Guildhall Finchingfield

Living History

Open Gardens success

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Thanks to all that visited our first open gardens in over 25 years. We were helped by having reasonable weather, great volunteers, and a lovely variety of gardens. We will definitely do it again next year.

A new group setting up at the Guildhall

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After the success of the menopause evening, we took the views of all that attended and decided that an informal get together on a regular basis would be fun and useful. So We are going to set a date...very soon.  The idea is we connect and share useful information. We can have more themed evenings, outings, different skills shared. Anything is up for grabs. If you have any ideas do get in touch through the contact page of this website.

December Wine tasting

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Baythorne wines came to the Guildhall at the beginning of December to share 24 wines with us.

George Unwin shared his expertise with us and gave a fascinating insight into some of the wines on offer which were discounted especially for our event.

Apologies to all those who tried to buy tickets last minute, but due to the popularity of the event we sold out sooner than expected.

Delicous canapes and great company made for a thoroughly Christmassy event.  We will be holding more next year, so book early.

Victorian Christmas fair

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Once again we returned to the Victorian era to create an enchanting setting for our fair.  The children made their own gifts and talked to the Victorian characters, wrote letters to Father Christmas and listened to  Charles Dickens. The musicians were playing flutes and the Hurdy gurdy as we sang carols round the tree, and so we beckoned Christmas for another year eating delicious cakes and homemade treats.

Thanks to all our volunteers who dressed up, served and created. Many thanks to The Company of Merrie Folke who helped to make this occasion special.

Seeking relatives of Eliza Vaughan

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Finchingfield Guildhall is planning to reproduce some of the sketches and writings of Eliza Vaughan and we want to get in touch with her relatives. 

She came to Finchingfield in 1864 as the one year old daughter of Matthew Vaughan when he was appointed Vicar of Finchingfield Parish. At that time she had six brothers. Her father died after 25 years in charge of the Parish and she and her mother moved to Kelvedon.

In 1895, after her mother died, she moved to Rayne where she set about writing 4 books.

We want to contact her family and would appreciate any information that might help in this or if you know anything about her.

please get in touch through our contact page.


Coffee morning to go weekly

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Due to popular demand (as they say) we will run coffee mornings on a weekly basis rather than every other week. With the chilly days approaching we thought we should have our gatherings in the cosy environment of the Guildhall on a more frequent basis certainly to get us all through winter.

Turning Tudor 2016

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This year we had our 2nd Tudor event spilling onto the green and into the churchyard and of course in the Guildhall itself.

A great success amongst the visitors, volunteers and re-enactors. Here are a few of the images captured from the event. Have a look in our galleries as well.

Queens tea

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What a lovely afternoon we had. Setting up for the tea my heart sank as the clouds gathered, but we had a steady stream of customers, and sold a goodly (a new word) quantity of homemade cakes. 

The Guildhall really is a very versatile space and always looks magical with a bit of thought and decoration.

I was so inspired that I thought, why not do this on a monthly basis, and maybe theme it. So watch this space. It could be a French tea party next!

60s and 70s evening

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GH decorated ready for the 60s 70s evening

GH decorated ready for the 60s 70s evening

The Guildhall went a little retro with our 60s and 70s evening. We started off the evening with a lovely meal designed to reflect the new take away age, and the extravagant cakes featured in glossy new cookbooks of the era.

The Hoxton Hobo's played great sets, showing off their versatility as musicians.

Next came the fiendish quiz which Damon had devised. The Hoxton Hobo's carried off the prize for their extensive knowledge of all things pop and rock.

Thanks to all who supported our evening, it was a hoot.

WW1 pulls in the crowds

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Munitions worker, and cafe waitress 

Munitions worker, and cafe waitress 

Last weekend with the help of some glorious spring weather on Sunday, the Guildhall was filled with a constant stream of visitors from all over the region.  WW1 "behind the scenes" was brought to life by our wonderful re-enactors. The Guildhall volunteers worked solidly for 6 hours each day to feed and water the visitors in our 'National Kitchen.' See you in August for the Tudor Fair!

