Getting active in Sutton St James

It is often the case in village life that if someone is willing to work for the community in one capacity they frequently find themselves serving on a number of committees.

So it is with parish councillor Chris Griggs, who is also chairman of the village hall committee.

Stepping out: Chis Griggs (far left) and Carole Griggs (front) and last Thursday's walking group. SG311013-113NG

Stepping out: Chis Griggs (far left) and Carole Griggs (front) and last Thursday's walking group. SG311013-113NG

His wife Carole, who is a member of the Sutton St James Women’s Group is also vice-chairman of the hall committee.

Carole also organises the walking group, along with Cheryl Collins and Ann Melchard, that puts on weekly Thursday walks ranging from three to five miles for anything from six to 26 people.

Half a dozen of the walkers have trained to lead the group on their expeditions.

The number of people who turn up depends on the weather and the time of year, but Chris and Carole say the walks are not too energetic and always finish in the village hall with a hot drinks and biscuits.

The group occasionally travels elsewhere for walks and a pub lunch.

The hall is used for a number of other activities, such as bingo twice a month on a Monday for over 100 people; Good Companions which meets on a Wednesday afternoon and holds its own bingo session once a month; as well as exercise classes, line dancing, a book club, weddings, parties and more.

Chris says the village hall was built in 1995 with money raised – and sometimes loaned – by villagers, and it is all paid for now.

However, he says the hall has to make at least £10,000 a year to cover costs.