Melmerby New Village Hall 

                                        Charity no. 520345

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·      General Description

·      Housekeeping at the Hall

·      Functions at the Hall

·      Meetings at the Hall

·      How to book the Hall


General Description


Melmerby New Village Hall was constructed in 2003 and opened by HRH the Prince of Wales in February 2004. It is a modern building with all facilities, but built in a traditional style using sandstone. It is available for hire and can accommodate meetings from small groups up to 200 people. It is possible also to stay overnight using sleeping bags etc. Current hiring rates are moderate and can be obtained from those listed in How to book the Hall.                                    


Access and parking


Coming from Penrith, the Village Hall is up a side road off the A686 as it runs across the large village green, then turn left into Church road (not signed yet, 

but Church visible). A portable (but heavy) notice board is available for help in directing guests.


The Hall has parking spaces for 24 vehicles at the front. Church Road is narrow and in constant use, so other vehicles need to park elsewhere in the village nearby (see sketch map). We hope to tarmac the car park soon. Unfortunately at the moment we do not have permission from the owners to use the loning to the rear of the Hall for access for catering etc. – but ask as the situation may change.


The Hall



consists of a single building with a number of inter-connected rooms within it. These are the Hall itself (14.5m X 8.5m), a large entrance lobby, a Small Meeting room, a rear lobby, an Office, a large storeroom, a fully-equipped kitchen, a servery, and a corridor off which are male and female toilets and disabled toilet/shower room. All rooms have level access to the outside through main (front) side and rear doors, and there are no steps or stairs within the building with full disabled access.


                                                Scale 1:150 approx., North ↓)





The interior of the main Hall has a fine timbered roof. The hall acoustic is excellent for speaking, and especially for music. A modular stage is available from the store room (see below). Blackout curtains for theatre events are in place. There is an induction loop (microphone socket in storeroom).



The small meeting room can accommodate up to 16 people round a table for meetings; alternatively it can be used for serving food etc. It interconnects


with the office area, which can be used to exit the small meeting room and create a circulation path for people. The meeting room can be accessed from the outside through a glass door, which also allows it to be used from the back area. It can be used as a changing room for theatre or performance events, and finally it can be used as a creche if required, with toddler’s play equipment just outside the glass door (see below).




The front lobby is large and can be used as a meeting or breakout room with the side door used as the main entrance.



The kitchen allows access for serving direct to the main Hall

- and the servery allows drinks and food to be delivered direct to the Hall and/or to the rear lobby


The outside area at the side and rear of the Hall


There is a toddler’s playground at the rear of the Hall


The remainder of the rear area can be used to erect a marquee up to 6m X 12m in size, accessed both through the small meeting room doors and the kitchen doors as well as from the side of the Hall. It can be used also for barbecues etc. The side area is grassed and can be used also in good weather, with or without temporary cover.



·     Housekeeping points when using the Hall




During any use of the Hall, fire regulations stipulate that ALL three fire doors MUST REMAIN UNLOCKED – front, side and kitchen. There is no need to unbolt the second part of the front and side doors, but if this is necessary for bulky items, please ensure they are correctly re-bolted afterwards. Locking up will need to be by arrangement with the bookings secretary.


Fire precautions and alarms


If fire is detected by sight or smell, or the fire alarm goes off, evacuation of the Hall should begin to the assembly point in the front car park as directed in the wall signs. Check at the control panel in the lobby where the activated alarm may be and look at this area. If the fire alarm has been triggered by accident or events other than fire, follow the instructions posted next to the control panel in the lobby to silence the alarm, and all may re-enter the Hall. If you want you can use candles on tables etc. in the main hall, but note the alarm system in the main hall is sensitive to rises in temperature. They do not detect smoke, however. Others elsewhere in the Hall DO detect smoke/steam as well – and carbon dioxide “smoke”. Beware of excess steam in the kitchen !


