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seal New Milton & District Community Association

Chairman's Chat

Contact Acting Chairman: Marie Morgan Tel: 01425 501315


February 2018 Acting Chairman's Chat

Slightly belatedly but nonetheless sincerely meant, I take this opportunity to wish all members, volunteers, affiliates and hirers a very happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.

I also wish to welcome back Sue Lewis, who is responsible for the beautiful, artistic flower arrangements always to be seen in the Centre. They gladden the eye and are very much appreciated.

As mentioned in the editorial, our Chairman has unfortunately decided to resign and I start by joining Phyllis in thanking Michael for all he put into the six months he was with us. He had some good ideas which we will be pleased to review and hopefully implement in the months to come.

Being Acting Chairman was not something I had anticipated as a New Year gift but will do my very best to ensure everything runs smoothly until a new Chairman can be appointed.

At the January Executive meeting I said we should all be very proud to belong to this Centre, run completely by hardworking volunteers, and I thank them ALL for their commitment. We really do appreciate the time and effort put into keeping everything ticking over.

I hope that, by now, you have all renewed your membership since we also need YOUR support over the year ahead. I have visited one or two sections since the Centre opened after the holiday break and hope to call in on more shortly. However, if there is anything you feel will help to keep the Centre viable for everyone please do not hesitate to contact me; my details can be found on page 11 of the latest Newsletter.

If you haven’t already made a New Year Resolution can I suggest that volunteering at the Centre would be a good start? Or you may feel you could help on our Executive Committee. You will be made very welcome to work with like minded people .

I plan to be at the Centre each Friday morning for the next several weeks so please do come and have a chat as I would appreciate receiving your suggestions and feedback. I look forward to meeting as many members as I can.

Marie Morgan

January 2018 Chairman's Chat.

I wish everyone a Happy New Year. It promises to be both interesting and challenging. For personal reasons Malcolm Swan is stepping down from chairing our Publicity Team where he has done so much to make it successful and worked hard on events for a number of years, finding and motivating teams of volunteers. He will be hard to replace and so, on your behalf, I record appreciation of his support and thank him for the years of effort. The Centre needs someone with enthusiasm to bring the team together, raise our profile in the town, encourage us all to work together especially on future programmes and events. Ideas will be welcomed.

The town's Christmas Festival in November was held on a very cold day, as those volunteers found out when manning our gazebo. Many passers-by took our brochure and leaflets promoting our Open Day. Indoors the smell of hot sausage rolls was a real welcome, and we had a good crowd coming in to enjoy the Centre, learn what we and our affiliates do, and express appreciation of the "welcomers" and café staff. We are grateful to all the volunteers and behind-the-scenes workers. It raised our profile and confirmed our commitment to provide a highly valued service to the community.

The brochure produced by our clever Members Secretary Nigel has been well-received by everyone and, if you have not yet got your copy they are available in Reception. The brochure gives a lot of information about the Centre, both for members and contacts.

Membership renewal is progressing and the questionnaire is an innovation which helps us find out what it is you value about the Centre. To some it may well be a "second home" as there is so much to enjoy. Over the coming year let us work on this together, get to know each other more and put the word around on the benefits of joining us. Social Secretary Pam Badcock is starting work on a get-together of new members and activities in March, so would appreciate some help. She deserves our praise for the Christmas decorations which brought the Centre to life.

Financially, we ended the year in very good health, so thanks are due to John Revill for his work on our accounts. As I mentioned last month, our investments are under review to ensure they meet the new challenges in the market and are appropriate to our future needs in maintaining and enhancing this quite remarkable building. It is a place of consider-able warmth, friendship and enjoyment, and long may it continue to grow. To do so it will need your support as existing volunteers can only do so much.

Michael Minton

December 2017 Chairman's Chat.

As we approach the festive season I take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a good New Year.

Our Association continues to prosper with a healthy bank balance. Investments have proved very sound and your Executive is reviewing them in the light of challenges posed by the Brexit situation and the reserves which we have in hand.

