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Duncton Hall and Recreation Ground – posted 10th September 2019

The AGM was held on Wednesday, September 4.
Andy Beadsley was re-elected as Treasurer and Alison Pindell Secretary, with Tom Cole agreeing to continue in an acting chairman role. Other Committee members are Peter Thomas, Hilary O’Sullivan and Katharine Minchin, and we are pleased that Louise Exall and Sue Thomas are joining us and will help in organising events. 

The Hall remains in a good position financially. Turnover in the year to May was just under £21k and a modest surplus was generated. However, the important wedding market has slowed, but we were able to attract other hirers to part compensate.   

We have continued to progress our Hall improvement programme. Over the past couple of years, we have installed a new floor, new decking and a new fire door, and the hall has been repainted internally. The heating system has been upgraded to allow seven-day programming, and we continue to address various maintenance issues. We will soon have new windows and doors too. We are indebted to Hilary O’Sullivan for her fund-raising efforts and for managing the project. Grants have been secured from the Sussex Community Foundation, Chichester District Council, Lord Egremont’s charity, the Barlavington Estate and Langmead. We are most grateful for their support, and we will be funding the balance from our reserves. Planning permission has been obtained, and an order placed with Ideal Window Solutions of Chichester, with installation scheduled for the autumn. The Hall and recreation ground are used for a variety of activities – weddings, family parties, wakes, Pilates, Art, Yoga, toddler groups, elections, camping/caravan clubs, and meetings of the Parish Council, the Catholic Church, the Croquet Club and the local community. Major events over the past year have included a Women’s Vote Centenary dance, film and tea in October, the Fireworks and WWI Centenary Beacon in November, and the Duncton Fun Dog show in August.

As to future events, Art, Pilates and Yoga continue in September, there will be a MacMillan Coffee morning on October 4 and the annual Fireworks celebration on November 2. In fact, the Hall has already been booked on 42 days in Q4. We can accommodate more classes and activities, and offer very generous discounts for locals.

We wish to thank a number of people – Andrew Smith for taking on the role of Hall Manager since September 2018; Serena Danby for doing all the cleaning and housekeeping; Alastair Spence for undertaking the ongoing maintenance programme; Andy Gadd for mowing the recreation ground; Helen Brown for gardening; and Dominique Kenneway and the children of Duncton Junior School for producing a splendid colourful artwork which replaced a faded historical map. And of course, all the Committee for giving their time to ensure our valuable community asset is kept in good order and the business managed properly so that this great venue with wonderful views, and easy access, can be used and enjoyed by everyone in the local community.

Andrew Smith will be leaving us in October to move to Eastbourne, so we will be appointing a new Hall Manager. We would also welcome volunteers to organise community and charity events. We can help with the cost, organisation and publicity for any good cause. The Committee meets about four times a year. If you’d like to help let me know (Tom Cole ).

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