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By now I’m sure everyone has seen the big banner announcing the opening of a new nursery in the Village Hall? Happy Turtles will open it’s doors on 3rd September and we wish them every success.

There has been a nursery in the Village Hall for over 30 years and when Tippy Toes closed last Christmas it was a great loss, not only to the community but to the finances of the Village Hall!

Like any household we have bills to pay; heating, lighting, electricity, water and cleaning. On top of that we have to squirrel money away for a rainy day – or a new boiler – which was installed last year. A nursery provides the Hall with a steady income which helps us stay open and keep the costs down.

By law a nursery has to operate in ‘secure premises’, when Tippy Toes were in session the entire Hall was locked down, even though they were only in one room every door was locked and bolted.

When Happy Turtles first asked about setting up a nursery it was decided to install doors in the corridors so that that Ian Smith Room (where Happy Turtles would meet) could be isolated from the rest of the building. The big advantage of this is that the Main Hall could then be used at any time even if the nursery is in full swing.

However, those of you who know the layout of the Hall will appreciate that, once those doors are closed, the nursery would no longer have access to the kitchen. And Ofsted require that nurseries have access to a ‘food preparation area’ (yes, most of us would call this a kitchen) so we’ve had to install one in a storeroom…

The work (and disruption) has gone on all summer and we do apologise to the users of the Hall who have been inconvenienced. But the renovations are now complete, the Hall can be partitioned when needed and there is a new, and thriving, nursery settling into the Hall.

I appreciate there has been some concern that the provision of dividing doors means that no other group will be allowed to use the Ian Smith Room but this is not true – any more than it was when Tippy Toes were using the Hall. In the evenings, on Thursdays, Fridays and weekends the Ian Smith Room will be available for bookings. The same applies to school holidays when Happy Turtles are closed.

This is a major step forward for the Village Hall, it enables us to offer better access to the building and will put us on a financially sound footing in the future.


Richard Taylor, Chairman