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Cross Guns Inn, Pant, Shropshire

Cross Gun Inn reopens

The Cross Guns Inn has today (Monday 26 October 2020) reopened following its recent closure due to a staff member testing positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

According to Maureen at the pub, although the pub is open, the kitchen will not reopen until next week while the kitchen is restocked.

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

More information about coronavirus and COVID-19 is available on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19

LlandPPC_logo crop

October Parish Council meeting

The next Llanymynech & Pant Parish Council virtual meeting takes place on Thursday, 22nd October at 2pm and local residents are invited to take part via video call.

The public are always able to participate in part of the Parish Council meeting and whilst physical meetings are not currently taking place, residents can still engage with the meeting via virtual meeting software Zoom.

The agenda includes items on local planning issues, a report from the police and Shropshire Council, issues relating to Rights of Way and how to observe the Remembrance Ceremony during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The full agenda for the meeting is available by clicking the Download button below.

If you want to join the meeting, please use this link at 2pm on Thursday, 22nd. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88479694838? pwd=YmR2UFNreU1XY055WFpaMjdmd05VUT09

Cross Guns Inn, Pant, Shropshire

Cross Guns Inn closes due to COVID

The Cross Guns Inn has closed due to a staff member testing positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

According to a post on the pub’s Facebook page, NHS test and trace has been contacted and has informed the pub that they will collect the ‘sign in book’ and contact people who have recently visited the pub.

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

The same post says that the pub is likely to be closed for the next 2 weeks.

More information about coronavirus and COVID-19 is available on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19

We will update this article as and when we receive more information.

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!

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.

Five members of the Montgomery Canal project team

Volunteers sought to rebuild Schoolhouse Bridge

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.

Montgomery Canal stall in Pant

Helping to bring boats to Pant

A garden stall in Pant raising funds for the restoration of the Montgomery Canal has raised over £100 and the organisers want to say a big ‘Thank You’ to the villagers, walkers and cyclists who have been so generous.

The stall in Penygarreg Lane has been organised by Dawn and David Aylwin who are keen canal boaters and are members of the Inland Waterways Association (IWA).

Selling a variety of plants, fresh produce and donated items, such as books and DVDs, the stall has already raised more than £100 for the Restore the Montgomery Canal Appeal, which is organised by The Friends of the Montgomery Canal, the Shropshire Union Canal Society and the IWA, Shrewsbury District & North Wales branch.

Explained Dawn, the focus at the moment is fundraising for the reconstruction of the Schoolhouse Bridge between Pant and Crickheath: “When the canals fell out of commercial use, bridges across the canal network were removed or lowered and that’s what happened to our local bridge.”

A fundraising appeal was launched a couple of years ago to get the bridge reinstated in advance of the extension of the restoration effort to the dry section of canal between Crickheath and Llanymynech.

Added David: “We are passionate about canal restoration and our stall is just one of the ways we like to support the efforts to reopen the canal to the village. We are convinced that a reopened Montgomery Canal would be of great benefit to Pant, not only in terms of tourism and visitors to the area but also in making the village more attractive, especially as people enjoy walking beside water teeming with wildlife.”

To help support the fundraising effort, look out for the stall for the rest of the summer in Penygarreg Lane or you can donate online by visiting https://themontgomerycanal.org.uk/donate.

If you would like to find out more about the Montgomery Canal, please visit https://themontgomerycanal.org.uk.

What's new on Pant Today

Bus service 72 cancelled

The regular bus service from Oswestry to Llanfyllin has been cancelled.

The number 72 bus, which stops in Pant, has been cancelled, with Tanat Valley Coaches citing reduced passenger numbers due to the Covid-19 pandemic as a cause.

Bus stop in Pant, Shropshire

According to media reports, the service receives no public funding and so is reliant on passenger income and is now “unsustainable”.

On Facebook, Llanfyllin Town Council posted: “We have had conversations with Powys County Council to identify other routes in the area that may be adjusted to add the 72 route into theirs. This may provide a service on certain days of the week. We are in conversation with another bus company who is considering a service which would be limited but would include a Saturday.”

This cancellation reduces the options for travel into Oswestry for the residents of Pant and the surrounding area. Luckily, the T12 service links Oswestry and Welshpool (and other towns) via Pant and the 74 service will continue.

We will bring you any updates if we have them. Does this cancellation affect you? If so, please leave a comment below.

Cross Guns Inn, Pant, Shropshire

Cross Guns Inn Asset of Community Value

Shropshire Council has approved the listing of the only pub in Pant, the Cross Guns Inn, as an asset of community value (ACV).

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

The Cross Guns had been originally listed as an asset for the community in 2015 but under the Localism Act legislation that is used for the listing process, the listing period is limited to five years, meaning a new application had to be submitted in 2020.

Following an application to have the Cross Guns Inn listed as being a valuable asset to the village and community of Pant, Shropshire Council has confirmed its decision to list the pub.

Like all pubs in the country, the Cross Guns is currently waiting to hear when it can reopen following the Covid 19 lockdown and it is hoped that when it reopens, villagers will support it to help make up for the period of enforced closure.

Readers will know that the pub was recently sold by Marston’s to Admiral Taverns and new managers took over not long before the lockdown.

The pub is currently offering a take-away service and Admiral Taverns have given the managers a rent-free period while the coronavirus regulations are in force.

The application was submitted to Shropshire Council by an informal group of regulars at the Cross Guns and other residents of Pant.

Listing as an asset of community value gives locals in the area advance warning of any planned developments to a pub, especially change of use, which could result in the pub no longer being a public house.

According to research by CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, 84% of people believe that a pub is as essential to community life as a shop or post office. Luckily, Pant has all of these assets.

The listing comes at a difficult time for pubs with both the White Lion in Llynclys and the Lime Kiln in Porth-y-waen on the market.

It’s now up to residents of Pant to help keep the Cross Guns busy and a central point to the village’s social life.

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

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Pant.Today is published by Ethos public relations Ltd. The site is designed to be an asset for the community in the village of Pant in Shropshire as well as visitors and others.

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