There are eight inches of pristine snow on the ground as I write this – not ideal weather for building. Perhaps I was a little bit premature in beginning the previous report “at last we start” and truly the Hand of God has touched us as well as Argentina.
Building The wettest November in living memory made us redesign the foundations and we were all ready to dig on 7 January – just as the deepest snowfall for 30 years fell directly onto Brightwell-cum-Sotwell. In builder’s talk, it is described as “exceptionally inclement weather”. Now our plan is to start on 18 January, so stand by for a hail storm! This will inevitably mean a delay and Easter will be far gone before our grand opening. But after seven years, nothing daunts us and we plough on regardless.
Fundraising We have now received some £58,000 of the £62,000 pledged by our vastly generous village and it is safely in our bank account earning a measly amount of interest. The intrepid James Davys and I will be filling in the Gift Aid claim to get some money back from the Government so, if anyone has not yet donated, could you send your cheque soon, please. We have also registered for VAT, another bureaucratic hurdle but valuable.
Operations Inevitably, our concentration is moving from fundraising and building to planning the operation of the stores and Corinne and Celia are gathering their team together to run the stores. Not sure what to call it, they did not like “Moggies” so we might offer a prize for the best suggestion! Responsibilities are being allocated and regular meetings held to ensure that all areas are covered. Those who volunteered have already been contacted, work will begin on recruiting the paid manager in February and we are developing plans for a website. Like the proverbial swan, much is happening under the surface.
Members All those who donated become members of the Brightwell-cum-Sotwell Community Village Stores Limited with one vote irrespective of the size of the donation. We will be sending out Membership Certificates in early April, kindly and expertly designed by Jane Anderson who helped enormously on our flyers. For ease of communication, could anyone who has not given me their e-mail address send it to Jim@JimSanger.com.
Again we start… Yes, we are on our way. A few hurdles remain in the race before the Grand Opening, maybe on a lovely summer’s day with the sun streaming down from a cloudless sky onto the warm earth below with the birds singing in the trees. As I look out on the snow, that’s a good thought.
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