At last, after all the restrictions of Covid 19, we can fix a date for the opening of Stainers’ Field. It’s 4pm till 6pm on Sunday 15th August, 2021. There will be a barbecue and bar and everyone is very welcome.
Some context first.
After Margaret Stainer died, her daughter Carol agreed to legally split the field adjacent to her bungalow behind the village hall and sell it to us.
The reasons for buying the field are quite clear – it’s a resource for the village hall which is shared by the villages of Glanvilles Wootton, Holnest & Middlemarsh. That means an open space for picnics, a children’s play area and other community events.
Next, it allows us to extend the parking around the hall. On a dark winter’s night whenever an event is held in the hall, people are obliged to park along the grass verges on the road. Not exactly the best Health & Safety! We would not want to concrete any part of the field and indeed there is a restriction in the sale deeds which prevents this. An answer is to lay a form of parking mesh for grass to the right-hand side of the big gate and up to the field shelter in the corner. As a guesstimate that’d produce space for about 20 cars.
Some 51 people have donated to the purchase of the field and there is about £5000 over the cost of the purchase. As a charity, the hall committee were able to claim from HMRC an additional 25% in addition to the money which was raised. That’s why we have a healthy surplus which will be used to improve the field.
A Field Committee has been formed following the recent Hall AGM made up of Katrina Buckle, Sue Forder, Richard Taylor, Michelle Wilson and also Martin Lilley from the Hall committee. However, we lack anyone from either Holnest or Middlemarsh. So, if you’re from either village and would be happy to help us, please get in touch with Paul Goodfellow. This is a sub-committee of the main Hall committee and, as is our practice, all decisions have to be agreed with the Hall trustees on the main committee.
Following our first meeting, these are our thoughts:
1. To create extra parking spaces as mentioned above.
2. To cut a new person sized entrance to the field alongside the Play Area at the back of the hall. This will be the main entrance for everyone and the large vehicle sized gate will be opened when necessary for vehicles.
3. We were unanimous (despite 3 of us being dog owners) that no dogs should be allowed onto the field. We all want this space to be as safe as possible for children.
4. The field shelter will soon be clear of the large agricultural machinery and the ground will be smoothed off. This will make a great space for barbecues, a bar, a stage etc and provide very useful shelter against our weather.
5. Under planning terms, it’s agricultural. But we may have to licence it for events. Therefore we need to check what limitations exist for the field and whether we need to apply for appropriate permissions.
6. We need to think about maintenance – hedges will need to be trimmed, weeds cleared, grass to be cut. Fortunately, the field shelter itself is in very good condition.
7. It’s a very welcome resource for the communities of Glanvilles Wootton, Holnest & Middlemarsh and we should make use of it. Our thoughts included having a Forest School and also hosting a small musical afternoon with a picnic.
Lastly, at the AGM, it was felt entirely appropriate to acknowledge the support of all those people who contributed to the field. This will be in the form of a carved wooden plaque acknowledging the contributions made by 51 people who gave anonymously.
Finally, so we can get an idea of numbers for the opening, please text me if you wish to come along: 07534 570730. Thank you.
Martin Lilley July 2021
15 August 2021