Welcome to

The Smarden Charter Hall.

Our user guide contains notes on the operation of the hall, designed to help you enjoy your time here.




CAR PARK AND SURROUNDINGS                                                                                           4

ENTRANCE LOBBY                                                                                                                5

HOP POCKET                                                                                                                         6

BAR: equipment (1) and (2)                                                                                              7,8

BAR: use                                                                                                                               9

BAR STORE ROOM                                                                                                              10

KITCHEN: equipment (1) and (2)                                                                                  11,12

KITCHEN: use                                                                                                                     13

CORRIDOR                                                                                                                          14

HAMDEN ROOM                                                                                                                  15

DADSON ROOM                                                                                                                  16

DADSON ROOM: ADMINISTRATION                                                                                    17

DADSON ROOM: HERITAGE CENTRE                                                                                  18    

TURNER ROOM                                                                                                                   19

REAR STORAGE AREA                                                                                                        20

STAGE                                                                                                                                21

MAIN HALL (1) and (2)                                                                                                 22,23



OPENING AND CLOSING THE HALL (1) and (2)                                                           24,25

SECURITY AND FIRE ALARMS                                                                                           26

LIGHTING                                                                                                                         27

HEATING AND VENTILATION (1) and (2)                                                                    28,29

AUDIO VISUAL EQUIPMENT                                                                                        30,31

TABLES AND CHAIRS                                                                                                        32

CLEANING                                                                                                                         33

ENTERTAINMENT LICENCE (1) and (2)                                                                        34,35

FEEDBACK                                                                                                                        36

FAQ’S (1) and (2)                                                                                                       37,38





1.   Parking for 40+ cars.


2.   Disabled parking places available next to main door.


3.   Cycle racks situated near side door on RHS of Hall.


    4. A boot scraper is situated behind the stone plaque near the main door.


5. Car park lighting, activated by sensors.


6. NO SMOKING immediately outside the main door  – as the fumes would be funnelled into the main hall       when the internal fan is in operation!  Ash trays are provided half way along front covered area, so     please smoke here.


7. Side gates to paved patio and grass around hall, providing safe area for children.


8. Recycling unit for clothes and shoes. 


9. When leaving the car park late at night, please be considerate to our neighbours and make as little      noise as possible. Thank you.





    1.   Please see pages 24/25 for instructions on opening and closing the Hall.


2.   Main door opening is normally set to AUTO (opening from outside only). When closing up, before setting the alarm, the main door must be closed.


3.   Light switch for lobby lighting is located on external wall between lobby and Hop Pocket.


4.   Hall alarm and fire alarm control boxes located in lobby.


      5. Curtains operated by pulley at RHS.


      6. Charter Hall User Guide situated in wall rack.


7. Strictly NO SMOKING throughout the Hall.


8. A defibrillator, available for emergency use,

is situated on the wall, immediately outside the main door.




1.   A place to relax! – coffee tables and comfy chairs available….adjacent to bar area.


2.   Light switch located to left of Main Door.


3.   Key to windows is on main hirer’s key bunch which usually hangs on hook in the bar.


4.   Curtains operated by pulleys – one at each end.


5.   Extractor fan - (see ‘Heating & Ventilation’ user guide, pages 28,29).


6.   Access to overhead loft storage via a drop-down ladder – hatch pole kept on top of notice board.  Light switch just below loft hatch, high up on Hop Pocket wall, above notice board.


7.   Access to Main Hall – see ‘Main Hall’ guide page 23, for instructions on how to fix doors open.


8.   50 grey plastic chairs (from old village hall) in loft storage area – available to village groups.


9. 50˝ plasma TV screen: (as TV; DVD player; touch screen access to Heritage Centre information) -  available for hire.


10.   Phone available for urgent use: stored under the bar. BT socket low down on wall in front of bar.



BAR: equipment (1)



1.   Light switch located between bottle fridge and rear bar door.                                                                             

2.   Water boiler, for large quantity of hot water: – switch on at wall and also at front of water heater. Red light will show….and turn to green after approx. 20 minutes at which time the water will be boiling. Please remember to turn boiler off when use finished.


