The Maltings – where would be we without our Friends?

People taking part in a quiz

Archive image. A previous quiz night at The Maltings - Credit: The Friends of Great Dunmow Maltings

Angela Jardine offers a glimpse at the past, as we get ready for the future.

If you have already visited The Maltings then you will realise what a special building it is. 

It has played a role in family celebrations, social gatherings and even the business plans of our local entrepreneurs but did you know that 1992 saw an attempt to dismantle this local treasure?

The Great Dunmow Preservation Trust was formed in 1996 and via that group of committed volunteers The Maltings was able to gain grants from English Heritage and The Heritage Lottery Trust amongst others, which helped save this beautiful building for the community and the nation.

But the story doesn’t stop there.

As anyone will know, bills have to be paid and with a building as special as The Maltings with its Grade 2* listing, there are no cheap options.

In addition to our volunteers, we are lucky to have Friends who fundraise throughout the year and help us keep The Maltings available for the community to hire.

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Kate Woods, chair of the Friends of Great Dunmow Maltings, said an annual quiz night organised by the enthusiastic committee has played a major role in keeping The Maltings in the heart of Dunmow, for us all to enjoy in the coming years.

Quiz nights have been an annual feature at Great Dunmow Maltings since the early 2000s, helping to boost the funds needed to keep this historic building in good repair.

Of course, 2020 has been a year like no other so such events have been on hold, but what better time to take a look back, while making plans for future quizzes?

On a Saturday evening in October, quiz fans gather for a lively evening of fun, facts and food, organised by the Friends of Great Dunmow Maltings committee.

Around eight tables of quizzers fill the warm and atmospheric Barley Room with chat and laughter, bringing bags of nibbles and drinks, ready to give their brains a work-out and enjoy a half-time ploughman’s platter.

Lots of our quizzers have been coming for years so it is a perfect opportunity to catch up with old friends.

With the aim of raising money to support the upkeep of one of our town’s most historic and attractive buildings, raffle tickets also offer a range of excellent prizes, frequently donated by our wonderful local businesses.

Over the years, many entertaining hosts have taken the mic to put questions to a packed audience, among them Rodney Copping, who was instrumental in saving the building, and Mike Thomason, who was host for the longest period and after whom our quiz nights are now named.

Later on, Vic Ranger made sure our grey matter worked hard and most recently Miz and Emma of local pub quiz fame have posed the questions, aided by music maestro Alan Stratton.

Hopefully 2021 will see a return to charities being able to hold events and when that happens the Friends committee will be back organising more quiz nights and fundraising events, to ensure we can continue to support the Trustees in keeping this wonderful building alive.

If you would like to be kept up-to-date on events and news from the Friends of Great Dunmow Maltings, email friends@greatdunmowmaltings.co.uk to join the mailing list. We always welcome new committee members, so let us know if you would like to join us.

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