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History

Adastra Hall - Hassocks Community Association

The Hassocks Community Association owns the Adastra Hall, which is held on Lease to the Parish Council.     It was formed in 1976 as a Registered Charity under the Chairmanship of Dick Hall and it was charged primarily with the rebuilding of the old Adastra Hall. The Charity number is 277606.

The Adastra Hall was originally an army hut used during the First World War and was donated to the people of Hassocks by the Stafford family to provide a temporary community building in Adastra Park.  During the Second World War, the hall was used as a canteen, run by the local community for service men stationed in the area.   After the War, the old building continued to be used by local residents.   However it no longer provided the type of facilities required by those who wished to enjoy a wider range of leisure pursuits.

During 1980, Dick Hall decided to start the ball rolling by getting together a small ‘working party’ to push for the building of a village community centre with a programme to be spear-headed by a volunteer architect Tony Reynolds.  This ‘working party’ then became the basis of the Hassocks Community Association and negotiations began with relevant Authorities, which resulted in the location of the agreed present site of the new Adastra Hall.   In November 1980 a Fund Raising Committee chaired by Mr. Harry Matthews was formed.  Over the next few years, many fund raising events were promoted and residents at that time will recall the regular weekly lottery at the old yellow kiosk in the Service Station Garage forecourt opposite Orion Parade.    Hassocks Fayre was revived and both provided valuable funds.   At that stage a number of legacies were donated helping the cause.   All efforts were then made into getting the Hall into the form of ‘bricks and mortar’.

In early 1986 with these funds, also grants from local Councils and loans from the Sports Council etc. sufficient money had been accumulated to enable Architect’s plans to be drawn up and a contract placed for the erection of the present Adastra Hall.

The Hall was opened in May 1987 and since that time it has continued to function with increasing success and prosperity in providing a venue for such activities as concerts, dances, group and Society meetings, parties, wedding receptions, craft fairs and a Polling Station plus a host of other events.   Bookings are up and we are already taking these for following year.

Although the Hassocks Community Association owns the Hall, the Adastra Hall Management Committee actually run it and is responsible for bookings. Much of the maintenance is performed in-house by Committee volunteers which keeps the hire charges low.     The Management Committee is composed of representatives of the Community Association, Mid Sussex District Council, Hassocks Parish Council and affiliated groups and society members of the Association and is chaired by John Gargett – all volunteers.

The Adastra Hall is a credit to the village. Hirers (not only from Hassocks) compliment the Committee on the high standard of the Hall with its various facilities.   It has a large main hall; a large kitchen; a Green Room behind the stage which has a small kitchen and is ideal for smaller gatherings such as children’s parties.  This room is soundproofed which enables the room and the hall to be used at the same time without disturbance from the other.   There is also a Committee Room.     

As the Adastra Hall is over twenty five years old, major work has been necessary.   The main kitchen has been totally refurbished with new fridge, dishwasher, small freezer, water urns, sink area, gas stove and bain marie.       The ladies and men’s toilets have been refurbished and the disabled toilet decorated.    (See ‘Facilities’).   The Management Committee has obtained grants for some of this work, but fund raising is necessary.     

The Hassocks Community Association would like to thank many people for helping it along its way over the years - the late Harry Matthews, the late Dick Hall and Peter Martin to name only a very few - our thanks to all of you.   Dick Hall was elected in the 1980’s as President but resigned in June 2006 aged eighty nine as he felt it was time to ‘wind down’!     Peter Martin was elected to take his place.   Dick Hall died in February 2009.

This is the Hassocks Community Association of the Twenty First Century chaired by Val Purdew and backed by a first class enthusiastic, dedicated and hard working Management Committee, which is headed by John Gargett.