3.   Electric kettle, for small amounts.


4.   Equipment available for general use:  30 white mugs with Charter Hall logo, 4 glass water jugs, 8 large white Thermos flasks for keeping large quantities of coffee hot, 1 black Thermos for de-caffeinated coffee, 1 thermal teapot and a coffee percolator with 2 jugs (bring your own filter papers and coffee).


    5. Small fridge.


BAR: equipment (2)


6. Glass washer – turn on at wall and check that tall, grey plug is inserted into bottom of washer. Press  

Then press wash option. Push clock button - wait until temperature gets to above 75° (or, do ‘dummy’ wash first if only just turned on – it only takes 2 minutes).

After unloading washer, to empty residual water, take out tall grey plug and select empty option        . Push clock button. At end, remove waste trays from bottom of washer and rinse. Turn off at wall switch.

One load takes only 2 minutes to complete!

Please DO NOT put dirty plates in glass washer.



7. 2 chiller cabinets, with adjustable shelves. Turn on at wall and remember to turn off when finished. Please leave door ajar when not in use.


8. Fly trap – to use: switch on at wall plug and push in tray at bottom of unit.


9. Extractor fan – (see ‘Heating & Ventilation’ user guide, pages 28,29).


10. Key bunch normally hangs on hook in bar area.


11. Recycling bin for ink cartridges and batteries.



                               BAR: use


1.   Access to dustbins – via back door of bar and through rear store room to outside utility area.  3 green bins (for recycling waste) and 3 grey bins (for non-recyclable waste) available. Please do not put bottles into the green bins after 11 p.m. – we don’t want to wake the neighbours!


2.   Coffee, tea, sugar, milk and biscuits available for occasional use. Please put a donation (suggest 25p per cup) in the ‘box’ to help us replenish supplies. Thank you.


3.   First Aid Box and Accident Book on shelf next to wall cupboard.       


4.   Lost Property box – which will be emptied monthly.


5.  Comments Book – for you to log anything that you feel is important to the continuing good use of the         Hall. We welcome your comments.








1.   Light switch located between kitchen and rear door.


2.   Letter box in rear door, for return of Hall keys.


3.   Ample shelving space, for glasses, etc.


4.   100 pint beer glasses, 48 half pint glasses, 48 (6oz) straight tumblers and 84+ 125 ml wine glasses.


  5.   Mop and bucket, dustpan and brush and broom.


6.   Fly trap – turn on at wall and push in unit tray.


7. Thermostat –not for use of hirers. Please do not     adjust.


8.   Access to dustbins through rear door.


9.   Door to kitchen.



KITCHEN: equipment (1)


1.   6-burner range cooker: –


Check emergency gas knob on wall by store room door is ‘out’, the knob on pipe behind the oven is ‘up’ and lever on pipe under hand-wash sink is parallel to pipe ‘towards window.

Set fan to ‘Full’ (5).

Oven: turn to full power, hold knob ‘in’, push black button on top of door frame in. When flame appears, continue to hold ‘in’ for at least 30 seconds and set to required temperature.

Hob: Turn to full power and light with lighter (kept in drawer to the LHS of hatch) or a match. Hold ‘in’ for at least 30 seconds and set to required temperature.


2.   Electric oven and grill: 

Turn on at wall. Push big buttons (on front of cooker) ‘in’.

Select         option for manual use – then push knobs out.

    Fan assisted oven: choose           Grill: choose

    Fan assisted grill: choose            Defrost: choose

    Turn off at wall when finished.


3. Upright refrigerator – please leave door open when not in use.


4. Chest freezer–please leave lid open when not in use.

KITCHEN: equipment (2)


5.  Dishwasher - turn on at wall as soon as you arrive for your function. When ready to use, check that   plug (tall, grey) is in place in the bottom of dishwasher.  Press

Choose wash option: glass, crockery or pots.

Push clock button. Wait until temperature gets to above 75° (or do ‘dummy’ wash first if only just turned on – each load takes 2 minutes only).

After unloading dishwasher, to empty residual water, take out (tall, grey) plug and choose empty option  Push clock button. At end, remove waste trays from bottom of dishwasher and rinse. Leave dishwasher open and turn off at wall switch.


6. Trolley - 3 tier, stainless steel.


7. Microwave oven. 


8. Warming oven: – switch located to the right, next to main kitchen door. Will keep plates hot to 40°C and food hot to 100°C - food must be hot when inserted.


