Monday, December 03, 2007


Marton was all a-twitter this morning when the news came in that our Lottery bid to fund a new Village Hall had gone forward to the next stage. This is good news indeed - we are now amongst the final 104 projects waiting to discover if we will be one of the lucky 'good causes'. Last Friday we were one of 541, so the odds have shortened considerably.

Everyone who has worked so hard preparing the bid and raising funds - fundraising which basically covers professional fees and maintenance - is much encouraged. I am too but with my cynic's hat on wonder if we should instead have encouraged the Modern Olympiad to return to Shropshire - funding would have poured into our hands and we would have facilities, a transport system and affordable housing that was the envy of west midlands and Welsh Marches alike. (Look what's happening in Hackney and see, further afield what the Guggenheim Museum has done for Bilbao.) Instead money trickles awfully slowly into our coffers, coffee morning by coffee morning and our ultimate success will be, well, a lottery. It is hard not to be overwhelmed by the scale of the project and the little impact we make on the final target figure.

'They' have appraised our project so far by paperwork and telephone interview. Now 'They', the über-powerful great and good, will leave their London offices and pay a visit to Marton to view the hall. Usually we try to show its best side to visitors but this will be one occasion when its dilapidations will be an asset. Asbestos? Tick. Rot, wet and dry? Tick. Wheelchair Access. None? Tick. Possibility of repairs or refurbishment - see asbestos - none. Tick. We expect a final decision some time next year, late summer perhaps. And what if the bid fails? There is no plan 'B'.

In the meantime the Fundraising sub-Committee continue to plot events - anything to keep the money coming it. There will be a Burns Supper in January with all the trimmings; haggis and whisky and, if the floor will take the strain, some Country Dancing.Before that though, a bit too close for comfort and back by popular request will be 'The Tree of Lights'. With the flick of a switch and a short prayer from the vicar (for those that like that sort of thing), the tree's little white lights will twinkle into action - a welcoming and festive site on a dark stretch of road at the edge of the village. With the lights officially lit everyone trudges indoors for mulled wine, mince pies and Entertainment.

It's another of those 'am I really here?' moments for me..........but it will be fun. Goodcleanvillagefun amongst friends who know each other well and appreciate each other's party pieces. It has a sort of innocence from before the days of rock 'n' roll.

After much head scratching I re-worked the 12 Days of Christmas for two farmers to 'perform':
On the twelfth day of Christmas,
My true love sent to me
Twelve John Deere Tractors,
Eleven loads of silage,
Ten tanks of diesel
Nine Polish workers
Eight cows in-calf
Seven Aussie shearers
Six Vets’ visits
Five bull rings,
Four tractor tyres,
Three bags of sheep nuts,
Two forms from DEFRA,
And a copy of Farmers’ Weekly!
Give us the money and we'll all stop making fools of ourselves!


toady said...

I really hope your bid is successful. It seems such a pity that all funding seems to go to the cities, and the rural regions of this country seem to be sidelined. There is a lot of deprivation here as well as East London. I know I've lived in both.

GeraniumCat said...

I used to live in a village - you do find yourself doing the strangest things for good causes! Good luck with the bid, it's so important to keep our villages alive and vibrant. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

lampworkbeader said...

Good luck for the fundraising. a decent hall/community centre makes all the difference. I don't know what we would do withot ours (recently improved with lottery money)

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Yes, good luck with the fundraising from me too. I love the new version of 12 days of Christmas. I must remember to show it to my husband.

Crystal xx

Wooly Works said...

Fundraising is so hard for me. I admire your tenacity. Great final on the 12 Days of Christmas. My dad has been a farmer for over 50 years and I'd like to put it in his Christmas card, with your permission.

Zoë said...

Good Luck with the fund raising! Like the final version of the 12 days, works wonderfully.


You, as every village, so deserve to have a decent village hall, but what would those who decide know of that need ? What indeed can they know of rural life and the sense of community a village hall means working in London, living in a city? Enough I hope to grant you what should be yours by right and not by some lottery of fate.

Bonne Chance!

Faith said...

Well done for all your efforts, and I pray they will be rewarded.

elizabethm said...

Absolutely best of luck and know just what you mean about the am i really here moments (see me singing!). Love your 12 days of Christmas.

Cowgirl said...

Best of British, what a great cause. Love the sound of the village tree and night of entertainment. Thought your 12 days of Christmas ditty to be Spot On!!!!

snailbeachshepherdess said...

I do hope you are sucessful with your bid...but I do like your hall anyway ...its lovely and I couldnt believe how big it was!!!

Mootia said...

Has Tim @ Field Day picked up on your 12 Days of Xmas yet? He'd have that on his blog in seconds - shall I point him in the right direction??? Mootia x

snailbeachshepherdess said...

Now some more head scratching as I hereby tag you to write a letter to yourself when you were 13!! Its a bit weird to do!!!

david mcmahon said...

G'day from Aus,

Good luck with the bid - and I have to say I think your lyrics are marvellous.

Keep smiling


mountainear said...

Please do Mootia!