Welcome to Church Eaton Village Institute

July 2017


Another successful coffee morning in June, many thanks to all the people who donated plants for us to sell.  At the next coffee morning on 6th July there will be a short official unveiling ceremony of the Parish Memorial. The many positive comments from people associated with the village have been most welcome


The wedding of the new Mr and Mrs Harriman took place last month with the reception in our hall. Whoever dressed the room deserves a HIGHLY COMMENDED.

It looked like a banquet in the clouds. There are some great photos on our face book page. Why not become a friend and have a look.  You can also find out whats happened over the last few weeks and be kept up to date with whats coming up in the future.


The June market went well,  but we really need another cake stall.  The fee is only £3.00  for the morning,  so if you fancy giving it a go speak to Jenny Annis on 01785 824882 email jenny.annis@btinternet.com



We have another wedding reception at the end of July, Rob and Eloise soon to be Mr and Mrs Mayou are a lovely couple from Bloxwich and have chosen to spend their special day with us. We wish them well.


Its  good to see  the church clock working again,  the only problem is I now have no excuse to be late for committee meetings


Its July the sun is out, put on your glad rags and join us for coffee, cake, and shopping.



Dates for your diary

Coffee Morning 6th July+ 3rd august Village Market 15th July+19th August

                                                                                                Jeremy Jones committee member                                                                     


June 2017

 Our AGM was held on Monday the 8th and marks the end of another fantastic 12 mths of progress .Over the last 4yrs over £150,000 has been spent on rebuilding and refurbishment  , because of this investment the old girl is in fine fettle and real fit for purpose .Many of you may not know that 80% of this money was raised  by just one person Justin O’Doherty so it was very fitting that at the end of the meeting a  presentation was made of an inscribed hip flask and a bottle of Irish whisky  in recognition of ten yrs  outstanding out  service to Church Eaton village institute


Because of the support given by the people of the parish and beyond ,we can now comfortably pay our way ,maintain the structure and self fund a number of smaller projects .The improvements are not finished yet, after the kitchen is finished the next big project is to refurbish the external roof on the main hall


The AGM is traditionally the time to acknowledge contributions, the stute has many friends who help us out in different ways so thank you all very much . Fred and Jenny asked me to put on record their thanks  to the committee ,it’s a real team with every one making their own unique input and I have to say it is very refreshing to be part of a group that really works for the good of the community and actually gets things done


The day to day life of the building goes on with another successful market,  caff,  and coffee morning. Over the last few wks  we have a christening , a wedding and charity bike ride stop over.  Bookings  in general are up .  The hall , kitchen and garden now provide a very impressive wedding reception venue and the word is getting out . The modest hire charges make it fantastic value for money. We are working on a revamp for the web site which  we hope will bring in extra bookings


Last but certainly  not least we have to thank Fred and Jenny ,under their stewardship Church Eaton village institute is going from strength to strength .





MARKET                   SATURDAY  17  JUNE                                                                                    Jeremy jones

                                                                                                             Jeremy Jones committee member      

May 2017

First and foremost all of us associated with the stute would like to say a big thank you to Justin as he departs for all the work he has put in over the last nine years .His contributions on fund raising  publicity and events have been amazing

Improvements to the building are still marching on, the refurbishment and insulation of the kitchen roof is now complete. New window frames with double glazed units and lintels have been ordered for the side of the kitchen and the installation of an efficient extraction fan is in hand, so all the money raised from your support of events is being well spent.