9. Food processor – bowl in bottom drawer next to warming oven.


  10. Electric Soup Kettle – capacity 10 litres.


  11. Manuals for all kitchen equipment in centre unit drawer.



1.   Light switch - situated just inside main kitchen door to corridor, to the right.


2.   Storage cupboards: – several are in use, and locked, by village groups.


3.   For general use: 50 green cups, saucers, 100 tea plates and 12 salt/pepper are available, plus sundry other pieces in cupboards over hand-wash sink. Also, stored in cupboard behind kitchen door to corridor are 150+ green dinner plates, 200+ knives, forks and dessert spoons and 100 teaspoons.


4.   White, gold edged catering china and large catering pots and pans are available for hire from Sharon Naden – contact her on 01233 770298.


5.   Serving hatch, opened from corridor.


6.   Extractor fan – located above freezer - (see ’Heating & Ventilation’ user guide, pages 28,29).

7.   Fly trap – turn on at wall and push in unit tray.


8.   3 sinks: one for hand washing and 2 for domestic use.  Tall stainless steel/blue sink plugs.


9.   Stainless steel surfaces may be washed over with soapy water and buffed up with a dry cloth.


10.Dustbins located in outdoor utility area – access through bar storeroom. Please put your rubbish into     the dustbins outside. Thank you.



1.   Lights in corridor and ladies and gents toilets operate automatically.


2.   Hatch to kitchen opened from here.


3.   Notice boards – display boards for village groups and societies, as seen.


4.   Weekly hall bookings are displayed on wall near to the Bar area.


5.   Disabled toilet with alarm cord; also, baby changing facilities and wheelchair. Manual light switch.


6.   Ladies and Gents toilets – Hand driers are very powerful and noisy, but eco-friendly!

    Automatic lighting.


7.   Coat hooks, situated at the end of the long corridor, outside the Dadson/Turner rooms.


    9. ‘Private Party’ sign on an ‘A’ board stored here.


10.Storage for the Internet and Business Centre and the Heritage Centre housed outside Dadson room.          Also, 6 X 6 pull-up projector screen.





1.   Small room, recently converted into office space – currently used as storage by the Heritage Centre. Any additional future use yet to be decided. 






1.   The Dadson and Turner rooms may be booked individually or together.


2.   This room will be locked, if unattended, although if Dadson room hired, key will be made available.


3.   Charter Hall Administration – see page 17.


4.   Heritage Centre - see page 18.


5.  Extractor fan – (see ‘Heating & Ventilation’).


    6.  Telephone available – number 01233 770680


    7.  4 tables and 12 chairs, arranged in conference  mode.


8. A pull-down screen is situated on the end wall, 

     available for visual presentations. 


9. Lockable sliding door, connecting to the Turner Room. Key made available when the two rooms          booked together. 






1.   Fast, colour printer, scanner, photocopier, laminator and binder available for general use, according to published charges.


2.   Drop-down screen available for projection/presentations in the Dadson room.


3.   High specification data projector and stand, available, by arrangement, to Smarden residents and groups hiring rooms in the Hall, is kept in the Dadson Room – see pages 30,31for details.

Spare bulb for projector kept in the Dadson Room, in the cupboard below the low level display cabinet by the desk.


4.   Computer equipment is available for drop-in use and for formal training courses. All have high speed Broadband access to the Internet.


5.   Jan Barnes is the Charter Hall administrator: please e-mail her at (for general enquiries) and for bookings enquiries. You can also phone her on 01233 771947 (until 8 pm).


6.   Messages are picked up on a weekly basis from the Charter Hall phone: 01233 770680.






1.   Original archive documents (deeds, letters, photographs, etc.).


2.   Searchable Smarden digital database of over 10,000 files, containing photographs, maps, family, house and general histories, graphics and audio files.


3.   Displays of original artefacts, books and photographs.


4.   Access is currently by request, although the Heritage Centre is open to the public every Friday morning.


5.   Contacts:

                Martin Brooks: Chairman Smarden Local History Society (01233 770426).

                Alex Ferris: Heritage Centre Projects Co-ordinator (01233 770353).

Roger Craig: Collections Manager (01233  770854).






