Here we go again

Hello all,

Once again, I find myself carrying out assorted secretarial duties, following the departure of Carole Surman to Devon. At the time of writing, no replacement has been found for her- which brings me to the main reason for this screed.

It’s become something of a recurrent theme that we are in need of fresh ideas to keep the  Committee functioning and hence, the Leintwardine Centre operational. Things are particularly dire at the moment, however, as we are also short of a full-time chairperson. The valiant Mr. Vallis, who has been acting chair for longer than anyone can remember (thanks Harvey, what you did was above and beyond the call of duty!), has decided to step down and Emma Gorbutt has kindly agreed to take charge of the meetings for a few months. After that…..

What’s the worst-case scenario? That the Committee can no longer function and the management of the centre reverts to the Parish Council, who already have more than enough on their plate. This isn’t the Leintwardine Centre version of “Project Fear” – it’s a fact.

If you want to play a part in the running of the centre, as a Committee member or as one of the officers, please contact for more details

Terry Clough

PS: Rob Cock has stepped down from the Committee after 5 years, many of which he spent as our treasurer. We all appreciated his professionalism and the quality of his reports, especially his powerpoint presentations at the AGMs. They were so good, we were thinking of selling tickets. We did have one worrying moment, though, when the fireworks display set fire to the curtains…

Seriously though, thanks Rob, not least for agreeing to oversee the primary school project (see previous posts and minutes of Committee meetings)

The times they are a-changin’

… and so is the committee!

Rob Cock has stepped down as treasurer and is replaced by Richard Deane. Rob will remain on the Committee and continue to handle the admin side of the School house project.

I’ll be handing over the secretary’s hat to Carole Surman at the end of July

And Harvey Vallis will cease to be chairman, also at the end of July, although we haven’t yet found a replacement. If you’re interested, do let me know!

I should also remind all you faithful readers that we’ll be having our open gardens weekend on 17 and 18 June. Same format as usual, with some new gardens and some old ones. Tickets from Griffiths’ shop.

Psst! Wanna rent a building?

Keen readers of this blog(!) or the minutes of our meetings(!!) will know that we’ve recently recovered the former Infants’ School building behind the Main Hall, which has been in use as a coracle workshop for the last umpteen years. We’ve begun the process of preparing a specification for the work to be done to bring it back to good condition, after which we’ll start applying for grants. What we need then is somebody to take it over and use it. There were mutterings about a micro-brewery at one point, but that idea seems to have evaporated, sadly. To help you (and us) get some ideas, the building will be open to visitors from 10am to 12 am on Saturday 4th February in conjunction with the usual First Saturday coffee morning. Even if you don’t want to take it over yourself, you might have an idea as to what it might be used for, so do come and have a look.

And advance notice of another event: the Leintwardine Centre has been given a number of paintings by the artist David Donne, who lived in Watling Street until his death last year. The tentative idea at this stage is to have an exhibition at the March First Saturday and then either sell them or have an auction. More on this anon.

The only other recent development is that we had our regular Committee meeting last week, where one of  the most important items was the under-use of the reading room meeting room behind the library. Last year the committee invested in some thick curtains which have greatly improved the acoustics and thus dealt with one of the main complaints. Once again, any ideas?  The room is ideal for smallish groups and has a kitchenette, so you can make tea and toast. It even has wifi broadband access – soon to be upgraded to high speed. I don’t want to sound pessimistic but if the room doesn’t at least cover its costs, drastic action may be required…..

Do please contact me if you want to discuss it or even have a look round.

Oh, and one last thing. The design of our website has changed yet again. It crashed just before Christmas when the “theme” it was based on suddenly disappeared.

Thanks to some rapid action by the wonderful Stacie Jones, it’s now back on line but looking a bit untidy. Another addition to the list of things to do…

Terry Clough


Autumn, the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness……

….. is upon us but with weather like today’s, who wants to sit in front of a computer writing blogs? My unerring sense of duty compels me to put finger to keyboard to tell you about a leetle problem which is starting to get everso slightly serious. But before that, a quick recap of what’s happened since the last entry back in the distant days of June.

