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Pant Memorial Hall

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News from Pant Memorial Hall – Jan 2021

We start 2021 with the hall closed yet again under the English lockdown.

We did reopen in December, but the restrictions and the Welsh lockdown meant that we could only host a couple of hirers. No Christmas events this year, but a big thank you to the Pant WI for the use of their Christmas tree. With our decorations and a set of lights we were able to show some festive sparkle to the entrance lobby.

Despite the lack of hirers, November and December were busy for the committee. After a lot of consideration, including testing out a sample, we ordered 40 new chairs. These are padded with wipe-clean vinyl upholstery, so can be used even under covid-19 restrictions. They are a little lighter than the old chairs and stack just as easily. Most importantly, they are much more comfortable! We sold 40 of the old chairs to the supplier to help with the cost and clear some space.

Chair delivery day was a bit of a challenge, as it was a) raining and b) coincided with Alan the steam-cleaner who was making the toilet floors look like new. The pallet wouldn’t quite go through the kitchen doors, so the chair stacks had to be removed one by one. The hall secretary has a motto that ‘jobs only look impossible’ – the chairs fit on to our existing trolley, the packaging went for firelighting and after a bit of headscratching, all was well.

The chairs were funded by a grant from the Tirgwynt Wind Farm community fund, plus other donations – our thanks (and those of future hirers!) go to all these generous people.

We’ve also done our bit to help the utilities. Severn Trent need to make regular water quality tests, but cannot go into domestic properties at the moment. Hence they took four water samples from the hall. We were pleased to hear that both the local water supply and our plumbing are up to standard. We were also able to assist Highways England in the repair of the street lighting, by providing car parking and equipment storage space for their contractors.

Like everyone else, we don’t know when restrictions will be eased – but the hall is being looked after and will be ready when the time comes. Meantime feel free to get in touch, the committee aren’t going anywhere!

To contact us: (open or closed!) call 07913 565708, email secretary@pantmemorialhall.org.uk, see our website www.pantmemorialhall.org.uk , facebook @pantmemorialhall, twitter@pantmemhall, or leave us a note in the postbox.

Season's Greetings

Season’s Greetings!

When, this time last year, we wished you all a happy Christmas and looked forward to a new year, we couldn’t have imagined how the world would change.

Each year we look back at the changes that have taken place in the village – as well as the country at large – but the idea that the pub and village hall would be closed for a significant part of the year was certainly not something we had contemplated – or at least not due to a brand new virus.

The committee at the village hall have been very proactive during the year, not only in ensuring that the hall met COVID-19 regulations and was able to reopen with robust measures in place, but they have also taken the time to improve the hall. As well as a very deep clean, the hall has seen the installation of new energy-saving lighting, thanks to a grant from the National Lottery. The hall has also been successful in funding 40 new comfortable chairs thanks to money from the Tirgwynt Wind Farm Community Grant. 

Obviously, the hall has been used much less in 2020 than in more usual times, and we hope that people will support new events that will hopefully come on stream in 2021 – especially as the world returns to some sort of normality following the roll out of vaccinations.

The Cross Guns too has had an interesting year to say the least. With the lockdown affecting the hospitality sector so badly, Maureen and her team at the pub have had to do what many others have had to do and offer takeaway when they could, and open as per the guidelines. The ‘Friends of Cross Guns Pant‘ Facebook group, which was set up last year, is still there if villagers want to join.

We also reported this time last year that plans were progressing for work on Schoolhouse Bridge over the Montgomery Canal between Pant and Crickheath. If you have been down that way, you will see that a new temporary roadway was built this year to enable the road to be redirected to let building work commence – hopefully in 2021. The Friends of the Montgomery Canal launched a new website during the year at www.themontgomerycanal.org.uk which has much information about the canal and its restoration.

We were lucky in Pant, at the beginning of the pandemic, that a number of people in the village got together to set up the Pant Coronavirus Support Group. This bunch of fantastic volunteers has been there throughout the year to help local people needing assistance, whether that was with food and medicines deliveries, getting to medical appointments or just a friendly voice at the end of the phone. A huge thank you to everyone in our community who has been able to help.

