MAY 2024

 North Cerney Memorial Village Hall

The hall committee held it’s AGM on 25th March when all 9 current committee members agreed to stand for a further year.

The Chair Kathy Rettie-Denness delivered a positive report about the hard-working committee’s achievements over the last year. When appointed members knew that there was much work to do to invigorate the fabric and maintenance of the hall to stimulate interest and gr eater use of the hall. Consequently, the committee have held monthly meetings to plan, prioritise and receive financial reports in addition to running events, supporting bookings, building, stocking and staffing the bar, cooking suppers, maintaining and cleaning the hall etc. 

Kathy made no apologies for reminding the community that the hall was part funded by a post WW1 government initiative to build village halls to ‘Build back Community Cohesion’. The land was bequeathed by the then Lord Bathurst in perpetuity PROVIDED that: - “The land and building is held in trust for the use of the inhabitants of the parish of North Cerney and Neighbourhoods. A committee of management shall consist of competent persons and representatives of local organisation to ensure the upkeep, repair and improvement of the building and surrounds”.

 However, there is little point in the committee working hard to raise funds to upkeep and promote the hall if it’s not used and supported by local people. The inference is that without a management committee the land with the building can be reclaimed. This community resource is dependent on the residents actively managing and supporting the use of the hall. Given that the hall belongs to the residents, this committee decided to waver booking charges for non-profit local groups such as the Church, Community Choir, Churn valley players, School, Woodmancote play area group etc. 

The funds needed to pay for the bar area upgrade: commercial cooker, drinks cooler, stable door, path and patio improvement, electrics and wall lighting, round tables etc. has been raised by providing a variety of events to appeal to different demographics. We’ve held successful Supper and band evenings, Murder-Mystery play and supper, Choir concerts, Harvest thanksgiving, Table top sales, Skittles and BBQ, Whist, Bingo, monthly Coffee mornings etc.

 We are grateful to Cllr Paul Hodgkinson who supported our successful application for a post covid ‘Build Back Better’ grant. Also, to Sue Herman for supplying 80 sets of matching crockery and to Jane and Sam Wilkinson for their contribution towards the wall lights.

The committee also address the longstanding debate concerning the Stage retention versus removal. It was decided to keep a record of the number of times the stage was used, when greater floor space was required, booking enquiries etc. so that a decision was based on evidence as to the greater use. Our booking officer was able to report that there were very few occasions when we needed more capacity than 80 seated spaces and when this occurred the 11 stage was also needed e.g. Supper and band, Murder/Mystery, Choir concerts. Quiz evening etc. Therefore, the issue of The Stage is laid to rest during the tenure of this committee.

 Kathy thanked members of the committee and their partners for the time, skills, dedication and commitment provided over the last year. Also, to the hard-core supporters who have attended almost every event in the hall over the last year. “We appreciate you and would find it hard to maintain motivation without you.” A plea for more volunteer to join the committee was made especially as we need to devise a way of celebrating the Memorial Hall’s 100th year inception next year. Committee Members: •

 Chair: Kathy Rettie-Denness; • Co-Chair: Sue Power (thanked for agreeing to co-chair, stocking and staffing the bar.);

 • Secretary: Jane Hayhurst (thanked for timely and accurate minutes, health and safety brief and much needed policy updates); 

• Treasurer: Barry Koch (thanked for accurate accounting, liaison with our auditor and keeping the committee to task re financial affordability!); 

• Booking: Sue Clegg (thanked for responding to enquiries, booking contracts, maintaining the calendar and website and keeping the hall clean over the last year); • Bar: Fran Robbins (thanked for agreeing to manage the bar and designing the bar area, especially the be-stoke barrel counter); 

• Bar and Maintenance: Daryl Hamlet (thanked for co-designing and hours spent building the bar counter. Also, our skittles supremo); • Parish Council Rep: Cathy Martin (thanked for arranging some key events, publicity, supper cooking and latterly taking on the cleaning); 

• Church Representative: David Minns (thanked for building a tower and climbing a great hight to paint a wall and for the monthly prayer and supper meetings which contributed to the hall’s grant application); 

• Newest recruit: Lyubov Kuznetsova (thanked for volunteering to join the committee and supporting the hall over many years, our washing supremo)


