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Blackheath Village Society Minutes 15th November 2022

(The meeting arranged for Thursday 1 December 2022 was brought forward)

1. Present: David, Paul, Anne, Laura, Max, Ralph, Simon, Charles, and Sam.
Apologies: Peter.

2. The minutes of the last meeting held on 18 October 2022 were read and approved with matters arising:

a) David will speak to Barnett Hill to see whether we can utilise their car parking facility for next year’s village fair.
b) Charles will shortly be able to complete the new website once he has reviewed all the various emails and comments.
c) Wonersh Parish Council - we may miss the impending budget deadline for any works in Blackheath.
The flooding at the bottom of the village was discussed and it was difficult to see any immediate solutions to this problem.
d) WPC cannot provide a replacement cherry tree and we will investigate the BVS buying one from the proceeds of 2023 village fair.
e) The village hall is still investigating the revival of the Gift Aid Scheme.

3. Christmas Party

It was confirmed that the Village Hall has been booked for 17 December 2022, and the party will commence at 7.30. We will try and organise a children’s talent competition at 5 pm, which will be discussed and agreed shortly.

The BVS will supply wine, soft drinks, mince pies and mulled wine. Simon will talk to Richard about the provision of glasses from the cricket club. The residents will be asked to bring food for general consumption, including finger food etc.

It was agreed that we would not charge for the event and donations will be for the Ukraine charity and Paul will provide Charles with the appropriate details. It would be lovely if we could arrange some entertainment and Simon will speak to Graham Webb about organising the local choir. Ralph will look into providing background music and Sam confirmed that there is a system in the village if required.

Max will organise plates and knives and forks for the event. A sub-committee (Jayne Barlow, Laura and Charles) will organise the appropriate decorations.

In the past, we have had various competitions, and it was suggested that we arrange a Terry Fincher photographic competition, and we will try and Charles will try and include these photographs on the newly designed website. Steve Brockwell will supply and erect a Christmas tree outside the village hall.

Charles will design a flyer which can be completed this week and emailed as well as delivered to the residents for maximum attendance. It was also requested by Sam that some of the Committee and residents be available to clear up the village hall after the event, as other functions will take place.

As this is a charitable event, the donations will be taken on the night and Ralph will also bring his payment machine for any contributions which are directed into the BVS bank account. Suggested contributions will be £5 per head.

4. Bonfire Night

It was agreed that this was a very successful event and Simon’s costs amounted to £497.60, which was paid by cheque during the course of the meeting. It was confirmed that the monies received covered all our expenses and particular thanks were extended to Laura (the bar), Simon (fireworks), Dave (BBQ) and Steve Brockwell (bonfire) with additional help to the rest of the Committee for their help and assistance on the night.

It was estimated that of those who attended, 70% were from the cricket club and 30% were from the village. In the future we will try and promote these events as community activities and encourage more villagers to attend any functions being held at the cricket club.

5. Website

Charles was thanked for all of the hard work he has put into creating the new website and a cheque for £500 was given to him during the course of the evening. Simon asked if we could put pictures on the website from the bonfire night.

It was confirmed that any village emails can still be sent to Simon through the existing technology. We suggested that other charities supported by residents in the village should be published on the “shout out” page and we should emphasise the charitable donations the BVS makes throughout the year through our various events. Charlie will also include all of the minutes of the meetings and AGMs on the website for residents to read and understand what we discuss and arrange during our meetings. The timetable for the countryside ranger will also be updated on the website.

6. Land in Blackheath Lane

The situation with Rares was discussed and it was confirmed that the boundary has been designated correctly. We discussed various proposals and the BVS suggested that the various residents close to the land should meet and agree on a way forward.

7. Wonersh Parish Council

Max confirmed that there had been no progress since our meeting took place on 18 October 2022.

8. Village Hall

Sam confirmed that there has been no further meeting with the Village Hall since our last meeting.

He confirmed that the batteries for the defibrillator have been replaced by Peter Walshaw, and he has been credited for these costs by the BVS. It was discussed that there is a possibility that the Village Hall may flatten the recently acquired land beside the Village Hall for the erection of tents and outside functions. This will be discussed in the future by the Village Hall Committee.

9. Village Fair 2023

It was agreed that we would do our best to hold the fair on Monday 1 May 2023.

It was also confirmed that after the Coronation on 6 May, there is a further bank holiday on Monday 8 May. We discussed the possibility of another function at the cricket club, a street party or a function in and beside the Village Hall. It was suggested that we hold the event on either the Saturday or Monday, but nothing was agreed. This will be considered at future meetings, once David has established car parking arrangements for the May Day Fair.

10. Villagers Public House

Paul provided an update following on from the Council’s decision to serve the Enforcement Notice on the owners of the public house and we will have to wait to see whether or not these conditions are complied with.

David suggested that if there are any further costs in protecting our interests in re-opening the public house, these should be funded by the BVS. It was also suggested that if this was the case, we should try and bring all the residents in Blackheath on our side by promoting this as a cafe/bistro, rather than a public house - in the same way that the deli/cafe operates at The Forge in Shamley Green. If Mr & Mrs Moore decide to offer the public house back to the village, we will need to go back to the Blackheath residents and see whether or not they are in favour of re-opening the licensed cafe/bistro for the benefit of the local community.

11. Any Other Business

The requirement of a treasurer was discussed and confirmed that this only requires one hour per month to carry out the necessary work for the BVS and Charities Commission. Anne agreed that she would take on this task and Paul would send all the relevant information. The previous treasurer (Paul Vincent) is very happy to provide any additional information if required and the Committee thanked Anne for volunteering to take on this task.

12. Next Meeting

To be held on 16th January 2023 at 7.30 pm at Prince Albert Cottage.

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