New Residents

"Welcome"  to  new residents in our village and likewise to visitors to our website
The Present

Greetings from HVHA and welcome to our village which we trust you will come to enjoy living in and become part of our rural community sufficiently far away from but close enough to the facilities and services which are part of 21st century life concentrated in urban centres.


Our village.


Firstly, a word about  us. Hett is one of Co.Durham’s Green Villages -  a small community of about 250 persons living in 90 + residences built around a central Green complete with pond. It lies some 5 miles S of Durham City. It is now part of the Parish of Croxdale and Hett though it used to be its own parish with a small church still essentially recognisable at the N end of the village. Hett these days is mainly a dormitory, commuter settlement though its origins lie in farming when agriculture required manual labour and the housing stock was either farms or cottages for agricultural workers. As mechanisation gathered pace in the 20th century and the higher wages of the industrial N.E. lured people away some dereliction set in by the 1930. After the 2nd World War Co. Durham Council needed to evaluate its housing stock, much of it old, run down and primitive especially in previously prosperous mining areas where collieries had been worked out or ceased during the Depression of the 1920s-30s.


Hett was classified as a Category C village – not suitable for development -  and apart from the remaining farms it faced demolition. Fortunately, a developer realised latent potential and the village received a new lease of life through the building of the new houses which now form The Green, South Green [1974] and Grove Court [1985]. Subsequent infill in the 1990s and since 2000 complete the quadrilateral formed by East, West and North Streets together with South Green and Grove Court. There remain two working farms with several others in the hinterland – with an emphasis on arable or mixed farming.


The nearest urban centre is Spennymoor some 3 miles SW across the A167 which before the building of the A1M used to be the A1 trunk road from London to Edinburgh. Spennymoor has a limited range of shops + an ASDA supermarket and contains the nearest schools- nursery, primary and secondary. Durham is the nearest “city” and historic as it is and the 8th wonder of the world when seen from a train on the viaduct approaching the station from the S, its wonderful peninsula site restrains what can be fitted in there beyond the Cathedral – completed 1094 and the largest Romanesque building in Europe – and the Castle, which is now a hall of residence for Durham’s prestigious university. Newcastle upon Tyne [no hyphens here] is the regional capital with all the services, shops and entertainments that characterise such metropolii, along with its famously first out-of-town shopping complex of the Metrocentre which is actually in Gateshead [free parking].


In and out of Hett and roundabout:


We have done our best to set out below important aspects of communication. Such a list cannot be exhaustive but we hope it helps you to understand the geography of our part of Durham – its central corridor - with the E. Durham dolomite limestone plateau to its E and the Durham Dales and High Pennines to the W.


Hett lost its twice a day bus service some years ago so there is no public transport though one can use a dial a ride service when available.


 Roads out of Hett are :

·    Hett Lane – “the principal road” going S to the new roundabout on the A167 at the Coach and Horses [gritted in winter] or NW to Sunderland Bridge passing the Cemetery and becoming rather winding [not gritted in winter].


·    Leemans Lane exiting E between Grove Court and East Street - a single track route leading to Falls Farm, Hett Moor and the A688 for the A1M [not gritted in winter].


·   Access to the A1M north is best via the A688 either via Leemans Lane or the Thinford roundabout – N to Newcastle, Berwick and Edinburgh.


·   Access to the A1M south is best via the A167 past Newton Aycliffe until Jct.59.


·   The A688 gives access to E. Durham and the coast or W to Bishop Auckland, Barnard Castle, and the A66 over the Pennines to Penrith or Tebay and the M6.


·   Hett is fortunate in having easy access to the Durham Coastline – now a remarkable stretch of varied cliffed or sandy beaches with protected wildlife and plant areas. This stretches N from Seaton Carew near Hartlepool via Castle Eden, Blackhall Rocks, Seaham to Seaburn, Marsden and South Shields.


·   Equally easy access is via Bishop Auckland, Staindrop and Eggleston to Upper Teesdale – Middleton, Langdon Beck and Cow Green or via Tow Law, Wolsingham and Stanhope to Upper Weardale. Both are rural Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty [AONBs], scenically stunning and steeped in the history of lead mining.


·         The R.Tees rises on the slopes of Cross Fell [highest of the Pennines] whilst the R.Wear rises only 2 kms away and the R.South Tyne rises only 200 metres away from the Tees yet they exit to the N.Sea at Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Tynemouth respectively.