Many of us have increasingly used online services such as Zoom and Skype for social contact and meetings, and even more have turned to online shopping. Pant Today remains a place where local business can advertise (only £20 a year). Not only will your support help us keep this village website going but it can help your business gain exposure to local customers. Please consider an advert with us.
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May we wish you Happy Christmas and Season’s Greetings!

Pant Memorial Hall in winter

News from Pant Memorial Hall

When the hall reopened in September, we knew that a second closure was not impossible and had made plans accordingly.

This planning paid off on the announcement of the November lockdown, hopefully without too much inconvenience for our hirers. The hall is reopening under ‘tier 2’ restrictions on Wednesday December 2nd.

Among many lessons this year; a closed hall does not mean no work for the committee of unpaid volunteers. We discovered how much we can get done over Zoom, email and telephone. The Thursday evening ‘reopening subcommittee’ clocked up 14 video calls, and this group continues to ‘meet’ fortnightly to manage the ever-changing situation.

Sadly many of our previous hirers cannot return at the moment, although some events are possible with the new measures. We’ve had some lovely feedback from hirers and attendees, which has made all the hard work worthwhile.

Plans for our socially-distanced poppy placing were also stopped by the lockdown. Nonetheless we were still able to put up a display inside the lobby and also around the artwork. Thank you to one of our trustees for arranging all this, which allowed passers-by to ‘pause to remember’ in safety.

Pant Memorial Hall in winter

The hall came out of the first lockdown with a greatly improved lighting system, funded by the National Lottery. Some will consider that an even bigger improvement will be 40 new padded chairs. These will have wipe-clean upholstery so will be usable under the restrictions. Thanks to the Tirgwynt Wind Farm Community Fund for funding these. The purchase has also been supported by the sale of 40 of the old chairs, plus donations from the Calor crowdfunder earlier in the year. We are hoping to have our new chairs in a few weeks.

The committee wishes everyone a happy Christmas and a peaceful and healthy new year. 2021 will be the 99th year of operation for the hall. Thank you to all who have supported us, and here’s hoping for better times for all of us.

To contact us: (open or closed!)

Pant Memorial Hall with Amistice plaques

Marking Remembrance Sunday

Poppy

This year, Remembrance Sunday falls on Sunday 8th November and COVID-19 will significantly affect how it is observed in Pant and the surrounding areas.

The annual Act of Remembrance that has been organised at Pant Memorial Hall in recent years will not be going ahead inside the hall due to the current pandemic restrictions, but a local resident has stepped in to put a display in the entrance hallway for anyone who might like to see the memorials held at the hall for individual quiet reflection. Unfortunately, access to the hall will not be possible, but local people are welcome to look through the hall doors to see the memorial and poppy display.

If you would like to attend, please observe social distancing and bring a facemask, unless you are exempt.

Plaque in Pant Memorial Hall

The marble tablet in Pant Memorial Hall was initially in Pant United Reform Chapel and records the names of those fallen in the Second World War. The hall also displays a copy of a Roll of Honour for those who fell in the First World War. Details about the war memorials in Pant Memorial Hall can be found on the hall’s website – https://pantmemorialhall.org.uk/war-memorials-and-commemorations-at-pant

On Sunday 8 November, Acts of Remembrance will also take place at the War Memorials at the two local churches for serving members of armed forces and veterans – Government advice is that most people should mark the commemoration at home:

  • In Morton Churchyard around the War Memorial, gathering from 10.15am to allow for Test and Trace, with an Act of Remembrance at 10.30am.
  • At Llanymynech War Memorial at 2.30pm for an Act of Remembrance.

Pant Memorial Hall with Amistice plaques

Update from Pant Memorial Hall

We thought readers would be interested in updates from Pant Memorial Hall, so here is the first in what hopefully will become regular news from the hall.

With all the preparation and planning needed to work safely in the ‘new normal’, it was a relief to the committee to be able to finalise our reopening plans in late August. We were also pleased to have so much interest from our regular hirers, as well as some new ones.

The hall has been back in use since Monday September 14th. We are currently accepting bookings up to the end of 2020.

