The construction programme continues to go well. An added bonus seems to be the entertainment for passing children provided by the diggers on site. Once the roof is watertight, work will begin on the first fix for the electrical wiring. That is the point of no return for getting things in the right place, this means not just the plugs but also wiring for security, access control, internet and audio-visual systems.
In recent months, the trustees and the committee have been working to try and produce a fair, transparent and universally applicable booking system. Handling bookings in the past has been quite a difficult job and it is important to try and make it both easier to administer and to try and modernise it. That means being able to handle invoices and payments electronically where possible and to have a diary visible on the village hall website so that potential users can see whether slots are free or not. These debates have got to the essence of what the village hall is for. Perhaps controversially, we have decided to put forward a universal pricing system simply because, in the vast majority of cases, either the people attending an event or the person or group organising it have a local affiliation. Because of this, we have decided to try and keep the prices as keen as possible across the board. For most users this will not represent a great change but for some it may as we have decided to rationalise the timetable as well. No one likes change but we can assure you that a lot of thought and debate has gone into this.
We had a stall at the village party. It was a very busy event all round and there was a lot of positive interest at our stand. People came forward with offers of help and questions about what was happening. There were some interesting contributions to the wishing well of ideas on the stall. The sweetest being a wish that ‘everyone be happy’. It was also heart warming that some people came along simply to say ‘thank you’ for what we were doing. Some of the souvenir pens were on display. These were made from the wood in the old hall floor and stage. They have been beautifully made locally by Steve Smith and presented as a fundraising gift to the hall. We have taken orders for quite a few but more will be on display at events in the future.
The other area of activity is preparing for the reopening. There is obviously a lot of basic preparation to be done but also we want to make progress with the voluntary activities previously mentioned. We have had interest declared in making progress with the ideas of establishing a library, starting a community cafe and youth activity. Thank you to those people who have put their names forward already, more are needed. As a next step in this program, we will have an open evening in the back room of the Red Lion Wednesday 12th June from 7.30pm. Please come along if you’re interested. With three months or less until opening, it would be good to get the ball rolling in terms of organisation, training and funding. If you cannot make it, please make contact on firstname.lastname@example.org.