Constable Burton Reading Room Minutes of a Meeting Held in the Reading Room Friday 24th September 2021 at 6:30pm



Constable Burton Reading Room
Minutes of a Meeting Held in the Reading Room
Friday 24th September 2021 at 6:30pm

Present:George TomlinChair
 Hilly DobsonVice chair and Secretary to the meeting
 Stewart AyersCommittee Member
 Jeffrey LaneCommittee Member
 Barry SnarrCommittee Member
Apologies:Keith LoadmanTrustee
 Jason DixonCommittee Member
In Attendance:Chris GreenResident
  1. Agenda
    1. The agenda for the meeting was published on the 2nd Sep 21. 
    2. Items in the agenda were considered in the order of the main paragraphs as detailed below.
  2. Minutes. The Chair confirmed that all members had read the minutes of the last Extraordinary Meeting held on the 24th May 21 and that they were a true reflection of proceedings. The minutes were accepted unanimously:
    1. Proposed. Barry Snarr.
    2. Seconded. Jeffrey Lane.
    3. Matters Arising. There were no matters arising.
  3. Report on the Summer Fair (and Duck Race) 2021. (Attached)
    1. Hilly Dobson presented a report, which is attached, and declared the event to have been a huge success. On behalf of the committee she repeated the thanks contained within the report to all of those who had been involved, in any way, that helped to make the event so successful and enjoyable.
    2. Jeffrey Lane, who stepped in to man ‘Guess the W8 of the Cake’ suggested that people had expected to pay £1 per go, not 50p as charged.
  4. Financial Report. (Attached)
    1. Hilly Dobson presented the Financial Report which is attached.
    2. The Chair explained how the major project of the toilet block had been funded and how the double glazing is being funded. Explaining that grants had been sort and obtained to provide 70% of the funding, slightly more in the case of the former. This means that for every pound spent 30p came from Reading Room funds and 70p came from grants. However, the grants applied for must be spent on the projects that they were applied for and not on anything else.
    3. The Chair also pointed out that while the accounts appear to be in a very healthy state the Reading Room at present had no regular income.
  5. Statement by the Chair. (Attached)
    1. The Chair introduced the attached Statement by saying that he would have expected to submit such a report at the AGM, but that due to the pandemic no such meeting was convened.
    2. Barry Snarr, on behalf of the committee, congratulated and thanked George Tomlin, as Chair, for everything that had been achieved during this very difficult period.
  6. Double Glazing.
    1. The Chair reported that work on the double gazing should be started soon but, at present, there was no date set.
    2. Concern has been raised about the brick work above the rear kitchen window. The brick work is exceptionally old and the chair and the residents of St Andrew’s Cottage need to take advice from a stonemason/builder as to its stability. It was agreed with Chris Green, of St Andrew’s Cottage, that a meeting should be held between him, the Chair and a builder to take advice on the way ahead.
    3. Barry Snarr pointed out that we must ensure that the builder has the relevant credentials and insurance.
    4. After Note: It is important that the Reading Room’s insurers are informed when work is due to commence.
  7. Children’s Activity Area.
    1. The suggested area in the Reading Room which is to be designated as the Children’s Activity Area was pointed out to the committee. The intention of the committee is to create an activity area for very young children so that parents may enjoy a ‘peaceful’ moment while enjoying a cup of tea/coffee and a chat.
    2. The committee were unanimous in their support of the project.
    3. The area will be secured by a removeable barrier, an example of which is attached.
    4. It is intended that the rear wall of the Reading Room should have a suitable mural. Emma Mills has been asked, and she has agreed, to provide sketches of her suggested designs.
    5. It is intended that everything, including the barrier, can be removed and packed away when other functions require it.
    6. Costings. The following figures are estimates only:
      1. Barrier – £247
      2. Mural Fee – £200
      3. Play Items – £200
      4. Boxing in of pipework and radiator cover £100
      5. Estimated Total £747
    7. Funding. The Chair stated that funding would be applied for.
  8. Future Events. The following events were discussed and details will follow:
    1. Sunday Afternoon Tea 3rd October 2 -5pm. It is intended that these will continue on a fortnightly basis until Christmas.
    2. Saturday Morning Winter Warmer. TBC.
    3. Halloween 31st October. Trick or Treat event similar to previous years.
    4. Christmas Lunch 11th December 12.30pm. Bookings must be made in advance.
    5. Mulled Wine and Mince Pies 18th December 2 – 5pm. In the car park! May include Santa’s Grotto. A volunteer for Santa needs to be sort out.
    6. Christmas Lights.
      1. It was suggested that the village Christmas lights could be increased in number and possibly in colour. It was also agreed that Mill Lane, Donald Smith Court and Ashfield Close should be offered lights.