The Open Gardens weekend was a great success – the best ever, financially, so hats off to Stephen Nockolds for doing such a great job of organising it. It was his first time and he’s now got lots of ideas about how to make it even better next year. Requirement number one is of course… er… gardens, so if you would like to show yours next year, do get in touch with him. You can contact him through me at (note the e-mail address – we’ve gone back to using the old gmail addresses so that we have more capacity. )

We’ve had two meetings of the Committee since June but they were mainly devoted to routine admin matters. One good piece of news is that the refurbishing of the primary school building is going to be a bit less expensive than we thought. We’re still looking for potential users/tenants so if you have any ideas or would be interested yourself, do get in touch. Our chairman Harvey Vallis is drafting a proposal which will be discussed at the Committee meeting this coming week.

I’ve already mentioned that we are having difficulty finding people to serve on the Committee as it’s deemed too bureaucratic and no fun so we three officers – Harvey (chairman), Rob (treasurer) and myself (secretary) are currently working on a proposal to make life easier (and hopefully less of a bore) for Committee members. And here’s the little problem: all three of us will be stepping down in less than a year from now. In my case, I will soon have been secretary for 5 years, which I think is probably enough – for the Committee. So not only do we need new Committee members, we need a new chairman, treasurer and secretary. The work ain’t rocket science and despite what I’ve said about the obligations involved, it’s not very onerous. Of course if you do volunteer, we will do everything to facilitate the transition.

And what happens if the Committee ceases to function? The management of the Community Centre reverts to the Parish Council, who already have more than enough on their collective plate. For more information, contact me at the above e-mail address or on 01547 540 777. At this point I should attach a picture of the famous Kitchener recruitment poster (“Your country needs you”), but EVERYBODY does that so here’s something completely different (which burnishes the Committee’s equal opportunities reputation).

Latest news

Is it really that long since I wrote on this blog? Shame on me!

Here, rather later than planned, is the latest instalment. We had our AGM at the end of May and ended up with a rather smaller Committee – just ten of us now. It rather put me in mind of Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians. Somebody said that the reason we can’t keep/attract people is that it’s all a bit po-faced and not much fun. Point taken, but we now have a sizeable budget (take a bow, Rob!) and are an officially registered charity so we, the trustees, could be called to account by the Charity Commissioners if things go pear shaped. Since none of us fancies a visit from the CC SWAT team, we tend to take it very seriously…

Harvey Vallis, our acting chairman, gave an excellent summary of the situation in his annual report (which should be coming soon to a website near you, God and BT willing – see below), describing our achievements over the past 12 months and the challenges facing us in the coming year . Under the latter heading, we have the big question of what to do with the primary school building behind the Main Hall where Peter Faulkner has had his coracle-making business for the last 11 years or so. He’s stopping work so the building needs to find a new use. Before that, it will have to be completely refurbished so we’re getting a surveyor in to tell us what needs to be done. It’s a lovely building and it would be a shame to see it fall into rack and ruin. Any ideas what it might be used for? Let us know at I have noticed that there seem to be quite a few houses for sale on the High Street at the moment. Could it be that they’ve decided to reroute the Hi-speed 2 railway line through the village and haven’t told anyone? In that case, would they need a very nice little waiting room? Coffee bar? Engine shed? And while I’m on the subject, we could do with some more tenants in the offices. Do you know anybody who might be interested? If so, get in touch with the wonderful Karen Foote, a woman who is so industrious, she appears to have about 39 hours in her day.

Other than that, we seem to be having a few technical glitches with the website, but it’s hard to sort them out when your internet conks out every 3 minutes. Does anybody else have these problems or has BT got it in for me? Maybe things will be better when we get high speed broadband – whenever that is.

Re-reading the above, it all sounds rather downbeat but in fact, things are going quite well and we have the open gardens, always a very enjoyable event, to look forward to next weekend. Plants, Pimms, croquet and a model railway (if I can get the thing wired up in time. Indeed why am I sitting here writing this when I could be going cross-eyed, trying to shove fiddly bits of wire into minuscule sockets?)

See you there

Terry Clough

Shock! Horror! Vicar murdered in Kintwardine!

Local residents were appalled to learn on Friday evening of the brutal murder of the reverend Martin Peacock, vicar of Kintewardine, bling and sports car enthusiast, by none other than Brenda Buffton, Chairperson of the Parochial Council. Not that many of the assembled company in the Leintwardine Centre last Friday were able to guess whodunnit, despite the plethora of clues scattered about the place like pheasant bits on the A4113. The solutions offered by the different teams at last proved one thing: that some people have VERY strange imaginations. The only person universally agreed not to have done it was Patrick Orton, but then he was the emcee for the evening so it wasn’t that surprising.

