Join a club or society in Danbury
PUBLISHED: 17:05 04 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:39 20 February 2013
Despite only being a small Essex village, Danbury has a busy social calendar with a diverse range of clubs and societies. Joanne Jarvis finds out more
Theres something different about Danbury
On initial inspection, Danbury looks like any other rural, English village, but dig a little deeper and you will find a hub of social interaction that has resulted in a strong community feel.
Every week like-minded villagers come together to pursue their hobbies and interests at a range of clubs and organisations, which vary from an angling club and horticultural society to a drama club and a wine circle. Here is just a selection of the keen enthusiasts that are helping to make life in Danbury so different.
Clive Pretty, leader of 1st Danbury St Cleres Scout Group
Scouting has always featured in Clive Prettys life. As a young boy he was a Scout in North London and after moving to Danbury 33 years ago, he became an assistant leader before becoming a Scout leader in 2001.
Since my early retirement, Scouting has become my hobby and I get a lot of enjoyment out of planning the various activities and weekends away that the Scouts all look forward to, says Clive. Apart from the weekly troop meetings, Scouts in Danbury are able to enjoy some sort of weekend activity at least once a month, and because of their continuous involvement with the leaders and brother Scouts, the Scouts in Danbury get a lot of enjoyment out of Scouting and I hope that what it gives them helps them develop and grow up to be responsible citizens.
Danbury Scouts also organises village events and have become a key part of the community. Danbury Fireworks is a village event that is run by Danbury Scouting. It not only involves leaders and parents, but also other organisations in the village. The event has been running for more than 40 years and has become very much a village institution attracting up to 8,000 people.
James Banfield, Chariman of Danbury Cricket Club
Cricket has been played in Danbury, with the odd pause for world wars, for at least 120 years and Eves Corner in the middle of the village has been the clubs home since the 1960s. Since the 1880s, Danbury were playing local matches against Broomfield Cricket Club near Chelmsford. But after World War II the club reformed playing near the Archbishops Palace by Danbury lakes, before moving to Woodham Walter.
James explains: The pitches and changing rooms have improved over the years, even if the quality of the cricketers still spans a broad range from Minor Counties players to those for whom reliable performance remains an aspiration. The focus of the club today is on the development of younger players and teams. But it still competes successfully in the local leagues with one divisional championship and one promotion in the last couple of seasons.
Danbury Parish Council and Community Association offers active support and increasingly excellent facilities to encourage the further development of the club, which is currently garnering support for the installation of permanent practice and coaching facilities.
David Whiteing, Chairman of Danbury & District Twinning Association
The Twinning Association is one of the biggest social clubs in Danbury, with 80 individual members and 60 family members. David Whiteing has been a member since it was established 28 years ago and chairman for 15 years.
We thought it was about time people got to know people on the other side of The Channel, explains David and as a result Danbury is now twinned with Altenglan in Germany and Croissy-sur-Seine in France. Twinning is a British institution, but our twinning association has also become a friendship organisation. As well as forming friendships within the organisation we have made lots friends in Germany and France. However, our visits to Europe arent just about meeting other people, we also get to visit all sorts of places of interest.
The Twinning Association is now trying to encourage younger members to join and those interested can attend their monthly social meetings on the first Thurday of every month.
Did you know this about Danbury?
Danbury has a population of around 6,000 people
It is situated around 30 miles from London and is perched on top of a hill about 112 metres above sea level
The Church of St John the Baptist is the oldest building in the village, dating from the 13th century
During World War II, Danbury Palace became a makeshift maternity hospital and was the birthplace for hundreds of local children
You can find a full list of the various groups in Danbury at: www.danbury-essex.gov.uk