John Hitchens has done some more work on the garden and Tommy has reinstated the manhole many thanks guys

The coffee morning on 13th April raised £320 towards the defib fund so thank you to all who contributed




AGM                                 MONDAY   8 TH MAY

MARKET                         SATURDAY 20 TH MAY


                                                                 Jeremy Jones (Institute Committee Correspondent)

April 2017

The Institute is 125 years old this year. It was given to the village in 1892 by Mary Wiley who saw the need for a community centre where people could go for 'reading and recreation'. A billiard room (now a well-equipped kitchen) was added in 1926 where the game was played under gas light (the institute had an acetylene plant). During World War II there were monthly dances for the local soldiers with a RAF band. It was also used as a depot for the home guard (our own Dad's Army). In the years after the war there were pantomimes, old time music hall and a weekly cinema. Think of all the fun and laughter that was had from watching Old Mother Riley and Abbott and Costello. It would be great if someone in the village would volunteer to take on Big Picture Show screenings for the community today. Check out admin@bigpictureshow.org.uk if you're interested.

                                 Institute Christmas Pantomime – Babes in the Wood (1946/47)


For those who never darken the doors of the Institute, it might interest you to know that, nowadays, inside this Victorian landmark is a warm, energy-efficient building with modern facilities. After all this time, it is still home to some highly sociable and enjoyable village events. Already, in the 3 months of this year, there have been two live music concerts; a murder mystery evening; three coffee mornings and three village markets as well as various meetings and casual hirings. There is a weekly dog club and a monthly craft club, but there is still room and opportunities for people to use the place far more than at present. There really could be more clubs and societies held during the day and in the evenings. Today the Institute is a valuable, but underrated, village resource. Our ancestors probably appreciated it more than we do.

Don't forget the annual tennis quiz on 8th April at 7pm. Tickets £10 include a fish and chip supper and are available from Mike Sedgley on 823879.

All the proceeds from a special coffee morning on 13th April will be donated to the good cause of buying defibrillators for Church Eaton and Marston. Please donate a cake or raffle prize and try to come to this one,  even if you don't normally attend.

Jenny Annis will be the new market co-ordinator at the next village market on 15th April, so all market enquiries should be directed to her from now on. Her contact details are  01785 824882 or email - jenny.annis@btinternet.com  Jenny is also our bookings' secretary, if you want to hire the hall. (We have three wedding receptions taking place this summer already).

There is a St George's Day Dinner on 22nd April  which is another joint effort between ourselves and the Church. It's at 7pm with a three-course meal and entertainment. There is a licensed bar with ale and wine on sale. Tickets are £15 each and available from Ralph and Julie 01785 823049 or Fred and Jenny 01785 824882.

Further changes in the Institute Committee reshuffle will see Sarah Jones taking over the promotership of Live and Local and Dawn Jones becoming administrator of our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/churcheatonvillageinstitute/  Pat Bryant, with the help of Lucy Randles, is setting up and maintaining a new, friendlier Institute web site.

Jeremy Jones will cover Institute publicity in My Village Voice and he will be composing the monthly report for the parish magazine with a less poisonous pen. I have been writing this stuff for the past 9 years and I really think it's time you had a break!

Finally, our annual general meeting (AGM) is at 7.30pm on 8th May and you are cordially invited to join us for wine and cheese and the chairman's yearly report.

                                                                                                                    Justin O'Doherty.


[The young lad in shorts on the extreme left of the pantomime pic is none other than our own John Hitchens


March 2017

The Institute Committee realises how fortunate they are. We have wonderful support from the village for all we do. Coffee mornings and Village Markets are regularly well attended as are other events, such as last month's Roving Crows concert which was another sell-out.

Yes, the Committee do put in a lot of voluntary time and effort, but it is worth it when people turn out and use the Institute. And you can be assured that your money is being spent wisely to constantly improve the place. The most recent project being the insulation of the kitchen roof – all part of our aim to have an energy efficient building.

Having said all that, the next coffee morning is 2nd March and there is a village market on 18th March. On 10th March there is a Murder Mystery Evening with a new play called Scent of a Woman. As with the three previous murder mysteries, it has a local cast, a fine dinner will be served and it's a joint presentation by St Editha's and ourselves. Tickets are £13, available from Justin 824788 or Michael Faarup 824606. Doors open at 6.30pm and the play starts promptly at 7pm. There isn't a bar, so bring your own drinks.

