PLENTY GOING ON: Stainton Village Hall committee member Tam Smith with the roll of honour. He is asking people to get in touch with information about those named on the document
PLENTY GOING ON: Stainton Village Hall committee member Tam Smith with the roll of honour. He is asking people to get in touch with information about those named on the document

THEME nights, a fun run and a First World War commemoration are just some of the events a busy village hall has planned for the coming weeks.

Stainton Village Hall is setting itself up as a hive of activity that is bringing its community closer together.

Recently the hall committee held their first gin night, which helped raise cash to keep the venue going.

The committee has also introduced theme nights, including Chinese and Cockney evenings and a Scottish Burns Night, which regularly attract about 50 people.

Committee member Debbie Williams said: “It just fosters a community spirit and it has brought more people into the hall.”

These events also attracted new, younger faces onto the committee.

The latest of the theme nights, which take place every other month, is a Stainton Bake Off, planned for October which will see villagers put their cookery skills against each other.

However, next on the hall’s programme of events is the annual Christine Brass Memorial 5k race and 1.2k fun run on Sunday, September 16.

Named in memory of committed village hall supporter and runner Christine Brass, who ran in the Boston Marathon and, along with husband Barry, competed in the first race to be chip-timed, the fun run kicks off at 10.30am. It sees competitors complete a circuit on land owned by Dennis Hinchcliffe, of Teesdale Event and Site Services. The main race follows at 11am.

Participants should arrive at the hall by 10am to collect their numbers and can enjoy refreshments in the hall afterwards.

Last year almost 70 runners took part.

Organiser Amanda Pettitt said: “This year we are hoping to boost the number with the Up and Running group, which are coming from Darlington.”

A more sombre occasion at the hall will be a First World War afternoon tea where people will commemorate villagers who took part in the conflict.

Committee member Tam Smith is currently researching the names of those who were involved and is appealing for any with information to get in contact.

Mrs Pettitt said: “Research is being undertaken to identify which houses they lived in. [It will be a] Remembrance celebration of those from the village that are mentioned on a plaque in the hall, one of whom is the Queen's uncle.”

The committee is writing to Her Majesty informing her that her uncle forms part of the village's commemoration.

Mr Smith added that the queen has a close association with the village because of the queen mother being part of the Bowes Lyon family, which owned nearby Streatlam Castle. The queen often visited the area as a child.

People in the village still talk about how the little princesses would buy their sweets from the village Post Office, he said.

The village’s roll of honour, which hangs in the hall, is to be reframed for the occasion and a “wall of poppies” is being organised by Sue Foulston, from the village, to run down the front of the hall and entrance steps.

A bugler will perform on the day and frames commemorating each of the soldiers who died will be put up around the venue.

The committee would particularly like descendants of those involved in the conflict to help with the research and also to attend the remembrance event.

Anyone who can help with the research can contact Mr Smith by email tam_b_smith

For more about events at the hall visit thevillagehalls.