Pant Memorial Hall AGM

Pant Memorial Hall in winter

The 99th annual general meeting for Pant Memorial Institute (the charity that runs the hall) will be held on Thursday 11th March at 7pm.

Due to Coronavirus, the AGM this year will be being held via online video conference.

The AGM also elects the Trustees for the year and the committee is keen to welcome new members who can help run the hall.

Speaking in advance of the meeting, Sean, committee chairperson said: “The last year has been challenging for everyone and the hall has had to remain closed for much of the year. In spite of that though, the current committee has seen that the hall is kept in pristine condition and we have even managed to make some significant improvements to the hall.”

To attend the AGM this year, locals will need to follow a link to the Zoom platform, where you will be able to take part in proceedings or put yourself forward to the committee.

According to Sean, being part of the committee is both rewarding and not onerous. “As a charity we need local people to become involved in the decision making for the Memorial Hall but new members would not need to commit to more than a handful of meetings a year.

“It’s also rewarding work as the Memorial Hall is a much loved local institution and it’s great to play a part in its development.”

To find out more about the AGM and how to get involved, please visit – https://pantmemorialhall.org.uk/2021-annual-general-meeting

Jools takes on charity cycling challenge

Photo of Jools Brennan with his bike

Have you seen Jools Brennan cycling around Pant and the surrounding area recently? If so, it’s all part of his epic challenge to cycle the equivalent of the height of the eight peaks in Nepal which are above 8,000 metres to raise £800 for The Gurkha Welfare Trust.

Originally, Jools from Pant – who helps out in the kitchen at the Cross Guns – was undertaking this challenge to raise funds for a trip to Nepal next year, donating a proportion of the funds raised to to The Gurkha Welfare Trust. However, he has now decided to donate all the money he raises to the Trust.

Photo of Jools Brennan and his bike with a hedge in the background
Jools has set himself the challenge of riding an ascent of 67,035 metres

Speaking about the challenge, Jools said: “During Summer 2021, when I will be in my last year of sixth form, I will be taking part in Global Action’s Nepal Annapurna Program.

“Nepal is incredibly diverse, from the World Heritage palaces of Kathmandu to the world-famous Annapurna National Park. Whilst in Nepal I will be involved in a poverty reduction project, working with charities and families to build schools, clean water and sanitation systems which will reduce illness and disease and increase school attendance.”

Whilst in Nepal, Jools is also planning to visit The Gurkha Welfare Trust and will be making a financial contribution to the Trust which supports retired Gurkhas and their families, provides medical camps, disaster relief and healthcare to Gurkha pensioners and supports Gurkha veterans in residential homes.

Added Jools: “My aim is to raise at least £800 for The Gurkha Welfare Trust. To do this I will cycle the equivalent of the height of the eight mountains in Nepal above 8000 metres over an eight month period. This is a total of 67,035 metres.

“I started with Mount Everest, completing the equivalent of its height on 9th June 2020, followed by Kanchenjunga which I completed on 13th July 2020. Having replaced inner tubes several times, had a new tyre, new gear cable and a new chain, I have now almost completed my third peak, Lhotse”.

If you can help Jools with his fundraising, you can donate online on his Go Fund me page – https://www.gofundme.com/f/global-action-nepal-2020-fundraiser.

Pantfest success

Cross Guns Inn, Pant, Shropshire

Last month’s Pantfest held at The Cross Guns Inn in Pant has been hailed a success – especially given the difficult situation pubs currently find themselves in due to COVID-19.

Cross Guns Inn, Pant, Shropshire
The Cross Guns Inn, Pant

The Cross Guns has announced that almost £250 was raised by and for three local organisations – the PTA at Bryn Offa School, Pant Memorial Hall and the Restore the Montgomery Canal! Appeal. All are to receive £60, with donations on the day to the canal group adding another £65.

Although the car boot part of the day didn’t pull in quite as many people as was hoped, the afternoon music event was very well supported.

Said Maureen from the pub: “We are really pleased at how the day went and it’s great to be able to support these local organisations with cash raised on the day. Due to the COVID-19 regulations at the time, we had to arrange the event at pretty short notice, but it was great to welcome more people into the pub’s gardens for the first outside performances of the year.