Looking ahead, there is a St George's Day Dinner on Sat 22nd April – more details about that later.

Don't forget our facebook page where you can comment upon and share posts and pics with your friends to show them what's happening in our little village. There is also a pinned post on facebook if you want to hire the hall for a celebration/function this year. Alternatively, you  can contact Jenny on  824882, or use our Institute website link: http://churcheatonvillageinstitute.btck.co.uk/Hire


February 2017

 Depending on the weather, scaffolding will be erected soon in
preparation for the insulation of the kitchen roof sometime during February.
Following that, the three side kitchen windows will be replaced. It's all part
of our plan to make the Institute an energy efficient building. The recent
award of £5000 from the Ecology Building Society Charitable Foundation
has been a great boost to get this work done.

Dawn Jones has joined the Committee and immediately inherited the
position of Institute Secretary from Jenny who will keep the role of Bookings
Secretary (hire of the hall etc) and become co-ordinator of the Village Markets
in April when Justin hangs up his boots. 
Jeremy Jones will take over the writing of this monthly report for the
parish magazine. There'll be other changes in the composition of the Committee
over the next few months and we'll keep you informed of these as they happen.
The old order is changing - perhaps now would be a good time to consider making
your contribution with your own unique ideas and skills to help move the
Institute forward even more. You'd be joining a successful team.

The next Coffee Morning is 2nd Feb and the next Village
is 18th Feb. It's important to keep supporting the

And then on Thursday 23rd Feb at 8pm we have a
formidable musical force from Live & Local in the form of award
winning folk-rock group Roving Crows. This Anglo-Irish band, predicted
for great things, is definitely well-worth seeing live. Check them out on www.rovingcrows.com for yourself and then
purchase tickets at £9 (£7 under 16's) from Justin (01785) 824788. There's a
licensed bar open from 7pm and there are only 70 tickets available now on a
strict first come first served basis. The Live & Local gigs are always sold

Then on 10th March at 7pm there's the return of the popular Murder
Mystery Evenings
with a new play called Scent of a Woman
featuring an all local cast. Further details are available elsewhere in this

With your support this could be another successful
year. The well-attended Flaky Tarts concert at the beginning of
January got things off to a great start and with various parties, plus three
wedding receptions booked in for the summer, the building will have plenty of
happy use.

If you want to keep abreast of what's going on in the Institute on a
weekly basis, there's our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/churcheatonvillageinstitute/?view_public_for=1741122279453388  with lots of
pics and comments.

Finally, we would be grateful for an extra pair of hands to help with
the washing up at the Village Market Cafe once a month on a Saturday morning
from 10am until 1pm. Any volunteers for this chore?

Once again, thank you for your loyal support – it's appreciated.

December/January 2017

 Good news to relate this month. The Ecology Building Society
Charitable Foundation has given us a grant of £5000 to contribute towards
the insulation and refurbishment of the kitchen roof. The trustees of the
Foundation deemed our project to be highly relevant to its aims and applauded
the fact that we were providing 'a sustainable building/room that would bring
lasting benefits to the environment'. And because the wooden frames of the
three side kitchen windows overlooking the car park are rotten, we reckon that
we have enough funds (from the Village and Flower Festivals and the successful
village markets) to replace and insulate these as well. It will all increase
energy efficiency in the building, especially in the kitchen area which has
underfloor heating.

We also have decided to buy some new tables to replace those on their
last legs.

There are coffee mornings on 1st Dec and 5th

The village markets are on 17th Dec – a special
Christmas one – and 21st Jan. 

The Senior Citizens' Traditional Christmas Lunch is at 12.30pm
on Thurs 8th Dec. If you wish to attend, please notify Jenny
(824882) on or before 1st Dec. The meal will be paid for by Church
Eaton Charities and prepared and served by the Institute committee.

