First published on 15 June 2018. The Queniborough Gazette is our community newspaper and is delivered free to all residents.
Chairman’s Review of the year
When I took over from Mike Bunn in May last year it was with a little trepidation. He had successfully run the team for several years albeit with one little break. That trepidation soon disappeared because I quickly realised that it is the team not the Chairman that actually makes things happen.
Our meetings are fast paced and lively, suggestions flow from all quarters and decisions are taken on a democratic basis after everybody has had their say. Not all agree to everything but everybody works hard to make any decision taken, a reality. Everybody on the team has a role to play and they play it wonderfully well.
The amount and breadth of the events that we put on is truly remarkable.
Our inaugural summer barbecue and disco on the 1st July was really well attended with over a hundred people joining us. We combined a hot summer day with first class music from the music man himself Paul Kirton-Smith, drinks for those who needed them, all you could eat food and a relaxing atmosphere. Next one again booked for July this year.
The Blockbuster quiz which we held in September, with the kind permission of the British Legion was a sell-out, so much so in fact that we only just managed to fit everybody in! It was a ‘Blockbuster Style’ quiz which had a number of people guessing even while the quiz was in progress. A great time and another new event that we intend to run again in October this year.
Our first stage production in November was ‘Glorilla’ which suffered a little from an advertising poster presumably designed to scare off more people than it attracted. Low numbers but highly entertaining for all who attended and a good earner for the Village Hall fund.
In the same month we ran our second ‘Junior Roller Disco’ of the year for the children of the village who were again royally entertained by the music man himself. A seemingly small event but it still took a great deal of time and effort.
The Children’s Pantomime was again a huge success; well over a hundred people turned out on a cold night to watch Jack and the Beanstalk. And for the second year running we booked the aptly named ‘Dream Team Theatre Company’ group immediately for next year!
The Beer Festival crew rolled into the Hall in February and ran another well organised, hugely entertaining and profitable Festival in aid of the Dystonia Society and the Queniborough Village Hall Appeal. There was a record attendance, all beer glasses were sold and it was a hugely successful event. So much so that Tim and his team were able to present us with a cheque for £650. Thanks Tim and Team.
Finally in March we hosted a truly professional musical evening featuring Kel Elliott and her three man orchestra – truth and tall tales – uplifting, mischievous bluesy jazz from a rousing quartet led by a smart, sassy double-bass playing singer-songwriter with a rich voice. It was all that and more.
Fundraising and Grants
These events raised a substantial amount of money for the Village Hall Appeal fund and form a key aspect of our money raising strategy, which is threefold. The major projects, Car park; Windows and Toilet Block refurbishment will be funded by applying to the appropriate funding organisations for grants because the cost of these major projects is simply too much for us to bear. The second part of the strategy is as mentioned above, to raise funds via our regular events which will in the main be used for the regular upkeep of the Hall and smaller projects. The third arm of the strategy comes courtesy of the Queniborough Parish Council who set aside £10,000 for us to use at our discretion with their approval.
We were again successful on the grants front and secured funding to replace our aging double glazed windows and doors. The work will be carried out by Wilsons Windows in August this year.
Other completed projects include a new lock on the front door, two new sets of stepladders, a lighting unit on the front of the Hall, new keys for the lockable bins, a new safety barrier on the steps leading to the stage and a whole new set of comfortable chairs which have replaced our old plastic ones.
Looking ahead we have a number of projects still in the pipeline. The car park is in desperate need of a major overhaul and will be the main focus of our grants team during the year. The flooring at the front of the hall and by the stage is next on our list and longer term will be the refurbishment of our toilet block.
One project we didn’t really want to pursue was to install CCTV but events, including people ‘doing donuts’ on the car park and a number of instances of fly-tipping have lead us to the sad conclusion that it is inevitable. So this will be pursued with vigour this year.
One key aspect of the work done this year and one of which I’m most proud is the Health and Safety work we have undertaken. Lead by Mart Ojari we have developed our Health and Safety strategy and procedures to an enormous degree and I would like to thank Mart for the dedication, time, expertise and effort he has put in over the past year.
The Queniborough Village Hall Management Committee (QVHMC) is a team of like-minded individuals who want to give something back to the village we all love. It can be hard work, it can be frustrating but that brings us together as a team and it is also enormous fun.
If you feel like putting something back into the village this is a relatively easy way to help. We meet once a month and most of the project activities are usually during school holidays. Please think about it, we’d love to see you. Thank-you.
Mike Jones (for and on behalf of the QVHMC)