Honington seeks lottery money to replace its packing case village hall

Village Feature - Honington''Pictured: Parish Chairman Rob Williams
Village Feature - Honington''Pictured: Parish Chairman Rob Williams
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The aluminium cladding on Honington village hall hides both its age and condition.

It was added in the mid-1980s but parish council chairman Rob Williams said the structure beneath that was moved there just after the war from RAF Honington, where it was the church. It is now rotting.

Village Feature - Honington

Village Feature - Honington

“It was almost entirely made of wood from packing cases,” he said.

So the village is now trying to secure Lottery funding to replace it and has an active team keeping track of the application.

If they get the money it is expected to take three months to build the new hall during which time Honington Primary School and the RAF base have offered accommodation for village groups and events.

Mr Williams said the village has close links with RAF Honington with The Fox pub holding successful fund raising campaigns for military charities and units there.

Village Feature - Honington

Village Feature - Honington

They include five squadrons of the RAF Regiment, the RAF’s Regional Rehabilitation Unit and 1 Royal Tank Regiment.

The pub’s star achievement was to raise more than £1,500 in a year for the Rehabilitation Centre.

The money went towards furnishings in a leisure area named after David Croft, one of the creators of Dads’ Army, who lived in the village until his death in May 2012.

The base also provides help with local events, including last weekend’s Euston Rural Pastimes Show.

David Croft’s knowledge of the village means it and the area around it can be recognised in some episodes.

David Croft was not the village’s only creative son.

Poet Robert Bloomfield was born there in 1766, the son of the village school teacher.

His first poem was published when he was 20 but it was in 1800 that Suffolk squire Capel Lofft ensured his book The Farmer’s Boy was published.

Within three years it went through seven editions, selling 26,000 copies. He died in 1823.

Honington Primary School is getting two new classrooms as part of the change to a two-tier education system, but its catchment area goes well beyond Honington to surrounding villages.

Children from the school also helped Honington’s Blackborne Tree Group to grow and plant trees in their 1.5 acre plot beside the River Blackborne, which is owned by Euston Estate. A new addition this year was a wild flower meadow, which put on a colourful display in spring.