We are now planning for 2018 and the Centre’s new brochure will be available to all as membership is renewed. Activity leaders are featured with details of their programmes, and what a great range of opportunities there are for us all to enjoy! Do take time to read it through and consider whether there are some activities to take your interest. It is vital that as many as possible attend sessions to ensure they continue to flourish. The brochure helps us promote the Centre when talking to friends and neighbours; we have so much to offer.

The membership renewal form has been updated to capture more information and includes a tick-box questionnaire to assist us in developing key messages about the benefits we enjoy from the Centre. Please take part so that we reflect everyone’s views.

One of our objectives is to raise the Centre’s profile. So many residents still don’t know where we are or what we do. Many outside groups use our facilities but there are others also looking for a home, unaware of the quality services we provide. We are taking part in major town events, and our gazebo at the Christmas Festival enabled us to distribute the new brochure as well as a leaflet inviting people to come and see us. However, Malcolm has found it difficult to enthuse enough volunteers, and we do need your support to vitalise our efforts. The Centre’s future is in your hands and unless members come forward to help, if only for a few hours now and then, it heaps pressure on just a few who work so tirelessly for us. Working together brings many benefits in terms of job satisfaction and companionship. Our hard-working Lettings Officer and Treasurer need help so if you have such skills, do contact us.

I look forward to receiving any ideas on enhancing the profile and performance of the Centre.

Michael Minton

November 2017 Chairman's Chat.

First of all, a big “thank you” to all who worked so hard and helped with the BeInvolved event. Not the crowds of visitors we hoped for but we did attract a number of new members as well as a volunteer for Reception. It also enabled the Community Centre to raise its profile in the town to encourage people to come and see what we are all about. To this end we are developing ideas for a much higher public face to promote the great facilities we have to offer to both members, hirers and affiliates. The entrance lobby now has new notice boards which will carry details of our sections and activities, and a new brochure is close to publication which fulfils the same purpose. Work is in hand on an internal programme to brief all members on our proposals for a campaign to spread our message across New Milton. There may be members who are interested in developing this and a promotional campaign for 2018; if so, please come and see me. We will need all members to help in defining what our message should be. There are many things we all appreciate which the Centre provides for us such as socialising, recreation and learning. Other benefits include great facilities, friendship, fellowship, social environment, companionship, welfare, great value for money, large range of activities, concerts, generous opening hours, and volunteering to give members challenges, avoiding loneliness and providing job satisfaction. In order to prioritise these and any other ideas members might wish to add, a short questionnaire will be distributed at membership renewal Please take the time to complete it so that we can finalise the definition of the image for the Centre to publicise around the town in different media, including electronic which would attract the attention of young people.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to communicate with our various groups and affiliated organisations. Phone calls made when people are not at home often require numerous follow-up calls; messages left are sometimes not acknowledged and various volunteers who need to keep in contact with groups to find out what is happening are spending hours on the phone or bringing letters into the Centre. Replies can sometimes take as much as 14 days. The cost of postage and phone calls is increasing daily, making these means of communication a drain on our financial resources. We appreciate that a few group secretaries and group leaders do not yet have an email address but there will be at least one person in each group who is able to take on simple electronic communications on behalf of fellow members. We are, therefore, asking that all groups and affiliates provide an email contact address which the Association can use. Notices of events, changes in procedures, advance room bookings, information about activities, closure dates, special event information, and instructions for equipment are all examples of things which need to be passed on to groups. Similarly, the volunteers who run the Centre will be able to receive information and requests from groups and affiliates by email so that they, too, are not tied to a telephone and can deal with matters raised at a time convenient to them. This will lead to clearer lines of communication and a means of recording decisions made, which will improve future planning.

Please will all leaders and secretaries of groups, affiliates and regular room hirers provide email contact details to urgently, so as not to miss out on important announcements. Your cooperation will be much appreciated.

