May 2018

On the 12thMay we have the re-arranged Beyond the Roadshow evening with Andy McConnell which includes a luxury cheese platter  – reception drink ½ bottle wine pp + coffee & petit fours. Please join us if you can for what should be both an informative and fun evening

Please see separate ad for further details.

Our next gardening Saturdays will be May 19thand June 9th starting at 9.30am please come along if you can spare an hour or two, refreshments will as always be served, Thank you as always to our regular gardeners and a special thank you to the Hardy Plants Society at this time as the section of garden they look after is looking especially good with the display of tulips and other plants.

At the end of March we held our hall AGM and for those of you interested we have attached to this report the minutes presented and approved at the meeting for your information.

For all the latest information and the latest news regarding our hall, bookings, future events, reports, and garden blog please visit our website  or visit our Facebook page

David Vallance, Chairman of Trustees

Memorial Hall AGM Report

2017 saw the start of the first full working year of our hall. With the building pretty much running well for the first six months of its life, our attention at this time was drawn mainly on planning and planting the gardens. Help came in many ways especially from a group of people who have turned out to be our regular Saturday gardening crew. We would also like to say thank you to others who have helped, Maz & Jason for rotavating and preparing the grassed areas, Colin Mote and Alexander Hunt for their professional input and gifts of plants and trees, plus The Woodland Trust who also gave us 105 `Year round colour` tree pack

Since the beginning of the year our regular team of gardeners have met every month, regardless of the weather to make & create the garden that you see today, thank you to them all, with a special thank you to Jane who has created and overseen all of this

During the early part of the year following planting and grass seeding we had if you can remember a rather dry spell, which meant twice a week for a month or so there were regular watering sessions which proved challenging over such a large grassed area, but we didn’t want to lose what had been planted and sown, it seemed touch and go at one point and then one day an email from Jane delightfully saying `green shoots` the grass has taken. We have lost a few of the smaller plantings but in the main we got away with it.

To add to the garden also during the course of the year we have erected the fence to the main car park area and laid matting to create an over flow car park to the east side.

You would also see outside that we have a flagpole, salt bin which has proved quite handy of late & posts to prevent misuse of the pedestrian area for parking.

We also now have a part time gardener who cuts the grass & hedge along with general maintenance 2hrs a week for eight months of the year.

In general the hall has had a healthy year with bookings & income on a steady rise. It is interesting to note our first full year has delivered considerably better than our business plan was forecasting for its first year, Graham put this together a good few years ago when striving to get our hall and grants

In September we celebrated our 1 year official opening with an afternoon tea which was very well attended

During the year we have looked to improve our hall by adding air conditioning to the small hall to see its benefits, we have also installed acoustic panels to the large hall which has been considered money well spent, Borough grads who have moved to our hall donated approximately 20% towards this cost.

Whilst regular weekly bookings have risen since our move our main area of increase, up until now has been children’s party, with bookings for the first part of this year showing almost double our bookings on 2017.

You will hear from John’s treasurers report that our account stands quite healthy at this time, however we are aware that this building has considerably higher running costs than our old hall and for it to stay competitive and attractive to hirers we will need to invest money in it. During the spring this year we intend to install air conditioning to the main hall, and continue the outside perimeter fence from the gate to the school boundary, we also intend to continue to build up reserves to enable us to keep the internal decoration and finishes to a professionally high standard and add improvements when needed.

You will also see from the accounts we are still holding retention from Solid Oak which should have been paid last August, however some of you will know we have had and still have a problem with the water harvester failing on occasion, fortunately it does not impact directly or cause us a problem with the hall as we can bypass it when needed to

We are currently in discussion regarding this and compensation.

As I have said bookings are on the up and on the increase which has meant at times we have been unable to accommodate prospective hirers and Barry has had to turn them away mainly because we do not have the spare capacity or storage that they are after. To finish I can report our hall is in a very healthy position going forward into 2018 with what we believe a positive future.

And of course to finish I need to add a huge thank you to our group of trustees who without, this hall would not survive, and I would add an extra thankyou to Barry who as bookings secretary does more than most. We would however love to find some more young blood to join as trustees, and to take on the task of managing our hall in the future years as most of us unfortunately are not getting any younger.

David Vallance, Chairman of Trustees