Chairman’s Report for AGM ending 31 January 2013

and held in the Village Hall on 22 April 2013



To set this AGM onto a firm footing, perhaps it is appropriate once again to remind ourselves of the purpose of the Village Hall as set out in our Conveyance Document:


The land and building is held upon trust for the use of the residents of Hilton and the neighbourhood for recreation, education and leisure with the object of improving the conditions of life for villagers”.


To achieve this requirement we clearly need to keep the Village Hall financially strong and structurally sound, and this must be at the heart of our approach for the management of this amazing facility.


Forgive me if I repeat what I said last year but I believe an AGM is the time to not only record the events and achievements from the past twelve months but also to record the good work that people have done throughout the year.  Let me remind you of the structure of the committee.  The three trustees are:  Deb Bridge, Maggie Mulcahy and Julian Thomas.  Our co-opted trustees are – Donna Holdaway, Liz Bush, Angela Potter and our Representative Trustees were:  Doreen Bates (W.I.) Karen Baker (Brownies)  Rosemary Blake (Flower Club) and Sharon Walker (Feast Week).  Sharon left in the summer to take over as Chairman of Feast Week and we were delighted to gain Sara Sampson as the FW representative.  Lesley Fordham once again was our Treasurer and Bookings Officer


Finance.       Lesley will cover our financial position for the last year later in the agenda but I feel it would be appropriate to again highlight the very generous gift of £32179 from the late Olive Stokes.  This money was given to us without restriction, and is being used for the betterment of the Hall and more on this later.


Bookings.     Strong bookings are essentially for us to remain financially viable.  Over the year our bookings have been strong and we will shortly hear more details from Lesley.  Our costs have been rising over the past year, especially fuel costs and so far we have been able to manage with the new booking rates agreed last year. We will continue to regularly monitor costs and will revisit our booking rates if need be.  Management of the bookings is a most demanding task and once again our thanks to Lesley for her enthusiasm and dedication.


Cleanliness.           The cleanliness of the hall is essential and this has been, and continues to be an on-going issue; perhaps cleaning always will be an issue!  At the start of last year we engaged a commercial firm, MyHome (at a cost of £100 per week).  By and large Myhome have given us a good service but there have been issues and they need close monitoring.  Nonetheless, all issues have been satisfactorily resolved and we are generally happy with the service.  They are however, more expensive than directly employed cleaners and therefore, we will continue to monitor the value we get and will seek other solutions if required.  I could not leave the topic of cleanliness without mentioning our caretaker, Colin Holdaway, He started the year just attending to the floors but took up as caretaker in July last year and what a difference he has made.  The floors are in excellent shape, the general order and tidiness are tip-top and the garden and surrounds are a pleasure.  I would ask you to join me in thanking Colin for his dedication and hard work.


The Fabric of the Hall.     


Over the past year we have continued to invest in maintaining or improving the facilities of the Hall.  The new ladies toilets were completed in May last year along with the kitchen update, both have been very successful.  We have had the two main halls painted.  We had some major repairs done to the roof which has stopped the rain getting into the walls at the end of the Brittain Room.  We attended to a major blockage in the drain from the Men’s Loo which seems to have been flooding into the footings at that end of the hall.  Whether we have now resolved the source of damp is not yet clear.  The Jury is still out on what is causing the water stains in the main hall but as it can take two or three years for old walls to dry out.  We will continue to monitor this aspect closely.


Projector Screen.      We installed the projector screen gifted by Andy Bush in the main hall and should make our hall event more attractive for business presentations and to show films for entertainment.


Crockery and Round Tables  We bought new crockery and have just bought a set of round tables which are due delivery this week.


Upcoming Work.       The major project in the coming year is to uplift the Gent’s Toilets.  We have just agreed to accept the quote from the Bathroom Barn and the aim will be to create a similar effect and decor as we did in the Ladies.  We are hoping to have the work completed in time for Feast Week.




Queens Jubilee.        2012 was the year of the Queen’s Jubilee and in common with much of the UK, Hilton set out to celebrate this significant event in style.  I think we exceeded every expectation and Hilton achieved a really memorable day.  We had lots going on, a very successful open air play Roald Dahl’s The Twits for our youngsters out on the Green, a dog show, we had strawberries and bubbly on the Green a flower show in the Church and we had tea for everyone in the village hall.  Lots of people from the village were involved but this committee had a particularly strong involvement in the play, the dog show, and the bubbly and our thanks to Liz Bush, Angela Potter Deb Bridge and Lesley Fordham as well as everyone else that helped to make it a really special Day.  Finally I must mention the memorable flypast by the Lancaster from the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain flight who lifted our spirits with not one, but three over flights at very low level.  I must thank Derek Sheen for his kind gift of the picture showing the B of B .  Finally, I cannot leave this topic with mention of the wonderful sight of the Beacon which was lit, along with hundreds of others across the country to mark the end of what was a really splendid day.


Upcoming Events      We are planning to hold a hog roast in July as a fund raising event.


Vote of Thanks       I summary I believe that the past year has been an exceptionally busy and successful time for the Village Hall Management Committee.  None of this would have been possible without all the hard work from our dedicated members.  In closing, I should wish to record my thanks to all the committee and a special appreciation to Maggie for her hard work as secretary.