      2. Barry Snarr suggested that solar powered lights would reduce the required maintenance.
  9. Any Other Business.
    1. Defibrillator. It has been observed that the defibrillator is connected to a plug socket and that on 2 occasions the socket has been switched off! The committee agreed that an electrician should hard wire the equipment into the electrical circuit.
    2. Points Raised in a Letter Received from Mrs C Ayers. The Chair responded to points raised in a letter which was presented to him at the start of the meeting:
      1. Reading Room Laurel Hedge. In the letter the severity of the pruning was raised. The Chair pointed out that the hedge had been neglected for years. Much thick and dead wood was removed from it. It will now regenerate and can become an attractive hedge if it is cared for. Chris Green responded saying that he would care for the hedge.
      2. Siting of the New  Storage Unit. Situation has been resolved.
      3. Lack of Transparency
        1. The committee and Chair were criticised within the letter concerning a lack of transparency. The chair commented that it would appear that people are not communicating with each other or members of the committee. Much can be resolved by talking.
        2. After Note. During the period of the pandemic:
          1.  The committee has held 8 Extraordinary Meetings, the agendas of which and minutes have been published on the village web site and displayed on the Reading Room’s notice board.
          2. During this difficult period the Chair also produced 3 letters to committee members to ensure that they were kept up to date with everything that was happening.
          3. Posters were displayed on the on the village web site and on the village notice board advertising events and many fliers were delivered to homes encouraging attendance. Many matters can be resolved at such events.
          4. Several letters and fliers were hand delivered to homes offering advice on the pandemic, particularly in the earlier days.
          5. Some items may have been missed from the information chain. For this the Chair apologises.
    3. Agreement on the Siting of the New  Storage Facility.
      1. The committee was presented with a list of bullet points received from D’Arcy Wyvill who agreed with John Edington that they would be added to these minutes.
      2. The Chair pointed out that the address at bullet point 3 should read ‘The Old School’.
      3. The Chair also pointed out that planning permission for the erection of the shed had now been applied for. As the Reading Room is a public building different planning regulations to domestic premises apply. Consideration on its siting has been given to allow access for oil deliveries to St Andrew’s Cottage and maintenance of the boundary wall.
      4. The committee, and Chris Green being in attendance, having been given a copy of the bullet points were content with the proposals. The bullet points are listed below:
        • The shed requires planning permission to be erected and RDC and the conservation office have been contacted and given feed back.
        • Concerns from village residents have been listened to and responded to and the need for such storage understood as far as the Reading Room is concerned to make it a flourishing and viable asset for the village going forward.
        • The original proposed site adjacent to the School House (option A on the plan) and visible from the road is not the correct position for the proposed shed and as such plans to site it here have been declined by me and an alternative site suggested.
        • The newly proposed site is clearly marked on the attached ground plan as option B for clarification.
        • I have given the committee permission to go ahead with the application for planning permission based on the new proposals.
        • The planning application will eventually come into the public domain and therefore any comments from residents will be able to be lodged formally and with due process.
        • I suggested that this should become an issue for discussion in the next meeting of the Reading
    4. Village Flower Pots.
      1. Stewart Ayers asked if the village flower pots would be replanted for the winter. Jeffrey Lane suggested he could get discounted plants from his place of work. The Chair responded that he would be reluctant to spend more money on plants this year having spent £200 in the spring. Those present suggested that winter pansies etc could possibly be sourced from their own resources.
      2. The Chair asked Stewart Ayers to take charge of this, with the help of other committee members, to which he agreed and said that he would also take out the geraniums for replanting next year.
      3. Donations. There has been created a money box specifically for the giving of donations for the purchase of bedding plants in 2022. The box will be present at all functions between now and then. (The fund currently stands at £14.20).
  10. Involvement. The Chair appealed to members of the community to get involved in village affairs and events.
  11. Date of Next Meeting. The next Reading Room Committee Meeting will be held on Friday 17th December 2021 at 6:30pm.
  12. Meeting Closed. The meeting closed at 7.30pm.


