The construction continues on programme and it is looking good both inside and out. At the time of writing there were plenty of wires going in and shortly the other utilities will be going in. We had already started working on a colour scheme when a sudden rather odd request came through. Apparently, there is something of a rush nationally on orders for toilet cubicle fittings and so we had to choose colours and get an order placed. As the team leading on the colour scheme had a good overall plan, this was not as difficult as it might have been. There has also been a fair amount of discussion and effort to make sure that the audiovisual system is fitted properly and other small but important technical points will be right, eg making sure wifi works where it is needed. The construction team are proving very helpful and easy to deal with. A planning application has now gone in to request removal of the trees in the car park which are not in good condition and to put in replacements in better locations.
As the construction is going on time, we have committed to an opening event on Sunday, 1st September at 3 PM in the hall. David Haines is kindly bringing the Burton brass band to provide entertainment. We are planning a small opening ceremony with a very local focus. There will be an opportunity to look around the hall afterwards and during the following weekend. There will be further details in the August magazine.
In recent weeks we have been talking to and signing up our old regular users and some new ones. Some groups have been flexible enabling us to make a more harmonised timetable and fit in more people than we might otherwise have done. I am very grateful for this and pleased to report a good level of interest for family events too.
The parish council and village hall liaison group has had a meeting to review progress and also to discuss making best use of the office space that the parish council will use on Monday and Thursday afternoons.
On 12th June there was an open evening in the Red Lion for anyone interested in helping with the community cafe, library or book exchange and youth initiatives. Quite a few people had given their names who could not attend. The attendance was actually quite high and work is starting in these areas. There is a real desire to make the new facility a true hub for community activity, simply somewhere to be and simply find company. There is a long list of activities that have worked in the past and others we could add in the future. For example, there have been suggestions about having board game afternoon or evenings in the community café, computer advice sessions and informal language groups. It is very much up to us a community what we make of it.
The task of going through the archives continues. The old hall featured on the front cover of a Derbyshire wide community magazine in 1971 in its splendid new glory. That was also the year that Repton won a ‘Best Kept Village’ award for villagers with more than 1500 residents.