When I started to think about what needed to say in this report. I thought the same as last year, nothing very much had happened, things ticked over and it was very much, life at the Hall as usual. Then I looked at the minutes of the Committee Meetings over the previous year and although we needed to have only ten meetings, quite a few things had occurred and came back into memory.
At the Egg Hunt, 99 children came along with nearly as many adults and enjoyed the hunt, their egg and the bouncy castle inside the hall. The idea of a few stalls at the event: - cakes, jewellery, photographs was not particularly successful and will not be repeated. We held Markets mainly on Bank Holiday weekends this year, which attracted many holiday makers, they proved profitable for us and stallholders alike and it was notable the large number of bacon rolls consumed in the café.
Our Hall Draw, once the 100 Club, now has 167 participants and we have increased our prizes to reflect that, they now total £100, drawn on three occasions a year.
The Hall although not in continual use is quite busy with classes and activities: - Yoga, Pilates, Circuits, Short Mat Bowls, Youth Club, Choir, Quilters, Art, Film Club, Commoners, Community Council and Children’s Parties. We even had a group of long-distance runners, sleep the night in the hall sheltering from the weather. They were raising funds for the Wales Air Ambulance. In May we hosted a Charity event in aid of Parkinson’s UK. We gave the hall free but made a good profit running the bar. The Hall has also been used by the Village Choir for Charity events.
Our gym continues to be a successful provision at the hall and is our largest source of income. The Pulse engineer has serviced and made some repairs but reports that our equipment is in very good condition. This I am sure is in part to how they are used but also thanks to the Committee volunteers who check and clean the Gym each evening. The door entry fob system has enabled the gym to be accessible 365 days a year but along with other hall users it has led to the system being full. During the year between Barry and Jan, the entry system has been updated to cope with a larger number of fobs and a new laptop purchased to operate it. A new router received from BT and a new cheaper contract negotiated with BT for our broadband.
The Committee were saddened at the resignation of Marie Bruce as our Gym Instructor in November and expressed their thanks for the work she had done in Circuits, Pilates and in building up the Gym Membership. However, life at the hall goes on and without interruption, Eddie Cooper was appointed to run Circuit classes and to give Gym inductions, in turn he seems to be successful and popular with members. Marianna Gonzales hires the hall for two Pilates classes each week.
The Hall continues to receive several positive, perhaps envious, comments from visitors about its facilities and its condition. The under-floor heating makes the hall comfortable for users and our Solar panels are now giving us a return above expenditure. It is a really good hall that is well respected by its users but it also reflects the work of those that look after it, Gill cleaning each week, Andrew, as a self-employed worker, doing a variety of odd jobs but also painting, fitting a new water boiler in the Kitchen, power washing outside, relaying and pointing paving slabs and lately climbing a scaffold tower to repair the damage caused by a leak in one of the roof lanterns. This leak appears to have mysteriously stopped after the visit of a roofer who reported that he hadn’t done anything! New kitchen flooring has been fitted by an outside contractor, it was done with a minimum of disruption but has made a significant improvement to the appearance of the room.
Another area that receives ‘wows’ and perhaps envy is the Field and Playground behind the Hall. The cost of the development, in addition to the ground source heat pump and under-floor heating in the hall, did significantly exceed the £250,000 grant from the National Lottery but we are pleased with the outcome. In August we had the formal opening of the field with a pirate themed afternoon, it was a very hot day with people seeking shade. Appropriately children pulled the ribbon to declare the area open. Following his immobility, Bill is back cutting the grass, ably assisted by Gary who this season is working for 3 hours a week, thanks to a grant received from Llangennith Manor of £1000. We also received a grant of 180 tree whips from The Woodland Trust which volunteers planted around the edge of the ground primarily replacing ones that had not taken from the original plantings, we hope they take root.
As a Committee we frequently consider if our events are fund raisers or should just happen as community occasions. In many ways helping to bring the community together is one of the main reasons for the Hall existing. It is a balance that I guess the Hall Committee has been involved in now for nearly 100 years and we are now looking for ways to celebrate this significant landmark in the life of the Hall and the Village itself. We are also aware that we need to remain relevant to village life in 2020’s and invite and welcome ideas for both community activities or fund raisers that can happen in the Hall or upon our Field, some events may well fulfil both aims.
We are sorry that during the year Don Delloy left the committee and that Margaret Ace left as the WI representative. We thank them for their work. We all welcomed Derek Thomas, Carol Green and Phil Davies to the Committee, I am sure that they will help us move forward in to the next decade.
My thanks as always, go to all Committee members for their support and assistance throughout the year, I thank them for the time and effort they have voluntarily given.