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Why we love Knebworth

PUBLISHED: 18:26 19 January 2011 | UPDATED: 20:40 20 February 2013

Wayne Jarvis with the Knebworth Players

Wayne Jarvis with the Knebworth Players

There are more than 70 groups and organisations listed in the Knebworth Directory – Damion Roberts spoke to four of them to find out what they get up to

We love to act


WAYNE Jarvis is the treasurer for Knebworth Players, which enters its 91st year in 2011.
The group has more than 30 members aged from 14 to 90 and puts on three shows a year.
Next up in February is Look Whos Talking by Derek Benfield, but at the time of talking to Hertfordshire Life Wayne and his fellow members were putting the finishing touches to their previous production a version of The Haunted Through Lounge and Recessed Dining Nook at Farndale Castle.
It is, of course, a farce.
Were not far off now, its looking good, says Wayne, who has been involved with the players for eight years.
Its a play about a townswomens guild putting on a play. Were putting the finishing touches to it and its looking like it is going to be a really good, really funny show.
We practise in Trinity Hall in Knebworth and have bi-weekly rehearsals and put on three shows a year and were already looking forward to the next one.
The box office for the Knebworth Players is 01438 743788.


We love to shoot


DURING the summer months Denise Carpenter and her fellow Green Dragon Bowmen can be found shooting at targets in the majestic grounds of Knebworth House.
Come winter, with the wind and rain affecting accuracy, rather than hang up their arrows until the first shoots of spring, the 100 or so members simply move indoors to the bowls hall at Odyssey Health and Fitness Club.
We do have quite committed members who like to practise all year round, club secretary Denise told Hertfordshire Life.
Weve been going about 45 years and were as strong as ever. Its beautiful in the warmer months and we even get Martha (Lytton Cobbold, managing director of Knebworth House) coming down and we also taught her son to shoot.
The club originally used to shoot down at Hatfield House but there was a slight mishap many years ago and someone hit a cow so we were asked to vacate. Were really happy where we are now.
Denise has been shooting at targets for the best part of 13 years after getting tired of sitting to one side while her husband Mark used to practise.
We got bored watching him so my two girls and I thought wed give it a go. Im a level one coach now so I guess that means Im the better archer now, she jokes.


We love to ring


I JUST wanted to start a group and we couldnt find anyone willing to be a conductor so we decided just to go ahead and teach ourselves.
So says Penelope Bennett, who seven years ago joined with other like-minded Knebworth villagers to form the Knebworth Handbell Ringers.
Once a week we meet up at the Parish Centre and practise, and sometimes we visit local groups such as the guides and brownies and anyone else who asks us to go through our routines, says Penelope.
Were not expert enough to give real performances unless we join in with other groups, but were not amateurs.
We are looking for a conductor, but nobody wants to give up bell ringing to conduct from the front as everyone really enjoys the activity.
You dont have to be able to read music the way we do it. It helps if you know a little, but its not essential as weve all taught ourselves and are improving.


We love our youth


BRIAN Hughes helps to run the Knebworth Youth Project, which is located at both Trinity Church and Knebworth Pavilion.
The group caters for youngsters on two separate nights for 11 to 14-year-olds on Friday evenings, and 15 to 18-year-olds on Thursdays.
We opened for business in February 2007 to offer a place for youngsters and teenagers to come along and hang out with other people their age.
Lots of preparation work went into it before we opened and we employed a full-time youth worker for 18 months and now have two sessional youth workers and they are paid which really helps us to keep it running, as you cant continue if you run out of volunteers.
The project receives funding from the Knebworth Village Trust and the church pays the balance, and Brian believes those who attend really appreciate the work that is done there.
Its not just a church thing, theres a lot of community representation involved and I think the youngsters who attend really enjoy coming here and enjoy what we do.
We are closed for the holidays, and some teenagers tail off as they get older, but we have about 35 people coming altogether and even hold a youth cafe in the pavilion for them. Its a real close-knit group.


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