13th Annual Report of Maxton 21
This report has been prepared for the Annual General Meeting of Maxton 21 to be held in Maxton Village Hall on Tuesday 25th March 2014.
The Office-bearers of Maxton 21 during 2013 were:
Chairperson/Diary keeper Jimmy Wilson
Vice Chairperson/Diary keeper Janet Sykes
Secretary Charlie Denoon
Treasurer Isobel Veitch
Events: During the year the following events were organised by Maxton 21 members on behalf of the community:
Saturday 2nd February 2013 – Maxton Burns Supper
Thursday 11th April 2013 – Rob Nicolson “School Night Tour”
Saturday 18th May 2013 – Hall Coffee Morning and Plant Sale
27th May till 8th June 2013 – Tom’s Pennine Way Walk
Saturday 5th October 2013 - Charity Scottish Country Dance
Sunday 15th December 2013 – Parish Get Together.
Sunday 22nd December 2013 – Carol Singing
Tuesday 31st December 2013 – Hogmanay Ceilidh
An excellent evening’s entertainment. Thanks to all those, seen and unseen, who made it all happen. Thanks, in particular, to our guests – Grant Lees, Barry & Trudy Cash and Derek Inglis and his team for the spirit of fun they brought to the evening.
Rob Nicolson “School Night Tour”
Rob came to Maxton to perform an evening of music and song, much of it of his own composition. Monies raised were donated to the Maxton 21 Charity for 2013.
Hall Coffee Morning and Plant Sale for Hall Funds
A successful morning with two crafters in attendance - Christopher Grant Jewellery and Shona Tait Cards. Problem again with clashing events in St Boswells, despite having checked with bookings of their halls.
Tom’s Pennine Way Walk for Maxton 21 Charity for 2013 “The Special Baby Unit at BGH” Edale to Kirk Yetholm and on to Maxton
Approx 300 miles, 13 days, 11 of which were sunny - unbelievable!
Well done to Tom who took this as a personal challenge and completed his trip on time and in good spirits. Sponsorship and donations were also given through Just Giving.
Charity Scottish Country Dance
Arranged by Jimmy and Janet with support from other members of Maxton 21. Very worthwhile and enjoyed by the dancers, who commented on the excellent state of the Hall floor after its sanding and were impressed by the facilities in general.
The Parish Get Together, once again evoked little interest, but allowed one couple, new to the village, to meet neighbours.
One light shower but otherwise clear and cold. Good turn out of singers – thanks to non parishioners who joined us to boost the quality of the sound. Very generous collection. Thanks to all.
For the first time since Maxton 21 was set up, there were insufficient numbers to run a viable ceilidh to bring in the New Year 2013, and it was cancelled. Following representations, it was agreed that the idea of a ceilidh without live, paid performers would be followed up. This led to Tom and Isobel arranging an event which attracted 30 adults and 7 children. Everything was done in-house and reports confirm a very enjoyable evening was had by all. Some enquirers were put off by the lack of live music.
Calendar of Events and Greetings Card was kindly designed and produced by Bristow Yuill ADA (aka Felicity and Gavin). It was distributed to every household in the Parish.
Maxton Village Hall Management Committee
Work continues to complete the refurbishment of the Hall.
New vinyl has been laid in the kitchen and a new mat in the entrance hall.
An infra-red wall-mounted heater has been fitted in the kitchen.
PAT testing has been done and the audio system overhauled and checked.
New chairs were purchased with the help of grant money from CBAVH.
The last of the Maxton book money was used to purchase material to make new cloths for the small tables and for two of the large ones. Janet made the cloths and we thank her for that.
During the year the Hall usage has grown considerably with the regular Pilates groups still being the mainstay of Hall income.
The Thursday Art Class has met for part of the year, and the Interfaith Foundation has continued weekend use. Mertoun SWRI continues its programme of meetings.
Firefly, a music and movement group for mothers and babies has become a weekly regular, and after the New Year Zumba Classes displaced from St Boswells start regular weekly meetings. Occasional bookings have increased. Gaelic in the Borders has also used the hall for some of its get togethers.
A new set of charges was introduced to offset the rises in heating costs, but our rates are still very competitive.
