VILLAGE HALL AND PLAYING FIELD IMPROVEMENTS
Keeping the residents of North and South Lopham updated with improvements we are continually making to the Village Hall and Playing Field is important to the management committee.
We are pleased to say refurbishment of the kitchen is now complete and it looks fabulous. For anyone hiring the Hall for a function they now have a sparkling kitchen with tiled walls, new cupboards, oven and hob and all equipment necessary for their requirements. Decorating of the inside of the hall and also the exterior wall repairs and painting will be undertaken very soon.
Improvements to the Playing Field is proving a battle for us, competing with the moles! We are trying to make a more useable field for sporting activities etc. We now have a track cut around the circumference of the field (which will improve over time with more regular mowing) for people to use as a walking or running route.
Our biggest project in hand at the present time is the possibility of installing 4 pieces of outside gym equipment for 14 year olds and upwards. Some of you will have signed the support letter circulated and will have seen the pictures of the equipment being considered. We have applied to Norfolk Council for match funding for this project and if we are successful with this we will let you know. Again it is a start to offering facilities for local residents to come and exercise in a lovely environment. Hopefully in the future we will be able to add play facilities for younger children. We are also hoping to put benches around the field in a few locations for people to use.
Lophams Village Games Team - It is confirmed that for five Wednesday evenings in May there will be free rugby sessions for boys and girls up to 18 years of age at the Playing Field. These will be led by a fully qualified coach from 6.30pm to 8pm. Spread the word as the more the merrier, we might even find the next Owen Farrell in our midst! Please let Jim know if you are interested in attending on 687330.
So we hope this keeps you informed of matters to date. If anyone would like to offer their help with odd jobs it would be very welcome. We need to cut back some hedges and strim some grassed areas where the gang mower cannot reach. Also there is a lot of clearing to do around the container. So if you have a few spare hours and would like to help us turning the field into a lovely area for people to enjoy then please call Pauline on 01379 688302.
AGM 26th June 2015 was attended by all committee
members; Mr Birchall (Chairman of Trustees), Mr Shipperlee (Vice Chair), Mrs Birchall (Hon Sec), Mr Colyer (Treasurer), Mrs Vere (Bookings), Mr Pursehouse, Mrs Packer, Mr Huggins (SLPC representative), but no members of the public.
After the usual opening formalities the Chairman's report concentrated on thanking all of the committee members for their continued hard work in keeping the hall alive. He observed that keeping the building in good repair is an unending task and that a consistent inflow of funds is needed to do it. He noted that although there seems to be little interest in how the hall is financed and run, if it were to cease to function the loss to the community would soon be felt.
The audited accounts for 2014/15 were presented by the Treasurer. The main cause for concern was that income from hiring out the hall had fallen considerably which overshadowed the good news that the fireworks event recorded a small profit for the first time in some years.
The Farmers' Market continues to provide a steady income although more customers are always needed to keep the stallholders interested in coming.
The Maasai Warriors visit had been a financial success as well as an enjoyable event.
The VH Lottery at last became fully subscribed and continues to top up the Village Hall Development Fund.
Major items of expenditure on the building fabric were the relocation of the toilet facilities for the less able and essential testing and upgrades to the electrical systems which together amounted to over £7,500. New blackout blinds for the main hall accounted for a further £1,000. The electricity supply and premises insurance contracts were renegotiated to try to keep those costs down as far as possible.
Overall, the financial position of the hall reamins stable.
When questioned about the drop in hirings revenue, Mrs Vere explained that two regular hirers had stopped coming and that there had been fewer parties which together largely explained it. The decision about whether or not to increase hiring charges, which last rose in 2011, was deferred until the July management meeting when information about other local hire rates should be available for comparison purposes.
Conditions were just about perfect for the Lophams’ Bonfire and Firework Event on 1st November. A great crowd gathered to enjoy the hot food and drinks in front of the bonfire, before one of the best firework displays ever. Many thanks go to those who brought such good burnables for the fire and to Jim Harris and his team for building it - when the fire finally burned out, it left just an ashy patch.
A big vote of thanks goes to everyone who helped in any way, whether out on the field, in the hall, or with the clearing up afterwards.
The Osiligi Maasai Warriors event on 11th October 2014 was a sell out. The performers held the audience, especially the youngsters, transfixed by their display of songs and dances. When it came to the jumping competition the Lophams' representatives performed very well but couldn't quite match the height and style of the warriors. Everyone enjoyed this glimpse of another culture in the knowledge that, over the years, the money earned has been used to dramatically improve the lives of the people back home.
The building work to improve the facilities for the less able has been completed. The new blinds have been fitted and the recessed down-lighters in the main hall have been replaced with low energy LED units. Thanks to Paul Sturman, Village Green Blinds and Joe Bernard for their efforts.
Hopefully, building work to improve the facilities for the less able will commence in August plus some maintenance work on the electrics and some new blinds.