Ovingham Reading Room Committee

Minutes of meeting held on Monday 29th January 2018

Present: Neville, Chris, Doreen, Sally, Louise, Vera, Georgina, Lorraine, Sue and Debbie

1. Apologies for absence: Marion, Nicola and Dean

2. Minutes of meeting on 27th November 2017: these were agreed to be a true record and signed by the Chairman

3. Matters arising from the minutes:

i) Update on sort-out of cellar and storage area

The Drama Group have sorted their equipment out, including removing the horse. Everything else is for the RR committee to sort out, mostly in the left hand section at the bottom of the stairs. Neville offered to take some obvious rubbish to WWDS, and the committee would have a look at the rest at a future date.

4. Update on Reading Room maintenance /safety actions

i) investigation into possibility of curtains/blinds:

Sally has been in contact with Joe Moss who specialises in industrial-standard curtains for public buildings and we agreed to make an appointment with him to give advice with regard to the Reading Room windows

(Sally to follow this up in the first instance)

ii) report on exterior and interior painting (Richard Loughead)

All done at the end of last year. Richard will return the spare paint which we’ll use to paint over minor damage to the lower sections of pebbledash in the porch.

iii) update on repair to damaged sill at front of building

This has been done by Dillon as agreed

iv) arrangements for removal of mortar behind gravel bin and future lime treatment

To be carried out in better weather, as arranged with Dillon

v) bolt on child-proof gate to kitchen area


vi) report on toilet roll holder in ladies’ toilet

Done (by Neville and the Drama group)

vii) replacement of strip light in storeroom

Done – with LED bulb

5. Follow-up to Dean’s Health and Safety report:

i) spare replacement glass for fire alarm

Neville will look into this, but we still have one spare glass

(Chris reported that he had arranged the annual Firepoint check, and after their check of extinguishers and lights, we will be billed for £101 to replace bulbs and batteries. He agreed to ask them to supply us with spare glasses)

ii) fire doors

This item refers to the fire doors at the front of the building/rear of the hall; the outer door seems to be working satisfactorily so the building isn’t accessible from outside, but the inner one is more difficult, partly due to the alterations to the porch when the ramp was installed.

iii) First Aid notice

This has been moved to outside the kitchen area.

6. New signage at front entrance:

This has been installed by Richard Loughead for £20

7. Christmas Cheer feedback:

This was agreed to have been a successful event, but it was agreed that we would consider it carefully before planning another one. (We also discussed glitter, which had been used in the craft session, and the need to discourage hirers from using it on environmental and health grounds as well as the cleaning problem it creates)

8. Goose Fair 2018 progress report

The chairman outlined the positive response from organisations in the village in relation to holding a locally focussed event, which would be much smaller than in earlier years.  He advised that after conversation with the new owners it was apparent that the Bridge End pub would not be re-opened by 16 June.  It was agreed that the GF sub-committee needed to meet as soon as possible with the intention of reviewing ideas and considering viability. The sub-committee (chaired by Neville) would report back at the next meeting.  Dean, Doreen, Lorraine and Vera had agreed to serve, together with Joanna Jackson and, subject to confirmation, Tony Chandler, both of whom had volunteered their services for the event.


9. Arrangements for Quiz on February 16th.

This has been advertised in the February Parish Magazine and in the coming Oracle. Debbie will put posters up and organise leaflets to be delivered by committee members. Debbie will contact Malcolm Cairns for Village Notes in the Courant.

Louise agreed to order pies from Balls – 60 meat and 20 vegetarian, with the option of more if needed on the night. Judy, Ada and Louise have kindly agreed to serve the food and staff the bar.

Neville will confirm that Pat and Michael Stott are still happy to run the quiz itself.

10. Toddler group fees

Sue explained that the group’s working well, but numbers fluctuate and the money paid doesn’t always cover costs, so it was agreed that we would happily keep the current £10 hire charge for another 6 months, when it would be reviewed.

11. Use of toilets by Church etc

For many years, the Church has paid the Reading Room £50 per annum, with an informal understanding that churchgoers are able to use the toilets, borrow chairs etc. Since this arrangement was first introduced, the situation has changed: there are frequent Sunday bookings which mustn’t be interrupted either because of the nature of the activity or for safeguarding reasons. We agreed to continue to accept the annual donation, but keep informing the church whenever the Reading Room is unavailable and ask them to respect notices on the door.

12. Chair's report

In view of the fact that the newly decorated front highlights the shabbiness of the notice board, Neville had circulated information about a supplier of similar, lockable cupboards to replace it, and there had been an exchange of emails with regard to more expensive hardwood and much less expensive plastic. Chris agreed to investigate seasoned oak cupboards and will report back.

13. Booking Secretary's report

Debbie circulated an account of income in November (£850) and December (£300, as there were no one-off bookings and reduced regular use)

Looking at January and February, there are frequent children’s parties booked at weekends as well as other individual hires.

The report is attached with the minutes.

Please note – the coffee morning on February 10th is a fundraiser for Ellis Leonard’s trip to volunteer in South Africa: support, raffle prizes and second-hand books would be gratefully received!

14. Treasurer's Report

Chris had circulated his report prior to the meeting.

The total balance in both our accounts is £22 411. This is down from November, but can be accounted for by a great deal of maintenance and improvement work, and is a healthy financial situation.

15. Monthly Planner actions:

Emergency lighting check – carried out

16. AOB.

i) Chat club: Hazel had mentioned that the heat controls on the oven are hard to read, and also that the oven doesn’t seem to be heating up very well. She has offered to look into a new one and pay for it out of Chat Club funds, and we agreed to accept her kind offer, as the oven is probably quite old and has served us well.

ii) Review of Melissa’s contract : Melissa’s contract is due to be renewed in March, and Sally agreed to talk to Melissa about it before then.

iii) Louise reported problems with the audio-visual equipment during film club. She offered to buy a new HDML lead to see if that corrects the difficulty, and we agreed that if it doesn’t, we would ask an electrician to check the sockets.

17. Date of next meeting: February 26th 2018