AGM Village Hall Report 2019 to 2020
June 7th 2020
I am writing this report in unusual circumstances. We have been in a state of lockdown since March 23rd with no definite idea when places like the Village Hall will be allowed to open and if, when they do, large groups of people will be able to congregate together.
The very nature of a Village Hall is that it is a venue where groups can meet whether on business like the Parish Council, or for pleasure like the WI, exercise and dance groups, children’s music groups or private parties.
As I write, groups of six or more are allowed to meet outside at a distance of 2 metres. Funeral wakes are not allowed nor are weddings. Obviously as the Government ease the lockdown conditions things will change, but if venues have to be deep cleaned every time they have been used this could impose prohibitive costs for the Village Hall to meet at a time when our income has taken a severe hit. Indeed it is a matter of concern that our regular hirers may not still be in need of the facility. Also people may still be nervous about meeting in large groups indoors.
Whether we will still run our scheduled programme of events for 2020 has not been decided. We are at the mercy of what the Government decide about the easing of the lockdown rules.
Last year’s AGM took place on July 3rd and the following week we closed the hall for a much needed refurbishment. We closed from July 8th for one week. The main hall, kitchen, and the lavatories were redecorated and at the time it was decided to leave the floor as it was. However, on completion of the redecorating the floor looked terrible so we closed the Hall again on the January 6/7/8/9 to have the floor sanded and varnished.
It was completed just in time for our – rescheduled from Christmas – Get-together. The dreadful, overpowering smell of varnish didn’t seem to put people off their drinking and everyone seemed to be getting along well and meeting new neighbours. Initially we had decided against this meeting because of the cost – but there were so many new people in the village we thought we would take the opportunity to show off our beautifully re-vamped Hall.
We are replacing the pictures with the old photographs of Staverton in newly purchased large black frames. Progress on this project was put on hold because of the lockdown in March. Once we are able to meet together inside we will continue with this plan. The frames are bought, the photographs selected we just need now to put the two together! Many thanks to the people in the village who have helped us collect these photographs.
We had our annual Flower and Produce show as usual on the August bank holiday -always a joyous occasion. The Hall looked lovely full of beautiful vegetables, craftwork, paintings and the glorious smell of roses - and tea and cakes.
I love this event but worry that this year’s may have to be cancelled because of COVID-19. It is ironic that because of the virus and enforced lockdown everyone has had time to grow and sew and knit and paint – but may not be able to display it!
We had a Quiz and Curry night on October 5th which was a very successful evening – helped in no small part by Greg Lerigo and his team, Barbara , David and Gill taking over the cooking and serving of the curry. Massive sigh of relief from yours truly who only had to produce – with the help of Philippa Powell – rice for 75+ – without giving them botulism.
Greg and Barbara very generously donated all the food which meant we made a huge profit – something that in the light of this lockdown and a reduced income, was very fortunate.
Another favourite event of mine is the Easter Sunday egg rolling competition. We cancelled this because of the growing fears of the contagious nature of COVID-19. Although we did this before the Government initiated the lockdown we would have been legally obliged to do so by the time Easter came. By Easter in fact, churches and all public venues had been closed and mass meetings banned even outside.
Our AGM has been cancelled so I am writing this report to be published with our accounts on the website and on the board outside the HalI. I want to publicly thank the committee for all their hard work and their friendship during the year. I am presuming, and hoping, that they will continue on the committee – at least until we are able to meet again and go through the normal procedures of re-election.
These are unprecedented times and there is no rule book to follow. We will continue to do our best to maintain the Hall and we will reopen it, if and when, it is practical and safe to do so and is in line with Government advice.
Chairman: Staverton Village Hall Committee