Forncett Village Hall: Low Road, Forncett St Mary, Norfolk NR16 1JG

Murder Mystery Oct 17

Written by Brian Frith.

'St. Flora of the Lake', our second Murder Mystery play, was another resounding success. Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the evenings either by preparing and serving food, manning the bar, collecting and building the stage (thanks to the school for lending us this) and general preparation and clearing away ....... and of course everyone in the audience who came along to support us.

Sarah Allen writes :

'Ghostly Goings-on at the Murder Mystery'

On the 13th and 14th October two full houses witnessed the second murder in Forncett this year. The victim was the sleazy and lecherous George Allen, played with alarming ease by Peter Schmidt-Hansen. Murdered on the anniversary of the death of St Flora, who drowned with her young son in 1612, suspicion turned to some ghostly intervention. However the audience had other ideas. Could the murderer have been farmer Jack Farrow (Norman Stevens) who stood to gain financially from George's death? Or the deranged vicar’s wife Florence and her protective husband, played by real life wife and husband team Dee and Nigel Youngman? Or even the timid young girl Josie Carter (Alex Preece)? Suspicion even turned to a Machiavellian plot by the bickering couple Ruth and Arthur Thomas, played by April Carlin and Terry Hickman Smith.

Inspector Halfpenny (John Wilde), of the Tas Valley Police, investigated and his persistence was rewarded with a confession from Josie. Another entertaining mystery in which Brian Frith (stage manager) had an off-stage cameo role as Sergeant Jones and in which a teddy bear was implicated as the murder weapon. The play was again written by April Carlin, and thanks must go to Gill Starkie as director and Margaret Hickman Smith as prompt.

If there are any more dastardly deeds in village we'll have to ask the Parish Council to start twinning procedures with Midsomer. 

The full cast (see main text for names etc)

Photos by Anne Frith: Click pic for slide show

Full cast list (from first photo):

From the left: Peter Schmidt-Hansen (George Allen); Nigel Youngman (Vicar); John Wilde (Inspector Halfpenny); Alex Preece (Josie Carter); April Carlin (Ruth Thomas); Norman Stevens (Jack Farrow); Terry Hickman Smith (Arthur Thomas); Dee Youngman (Florence)


'Big C' Charity BBQ and Music Evening

Written by Brian Frith.

This year it was decided that our 'end of season' BBQ and Music night should be a fund-raiser for the Norfolk 'Big C' Cancer Care Charity.  Singer Eileen Mascoll gave a great performance (free of charge) to aid the cause - featuring various well known pop, reggae and soul music songs to keep everyone entertained.  The weather, having looked a bit 'iffy' earlier in the day, turned out to be very kind bringing ourt the crowds and making a memorable evening for all involved.  With raffle, BBQ, Bar and donations the total raised was £825.64 - a great result.  Thanks to all who contributed in any way.

Certificate of thanks from Big C

Photos by Phil Whiscombe: Click pic for slide show



Murder Mystery Feb 17

Written by Brian Frith.

Photos of the Murder Mystery play 'Murder at the Village Hall' on Saturday and Sunday 18th and 19th February 2017.  

The full cast (see main text for names etc)

Photos by Anne Frith and John Wilde

Click pic for slide show

Full cast list (from first photo):

Back Row: Sheila Gale (Prompt); John Wilde (Inspector Halfpenny); Sarah House (the late Lavinia, Lady Forncett, Chair of the Committee)
Front Row: April Carlin (Peggy); Peter Schmidt-Hansen (Norman); Gill Starkie (Saffron); Brian Frith (Reg); Jackie Smith (Millicent); Graham Gale (Hugo, Lord Forncett)

To all users of Forncett Village Hall – August 2016

Written by Brian Frith.

Update (December 16):

Most of the improvements mentioned below are now complete - just some work on the car park is still to come.  New floor, chairs, cooker, electrical systems, outside lights, railings and gates all serve to improve the appearance and functionality of the Hall.  Thanks to everyone who has helped in any way!

Original Article (August 16):

As you will be probably be aware, we have just had new floor covering installed in the Village Hall, and in the coming few weeks there will be new chairs, upgraded electrics and a new, larger, cooker and hob. Outside we will also be ‘re-grading’ the surface of the car park and installing railings around much of the edge of the car park, along with improved lighting. These changes follow the works a couple of years ago, which saw the arrival of new doors, windows, fascia, guttering, septic tank, lights and internal and external painting.

All these improvements are possible because of the hard work, over several years, of the Management Committee and fundraising group at the Village Hall, which has generated funds through special events and secured grants from National Lottery, South Norfolk Council and other grant providers, along with monies held by Forncett Parish Council - and, of course, the support of our users and the wider community.

The main purpose of this letter is to draw your attention to, and seek your cooperation with, the guidelines for use of the flooring, which have been passed on by the manufacturers and installers.

The floor is commercial quality vinyl sheet, meeting all the latest ‘non-slip’ regulations. It is very durable and has put an end to the inherently dusty surface of the old plywood sheets, but we need all users to follow these few guidelines:

• Do not drag items across the floor – lift them! The possibility of a deep ‘gouge’ caused by dragging a sharp, heavy, object is the main problem we have been warned about, as it would be with any new surface.
• Do not allow any cleaning chemicals / polishes to get on the floor.
• Any spillages (e.g. a drink) should be mopped up as quickly as possible and the floor wiped (not flooded!) with clean water, with perhaps just a trace of ‘Fairy Liquid’ if there is any ‘stickiness’ to be removed. If you do have a ‘terrible accident’ (e.g. with a pot of paint!) please let us know without delay so that we can take professional advice on how to clean up.
• Sand should not be used in the Hall, as this is especially difficult to remove and will quickly damage the surface.
• Footwear likely to damage the floor should not be worn.
• At the end of your use of the Hall sweep the floor with the large brush or ‘scissor mop’ to remove dust, grit etc.
• We have new chairs arriving in September, which will have ‘safe’ feet. In the meantime, the chairs currently in the chair store have all been checked and have protectors fitted so are safe to use. If you notice that a chair leg loses its ‘foot’ please take the chair out of service and label it as such. If you bring any other tables or chairs they must be checked for sharp, open, tubular legs and set aside if there is a problem.

Thank you.

If you have any queries or observations about the contents of this letter or any other aspect of the Village Hall, please do not hesitate to get in contact.

Brian Frith, Chair of Forncett Village Hall Management Committee
01953 789882 email:

Internal Re-decoration of the Village Hall

Written by Brian Frith.

Update Sunday 23rd February:

The work is now all but finished:  thanks to all who helped in any way thought the half-term week - in all about 16 different people were involved.

The work to redecorate the inside of the Village Hall started as planned on Saturday 15th February (the start of half-term week) and after removal of all the notice boards and other wall fitttings, the first coat was already being applied later in the morning, as can be seen by the photo below.  

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Photo by Brian Frith
(click to enlarge)

Work continued on Sunday in the main hall and by early afternoon all trace of the green paint had disappeared after a first coat on all the walls - just goes to show what can be done by a team of 14 willing helpers - spurred on by a plentiful supply of tea and coffee and the promise of bacon and egg rolls for lunch!

Throughout the week contributions from several groups of people ensured that all the major work was finished in time the 'Pudding Night' on Saturday 22nd February.