Old Hall Community

Contact
The Secretary

Postal Address
Rectory Hill
East Bergholt
Colchester
CO7 6TG

Electronic Mail secretary@oldhall.org.uk
World Wide Web http://oldhall.org.uk/
Year started
1974
Situation
rural
Number of over 18s
45
Number of under 18s
9
Ideological focus
ecological
Legal structure
friendly society
Open in principle to new members
yes
Charge visitors
no
Work in Lieu
yes

We are a large community of people who share an old friary, and 70 acres of Suffolk farmland. We share the workload to be nearly self sufficient in food and energy. Our water is heated by a large wood fired biomass boiler we call the dragon and supplemented by a ground source heat pump. A gas fired boiler is used as a last resort back up. We have an array of 120 solar PV panels to provide our electricity and our water comes from our own borehole with mains water back up. All the members have their own private room or rooms. So a family with one or two children are likely to have four rooms. A single person may have one or two rooms depending on their invested capital. Main meals are eaten together in our big communal kitchen/dining room, using our own meat, vegetables, pulses and fruit. Meals are prepared under our rota job system by whomever signs up to cook. The more vegetarians who decide to cook the more meals will become vegetarian. The more meat eaters sign up the more meat will be consumed. The range of food is varied and excellent. Special dietary needs are catered for whenever possible. To make all this happen we each try to do around 15 hours community work a week, jobs include our domestic rota jobs and the mundane and the skilled – and all are valuable! Community work includes milking, cheese making, construction projects, caring for the farm machinery and our animals, growing food, cooking, cleaning, sewing, maintaining the buildings, the orchards and the grounds – and so much more! Because of this communal commitment, members find that they need only work about three days a week outside the community to bring in enough money to pay the bills. We all help and support each other. In the summer months we enjoy help from friends from all over the world who turn up for two weeks at a time. We can host up to four volunteer friends working alongside the members who provide guidance on whatever outdoor tasks are at hand. We also host and organise our own social events that range from, home cinema, play readings, panto, maypole dancing, games, music events and so on. To help our communal living to work we have “Friday meetings” where we discuss ideas, and make decisions by consensus. Sometimes, of course, we have conflict and disagreement – all part of the rich tapestry here!! The children and young people here have a great life climbing trees, cycling, playing ball-games, baking bread, some like gardening! Children in the main, walk or cycle to local schools. When a member has a friend to stay, the member is expected to make a voluntary contribution towards the additional running costs of the community. Likewise when the community invites a guest to stay, they too are invited to make a voluntary contribution towards the shared costs.

community does not share income
community requires capital from members
community has broadband internet access
community does not generates any of its own electricity
community uses solar energy
community buildings insulated to a high standard
community members use bicycles
community does not have an organised system for car sharing
community is accessible by public transport
community shares utilities
community has tool sharing system
community has organised systems for recycling
community has some kind of ecosewage system
community is involved in land management
community grows a lot of vegetables
animals kept communally
regular communal meals
community has policy which restricts smoking
community buildings at least partly wheelchair accessible
community is involved in campaigning

Diggers & Dreamers
care of BCM Edge
London
WC1N 3XX
United Kingdom

info@diggersanddreamers.org.uk

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Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, the content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Old Hall Community is currently looking for new members

May 2021: Stop Press. From May 17th Potential members who have contacted us and recieved an information pack can now book a visit by contacting applicantsoldhall@gmail.com. We are always interested in meeting Potential Members and we would love enquires from energetic, enthusiastic, sociable people and young families. We live in an area of outstanding natural beauty in East Bergholt, famous for its links with John Constable. East Bergholt has good transport links and excellent primary and secondary schools within walking distance. Living spaces of all sizes become available at times. Potential members make several visits here over a period of time which is how we get to know each other. You have to buy into our community which means you must have capital (the amount depends on the size of space you buy). Small top up loans are available. Mortgages are not available. Send us a letter/email telling us all about yourselves to applicantsoldhall@gmail.com and we will send you more information.

Send them a message:
secretary@oldhall.org.uk

Old Hall Community is currently looking for volunteers

oldhallvolunteers@gmail.com: Stop Press: May 2021: Covid restrictions are easing. However we are not accepting any volunteers from abroad and only local volunteers allready known to us for the time being. We host volunteers for two week periods from April through to October each year when we close down for the winter. We have set aside spaces for up to a maximum of four volunteers at any one time during this period. We set aside spaces for a maximum of two families during the volunteer season. Please visit our website and email: oldhallvolunteers@gmail.com telling us a bit about yourself and your reasons for wanting to visit our community. We will send you further information. Have fun planning your year. Do not leave it to the last minute – we get booked up. Thank you.

Send them a message:
secretary@oldhall.org.uk