As we move into the 45th year of its existence, I wish the committee were in a
position to offer you a forecast of what will be happening in the village hall in 2021. All I can say is that we are well prepared for a gradual return to normal, as vaccines take effect.
Our hand-held fogging machine will quickly and safely disinfect the hall between
uses until the risk from Covid-19 has gone away. By the time we are back to normal the small hall will be furnished with comfortable chairs, sofas and coffee tables and broadband (35mbs) will be up and running. Sound insulation panels will have been installed in the large hall, similar to those already in the small hall.
We are one of a minority of village halls that have kept open in 2020 and I would like to thank everyone who has found innovative ways of safely serving our community. In this, we have had support and guidance from the local branch of ACRE (Action for Communities in the Rural Environment). They have organised webinars, sent out fact sheets on dealing with Covid and provided templates for our risk assessments.
The Easy family has kept us in pizzas and Chris Reid and helpers have kept the pub evening going. Kay and Miki have moved the coffee morning to Zoom, Katherine Stalham has undertaken the daunting task of organising an online village quiz in January and we are helping provide Christmas gifts for the children of the village. A ballet teacher is running a small class.
Chris Reid is busy arranging an important change to our constitution, making us a
Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). This is the now the recommended status for village halls as it makes us into something like a limited company; removing the individual liability of committee members in the event of legal action or financial losses.
We have just had the online Christmas Fair, organised by Suzy, Pat, Miki, Kay and
Peter. This remarkable initiative has raised £1128.50 for the hall funds, so thank you to them and everyone who donated produce and other items.
Anyway, let’s be optimistic that we will be meeting up in the hall for social events in the not too distant future.
Finally, thank you to the hard working committee who have responded so well to
the challenges of 2020.
Please note that there will not be a pub evening on the first Saturday of January, but there may be a pizza takeaway later in the month. If so, it will be advertised through the village email.
Paul Wright (Chair)
Annual General Meeting
The 44th AGM of the Kingston Village Hall Management Committee was held on 24th September 2020 (by Zoom to keep everyone safe in these times of coronavirus).
Further work was carried out:
Completed: painting of the exterior woodwork; work on the south garden; repairs to courtyard fencing; replacement of the tarmac area with a surface suitable for play (funded by Kingston Parish Council), with the addition of a new hopscotch pitch (funded by South Cambridgeshire District Council).
Awaiting installation: sound absorption panels to improve the acoustics in the small hall (funding from the National Lottery Grant Fund).
Following the receipt of our ACRE loan for working capital needs and most importantly the confirmation and signing of the WREN contract, work began immediately. The photographs below show the old floor taken apart and the debris was cleared out. Having got clear sight of the foundations and the floor, no additional significant project issues were identified, but the joists and floorboards were in a bad state of repair and had to be scrapped.
Our contractors quickly got the hardcore in (with help from two Marks, John and Peter) and compacted, followed one week later by the concrete pad. At a village pub and pizza night we invited everyone to choose the exact type of floor boards from a few previously-costed options, in order to keep everyone involved and engaged.
The next stage was to carry out plumbing and electrical work. The floorboards had to be conditioned at a reasonable temperature before laying, but finally this could be done and the new radiators were installed in early 2018. We also have a new east window, new curtains, and new tables and chairs giving a cosier cafe-style ambience.
Our village hall is now undergoing an exciting major upgrade, which has been split into several phases. Phase 1 involved improvements to the small hall, including an extension, a new pitched roof, new toilets, a fully-equipped kitchen and a new entrance lobby which is wheelchair-accessible. The ceiling in the small hall is now much higher, giving a more open, airy feel, and we have large storage cupboards for equipment such as chairs and tables. The kitchen is now self-contained, and has a cooker, dishwasher and fridge-freezer, so that meals can be prepared and cleared up.
The project was funded by grants provided by WREN, AmeyCespa, Biffa Award, South Cambridgeshire District Council, The Rank Organisation, and Kingston Parish Council. Other funding has come from various fundraising events in the village, as well as generous contributions from a number of individuals in the village.
Building work for Phase 1 started on 9 February 2015 and was completed in the Autumn of 2015 with a grand opening event.
The Village Hall Management Committee is in overall control of the project, and has been meeting regularly to take decisions and monitor progress. The key people on the committee with specific functions for this project are:
Paul Wright: Village Hall Management Committee Chair
Chris Reid: Treasurer
Peter Stokes: Project Manager
Suzy Stokes: Publicity Officer
Pat Draper: Photography