Happy in Hatfield Heath

Bruno Scheggia, editor of the Hatfield Heath Village Magazine, explains why life on the western fringes of the county is so inviting, unless you are a cricket fielder

YOU might say all roads lead to Hatfield Heath. Located on the edge of Hatfield Forest, there are six roads that lead into the village with the main crossroads being the A1060 Bishop's Stortford to Chelmsford and the B183 Harlow to Takeley. Add to this the proximity of the M11 and Stansted Airport, and Hatfield Heath is an attractive location for commuting to the City, travelling around the country or even nipping abroad.The view as you approach the village on the B183 from Harlow is of a large village green, Holy Trinity Church to your left with shops, pubs, restaurants and a hotel flanking the green. Despite being only a moderate-sized village of around 750 houses, Hatfield Heath has the advantage of having quite a rural village look and feel, but not lacking in amenities. On the heath the well-used cricket pitch has a road passing through the north-eastern edge, which means that if a six is hit in that direction, a fielder may have to cross the road to catch the ball. Often the game comes to a halt to wait for people or cars to pass.After a long struggle a 30mph speed limit has now been imposed in the village. The police have spot speed checks but a team of trained volunteers will soon be active to remind passing traffic of the speed limit by a more regular visual check.The Hatfield Heath Festival was revived last year after a gap of nine years. It was started in June 1969 to pay for rebuilding of the village hall and its upkeep. The main purpose of the festival now is to bring the community together for a happy fun weekend. Last year was particularly successful and the next festival will be on the June 15, 2008.There are three halls in the village used by at least 30 clubs or groups. There is also a very active Royal British Legion Women's Section.Hatfield Heath County Primary School is at the heart of this local community and has enthusiastic teaching staff and parents. The village pre-school is presently housed in the village hall but needs its own building, so teachers and helpers have come up with great ideas to raise money to pay for their own building to be built in the grounds of the primary school.A recent charity auction and dance at Down Hall Country House Hotel, on the southern edge of the village, raised an amazing £8,500, bringing the current fund to a total of £32,000. Bruno Scheggia, EditorHatfield Heath Village Magazine

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