Chairman’s Report 2019


This will be my first report as the new Chairman, so right from the start I would ask for your forgiveness as I am sure this report will not reflect the full effect of the fiscal year ending 31/01/20, but I will do the best I can given the changes to the committee throughout the last BVH fiscal year.

First I refer to the retiring Chairman Kelvin Hartshorne, who has been at the helm as Chairman for the last 14 years and who’s contribution cannot be measured in words alone!
The changes to the village Halls prosperity have been immense under the guidance of Kelvin, and all those who have worked tirelessly with him to make BVH what it is today, simply put an outstanding venue for all occasions’. The BVH holds a light for all other village halls and is an exception amongst the many, a sentiment often given by our hires and villagers alike.
As I said at the stepping down of Kelvin, as Chairman he has made the impossible- possible, and as I reflect on his time as Chairman Kelvin, has left no footsteps in the sand to follow as he would say he did very little whereas everyone on the committee did a lot. Secondly Kelvin, would want whoever followed him to drive the BVH in new directions so we as a committee owe Kelvin, his wishes given his outstanding commitment not just  to the BVH but to the village as whole.

Needless to say I am relieved that Kelvin, has agreed to stay on as a committee member.
I intend to propose a new position at the next meeting in July with the title of Executive Adviser to the BVH I wonder who that might be?
Thank you so very much Kelvin. As Tina Turner, would say simply the best!

I now turn to the longest serving committee member June Barke, who is retiring from the committee. Where to start- I don’t know?
But what I do know is June, has been the most outstanding member of the BVH not just as a committee member but as Treasure and Head of Housekeeping, both of these roles goes without saying are absolutely pivotal to the wellbeing of the BVH, June’s, retirement will be a huge loss to the committee and both her roles will be very difficult act’s to follow so needless to say I’m glad it won’t be me who has to do either of them.
No matter what, June, was faced with she never gave up and always looked on the bright side of life just think if June, had been a boxer she would have been the world champion forever.
June, on behalf of the current committee and all those who have served before us thank you so very much, you will be missed greatly!! June’s replacements will be confirmed at the next AGM.

We welcome a new member to the committee in the form of Deborah Grant, in her first full year.
Deborah, brings with her a wealth of legal and business experience, and has already made major contributions to the BVH, and I know is looking to increase her presence in the future prosperity and well being of the Hall. One of these contributions is making the Burns Night Supper a signature event at the Hall which is now seeing ever increasing numbers in attendance-thank you Deborah.

An absolute must for the Hall is one of maintenance this comes in the form of both planned and ongoing and this year has been no exception with creation of a new frontage to the hall which was expertly executed by Keyscape, overseen and designed by our very own Ruth Key’s.
Once again we are ahead of the game bringing a beautiful look to the hall frontage; in addition this year we have also seen the completion of:

Hall Floor sanding with a high level polish finish.
High Level and deep clean to the Hall.
Deep Level clean to the Hall entrance and the 3 WC’s

External store room addition.

As you would expect the above has had an impact on the Hall’s finances but the above works will only enhance our reputation as the go to Village Hall and with that in mind we will recoup our costs over time with the advent of new hires and the appreciation of our existing customers.
At this point I would like to make special mention to Val Gilmore, who continually persisted with

R D Turner and wore them down to giving us a grant of £2k, this was a truly magnificent effort
on the part of Val, who simply would not go away.

Thank you Val, just wonderful.

The Hall continues to be a well-used and popular venue for the Village and Local Communities.

The past 12 months have seen ever increasing usage at the weekends, were previously Saturdays and Sundays were not that well booked, however during the last and previous fiscal year if you needed a weekend date you would be looking at to having to book 6 to 8 months in advance.
It continues to be heart warming that the Hall is so well used, but it is even more pleasing to receive the feed back from hirers and users who appreciate just what a great facility we have in Birlingham, and that they are recommending the hall to other potential users.

 Our web site has made booking the hall a very simple matter. Everyone can see immediately if the hall is available and bookings can be requested at any time that is convenient to a potential hirer.
Our bookings officer and web maintainer Ken Fitch, has and continues to be first rate in running the site and coordinating the bookings and our key interface partner with Hallmaster- thank you Ken.

In relation to our finances we remain in good but very tight shape with our capital year ending reserves at £5,5k v £7.4k the previous year; however these figures must be taken in the light of all the essential work that has been carried on the Hall throughout the year.

Our supplier base remains roughly the same with renewed agreements for the coming year with:

Accounts: As Easy as 123 Ltd.

Norris & Fisher Insurance
Everson’s oil.

Window cleaner - Nikkie Clark.
Hall cleaner – Gill Spalding.
Mark Smith - Maintenance works.
John Betts - structural building works.

In terms of the Hall usage as previously stated this remains high via our hires; however our social calendar of events has declined with the exception of the Burns Night Supper which is ever growing in popularity and the excellent Worcester Open Studies run by Kelvin and Gill assisted by Ken Fitch and hall decoration by our own Alan Williams. Not forgetting Angela Fitch on the photography side.

Moving straight along with the digital age it is the intention this year to pursue a position were cash sales and payments are replaced with internet banking to replace cheque payments both in and out of the BVH account. We will look to replace cash sales were possible at BVH social events and to this end will be installing a cash card payment system at the bar which will decrease the need to handle and bank cash. Ahead of the game once again! In additional we will authorise the use of debit cards which I intend to agree with the new Treasure, in the first instance these will be allocated to the Treasure and Head of Bar operations. It is also my intention to move from two signatures’ for cheque payments to four, this will allow for payments were necessary to made if the Treasure is unavailable at the time of payment request. However in the first instance internet banking is the way forward,

The BVH continues to go from strength to strength a testimony to the current and past members of the committee who should duly and righty feel proud the achievements, that have been made in the last fiscal year, I have no doubt this continuing resolve from the committee membership will see even greater strides forward the coming fiscal year.

It is my intention to put together a strategic plan for the hall for the coming years ahead, once this is complete it will be circulated to the committee membership as a consultation document, once fully approved it revert back to being an agreed plan. One of uses will be as a presentation and policy document, should the need ever arise that we require a loan from the bank that we cannot get covered by a grant.  More on this subject much later.  

There is much more that could and  no doubt should be said but for now I would like to close this short summary , I expect I have missed a great deal out but would ask your indulgence at this point   as I try to understand how best we together can build on the successes of the past.

Finally I would like to thank all concerned for the support shown to me as the new incoming Chairman of the BVH.

However I fully understand that on occasions it may be felt that Kelvin is still the go to man, so let me say straight away I am more than pleased you do because I go to Kelvin for advice all the time!

My very best wishes to you all and look forward to a great fiscal year ahead.
Alan Bradley
Birlingham Village Hall.
March 2020.