Parking area light


If your event is in the evening in Winter you may want to use the parking area light at the front. A power switch is in the store room, to the left of the fuse box on the right hand wall labelled “outside flood”, and this should be ON. The on/off toggle switch to put the light on is on the outside wall of the Hall, just to the right of the main door when facing out of the Hall. Please switch the “outside flood” to OFF in the storeroom just before leaving (NB: if the light still does not come on, there is a further switch in the base of the light itself which should be in the on position during the Winter: try switching this – it may have been switched off by mistake).




The level of lighting in the main hall can be set or altered by using - or not using - the various wall and roof lights. Please note that in the 10 large double (up and down) wall wash lights, the lower component of each is a mercury vapour lamp. If these are switched off, you cannot switch them on again for 10 minutes, which is a nuisance we will seek to eliminate in the future. The notice by the switches suggests an average illumination, but for lower levels later in the evening at functions etc., the light coming in off the foyer and rear foyer is often sufficient




Remember 5 people is the equivalent of 1 kW fire. We therefore try and deliver the Hall to you rather cool (17-19OC). Spring and Autumn are difficult, though. If needed there are five portable convection heaters in the store room. The fans in the main Hall can be switched on for cooling from the panel in the store room – there is a separate switch clearly marked. If needed, open windows only on the North side of the Hall, away from the nearby houses, and NOT in the main hall itself because of escaping noise.


No smoking policy


The Hall is a “no smoking” building, and fire alarms may be set off if smoking takes place indoors. There is space to smoke under cover outside the front and side doors, and containers with sand in them are provided for cigarette butts, matches etc. Please use them - and bring them back in after use.


Induction loop


An induction loop for the hard of hearing is installed in the main Hall. If you wish to use it, the microphones in use must be plugged in to the appropriate socket in the storeroom and switched on. We do NOT supply a PA system as the general acoustics are so good, but have one on site for small bands etc.




Please note here are a number of recessed sockets in the floor of the main Hall - it is be safer to use these to avoid long cables on which people may trip.


If you plan to use any heavy duty electrical equipment which may not run on ordinary sockets (e.g. major stage lighting), please contact us early on - there is a BS3434 30amp outlet in the store room which MUST be used .


If a fuse “blows” during ordinary use (e.g. a bulb or equipment failure) most of the circuit breakers for the Hall are in the Boiler room at the end of the rear kitchen corridor on the right; these can be flipped back. Please take time to read the notice in the right wall in the foyer also, on how to silence the fire alarm if it should be accidentally triggered – assuming it is safe to do so. Please also read the fire instructions at various points in the building.




The kitchen has most of the usual equipment for up to about 130 people but you may well want to bring more if numbers are large, special items or some things of particular importance. There is a full-size refrigerator with a half size refrigerator in the nearby office, two ovens and a 4-ring hob together with two electric kettles and two 50-cup water boilers for making tea etc. Please ensure that Hall equipment is NOT taken away with yours or your caterers at the end! Remember also kitchens are dangerous places, especially for smaller children, and be on your guard against this – children enter this area at the risk of those supervising them.


Water Main


The tap to turn the mains water supply on and off is the upper (left) of two taps in the bottom cupboard in the kitchen below the main sink (only in case of flood).


Kitchen and other Rubbish


This should be placed, preferably in bags (any colour or size will do) in the large wheelie bin outside behind the kitchen. Please use the recycling bins at the front as appropriate for glass, paper, foil and cans.




You may want either to cater yourself, or use outside caterers of your own choice. If not, there are local caterers who know the Hall well such as Katie Edgar, Fellside, Ousby, CA10 1QB (tel: 01768 881374/ 881401) or Diane Richter, Briar Cottage, Melmerby CA10 (tel 01768 881288 evenings). Wine beer and soft drinks can be obtained locally from our community shop, the Melmerby and Fellside Village Shop (01768 881806, or call in – open up to 6.30 pm every day, except Sundays 5 pm and Sundays 3 pm in Winter; in Sept-March, closes at 11 am on Wednesdays).


