co.uk accompanied by a cabaret magician and live music.

On Sunday 17th the Rev. D Michael Jones held a service of worship and thanksgiving in the new Hall for the community which concluded the weekend of celebrations.

Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make our Grand Opening Event such a great success, especially every member of the Village Hall Committee and all the wonderful hard working volunteers.

Thanks also to local community who came along, despite the rain, to support our new Village Hall.

Photographs of our special day !