• Tack Sale: Fri 26th April @ 6.00pm

 • Committee Meeting: Mon 29th April @7.00pm

 • Coffee Morning: Tues 7th May @10.30pm

 • North Cerney Scamper: Sat 18th May 10.00am 

• Whist Evening: Thurs 23rd 6.45 for 7.00pm • Swing from Paris (Jazz and gypsy): Friday 14th June 7.00 for 7.30pm Kathy Rettie-Denness 

  APRIL 2024

North Cerney Memorial Village Hall

• The Village Hall has hosted a plethora of fun events to cheer us all up postChristmas! The Churn Valley Players pulled it off and put on an amazing murder mystery evening to a sell-out audience. All agreed that the show was a great success and there were many comments about what fun it was attempting to work out who DID NOT have a reason to commit murder in this play within a play. Well done to the successful sleuths! Congratulations to Fran Robbins and the dedicated players.

 The cooks were heartened to receive many kind compliments. Kathy Rettie-Denness may say she never wants to see another lasagne, but we hope that memory fades. Congratulations to her and her team. The evening raised £800, much needed funds towards the next project.

 • Bingo Night Having never played bingo before I didn't know what to expect but, on entering the hall, I was stunned by the array of prizes. Game on and the novices were nursed along. Very soon breath was held, pens scratched and hopes ran high until the spell was broken by "BINGO". It was all good family fun. The children loved it and could prompt the hard of hearing, even a five year old could help his dad and the baby cooed! Enormous thanks to Karen Savory and Suzie Notman for organising and running the wonderful evening. 

• Don't miss our Coffee Mornings! The monthly coffee morning was convivial as ever. Do come to the next one, remember it's the first Tuesday of each month. It's a great way to get to know your neighbours, and at only £2:50 for freshly brewed coffee and warm pastries it's "a no brainer". • 

The North Cerney Scamper It's time now to sign up and book your race number in the North Cerney Scamper. This will be a terrific village event if not THE village event of 2024. Please get involved, get fit, have fun and support this major event. Huge thank you to Jess James who is single handedly planning and organising it.

 • Village Hall Diary of Events - 

Coffee Morning: Tuesday April 2nd 10:30 (All welcome!) - 

Easter Holiday Children's Fun: Wednesday April 3rd 12:00-16:30 (Booking essential - Contact - Woodmancote 

Playground Project Quiz: Friday April 12th 19:00-22:30 - 

Skittles: Saturday April 13th, 18:30 - North Cerney Scamper (5/10K fun run): Saturday May 18th , 10:00 - 

Tack Sale: Friday April 26th , 18:00-20:30. 

If you use the hall, you will have hopefully noticed the gradual improvements. However, sadly, you will also notice the unsightly ever enlarging brown stain and damaged plaster from a disused chimney. We have been advised that the only solution is to remove the old stack. This is the next project and we need to raise over £3000 to get it fixed. The committee is extremely grateful to the Parish Council for a generous donation of £1500 towards this urgent repair. Cathy Martin 

March 2024

North Cerney Memorial Village Hall

If you measure success by laughter and conviviality, the first whist Drive on Sunday January 28th was up there. As the rust wore off and the rules were clarified, they were off! Some pairs got lucky with their shuffle of the cards, some were genuinely skillful, others (like myself) embraced the loser's shuffle from table to table as the evening progressed. 

By popular request there will be another Whist Drive soon. The monthly coffee mornings are gathering momentum and the last one on February 6th was very well attended. These are not aimed at fundraising: £2:50 covers freshly brewed coffee and warm pastries. It's such a welcoming, supportive, friendly event. Do come. 

Village Hall Upgrades

 • Bar 

The new drinks chiller has now been installed in the bar, and plans are afoot to redecorate.

 • Hall 

The ongoing problem of water staining due to a chimney leak has been temporarily fixed and the damaged paintwork will be repaired as soon as possible. In the long term, the obsolete chimney will need to be removed to prevent further problems when funds allow. The new plaster work following electrical installation is finally dry and repairs to the dado rail are in progress.Various curtains have also been washed, repaired and rehung. Hopefully people using the hall on a regular basis will notice the steady improvements. 

Village Hall Diary of Events

• Bingo: Saturday March 9th 7pm (“Eyes down” 7:30!)

