Hadleigh Old Fire Station was once an operational fire station, decommissioned some years ago. New life was breathed into the disused building in 2010/11 as it was to be used as a focal point for the imminent London 2012 Olympic Mountain-biking event held at Hadleigh Farm. Alongside the regeneration of Hadleigh town centre, Hadleigh Old Fire Station (HOFS) www.hofs.org.uk became home to a new community of artists and is managed by arts education charity the Association for Cultural Advancement through Visual Art (ACAVA).
The artists at HOFS have one shared aim – to place Hadleigh on the national ‘cultural map’ as a hub (forgive the cycling pun!) for high quality, high profile arts, cultural and community events. Hadleigh sits on the banks of the Thames Estuary and boasts the ruins of a 13th Century castle depicted in oils by John Constable following a visit here in the 1820s. Prior to the arrival of HOFS artists, the Borough of Castle Point, of which Hadleigh forms part, lacks any cultural provision – not even the basic amenity of a cinema and certainly no theatre. Neighbouring Canvey Island forms the southernmost edge of our Borough and is justly proud of its cultural heritage in the form of Dr. Feelgood.