“Pantfest was our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the whole village for their support during the early part of the year when we were only open for takeaways.”

Recent changes to the regulations for pubs mean that the Cross Guns, along with all other pubs in England, will have to close by 10pm and will be restricted by law to table service only.

No table bookings of more than six are allowed and groups won’t be able to mingle with other people. You will need to give your contact details for future tracing if an outbreak is detected.

Staff will have to wear masks, as must customers if they are not sat at their table to eat or drink.

Added Maureen: “Times continue to be difficult for us all, but we are aiming to keep the Cross Guns at the heart of the community.”

If you want to find out more about the three local organisations, please visit: Pant Memorial Hall, The Montgomery Canal or Bryn Offa PTA.

Volunteers sought to rebuild Schoolhouse Bridge

Five members of the Montgomery Canal project team

With the easing of Coronavirus restrictions plans are being made for the project to rebuild Schoolhouse Bridge, the last blocked bridge on the Montgomery Canal before it enters Wales.

Restore the Montgomery Canal appeal logo

For the last three years the Restore the Montgomery Canal! appeal has been raising money to rebuild the bridge between Pant and Crickheath in advance of work on restoring the canal towards Pant and Llanymynech. At the same time a team of retired civil engineers, all volunteers, has been preparing the designs for the project.

The team believes that the only way the bridge can be rebuilt with the available funds is by using as many volunteers as possible to undertake much of the work and to engage specialist contractors only when necessary.

Five members of the Montgomery Canal project team
Volunteer team members (from left to right): Glyn Whitehurst, Ken Jackson, Mathew Dorricott, Roger Bravey – Lead engineer – and Chris Busnesll.

After a series of online meetings the volunteer team held a suitably distanced meeting at a nearby hotel to prepare for the start of work. The plan is to carry out some preparatory work this autumn, with Covid precautions, with the main reconstruction in spring 2021.

Michael Limbrey, Chairman of the Restore the Montgomery Canal! appeal group said, “Canal volunteers have a great record of building or rebuilding locks and bridges and the results can be seen on canal restorations across the country. These volunteers have the skills and qualifications to use serious pieces of equipment, as they do on the Shropshire Union Canal Society working parties restoring the dry Montgomery Canal channel to the north of Schoolhouse Bridge.

“So this is our call to canal volunteers – any volunteers – to come and join this exciting project. Starting next spring we have to build a bridge in the space of a few months so we can reopen the road as soon as possible.

“Unlike many restoration projects, this is for one season: seven months and the job is done.

“It will probably take just one day to crane the bridge arch into position – that will be very exciting!

“This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in joining a vital part of the project to bring the Montgomery Canal back to Mid Wales. The completed bridge will be a permanent reminder of your achievement.”

The team plans to start in September by fencing off the site and laying a temporary trackway so heavy vehicles can get past the site. Next spring the main project will start by removing the existing road embankment so a concrete base and walls can be created for the new bridge. Contractors will then install the bridge arch, with volunteers backfilling to road level so contractors can surface the road. Volunteers will finish brickwork facing to the bridge, install bridge parapets and other fitments and complete landscaping so the road can be reopened to traffic.

Ken Jackson from the project team said, “Now we have to build the volunteer labour force. This will be a mix of skilled specialist volunteers such as carpenters, steel fixers and bricklayers and general volunteers to support them and carry out general ground works and landscaping.
“We are looking for specialised volunteers to join the project to drive excavators and dumpers to excavate the site in March/April 2021, from May to prepare for concreting in June, and in July and September to brick the faces of the bridge.

“We understand that planning outdoor activities is difficult at the moment but don’t let that stop you registering an interest in working with the Schoolhouse Bridge team; and don’t worry if you haven’t done this kind of thing before, we will provide induction training, personal protective equipment and all the tools.”

For more on the Montgomery Canal visit www.themontgomerycanal.org.uk.

To register an interest in volunteering, please email contact@montgomerywrtrust.uk.