·   The Yorkshire Dales National Park lies to the S of the cross-Pennine A66 trunk road and the Northumberland National Park is no great distance beyond Newcastle.


The nearest bus routes are:

A]  Arriva service7/7A on the A167 – path across the fields from West End- to Darlington or Durham or from the Coach & Horses;

B] Arriva service 6 to Spennymoor and Bishop Auckland or beyond  + Durham in reverse from Croxdale.

C] Northern service X20 to Sunderland via Durham or X21 to Newcastle via Durham . Both go to Bishop Auckland on return. Both call at Croxdale.

D] Occasionally there is an X24 from Croxdale to the Metrocentre + return.


Rail services:

1.  Durham Station is on the East Coast Mainline with fast electric trains to Newcastle [12 mins.], Edinburgh [1.45 hrs], Glasgow, [2.40], York [50 mins], Peterborough [2 hrs] London [3 hrs].

2.  Cross Country trains run S to Birmingham, Bristol, Plymouth, Reading, Southampton via Doncaster or Leeds to Sheffield, and Derby and N to Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen.

3.  First Trans Pennine run N to Newcastle, or S to Darlington, York, Leeds, Manchester and Manchester Airport.


HVHA and you:


HVHA is registered with the Charity Commission and is the community association for our village. By its 1954 & 1956 Deeds of Conveyance all adult residents of the village of Hett and outlying farms are automatically members and are entitled to vote at the AGM, stand for positions as Officers, Trustees or its General Committee. HVHA is managed by the Trustees and General Committee. The Association is run entirely by volunteers on a not for profit basis, raises sufficient funds to service its revenue costs but no capital fund and has no employees. It runs the village hall, our ex-Army 2nd World War Nissen Hut on the Green, in green, brought to Hett in 1956 and renovated principally in 2010 using  grant monies – the largest of which came from E.Durham LEADER.


The business of HVHA is to provide a facility which is properly managed as the 1956 Deed stipulates: "the Trustees shall hold the said property as the site for the erection of, and there shall forthwith be erected thereon, a village hall to be used for the advantage or benefit of the inhabitants of the Parish of Hett either gratuitously or in consideration of any money payment or on such terms as the Trustees may think fit".


 The benefit to our community is the operation of the Hall and the activities held there e.g.

·         weekly quiz and boot camp classes, W.I. meetings, coffee mornings, choir rehearsals, parish council +     police authority meetings,

·         privately hired villager parties [christenings/weddings/birthdays etc.,]

·         plus the organised activities of HVHA such as the Village Show, Halloween, Dances, Christmas +     New  Year celebrations, Children's events and monthly Social Nights.


The Hall is the only venue for such activities and events and with the demise of The Hett Arms in 2010 it is the only facility left in the village.  Governance of any community organisation, the more so those registered via the Charity Commission, is tightly controlled nowadays with responsibility for conforming to relevant legislation being overseen by the General Committee, ultimately the Trustees. That HVHA does its best to do this is witnessed by its being awarded the nationally recognised accolade of Hallmark 1 and latterly Hallmark 2 – at the time of writing one of only three village halls in the County to do so. These are an indication of the strength of HVHA, its probity in management, financial affairs and upkeep of the premises


HVHA hopes that now you have come to live in Hett you will not just dwell in your residence but want to become part of what goes on. Villager attendance and support is clearly essential to the vitality of HVHA and its Hall and whilst every event may not be for you we trust many will. News of what’s on, what has happened, a directory of services and commentaries on issues of the moment are published quarterly in “Hett Happenings”. Whilst this can be in printed form, Email is clearly a more immediate, effective and cheaper alternative – so send one saying you are here please to Mike Simpson, Editor at and he will add you to his list.


HVHA also has an up-to-date website where the latest is always to be found. It contains photos of “happenings”, editorial, news and events etc. as well as conservation and amenity pages, history of Hett Village Hall, whom to contact as well as what’s on. Please give it a try at


Our Hall has a Premises Licence which permits relevant entertainment and the provision of alcohol for consumption on the premises. This facility is available on Quiz Nights, the monthly Social Nights and any HVHA organised event. It can be hired for any other authorised event including private hirings. We have a range of canned or bottled beers, lagers, spirits, wine by the glass or bottle, soft drinks and regularly draught beer on tap.


We hope you have found this pack helpful and that it will aid your settling in. Do please come along to something, don’t be frightened of introducing yourself and send Mike Simpson an Email. A list of current officers is on the Letterheading at the beginning of each page too.




HVHA. 26.03.13