Village Hall

It was wonderful to see so many people at the Produce, Arts and Crafts Show.  It raised over £250 for the upkeep of the Village Hall and was a lovely opportunity for villagers to meet and show their skills.  Here are some pictures, including the prize winning marrow from St Mary’s!

Aug/Sept
Produce, Arts and Crafts Show
The Produce Show is back!  Hopefully you’ve already received an entry form with the Village newsletter.  If you would like a copy of the Show Schedule, please leave a comment or contact any committee member.  The show is on Saturday 4th September in the Village Hall at 2.30 pm for viewing and Prize giving.

We will also have tea, coffee and biscuits available in the afternoon.

Entry forms should be taken to the Village Hall on Friday night 3rd September between 7pm and 8pm with a new fixed fee of £1 to cover as many entries as you like – go for it!

Staging as always will be between 9.am and 11.am on the day.

There are the same old favourite categories of Victoria Sandwich etc, but this year we have 2 exciting new categories where the entrants will be required to wear their creations at 2.30 in the afternoon.
The first is a children’s category – best Superhero cape and mask
The second is an adult category – best hat on a theme of the Produce Show. 
Other new exciting classes include ‘Write a Limerick on a Local Theme’!

And of course there will be the famous auction at the end!

Harvest Supper
The date for the Harvest Supper in the village hall has been set as October 9th – we will be selling tickets both door to door and at the Produce Show – this is a great event to meet with other villagers – keep the date in your diary.

We will of course be looking again for our wonderful volunteers to provide the food for the evening.

June/July
Scarecrow Trail 3rd & 4th July
A great success!  Thanks to everyone who helped in any way or just enjoyed the scarecrows.  Pictures and answers
can be found here and winners and answers have also been placed on the Village noticeboard by the Village Hall.

Good News!
The village hall has received a “Covid” re-strictions grant from the West Northamptonshire Council of £7,573.21.  As the village hall was closed for most of the last 12 months, receipts were down significantly whereas costs remained stubbornly around the same, so the grant will enable us to make good this shortfall and help to improve the hall.

Our first Coffee Morning in the Village Hall on the 19th May was a great success.  Lovely to meet newcomers and old hands!  Hopefully, we’ll be able to continue with these very enjoyable gatherings.  The next dates are June 16th and July 21st, 10:30 till noon, Village Hall.  Come and chat; there will be biscuits, and the 100 club winners will be drawn.  All welcome.

Apr/May 2021
We plan to reopen the Village Hall for indoor activities from May 17th in accordance with the easing of Covid lockdown regulations.  Pilates will be starting again, as will Coffee Mornings. Film Club will start on Friday 17th September.

Anyone interested in joining Sam’s Pilates Classes should contact Sam on 07444 845596.  She will be able to give you all the information you need.

Coffee mornings will resume on the 19th May, 10:30 till noon, when the monthly 100 Club winners will be drawn.  Everyone is welcome; a great way to meet fellow villagers!

In the meantime, we are able to start our Summer of Events with an Easter Egg Hunt for children, around the village, on Saturday 3rd April.  It will be marvellous to start to get together as a community again, albeit in small family groups outside at first.

Feb/March 2021 News
The application for funds from HS2 to help rebuild the Village Hall is still in progress but we are looking for strategic partners who would like to support us.  We are particularly interested in any companies that people know of who are involved with new technologies or renewable energy, as these seem to be areas looked on favourably in submissions.  We would need to raise 10% of the funds ourselves so contacts needed!  Please leave a comment on this website and it will passed on to to relevant people.

This lockdown, we are continuing with the 100 Club draws.  If anyone would like to join, numbers are still available from Steve (phone number on the back page) and cost £12 per year.

Dec 2020/Jan 2021
We are pleased to announce the new Village Hall Committee as of November 2020:
Chair: Chris W
Treasurer: Susan F
Minutes Secretary: Susan K
Members: Pat B, Steve N, Jo W

The committee are putting together an exciting Schedule of Activities for next year on the positive basis that we will be allowed to hold them!