Inevitably things will not be the same for a while. Please understand that we cannot hold some events, our capacity is reduced to 30 people (including up to 12 under-11s), the kitchen is out of use and face coverings are mandated in line with government guidance.


Pant Memorial Hall - main hall for hire
The main hall in Pant Memorial Hall

‘Rule of six’ and ‘test and trace’ procedures also apply. We also ask hirers to do some cleaning before and after their events, and everyone needs to provide us with a short risk assessment. This reassures the committee and all users that we are operating safely and in line with legislation. We continue to monitor the situation and will adapt our procedures as things change.

You can read all the information for hirers and users on our website, or get in touch if you need further help. Please help your event organiser by paying attention to social distancing both in the hall and in the car park, and of course no-one should be at the hall if they have symptoms or are isolating for any reason. We do have a ‘covid-19 emergency box’ but we really hope it won’t be used!

Attendance at all events needs to be pre-booked so that organisers can manage numbers – no walk-ins or public events. Regrettably that means that there will be no autumn bazaar or remembrance service this year. We hope to resume both in 2021.

Thank you to all who have supported us this time; grant funders, some generous donors (you know who you are and we really appreciate you). We are also very grateful to the national volunteers who have given so much help and guidance to village hall committees.

To contact us: call 07913 565708, email secretary@pantmemorialhall.org.uk, see our website www.pantmemorialhall.org.uk , Facebook @pantmemorialhall, Twitter @pantmemhall, or leave us a note in the postbox!

Cross Guns Inn, Pant, Shropshire

Pantfest success

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.

Pant Memorial Hall with Amistice plaques

Pant Memorial Hall reopens on 14 September

The village hall in Pant will reopen on Monday 14 September, with a raft of essential Covid-19 health and safety measures in place, and bookings are being taken from Monday 7 September.

Pant Memorial Hall with Amistice plaques

The hall is reopening in line with Covid-19 compliance requirements and is following the necessary guidelines laid down in law. That means it won’t be run in exactly the same way as it used to, but after a good deal of hard work and thought, the committee has decided that the hall is now in a position to take bookings once more.

Some of the new measures in place include no-touch sanitiser in the entrance hall, extended time for cleaning before and after bookings and reduced event capacity. Unfortunately, the kitchen will remain out of use (except for access to drinking water) for the foreseeable future. Face coverings must be worn at all times in the hall and two metre social distancing maintained as far as possible.

Hirers will of course be responsible for ensuring their own compliance with all coronavirus laws and guidance, before, during and after their events.

Sean, Chair of the hall committee, said: “We recognise that there will be significant constraints for any events and activities that take place in the hall when we reopen, but as a committee, we have worked hard to make sure that appropriate Covid-19 safety measures are now in place for those hirers who would like to return.

“Some events, such as those which involve singing or social dancing (rather than dance tuition), aren’t yet allowed, but we have had a number of enquiries from people who are looking to hire the hall, and we hope they will return when we reopen. It’s not going to be ‘business as usual’ for quite some time, but we believe that with the measures we have put in place, we are now in a position to reopen Pant Memorial Hall, which is a valued community asset for the village.”

While the hall has been closed over the last five months, the committee has remained active. A major new lighting system was installed in July, replacing the worn out old lights in the hall, with thanks to a National Lottery grant. In addition, a new Bluetooth speaker system for easy music connection is now available at the hall.

Adds Sean: “We understand of course that not everyone will want – or be able – to come back to the hall at the moment, but even if it is a slow start for us, we are just pleased to be opening our doors once again and we look forward to seeing people back again soon.”

For more information about the hall reopening, the measures in place and the steps that hirers now need to take, as well as how to book, please visit the Pant Memorial Hall website.

Cross Guns Inn, Pant, Shropshire

Pantfest comes to the Cross Guns

The Cross Guns Inn in Pant is to host their very first ‘Pantfest’, a charity funday on Bank Holiday Sunday 30 August.

There will be live music all day in the garden, from around 2pm – 8pm, featuring a number of different acts, as well as a raffle and car boot sale raising funds for charity.