Michael Minton

October 2017 Chairman's Chat.

As I write this in mid-September, Malcolm and his team are putting the final touches to preparations for our gazebo on the rec. and the Centre display for our Open Week - a great opportunity to show what we are all about and the large range of activities available each week. We will be holding a detailed review and report back on the results of all these efforts.

Notices on how to react in case of fire are now in place in all rooms, so I hope you will look at them and take note. Fire exits will be electronically monitored back to Reception to alert them if any door is opened. Security is important and doors must be kept closed; they will be alarmed at night.

It is very encouraging to note that membership is increasing slowly. We have lost one activity, Tai Chi, as the organiser has elected to move to her school, and we continue to examine possible future options. There is no doubt that many members are delighted with their particular activity and these continue to flourish. With publicity from the BeInvolved Open Week I hope we will have seen what other classes are on offer and taken the opportunity to find out whether there is something there to appeal. New members are likely to have been attracted to us but we must ensure there is sufficient support to keep our activities going well.

Our Reception Manager, Brian Barton, is ill and receiving treatment. We all wish him well and a full recovery. I am very grateful that Gill Ferguson has stepped in and is doing such an excellent job. Her task is not helped by four other receptionists also being in hospital, putting a great deal of pressure on keeping open. We need two on duty in shifts throughout the day; working with just one is a challenge - to operate efficiently and ensure safety of everyone in the building. Should it happen that we have nobody for a particular shift we may well have to close the Centre for the day, which would be very difficult, not to say inconvenient, for us all.

In my last Chat I raised the need for more volunteers to come forward, and we are publicising this in the Centre and around the town. Should you have an interest in volunteering and think you may be able to help, please do contact me or any member of the Executive Committee to discuss what role you might fill.

We are looking into the future as to how we can further enhance our image and activities. Any ideas will be very welcome.

Michael Minton

September 2017 Chairman's Chat.

Friends: We are all well aware of the tragedy involving the Grenfell Tower in London. This month there has been a great deal of effort put in by Bob Stevens, John Revill and Richard Ferguson to ensure that our Community Centre meets all the current fire and safety standards. A full Fire Risk Assessment has been undertaken, notices, posters and procedures updated together with increased security arrangements. Bob has set up a Fire Safety File and updated the Health & Safety Policy. You will see evidence of this work with new signage and equipment.

Group leaders will be briefed on the changes to attendance sheets and routines. Hirers will also be advised on how to proceed. Reception now has a procedure check list in the event of a fire. Exits will be sign-posted as will the reception location for assembly, which is in the public car park next door in Spencer Road. I am sure everyone will take notice; if there are any questions please ask Bob or one of the Executive Committee members.

Equally busy, our Publicity Team has worked hard on -

  1. A new member's Welcome Pack which will shortly be available in reception. This will emphasise the great range of activities in the Centre, encourage participation in more than one or two, and feature a letter of welcome from myself, a leaflet with a Taster Voucher, a brief history of our Association, a fire evacuation plan, and a form to complete if wishing to be a volunteer.
  2. A volunteer poster showing the range of work that needs everyone's full support to make this Centre operate successfully.
  3. The exciting Be Involved event taking place on 16th/17 September and the following week, where we will be inviting members of the public to come and see what we are and how we operate. Malcolm Swan's report will give details and emphasise the need for volunteers to ensure we take full advantage of this opportunity.
  4. A full coloured brochure will be arriving soon promoting all our activities and telling the world about them as well as the range of all other events that take place here every week.

The Centre is prospering and increasing its membership, largely by members telling friends and neighbours about us. This is an exciting time and I wish you all success in your own sections and activities. Take the Be Involved week to tell others about them. As an Executive, we are always seeking ways to increase our appeal to residents and would welcome your ideas.

Michael Minton

August 2017 Chairman's Chat.

