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Chairman’s’ Annual Report

2015 to 2016

Once again during the year 2015 to 2016 has seen Caston Village Hall feature prominently in the social life of Caston.  It continues to be used by a diversity of clubs, WI, children’s’ parties, entertainment, whist drives, wakes and weddings, election venue, and, of course, the Friday morning “Drop In”.

The Friday morning appointment for coffee and a chat is now a “must do” for many villagers and some have commented how much they look forward to their Friday morning date at the Village Hall.  Its success is only possible of course thanks to the many volunteers who take turns to man the kitchen and bake delicious offerings to tickle the taste buds.  Thanks must also go to the regular management of the rota and supplies carried out by Kay Farmbrough and Stephanie Blincow.  The monthly Frugal Lunch has also been well received and again we thank Stephanie and Kay for this together with Wendy Chapman and Jill Branston and occasionally others.

Thanks must go to Sue Ash who has continued to maintain the flower troughs, with plants from the WI, that uplifts the front appearance of our hall with colourful displays of plants and flowers.  John Chapman and his colleagues continue to keep the car park grass maintained for which we are most grateful and have also removed the kerbing stones that inhibited many motorists from parking on the grass area.

After much work the ownership basis of the hall was changed to a charitable trust and a formal trust deed was registered on 15th December 2015.  Frank Brown, with help of others, was involved in the work and frustration to bring this change about.  Sincere thanks Frank for all his efforts on this matter.

Much of Caston’s life is based on our Village Hall.  It is therefore that we have great concerns regarding the future of our building’s structure.  Our plans for upgrading the hall building are stalled following rejection of our bid for funding.  Of concern are some of the reasons why funding was refused, principally the size of our catchment and resultant relatively small numbers served which we can do little about.

Clearly the building of a new village hall at Thompson from a large private donation has done little to further our cause either and may also in time contribute to the reduction of our client base.

The trustees and committee now must formulate their strategy for the way forward.  In the short term we need to ensure that the building is safe for continued use which may require some repair funding and then see what work can be achieved in the short term to make some improvement and secure continued use of the hall.

I have concern regarding the small number of trustees and committee members that carry the burden of maintaining the hall and organising and running funding events.  Many are not getting any younger and there is a need I feel for an injection of fresh and hopefully younger blood onto the hall’s management committee if we are to continue to maintain the service to the village that the hall provides.

Finally, my thanks to my fellow trustees and committee members for their service over the past year and especially those who have participated in the running of the hall and its varied events.

David Blincow
Caston Village Hall Charitable Trust