To alleviate post-Christmas blues and the wintry onset of another year,
Church Eatonians have a hearty tradition of bringing their own drinks and
nibbles to the Institute for an inexpensive evening of live music and good
cheer. People beyond the village have been known to come as well and have been
made extremely welcome. This year, on Saturday 7th January at
8pm, acoustic trio Tony Barrett, Denis Billau and Glen Buglass of The
Flaky Tarts will bring their fine music and sense of  humour along to entertain us all.  They're a friendly bunch, well-suited to our
venue, who play various guitars and musical styles from folk through country to
rock. Many of their songs are self-penned, but there's sing-a-long classics
too.  Check them out on http://www.theflakytarts.co.uk/  Tickets from
Justin on 01785 824788 are only £7 each.

On 23rd  February we
have Roving Crows, an excellent band from the Live and Local menu
and on 10th  March one of  Michael Faarup's popular Murder
Mystery Evenings is planned.

Have a Happy Christmas from the Institute Committee and thanks for all
your support during the past year.

November 2016

The Coffee Morning this month is 3rd Nov and the Village Market is 19th Nov.

The village market now has a regular meat stall, also selling
milk and cheese. This is in addition to stalls selling bread, eggs, fruit &
veg. With Christmas approaching, there is our own toy stall and craft stalls
with lots of ideas for unusual gifts. Please do support this monthly local
community enterprise. More information on our facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/churcheatonvillageinstitute/

Thanks to all who attended the Flower Festival Cafe in Sept and
the Harvest Auction at the pub in Oct. These brought in additional funds
to ensure the upkeep and improvement of our fine old building (as well as that
of the church).

 On Sunday 6th November at 4pm we have a quartet
called Concertante playing popular music from the baroque period. The
group, comprising 2 violins, a cello and a harpsichord, will play compositions
by Telemann, Vivaldi, Handel, Purcell, Haydn and J.S.Bach.
Admission is by ticket only. There are still some tickets at £8
available from Justin, with free admission for under 16's if accompanied. (It's
probably not suitable for children under 10 years). Tea and cakes will be on
sale before and after the concert.

This year the Senior Citizens' Traditional Christmas Lunch is at
12.30pm on Thurs 8th Dec. If you wish to attend, please notify Jenny
(824882) on or before 1st Dec. The meal will be paid for by Church
Eaton Charities and prepared and served by the Institute committee.

 Please talk to a member of the committee if you have any good
fundraising ideas for the Institute and for using the building more than at
present. At the moment the only organisation that uses the building every week
is the ever-loyal Church Eaton Dog Club.

We are still looking for a volunteer to turn the hall into a cinema
occasionally where family, friends and neighbours can come together to watch
great films. It's all part of the Big Picture Show which brings cinema
to your doorstep. You can find out more about hosting a film screening by
emailing admin@bigpictureshow.org.uk  

 October 2016

On Sunday 6th November at 4pm we have four distinguished musicians called Concertante presenting popular music from the baroque period. They play the music as it was intended to be heard; a small group of  musicians surrounded by an audience in an intimate setting. It is timeless and accessible music with an endless variety of mood, structure and emotion. The group, comprising 2 violins, a cello and a harpsichord, will play compositions by Telemann, Vivaldi, Handel, Purcell, Haydn and J.S.Bach.

Tickets at £8 are available now from Justin, with free admission for under 16's if accompanied. (It's probably not suitable for children under 10 years). The concert will last 2 hours including an interval.  Tea and cakes will be on sale at what should be a very pleasant occasion.  

Hire the Institute for your celebration, event or class either by contacting Jenny on

824882 or http://churcheatonvillageinstitute.btck.co.uk/Hire

September 2016

There's going to be a beautiful flower festival in St Editha's on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th of this month and the Institute will be selling refreshments. We're all looking forward to it because, in the past, they have always been splendid occasions with a really high standard of floral displays. The event will raise much-needed funds for the church and ourselves.

Have you found us on facebook yet? The Institute has lots of new friends and supporters since the page was set up last April. We 're using it to advertise the place and let people know what's happening. There's quite a lot of photographs on there and many encouraging comments – have a look www.facebook.com/churcheatonvillageinstitute. It's just a bit of fun really and helps create a pleasant social ethos around the place.