1.   Connecting door to the Dadson Room, with soundproof curtain, for use when both rooms are being used simultaneously.


2.   May be hired on its own or together with the Dadson Room


3.   3 tables and 12 chairs arranged in conference mode.


          4. Extractor fan – (see ’Heating & Ventilation’ user guide, pages 28,29).


       5. Double patio doors, opening onto outside paved area. Open by pressing down on bar handles                      and close by pulling shut with handle held down, ensuring tight closure.


      6. Concertina window blinds operated by ‘pull stick’.


      7. Door to stage and rear stage area. Automatic lighting at foot of stairs to stage.







1.   Access through Turner room.


2.   The cleaner’s cupboard is situated between the Turner Room and the Rear Storage Area, at the foot of the steps to stage. Kept locked.


3.   Light switch to LHS of entry door, inside the rear storage area.


4.   Large rear doors.


5.   Boiler room – no access to hirers.


6.   Approx. 180 blue upright chairs available for use stored here – and 3 trolleys which can move a maximum of 8 chairs at one time. Please do not block access to chairs or boiler cupboard.


        6.  14 round tables, available for hire (see page 31).  When storing, ensure that all tables are stored                   facing the same way and with the legs folded correctly, i.e. so that legs are flush within the              protective barriers.        


7.  Extractor fan – (see ‘Heating & Ventilation’- page 28,29).                




1.   Light switch situated at foot of rear stage steps. Switch for extra stage lights situated on RHS at top of rear stage steps. (These eco lights take a few minutes to reach maximum strength).  

2.   2 occasional sets of steps available, to supplement main steps, for access to stage.

3.   Upright piano, available for general use. Please cover after use.

4.   Barrier for front of stage available. Stored on wall at top of rear stage steps. 4 sections, marked A,B,C,D - see diagram on wall. Start with barrier A, dropped into slots on field side of stage front. Then follow numbering as on wall diagram. 


5.   Stage curtains are operated by a pulley located on the corridor side of the stage.


6.   Extractor fan control box located on corridor side of stage near top of rear steps.  ON/OFF switch on side. Wait 20 seconds after switching it on before operating speed controller.


7.    Audio-visual equipment is available for village groups and functions (chargeable for non-residents).

    See page 30 for details.







1.   Main light switch located to LHS of main door from hall to lobby.

    Dimmer switch situated on wall, to the RHS of  stage – see page 27 for operating instructions. 


2.   Large stage; with front, movable steps.


3.   Patio doors along one side, leading outside onto a paved area.


4.   To open patio door, depress red bar and push. Fasten back doors on the outside with hooks provided, for safety’s sake. To close doors, just pull shut with red bar, ensuring tight closure.


5.   Window curtains operated by a pulley either side of pier between curtains.


6.   Access to centre under stage storage - usually unlocked, but key on main bunch, if needed.  24 white/cream collapsible tables (2΄6˝ x 6΄) stored underneath stage, for general use. Also, 18 wooden table tops - associated trestles for these stored in roof space over Hop Pocket.

    14 (5’6”) round tables (to seat 8-10), available for hire – see page 31.






7.   24 blue chairs will normally be kept in the Hall.



8.   Roof windows – remote control to operate these is located in a holder on the wall between the patio doors and the stage. Menu driven! See ‘Heating and Ventilation’ guide, pages 28,29 for detailed instructions.



9. Internal doors, excepting the 2 fire doors, may be fixed open. Black control box situated over         doors.  Hold door open at 90°, press switch from O to --, after a few seconds, release and the door will stay open. Reverse to close.

    NB. DO NOT close doors manually when door controller engaged.

                10. A drop-down screen, normally kept in theDadson room, is available for use on the  corridor side wall of the Main Hall. Unclip by pulling bottom of screen forward & up and lifting off top 2 hooks. Reverse to re-position.


        11. Please take care of our lovely oak floor by wiping up spillages straight away.




1.  When you have booked the Hall, unless other arrangements are in place, you should lock the   premises at the end of your hire period. Instructions on locking up will be attached to the key bunch, which is normally kept on a hook in the bar area.