Maj (Retd) George F Tomlin MBE
Chair to the
Reading Room Committee
25th September 2021


  1. Report on the Summer Fair 2021.
  2. Financial Report.
  3. Statement by the Chair.
  4. Security Barrier.


Attachment 1 to the Reading Room
Minutes of the 24th September 2021


  1. Great success. Mostly sold out!
  2. Thanks to everyone who helped to prepare for the day and to the 33 helpers who ran the various events and stalls on the day itself.
  3. Big thanks go to local businesses for sponsoring and subsidising the event. They were:
    1. Campbells of Leyburn.
    2. The Leyburn Coop.
    3. Hall’s Family Butchers, Leyburn.
    4. Wensleydale Railway.
    5. The Himalayan Garden & Sculpture Park.
    6. The Forbidden Corner.
    7. Brymor Ice Cream.
    8. Carrick’s, Snape.
    9. Tennant,s Auction Rooms, Leyburn.
    10. TAPLIN & MAGEEN, Leyburn.
    11. Classic Ice Cream, Aysgarth and Hawes 
    12. B&M Bargains
    13. Market Trader, Leyburn
    14. House & Home, Leyburn
  4. Many raffle and tombola prizes were donated by residents – a big thank you.
  5. The cake bakers of Constable Burton make ‘exceedingly good cakes’! Many thanks to the many bakers and to Mr Barry Snarr who made the cake for the Guess The W8 of the Cake.
  6. Thanks go to the duck marshals Scot Mills and Trevor MCDonald and to the finishing line judges Mr Alan Bodman and Mr Allen Percey.
  7. Thank you to Tony Knowles for the marquis and to Finghall Barrel Push, from Mr Eddie Hemsley for the loan of the coconut shy supports.
  8. Last but not least thanks go to Mike Philipson for promoting the event on the web page and for recording the event digitally. Also to Mr Philip Sedgewick for articles in the D & S and the N Echo both prior to and after the event.
  9. Income and Expenditure.
    1. Income
      1. Duck Sales £331.83
      2. BBQ £173.50
      3. Animal Quest £31.90
      4. Raffle £86.00
      5. Hook/Net-a-Duck £3.20
      6. Coconut Shy £69.00
      7. Hoopla £40.00
      8. GWC £27.50
      9. Teas £219.00
      10. Tombola £117.00
      11. Plant Stand £14.20
      12. Wellie/Chicken £50
      13. Unclaimed Prize £5.00
        1. Sub-total £1,168.13
    2. Expenses: A more detailed breakdown of expenses can be found in the Reading Room accounts:
      1. Duck Prizes £80.00
      2. BBQ £59.37
      3. Drinks/Sweets £22.47
      4. Coconuts x 50 £30.00
      5. Ground/Beck Prep £66.63
      6. Prizes £17.00
      7. Catering Accessories £71.58
      8. Stationery £4.98
      9. Sundry Items £32.00
        1. Sub-Total £384.03
    3. Gross Profit.£784.10.
    4. Paid to YAA. £392
    5. Net Profit. £392.10.
  10. Outstanding Prizes.
    1. Meat Pack. As there was no entry for the fancy dress by a man the prize of a meat pack was not awarded. It is intended to raffle this off at the first coffee morning or afternoon tea.
    2. Coconuts. While the coconut shy was a very popular attraction accuracy of throwing was not good as several remain unclaimed. It is intended to use these at Halloween.
    3. Xmas Raffle. It is intended to put the following into the Xmas Raffle:
      1. Bottle of Chateau Meaume 2016.
      2. Carrick’s Crab Vouchers x 2.
      3. A John Torode and Gregg Wallace Cookery Book ‘Master Chef at Home’ donated by Jenny Shaw.
      4. Whisky Gift Ser donated by Mr Barry Snarr.
  11. Questions/Comments.

