September News


Slowly the Village Hall is coming back to life with the removal of most restrictions. We urge users to continue to act safely, to use the hand wash provided and ensure good ventilation. For the time being we are limiting numbers to fifty.

With increased usage old problems return. Please take your rubbish with you at the end of a session. The bin capacity just cannot cope if you don’t. The four WCs all empty into a single pipe which easily gets blocked if users try to flush away inappropriate objects. As a result effluent from the gents backs up into the ladies and visa versa. I have spent an hour or so recently observing these interactions and trying to decide whether or not to call a plumber or reach for a plunger. I would much prefer not to. So would Cindy who maintains the toilets immaculately. Please do not abuse the loos. Of course no resident of Froyle would dream of doing such a thing!

Recently a hot water urn was left steaming which resulted in several cupboard doors being damaged and had to be replaced. Accidents happen we understand. Thanks are due to Royston who undertook the repairs and who has agreed to PAT test all the hall’s electrical appliances.

Having done good service for over ten years the ovens require maintenance. We await spare parts and a big bill. In the meantime the ovens can be used but not the cleaning cycle.

Outside the Hall, the Committee has hosted a bottle bank for many years which periodically EHDC’s contractors empty. Hampshire County Council have recently closed the bottle bank at Alton tip. As a result use of the Froyle bank has increased. This has coincided with problems with the contractor who have been unable to visit. As a result at the time of writing the bins are over flowing and a large number of bottles have been left on the ground some of which have got broken. Members of the committee have done their best to prevent further dumping but the general public are not easily dissuaded and glass continues to arrive. The matter has been raised with both our District and County Councillor. The question therefore arises as whether we need the bottle bank. Should we ask for its removal given that the monthly doorstep collection continues efficiently? However should the doorstep collection be reduced we may miss the bottle bank particularly those households who (how can I say this delicately) create a lot of glass.

UPDATE The bottles were all removed within 3 hours of a call to the office of the Leader of EHDC. There is a moral there somewhere.

The upside of the pandemic has been the inflow of government grants into the Hall’s coffers. Most recently £8,000 towards the costs of reopening. The Committee has agreed to contribute £6000 to the Froyle Festival. The Festival is being organised by a joint Village Hall/Fete sub- committee and we thank its members for all the hard work which is going into what promises to be a memorable event. The Village Hall Committee is grateful to the PC for acting as banker to the Festival and thereby saving the VAT which would otherwise be incurred.

The annual Froyle Quiz is planned for Saturday 30 October and we hope to hold a film night in November. Suggestions for a suitable title welcome. More next month.

We have not held an AGM for several years and feel that we should. Please keep Wednesday 13 October free for this exciting event. There will be wine and nibbles and an opportunity to discuss future activities and projects at the hall.

Our accounts for 2020 are available here.

The Committee have been comparing their charges with neighbouring halls to ensure we are competitive and get the right balance between making the hall available to residents as cheaply as possible and being realistic about what we can charge commercially. It seems clear that we need an hourly rate so people can book the hall for short periods but this has to be balanced against the cost of heating the hall.

Looking much further into the future, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee will take place over the weekend 4/5 June 2022. The Committee has secured an option on a large marquee so whatever the weather we can celebrate in the dry. Just what form that celebration will take has yet to be decided so please let us have your ideas.

It’s great to see how a much younger generation of residents are now getting involved in organising the community life of the village. That promises well for the future. Is that light I see at the end of the tunnel? Better than the view down the loo.

Nick Whines
Hon Sec
Froyle Village Hall