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Blackheath Village Society Minutes 5th November 2023

Minutes of the Meeting held at Theobald’s on 15th November 2023

Present: Simon, Max, Anne, Dave, Ranald and Laura

Apologies: Paul, Ralph, Charlie.

1. Ranald Schulz was warmly welcomed to the committee. Dave noted that he will be formally co-opted at the 2024 AGM.

2. The minutes of the meeting held on 17th October 2023 were approved with the following matters arising:

a) “This Way That way Sign” – Dave to ask Peter Walshall when the refurbished sign will be placed back at the crossroads.

b) Flooding and verge repairs – It was noted that a working party to rod the drains in the ditches has yet to be organised.

3. Guy Fawkes Party Update

It was agreed that the Guy Fawkes Party was a wonderful community event with many positive comments from those who attended. The torchlit procession that was championed and led by Paul was a particular highlight, both memorable and magical, it was encouraging to have so many adults and children participate in the inaugural procession. Final financials are yet to be confirmed but it is expected that the event has broken even/covered its costs. Thanks were expressed to all those who helped on the night and in the clearing up the next day.

It was agreed that the elements that we could improve next year for the event are:
a) Clarity on the flyer that the £10 pound per adult is a Fireworks Donation and does not include food/drinks
b) Clear signage with pricing for any Mulled Wine/Hot Chocolates/Chilli to avoid questions on the night
c) Agree and communicate key responsibilities further ahead of the event among volunteers i.e. bar, kitchen, bbq roles. It all worked ok on the evening but it would help with smooth running to agree further in advance.

4. Christmas Party
It was agreed that the Christmas Party should be held 16th December, 7pm onwards. This the date the village hall has been booked for and has been communicated on the village website.

Actions agreed for the Christmas Party:

⦁ Laura and Vicky to own decorating the village hall in advance (lights, decorations) with all to help with table and drinks setup on the day.
⦁ Dave to ask Graham Webb if he and his group are available for Barbershop Performance on the night
⦁ Dave to ask Charlie to do a flyer for the event to be dropped to villagers.
⦁ Max to do Costco trip for sourcing drinks and food, with villagers asked to each bring a dish on the night.
⦁ The potential for hosting an additional small event slightly earlier in the day event for children in the village was discussed. Ranald to consider this and propose ideas.

It was agreed that as per last year there will be no charge for the event to villagers, there will instead be a voluntary charity collection on the evening. Laura proposed supporting the Royal Surrey Cancer & Surgical Innovation Campaign and will provide further details to the committee of the cause.

5. “This Way That Way” Sign
Per above, Dave to ask Peter Walshall to confirm when the refurbished sign will be reinstated.

6. Blackheath Woodland
Paul has written to James Herbert regarding the strip of Blackheath woodland that is used for resident parking. He will not bequeath control of the land to the village but he has contacted Waverley to ask that the delinquent vans be removed. The vehicles are untaxed and have been idle there for many months. Max to contact Waverley to push for this to be actioned.

7. Flooding and Verge Repairs

Max gave an update on progress with Surrey Council Highways. Awaiting further confirmation on progress regarding a soakaway at the crossroads to reduce the flooding further down the village. Ranald proposed an alternative approach of Bioswales within the ditches to prevent so much water travelling to the end of the lane. Max and Ranald agreed to follow up and walk the route of the water to assess solutions to press Surrey Council Highways on.

8. 2024 Event Planning

May Fair – It was agreed that the May Fair was a wonderful community event and a highlight of the village year. It was excellent that it was reinstated with such success this year. Not only is it an important fundraiser for the village and local causes, it is a unique event that is distinctively Blackheath and brings so much joy to so many families. It was previously discussed that the May Fair should be every 2 years given the significant effort required to setup and clear away the Fair. In 2023 the work involved in the Fair was conducted by too few people and this together with the fact it hadn’t happened for a number of years made the event more onerous. It was agreed that if more villagers were committed to supporting the setup and particularly the clearing away of the fair then the fair would be less of a burden on too few people. It was also discussed that we could enlist other help, for example the Scouts, or paid manual help for the clearing activities.

Dave took an action to speak to selected villagers to confirm if there will be enough additional support for holding the May Fair in 2024. Dave to speak to the following and revert back to the committee at the next meeting: Hamish Whiteman, Alastair Taylor, Tim Stevens, Dave Bushill, Rick (White Cottage).

Boxing Day Walk Agreed that the BVS should keep the tradition of a village Boxing Day walk going. Dave agreed to ‘guide/host’ the walk, communication to be sent to all villagers, the walk starts and ends at the Cricket Club with hot drinks and mince pies at the end.

9. Wonersh Parish Council.

No further update.

10. Village Hall.

It was discussed again that there is no representative to provide linkage with the Village Hall. Simon to discuss with Graham Hayward to confirm time commitment, confirm if would be feasible/useful for Laura to be interim solution.

11. Cricket Club.

There is a quiz night planned for February 3rd, it was discussed that it would be good for this to also be promoted by BVS for villagers. Simon updated that the cricket club are looking to install curtains to further support usage of the clubhouse for community events within the winter months.

12. Any Other Business.


13. Next Meeting.

It was agreed that this would be held on Tuesday 9th January 2024 at 7.30 pm.


Blackheath Village Society

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