    The Hirer’s key bunch contains:

Key to front door (green)

Security fob (black)

Window key

Under stage storage key


        2. Dadson Room hirers may be provided with separate keys for room access, as appropriate.


          3. Spare window key on hook in bar area; please return after use.


4. To get into the Hall:   Unlock main door with  green key – an alarm will sound.                                    Enter, and present the flat, black fob to the Alarm Panel, situated on the opposite wall,                 below the Fire Alarm panel (must be done within 20 seconds). The alarm will stop.





        5. To leave the Hall: check that all external and patio doors are closed, windows are locked and            lights are switched off. (Corridor and toilet lights will turn off automatically).

            It is important that the main exit door should be closed before setting the alarm.

    Present the flat, black fob to the Alarm Panel in the entrance lobby, then, press ‘A’. You will hear       the alarm sounding. (If not, you may have left a glass patio door unfastened, so check and then try        again). Turn off local lights and exit. Leave by the main door and lock with the green key. Alarm will stop in 10 seconds.  Deposit keys through letterbox in black, side door (brick wall side of hall). Should you need to re-enter, see instructions on key bunch.


6. It is the responsibility of the hirer to ensure that the ‘No Smoking’ rule is enforced and to check           that no naked lights or smouldering material are left on the premises.


7. Key contact telephone numbers:


Marcus Palmer       01233 770557

Mike Barkway         01233 770243

Brian Bristow          01233 770564

Alex Ferris               01233 770353

Eric Spear                01233 770350


1. Should the fire alarm ‘go off’, assume there is a fire and evacuate the building by marked fire               exit routes. If a real fire is evident ‘phone 999.

   If false alarm, press ‘mute buzzer’ on control panel in lobby, to stop alarm and report the                      incident. Also, enter in Comments Book.


2. Should the Hall alarm ‘go off’ while the  building is occupied, reset by presenting black fob (on hirer’s key bunch) to control panel in front lobby. Make a note in Comments Book.


3. Fire extinguishers located in: Entrance lobby, Bar, Bar Storeroom, Kitchen, Turner room and               Rear storage area. Please keep access clear at all times.


4. Fire blanket located in Kitchen, near range cooker.


5. Fire alarm boxes located throughout building and fire exits clearly marked.


6. Please ensure windows are locked before vacating rooms; and that window keys are not left in locks       or near windows.

7. Smoke and fire alarms are located on ceilings throughout building.


8. The Hall is covered by internal and external CCTV cameras.

9. Refer to notices, displayed in each room for nearest fire exit.



1.   Lighting controlled by wall switches in each room – apart from the Main Hall which has separate switched circuits. There is automatic lighting in the long corridor, the ladies and gents toilets and at the foot of rear stairs to stage.


        2. Dimmer lighting in Main Hall: switch located on  the wall to the right of the stage. Main Hall lights            must be on to operate dimmer switch. Dimmer  lights operate in 4 areas of the Hall. Depress and             hold down bottom half of rocker switch to dim lights and also to lift them again.


        3. Lighting for stage: switch located at foot of rear stage steps. Switch for extra stage lighting located     on RHS when reaching top of rear stage steps. (These Eco lights take a few minutes to reach              maximum strength).


        4. Stage lighting, for specialist productions, by arrangement only.


5. Please report any bulb not working in Comments Book.


7.   Please consider our carbon footprint and only use

lights when needed!



1.   The Charter Hall is heated by an under-floor, gas system which is thermostatically controlled. The temperature will have been regulated for your particular use.  


2.   If the Hall is too hot there are extractor fans in most rooms and roof windows in the main hall. Normal windows can be opened by using key on main bunch, and patio doors in Main Hall and Turner room may be opened by depressing bar.


3.   To operate extractor fans in Hop Pocket, Bar, Kitchen, Dadson, Turner and Rear storage area: switch on, and, after about 20 seconds operate 3 speed control knob – vents will open slowly.


4.   In the Main Hall there are 2 extractor fans in ceiling. They are rather noisy when in use! Control box located on rear hall wall to the left of the light switch bank.  ON/OFF switch on side of box. 20 seconds after switching on, speed controller, on front of box, may be operated.  These fans automatically activate the duct for replacement air over the main hall door entrance.






5.   The roof windows are operated by a (menu driven) remote control which is located in the Main Hall between the stage and the windows.

    To use:  remote control is normally locked. To unlock, press ‘menu’, then ‘locate’.

    The middle 2 arrows on the rectangular control block give the option of operating the windows or the blinds.

