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Registered charity No: 1070692

Well, … not really what I, or really anyone, expected to be facing for the Chair’s Annual report for Llangennith Hall’s AGM.  As will be well known the AGM scheduled for April 20th 2020 has been postponed because of the necessary restrictions in force to restrict the spread of the Covid-19.  We hope/expect to be able to arrange the AGM later in the year without the need to attempt a virtual meeting.  As I say not what we were expecting or indeed planning for, currently the Hall is closed at the very time we were expecting to begin celebrating the 100-year anniversary.

Throughout the year from April 2019 until February 2020 life and activities at the Hall and upon our field and playground were very much business as usual.  With a number of regular activities taking place, so much so that when a request arises for a booking for a one-off event it is often difficult to find an available or appropriate slot.  The Egg Hunt on 21st April 2019 saw 78 children accompanied by about 50 adults going in and out of the Hall, the Field, the Church and the Village.  Several positive reports were received from villagers and Caravanners alike.  There were four Markets last year which were successful both in terms of an activity and as a fund raiser for the Hall, again these markets were well supported by Caravanners and visitors to our village who frequently comment and are impressed by the facility we have. Regular clubs continue, Short Mat Bowls throughout the year, also host matches against other teams from Swansea.  The Choir have included two impressive performances in aid of charity.  Weekly, two Yoga groups, two Pilates groups, Art, and Sewing. Monthly the WI and Cinema Club each continue to be popular. Sadly, the Youth Club that catered for about 27 young people closed in May as there were insufficient numbers of volunteers willing to supervise.  It is still hoped that this situation may be resolved.

The Hall has been the venue for Children’s birthday parties, voting for the European Election and the General Election, a meditation group, a girls’ motivation group, surf lifesaving lessons, a surgery for the local MP and meetings for the Community Council.  In November the Hall was hired for a Charity Lunch in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.  Perhaps the highlight of the summer on The August bank holiday, if not the highlight of the year was the use of our field for a “Walking Rugby Competition” it was sponsored by The Gower Brewery and supported by JPR Williams and actually won by a team including him.  Although some found the concept of walking difficult; it was a fun afternoon that raised £800 for the Alzheimer’s Society, again people commented upon our fortunate location and the facilities, we have available.  We hope this event can be repeated or perhaps extended into other walking sporting events.  We were again pleased to erect the village Christmas Tree with financial assistance from the Community Council and electricity from Caroline and PJ.

Our Gym continues to be an important revenue stream for the hall but also continues to provide a venue for those looking for a local and available fitness venue as does the Circuit sessions run by Eddie which are also popular among the Gym members.  A different type of FIT income comes from our solar panels, installation costs now well covered they provide a useful revenue. The Hall Draw now has 167 participants and we make 3 draws a year with prizes of £50, £20 and 3 x £10.   Even donations for the books in our porch play their part in our fundraising.

Towards the end of August saw an inspection by our insurers NIG.  They found little of concern but highlighted our need to have an Electrical Test of the building (now required every five years) and an updated PAT test.  In September these tests were done and remedial work undertaken (exit doors now required to be permanently on – emergency lighting expected to last for three hours).  The cost of inspection and the associated works cost in excess of £2000.  This inspection reminded us of the need to have our Playground inspected, this was done by Playdale in November.

Some of the electrical work mentioned above was completed by Andrew our maintenance person who attends the Hall weekly and has been engaged in painting, repairing items, fitting LED lights, etc. etc.  One mammoth task he has been engaged in is relaying the paving slabs that lead from the gate, some rocked and some were a trip hazard, it is an on-going project.  Gary has been employed in the summer months cutting grass and weeding in the field, he has been ably assisted by Bill, who in a voluntary capacity can frequently be found mowing the grass.

In September along with Jan as Secretary and Bookings officer and myself as Chair gave notice to the Committee that we would not be seeking re-election at the AGM in April 2020.  As a Committee we have been considering various roles taken within the Committee and how they may be reorganised in the future to spread the load and the responsibilities undertaken.  One thought was suggested that a group of “Friends of Llangennith Hall” be established; - people willing to help from time to time but reluctant to become Committee members.  I was delighted that, following a request for help, we have been able to co-opt three new (and younger) members to the Hall Committee.

Gathering pace throughout the year but particularly as we came to the end of 2019 we were looking forward to the new decade and in particular celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the Hall.  I am confident that the plans and proposals are not cancelled but are merely ‘on hold’ until the Hall may be used again.  Our hopes included: - a celebratory get-together with an exhibition of photos illustrating the history of the Hall and of our village through the century; various thoughts on commemorative items and perhaps a community mural which would be on permanent display.  Other thoughts centred around celebrating 100 in various forms during the year from surfers, sand castles, dog walkers, quizzes and songs to a Family Fun day and even a Pantomime.  We will continue to wait and see and continue to hope and plan.

By some quirk of fate Jan and I were expecting to be away for much of the month of March (circumstances made this longer).  Rachel Jones (Searle) had indicated a willingness to act as Chair during my absence and also if agreed by the Committee to continue as Chair after the April AGM.  Equally Carol Green had offered her willingness to take on the roles of both Secretary and Booking Officer.  Rhodri Lloyd was to organise the Markets.  The pandemic situation required some decisive action by the Committee and I was grateful that this was handled proficiently.  Obviously, things are now in abeyance, our first big casualty was this year’s Egg Hunt it should have been on April 12th.  Nothing is now happening at the hall and this situation is expected to last for a while yet, however I have asked Rachel if she would continue in the role of Chair as she is very much up to speed with what needs to be done.  When we are able, we

will start to hand over more information and records to Carol.  We are not going away and will continue to assist when we can, we may need to await the AGM to officially move aside.

So in rather strange and unplanned for circumstances I would like to thank all Committee members for their commitment to our Village Hall for the their time and effort in the smooth running of the Hall and hope that as soon as we are able, we may return to playing our role in the “heart of the community”.

Steve Rimell

 Chair Llangennith Hall

Llangennith Hall

Chair’s Annual Report April 2020