During 2016 – 2017 we have continued to make improvements to the Hall:-

The electricity meters have been removed from the entrance hall and re-routed to Room 1 on the 1st floor. Following this the entrance hall was redecorated and a new carpet laid. We also relocated the Main Hall heating controls in the hope this would reduce the number of times renters tried to reschedule the timings.

The installation of the new wider entrance door into the Main Hall has made it fully accessible to wide wheel chairs and other situations when a wider access is needed.

We made a decision to change the chairs as it was generally felt that the old brown chairs had given good service and new chairs were ordered in consultation with some Trustees, Open Door Managers and Open Door members. After some initial concerns were raised about the chairs the situation has settled down and we are able to stack all the new chairs which is a bonus when additional space is required.

We installed a fire escape door in 2015 at the end of the North Hall and then obtained planning permission and created a new ramp outside the exit door to enable people and wheelchairs to exit in the event of a fire or emergency.

The problem of poor drainage of rainwater from the store room roof has been solved by fitting deeper, wider  rainwater guttering draining through the courtyard wall into the main drainage. Our thanks to Tricia Snape in the cottage for her cooperation and patience as well as John Rowlands (who owns the car park and flower bed) who agreed we could route the pipe through his property. Thanks for his patience with us completing this part of the project.

Plans for 2017 include: –
The installation of a hot water boiler which should improve safety for people making drinks in the kitchen. We also aim to replace the serving hatch with an electric roller shutter which will be connected the fire alarm system. The existing two fire alarm systems that cover the whole building will be amalgamated and updated in 2018.

One current problem is the chimney on the east gable of the Schoolmaster’s house where rendering has broken off due to frost action. A claim has been made to our Insurers and application made to the conservation and planning officer to replace it with a stone chimney more in keeping with the status of this Grade2 listed building.

Our previous Treasurer resigned at the beginning of the year. We anticipate appointing a very experienced Accountant as Treasurer before the next AGM.

My personal thanks to Margaret Hunt for her hard work and commitment to management of the bookings. The Hall continues to be used by the Open Door on 3 days a week and a good number of regular users. Casual bookings mean that the Hall is in almost constant use and is a popular choice for parties and small groups.

Additional steps have been taken to reduce the energy costs and thanks to Vicky for getting the tariff sorted out.

My thanks also go to Ron Atkinson who continues to set the heating timer for users, tests the emergency system and winds our ancient clock—which despite its age continues to keep accurate time as it has done for the last 160 years!!

I would like to thank all the Trustees for their help and support throughout this year and all those who assist and support fundraising events and Paul Marley for running the Save it Club especially as I won a prize last month for the first time since I joined many years ago!!

John Hickman
28th February 2017