Annual Report 2023-24

Ashbury Village Hall Management Committee (Charity No. 292821)

Annual Report of the Chairman and Secretary

This report covers the period from 1st April 2023 to 31st March 2024.


During the year to April 2024 Chairman: Maggie Simons, Secretary: Margaret Smith, Treasurer: Jo Cholmeley, Bookings Secretary: Lin Clarke, Building Renovations Officer: Roger Baker.  Additional committee members were: Jackie Baker (Toddler Group and Community Club from September 2023) Julia Blake, Simon Edwards, Rev. Norma Fergusson (St Marys Church), Eliza Lewis, Diane Lovegrove, Christopher Prentice (Parish Council), Sue Reade (Community Club retired September 2023), Pete Smith, Chris Millard

Committee meetings were held in the Village Hall on 24th May 2023, 23rd September 2023  and 17th January 2024.  Margaret Smith, Secretary, prepared and circulated minutes which are signed by the Chairman after approval of the committee and filed in the Hall Minutes File kept by the Secretary.  Electronic copies are also available.

Fund raising activities

The Badapple Theatre Company performance on 25th September was very much enjoyed and raised £300 for the hall funds.  It was agreed to have them back in 2024. A Burns Night was run jointly with St Mary’s Church and the surplus split 50:50 raising just over £400 for the hall.  A plant sale was organised in May and funds were sent to the Prospect Hospice. Several Rose and Crooner (Community Choir) events were held in the hall raising funds for local charities.

Hall use

Community Club and Toddler Group continued through the year as well as the Indoor Bowls Group through the winter months.  The hall has also been used for Parish Council meetings,  the Church Christmas Bazaar, Yoga and First Aid classes. There were several private parties and other events.

WI-Fi/GigaHub/Fire Safety Risk Audit

With thanks to Airband who supplied the external cabling to the hall free of charge and to the Parish Council who contributed to the internal work Wi-Fi was made available in the hall in late 2023.

This work was in preparation for the possibility of becoming a GigaHub if the Government scheme was to go ahead. There was also some concern over our Fire Safety Risk Assessment and Mike Simmons, from Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service was booked to carry out an audit in January. His Report showed that the hall has adequate safety but that it could be improved. Consideration also needs to be given to our disabled access if the GigaHub programme goes ahead

Internal works and items

In the Spring of 2024 a PA system was purchased with advice and help from Simon Edwards.

Textile Map: The condition of the map was monitored throughout the year, some dust removed and the tubes of silica gel refreshed when necessary.

Plumbing issues in the toilets were ongoing through the year and are regularly monitored.

In August a group led by Jo Cholmeley and Roger Baker repainted areas of the hall.

The large front window had secondary glazing fitted and new windows were made by Peter King for the toilets and lobby.  Retrospective planning permission was received for these in January.

Two new kettles and a hoover were purchased during the year.

A framed memorial to Airey Neave, Sir William Cash and Lord Craven was prepared and hung during the year.

External works

External Walls: Work continued on the walls in September.  Again the very wet weather has caused delays and work stopped during the winter due to risk of below zero temperatures damaging the mortar/render, this work will continue in 2024.

Some loose roof slates were noticed during the year and were replaced, more noticed on slopes facing the school, arrangements with the school authorities to be made to replace these and clear out the gutters.

Roger Baker continues to monitor all exterior boundary walls.

Gravel area at rear

Vic continued to tend the roses on the back gravel area.

Health and safety issues

Discussions continued about the safety of the large ladder when there were small children around.  It is currently along the front wall behind the chairs.


Kevin Clarke continued to keep the grounds tidy and the outside windows cleaned. Lin Clarke continued to clean the hall weekly.  Both are retiring at the 2024 AGM.

Village website

The Village Hall section of the website has been updated and with the help of Duncan Hardy changes can now be made including keeping the booking diary up to date.


Balance at Bank a/c 1 (including £6000 withdrawn from Black Rock in March) as at
31st March 2023 £8,323.81
Balance at Bank a/c 2 (Building works grant money) as at 31st March 2023 £11,453.09
Black Rock Investment as at 31st March 2023 £159,271.44

Note from Maggie

As this is my last report before retiring from the Village Hall Committee I wish to thank everyone who has served on the committee with me since I joined in 2006 as Secretary – Diane Lovegrove and Kevin Clarke were already members at that time!.

Special Thanks

to all committee members who take on extra work to ensure the hall remains a wonderful amenity for the village.

Maggie Simons (Chairman)
Margaret Smith (Secretary)