Welcome to the January edition of the new CHEQS Magazine! Your community magazine – supported by representatives of the five village communities, Coln St Aldwyns, Hatherop, Quenington, Eastleach and Southrop.
Hello from Sue Futtu
It’s a little-known fact perhaps, but from 24th to 30th January 2022 it is Village Halls Week, a national campaign aiming to shine a spotlight on the contribution which England’s 10,000+ village halls make to rural communities. As the Treasurer on Eastleach Village Hall’s management committee since 2013, I’m here to celebrate our lovely little hall and hopefully raise its profile in the community!
Tucked away at the top of the village, part of the hall is several hundred years old, but it started its later life as a Reading Room, given to the village in the 1950s by the Bazley family. It’s been used for an astonishing variety of activities over the years, from village parties to beer festivals, and school discos to dog therapy classes… and it is, of course, the home of Eastleach Village Fete’s famous White Elephant extravaganza (and we very much hope the Fete will be up and running again next summer, pandemics etc. permitting).
Over the last couple of years, we’ve been fortunate enough to have been awarded two grants which, together with hugely generous donations of time, expertise and money from villagers, have enabled major refurbishments to be carried out. There is still more to be done and the committee’s fundraising work continues, but we are a determined bunch! We are also delighted that the hall finally has fibre-optic broadband up and running, and will hopefully have its own website later this year.
As for me, although there never seem to be enough hours in the day (my day job is teaching English at Farmor’s in Fairford), I have a great affection for our hall, which always feels a friendly and special building with its own character. I love seeing it bustling and full of life when it’s in use, but checking in on it when it’s empty and peaceful is always a calming and regenerative moment in my week.
We are very lucky to have such a wonderful facility in our community – let’s make the best possible use of it!
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Margaret Stranks – Editor