SOS open day of the bunting bedecked Old School Building.
First thing on Friday morning we decorated the school with a running exhibition of proposed activities, information and colourful graphics on the journey it has taken to reach this point in this community project and the roles people can play in the future. Each room was bedecked with activity descriptions, some examples on show, and questions to ask or answer to allow everyone to voice their opinions and take part in designing the community project as we get into detail.
Several old school pupils came along to swap memorable stories of schooling within this building in pre war time and beyond, and gave their stories to the SOS sub-group which is hoping to put a book together with the aid of an arts grant in the near future. As the children came streaming in after their own modern village school finished they clustered together trying out the delights of the theatre group who will be delivering many of the new activities when they rent space in the community hub of the future, delighting in being inside a school built for Victorian schoolchildren.
The cafe literature spoke of meals of the future, bespoke picnic hamper options and home made suppers from the freezer to take home and heat up. Sun streamed in from the Victorian back yard to the space that so recently was the village post office, promising shared and greening initiatives through start up business facilities, meeting table, computers and office equipment, which will be used in the afternoon by new and improving computer learners, and visitors were asked to imagine using the space for their laptop business and sharing new skills with other young entrepreneurs, or later in the day learning the technology needed to explore the internet.
As the exhibition was transferred to the Old town Hall for the evening and jam jars of flowers cleared away with the last visitors, it was sad to lock the doors against the community once again. So with renewed enthusiasm to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion villagers gathered in the Upper room of the Town Hall to finish the week planning for SOS final stages and Business plan delivery to BCC.
With the sun setting behind Mentmore the villagers were in reflective mood, a short presentation from Carol Corn who chairs SOS, Avril Davies our County Councillor, Joley Brindle who will be one of the business tenants of the future and Karen Groom the Chair of the Parish Council, all setting out their support and advice for the next moves to completion. The raffle was drawn and Alex Wynne added the takings figure to the £710 earned on Wednesday’s quiz/Auction night bringing the total to £850 to resounding applause and broad smiles from all. John Wallis will bank the monies with the Co-operative this week and form our ‘Not for private profit’ community group Bank account to take us we hope way into a productive future with our prospective new village hub! Many thanks to all those who supported this effort.