Hilly Dobson          24th September 2021
Event Organiser

Attachment 2 to the Reading Room
Minutes of the 24th September 2021



  1. Financial Activity Since 24th May to 24th September.
    1. Expenses. Major expenses during the period:
      1. Boiler Service & fitting of 3 x thermostats £209.14
      2. Deposit for double glazing (BAG) £1,453
      3. Keter Shed £1,336
      4. Flooring repair £588
      5. Electricity £169.24(now a monthly SO of £40)
      6. Water £48.14
      7. Bank Chges (Stopped cheque) £12.50
      8. Donation to YAA £392
      9. Planning (Shed) £262
        1. Total Expenses £4068.12
    2. Income. Major income during the period:
      1. Room Hire £27.50
      2. Covid start up grant £8,000
      3. Summer Fair £392.10
        1. Total Income £8,419.60
    3. Net Income. £4,351.48
  2. Closing Balance as @ 24th Sep 21. £16,980.64
  3. Petty Cash. £30.43
  4. Notes.
    1. Double Glazing.
      1. The outstanding amount to pay will be £5,700. This will be offset by a grant from RDC of £4,999.
      2. May be additional cost for a lintel on the rear kitchen window 
    2. Comments/Questions.


Hilly Dobson                 24th September 2021
Treasurer to the
Reading Room Committee

