AT LAST! The hall is now complete and I am pleased to say that the feedback from the users has been very complimentary. As always with a new building there are some teething troubles but these are minor and the contrast between the old and new halls is remarkable.
The building is a ﬁne testament to the years of hard work which David Vallance has put into developing the design to be affordable and then getting it built in the limited time we had between selling the old hall and having to hand it over to Veer Construction on 11 July. Without David’s dedication and focus we would certainly have failed to achieve this programme and I would like to record publicly the debt of gratitude owed by the Trustees (and the village) to David for both taking on this immense load and for delivering a hall we can be proud of.
The ‘finishing touches’, such as curtains and light ﬁttings, are being installed in July and August and there will be a period of ‘settling in’ as users learn how to use the new facilities. Please be patient with the Trustees over this period as there are still quite a few tasks to be done, such as building storage racks and working out what ﬁts where. There are also several new systems such as security and fire alarms, rainwater recycling to flush the toilets and a combi boiler for the heating and hot water and these will undoubtedly provide us with some puzzles as we learn to work with them.
At the moment, the various clubs and societies have their own sets of crockery, etc. but it might make more sense (and require less storage) if the communal crockery was to be used by all users. Obviously, this will need to be discussed with the bodies as the Hall Committee does not want to force change just for the sake of it.
On 3rd September, the formal opening ceremony will be performed by our MP, Tom Tugendhat. This will be followed by the rededication of the memorial by the Bishop of Rochester. Please let us know if you or someone you know has a relative named on the memorial, so that we can extend a formal invitation to attend.
The programme of events for the opening week forms the centrefold of this copy of village News. As this takes place at the start of September and the summer double issue will cover September and October, the report of the events will be in the November Village News.
Looking further forward, there will a programme of planting in the autumn to reduce the bare appearance of the car parking area and to introduce visual interest around the new building. If you would like to help with this, please contact any of the hall trustees.
Sandy Mackay, Chairman of the Trustees