 • Whist Drive: Friday, March 22nd 7pm

• Village Hall AGM: Monday, March 25th 7pm

 • Easter Holiday Children's Fun: Wednesday April 3rd 12:00-4:30pm

 • Skittles: Saturday April 13th , 6:30pm 

• North Cerney Scamper (10K Fun Run): Saturday May 18th 10am Easter Holiday Children's Fun We would like local children to have an opportunity to meet and enjoy an afternoon in the village hall. (Table tennis, table football, arts and crafts) Lunch will be provided and an afternoon snack. Children under 5 must be accompanied by an adult (£2 /child). Please book in advance! Contact: Please note the AGM in the calendar. This is an important event and we hope that you are able to come and support the committee who is working hard to maintain the hall and run events for the churn Valley residents for whom the hall was bequeathed. North Cerney Scamper Please put this date in your diary, get into training and sign up ( all information on the poster ) Murder Mystery At the time of writing, the Churn Valley Players are busily rehearsing for this exciting evening of intrigue and suspense on February 24th. The tickets sold out very quickly. It will 6 be action packed both on the stage and in the kitchen. Can You Help Please? The Village Hall is in need of traditional garden furniture for the new patio and also a small garden shed for storage. If by chance you are upgrading and could donate anything to the hall we would be very pleased to hear from you. Contact: cathymartin4747@gmail com Big Birthday The hall will be 100 years old next year. Suggestions of ways to commemorate its centenary would be welcome. The Village Hall is central to the life of the Churn Valley and much loved. Thinking hats on please! Cathy Martin 

February 2024

North Cerney Memorial Village Hall

The two January social events, coffee morning and skittles evening were well attended and jolly. The skittles is a wonderful opportunity for families to have an evening out. There is no entrance fee and inexpensive sausage baps and drinks are available. The regular children love joining in the killer tournament, helping "stick up" and playing table football. So please come along to the next skittles evening. All ages welcome. Village Hall Diary of Events 

• Whist Drive (Saturday 28 January, 18:00) Don't be put off if you've never played whist or your game is rusty. All abilities welcome. The bar will be open! • Coffee Morning (Tuesday 6 February, 10:30) Only £2.50 for cafetière coffee, pastry, warmth and company. 

• Murder Mystery (Saturday 24 February) Doors open at 7pm and the action starts promptly at 7.30pm. Supper will be served at 8.15pm A good night out for only £20 /ticket! • Easter Family Bingo (Sunday 3 March) Free entrance. Bar opens 19:00. Eyes down 19:30!

 • Village Hall AGM This will take place on Monday 25 March at 19:00.

North Cerney Scamper (Saturday 18 May) It's the New Year and time to plan ahead. This is the big Village Hall/school event for 2024 so don't hang about and SIGN UP!! Although not until May the organisers are working hard. If you wish to volunteer as a marshal please email: The event is being supported by “Running Somewhere Else”, the Cirencester running club, who have already been out to walk the course and are kindly loaning race day equipment. Sam Wilkinson who did the original run in 1978 said that they stopped for a pint half way round. Sam says he would not recommend this!

Family Wedding 

I would like to share my personal experience of running an event in the village hall in late December. The heating worked well and the hall felt cosy. With the new soft wall lighting and attractive outdoor lamp, I found it easy to create a party atmosphere. The Glitter ball was an instant success with the dancing children as was the coloured stage lights. The kitchen although dated “style wise” was very clean and easy to use. The new cooker was excellent and there was ample cutlery and crockery and hot water. As it was cold the outdoor patio area was not used but had it been summer time it would have added another versatile space for a BBQ or just to spill outside. This was an old school low budget wedding but fantastic fun and very easy to organise. So 6 do consider using the village hall for your family celebrations. The car park opposite was also very convenient. Cathy Martin 

January 2024

North Cerney Memorial Village Hall News

 • Dance Evening The improvements to the village hall made organising this event remarkably easy. The band rocked, the bar was busy and it was a fun sociable evening. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make it happen.

• Coffee Morning The monthly coffee morning is gaining traction. It's a very friendly atmosphere. Pastries and coffee for £2.50. Do come! • Christmas Cheer On a miserable wet December evening the village hall welcomed the Churn Valley Choir who were a complete joy. As promised it was an evening of carols and Christmas music made even merrier by mulled wine and warm mince pies. Thank you to all who sang and helped. Donations were made to the Yellow Bus charity 

2024 Looking to the New Year! 

• February 24th 7.30pm (Lights, Camera, MURDER!) When the Christmas fun has faded there will be thrills in the village hall. The Churn Valley Players are busy rehearsing for a spine chilling murder mystery event. This is your chance to sit back, enjoy the drama and try to figure out 'who dunnit'. Encourage your friends to come along and join in the fun. The ticket includes a home cooked 2 course meal. Book early as numbers will be limited! Tickets £20.00; Phone:07886 939587/ 077303 94249. 

