AUTUMN HIGHLIGHTS: Scarth Hall chairman Morris Race and sound technician Don Surtees prepare for a busy autumn programme of events
AUTUMN HIGHLIGHTS: Scarth Hall chairman Morris Race and sound technician Don Surtees prepare for a busy autumn programme of events

TRUE to its motto as “a hall for all” officials at one dale village complex have drawn up an autumn programme that has something for everyone.

From community cafes to a two-day beer festival, Staindrop’s Scarth Memorial Hall venue is set to be a hive of activity during the coming months.

Launched just two weeks ago, the community cafe takes place every Monday between 9am and noon with people invited in for a chat, cuppa and home-made cakes and bakes.

Scarth Hall chairman Morris Race said: “We started in the bistro [kitchen area]. It grew so much in two weeks we had to move it into the hall. People come and go but we had 40 plus.”

Cakes and bakes are produced by hall volunteers and all cash goes towards keeping the hall running.

First event of the autumn programme is Last Night of the Proms on Saturday, September 8. People can listen to the hall’s resident ukulele band ahead of the live screening of the BBC broadcast. Doors open at 6pm and the ticket price includes a pie and peas supper. A full bar is available.

Final preparations for The Mysteries – a cycle of plays about six locations including Staindrop – are underway for Friday, September 21, and Saturday, September 22. More details will feature on the hall’s website soon.

The seventh Scarth Hall Beer and Music Festival gets under way on Friday, September 28.

The two-day-event has become renowned for attracting some of the best musical talent in the North and this year is no different.

Headline act for the Friday night is the Rock Roses, with Making Plans also playing.

Mr Race said: “They [Rock Roses] played at tea time last year and they were brilliant. We thought they are better as the main act.”

Multi-talented Kirsty McLaughlan opens the line -up on Saturday, September 29. Mr Race said: “She is winning loads of junior awards at folk festivals. She does her own music and covers. Then we have Sister Act, who are multi-instrumentalists. They have played at the Old Well during the Barney music festival.

“They love playing here because of the appreciative audience. They do everything from Peter Sarstedt to rock ‘n’ roll and blues. They put on a very good show.”

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The hall’s resident ukulele band, D’ukes of Scarth are next up, followed by Americana band Kitchy Retro and Loose Like a Goose, who have been together since the early seventies.

Mistaken Identity with a country/folk set follow.

CoJo, who do a variety performance including acapella, swapping instruments around and comedy are the penultimate act.

Mr Race said: “You want to hear them do a Zulu chant.”

The Corner Boys headline the day with their variety of blues and rock ‘n’ roll.

Some 15 real ales and ciders will be on sale and a discount is available to CAMRA members. There is also a full bar with a wide variety if gin. The Friday night starts at 7pm, while festivities get underway at noon on the Saturday.

Fun Way To Be comedy club returns to Scarth Hall on Saturday, October 13, when Gavin Webster will present his World Tour show.

The following Saturday, October 20, sees Smokin’ Spitfires take to the Scarth stage.

Formerly the Eastside Torpedoes, the band is billed as the most popular to come out of the North East since the Animals.

Hot Club du Nord gypsy/swing jazz quartet perform on Friday, October 26.

Family fun is the order of the day when the hall presents a Halloween Night on October 27.

For more information about up coming events at Scarth Memorial Hall visit