Attachment 3 to the Reading Room
Minutes of the 24th September 2021


ON THE 24th SEPTEMBER 2021 AT 6.30PM

  1. Introduction
    1. This statement is intended as an update of what has been happening to the Reading Room and within our community during the period of the pandemic. It also shows the intentions of the Reading Room Committee and what it is intending to implement over the next few months. It is what I would have presented at the AGM which was not convened due to the pandemic.
  2. Background
    1. I was elected to the chair of the Reading Room on the 24th August 2020 in rather unusual and unique circumstances. It was, in fact, now several months into the Covid-19 Pandemic. I accepted the appointment in order to help the other members of the committee through this difficult period and to ensure that the institution that is the Reading Room would still be here for our community at the end of the emergency. We had little idea as to how long the pandemic would go on for, a few months maybe? To date it has now lasted for more than 18 months.
    2.  We, the committee, implemented all of the rules, regulations, guidelines and laws that the Government issued. This meant for the large part closing the Reading Room to public use while, at the same time, satisfying our insurers that the building was being cared for. Under the leadership of Hilly Dobson several of us set about supporting our community and the Constable Burton Volunteer Support Group was founded, running errands for the vulnerable and distributing ‘Goody Bags’. We applied for a grant from Richmondshire District Council (RDC) which enabled us to both plant and distribute bedding plants to help boost the moral of the community.
  3. Activities
    1. During this period we have been able to provide a few community activities, some fund raising others not. These have included:
      1. VE Day celebrations.
      2. Summer Picnic 2020.
      3. Halloween trail 2020.
      4. Christmas drinks and mince pies.
      5. No frills BBQ
      6. Summer Fair 2021.
    2. I have to say that none of these events would have taken place without the drive and enthusiasm of Hilly Dobson supported by members of the committee.
    3. There were just 3 hirings of the of the Room. One by RDC for the local elections, a Parish Council meeting and one private hire of the facilities. 
  4. Reading Room Renovation
    1. At the beginning of this period the toilet block was in a very dilapidated state through ingress of water through the roof. The block was actually unusable as in several places the ceiling had collapsed. With the Reading Room closed for public use this was an obvious time to not only renovate the toilet block, but also to renovate and modernise other parts of the building. With approval of the committee we set about raising funds to finance the required work. The following has currently been completed:
      1. Toilet block renovation complete.
      2. Boiler serviced and thermostat fitted.
      3. Thermostats fitted to the toilet block radiators.
      4. Missing air vent grills on the outside of the building have been replaced.
      5. Floor covering replaced at the kitchen end of the main hall.
      6. One additional plug socket installed. 
      7. Planning permission for the fitting of UPVC double glazing throughout has been obtained. A contract has been signed and a deposit of £1,453 has been paid to Bishop Auckland Glaziers leaving £5,700 to be paid. A grant of £4,999 will be paid by RDC on the completion of the work. This also includes the replacement of the rear door with a modern, weather resistant door.
    2. We have also successfully created and let 2 allotment plots on the rough ground at the top end of the car park. This has improved the appearance of that area.
      1. All of this has involved a considerable amount of decision making, effort, enthusiasm and man-management especially in the following areas: 
      2. The continual researching for funding and applying for available grants, and the management of the Reading Room’s accounts. As can be seen from the financial report, our funds remain in a very healthy condition. Most funds were raised from:
        1. Government covid grants to small businesses through RDC.
        2. The Community Investment Fund controlled by RDC.
        3. The Locality Budget from NYCC through the Parish Council.
      3. Deciding on what needed to be done and obtaining quotations from building contractors and other businesses. Selection of best quotes and signing of contracts.
      4. Applying for and obtaining planning permission for both the toilet block and double glazing. And subsequently for our new storage facility.
      5. Submitting plans and getting approval from the Building Regulators.
      6. Supervision of ongoing work.
      7. Keeping our insurers informed of work being undertaken.
    3. All of this was being done for the benefit of our community and in an attempt to make the Reading Room more attractive to prospective hirers once the pandemic is over. We have now purchased a shed/storage unit to provide additional storage in order to declutter both the main hall and the kitchen. 
    4. Additional work that needs to be addressed and to be approved or rejected by the committee included:
      1. The creation of a children’s activity area within the main hall.
      2. Painting/redecoration of the main hall, including the replacement of the curtains.
      3. Replacement of the strip lighting in the main hall. 
      4. Painting and fitting of a weather board to the front door. This has been purchased.
      5. Redesign of the entrance ramp to the car park.
      6. Land scaping a path onto the Village Green.
      7. Rewriting of the constitution, in particular, to broaden the recruiting area for committee members.
  5. Funding
    1. Without going into detail here, as the financial report has been given, you will see that our financial position is good.  However, we currently have no repeat regular hiring. Advertising of the Room for hire must become a priority once the pandemic allows.
    2. It is heartening to see that our first event, in the Reading Room, will be Afternoon Tea on Sunday 3rd October. We hope that it will be well attended.
  6. Conclusion
    1. We have achieved a considerable amount over an exceptionally difficult period. There is still much to be done to make the Reading Room an attractive venue for the community. 
    2. The Reading Room must pay its way and it can only do this by attracting private hire.
  7. Any Questions/Comments.

George F Tomlin MBE
Chair to the Reading Room Committee
Constable Burton

Mobile: 07773031874

Welcome to our Web Site – Constable Burton

Attachment 4 to the Reading Room
Minutes of the 24th September 2021



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