A very Happy New Year to you all and a special warm welcome to the new arrivals in the village.Well, what a Happy New Year it is too! As most of you will know, we have been waiting to hear with great apprehension the result of our application to the Big Lottery for funding to help us with our modernisation programme of Beech Village hall.
Village Hall Funding
November 25 last year was “D-Day” and with so many applications in with the Big Lottery and the present ‘credit crunch’ nothing was certain. However, on the day Phil Ladds, our Treasurer, received the telephone call that we had been waiting for – our application to the Big Lottery had been successful and we were to get the grant that we were hoping for. However, there was an embargo put on us preventing any publication of this approval until it was officially announced by the Big Lottery themselves on December 17 – not easy when you have waited so long and have such good news to tell.
The Big Lottery Award is only part of the funding that we have been seeking and now that the final piece of the jigsaw is in place we can move ahead with the modernisation of the hall. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have been involved in getting us to this stage of the development and would like to make special mention of Phil Ladds who has been instrumental in dealing with all the mountains of paperwork and communications required.
Our social calendar has continued to be varied and well supported. In October we held our Annual Quiz Night for the Beech Quiz Challenge Cup, the winners this year being ‘Sally’s Army’ headed by Sally Leech. Thanks here go to Patrick Burridge and his team who always composed an interesting and brain-teasing quiz.
The following month saw Bonfire Night. The weather leading up to the event had been atrocious and even on the day there was a possibility of postponement. However, although very wet underfoot the rain held back and the event took place with surprisingly good attendance. Much time had been spent during the afternoon in building the bonfire, but unfortunately the rain had soaked its way through and it was not until late that the team was able to set it ablaze – and blaze it did. Not so unfortunate was the display of fireworks and once again those attending were able to see a spectacular vista of colourful explosions in the night sky whilst supping mulled wine and chomping on a burger or two!!
During the latter part of November we held the Craft Fayre, skilfully organised by Helen Lamb. The hall was crammed with various craft stalls and the Beech Boys entertained the gathering with two sessions of carol singing.
Once again the Adult Christmas Party was fully attended in December and the entertainment this year came from Barry Stagg who stirred our nostalgia cells by playing expertly on his electric guitar, Charlotte Cockburn sang and played her acoustic guitar beautifully and the Beech Boys closed the session with several up-dated and humorous songs. The following day it was the children’s turn to enjoy a Christmas Party with an entertainer and a visit from Father Christmas.
The 2009 programme is now taking shape. On the 14th March the alternative Quiz Night will take place. April will be a quieter month as far as events go in the hall as it may have to be closed for a short period for building work, but it is anticipated that there will be an Easter Egg Hunt up on the Recreation Ground on Easter Sunday.
Social Evenings will continue through 2009. These take place on the last Friday of every month and the doors open at 7:30pm. The bar is open and food is available. Volunteers are still needed to help with the food on these evenings so if you can give us a bit of your time please let us know, even if it is only once a year that would be great.
So finally, here is my usual message that I start each year with. There are over 200 dwellings in Beech with two to three times that number of adults in residence. This equates to a lot of people, with a lot of great ideas, some with time available to help on the successful running of the Hall and others who would like to take an active part in the decision making processes that will see a continued future for Beech Village Hall and Recreation Ground for decades to come.
Centre of the Community
it is our Village hall, not the Trustees, neither solely for those who like to sing, dance and be merry. The Village Hall is Beech, not the pub (we have not got one), not the shop (we have not got one), and not the Community Centre (we do not want one), but it is the Centre of our Community. Let me know, or any other of my fellow Trustees, how you can help us achieve some, or indeed all, of our future goals. Contact us either in person, by letter, telephone, email, carrier pigeon, balloon or semaphore!
Anyone wishing to contact the Committee can do so via the Chairman by e-mailing: [email protected] or by post at the Hall.