• Saturday May 18th (“The Scamper”) We are excited to announce the North Cerney fun trail /run to be called "The Scamper". It is nearly 50 years since the last NC run and we hope that at least one resident will repeat the heroic feat of half a century ago. Jessica James has initiated and is organising this fantastic event which will raise funds for both the school and the village hall. Booking is now open!! Information is on the poster and the Village Hall website. There will a maximum of 200 runners so make sure you take part in what will be a huge village event.

 Village Hall Diary of Events

January 2nd , Coffee Morning 10.30am 

Saturday January 20th , Skittles Evening 6pm 

Sunday January 28th , Whist Drive 6pm

 • Tuesday February 6th , Coffee Morning 10.30am

 • February 24th , Murder Mystery and Supper Evening 7.30pm

 • Saturday May 18th North Cerney Scamper 10am

 • Vintage Map of North Cerney Orders are being taken for a print run thanks to Nick DeCarle. The map is fascinating and details the historic field boundaries and ancient names. If you want to know where the likes of Lark Slad, Crampon Piece and Moggs barn are then you need this map. Only £5 (in aid of NC primary school) Contact Cathy Martin (07748914879). 

• Village Hall Refurbishment A new drinks cooler has been purchased for the bar and is ready to be installed and finally a new much improved secure external door is being fitted from the bar to the patio. This will be a stable door design to enable drinks to be served to the patio for outdoor summer events. This has been a major expenditure 6 and completes the bar upgrade. The committee is very grateful to Daryl Hamlet and Fran Robbins for all the dedication they have put into upgrading the bar. 

The ambitious programme of hall upgrades has made this a very expensive year. The committee has worked hard to put on a programme of events both social and fund - raising focussed to finance the work. We have applied for grants and been supported by the Parish Council and our County Councillor. The hall is a crucial resource to North Cerney, the local villages and the school. We would ask the whole community to support these efforts by coming to events and offering any help or skills you might have. If suitable raffle prizes come your way or your place of work is being refurbished please keep the needs of the hall in mind. Any donations are of course very much appreciated. Cathy Martin 

Mock Rockers Party

The Hall hosted a marvelous Supper and Party Band night with the Rock Mockers on Saturday 2nd December. 

It was great to see so many villagers enjoying a home cooked dinner and dancing the evening away.

As always, thanks to the volunteers for organising the evening and cooking up a feast.

North Cerney Memorial Village Hall News - August 2023

Spurred on by the successful ‘Summer

Song and Supper’ concert, the Hall Committee are meeting regularly to plan further monthly social events. Sufficient revenue was raised to purchase additional kitchen ware.


A post covid ‘Build Back Better’ grant of £5000 supported by our County Councillor Paul Hodgkinson has been agreed in principle by the County Council.  Therefore, we are busy updating the Constitution; Health and Safety; Safeguarding and Equal Opportunity policies. The grant will be spent on improving the kitchen and bar facilities as well as much needed matching tableware and glasses. 


We now have designated Health and Safety committee members who have ensured that we are compliant with fire regulations, exit signage, ramps, first aid provision etc. There is also a qualified First Aider and there is a plan to train all of the committee whist offering an opportunity for others in the community to participate in a one-day accredited training.


Not everyone goes away in August and many organisations take a break. Therefore, we are organising a Social

Drinks evening on Sun evening 13th August and Afternoon Tea on Sun 20th August. Please come for a social time and support the use of the hall. See separate adverts for details.


A Horse Tack sale is being organised for the evening of Fri 13th October from 6.00-9.00pm Please contact Fran Robbins for further details.


There will be a local community Table Top sale on 21st October; an opportunity to purchase table space for £10 and sell your pre-loved and home-made goods. A Jumble sale will be organised for later in the year.


A date for the Harvest lunch will be announced in the next edition of Churn News as well as dates for table tennis, community suppers, coffee morning and an Art tuition class.


The bar build continues at a good pace and a larger drink cooler will enable more choice of alcoholic as well as soft drinks. The card reader ensures that both card and cash can be used. An Evening Drinks evening planned for Sunday 13th August will provide an opportunity to visit the bar if you did not manage to attend the concert or skittles evening.


