Join our club in Chelmsford

Chelmsford has a wide choice of clubs and societies giving local residents the chance to express themselves and meet new people. Here Joanne Jarvis highlights <br/><br/>three of particular note that are popular with locals

Chelmsford Art Society

Budding artists who want to meet like-minded people and share their imagination and inspiration will welcome the chance to join the Chelmsford Art Society. The society, which has a membership of almost 100, started with a small group meeting to paint and discuss art and has since evolved.Members have the opportunity to participate in a range of activities including a winter programme of demonstrations using various subjects and media. These are held fortnightly from September to April at the Annex to Trinity Methodist Church in Rainsford Road.In addition, there is a regular Summer Exhibition and Christmas Sale as well as a programme of all-day painting workshops.Society member Ron Diss explains: ‘We welcome all comers at whatever level of skill. After all, we all share the same interest and can learn from the comments of a visiting practicing artist.’Each year the society also holds a raffle in aid of a charity nominated by members, which last year raised more than �140.Ron adds: ‘We have been fortunate in having the support of Chelmsford Borough Council in the past, but with the closure of Chancellor Hall there is no longer a suitable venue of sufficient size in the town to hold exhibitions and we look forward to the day when we can return home.’The society will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with a special month-long exhibition at Central Library in March 2012. This will follow the society’s Christmas Sale and exhibition of member’s work at Great Baddow Parish Hall on Saturday, November 26.

To find out more about the Chelmsford Art Society’s schedule of events or to join, visit for further details

Chelmsford Young Generation Amateur Musical Society

This music and drama society for young people aged eight to 18 was established in 1968 and provides a theatrical interest and outlet for young people in Chelmsford and the surrounding area. Members work with professional directors to perform two shows each year in Chelmsford’s own West End – the Civic Theatre and the Cramphorn Theatre.Michaela Crisell is a spokesperson for the society. ‘We want all children to have the opportunity to experience the thrill of putting on a show,’ explains Michaela. ‘The fact that Young Gen works with professional directors allied with the hard work and dedication from the young people on stage and the myriad of volunteers who help out with the many aspects of putting on a great show, from the wardrobe department through to the set builders and backstage crew, allows the society to produce performers of the highest calibre.’Being a young member of Young Gen gives young people an extremely wide range of life skills. From auditions and setting calls to the final dress rehearsal and the all-important opening night, members spend five months learning a show and in the process will receive the most intensive professional musical theatre training available locally.Michaela continues: ‘Many of Young Gen’s army of volunteers have their own amazing stories to tell and have been with the society for decades, staying on long after their own children have flown the nest – giving up their free time twice-a-week to help many local youngsters be part of an amazing experience.’ As well as two yearly shows, the society also runs a number of workshops for all members throughout the year and a popular summer school.‘Come along and give us a try,’ adds Michaela. ‘But be warned, it’s addictive! Once a Young-Genner, always a Young Genner!’

Membership to the society costs �15 a year. Members audition for free and if successful are expected to pay a show fee of �30 to 50. The society will be staging The Wiz at the Civic Centre from November 15 to 19. For more details, visit the society’s website at


Chelmsford and Bentley Croquet Club

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Croquet may not be a sport that would necessarily come to mind if you were looking for a new hobby, but members of Chelmsford and Bentley Croquet Club will soon convince you that there is a lot of enjoyment to be had from playing such a sociable game. Established in 1990, the club is a member of the Croquet Association and offers both association and golf croquet with coaches on hand for beginners and improvers.Club chairman, Richard Lewin, explains further: ‘Golf croquet is a social and strategic game with quite simple rules which can be enjoyed by beginners but can also become very competitive. A game can typically last for 30 to 40 minutes. Association croquet is much more complicated. It has been likened to playing snooker on grass, building breaks and having to plan several moves ahead. Sometimes a game of association croquet may take up to three hours to complete.’Chelmsford and Bentley Croquet Club is based at Writtle College Sports Ground in Writtle and has a clubhouse as well as facilities for making drinks, preparing refreshments and for social occasions. Depending on the weather, the club’s two lawns are available from April until October, but there is an annual lunch in the autumn as well as an active winter social programme.Golf croquet is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays and association croquet is held on Wednesday and Saturday.Other than for club matches and some internal competitions when it is customary to wear whites there is no particular dress code, but it is essential that members wear flat-soled shoes at all times to avoid damaging the lawns.

For more information and details of the annual membership fee, contact club secretary David Bateson or find out more.01245 442291 or email You can also visit

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