The Murder Mystery evening (for that is what it was – hands up those of you who thought the above was true) was deemed a great success by all who attended, with the Leintwardine players turning in their customary polished performance and the kitchen stalwarts of Hilary Leslie and Marjorie Turner providing a splendid repast of salmon frittata with trimmings. If you missed it, don’t worry. We plan to murder more people in the Leintwardine Centre later this year.

In the meantime, there’s plenty to look forward to, including the quiz night this coming Friday, plus folk music from the excellent Megson on 19 March. Check out our Facebook page for more details.

Terry Clough

New LYG representative

The Leintwardine Youth Group has a new representative on the LCC Committee.

The Committee is very pleased to welcome Stephen Nockolds as the new LYG representative. He’ll take over from Karen Foote – not that Karen is leaving but she’s already got more than enough to do being ( a super-efficient) bookings officer.

It’s a pity that the folk singers Megson had to postpone their gig this Friday but when you’re a duo and one of you has lost his voice…… Still they’ll be back on Saturday, March 19th. If you’ve bought a ticket and would like to come on the new date, you don’t need to do anything. The tickets for Friday will be honoured on the 19th. If you prefer to have a refund, contact Debbie Whittle on 01547540554.

We had our second meeting of the year last night – mostly routine stuff but there’s one thing looming on the horizon which could cause problems. For a number of years, Peter Faulkner has been using the Primary School building behind the Main Hall as a coracle workshop. He’s now decided to give up the lease and so we will need to re-let it. Just one problem: the place is in a very bad way, with bits of ceiling falling down and a hole in the floor. Not to mention the wiring. So the Committee plans to bring in a professional surveyor to take a good look at the place and tell us what needs to be done to make it wind and waterproof and generally safe. Then we’ll get some cost estimates and decide how to proceed in such a w ay that it doesn’t drain the resources we need to maintain the other two buildings. Watch this space.

Incidentally, the minutes of our January meeting have just been published along with the treasurer’s report.

Terry Clough

New year, new website

First of all, a belated happy New year to all our readers!

Welcome to the new Leintwardine Centre website which we hope is an improvement over the last one. Apart from a general update of all the pages and an improved layout, the biggest change is that details of our coming events will now be displayed on our Facebook page. Before we go any further, a big thank you to Stacie Jones of SJ Consultancy for all the work she put in getting this site up and running. Without her support, it wouldn’t have got going anywhere near as fast!

As you can see from the Events list, there’s quite a bit planned for the first half of the year, and other events may well be added as we go along. In particular, Flicks In The Sticks has been revived and will feature more regularly in our programme.

One new cob ovenfeature that we’ve added to the facilities is the cob oven in the rear courtyard. It’s great for pizzas and such but as it has to be operated by someone who knows what they’re doing, we can’t allow people renting the hall to use it on their own. If you’re interested, give Karen a ring on 01547 540 777.




On the admin front, Richard Sudworth stood down as chairman of our Committee at the end of the year and his place has been taken by Harvey Vallis. Harvey has agreed to do the job for a limited time only so we will be looking for a new chairman sometime this year. If you think you have herd catsthe requisite skills, such as being able to herd cats, get in touch. You can even come to our monthly meeting as an observer if you wish – contact me at

Richard will stay on as a member of the Committee for the time being. Our two (fairly) new members are Naomi Vera-Sanso, who will represent the Leintwardine Group Parish Council, and Jonathan Catling, who will be helping to manage this website as soon as it’s fully operational. Karen Foote is now in charge of bookings, as well as being the liaison with the Leintwardine youth Group.

It’s very important to us to get your feedback, whether you use the Centre regularly or have just stumbled across this website. Can we improve on the website? Do you want more information? More pictures? And what about the Centre? What events would you like to see? We on the committee are always open to new ideas. Our sole aim is to make sure the Centre is used as much as possible so that we have the funds not only to keep it open but also to improve the equipment on offer.

Keep coming back!

Terry Clough



Your Centre Needs You!

Would you like to help at an event or join the team of regular volunteers who keep the centre running? What you do is up to you – bake cakes, help set up chairs and tables, serve at the lazy lunch (or do the washing up!)…… If you’re interested, please contact us by e-mail at or ring Elisabeth Egelund on 01547 540 777