People are saying exactly the same thing about the village markets – they're a nice place to be for an hour or so on a Saturday morning once a month. Their success has surprised a few people but, believe it or not, they have now been going for a year and the next one is on 17th September. Do support this enterprise please, otherwise the stall holders will drift away disillusioned and the whole thing will fall through. Anyone connected with commerce knows that it is easy enough to set up a new business, it's keeping it going that is the difficult bit. There are new stalls appearing all the time, so do pop along even if it's only to buy a bacon and sausage bap. (We do takeaways!). Future markets are scheduled for 15th Oct; 19th Nov and 17th Dec.

The next coffee morning is 8th September when Chris Byford will probably win the raffle AGAIN and will have to feign further embarrassment. It's alright Chris we don't mind – much!

We regard September as the start of a new season at the Institute and some plans are already in place. For example we have a recital of baroque music arranged for the afternoon of Sunday 6th November and the traditional new year concert set for 7th January. And yes, despite worries that financial cuts might prevent a Live and Local event this season, we're pleased to announce that Roving Crows are booked for Thursday 23rd February 2017. They're a 4 piece folk fusion band from Worcestershire – check them out
on utube.

Finally, we're expecting to hear something this month about more funding to insulate the kitchen windows and elsewhere. Keep your fingers crossed that the news is favourable and the old building can be made even more energy efficient.

September is also the month where people sign up for new ventures and suchlike –  a couple of volunteers are still needed to join the Institute Committee and help continue to take the place onward and upward. Could that be you?

July 2016

The big even this month is of course, the Village Festival on Saturday 2nd July when the Institute will run its cafe with cakes and refreshments. Please support us with donations of cakes by bringing them along to the kitchen after 9am on the day itself. Any helping hands during the day will be gratefully accepted.

Coffee mornings are planned for July 7th and August 4th.

Village markets are on 23rd July and 20th August.

Do spread the word about the markets and bring friends along. They will obviously continue if they are well supported. We are still looking for stallholders to sell kitchen/household goods [such as tinfoil, cling film, plastic food containers etc]; herbs and spices; cheese; pet food and birdseed.

We must give full credit and thanks to John Hitchens for the tremendous amount of work he has put into the development of the Institute garden – it looks lovely John. He and Gwen also donated and planted all the flowers.

Tommy Alexander has done an excellent job re-pointing the Institute brickwork with lime mortar and now his next challenge is to do something about the pot holes in the car park. 

The committee is already planning next season's events beginning with our involvement in St Editha's Flower Festival in September. More details to come.

If you really want to keep up to date with what's happening in and around the Institute, then the best way is to follow us on facebook – Church Eaton Village Institute.  There's all sorts of information on there, both of a serious and frivolous nature. It's up to you to distinguish which is which!

Have a great Summer everybody

June 2016


Chairman Fred Annis began his report at the AGM in May by thanking the members of the Institute Management Committee for their untiring efforts throughout the year as well as the loyal friends of the Stute who had, on many occasions, helped with events and improvements.  He said that 2015/16 had again contained some resounding successes, but before he covered those he wanted to reiterate some of the significant projects undertaken by the committee over the last 6 years.

In 2010 the high level stain glass windows were restored, followed in 2011 by the renovation of the half timber frame of the Institute  -  an important undertaking which exposed many other needs of our magnificent old building, including the requirement to move the electricity supply from overhead to underground. The rotting front door and the large kitchen window were replaced in 2013 and the hall floor was sanded and resealed, but the biggest project was in 2014 when the old toilets were demolished and created new, with disabled facilities, while at the same time the kitchen was restored to its original 1925 glory. Coupled with this project was  the creation of a pathway through the Institute garden giving pedestrian access from  opposite the church gates to the front door. As soon as the weather improved in 2015 the exterior of the building was painted. Also a group of volunteers lined and insulated the chair store, thereby eliminating the constant draught from that area.