Many thanks to Jules Giles who has been tending to the beds outside the hall for many years. Unfortunately, he has been unable to do so over the last few weeks and it shows! If anyone can help with weeding and re-planting can you please contact Sue Clegg.

North Cerney Memorial Village Hall News - July 2023

The 'Summer Song Time' choir and supper evening was the first social event organised  by the hall committee this year. It proved to  be a joyful and fun filled evening with old  friends who hadn't seen each other for some  years coming together and new friendships  being formed. The Community Choir  entertained us with a medley of pop, folk and  traditional songs before a two-course supper  cooked in the newly upgraded kitchen was  served. This evening would not have been a  success as a sociable gathering for the  surrounding communities without the hard  work of committee members who prepared  the hall, cooked, staffed the bar, cleared in  the kitchen etc. However, it cannot be done  without the incredible help from willing  attendees who helped with serving, stacking  chairs/tables and being human dish washers  at the end of the evening. Thank you, you  know who you are! 

Thanks also to Martin and Manifold Vet,  Cirencester for sponsoring the Choir and to  Janet and Nick Angus, North Cerney Gardens  for providing funds for the Raffle Prizes.   

The Initial phase of transforming the bar area  is well underway thanks to Fran Robbins  inspired design with Daryl Hamlett and 'Spike'  Robbins giving up their evenings to become  carpenters. Apart from being attractive and  raising a smile, the finished bar's surface area  will be larger to provide more serving capacity  and thus ease queuing. 

We now have a card reader so in keeping with  the times, cards and cash can be used. The  committee will use any surplus funds from  the next few monthly events to purchase the  materials and a much needed secure door  from the bar area to the outside patio.  Fundraising ideas will be most welcome.

North Cerney Coronation Celebration - May 2023 

The Parish Council and North Cerney Village  Hall Committee joined forces to organise the  afternoon tea party. It was an uplifting  afternoon as the community came together to enjoy chatting and making new friend. The  Hall looked resplendent and the tables  groaned with delicious food generously  gifted.  

A big thank to all those who helped, donated and attended. It was a very happy, right roal event

North Cerney Memorial Village Hall 

Gifted in perpetuity by Earl Bathurst in 1925,  a piece of land was given to a group of local  appointed trustees for the explicit purpose of  constructing a village hall to replace the  village reading room.  

The Charity Commission (Charities Act 1960)  agreed a constitution in 1962 which stipulates  that the land and building:- 

“shall be held in trust for the use of the  inhabitants of the Parish of North Cerney and  the surrounding neighbourhoods thereof”  

The constitution requires a committee of  Management trustees to be appointed on an  annual basis (AGM); to meet regularly and to  ensure that all income generated is used to  repair, insure and generally maintain the hall  structure and fixtures in good order. 

The current trustees which were appointed in  March of this year aim to provide a range of facilities at an affordable cost to other  charities, organisations and individuals. 

Predictably, the increasing costs of  maintenance, insurance, electricity and fuel is  proving to be a challenge and the costs are  ongoing whether the hall is occupied or under  utilised as has been the case since Covid. 

The new committee is determined to increase  booking opportunities in order to raise funds  and to upgrade the facilities as well as  actively organising events to bring people  together. The well attended and successful  Jubilee and Coronation teas demonstrated  the communities' wish to meet socially. The  supper and dancing to a live band was also  well attended in November 2022. 

The kitchen has recently been fitted with a  brand new commercial oven and serviceable worktops. Plans are in place to  improve the bar facilities and small lounge  area. The hall is a versatile venue and  booking for family events are encouraged:- birthday, christening, wedding parties and  wakes can be held for up to 80 people  seated. For music and stage performances  without tables the limit is100 people.  Anyone is welcome to organise their own  catering or hire private caterers.  Alternatively, members of the committee  who are experienced in catering and running  a bar may be able to assist with your event. 

Furthermore, the committee is keen to  receive suggestions for how we can improve  the use of the hall and to have conversations  with you (without obligation) about any  future events you might plan to organise. We  will also be really pleased to welcome new  committee members.  

We have already had requests for coffee  mornings, afternoon tea and suppers, barn  dance, adult table tennis, skittles evenings,  art/craft tutorials, table tops sales, clothes  swaps and educational talks.