The Hall as a Social Centre
The Hall has successfully continued to play host to the many Clubs and Classes who use the Hall regularly, also as a wedding venue, and for parties and celebrations – both for the Village run by the Social Committee, and for private events. Coordinated by Peter Cox, he continues to provide his valued effort and time for the Charity.
Jane Short, and the Social Committee have also put on a lovely variety of events for villagers during the year. She will report later.
The Sound System
The impressive music, and lights system which we installed at the Hall last year has started to show its value. At the Christmas party in 2018, the lighting system was an entertainment in its own right, and kept as many watching the dancing, and absorbing the show, as those who were dancing. The dancing went on until midnight with great enthusiasm.
Since then we have also discovered that it works well for children’s parties, at a lower volumes, and with the children and parents being entranced with the laser lighting.
This system is for hire with the Hall and will save the hirer the cost of a DJ, or hiring their own equipment for parties.
New Signboards for Village Events
The roadside signs in Beech for upcoming Village Hall events were changed this year. We decided to replace them with new – reminding passers-by of how the Village Hall is a great venue for events. You will have seen them – the signs will have backgrounds with images of weddings, parties, meetings, and dances. A recent client commented (entirely voluntarily, I promise): “Having now hosted an event at BVH after attending a number in the past, it definitely reinforces my thought that you’re the benchmark of all the locally available halls in the area, and would not hesitate to use you in the future, or recommend you to others.”
Village Hall Bins
On a more prosaic topic, I have talked about this in the Beech Newsletter. Some of you know Maureen Smith, often, in the past, seen walking in the village. Maureen is an unsung hero of the Village Hall, who, living near the Hall, would sort the rubbish, put the Hall’s bins out for collection every Monday, year in year out, rain or shine. Then put them back after they had been emptied. She is to be deeply thanked for this small but important bit of community work that she has helped us with for so many years. Sadly she is no longer able to do this work.
Replacing her role, and how to handle the Hall’s rubbish took up an astonishing amount of time this year. Sadly the wrong rubbish was ending up in the wrong bins, and they were being used as a public resource. In the end we decided to have the bins placed inside a small shed, available only for use for our own events. This shed will be locked by code, which will only be available to the Village Hall cleaner, volunteers, and the kind neighbours (Lucy Foxon and Cheryll Hallett) who have volunteered to put them on the road for collection.
I will not say much about this topic, other than the project is an ongoing target, regularly discussed at the Building and Estates Committee. It is for this project that we must continue to grow our available funds, as the work involved will be expensive, and involve a Grant or other external funding. This Committee with myself, Ian Gibson, Peter Cox, and Nick Sorby deal with managing the ongoing maintenance of the Hall and its grounds.
Management Committee and Trustees
Kim Eakers and Nick Sorby have stepped onto the Management Committee during the year and have already made valuable contributions. They have both indicated that they are happy to be appointed as Trustees for this charity, and we are pleased to welcome them. Kim has started working with Peter Cox on the matter of hiring the Hall and showing it to prospective clients. Nick has taken the role of looking after all the green spaces, and liaising with our contractors who deal with mowing, hedge cutting, gardening and so forth. We have stopped using a volunteer rota for the grass mowing, and that work is now being done by Simon Hodgson, our maintenance helper, on a contract basis. After the end of the financial year, June 2019, Nigel Sillick decided he would relinquish the Treasurer role and also his position as a Trustee. He therefore retires at this AGM, after presenting the financial report for the year. The role of Treasurer is an important part of the Charity, and we thank Nigel for his diligence, his time and effort in past years.
Taking over the role from Peter Cox, I became Chair of the Trustees in March 2012. I am amazed. Nearly eight years ago. Long enough indeed, and past time for a change of style at the helm. I have found a successor on the current Management Committee in Jane Short who will take the Chair at the first management committee meeting after this AGM, and with effect from today. Jane is well known to many in the Village, and I am certain that she will be a very capable, warm and engaging Chair of Trustees. I will be happy to continue as a Trustee, supporting Jane and the team, and will specifically now take over the role of Treasurer for the charity.
I want to thank the current team on the Management and Social Committees, and all those who have been part of those teams over the past eight years for their work, and time. Also the many villagers who quietly help with one-off roles, and regular events like the Fireworks evening. These are far too many names to mention here. This role as Chair has “had its moments”, but for the far greater part, it has been rewarding, interesting, and fun to have been at the heart of this community Charity.