Referring to this past year he said that many of the ideas discussed by the committee had resulted in the hall roof being insulated, the hall windows secondary glazed and the installation of new eco lighting. The project was finished with the flourish of paint brushes and rollers by the committee and friends under the strict management of the booking secretary.

The cost of all the work to date has totalled almost £140,000, provided by funding bodies which include BIFFA Waste, Staffordshire Community Council, Bradford Estates, Church Eaton Parish Council and a whole host of friends and supporters of the Institute.

The chairman spoke of the extremely successful village markets which began their monthly run last September.  The market is now an ongoing income stream, further enhanced by the sale of home produced bacon and sausage baps.  Along with the monthly popularity of coffee mornings, which use coffee beans donated by Councillor Steve Leighton, there is an annualised revenue of over £4,000.

During 2015/16 there was also the attendance and financial successes of live music events by guitarist Chris Stratman last June; Live and Local’s Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra in November and Granny's Attic in January. Then there was the play The Life and Times of the Tat Man in March.

We were told that the committee has many more projects and plans: short term to improve the stage appearance and curtains and slighter longer term to look at secondary glazing to the kitchen windows.  Longer term plans will include removing and insulating the roof of the kitchen and the main hall both to the highest possible thermal standards.

In conclusion the chairman reminded everyone that new members and new ideas are, as always, still needed

May 2016


We've changed May's coffee morning to TUESDAY 3rd at the usual time time 10.30am until 12.30pm. This is because the hall is being used on Thursday 5th as a polling station. Maybe some new people will be able to come along for a coffee break on this different day of the week.


The Institute has its Annual General Meeting on Monday 9th May to which the whole village is invited. Please let a member of the committee know if you are unable to attend. There will be wine and cheese provided and a short, riveting report from our chairman about progress in the last year and plans for the future.


Did you know that there is a wonderful and talented group of people, called The Crafty Lot, who meet in the Institute on the second Tuesday of the month to perform a wide range of handicrafts including knitting, crochet, weaving, cross stitch, rug making and lots more? They are very willing to share their skills, so why not bring along your own craft or just come to learn new ones. You'll be made very welcome. The next meeting is Tuesday 10th May from 7pm until 9pm. The fee is £2.50 and that includes home-made cakes and coffee and the opportunity to do something, perhaps, that you've always wanted to do.


As part of the fundraising for September's Flower Festival at St Editha's Church,  there will be a Flower Demonstration in the Institute at 7.30pm on Thursday May 12th. This will involve a number of flower displays, some of which will be available to purchase or win as part of a raffle. Tickets, available from Sharon Jones (01785 780391), are priced at £5 to include a glass of wine or soft drink. The flower festival itself will be a joint venture with the Institute.


The next Village Market is on Saturday 21st May when we hope to move outside and have a lot more stalls. There are no second-hand stalls or jumble or pre-loved stuff – everything is fresh and new. Have you been yet? It's a village community and social thing as well – people come out for the morning and mix and talk and buy a bacon or sausage bap and go home happy. Not a great deal wrong with that now, is there? From now on, in the summer months, please park on the side of the car park which overlooks the road thereby leaving the section of the car park facing the cricket pitch free for the cricketers during their playing season. The next village market is on 18th June.


Also on 21st May there is Josie Byford's Gangsters and Molls Ball to raise money for the Institute (as she does every year). Her gigs are always well-organised and hugely enjoyable. So search out your 'spiviest' pinstriped suit with lapels like wings and shoes as sharp as knives and come along a la Brando, Pacino or Edward G. Robinson (if you remember him). Molls with attitude and a bit of 'slap' in flapper dresses would make it the real deal. Tickets from Josie (824985) are £20 each which include a 2-course meal and dancing to the superb Dancefloor Deluxe. Health and safety demands that you check your firearms and violin cases in at the door from 7pm and collect them again promptly at midnight. Jenny Annis demands that you don't bring chewing gum into the Institute – ever!


