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Milton Ernest Village Hall was opened in 1959 for the benefit of local people. It is situated opposite the school on the Thurleigh Road and is available for hire by groups and individuals seven days a week. The address is: Thurleigh Road, Milton Ernest, MK44 1RF. There is no telephone in the hall. Hirers are advised to bring mobiles.

Facilities
The hall has 32 tables of varying sizes (including eight round ones for banquets and dinners), 130 chairs and a stage. It has toilets and wheelchair access. Though there is no exclusively disabled toilet, one cubicle in both the ladies’ and the gents’ was modified during an overall upgrade in 2013 to make them more accessible as well as more attractive.

The hall has a kitchen which was refurbished and upgraded in 2015. There is a cooker, a wall mounted instant hot water boiler for tea and coffee, a fridge/freezer, a microwave, a kettle, crockery, cutlery, and a stainless steel sink.

There is a sound system with a hearing loop and a 2.5m screen for slideshows etc, both installed in 2014. Outside there is a parking area and security lighting. A fully maintained defibrillator is on the wall.

Future projects
The Trust is committed to installing (in 2016) a commercial dishwasher which will take just minutes to complete an operation.

Numbers
The hall can take 100 people for a sit down dinner, 120 for a buffet reception and 140 for theatre or a meeting using the stage. Figures have been agreed with the fire authority.

To book the hall
Mrs Helen Eyre of 14, Huntsman’s Way, Milton Ernest is the booking secretary. Contact her on 824508 to hire the hall. There are a number of regular bookings during the week. There is a standard form of hire.

Licences
The hall has a Premises Licence (details are on the right hand noticeboard in the front porch) but this does not cover the sale of alcohol; so anyone considering an event that involves the sale (even indirectly) of alcohol requires a Temporary Events Notice (TEN) and must apply for one in the first instance to the committee through Mrs Eyre and thereafter to Bedford Borough Council (01234 267422) or licensing@bedford.gov.uk.

Rates
Local groups: £4.50 per hour in the summer and a winter rate to cover heating etc of £7.50 per hour between October 1 and March 31. General public: £10 per hour in the summer and a winter rate of £13.

A deposit is required before some functions; a caretaker’s supplement is charged for others. Mrs Eyre has the details. Cheques should be made out to: Milton Ernest Village Hall.

Funding
The hall is funded by charges to hirers, putting on events and contributions from individuals and organisations. The Trust has received grants from charities to whom it has had to make applications. These have included WREN, The Harpur Trust, Bedford Borough Council and the Bedford St George’s Day Charity.

Policies
The Trust has signed up to policies on Child Protection, Equal Opportunities, Health and Safety and Environment.

Elected Members
Chairman: Neil Roy tel: 823402 email: neilroy33@aol.com
Treasurer: David Purser tel: 822350 email: db.purser@virgin.net
Committee member: Ian Kirk tel: 823711
Booking secretary: Helen Eyre tel:824508

Co-opted Members
Alan Newbury, Michelle Newbury

Members who represent village organisations
Nick Cromey-HawkeParochial Church Council
Harley DoweSchool
Sheila LawWI
Lynda LewisCoffee Shop

Regular users
The facility is used on a regular basis by a number of groups – mainly the local school for prepared lunches and afternoon activities. Main bookings are:

Mon:11.30-16.30: Milton Ernest VC Lower School. (tel: 822079).

Tue:10.00-11.00: Pilates. (Contact Nola Barnwell tel: 07793 056122).
11.30-13.30, 14.30-15.30 and 15.45 -16.30: Milton Ernest VC Lower School.

Wed:11.30-16.30: Milton Ernest VC Lower School.

19.00-22.00:Whist Drive. (Contact David Purser tel: 822350).

Thu:10.30-13.30 and 1600-1700: Milton Ernest VC Lower School.
20.00-22.00 on the last Thursday of the month: Milton Ernest Parish Council.
19.30-21.30 on the third Thursday of the month: Women’s Institute. (Contact Ann Kirk tel: 823711).

Fri:09.00-11.30 on the last Friday of the month: Coffee Shop. (Contact Lynda Lewis tel: 823618).
11.30-13.30: Milton Ernest VC Lower School.
14.30-16.30 on the first Friday of the month: Bridge for beginners. (Contact Ann Kirk tel: 823711).
14.30-16.30 on the third Friday of the month: Afternoon tea. (Contact Chris Lewis tel: 823618).

Sun:11.00-12.30: Ballroom and Latin Dancing. (Contact Christine Marsland tel: 0781 401 3622).
16.00-19.00 (fortnightly): Ian Bufton Big Band in rehearsal. (Contact Ian Bufton tel: 0773 891 3430).