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The “Henderson” in the Hall’s name comes from Henry William (Harry) Henderson who had the Hall built over 100 years ago for the benefit of the people of Abbots Langley, in memory of his wife. His family left the Hall in trust for the village, and it has provided a venue in the High Street for educational, cultural, social and leisure activities ever since.

Portrait of Henry William Henderson by John Singer-Sergeant

Portrait of
Henry William Henderson by John Singer-Sergeant

The Hall has gone through a number of changes and extensions in that time – at one point it had living accommodation for a caretaker, at another the foyer was extended to provide a rent collection office for the district council.

There is no other location in the village for dramatic performances and the Hall is used by several groups including the Abbots Langley Players, the Abbots Langley Gilbert and Sullivan Society, the Centralians, the Young People’s Drama Centre, Flatpacktheatre and the Village Moonlighters.

There is however a much wider range of users – including the Women’s Institute, the Flower Arranging Society, and Watford and District Organ Society. The Hall also has regular exercise classes, and on most Friday mornings it is packed out when it becomes a café run by ‘A Heart for Abbots Langley’.

The Hall is a great asset to the village. It is bang in the middle of the shopping area, probably the most noticeable building on the High Street. It is well known to the inhabitants and used by many of them.

However, the Hall is also a rather old building, and a bit rundown. While the main hall has been recently decorated other parts are definitely showing their age. 

In the last few months the Henderson Hub has equipped the Hall with a high quality surround sound system, as well as a lighting rig making the building much better equipped for users and hirers.  In time, we are confident that the village will reap the benefits from these changes already put in place – with visiting companies who put on a show and move on in all within 24 hours.

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