Licensing and alcohol


The Hall has an entertainment licence which specifies that all events must finish by 1230 a.m. (12 midnight on Sundays). Giving alcohol away as part of an event (with or without donation of money to a designated charitable fund) is permissible. For sale of alcohol under the 2003 act now in force, unless a personal licence-holder is supplying the alcohol, a temporary event notice (TEN or licence) is necessary. We can supply formsfor this (or you can download from – licensing act forms - last page) – 3 copies to the Licensing Department, EDC Town Hall, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 7QF, giving at least 10 days’ notice; another copy must be given to the Police station in Hunter Lane. Wine, beer spirits etc. are available from the Melmerby and Fellside Community shop in the village (tel: 01768 881806, or visit shop).


And finally… any events involving hypnotism are forbidden by our entertainment license


Please remember, especially in the evening, that people live close nearby and be careful about noise outside, or open windows


We do not have a caretaker; please tidy up and leave the place as you found it. Any damage should be reported, and we reserve the right to recover any costs of damage



·      Special points if you are planning a function at Melmerby Village Hall (party, wedding reception etc.)


Tables and chairs are in the store room. Please use the trolleys and carriers provided.


Up to 110-120 people can be seated at tables in the main Hall, with space for a small area for dancing and a stage for entertainment/ presentations etc. Without these, about 130 can be accommodated. Space other than the main hall can be used in a number of ways. Thus the Foyer can be opened on to the Hall and used as a table area for about another 25 people, with the doors open to the Hall and the side door as the main entrance. The small meeting room can contain a buffet, or act as a space for small children. The (empty) store room has been used as a table area as well with suitable decoration!


The flexible staging (Stagecraft) is in the store room. It is based on units 600 mm high with 8 units each 300 and 1000 mm high, rails, steps, corners etc. All the modules are 70  X 70 cm in area. A blue cloth pelmet can be used for the front of the stage if required. Please note how the units are stored on the trolleys : remember NOT to overload one trolley when putting it away. It is also better to alternate (roughly) frames and boards, which makes retrieval easier. Please do NOT stack stage units on the floor - only on the trolleys.


We prefer decorations to be hung either from the beams, or from the corbel round the walls (steps in store room). Please don’t use bluetack or other adhesive on the walls, although this is OK on the wood.


Theatre events


Staging is available as detailed above. The small committee room can be used as a green room, which permits entry to the hall from front or rear, though the front foyer and the store-room, or the back corridor through the kitchen (see plan above). Blackout curtains are in situ can be used to cover the windows on to the foyer if needed, plus a curtain to cover the window in the kitchen door (only a rail is in place).  Most lighting can use the ordinary sockets, but if you have heavy amperage lighting, then the BS 3434 socket in the store must be used for this.


·      Special points if you are planning a Meeting at Melmerby Village Hall 


The Hall is an ideal rural setting for small (12-25) or medium-sized meetings (50 -120 people) : the Main Hall will accommodate:


                Up to 200 standing with occasional tables (legal maximum 230)

                  or:  132 seated in rows without a gangway (11 rows of 11 seats)

                  or: 110 seated in rows of chairs with a gangway (11 X  6+4 or 5+5)

                                or: 110 seated around tables

                                or: 70 in rows seated behind tables


Seating may be arranged to face the East end of the Hall (away from the kitchen) or the long North wall (see plan). The former allows greater numbers, and the figures above are based on this layout. Thus using the layout facing the long wall “loses” about 15 or 20 seats on each arrangement.


The Small Meetings Room (which can be hired in isolation for a very small meeting) will accommodate a parallel session or breakout group of up to about 16 round a table/s.


Alternatively, the small meetings room can be used as a creche - there is a french door on to the toddler’s play area outside at the back – or other purposes e.g a buffet, with exit into the rear lobby through the office next door.


The Foyer can accommodate a group of 20-30. In this case the side entrance and its lobby would be used as the main mode of entry


The Store room can, if needed, be used as a further breakout space ( ~15 people), but it lacks windows, and obviously looks like store rather than a public room – also some items will need to remain in situ.


Tables and chairs are in the storeroom: you will need to set these out as required. Please use the trolleys and carriers provided to avoid injury or accident shifting them.