Don't forget to tag us on facebook – Church Eaton Village Institute.


Finally, apologies to those who were upset by the begging tone of last month's report – it was simply a cry for help after we found out that funding for village halls is the latest victim of the cuts (the powers that be would prefer us to use the word  savings). The savings, however, have not prevented a rise in our council tax.



April 2016

We have just received the disappointing news that Staffordshire County Council will be withdrawing the Village Halls Capital Grants Scheme from 1st April.

As you know, we have drawn on this grant for our Improvement of Facilities Project in 2014 and for our most recent Lighting and Insulation Project. It has provided valuable and vital funding in the efforts to upgrade our building.

In addition Stafford has also pulled the plug on its contribution to the Live and Local scheme which, over the years, has brought some excellent shows and great enjoyment to our modest venue. Think of Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra last November, Kakatsitsi the Ghanaian drummers in 2014 and the wonderful Bowjangles in 2013.

So if you have ever considered making a financial contribution to the Institute, then this would be the ideal time to do it. For instance, we need a complete new set of cutlery and crockery – apparently some people have an aversion to our green plates! Or you might like to buy new curtains for the stage – some people have a dislike of that red back-drop! Or what about some new (oblong) tables – some people aren't keen on those huge round ones which are a bit too wide to talk across. Besides, they're all suffering from wear and tear. Without a few generous benefactors in our midst it's going to take years to acquire this fairly essential equipment.

Or, if you can make your contribution in kind, there are maintenance jobs to be done - particularly important is repairing the front of a rather battered stage. And we urgently need to decorate the hall after all the recent work in there. Please think about making some sort of contribution. Even if you don't use the place or attend  functions, you may wish to help.


In March we were rapt by the story telling skills of Regional Voice Theatre's Tony Barrett in a very good, one-hander play by David Calcutt called The Life and Times of the Tat Man. Gripping vignettes from a man's life unfolded as he examined various objects from his accumulated bag of tat. It certainly was engrossing drama and we had it here in Church Eaton - in our own Institute.


By the time you read this bulletin in April, the most recent improvements, mentioned above, will hopefully have been completed – new bespoke hall lighting installed; new flood and spot lights on the stage; the hall roof insulated and secondary glazing applied to the hall windows. Where we go from here will be determined by how much cash is left when all is paid for. Good housekeeping and financial prudence have ensured that the Institute is not in debt and we still have ambitious plans for the place. If you're interested in finding out what these are, then come along to the AGM on Monday 9th May at 7:30pm when we'll report back on last year's progress, announce what's happening next and officially switch on the new lights.


There is a coffee morning on 7th April and we have now decided, with the cooperation of the cricket club, to continue the successful village markets throughout the summer months. The next one is 10am until 1pm on Saturday 16th April. Please park on the side of the car park which overlooks the road (thereby leaving the section of the car park facing the cricket pitch free for the cricketers during their playing season).

We're also hoping to arrange a Spring Ball but the dates are not fixed for this as yet.

Remember we are all volunteers - some of us on the Committee are old enough to plan heists on safety deposit boxes, but managing the Church Eaton Institute and remembering to take our ramipril and simvastatins means we're just far too busy . . . .

To business that we love we rise betime,
And go to't with delight.”



March 2016


                                    (Written this month in The Royal Oak. Our Village Inn)


So there's no coffee morning in March?

No, we've got the builders in again.

Ah yes, to do the hall lighting and insulation. When will that be complete?

Well, it had better be finished in time for the play on 12th March – The Life and Times of the Tat Man.  A touch of theatre for the Institute after all the live music we've had.

I'll have a couple of tickets for that. It's important to support these things. How much are they?

Only £8 each and there's a bar too.

Yes, I read about it on your new facebook page.

We've photos and comments on there and details of forthcoming events, like the monthly village markets.

I believe those are doing well.