This is a poster for Pantfest

The car boot sale will be held between 10am and 2pm in the pub’s car park with each stall/car costing £5, with all the money going to charity.

Said Maureen from the Cross Guns: “This is short notice as we were waiting to see what the current COVID-19 regulations were, but outside performances are now allowed, with social distancing in place, of course.

“We wanted to put on an event that is for the whole village as our way of saying ‘thank you’ to everyone who has been supporting us over the past few months.

“All money raised by Pantfest will be split equally between three local organisations. A third each will go to the PTA at Bryn Offa School, Pant Memorial Hall and the Restore the Montgomery Canal! appeal.”

Maureen added: “We wanted to support organisations in the village that are for local people. The village hall, like the pub, school and shop are at the heart of the village and if we can help to rebuild Schoolhouse Bridge and bring the Montgomery Canal back in water in Pant, that will be a great asset for local people.”

Sunday lunch will be served as normal between 12 noon and 3pm and there will be selected other meals served throughout the day.

If you are interested in having a car boot stall or getting involved in Pantfest, please call Maureen at the pub on 01691 839631 and visit their Facebook page to find out more about what is happening on the day.

Pant Memorial Hall with Amistice plaques

Village hall secures lifeline

Pant Memorial Hall has been awarded a grant of £10,000 as part of the Government’s Retail, Hospitality and Leisure grant fund.

This fund is being used to support those businesses and charities in the leisure and hospitality sectors which have been forced to close during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking about the award, Sean from the Memorial Hall said: “Although the charity that runs the hall for the benefit of the local community does have reserves, we are very grateful to have been awarded these extra funds. During the lockdown we are obviously unable to take bookings for the hire of the hall, which is usually the main way we make money for its upkeep.

Pant Memorial Hall - main hall for hire
The main hall in Pant Memorial Hall

“We are expecting the lockdown to come to an end later this year, but it’s possible that bookings at the hall will suffer for some months to come, so this grant will mean we can be assured of keeping the hall at the heart of the community.”

This grant comes close on the tail of a Big Lottery award that has already been earmarked for a much-needed upgrade to the lighting at the hall. Obviously, this work cannot start until the lockdown has ended and a full specification for the works can be drawn up.

The trustees have invested consistently in the hall over the past few years to keep it in the best state of repair possible and they have managed to do this while increasing the number of visitors and bookings at the hall.
Added Sean: “Until this lockdown, the hall was booked almost every night of the week and most days, so it’s really sad to see it empty. We are continuing to keep the flower displays around the hall in tip top condition and it’s so pleasing when we hear local people say how nice they think it all looks.”

Find out more: www.pantmemorialhall.org.uk

Pant Memorial Hall with Armistice Artwork

Could you spare a few hours for Pant Memorial Hall?

As a charity, the oversight of Pant Memorial Hall is delegated to a small committee who keep the hall running for the benefit of the community.

Pant Memorial Hall with Armistice Artwork

The committee members are villagers, or people who live in the local area, and only meet three times a year to keep things running smoothly.

Next month sees the Annual Meeting at the hall, and the committee is seeking local people, who could attend just three meetings a year, to come along and stand for election.

Being a member of the committee doesn’t require any special skills, just an interest in making sure the hall is run in accordance with its charitable aims of providing a meeting place for various groups in the village.

Each of the committee meetings only lasts an hour or two, so the time commitment for new members is about six hours a year, especially as increasingly decisions are made by email or telephone where required.
The committee needs to have a minimum of seven members, but can accommodate more to ensure a wide range of views and opinions are considered.

According to hall chairperson Sean: “We aim to keep meetings to the minimum needed to ensure good governance of the charity and we also aim to keep them sociable too.”

Being a committee members is a great way to play your part in the community and would be really helpful in keeping the Memorial Hall as a vibrant asset for the village.

Committee meetings currently take place either at the hall or in the Cross Guns, usually in the early evening.

The AGM takes place on Saturday, 14 March 2020 at 2.30pm.

If you would like to find out more about being a committee member, then please email secretary@pantmemorialhall.org.uk or come along to the meeting.

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