As a result of wide dissatisfaction over what seems a very arbitrary system of charges, we have taken part in a Scottish Government Consultation “Water and Sewerage Charges – Exemption Scheme for Small Third Sector Organisations”. Hopefully the outcome will be that all small halls will be classified as exempt from charges. Time will tell.
Maxton Meets completed eleven years of its series of talks at Easter, and, with the organiser not wishing to continue, it has now ceased. After 63 different talks with 55 different speakers it is missed, and if anyone wishes to start it up again it will make a welcome return. Thanks to all the speakers over the years and to all who came to listen.
Contact with the Ton Class Association continues with Dave and Joe and their wives having visited the village. Interest, beyond that, is still non-existent despite repeated requests and an article in the Ton Class News.
Two copies of the News still come to the village – one is archived in the Hall, the other goes onto the Hall Noticeboard and then into the Information Kiosk.
Maxton Parish Website
The website continues to provide up-to-date information on the Parish, with regular updates of news items from the Parish events and the inclusion of forthcoming events in the Calendar.
Throughout the country there are people with Maxton links who regularly check the site to see what is happening.
The section on Community Safety, with reports from L&B Police Community Constable Karen McIlroy) and the Community Wardens, Neighbourhood Watch alerts and Emergency Contact numbers is proving useful.
Approaches will be made to all our sponsors over the next few weeks for their continued and much valued support.
Maxton Neighbourhood Watch continues to be a member of the Association of Scottish Neighbourhood Watches (AoSNW) which gives access to information and materials which may be of use, even in our small community. Membership is free. .
Reports by Community Police and Community Wardens are now posted on the website in the new section “Our Community - Be Safe Be Secure”, along with other items of news. The demise of the Community Warden Scheme is regretted, as the Wardens did an excellent job of keeping on top of problems within the community, and making the public aware.
All residents are reminded that the Crimestoppers confidential phone line is (0800 555 111). Any member of the public can contact the police direct at the time of their concern, and such immediate contact is encouraged. Urgent need is still dealt with by dialling 999, but non-urgent contact can now be done through 101.
The reduction in speed limit through the village to 30mph came into force, but attempts to get additional temporary signing to draw drivers attention to the change was turned down. Many drivers have totally failed to notice that the speed has changed. Police checks have taken place and speeding drivers warned.
No Cold Calling Zones
After a survey of all the households in the Parish in 2012, it was decided to set up two No Cold Calling Zones, one covering the existing Neighbourhood Watch area, and the other covering the cottages at Rutherford Mains.
This joint action with L&B Police and Maxton & Mertoun Community Council went into action at the end of September 2012, and, so far, unwanted random callers have been a rarity.
The present Co-ordination team is:
The Area Co-ordinator is Charlie Denoon.
The Co-ordinators are Tony and Helen Herring.
The Secretary is Elvira Denoon.
Maxton 21 Charity for 2013 “The Special Baby Unit at Borders General Hospital”
Our 13th year of having an annual Charity has been a record one. For the first time Maxton 21 raised over one thousand pounds for the selected charity. With Tom’s epic 300 mile walk being on Just Giving, some of the monies, £288.75 went direct to the The Difference - Borders Health Board Endowment Funds - 'the difference' is a local charity that exists to enhance patient care in the Scottish Borders but directed to our Charity for 2013.
In addition members held a plant sale, a car boot sale, a dance, a draw for a hamper, carol singing and with various amounts donated, totalling £1005.03. The Unit has benefitted by £1293.78 in total.
The audited accounts of Maxton 21 are attached, and copies are also available from the Treasurer.
The thanks of the Office-bearers go to everyone who has supported them during the past year, and the thanks of Maxton 21 go to all those ‘Friends of Maxton’ and members of the community who have supported the group’s events throughout the year.
In particular we must mention Ann, who since her arrival in the village with Ron, was always a willing helper at our events. We valued her support, skill and generosity and feel her loss greatly.
Concern must however be expressed that new members are not being found for the Committee. The core of the Committee is the same people who have being doing the work since the Millennium, and with attendance at meetings being close to the quorum, the future of the Committee must still be in doubt.
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