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Hanging out in Hoddesdon

PUBLISHED: 15:08 06 August 2009 | UPDATED: 16:13 20 February 2013

Roger Merton

Roger Merton

Hoddesdon is a very active community, with much to offer its residents, as Louise McEvoy finds out

Football for all
HODDESDON is home to the third oldest football club in Hertfordshire, as well as to a very successful girls' and ladies' football club.
Founded in 1879, Hoddesdon Town FC has been located at the Stewart Edwards Stadium since 1899 and strives to bring the highest level of non-league football possible to the bustling market town.
Roger Merton, pictured above, has been club chairman for 15 years and, supported by 20 committee members, including his wife Jenny, says he is 'the listening ear for everybody'.
'I'm a family man with children and grandchildren and I like the club to be run as a family,' he explains. 'We are all equal. We are a football club but we are also a very social club.'
Hoddesdon Owls FC was founded in 1998 by Sharon Pomfrett and Colin Ince to provide competitive football for their daughters, as there were no girls' football teams in the area.
Sharon has been chairman since the club's inception and says, 'I find it very satisfying to see so many girls on a training night at John Warner Sports Centre having a thoroughly enjoyable time and learning new skills, not only to take to the football pitch but to enhance them as young people in learning how to compete fairly, communicate well and learn how important teamwork can be.'
She adds, 'We play in two local leagues and our ladies' team also participates in the FA Cup.'

Carnival time
FOR 40 years the Hoddesdon and Broxbourne Carnival ran through both towns annually on the second Saturday of September, but rising costs brought it to an end in 2005.
Happily it was resurrected two years ago by a new committee, headed by chairman, Tony Corrigan, pictured right. 'The committee decided the carnival was too good an event to just die out, like so many others in the region,' he explains. 'We are currently the only one left in Hertfordshire.
'It's also a brilliant way to bring the town and local businesses together and raise money for a good cause.'
The carnival now takes place in December and preparations are well underway for this year's event, which will raise money for Isobel Hospice.
From midday on Saturday, December 12, Hoddesdon town centre will come alive with funfair rides, a radio road show, and stalls, and the parade will start its one-mile route at 5pm, finishing in the town centre where shops will stay open until 7pm. The evening will conclude with a firework display, depending on the weather.

Music to our ears
WITH Hoddesdon Music Club on your doorstep, there is no need to travel into London to listen to world class concert performers.
Founded about 66 years ago, the concert society has arranged many performances and holds seven concerts a year, between September and May.
There are about 130 members of Hoddesdon Music Club and Felicity Foster, pictured left, has been chairman for about 20 years. She explains, 'My job is to go to a lot of concerts in London and keep my ear to the ground. I have to book the artists and I enjoy hearing absolutely top class performers and instrumentalists in the locality. I like to feel that people don't have to go into London to hear the very best performers in the world.'
On Saturday, September 19th, at 7.30pm, the Carducci String Quartet will be performing at the United Reformed Church in Broxbourne.
Visitors are always welcome at Hoddesdon Music Club's concerts. For more information, visit

Going deep
THE Hoddesdon Sub Aqua Club, which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, can unlock the underwater world for you.
Instructor Malcolm Chalmers, pictured left, is one of about 30 club members and has been involved for about eight years. 'We try to organise dives at least once a month during the summer, through to October,' he explains.
Club members, once qualified and confident, can dive anywhere in the world, but organised trips are mostly along the south coast of England.
'Diving is always something I have been interested in, but never got round to,' says Malcolm. 'I'm now 61, so I started quite late in life. I just like being in the water - if you have a busy, hectic job it's a great way to relax and it's great fun.'
The club welcomes new members, who will be trained at the swimming pool at Hartham Common in Hertford. If you are interested, call the chairman, Gerry Gooch, on 07860541774;


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