You may have noticed that we are updating the fire exit signs and notices especially on the exits themselves. The Executive is reviewing all the procedures related to Health & Safety particularly in the light of the horrendous event/fire in London. We must all be vigilant and aware of where the assembly point is in the car park next door in Spencer Road.

The Executive with the Publicity Team are seeking ways to raise our profile in New Milton. A good start was made with an article in the local newspaper on our AGM. There is a project in hand with the Town Council to hold a special event on 16/17 September and the following week called BeInvolved, (you may have seen posters on the boards), in which we will participate by having a presence on the main recreational ground followed by "tasters & demos"/events in the Centre. We need volunteers to help us carry our message forward. Do let Malcolm Swan know if you are able to help.

The aim of the whole project is to alert everyone who lives here of all the activities available to them throughout the town. This gives us the opportunity to present ourselves and the many things happening here. It is aimed at encouraging more people to become involved and join the various activities. We anticipate many of our people will take part and others volunteer to carry our message forward. We will be producing a programme and displays within the Centre.

Another project that is being developed is a publicity brochure in full colour featuring all our Sections and Activities both to inform all our members of what there is to enjoy here and be a message to the town that this is a Centre for all to come to. Later in the year we will be presenting this to you for your support.

The Welcome Pack for new members is being brought right up to date and will encourage full participation in all we have to offer. A New Members' evening will be held in March 2018 so that we can greet and meet them as well as give an opening for Sections and Activities to display their particular operations.

We are looking into the future as to how we can further enhance our image and activities. Any ideas would be very welcome. Do let me know of any suggestions that you have for enhancing our image and activities.

Michael Minton

July 2017 Chairman's Chat.

Dear friends, I am very appreciative of the honour and trust you have put in me to take over from such a well-liked and hard-working Chairman as Malcolm Swan. Coming in as a new boy it is obvious to me how much he and the rest of your trustees on the Executive Committee have done in recent years to make us all proud to be members of this Association. There is so much going on every day of the week, both in members' activities, affiliated organisations and community action with vulnerable groups. We owe a great debt to Malcolm.

I have spent just a few months now talking to all involved and their enthusiasm is obvious. They give freely of their time and expertise. It will be my intention to work equally hard with everyone and meet as many members as I can to fully understand how this Association ticks. Already following on the path Malcolm has laid, I am starting to meet the movers and shakers in New Milton to see how our profile can be raised and how we can work with others in putting this town and this Centre more on the map. As we go forward and pull together, we can make the Centre not only a place of welcome and pleasure (as it is to so many of us here) but also find a common purpose together to increase membership and bring in others who perhaps at present do not see this place as their natural "home".

I hear regularly that it is not always easy to find volunteers to take on roles. This is an issue shared by many other organisations as, today, there are numerous other interests and activities for people to enjoy. An organisation that is only able to operate on voluntary support will not find it easy long-term to deliver all the benefits currently enjoyed if that support is not there. So do think about what might be your input, however small, to the benefit of all members and contact a member of the Executive Committee if you can to help.

How many of us look at the exciting website which Nigel has set up? It is jam-packed with news and information on all our activities.

I lived in Milford for 40 years and moved to New Milton two years ago, so I do know the area well. I also have a lot of business and club experience in directing and managing organisations. I am really looking forward to seeing how I may be able to put that to good use here. It will be important that all of us speak with a united, positive voice and know what is going on. In the coming weeks I shall be working with the Executive to develop a mission and plan to which we can all respond. So watch this space!

Michael Minton

June 2017 Chairman's Chat.

As you will know, I am stepping down as Chairman at our AGM on Friday 9th June (7 pm). I am pleased to say that we have a successor to commend to you at that meeting. Michael Minton moved into New Milton fairly recently so he is one of our newer members. Thus far Michael has been chatting to office holders, but I am sure he is keen to meet as many groups and individual members as possible – especially those who attend the planned AGM!

