Colwinston Village Hall Committee

Chairman’s Report

2017/18

Introduction

Compared to the last couple of years, the last 12 months in the Village have seemed more like evolution as we have seen a significant increase in the number of residents.

 

This influx has added a few problems associated with additional traffic volume, but has also added renewed vibrancy and support to Village events.  Redrow PLC eventually moved on in early Summer of 2017, although there are still a number of disputes related to property defects to be resolved with them.  St David’s Meadows has matured into Heol Cae Pwll and the Village Hall Committee has benefitted with the recruitment of two new Committee Members in Mat Sant and Andy Finucane.  Both have played a major part in the Committee’s fund-raising activities during the year and many new residents have added their own contribution to the other Village groups and activities.

 

The major focus of the year for the Committee, in addition to the ongoing maintenance of the Hall, has been to progress the fundraising and building schedule for the new Children’s Playground.  This was not an easy process, especially when in mid-June we were informed by Senior Managers at the Vale Council that there was a delay in approving our application to the Strong Communities Fund for the grant which was the final part of the funding plan.  This delay was revealed to us as necessary whilst the Council considered the suitability of the Village Field as a possible venue for the site of the proposed re-building of the Village School.  Whilst obviously not wishing to stand in the way of this very important project, we were able to engage with the Colwinston Community Council who in turn were able to gain assurances that the Village Field was not one of the options being considered.

 

A number of fund-raising events were organised over the last 12 months, some which were regular events and some such as the Curry Night organised by Nicky Piper were new to us.  The Hall itself has again seen a wide range of Hall users both from within and outside the Village including christenings, children’s parties, craft day and Superstars.  Of course, we also have a group of active regular users including W.I., Youth Club, Brownies & Guides, Simply Out of School, Mother & Toddler, Zumba, Martial Arts, PTA, St David’s School, and St Michaels Church.  New activities have seen regular bookings for Physio Led Pilates and the Llysworney Ballroom group to practise.  Thankfully, the Panto returned and the Hall Committee were given the opportunity to raise funds by running the raffle over the 4 performances by the Colwinston Players.

 

The Playground funding package is now in place and due to the superb fundraising activities of Andrew Murphy who helped raise £5,000 from the Big Lottery Fund and Carol Ravenscroft who secured £14,000 from the Strong Communities Fund.  We are also indebted to Lynne Flux for contributing £6,500, this being the residual funds remaining after she closed down the After School Club who were replaced by Simply Out of School.  These amazing efforts mean that the Hall Committee will only need to contribute £1,500 from our funds to the overall spend.  The final project schedule should see the programme opened by early May 2019.

 

The other major step taken by the Committee was to appoint a Hall Manager to not only ensure we improve the liaison with Council on maintenance and safety issues but also to oversee an improvement in cleaning approaches.  Nikki Hatch one of our newer residents from Heol Cae Pwll, has taken on this role and our original intention was that she would support Rhiannon and Craig Buffry our current cleaners.  However, Rhiannon has decided that she is no longer able to carry on in this role.  Our thanks are due to her in carrying her role in circumstances and with tools that were not always conducive to delivering the standards our customers rightly demand.

 

How the Year Unfolded

This will seem like a rehash of the last report, but such is the success of our well-established events programme.

 

Our financial year begins on 1st September, so the first event of the year was Bonfire Night 2017 even though as with last year the AGM was held after that event.  Yet again Skyrascal returned and put on a tremendous display continuing the long line of successful Bonfire Nights.  A successful night was delivered by all and a surplus of over £600 was generated.  Thanks to all who contributed, especially those who attended for the first time

 

Christmas Eve saw the Village visited again by Father Christmas and the faces of the children were yet again a testimony to the ongoing efforts from all involved.  Thanks to Father Christmas and his Helpers and to Jane and Alun Austin for use of their garage and cooking facilities.

 

January saw the return of the annual Skittles Night to its usual time slot but there was nothing usual about the ‘implements’ used to replace the missing skittles balls.  It’s amazing what you can do with a swede and even more importantly many families had great fun in using them as we generated a surplus of over £150!

 

June 2017 saw the Village alive to the filming of our part of the Channel 4 UK Village of the Year programme presented by Penelope Keith.  Sadly, we knew we hadn’t reached the final, and we waited with bated breath to view the programme and compare ourselves against ‘the competition’!  In early 2018 we saw how close we had come as the programmes we aired and Colwinston was considered the top Village in Wales!

 

The 19th May saw the major Royal Wedding event of the year (with apologies to Princess Eugenie!) as Harry and Meghan’s nuptials created a great community event in the Hall with the showing of the wedding and picnics galore on the Hall field!

 

The major fund-raising event of the year again was the Annual Fete held on 7th July with the theme of Around the World.  Fete Week was fantastically supported by the hardy individuals who put on the events - thanks to Geoff Bates, Youth Club, Bob & Sue Gatis, Poems & Pints organiser Deb Fisher, and her team of judges   Sadly the 3 Club Golf Challenge had to be postponed and in the absence of the Bates Family, modesty prevents too much celebration as the Horton Crew won the Driving Treasure Hunt!

The judges awarded the prestigious Bard of Colwinston title to Chris Duxbury in a keenly contested competition on Poems & Points night.  Fete Day saw good weather and much fun was had by all as we made a surplus of over £1,800.    Colin Owens of Oil4Wales organised for Scott Quinnell to join us and he proved a great success as he opened the Fete and awarded the procession prizes.  There was great music, a wide range of food and beverage options available which all sold out and the legendary Austin kids (and adults) games all added to the general feeling of merriment!  Football World Cup fever played a big part on Fete Day as the normally partisan Welsh fans joined the English residents to view and celebrate a famous English victory over Sweden – as always, a false dawn with hopes dashed by Croatia later in the week!  Again, the list of thanks to people who made Fete Week and Fete Day a success runs into dozens and are too many to list here, but you know who you are!

 

The Cinema Society has continued to add much to Village life.  Regular showing of recent releases has contributed a small surplus to funds but more importantly, provided hours of great viewing and enjoyment.  Paul, Carol and Bob with support from many other, have managed the technology and supplies of wine and nibbles have provided many good nights out.

 

Finances

Claire Hough has provided the details of the results of our financial transactions for the year for your perusal and in summary, we have generated a surplus of over £10,000 although this is in part due to the input of the Big Lottery Fund grant of £5,000 it, is also in no small way due to the support we have received at all the events above.  Yet again, even if we had no income, we would have sufficient funds for over 12 months of running costs! 

 

Plans

Our focus after the new Playground will be to improve the internal facilities of the Hall and we have already drawn up plans to improve the toilets and kitchen.  The next Committee will, I’m sure, build on the activities of the last 12 months.

 

 

 

Summary

Ultimately a very rewarding year as the Committee achieved a significant increase in Hall funds at the same time as delivering on the plans for the new Children’s Playground.  Along the way we hope we have provided the opportunity for Villagers of all ages to enjoy themselves. 

 

Thanks for all the support from Committee members and supporters who yet again are too numerous to mention.  If you’ve got the time come and join us!

 

Finally, the year saw the end of an era at the Sycamore Tree as Dave and Jo Frost gave up the running of the Pub.  They have been great supporters of the whole Village including the Hall Committee.  They deserve their well-earned break from pub life and their most important legacy is their ‘enticement’ for Mark and Emma Hall to replace them as landlord and landlady, a couple who have continued the history of support to all things Colwinston!

 

Alan Horton

Chair

 

 







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