Join Our Network

A ‘Choctastic’ pub night… Lord Thurlow Community Hall is refurbished and ready to go!

What does community mean to you? The dictionary defines community as
“a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common” but in a world becoming more virtual, remote and sometimes divided the term community takes on a bigger role.

For me community is about togetherness, coming together for a shared purpose and connecting with those around you. All communities need a heart, a focus point to draw people together and for a long-time village halls have provided this. It is easy to underestimate the role village halls play within their communities so it was timely that on the Saturday leading up to #VillageHallsWeek, we were invited to the open day of the Lord Thurlow Community Hall in Great Ashfield.

This beautiful village hall is packed with history and has just undergone significant renovations making in an ideal venue for community events now and in the future. Simon Laidler, the Chair of the Village Hall Committee told us how these improvements have come about. The history of the hall is an important feature of the refurb, the ‘Future 50’ project recognises the 50 years since the hall was passed to the Great Ashfield community from Lord Thurlow. The hall was originally built as a school for the village in 1875 by Lord Thurlow before being signed over to the village in 1973 for community use. It has played host to a number of community events over the years but to be ready for the next 50 years the committee have worked hard to make this charming hall and warm and welcoming venue for modern community events.

The open day show cased the new and improved hall which is now bright, full of character and packed with all the mod cons you could need. The renovations include a new kitchen, changes to the bar layout, a beautiful oak front door and improved accessibility. The highlight was witnessing the all-important ribbon cut being carried out by a group of ex-pupils of Great Ashfield School!

The Lord Thurlow Community Hall is now ready to be the beating heart of the community again and already has events booked in, my favourite is the ‘Choctastic’ pub night taking place on 5th April but if that’s not for you the hall will play host to a scarecrow festival, a quiz night and an open garden amongst other things.

The hall is also available to hire for meetings, parties, family occasions etc, it can hold 120 people and thanks to the new refurbishment it now has a fully equipped catering level kitchen.

The success of the Lord Thurlow Community Hall is one echoed around Suffolk. Our village halls are often driven by the hard work and commitment of volunteer committees who work tirelessly to fund raise, find grants and keep everything quietly ticking along behind the scenes. It is why #VillageHallsWeek is an important time to thank all of those dedicated individuals who give our communities a place to come together. So on behalf of CAS thank you to everyone involved in the running of Suffolk’s village halls and congratulations to the team at Lord Thurlow Community Hall.

If you would like to find out more about the Lord Thurlow Community Hall visit VILLAGE HALL » GREAT ASHFIELD VILLAGE (

For bookings contact Carol White, [email protected], 01359 240780

How can CAS support village halls?

Community Action Suffolk (CAS) offers an advice and support service specifically tailored to village halls and community building trustees, managers and volunteers on the various aspects associated with operating these facilities. We have an online shop where you can find village hall and community buildings information sheets and model documents. We can offer support regarding safeguarding, we oversee and we even have a subsidiary which can provide village hall insurance, see here for further details

If you need support looking for funding opportunities you may be interested in Funding 4 Suffolk. Funding 4 Suffolk is a completely free portal allowing those who use it easy access to hundreds of grant options. It includes a useful filtering system and alerts function. The portal is a great way to save time when looking for grant opportunities and makes the whole process so much easier. To find out more visit