By now the Dementia Awareness Session on 26th May will have taken place. My thanks to all who supported this. Sadly we will be hearing more on this topic as the years go by, but it is good to feel that some of us are now more aware of the issues involved and, perhaps, more able to lend a helping hand. I am told that one of the antidotes to dementia is to keep mentally, physically and socially active. I guess our Centre here makes a very real contribution in this respect.

Please look out for more details of the town-wide "Be Involved" initiative in September which aims to encourage us all to take part in, or even assist with, the varied activities which this town has to offer. As a Centre we are hoping to use this opportunity to showcase our activities here.

Our plans for a second "New Members Welcome Evening" on May 19th had to be postponed due to the limited uptake, but your Publicity Team will be discussing a new date/ time shortly. If you are a new member who would like to attend please contact our Vice Chairperson Marie Morgan, and let her know what days/ times would suit you best.

You may have noticed that we now have a new set of historic photographs of our locality on the corridor wall. The official launch of the new "Milton Heritage Collection" will take place at the Memorial Centre from 10 am to noon on Saturday 10th June. All residents with an interest in local history are invited to attend. Further details can be obtained by phoning Nick Saunders on 01425 – 618549.

I feel it appropriate to end with thanks to the many folk whose efforts have made the Centre and Association what it now is. Please forgive me if I forget anyone. My thanks go to Brian and his Reception team, to Betty and her Catering staff, to Jean and her Lunch Club helpers, to the committees and leaders of all our Sections, Activities and Affiliate groups, and also to our outside hirers whose financial contributions are essential to the upkeep of our Centre.>/p>

Colin (Minutes Secretary), Richard (Maintenance and Technical), Bob (Health and Safety) and Genevieve (Gardens) all deserve a special mention. I'm sure you will also wish me to mention our marvellous Caretakers, Albert and Manuel, who do such a great job for us. A word too for Wendy, Gordon and Richard, our three Independent Trustees, who keep an eye on our affairs.

Lastly, but by no means least, I must record my thanks to the Executive Committee members who have supported me over the past three years. I wish them, and Michael, their new Chairman, both the "wisdom of Solomon" and the "patience of Job" as, with your help, they seek to further improve the wonderful facilities we have here.

Malcolm Swan

May 2017 Chairman's Chat.

By the time you read this the deadline for nominations to the Executive Committee will have passed. Hopefully there will be enough names on the board to form a viable team. Many of you make valued contributions to the running of the Centre, but "No Executive" would mean "No Centre" as we would be in breach of Charity Commission requirements.

Please try to attend our AGM (at 7 pm on Friday 9th June) to encourage those who will be elected/re-elected, to hear Officers' Reports and, equally importantly, to ask questions or make helpful suggestions for improvements at the Centre.

Next a reminder to all New Members that you are invited to a Welcome Evening on Friday 19th May at 7 pm in the Common Room. Please contact Marie Morgan, our Vice Chair, for an invitation. We should like some leaders of Sections, Activities, Affiliated groups or other hirers to join us to chat to new members and possibly recruit new faces for your group.

If someone from your group would be prepared to attend please contact me a.s.a.p. on 01425 – 618925 or e-mail

Three of your Executive Committee attended the recent "Annual Towns Meeting" and heard how local community groups and businesses are actively supporting the local Dementia Friendly Awareness Campaign. It would be sad if our Community Association was not represented. To this end I am (finally) calling a meeting of any interested members at 2:30 pm on Friday 26th May. Space may be limited as only a small room is available so please contact me a.s.a.p. if you want to attend. The aim of this meeting is to help us understand and support members or local residents who develop dementia. – it does not involve taking on added responsibilities!

In my last Chairman's Chat I asked any members interested in planning a Community Centre input into the Town Parade/Procession on Saturday 3rd June to contact me urgently. Unfortunately there has been no response, so we have had to opt out of this opportunity to publicise the existence and activities of the Centre.

Malcolm Swan (Chairman) 01425 – 618925 or

April 2017 Chairman's Chat.