    To open windows, having chosen the ‘windows’ option: press the upward arrow on the round control button.

    To close windows:  press downward arrow.

    To open blinds, having chosen the ‘blinds’ option: press the upward arrow on the round control button.

    To close blinds, press downward arrow.


    If remote control locks between operations, unlock by pressing ‘menu’ and ‘locate’ as at start.


    NB.  The windows will close automatically, if it rains!  Clever!







The Charter Hall can provide a range of audio-visual equipment for the use of hirers, by prior arrangement, comprising a Sound System, Stage Lighting System and

Projection System.


Sound System includes:

* PA facilities, provided through a tripod floor microphone, a lapel microphone, and a roving hand-held microphone.

* CD player.

* connectivity for music, from a smart phone or tablet.

* four wall mounted speakers, at the front and rear of the  

   main hall.

* loop system.

* control equipment housed on the stage.     


Instructions for use are attached to the control cabinet.


Stage Lighting System includes:

*four lights suspended in the main hall, two on each side.

*eight lights suspended over the stage.

*control equipment, housed on the stage, which enables

  separate control of each light.


Instructions for use are attached to the lighting desk on the stage.


Projection System includes:

*a digital projector, with connectivity to most lap-tops (user provided).

*free-standing screen, which can be used on the stage or on the floor in the main hall.

The projector is housed in the Dadson Room and the screen in the corridor approaching the Turner Room.




    1. Normally 24 blue chairs will be left in the main hall.

    2. Another 180 are available - stored in the area behind the stage. 3 trolleys are available with                  which to move the chairs – no more than 8 at a time, please, for safety reasons.

          3. A further 20 chairs are available from the Turner/Dadson rooms, by arrangement.  


          4. 24 cream/white collapsible tables (2΄6˝ x 6΄) are stored underneath the stage – accessed from the            hall – centre under-stage door.


5. 18 wooden table tops stored under stage. Associated trestles stored in roof space over Hop Pocket.


            6. 14 (5’6”) round tables, each seating 8 -10, are available to hire for hall functions.

                Tablecloths also available for hire – please contact Sharon Naden on 01233 770298.  


7. 4 coffee tables and 17 occasional chairs in Hop Pocket.


8.  7 low level small tables, located in the stage wings, are available for general use (when not in use by the Mother & Toddler Group).





1.   Extensive cleaning equipment in cleaner’s cupboard – not for general use.



2.   Mop and bucket, dustpan and brush and broom to be found in the Bar storeroom.

    Please use, if needed, after your booking.


3. Please recycle cans and bottles in the green bins, outside the Bar Storage Area, rather than using the kitchen and bar bins, but please do so quietly, so as not to disturb the neighbours and preferably not after 11 p.m.  Thank you.



4. Generally, please leave the Hall as you would  wish to find it.






1.  The Premise Licence holder is Mike Barkway.

        This includes the licence to sell Alcohol, but only by residents of Smarden and the village Societies         and Organisations.  Prior to holding an event at   which alcohol is to be sold, you must inform  Graham Saunders, Tel 770628 (or in his absence,  Lin Crannis, Tel 770585). They have both qualified  as Designated Premise Supervisors and will be held responsible by the police and Licensing Authority  should any complaints arise.  It is therefore essential that they know what is going on. 

        They do not have to be present at the event.

    2. Any non resident or organization hiring the hall, and wishing to sell alcohol, has to apply to the Ashford      Borough Licensing Authority for a Temporary Events Notice (Tens).

     3. All users of the hall should bear in mind the Four Licensing Objectives.


            a) The prevention of crime and disorder.

            b) Public Safety.

            c) The Prevention of public nuisance.

            d) The protection of children from harm.





        4. The Licence also covers the holding of raffles, providing all tickets and the draw are held at the               same event.  Alcoholic drink may be included in the prizes, but someone under age should not win an Alcoholic prize. It is an offence to  purchase alcohol over the Channel for resale at an event in the Hall.



        5. Please ensure that there is as little noise as  possible at the end of a late night event, i.e. no slamming of car doors, shouting, dropping  bottles into the green recycling bins; and please ensure that the premises and car park are vacated after the hire period.  Thank you.



