Cllr John Hunt – County, District and Parish Councillor

Opening of the Bishop’s Hull Hub – 31st July 2021

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The Opening of our Bishop’s Hull Hub.

I’ve spoken to many of you who for various reasons, were unable to attend the event which took place on Saturday 31st July. So, I wanted to share with you the speech that I was honoured to make prior to officially opening our new Bishop’s hull Hub. A village asset that I believe, will help to bring our community even closer together, just what we all need during these uncertain times.

Below is the text from my speech, the video is above…

“Before I cut the ribbon, there are lots of thank yous to be made…The first of those is to thank YOU, the wonderful people of Bishop’s Hull.

Whether you’ve donated directly, through the various Hub schemes or supported one of the Hub’s many events. However, you’ve supported the building of our fabulous community facility, on behalf of the Bishop’s Hull Hub trustees, it’s a very big thank you to you all.”

“What you see behind me (The Hub) is the culmination of years of mostly unseen hard work, by a dedicated team of willing volunteers, doing all they can to deliver this wonderful facility for the people of our village. There have been many ups and downs, and times when this just didn’t look as though it would ever happen but happen it did, and I’d like to read out a list of Hub team members and on your behalf, thank them for all their hard work in delivering the building behind me:

Jon Lee, Richard Holland, Leanne Lee, Matt Chappell, Gabriel Stadler, Dave Manning, David Gurr, Tony Taylor, Amanda Gallacher, Claire Plumbly, Kathy Frith, Hannah Lawson, Andy Lawson, Kate Cooper, Derek Cole, Tuula Cole, Ant Plumbly, Jane Gurr and Roger Priest.”

“Prior to this project, there has been several attempts made to achieve a community hall for us all, taking in excess of 10 years to get here, and I would also like to acknowledge the efforts of everyone involved throughout that time.”

“I’d also like to thank the following local and national organisations for their support and generosity.

Thank you to:

The Village Hall and Playing field Trust and particularly their Chairman Paul Bulbeck, whose hard work and perseverance made it possible for us to place the Hall on this Playing Field site. Also, for assisting with a loan towards the car park construction costs.

Bishop’s Hull Parish Council. For providing grants for fees and a grant from their Community Infrastructure Levy Funding. Thank you to Chairman Mike Leach, and his fellow councillors for their support.

Somerset West and Taunton Council, for their Community Chest grant, and a special thank you to Gail Sloman for her help in securing our Section 106 funding.

The Manor Care home for your support.

Bishop’s Hull Butchers, Stores and Post Office. Thank you to Tom and Teme Parker and previously Lin and Tim Pope for supporting many Hub events over the years.

Taunton Fabrications for providing the steel frame structure for the Hub on a non-profit basis

Rev Phil Hughes for his support and the members of the congregation of St Peter and St Paul Church, who kindly provided the Hub’s initial Funding.

The National lottery community fund for significant grants towards both construction and equipment costs.

HPC community fund for a grant for the photovoltaic panels (Solar Panels)

The Community Council for Somerset, who assisted with our grant applications.

Thank you to the following foundations and Trusts for their generous grants:

The Garfield Weston Foundation, Somerset Community Foundation, The Bernard Sunley Foundation, The Fairfield charitable Trust and The Norman Family Trust

“I’d also like to highlight the efforts of David’s gardening team for making the Hub gardens and borders look so lovely in time for today’s opening. David tells me that all the trees planted have been sponsored by members of the community and most of the plants have been donated by the community. So it’s a huge thank you to David Gurr, and his team members: Roger Priest, Dilys Millard, Jane Emmott, David & Linda Holliday, Colin Davies, Jill Amos, Gareth Needs, Tony Taylor, Gerry, Andy Lamkowski and Sally House.”

“For today’s event, it’s many thanks to Tom Parker from the Bishop’s Hull Butchers for donating the Hog Roast and to Cherry from the Meryan House Hotel for supplying the Cream teas”

Hug roast supplied by Tom Parker at Bishop’s Hull Butchers

It was now time to unveil two plaques.

“First of all, can I ask Roy Sweet to join me please.

Well done and thank you to Roy and his team at R & J Sweet, who have kindly constructed our Hub on a non-profit basis. Roy has gone above and beyond to finish on budget and on time. How he has managed to cope with material shortages and delays due to the effects of the pandemic, has been remarkable. Roy, on behalf of the residents of Bishop’s Hull, thank you”.

R & J Sweet, builders of the Hub.

I then unveiled the plaque on the left side of the main entrance which read: R&J Sweet, Builders of The Hub during the challenging period of the pandemic of 2020/21. Thank you.

“Now onto our second plaque. Can I ask Richard Holland to join me please.

Back in 2017, Richard Holland became the Hub’s founding Chair and ever since has dedicated himself to ensuring that this wonderful building is delivered for our community. As an architect of many years standing, Richard was the ideal person, not only to oversee the project, but to get involved in the day-to-day decision-making process. Without Richard’s significant commitment, we would never have raised sufficient grant funding for this magnificent community facility to even get off the ground. Richard, on behalf of the residents of Bishop’s Hull, thank you.”

Founding Chairman Richard Holland

I then unveiled the plaque on the right side of the main entrance which read: Richard Holland, Founding Chair 2017 – 2021. In recognition of his outstanding commitment in making The Bishops Hull Hub a reality. With grateful appreciation.

“My initial involvement with this project was an evening meeting in September 2016 arranged and hosted by Jane and David Gurr. The meeting was to discuss what would be necessary to restart the process of building a new hall in our village. Had Jane and David not organised that initial meeting, one wonders if we’d be here today.

David Gurr

Jane and David, this is a terrific opportunity to thank you both for all that you do for our village.”

“And now to cut the ribbon. So, thank you to the Hub trustees for asking me to officially open our new community facility. I feel humbled, honoured and extremely proud.

It is my absolute pleasure to declare the Bishop’s Hull Hub…OPEN!!!!”

John Hunt

Cllr John Hunt opening the Bishop’s Hull Hub

We’ve done it! Here are three exhausted, but happy volunteers at the end of a very emotional day for everyone involved.

…and relax. Leanne, Amanda and Dilys – CHEERS!

Some of the images shown here from the event were taken by local photographers Clayton Jane, Steve Richardson and aerial photographer Oliver Scott. Thank you to them for coming to the opening and for their fabulous images.

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