MP loves cake

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James Cleverly visited the Guildhall to have talks about the future of the bridge in Finchingfield. The team took him on a guided tour of the Hall and chatted about our fundraising plans.

James like all well brought up MPs sent a very gracious Thank you letter. The highpoint for Kiki Wood, manager was his parting comment. "It would be wrong of me not to acknowledge and thank you also for the delicious Tunisian Orange Cake!"  We include a picture of James and the cake in this post.  They have not recently been seen together.

Victorian weekend success

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We have just had our living history Victorian weekend at the Guildhall with our Victorian friends to  help us make the event another great success. The hall was decked with holly and ivy, hung with silhouettes and decorated with Victoiran artefacts. Though the weather was a tad on the blustery side, we had a good turn out with visitors all the way from Southend who had read about the event in their local paper.

BBC Essex gave us a couple of plugs, and Saffron Walden Reporter will hopefully be publishing some pictures this week.

We  had a Victorian feast the week before with an amazing 3 course meal including 4 different puddings. Much fun was had with parlour games from roguish Charlie the chimney sweep and the butler Mr Williams.

There seems to be much call for a 60s evening in the new year. We will let you know!

Gael Selwood exhibition

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Gael Selwood had a fantastic solo show at the Guildhall, and has inspired us to hold exhibitions on a regular basis. Gael who manned the show with help from the volunteers, met hundreds of visitors and sold a considerable amount of paintings.  A visit from the press, and an interview with BBC Essex helped spread the word, resulting in people coming some distance to see her exquisite botanical paints and prints.

Gael we will miss you!

Christine Walkden evening

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Many thanks to Christine Walkden for hosting a gardening question time at the Guildhall. We had a full house with some novice and other more experienced gardeners posing questions. Christine was particularly forthcoming on what to do about slugs!

Turning Tudor at the Guildhall

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Visitor numbers at the first Turning Tudor weekend at the Guildhall were high, and the event was a resounding success.  On Friday as we set up with 'The Companie of Merrie Folke' in the pouring rain, we were not optimistic about attendance, but the word was out and we were kept busy for 6 hours on each day.

As a result of this success, we will be creating a Victorian Christmas fayre along with our good friends 'The Compayne of Merrie Folke' on the 28th and 29th of November.


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Our first Tudor feast took place yesterday, and was enjoyed by us all, guests and those who organised and took part.  Things took a slightly surreal turn when Alison Hammond of 'Strictly, and 'This Morning' appeared to use our loos whilst filming in the village. She came in to take photos and clearly thought we regularly dressed up and had feasts as a village tradition.  Well maybe we should!  

Donation from the John and Ruth Howard Charitable Trust

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We have had some great news.  It comes in the form of a cheque for £5,000 from the John and Ruth Howard Charitable Trust.   This is a charity that is interested in supporting the preservation and restoration of buildings such as the Guildhall.  

In this case they have given money for the work done to preserve the doors in the building.

In the passage through to the churchyard are doors that were an important part of the Guildhall.  It was here that craftsmen sold their products and the poor were given clothing and food.

During the restoration of the Guildhall some of the old timber in the doors was reused and new oak designed to fit the repairs. One of these doors is to the ground floor toilet which was a lockup in times past.

These are an important part of the restoration of the Guildhall and we are very grateful to the John and Ruth Howard Charitable Trust for their generous donation.


WW2 exhibition

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We closed the doors on the WW2 exhibition on Sunday, already thinking about future possible historical exhibitions.  We had great feedback, and we all thoroughly enjoyed being transported back in time.  Thanks to everyone who manned the exhibition, an lent us the artefacts and props to make a successful display.

We have a number of mounted posters from the exhibition available to buy, so if you would like to buy any get in touch through our contact page.

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