        6. Please read the Licensing Summary on the Hall Notice Board.  The licensing Authority has the                 power to close the hall if there are too many Infringements.  This would be a total disaster for the entire Village!




Did you enjoy your use of the Charter Hall?

In particular, were there things that worked well or those that didn’t?

Please let us know.    We welcome feedback!


Please use the Comments Book, located in the Bar area or e-mail your comments to 

Should an accident occur, please record details in the Accident Book which is located, together with the First Aid Box, in the Bar Area.




FAQ’s (1)


1.   Hall not open when I arrive – who shall I contact?


                        Marcus Palmer       01233 770557

                            Mike Barkway          01233 770243

                            Brian Bristow          01233 770564                            Alex Ferris              01233 770353

                            Eric Spear               01233 770350



2.   Shall I lock up after my hire period?


                        Yes, if no one else follows on from you.  Keys will be found on hook in Bar area –                      follow instructions on key bunch to lock  up and then post keys back through side                    door letter box.


3.   Fire Alarm goes off – what shall I do?


Assume there is a fire and evacuate the building by marked Fire Exit routes.

If a real fire is evident ’phone 999.

If false alarm, press ‘mute buzzer’ on control panel in lobby to stop alarm and report the incident.


         FAQ’s (2)



        4. Hall alarm goes off whilst building is occupied –

     what shall I do?


Reset by presenting black fob (on hirer’s key bunch) to control panel in front lobby. Make a note in Comments Book.



5. How can I book the Charter Hall?


                Contact Jan Barnes on:

                Tel: 01233 771947 or




          6. What shall I do if I have a query?


Enter your comments/query in the Comments Book (in the Bar), leaving your name and telephone number or e-mail address and we will contact you...

                or, ring Jan Barnes on: 01233 771947.


  7. How can I contact the Charter Hall?

                Address: The Smarden Charter Hall

                                Chessenden Lane, Smarden,

                                Kent. TN27 8NF

                Tel: 01233 770680




The Smarden Charter Hall User Guide. May 2011 ©


Occasional Bulletin

We have decided to produce an occasional bulletin, providing an update on matters considered by the Hall trustees, responses to points raised at the  Hall User Forum, and to feedback received via our comments book at the hall.  We are initially sending, by email, to user forum representatives, and others who make regular use of the hall; if you do not want to receive future bulletins, or if you know of anyone else who would like to be included on the circulation list please email

Latest terms and conditions         We are continually revising our terms and conditions for hall bookings, and you can see the latest version at  We do not provide a copy of this for each and every booking of the hall by village groups, but groups should make themselves aware of our terms and conditions. If you do want a printed copy please email us on

Revised instructions for dishwasher      Our excellent dishwasher sometimes defeats those who are not familiar with its operation!  It is actually quite simple to operate. If you are a first time or occasional user the instructions are in the User Guide (copy in entrance lobby), and also on the wall near the dishwasher. Please let us know if we can make the instructions simpler in any way, or if the dishwasher doesnt behave as the instructions would lead you to believe.

Sound system instructions      Our sound system is now used by most hall bookers who need amplified sound. It consists of a  mixer/amp  (large box in sound cabinet on stage,  with lots of dials!); a stand/tripod microphone; a lollipop microphone; and a lapel microphone.

The sound levels are pre-set in the mixer/amp, and should not normally need any adjustment. To operate the sound system, the mixer/amp therefore just needs turning on at the mains plug just below the box (on the stage, far end , on the front wall). The lollipop microphone (stored in the box) has no wires, and is turned on/off on its base. The lapel microphone (stored in the box) has a small control box which can be fixed to clothing, and again a simple on/off switch. The tripod microphone (stored in the Dadson Room) has a connecting cable , which is in the mixer/amp box, and which needs to be plugged in to  the microphone tripod at one end, and into sound socket on front of stage floor  (one at each end of stage - either can be used) at the other end.

Please ensure microphone(s) used are turned off after use . There are spare batteries for the lollipop and lapel microphones in the mixer/amp box. The key to open the box is attached to a hook on wall nearby.

If adjustments to the sound levels are needed (but not otherwise!) these are the controls……..  

  Input channels ; numbered 1-7, and marked as such 

 3                  Stand/tripod mic

5                  Lollipop mic

7                  Lapel mic

Volume control;

Via white dial/button for each channel, as above (eg white button  on channel 5 will control volume of lollipop mic.

