Village Hall Committee Speech as written and read by Mandy Barclay
Good evening ladies and gentlemen
Thank you very much for making the effort to come out on this wintery evening to share in this special occasion which is nothing to do with politics!
Over the years many of you who are here tonight have helped with this hall one way or another so this is in many ways is just another phase in the life of our community. By the way the last painting effort was 2011, the photos are out in the hall.
Anyway a very warm welcome to our new look hall of this era.
I would like to remind you of how we have we got to this point.
About 2 years ago we organised a Village Questionnaire. The desire for a warmer and better decorated hall was overwhelming. No surprise! Being warmer is so simple to say but not so simple to do here. When the starting point is upgrading the electrics in order to upgrade the heaters and then the obvious need to preserve the heat where possible … yes, you do realise the reality of the task that we faced!
After a very deep breath the Committee took up the challenge and consulted with Community First as to the correct path to take. The first step was to appoint a professional surveyor to find out whether the building was even worth improving. Obviously people on the Village email list have had periodic updates but as a reminder…..
What you have today is.
• The hall and land registered with the Land Registry ( a necessary requirement to show ownership in the grant application process)
• a rewired building now meeting modern day standards with extra heaters even in the toilets!
• Doubled glazed windows and the 2 main doors
• Upgraded toilets
• A new ceiling with insulation
AND Complete redecoration.
Although there are still plans for further improvements this is the appropriate moment to celebrate the huge amount that has been achieved this year.
None of this would have been possible without a huge amount of financial and physical help.
So many thanks goes to
• Clarissa and Alastair for taking on the Land Registry
• The Councillor Community Fund backed by Yvonne Constance for funding the Building survey and some roof work
• FCC Communities Foundation –( a not- for- profit business that awards grants for community projects through the Landfill Communities Fund.) which has paid the lion’s share of this refurbishment. They have funded *the electrical work, installed by Electric Ian. *the double glazing installed by G2S. * the toilet upgrade installed by Andy Heath, Home Improvements. All local companies I would like to add.
• Our Parish Council for the grant deposit and large contribution towards the ceiling installed by Thames Ceilings
Other money has been thanks to you and those who attend the events here which so far has paid for some ceiling work, the new floor in the toilets and a lot of paint. You also pay for the running costs of the hall.
This brings me on to the painting and thanks to Vic for his support with materials and equipment. Without the scaffolding and ladder we could not have reached the top of the beams. Thanks to Chris who has installed the smart stainless steel in the bar.
However there is one person who has almost single handed performed miracles decorating this hall which has been transformed from scruffy and tired to really quite smart and stylish. Dawn we are all indebted to you. I know you have been awarded several trophies with your dogs but please accept this golden Paintbrush award from us as a thank you.
Maybe the biggest thank you is to the 2 people who have co-ordinated the installation of all the work and dealt with the grant payments. In fact made all these improvements a reality. Many, many thanks to Margaret and Sally. Please come and take a bow.
Finally cutting the ribbon as an essential part of any ceremony. So would Bill, a very long term supporter of the village hall and village generally come and cut the ribbon please.
So ladies and gentlemen please enjoy the warm, decorated hall that so many of you requested. Do help yourselves to the canapes, mulled wine and prosecco provided for your pleasure. If you prefer the bar is also open.
Community First Oxfordshire follows the example of many other Rural Community Councils (RCCs) whose work is no longer confined to rural areas. We will continue to be a part of the national network of RCCs. And we will continue to provide the services of a rural community council. We will also be supporting Oxfordshire’s communities in all locations on health, housing, transport and community enterprise issues. Our mission is ‘to help communities help themselves’.