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Dry Drayton School and Village Association


Chairman's report for 2003, Dry Drayton School and Village Association AGM, 25/2/2004


The past year has been a year of transition for S&VA following the well attended meeting about its future in January 2002, and the election of 4 new officers and 3 new committee members. The transition was most obvious in the financial area as John Vertue had been treasurer for well over ten years, while Leslie Ducker had been the only auditor the S&VA had ever had since it started in 1976. Both are remarkable records - if Howard Russell wants the new record for auditor, he will have to stay in post until 2031!


At the last S &VA AGM held in February 2003 it was decided to introduce a new modus operandi with the elected officers and members forming a management committee to deal with on-going business and prepare issues for wider discussion. Full S&VA meetings now take place 3 times a year, while the management committee meet informally between them. Overall this arrangement has worked well with more people attending the full S&VA meetings. The success of these arrangements is being monitored. I would like to thank the committee members for all their effort and commitment over this past year.


The S&VA have for the past few years supported a number of village and school activities. These include:

· The Village Newsletter
· Dry Drayton Village Primary School
· Little Owl Pre and After School
· Photocopier use for village societies
· Insurance for village events
· The Marquee maintenance
· Donations for Christmas events and Coach trip support


In the past year, the support totalled about £4000, broken roughly evenly between what might be classed school-related and village-related interests, though it should be noted that any such distinction is artificial since the aim of the S&VA is to keep the village and school interests together. Anyway, a substantial amount of money has to be raised each year in order to provide this support. Since the last AGM, the following fund-raising events were organised which have doubled as village social events:

· An April Flogit
· Feast Week (which ran from Sunday to Sunday with events each day)
· Marquee Hire (for which extra advertising was provided to attract outside hiring)
· A Wine Tasting Evening
· A Ceildih
· A Review for three evenings in February


All of these rely absolutely on the energy and commitment of the many individuals involved in their organisation. All were extremely enjoyable. All were financially successful. They set high standards for the coming year.


Feast Week, the central event of the summer calendar and blessed by wonderful weather in 2003, was tremendously well attended and raised nearly £1300. The events included traditional favourites such as Feast Saturday, a revue, and a fun run. A new, highly successful event was the school events evening on the Wednesday of Feast week. It involved many village societies and individuals who were happy and willing to show off their wares to the children. The 2004 Feast Week is already being organised. If you have ideas or would like to be involved, please contact either Jean Harding (780777) or Diane Harris (789049).


The revue in February 2004 was as popular as ever and raised over £900. In total over 40 people were involved on stage alone, including 21 children. On behalf of the S&VA, I would like to thank all of them. I would also like to single out Mara Ramans, Janet Watson and Lorna Carter for all their effort and enthusiasm in the organisation of such an event. Videos and DVDs will be available from Alec Hawkes.


This year is likely to be a make or break year for the marquee team. There is insurance cover through September and so we will be working hard to make it as successful as possible. However this will be Robbie Hawkes's last year in charge and with insurance possibly set to rise, a great deal of thought is needed before a decision about its future can properly be made. A marquee team meeting for the current team and other interested people will be held in early May to plan the coming season and to think ahead to the future. We need to identify new leaders who can take over from Robbie and to train them. We need to discuss whether we should get a new marquee. It would be a shame to lose such a good fund-raiser and such a good way to unite the men of the village, admittedly with some occasional women. However the year will also see a celebration of the marquee, as a 25th anniversary party for past and current marquee team members open to the village is planned for the start of Feast Week.


The achievements of the school over the past year, described by Margaret Prosser, have been striking and on behalf of the S&VA I would like to congratulate the hard working, talented staff as well as past and current pupils who have helped to achieved this. It is worth spending a few moments to acknowledge the recent passing away of Kay Mascaro. Kay was a teacher at the school for many years and taught several of the older inhabitants of the village. Recently she has lived at Derrymore and attended the performance of Midsummer's Night Dream in the new school hall. Both the hall and the performance impressed her. Her importance, like that of all teachers, should not be underestimated.


Finally, the committee is extremely grateful to all those who gave of their time and talent. Without this commitment to 'community' the S&VA would not be able to function.