  • Easter Egg Hunt! Saturday 3rd April – this is definitely going ahead.  Details will follow.
  • Scarecrow Weekend – 3rd to the 4th July
  • Produce Show – 4th September
  • Harvest Supper – 16th October

Other ideas are: a St George’s Day lunch in April, quizzes, restarting the Sunday breakfasts and maybe a children’s party for Christmas 2021.

We want to make 2021 an good year for the Village Hall and would appreciate any ideas you may have.  Please contact any of the committee members with them.  Any offers of help with the events are also welcome and there is always room for more committee members!  (You can leave a comment here and it will be passed on to the committee.)

Our other major project is to raise funds from HS2 and other organisations to help us replace the current hall with a more modern building.  This would give the Village an amazing space for its activities, with disabled access, improved kitchen, more light and with the inside area opening up to wooden beams. 

Help us to achieve this wonderful building for the pleasure of current and future generations!

Click here to view the draft proposal

Notice of AGM
The Annual General Meeting of Aston le Walls Village Hall will take place on Thursday 19th November at 8pm.

Everyone living in the parish of Aston le Walls and Appletree is welcome to attend so, in order to ensure covid-19 security, we will hold the meeting via Microsoft Teams, which is an online videoconferencing tool.  We sincerely hope that this will encourage many neighbours from the village to join in.  For joining details, email wilf@theiliffes.uk

Message from the Chair.

Dear Friends,

Over the last few years, fewer and fewer people have volunteered to sit on the committee and attendance at village events has dwindled, which is a real shame as the Village Hall could provide the focal point for the village and act as a social centre and support hub for many of us.

After six years as chair and over a decade on the village hall committee, the time has come for me to step down.

It would be great to see a new team take on the management of the Village Hall, especially as we have reached the point where we have a set of plans ready to submit to the HS2 social funds to try to rebuild the hall with a more permanent structure.

If the new chair would like me to stay on the committee I am willing to do so to help them transition into the role.  Equally, if they would prefer a clean start, I am happy to step aside completely after handover.

If you value village life and want to make the village hall the centre of this, now is the time to step up.

Film Club
We had been hoping to restart Film Club but with the latest restrictions limiting gatherings to groups of 6, we have decided to delay future screenings for a little longer.  See the Film Club page for further details.

100 Club Mega Draw
This was held on September 9th 2020 and all the prizes were drawn that had been missed for the last six months due to lockdown.

There were 18 prizes in total and the numbers were picked out by the new priest of Sacred Heart, Father John, and the first number chosen was Father James’s!  Maybe an Act of God?

Total prizes amounted to £259 and were gratefully received by the winners. 

The Village 100 club is run for the benefit of the Village Hall.  It only costs £1 month for the chance to win!  3 prizes are drawn each month with an additional 5 at the Village Hall AGM.  The prizes amount to 50% of the receipts with the balance used to maintain the Village Hall.  We do hope you’ll support this important fund raising activity.

There are still a few numbers left – please contact Steve Neville on 660 568 to claim yours ….

Village Hall Committee AGM, 2019
The Annual General Meeting of the Village Hall committee was held on Thursday 21st November. Attendance was at a record low but those present learned the following:

• When the cost of heat, water, rates and cleaning are paid, the hall just breaks even on annual running costs.
• We have a healthy balance in the bank, which is kept at a level that allows us to continue maintenance for two years with no lettings, if required.
• The hall has gained two extra weekly bookings in the last couple of months.
• There were only 12 ad hoc booking in 2018-19.

We reviewed the results of the survey that were returned by 16 of the village (thanks to those who took the time).

Overall, there was a small majority for purchasing a new site on the edge of the village and building a new hall, potentially with parking / play area. This is the most expensive option, costing up to half a million pounds.