All volume knobs should be left after use at optimum sound level (level 4)

All other knobs for each channel should not need any adjustment,and should be set at mid-point  

Do please use the sound system; it really does enhance the hearing of those listening - and is the only way the loop system is activated. 

Wheelchair availability      A reminder that we do have a wheelchair at the hall for the use of hirers. It is stored in the disabled toilet.

Crockery      We have recently agreed with the WI to purchase their crockery, so that it can be used by hirers of the hall.  So we now have available for general use, free of charge:

 150+ green dinner plates, 200+ knives, forks and dessert spoons    and 100+ teaspoons,  stored in the lower cupboard (unlocked) behind the kitchen door to the corridor.

 50+ green tea cups and saucers, 100+ tea plates and 12 salt/pepper  - stored in the cupboards (unlocked) over the hand-wash sink

White, gold edged china, cutlery and catering equipment is still available from Sharon Naden – who can be contacted on  01233 770298.

Lights         A reminder to hall users to turn off all lights before locking up the building. Only the corridor and toilet lights are on automatic; all other lights need turning off at the switches

Stage safety barrier          If you are using the stage for your booking, we have available a stage safety barrier which can  be erected along the front of the stage. It is stored on the stage, behind the piano.     We would encourage its use for safety reasons if people are on the stage, other than for live music or drama performances.

IT Club            The IT Club has recently re-started after a short break. Subject to demand we hope this will now continue. If you interested in coming along to what is a well-structured, but nevertheless informal learning session, please email Geraldine Dyer on

Hall AGM            The AGM will be held on 14 June at 7.30pm ; please come along if you can,  to hear how the hall is doing, and our plans for the future. We will be particularly discussing a joint approach with the History Society to provide a Hall extension for specific use by the Heritage Centre , and for additional meeting room space for general hall bookings.  Work is now underway to draw up a full design , and to start work on grant applications.

Wi-fi access             For those who have their own laptops, and wish to use in the Hall for any purpose, we have free wi-fi access. You need an access key (obtainable by emailing ), which you will only need to store once on your lap-top.

Late-night functions             We are very conscious of the nuisance that local residents can experience when evening  functions take place. We have already limited hall use to a stop-time of 11.45pm (less than the licence which Ashford BC gave us); and we are asking all evening function hirers to be away from the hall and car park by 12.15, and not to use the bottle bank late at night.

Insurance cover          We have had a number of queries about insurance cover. The Hall has a comprehensive insurance policy with Aviva, which includes cover for the building and contents, including theft and accidental damage; as well as Employers Liability cover and Public Indemnity.  There are some  normal excesses on the cover.   We are currently seeking to confirm the position regarding what the insurance world refers to as property belonging to others.  In our case this could include property owned by an individual or village group which is normally kept at the Hall; property which may be brought into the Hall for a specific purpose; or property normally at the Hall, but in transit to somewhere else.  When we receive this clarification we will inform all village groups of the position.  

Hire rates                 We will be discussing our hire rates at the upcoming AGM, but we do not feel that we should increase the rates for village use generally at this point.   Fuel costs have of course continued to rise during the year, and we will therefore be considering a small increase in rates for private functions, but not for village groups and societies.    You can see the current charge rates at

Any changes agreed will be reflected on the website soon after the AGM.

Website reminder              Our website is up and running , and well used.  Links elsewhere in this bulletin will let you access terms and conditions, and charge rates. Probably the most used part of the site is the bookings diary , which is at

This gives you access to all the bookings made for the year ahead, but you still need to make a new booking via Tom and Maggie Potts on 770258.

Fundraising                   Although hire fees  provide most of the funding we need to maintain and run the hall, we do need a small amount of fundraising during the year, particularly to ensure that booking charges for local organisations are kept to an affordable level.  We do ask village groups who use the hall to generally publicise the Charter Hall and, in particular, the fundraising events we hold. Whilst we do not ask organisations to run fundraising activities, as happened with the old village hall, we would like each group to provide us with a raffle ( approx value £10) each year whenever possible.

And thanks to all those who support our Charter Hall lottery, which provides valuable income for hall developments.

General feedback              If  you do have any comments or questions related to the Charter Hall please let us know by emailing

June 2011