A Flexible modular stage (Stagecraft) is available if required and is in the storeroom. Its general height is 600 mm (70 X 70 cm square units) but towers, tables, etc. can be built using 300 and 750 mm units as well. Steps, corners and rails are available. Contact the bookings secretary for details if needed.


Power sources:


There are ample power points around the walls, but note also the four outlets set into the floor of the main Hall to avoid messy (and dangerous) long cabling.


Projection etc.


Amplification is usually unnecessary for speech – the acoustics of the Hall are excellent.

An overhead projector, one (smallish) screen (150 X 150 cm) and a flipchart are available – please ask if these are needed. Projection can be directly on the long North wall without a screen, but not on the East wall (storeroom door breaks it up).

Users will need to bring their own CD/computer projector (or 35 mm projector) and larger screen if required.


A  >1200 lumen projector can be used with the outside curtains open, 800 lumens will usually require the curtains drawn with average contrast slides/pictures and some sunlight. Blackout blinds for the foyer and lobby doors and partition windows can be drawn if needed.


Posters, demonstrations etc.


If hung, we prefer notices, posters etc. to be hung either from the beams, or from the corbel round the walls (long steps in store room) - or on stands or tables (preferable).

Please don’t use bluetack or other adhesive on the walls, although this is OK on the wood.




The Hall does not have an active telephone line, nor is it in a WiFi area.

Mobile phones do not work well - or at all depending on provider - in the Hall because of its foil insulation. All this protects against interruptions, but means that to make or receive calls one must at the least stand near a window, go into the rear kitchen corridor, or outside (there are outside areas under cover at the front and at the side).

TV can be received, and there are outlets in the main and small rooms. You would however have to supply your own receiver.


Catering - see under Housekeeping


·      How to book the Hall


The Bookings secretary is:


                    Michelle Davis, 4 Church Road, Melmerby CA10 (01768 881464)

                    - or contact theTreasurer: Geoff Bailes (01768 881370)



-        Either the whole Hall, or some part of it (e.g. the small committee room) can be booked, the fee varying with how much accommodation is requested.


-        RATES for hiring have been kept deliberately low as we are a charity and a public service, and thus for outside commercial bookings we are very competitive compared with other venues. 


·      Eating out and accommodation in Melmerby


The village has within it Village Bakery (breakfasts, lunches and teas; licensed. The Shepherds Inn (lunches and dinners; licensed) is closed temporarily (Dec.05). Coffee snacks and alcoholic drinks can also be obtained from the Melmerby and Fellside Village Shop, which can also provide refreshment for functions or meetings (tel: 01768 881806).


Accommodation: Local guesthouses and hotels


If overnight accommodation is required for delegates, there are three B&Bs in the village which can accommodate 10-12 people all told (Mrs Edith James, Greenholme 01768 881436; Mrs Margaret Morton, Meadow Bank 01768 881342; Mrs Toppin, Gale Hall Farm 01768 881254 (half a mile up the fell)  


The nearest Hotel is The Country Hotel in Edenhall (01768 881454) 8 mins away across the river Eden just off the A686 to Penrith. There are a large number of guesthouses and hotels in and around Penrith (15 mins) including the closest, the Roundthorn Hotel (12 mins 01768 863952), and just along the A66 the North Lakes Hotel (01768 868 111). There are also hotels and guesthouses in Alston, Temple Sowerby and Kirkoswald (20 minutes) and on Ullswater (30-40 mins).This list includes places in the Good Food and Good Hotel Guides.


We hope you will enjoy and profit from your time in Melmerby


- The Organizing Committee, Melmerby Village Hall


PS if you note something that could be improved, or some facility not provided which we might be able to supply, please let us know. Users often know more about a venue than those running it !

Contacts: Michelle (Bookings Secretary) 01768 881464; Geoff (Treasurer) 01768 881 370; Stewart (Secretary) 01768 881 804. If necessary, keys to the Hall can also be obtained from Nicky (881 121), Anna (881 498), or Anne (881 113) all close by the Hall.



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