Kingston Village Hall is available for hire by residents and non-residents. There are two halls, a well-equipped kitchen and a small car park. For details click to go to the Village Hall Hire webpage.
Chairman’s report 2021-22
The great achievement of the year has been our adoption of CIO status, which is the Charity Commission’s and ACRES’s preferred method of governance for community halls. Importantly, it absolves individual trustees from legal and financial liability. We are grateful to Chris Reid for seeing us through the process and for Louise Beaton’s and ACRES’s expert guidance.
John Easy has left the committee, but remains as a friend and we are grateful for all the work he has put in. We are very pleased to welcome Neil Campbell as a full committee member and trustee.
Bookings have remained steady, with a wellness group, ballet classes and karate and a number of private events. However, the ballet class is moving to the larger hall at Caxton as class sizes have grown, but a yoga group has recently made weekly bookings. We should consider advertising more widely as we still have plenty of availability.
With the installation of WiFi, erection of the fire screen around the oil tank, repairs to the leaning oil tank fence and a new door handle, we can honestly say our refurbishment programme is complete.
Cromwell Fire have carried out their annual inspection of extinguishers and alarms and Peter Stokes performed the stress test on the emergency lighting. The boiler has been serviced.
We have focused recently on energy saving, with a timer put on the hot water controls in the boiler and LED lights in the large hall. It seems we cannot install LED bulbs in the small hall, as the fittings are incompatible. In view of the rising energy costs, Jill has volunteered to undertake spot checks that lights and heating are turned off between hirings.
We have gambled on a temporary dip in the cost of oil to fill our tank to the full and hopefully this should see us through to the spring if we monitor its use carefully. Our electricity price is fixed so we know where we are with energy costs until well into 2023.
With Covid restrictions being phased out in the past year, our coffee mornings and pub evenings are back to normal. We must thank Miki, Jill and other helpers for the coffee and all the committee and the Easys for the pub evenings.
The Christmas Fair raised over a £1000, which was a magnificent achievement. We must thank Suzy and her the hardworking team of stallholders, Miki, Pat, Peter, Kay and Jill, and to all Kingston villagers who supported the Fair so magnificently.
Katherine Stalham took on the organisation of the January quiz, which was great success as an online social event and fund-raiser. Meanwhile, Pat and several of the committee have successfully enlisted enthusiastic volunteers from the village to organise the September BBQ. This is as it should be, as we exist to facilitate social events through efficient management of the hall; as distinct from being a social committee. The latter role was, since the hall was acquired in 1977, performed by the, now defunct, Neighbours’ Group. At the forthcoming CIO AGM, maybe we should suggest to the village that something similar is resurrected, either as a sub-committee or a separate body.
I did say that I would be prepared to step down as chair if someone wanted to take over. However, with all refurbishment completed, and with a supportive committee, the task is not arduous so I am happy to stay on until a willing and suitable replacement is found.
So, I would like to thank the whole committee for their support over the past year and, in particular, Chris Reid as treasurer, Sarah Wright as secretary and Peter Stokes as unofficial clerk of works.
Paul Wright, Chair