A newsletter to members of the Beckley & Area Community Benefit Society
The Abingdon Arms tenancy
We very much regret that Aimee and her colleagues have decided to move on. They have done an amazing job in rejuvenating The Abingdon Arms, have made it worth eating and drinking at the pub again, and have won prestigious awards. The value of the pub to the people of Beckley and wider community has been amply demonstrated, and we are determined to build on what has been achieved.
BACBS is now looking actively for a new tenant for the pub. The good news is that there has been significant interest, and we hope to appoint a new tenant soon. We will let you know the outcome via BACBS e-mails. Watch this space!
Change of pub opening hours
We understand that the pub's opening hours will change from the beginning of September, but the changes had not been confirmed by the time of going to press - so please check at www.theabingdonarms.co.uk. Because the kitchen may be closed on Tuesdays, the Women of Beckley lunch will now be held on Thursday 5th September, rather than the usual Tuesday. Other events are listed in the 'More than a Pub' programme.
Community Survey 2019
Before we launched our bid to purchase The Abingdon Arms in 2016, we undertook a survey to determine community support for the project and preferences for the style of pub local people wanted. The results were invaluable! As we search for a new tenant, we have decided to survey BACBS shareholders and the wider community again - in relation to your preferences for The Abingdon Arms and your expectations of BACBS, the organisation which owns it.
The survey can be accessed electronically here https://forms.gle/xeiawYatBHozeoGD8. Please do respond as soon as you can, and by 15th September at the latest! Your views and preferences are important to us.
As most of you will have seen, construction work at The Abingdon Arms has been completed - on time and within budget! The pub now has first-rate toilets, with full accessibility and baby-changing facility. This means that everyone is able now to use and enjoy the pub, regardless of mobility and child-care responsibility. As one recent visitor to the pub wrote: "... we were all extremely impressed with the new toilet extension, a description which doesn't really do it justice as it is a bit of a triumph"! Furthermore we have a new oak signpost and cycle racks; and, in the near future, we'll have external notice boards too.
On behalf of everyone who will use The Abingdon Arms, we thank Ben Tanner (Andy Paterson Architects Ltd) for the design and project oversight, Classic Builders for their high quality construction and responsive cooperation, and the bodies who funded the project - South Oxfordshire District Council and, through the Plunkett Foundation's 'More than a Pub' programme, Power to Change and Co-operative & Community Finance.
Cardiac Defibrillator training
As many of you will recall, BACBS installed a cardiac defibrillator on the right-hand side wall of the pub porch. This is readily available to our community in the event of a cardiac emergency, but do you know when and how to use it? We have arranged a refresher / training session on Saturday 12th October, 9.00 for 9.30am start. If you would like to attend, please contact email@example.com . A limited number of places remain, and priority will be given to residents of Beckley who have not attended the training before, so book your place asap.
BACBS Good Neighbour Scheme
This volunteer local transport scheme is now operational, providing lifts to Islip Surgery appointments and to BACBS community events at The Abingdon Arms. The service is available to residents of Beckley, Elsfield, Stanton St John and Forest Hill, and only a small mileage charge (45p per mile) will be made. Horton cum Studley, Noke, Woodeaton and Islip have their own schemes. There are two ways to contact the BACBS service: phone the dedicated line 07514 791910 (if there is no reply, please leave a message with your number and one of the drivers will call you back) or email BACBSgoodneighbour@gmail.com
'More than a Pub' programme
After the quiet month of August, the MtaP programme is back with a bang in September. As well as our regular community favourites (lunches, coffee morning, afternoon tea, walk) we have a great jazz session (trumpeter Percy Pursglove with Frank Harrison on keyboard and Mark Hodgson, bass) and talks by local speakers about treatments for Alzheimer's dementia and a remarkable local woman, Delarivier Manley (c1670-1724) - see the MtaP programme. Please do come along to our activities, which can continue only with your support.
Community Involvement and call for volunteers
BACBS aims to involve as broad a cross-section of our community as possible, through activities at and use of The Abingdon Arms and other initiatives, and by this means to strengthen our community. We want especially to engage residents who are potentially isolated socially and those who are new to the area. Do these criteria apply to you, or to a neighbour? If so, please contact Sam Francis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One way of becoming involved is to help with local activities. We are looking for help with our 'More than a Pub' programme - particularly with organising and publicising the programme and with map design / graphics for our website and a walking / cycling routes pamphlet. Think you can contribute? Please contact Mike Hobbs at email@example.com.
BACBS Annual Members’ Meeting, 2019
The Society’s annual meeting for members will be held on Monday 18th November in Beckley Village Hall. Three management committee members will come to the end of their terms of office, so elections will be held. We are keen to increase the committee's diversity, in terms of gender balance and representation from our constituent villages. If you are a BACBS member, would you consider standing for election? Further information will be issued next month.
Parish Path Warden
Chris White - Parish Path Warden for Beckley, Noke, Horton cum Studley Parishes - writes:
I am currently the Parish Path Warden (PPW) for Beckley Parish, a voluntary and very enjoyable role that requires me every six months or so to walk all the footpaths and bridleways in the parish and report any major problems (obstructions, broken stiles etc) to the County Council for fixing.
I have discovered that our neighbouring parishes of Noke and Horton currently have no PPWs and would like to form a team of local walkers to extend this role to include these two parishes.
If anyone is interested in helping out with this please contact me by email initially: firstname.lastname@example.org. We will hold a meeting for interested potential wardens at The Abingdon Arms - 7pm on Wednesday 18 September. Hope to see you there!’
Beckley and Area Community Benefit Society Ltd
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