Perhaps more telling was the response to the question ‘If we rebuilt the hall, how would this change your use?’ to which the majority of respondents put ‘No Change’.

On that basis, the meeting felt that the cost of significant change / refurbishment / rebuilding was difficult to justify so we will not be looking at major project work at this time.

However, we propose the following upgrades to the existing hall, subject to successful funding applications and building approvals.

1. To allow access to the hall for people who cannot manage the steps, create a slope to the right of the hall (when viewed from Main Street) that allows access to the rear door, where the existing fire path runs.
(We need to check feasibility of this to ensure we don’t undermine the adjacent wall and the foundations of the VH.)

2. Replace the windows and doors, because the existing units are falling apart.

3. Replace the electric heaters with more energy efficient models.

4. Improve insulation where possible

5. Upgrade the kitchen:
          a. Install a hob with proper splashback and a larger oven
          b. Install an extractor fan.
          c. Replace the existing units and create a better layout.

6. Install broadband and wifi

These improvements, as well as making the hall fit for the next decade, will allow us to develop the venue for daytime letting for small business meetings (no more than 15 attendees, to avoid excess parking issues) to increase income from a period of low use.

It would also allow the space to be used by local home workers who want to network on a monthly basis etc. We could also look at offering a catering service etc., if there’s a demand.

If you’d like to get involved in fund raising or have some experience of managing projects of this kind, please get in touch.

Wilf Iliffe, Chair of VHCommittee

The Village Hall committee is currently chaired by Wilf (660455) and exists to maintain the Hall for the use of villagers and to hold events for the community to enjoy.  Give Wilf a ring if you’d like to join in the fun and help out!

AGM 2018
The AGM on Thursday 22nd November 2018 was well attended.  Thanks to all who came.  The Committee said that their finances are in good shape and that the Film Club was currently the biggest fund raiser.  The November draw of the 100 Club with 5 extra prizes took place and the prizes have been distributed.  Several new people joined the committee and a subcommittee was formed to look into the possibility of raising funds from HS2 to improve or replace the current Village Hall.  If you are interested in joining this group or the main committee (just a few meetings a year and help with events required), please contact Wilf as above.

The Harvest Supper is a lovely way to say thanks for the safe harvest of the crops and the hard work of the people who produce our food.  Villagers very generously provide casseroles and puddings to enjoy in the Village Hall.  This year the event will take place on Saturday 12th October 2019.

Flower and Produce Show
2019
The very successful Produce Show was held at the beginning of September. There were 124 entries in the various classes. The Cup for the most points in the produce classes was jointly won by Jean Dowsett and Susan Kennedy. Jean also won the Cecelia Wade Shield for the most points in the Home Produce section. We were delighted that Cecelia was able to be with us to present this shield for the first time. A profit of just over £80 was made.

2018
The produce show was held this year at the beginning of September.  Despite the hot, dry summer we had entries in most of the growing categories (fruit and veg) and plenty in the home produce (cakes, jams etc.).  There were over 100 entries across the show and the produce was auctioned off by Percy Taylor after the judging.  The overall winner was Susan Kennedy and the Rose Cup was won jointly by Percy Taylor and Tim Ball.  Total funds raised for the Village Hall were just over £100.  Well done to everyone for their efforts!

The Village Hall also supports the Film Club (see page for more details).

The Scarecrow Weekend is held every year and in 2019 took place on the 6th and 7th July.  This year was a special year as it was the 21st anniversary of the start of the Scarecrow Trail.  Everyone rose to the challenge and 47 scarecrows were made, and much fun was had trying to guess what or who they were!  Cream teas were on sale in the garden of The Barn, Blacksmiths Lane, and ice creams at Foxcote in Welsh Road.  The total raised for village hall funds was a brilliant £671.50.  Click here for details of scarecrows and winners.

Quiz nights are held occasionally, usually chaired by Martin Mason, and are great fun for all.