MONDAY 25th July 2011

Annual Report of Ovingham Reading Room Committee

Committee members have worked very hard during the past year. The Officers who have served during the year are:

Jean Dougherty – Treasurer

Hazel Fulton – Booking Secretary

Louise Leonard – Secretary

other Trustees are:

Ada Blackburn, Bridget Broadhurst, Hazel Chalmers Judy Campbell, Deborah Henderson, Doreen Jordon, Jackie Scrowther , David Tweddle, Vanessa Saunders, Alison Rea and Pat Stott.

We have had a `rotating chair` during this last year.

The most important event on the Reading Room calendar is the Goose Fair: thanks must go to Hazel Chalmers for leading this sub-committee and to all those whose experience and hard work make the Goose Fair such a success, especially Louise Leonard who organizes the fancy dress and the parade, Richard Heslop who is the Entertainments Manager, Jackie Scrowther who is Goose Fair Booking Secretary and Jean Dougherty who organizes the `gates`. Hazel Chalmers was also the Event Organizer and, together with Vanessa Saunders, organizes the event plan, the health and safety and road closure documentation. Vanessa liaises with the school for the annual Goose Fair Poster Competition, and works with our Goose Fair Safety Officer Paul Leonard to coordinate traffic on and off the fields. The Goose Fair is a very popular village event and a review report is given later on in the agenda.

Hazel Chalmers is also leading the fundraising efforts for new Heating, Insulation and Refurbishment in the Reading Room. This is a huge task: we are pleased to report that almost half of the total £30,000 required for this work has already been raised.

We regret to inform you that our secretary, Louise Leonard has decided to resign from her post due to the pressure of other responsibilities. Louise has been reliable and efficient; we are sad that she has to leave her post and we are grateful for all her hard work. We are pleased that Louise will remain on the committee and will continue to organize the very popular monthly film club.

Whilst there appears to be a good number of people on the Committee, we would like to remind everyone that the Reading Room is a village hall run by village people for the village. The more trustees we have the less onerous becomes the work to keep it in excellent condition. We have found that it is best to have several people involved in decision making for social events to suit a wide range of interests, abilities and ages.

Regular RR User Groups include:

We have recently had to refuse additional groups because the Reading Room is so well used.

The user groups and one-off users have reported that the heating is inadequate. We are attempting to address this problem – Hazel Chalmers is leading the fund raising and planning group: we hope to install a new boiler, radiators and pipes; we wish to add further insulation to the ceilings and walls; we have already draught-proofed the doors; we hope to replace the old single glazed windows with new U.P.V.C. pale cream `wood effect` windows. After these alterations, the whole building will need redecoration and new flooring in the Blackett Room and Entrance Hall.

Social Events have included:

The RR has also been hired out for birthday parties, and other family celebrations, for various courses, photographic sessions etc.

From time to time equipment from the RR is loaned out for very reasonable rates.

The committee is already in the process of organizing next year’s social events.


We now have a Reading Room website with various links. We are grateful to Councilor Phil Holden for maintaining and updating this website in addition to the Goose Fair website . We hope you will enjoy looking at the latest photographs on the Goose Fair website.

Maintenance and safety of the RR

During the Year, we have suffered two thefts of lead from the roof and a break in through the east facing side doors. The most recent break in has cause damage to internal doors and the fire doors cannot be adequately repaired again. Replacement fire doors will cost about £2,400 which we will probably not be able to claim from our insurance policy without consequence.

New acquisitions

The following items have been acquired/ purchased:

A large amount of white crockery has also been donated to the Reading Room

Hallmark Award:

The Committee is proud to announce that in March 2011, Ovingham Reading Room was awarded a Hallmark certificate. This is a quality standards scheme for those village halls which comply with the requirements of their charitable status; we had to prove that financial matters are carried out according to charity law, that the committee runs the hall in accordance with the trust deed and that good practice is employed in the hiring arrangements. Maintenance, health and safety issues, décor and cleanliness were also investigated during the inspection. It was recognized that although the decoration is not of a very high standard, the committee had taken the correct decision not to redecorate until the new heating system has been installed.

Aspirations for next year

The Reading Room Committee intends to achieve the following goals for the year July 2011 - 2012:

  1. Maintain the RR in good repair and replace items as necessary to ensure a safe and comfortable venue for all users, specifically:

  2. Plan and execute actions necessary for a successful Goose Fair in 2012

  3. Plan a social event for each month in addition to the Film Club

  4. Start a club for older residents.

Thank you

Reading Room Committee

July 2011