AGM 2016 & Chairman's Statement

Caston Village Hall Charitable Trust Management Committee

The annual general meeting of Caston Village Hall was held on Thursday 2nd June.

The activities for the year were reviewed and the chairman & vice-chairman were relected by secret ballot.  the full committee is as follows:

Chairman David Blincow Trustee & Comm Member
Vice Chair Brian Brooker Trustee & Comm Member
Secretary  Sue Tanner Comm Member
Treasurer Frank Brown Trustee & Comm Member
Bookings Secretary Malcolm Valentine Trustee & Comm Member
Events Coordinator  Steve Farmbrough Comm Member
Funding Officer  Graham Penfold Trustee & Comm Member
Catering and Housekeeping Kay Farmbrough, Stephanie Blincow,
Brenda Southgate
Comm Members
Non Executive Francis Ulrich Trustee
Non Executive John Chapman Trustee
Non Executive Steve Hendrie Trustee
Non Executive Bridget Hall Trustee



Caston Village Hall

Chairman’s Annual Report

2016 to 2017


Caston Village Hall has continued to be at the centre for much of Caston’s social and other activities.  The hall has continued to be the area’s election venue and is used by a diversity of clubs and organisations.  It has also been used for wakes and parties.  The quarterly whist drives have continued to be very popular and we are appreciative of John and Wendy Chapman who continue to organise and run this event.

The Friday morning “Drop In” for coffee and a chat is still a weekly date for many and is well supported.  Its continuing success is only possible of course thanks to the many volunteers who take turns to man the kitchen and provide various nice things to eat.   Thanks must go to the Regular management of the rota and supplies which continue to be carried out by Kay Farmbrough and Stephanie Blincow.  The monthly Frugal Lunch on the first Wednesday of each month has continued and again we thank Stephanie and Kay for this together with Wendy Chapman and Jill Branston supported occasionally by others.

There have been some changes in committee duties.  After stalwart service as the trust’s funding officer Graham Penfold handed over the task to John Hill.  We thank Graham for the many hours spent seeking funding support and we are very grateful to John for undertaking this important task.  Malcolm Valentine has been the Hall’s Booking Secretary for many years and has now passed the responsibility for this vital task to Dave Edwards.  The trust has greatly appreciated the work done by Malcolm who is now helping to oversee our building maintenance and improvement initiatives.  A new initiative has been the appointment of a Bar Secretary who oversees the sale of alcohol as and when required and this task is being ably and enthusiastically carried out by Steve Farmbrough.  The trust also continues to be thankful to Sue Ash who maintains the hall’s planters.

The refurbishment of the hall’s structure and the funding required to implement it has occupied much of the trust committee’s time.  The trust decided to undertake only part of the planned restructuring as the funding required to undertake the full project was not realistically forthcoming in the near future.  Efforts are now being concentrated on the toilet and kitchen areas and on providing an entrance porch for which estimated costs have been finalised.  It is hoped that the balance of money required for this work will be forthcoming within the next few weeks and that building works can commence late summer 2017.

I am continually grateful for the support given to the hall by my fellow trustees and the committee especially those who have taken active rolls in the hall’s management.  Mention should be made of Frank Brown who does a splendid job of overseeing our finances and Brian Brooker for maintaining the website.   However, we could still benefit, I believe, from the injection of some younger blood before too long in order that the hall can continue to remain a focal point of Caston’s varied events.

David Blincow
Caston Village Hall Charitable Trust.

22nd May 2017



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

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