Village Focus: Community centre is thriving heart of Whepstead

Whepstead Community Hall
Whepstead Community Hall
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Lacking a school and shop, the heart of Whepstead is its thriving community centre which beats along with a hive of activity.

Keep Fit for the over 40s, a tea dance, WI, carpet bowls and a social club Hips and Haws are among a rich tapestry of events weaving together the village’s community spirit.

Whepstead village focus.

Whepstead village focus.

Overseeing it all is the Whepstead Community Association, whose chairman is former village postie Jenny Botting.

She says: “It’s very friendly here. Obviously you get out of the village what you’re prepared to put in and this applies anywhere.”

The association always endeavours to put something in and its latest project is a major revamp of the community centre car park. This includes installing lighting, spaces for the disabled and some form of speed restrictions.

Mrs Botting, who has lived in the village for 33 years, says: “That’s a major task at the moment. We’re going forward for grants and we’re fund-raising.”

Also on the horizon is the highly anticipated scarecrow, sale trail and car boot sale on Saturday, August 17, with residents creating scarecrows to display in their front gardens.

Scarecrows will still be out to view the following day and cream teas available at the community centre.

Meanwhile, the community association is launching a new venture with a chocolate bingo evening on September 21 when all prizes will be chocolate related.

Following in the footsteps of Hartest Farmer’s Market, the village is to launch its own country market on September 28.

Strengthening the community links are the village’s two churches – St Petronilla’s and Whepstead Baptist.

Graham O’Dell, chairman of the village parish council, adds: “It’s a fantastic place and there’s quite a lot going on. When we came here everybody made me feel so welcome.

“It’s a really lovely area and we were just so fortunate picking a village where everybody is so friendly.”