Following a successful first "New Members' Social" we are arranging a second one for Friday evening, 19th May. We plan to invite all members who have joined since our February 24th event, as well as any other invitees who were unable to make it on that date. If you fall into that latter category please contact our Vice Chairperson, Marie Morgan, as soon as possible.

The Lions Club of New Milton are organising a series of events in the town this summer. In particular, a Summer Procession through the town is planned for Saturday 3rd June. At last year's pre Christmas Festival Fiona Beavan and family produced an amazing Snow Queen entry in the parade on our behalf. If enough other members are inspired to become actively involved in planning a float or themed walking entry this time Fiona is prepared to take the lead again. Please get in touch with her on 07910 460548 or at - urgently as time is short.

You may read elsewhere that a small working group under Richard Ferguson, our Maintenance Manager, had started work on small projects round the site. Our thanks to Richard and his volunteers for their efforts thus far – as captured on our website. I’m sure that Richard would welcome some more recruits.

A Nominations Board for the election of Executive Officers (at the 9th June AGM) will go up in the corridor in early April. The deadline for nominations is 28th April. Whilst the new Executive will have powers of co-option after the AGM, it would be encouraging if several new faces from our membership showed an interest before this deadline. Please see me, or any other Executive Member, if you want to discuss things informally – absolutely no obligation implied!

Malcolm Swan (Chairman) 01425 – 618925 or

March 2017 Chairman's Chat.

At the time of writing there has been no response to the search for my successor as Chairperson - ladies are also encouraged to reply! It is hoped that any interested parties (if not already Executive members) could attend an Executive meeting prior to the June 9th AGM. In this way they could decide if they wanted their name to go forward before the official deadline for nominations which is 28th APRIL Please give the situation careful thought because our constitution requires that we have a Chairperson.

The Association moved into its first home (the old Council Offices) fifty years ago this year. The Choir, Art, Bridge and Mens' Get Together are recorded as existing from that date. Our Jubilee Singers are celebrating this landmark with several concerts in the Jubilee Room. Please show your support by coming along and celebrating with them.

Ten years later, in 1977, the Association moved to the grand purpose-built Centre which we now enjoy. These moves were not achieved without sacrifice. It is on record that, "There can be no doubt that those who saw us through our early years deserve our sincere gratitude, not only for their financial assistance, but also for the wonderful voluntary spirit which was generated...." But, as Martin Stewart, (of Stewart's Nurseries) rightly says of his highly successful business, "Just because you can boast a glorious past, it does not guarantee you a future."That bit is down to us!

By the time you read this our first "New Members Welcome Evening" will have taken place. It is vial that we all make new members welcome. This is not just the task of our Receptionists or Group Leaders. It involves us all as such new blood represents the future of our Association.

I have been asked to remind all Activity, Section and Affiliate leaders to make full use of our Newsletter (via Phyllis Inglis) and our Website (via Nigel King) to publicise the activities of your group. Appropriate large print, good quality posters could also be put on our Outside Noticeboard as space permits. Please leave these in Reception for my attention.

Malcolm Swan (Chairman) 01425 – 618925 or

Postscript: A warning regarding theft of personal items. I regret to have to add that an intruder has very recently stolen a purse (with all its contents) from one of our willing volunteers. Please take great care of personal items (especially valuables) when on Community Centre premises.

February 2017 Chairman's Chat.

2017 Membership Renewals are proceeding smoothly thanks to Nigel, our Membership Secretary, and to Brian and his Receptionists who have manned the desk. Please remember that you only have until the end of February to renew – otherwise your membership will lapse.

I am asked to remind our Section and Activity group leaders to let Chris Lynott, our Lettings Officer, know when you want changes to your regular bookings. In order to minimize misunderstandings a draft of the next month's "What's On" (The Newsletter back page) will now be posted on the noticeboard. Will all group leaders please check this regularly and contact Chris a.s.a.p. if changes are required.

