Things are looking bright at Swindon Village Hall and, as the Good Book didn’t say, “let there be light and there was light in the form of Light Emitting Diodes and they were good!” LEDs are semiconductors that emit photons (light) when a current flows through them and the first red LEDs were invented in the 1960s. They have developed over the years so that they can now be used for general lighting in industry and around the home. Our modern, super bright LEDs were a recent breakthrough developed by several Japanese, Korean and Chinese companies in the 1990s; first blue and then white ones appeared on the market and now they are the light source of choice in many scenarios. Their prime benefits are low energy consumption combined with a bright output and their cost has reduced drastically in recent years. In the Village Hall, we’ve replaced the older fluorescent bulbs with LED strips and the fluorescent tubes in the ceiling panels with LED panels and the outside lights with IR-triggered LED floodlights. Not only do they give more light than before but the energy consumption is drastically reduced. As an example, the stage was previously lit with 8 incandescent spotlights which used 60W each; the six new ones not only give out more light but consume a total of just 42W which is less than one of the old bulbs and saving a whopping 438W – such is the dramatic effect that LEDs can have on energy consumption and why they became eligible for an energy saving grant. Regular readers may remember that the summer solar panel installation was partly paid for with an EU energy saving grant administered by Severn Wye for community organisations. Well, the scheme was extended and we capitalised on this by successfully applying for another grant to help pay towards the Nest thermostats and ambient cooling system that I mentioned last month as well as the LED lighting upgrade. They have all come just in time for the darker, colder nights and should mean the Hall is being run more efficiently than ever.
In October we were fortunate enough to be selected by a website design organisation called “do-action” who offered their services to four local charities to improve their web presence. Our website was originally created by Maija and has been instrumental in improving our bookings – all of our bookings requests come from there and get emailed to Jana for her to liaise with the users. The second “do_action day” to be held in Europe was run from a Cheltenham hotel and we were given a team of five web design professionals who volunteered their time to give us a new and hopefully improved website. The day would have cost a typical client approximately £2500 so we were very fortunate to get this for free. Please take a look over the next few weeks as it goes live at svhall.co.uk – there’s scope to tweak it with more photos, blogs, discussions etc so we might be adding more features as we go along – some of you may have met Gemma during the Friday night bar nights and she’s a wiz at these things.
As the nights are drawing in, you can get a warm and friendly welcome at the Village Hall bar every Friday night from 6.30pm. Bookings at the Hall are still going strong thanks to Jana and Karren’s expert admin skills and the Friday bar nights continue to be well supported with lots of happy customers and volunteers. Keep your eyes peeled for updates on the New Year’s Eve party too – this year will be an informal ticketed event (but not expensive) and we’ll keep you updated via our Facebook page (search and follow “Swindon Village Hall” for more).
Finally, the forthcoming General Election on 12th December is using the Hall as a Polling Station – you can register online to vote here.