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. . May we wish you Happy Christmas and Season’s Greetings!
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.
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.
Pant Memorial Hall will be holding its annual Act of Remembrance on Saturday 9th November and this year, for the first time in many years, a World War One roll of honour will take pride of place on display at the hall.
Pant Memorial Hall is the village war memorial and every year an act of remembrance is held to honour those who served in the First World War, as well as those who have suffered and died in all wars.
The short informal service starts at 7pm and will include a wreath laying and The Last Post as well as hymns and readings. It will be followed by music, wartime songs, a singalong and refreshments.
Pant Memorial Institute was built in 1922 and originally held a World War I roll of honour, but this was lost many years ago during one of the hall’s refurbishments. However, we are pleased to say that this year, for the first time, a copy of the Morton Parish World War I roll of honour, which was kindly gifted to the hall last year, will be on display.
The original of this unique roll of honour, which commemorates the sacrifice of the men of the village, is on loan to Oswestry Town Museum, but a facsimile will now be permantly displayed at the hall.
The memorial tablet in the hall, which commemorates those from Pant who died in World War II, was originally in the United Reformed Chapel in Pant. When the chapel closed in 2004, the plaque was moved to the hall and re-dedicated in its new home.
Earlier this year, Pant Memorial Hall unveiled its new Armistice 100 artwork, which was commissioned last year to mark the end of the First World War.
The ceramic sculpture, which was created by artist Neil Dalrymple, depicts the landscape, people and heritage of Pant and has proved a popular addition to the outside of the hall. The artwork was entirely funded with grants from Tirgwynt Community Fund and Oswestry Rotary’s Mary Hignett Bequest Fund.
Shaun Fisher, Treasurer of Pant Memorial Hall, said: “Our annual Act of Remembrance is a focal point for the village every year, taking place as it does at Pant’s war memorial.
“We will be delighted this year to have the Morton Parish World War One roll of honour on display in time for the service, and our new ceramic artwork, which commemorates the centenary of the Armistice, is also now in place.
“We hope local people will take the time to come along to remember all those who served in war, from our village and beyond. It will be an informal but respectful service, followed by a singalong and tea and biscuits.”