Our thanks to all our group leaders for continuing to fill in our attendance sheets. These are not only a check on our membership, but also would serve as a vital register in the event of fire or any evacuation of the building. Please therefore return your sheets at the end of your session rather than in any coffee break. Our Affiliated Groups and Outside Hirers are also reminded of their responsibility to keep their own register for emergency purposes.

As mentioned last month, five pound "Gift Membership Vouchers" are now available from Reception. This is another initiative from the Publicity Team (at the suggestion of Wyn Rochester) aimed at increasing our membership numbers, so please support it.

The difficult question of storage of equipment/materials on site was discussed at our last Executive. It was decided with reluctance that, given the very limited storage space available, we needed to work on the principle that we could only offer limited storage space to our own Sections and Activities, and could not extend this to Affiliated Groups or Outside Hirers. This policy is in line with other Community Centres such as Lymington. (As the leader of an Affiliated Group which regularly uses the Centre I realise that this is inconvenient but must accept the situation.)

Several months ago I asked for names of those interested in attending a One-Off Dementia Awareness Session. The list is still on the noticeboard but I shall be closing it in Mid February and arranging a date on the basis of the availability of those who have signed up. I feel it is particularly relevant for our Reception and Catering staff but any member with an interest is welcome to sign up. Please do so as soon as possible.

The AGM on June 9th 2017 may seem a long way off. However, I feel it wise to give early notice that, after three years as your Chairman/Acting Chairman, I have decided not to let my name go forward for this role at the AGM. Personal and family health issues have influenced my decision, but I also feel that the Centre deserves a successor who can give their undivided attention to such an important role. Could that person be you, or do you know of someone who might offer their services?

If anyone requires further information feel free to give me a ring.

Malcolm Swan Tel: 01425 618925

January 2017 Chairman's Chat.

Firstly, New Year's greetings to you all. 2016 has not been the easiest of years for many, but we must hope for better things to come. If you have not already done so, please make it your New Year's Resolution to renew your Centre member-ship and encourage others to do the same.

My thanks to all who supported and helped with our Open Day. After all the work that went into it I was disappointed that the "footfall" of non-members visiting the Centre was modest, despite our publicity gazebo on Station Road.

A real highlight this year, however, was watching Fiona Beavan and family carrying our colours on their brilliant Snow Queen carriage at the head of the Lantern procession. We need more Fionas with new ideas, energy and enthusiasm to take us forward into 2017.

Snow Queen 1
Snow Queen 2
Snow Queen 3

At the end of the day we need all our members to advertise within the wider community the facilities and friendship to be enjoyed here. To this end we are introducing a Free Temporary Gift Membership Scheme, and you should soon be able to purchase these Gift Memberships (£5 for three months) from Reception. You could, for instance, offer one to that kind neighbour who looked after your house (and cat) while you were away, or maybe it would be a way of thanking someone who does shopping for you or provide transport and not accepting cash payment.

We are also planning to introduce periodic New Member Socials where newcomers can meet each other over a glass of wine and nibbles as well as learning more about the Community centre itself.

I have to raise one housekeeping problem. Storage space for our groups is very limited so please don’t assume you can put materials in the garage or any cupboards without asking. Unfortunately, the answer may have to be negative. Please will those already fortunate enough to have space allotted to them keep this as tidy as possible.

On your behalf I wish to record thanks to Albert and Manuel, our two ever-smiling and helpful caretakers who do so much for us beyond the call of duty, with such willingness and enthusiasm. We get so many comments on the cleanliness and appearance of our Centre.

Finally, my thanks to Pam Badcock and her team who, once again, decorated the Centre so beautifully. She was rewarded with a record attendance of 18 helpers who enjoyed a fun time and refreshments to go with it.

Malcolm Swan

Missed the 2016 Chats, they can be found HERE.

Calendar of Events on this Page

Produced from information provided by the organisers of the section or activity, please contact them to confirm details.