May 2019

You will find added as part of this Village News report the Chairman’s annual report that was read out at our AGM meeting, held in the hall in March. This briefly outlines a year in the life of our village hall. One item raised at this meeting was the possibility of having full white lines marking out the parking bays in the car park as many, it seems, were having difficulty parking tidily, especially at night (we are not allowed lighting.)

If you have recently visited the hall you will see that, unlike Brexit, we have done as requested and this has been carried out. If anyone else has suggestions they feel would improve our hall, please let us know.

Ever-improving are the gardens around our hall. The next Saturday garden working days are 18th May and 15th June. Please join us if you can. Our recent April date was brought forward to the 6th as the prearranged one fell on the Easter weekend, but it didn’t stop us having hot cross buns and Easter eggs with our tea and coffee.

David Vallance, Chairman of Trustees

Memorial Hall AGM Report

I am pleased to report that 2018 has followed the trend set in 2017 with our hall going from strength to strength with more and more people – groups and business – wishing to use the facility to the point that only Wednesday mornings and most of Fridays have availability. This, accompanied by the number of weekend bookings for parties continually rising, will be reflected in the financial report given by our Treasurer later.

From early January thoughts were geared to the Armistice celebration to be held in November. Fortunately we had Scott Wishart on board to lead this and over the following months, with the help of Paul Panting and others, put together a series of events around the village including the woods trail which was enjoyed by many. This all culminated in the Sunday afternoon Armistice celebration show, which was an admirable end to such an anniversary. The main event was well-supported by many from within our village including Roger and Barbara Harris, Platt  Stitchers, the W.I and Borograds, to name just a few who took part. There was also some financial support coming from the Fundraisers.

The ‘Beast from the East’ saw the cancellation of the arranged March event with Andy McConnell which eventually took place in May. This  too, turning into a successful evening.

During the course of 2018 we have installed air-conditioning to the main hall coupled with the acoustic panels which now makes our main hall a much better place to hold those larger events. You will also notice we have recently installed acoustic panels to the small hall.

Also during the course of the year we have purchased a full set of white table cloths and added four new large tables. The tables were paid for by Platt Fundraisers. We also now have our own defibrillator in the lobby; something we considered a good and worthwhile investment.

Our gardens are now becoming well-established with a regular band of willing helpers all kept in line by Jane Jewitt who over sees much of this work. We also have a gardener who cuts the grass during the growing season and also during this period carries out regular maintenance to ease the load on our Saturday morning volunteers. Towards the end of last year, we erected screening to the Heras fence between us and OTG to help hide the overgrown strip of land which is owned by Rydons. We also now have the grass overflow carpark operational.

During early occupation of our hall it soon became apparent we had a problem with our water harvesting system not working properly and for the first 18 months were at odds with Solidoak regarding this and its rectification. During last summer we decided to disconnect it and now our hall runs on mains water only. We refused to pay Solidoak their retention monies until we were satisfied it was working properly. However it soon became apparent that there was no easy fix or cure to the underlying problem because of the way it was installed. We offered a financial compromise to Solidoak a year ago but having received no contact back from them, we have kept all retention monies and consider the matter closed.

Looking to the future our bookings are strong and steadily rising month on month. We have recently changed our cleaners as we felt they were no longer doing a satisfactory job. In the  summer we intend to redecorate the entrance lobby and soon hope to have some reception seating there for a more welcoming feel. Slightly longer term we are considering adding a small extension for more additional storage/office space. This would be located off the existing rear store. Storage has always been restricted and has, on occasion, been the reason we have had to turn away potential hirers.

In finishing this short report I need to thank our group of trustees with added thanks to John Acton our treasurer, and Barry Baker as bookings secretary, who is forever getting busier.

We have often asked  for some younger blood to join our committee to help take our hall forward as two-thirds of the trustees are over 70. So it may be that in the future we will have to consider employing a caretaker/secretary to help cope with the ever-increasing demand of running this building as many that carry out these duties are not getting any younger.

David Vallance, Chairman of Trustees