Halsey Hall Kitchen and Catering Update

Following Pearl’s retirement earlier this year we consulted a number of people on the best way forward and received many unsolicited offers to take over the catering. After careful consideration your Board have decided to bring the catering for Halsey Hall ‘in-house’. This will give us a much better opportunity to manage the quality and presentation of meals served at the centre. And I believe will give us a real opportunity to competitively cater for non-masonic events which will help keep our masonic costs down. It has been well over 35 years since the kitchen was installed and as you may appreciate, it was in desperate need of a complete revamp with old equipment giving way to new, and the type of layout that today’s chefs would expect in a kitchen.

This daunting project has been assiduously led by our own Dynamic Duo, Richard Shirley and Richard Love who have not only coordinated and meticulously planned the kitchen, but have over this past month almost singlehandedly, gutted the kitchen, repaired underlying floor joists, cut out redundant pipes and wiring, prepared works for new ceilings and floors, and arranged the retitling, not to mention countless trips to the tip as well as to the scrap merchants. We are particularly indebted to them for the tireless effort and time they have given to this project. Our thanks must also be given to Carlton Patterson who has done a sterling job rerouting the gas and water. Our gratitude also goes to Rod, Sue, Howard, Alan and Rob who have given their time in supporting this work and to Shelagh for her painting skills.

As I’m sure you would expect, we have also scrapped and replaced most crockery, serving dishes etc with a view of improving the whole dining experience. We’re grateful to Dick Morgan, another great friend of this hall, who has donated the entire glassware to sit 120 people with wine & water glasses (with a few left over as spares!). We’re confident that new equipment, pots, plates, glasses etc, etc, will be in place by the 31st August provided there are no delivery hiccups.

Our first meeting is Friday 4th September although we have 2 days of the Blood Donor Clinic on Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd September. We have also conferred on the menus which we felt would give a good choice and have a wide appeal which I have enclosed for your perusal. We will be using these menus for the remainder of the year and I’m sure you will find them appetizing and pleasing. There are no Vegetarian options shown on these menus but these can be provided by agreement with the Chef and similarly, any special dietary requirements – relating to medical conditions – both of which should be communicated when providing final numbers. All menus are charged at £19.50 a Head, Tea & Biscuits are still available at 50p a head.

Finally, I would remind you and your Dining Secretary that the choice of menu should be made no later than 7 days prior to your meeting with expected numbers and final numbers at least 4 days prior to the meeting with the Chef, or for the moment with Richard Shirley. This will give us ample time to not only to agree your table setting but also to arrange adequate serving staff for dining and the bar. 


John Bond
Halsey Masonic Hall