May 2019

Fully stocked bar!

The committee and volunteers are continuing to get to grips with the running of the hall and lots of little victories are being made whilst learning of things that we didn’t know – as Mr Rumsfeld once said we have known knowns and unknown knowns!

The main events this month have been our inaugural big bookings for a christening and wedding reception – our first efforts at running the bar and these gave us the confidence to open the bar to the village on Friday 10th May. There was a tremendous turn out and that’s inspired us to open weekly for the rest of May from 6.30pm onwards; lots of volunteers have signed up to help run the bar and, with a growing pool of talent, we should be able to open regularly throughout the summer. Of course, if attendances decrease markedly then we might reassess and reduce to opening fortnightly or monthly but let’s see what happens – if the village wants the bar open then we’ll do everything we can to make it so.

The environment is becoming a concern to a growing number of people and we invited an energy saving advisor to visit and advise us on how the hall can be run more efficiently by producing an energy management report – simple measures can save money but also reduce our cost to the planet. We’ve already swapped the bulbs over the bar to LEDs and installed some smart plugs to control the bar fridges and stop them running 24/7. Other suggestions we could take involve insulating the cellar to prevent warmth entering the room – a project for somebody perhaps! There are grants available for other energy saving projects which is something that we are exploring so watch this space. The report was compiled and presented to some of the committee but, as I write this, that was only a few days ago and we’ve not fully digested it but we’ll seek to implement as much of it as possible.

The black banquet chairs have had a bit of TLC applied and are looking much better thanks to Maija and Carol’s sterling efforts and a mini-committee has been formed to look at renovating the hall and updating some of the fixtures and fittings – they’re a small group and keen for volunteers to help them out, if you’ve got any ideas about how the hall should look or operate then this is a great opportunity for you to make your influence count.

The website, social media accounts, email address and mobile phone have all been a tremendous success and Jana, our bookings secretary, has done an amazing job co-ordinating bookings and liaising with different groups – we already have more bookings planned this year than the whole of 2018 but not quite at the level in 2017 but we’re not even half way through the year yet so the signs are promising.

To end, I’d like to continue the introduce the committee members each month and this month is our treasurer, Karren Parsons. Karren is married to Matt and they have two daughters who both went to Swindon Village Primary: Katie is at university in York and Bekah goes to Chichester in September. Karren runs a bookkeeping company based in the village so becoming treasurer seems the obvious way to fill her time. When she’s not counting the pennies and shouting at the Chair for buying too much gin, she can also be found working behind the bar!

Ben Williams, Chair.

May 2019

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