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Does The Memorial Hall Really Want to Cover its Costs?

Thursday 26 July 2012, 15:18
By Colin Bowie

Does Wincanton's Memorial Hall really want to cover its running costs? I have just seen the article in the Blackmoor Vale Magazine about the Farmer's Market moving into the Sweetman Hall, at the rear of The Bear, amid worries about damage to the Hall's floor. This is reported as a 'Committee' decision.

Wincanton Memorial Hall

Is this the same committee that oversaw the running of the Hall when it was built? A similar decision was taken then, except it was over stiletto heels. It was decided then not to allow dances for teenagers (Rock 'n Roll) as their stilettos would damage the floor, but 'normal' ballroom dances were allowed. Didn't ladies wear stilettos to them?

There was no other restriction to the use of the Hall where the wearing of high/stiletto heels was, and still is normal. I can also remember many events that have been held there that required the use of the 'offending' tables, at least I assume it is the tables that are the problem, or could it be that like the railways with 'the wrong sort of snow', the Farmers Market attracts 'the wrong sort of clientele'?

So what will now happen to the Mayor's Ball, wedding receptions, even jumble sales and the Xmas Market? Will they be banned because they MAY leave marks on the new floor? What will happen to this much needed venue when the booking cease?

Wincanton Memorial Hall interior

Do members of this committee ban visitors to their houses after having a new carpet laid? Any one would think that people serve on committees not for what they can offer, but what they can receive in the way of kudos etc. It would appear that it has been forgotten that the Hall was built by money raised by the local residents as all that was available then was the Deansley Hall. But I suppose I should not be surprised, as when the people of Wincanton were asked by ballot what was wanted, the overwhelming decision was for a swimming pool (again) but the Hall was built instead.

I look forward to any comments or replies. Just in case, I have sat on many committees in the last 30 years.


Posts: 1
Memorial Hall Use
Reply #1 on : Fri July 27, 2012, 11:18:01
I tried to find out the names of members of the committee and details of the financial situation - is the hall losing income far and above the cost of maintaining the floor? The only information via Google is hopelessly out of date; where can one find relevant and timely details?
Posts: 3
Re: Does Memorial Hall Really Want to Cover its Costs?
Reply #2 on : Fri July 27, 2012, 18:43:01
On one hand it does seem odd that an establishment like the Memorial Hall would turn away such an iconic event.

On the other, it's seems only fair to assume that the committee are aware of their own finances, and are making ends meet even without the farmers' market paying rates.

What confuses me the most is the implication that the market is in some way incurring more damage to the floor than other events. Even if they represent the top level of wear-and-tear on the floor, it makes me wonder how many other events have been turned away for fear of damage.

If, however, it turns out that the market does have a habit of causing disproportionate damage to the floor (I see people with food, on tables provided by the hall), there must surely be an identifiable problem that could be raised with the market organisers in a bid to get them to change their evil ways. Perhaps they could rub olive oil on the bottoms of their farmer shoes...
Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 19:01:41 by davidsmith  
Victor Meldrew
Posts: 1
Re: Does The Memorial Hall Really Want to Cover its Costs?
Reply #3 on : Tue July 31, 2012, 19:04:37
Oh dear, I understand the author is thinking of putting on a charity event in the new year, will he be refused now?
Posts: 3
Re: Does The Memorial Hall Really Want to Cover its Costs?
Reply #4 on : Tue August 07, 2012, 12:16:25
It turns out the damage to the Memorial Hall floor is actually very specific, and severe. Certainly not something to be overlooked.

Also, it sounds like the Farmers' market hasn't actually been 'evicted', but have in fact sought out an alternative venue (The Bear Inn, further down the High Street) having elected not to accept revised terms with the Hall.

On the plus-side, a good number of people have expressed appreciation for the more central location of the new venue.

Given that there's no legitimate grounds on which to assume the Hall committee isn't competent enough to keep their finances in order, it seems nobody's lost out in the end. Aside from the ones who have to pay to repair the floor, of course.
Posts: 1
Memorial Hall
Reply #5 on : Thu August 09, 2012, 07:45:52
In response to DavidSmith's comment. This is not correct. The market was given 2 weeks notice to leave the hall but was was offered the patch of grass to trade outside the hall - as long as the grassed wasn't "damaged". This was neither suitable ,appropriate or of sufficient size to take a number of market stall stands. Plus using a table/stand may have caused the grass to be slightly flattened, which no doubt would have constituted "damage" to the grass.
Posts: 3
Re: Does The Memorial Hall Really Want to Cover its Costs?
Reply #6 on : Thu August 09, 2012, 10:34:14
Apologies if I've got my wires crossed.

An outdoors market certainly isn't a practical solution. You'd need marquees and everything.

The Memorial Hall is a fantastic venue, but thankfully the market is blessed with the pick of several. The Bear being an outstanding alternative.

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