I’m sorry but this is going to be a bit longer this year.

We’ve had another successful year with our quizzes doing so well, as usual.   Add to that our rental income and our accounts look very healthy.   We did make a good will gesture to the “Little People” by reducing their rent slightly, as their membership has dropped.    Better some rent than no rent.

Major works have taken place.    The defibrillator has been installed and a chemical damp course has been injected into all the walls of the Room, including the internal ones.   I am most grateful to Colin Spence, yet again, for donating £1,000 towards this expense.   We also got a third dehum on the recommendation of Hyltreat.

On the H&S front, I continue to be grateful to Charlie for looking after the fire extinguishers.    PAT testing has been done, so that’s OK for another 5 years.

Well it’s time for Sue, Mary, Pete and me, to take up retirement.    Between us we have clocked up over 50 years.    The very healthy balance is due to hard work and dedication.    Mary has done sterling work setting numerous quizzes. Well over 30, I would guess, and produced masterful minutes.   Then there’s Sue’s hard work behind the scenes.    She’s been painter and decorator, caretaker/cleaner, laundrette, booking clerk with all that entails and, of course, resident chef having produced over 40 meals in her 14 year career. I must mention also, Sue S’s contribution by extracting fivers from everyone for the raffle.

From my point of view, my 18 years have been enjoyable though there have been a few bumps along the way.    Sometime ago I calculated we had raise and spent in excess of £25,000 on this lovely building.   The main items being the replacement of the big windows, the new kitchen, which BDC thought was excellent, the replacement wainscoting and the complete repainting by Sue, the rebuild of the front wall, the complete rewiring and fire escape lights and finally the damp proofing.   All this was achieved through our fund raising events, two large anonymous donations and grants.   The latter earning me the name Grant Mitchell.    Two events I would particularly like to mention are the Silver Trowel which raised money for the windows and the cake stall we had at Sudbury Market.   I mention these because in both cases the village rallied round with their support.   Something I feel sadly has declined in recent years.

Finally, thanks to you all for your help and support over the past 18 years and I look forward to leaving this little 114year old building in safe hands in the coming years.    It will continue to need much TLC, I’m sure.