They are. Our seventh market is on 19th March. People say there's a good variety of stalls – something for everyone.

Will you keep them going all year?

We'd like to, but there may be problems with parking during the cricket season.  We're hoping to sort something out . . . .

What about this war memorial I've heard about?

Actually it will be a parish memorial to commemorate all those in our community who lost their lives in the line of duty in peace time as well as in war.

Hope it gets backing from the village. Any other news?

Well, Fred  wants to send Jenny to obedience classes.

Think it 'll make any difference?

She is refusing to go!

Another drink?

A pint of Bass please.


January/February 2016

Hey, as well as our website http://churcheatonvillageinstitute.btck.co.uk/ we're also now on facebook; so why not check us out on www.facebook.com/churcheatonvillageinstitute and give us a like. Thanks to Pat Bryant for setting up the former and thanks to Paul Jones for the latter. Aren't they kind and clever too?

 Work will begin later in the month on the Lighting and Insulation Project which will cost in the region of £20,000. The money is in place with 48% being granted by Staffordshire County Council and the rest paid by the Institute itself with help from Church Eaton Charities (£1000), the Parish Council (£500) and Mark Winnington's Local Community Fund (£500). The hall ceiling will be insulated; the windows will be secondary glazed; new lights installed on the stage in addition to bespoke hall lighting designed and made by our own Michael Faarup. Michael is a retired, qualified building services' consultant with a speciality in lighting for over 30 years. It is all part of the present committee's determination and commitment not only to maintain the old building but to enhance and transform it. Please support us as much as you can whilst we are in post.


If you attended Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra at the end of November and Granny's Attic at the beginning of January you will know you were mightily entertained by two class acts. Each was a sell-out and hugely enjoyable. Tickets at a mere £7 (and perhaps an extra £1 for a strip of raffle tickets) for Granny's Attic and you had an really good, inexpensive night out without a great deal of travelling. Where else would you get it?







The Senior Citizens' Christmas Lunch went well judging by the number of cleared plates and empty bottles that remained at the end. We'll say no more in case it sets a bad example for the younger ones (the forty and fifty year olds, that is). Some of those baby boomers know how to quaff a glass or three – fair play to 'em!



The fifth village market took place in January and there are two more scheduled for 20th Feb and 19th March. The markets have earned a good reputation in a short period of time for their variety of stalls and pleasant communal atmosphere. People are travelling from surrounding areas for really fine home-made produce, so much so that the plan is to run these markets again next season from September 2016 to March 2017.


Coffee mornings are held on the first Thursday of the month, so the next ones are 4th Feb and 3rd March. Sometimes having a coffee with friends is all the therapy you need.

Because of the lighting and insulation work mentioned above, we have had to postpone this month's Valentines Ball and replace it later on with a Spring Ball probably around April or May. More details and a specific date here in next month's report.


On 12th March at 8pm we have Regional Voice Theatre with a really splendid play by David Calcutt called The Life and Times of the Tat Man. It features a former resident of Church Eaton Tony Barrett as the tat man. From his home in the scrapyard the tat man tells his stories to anyone who will listen to them; entertaining rag-and-tat tales gathered during his years on the road. He takes them from his sack and they spring to life: stories of travelling folk and bloody births; of blacksmiths and devils and talking horses. From the world of folk-tale and myth he takes us on a journey to the harsh and brutal realities of the First World War, where dreams are shattered, and the tat man must gather up the pieces of his broken life and try to make them whole again. Tickets are £8 each from Justin or any member of the committee and there will be a licensed bar open before and after the performance. Some people may recall the last drama production in the village was Alan Bennett's Talking Heads back in 2007 in the church.


The Institute is fully behind our colleague Jeremy Jones in his efforts to have an external Parish Memorial erected in Church Eaton. This memorial would be in addition to the 1914-18 Great War plaque in the church. If you support the idea or have any information about people with village connections who have sacrificed their lives in the service of our country and community, contact Jeremy on 748242.

December 2015


Getting straight down to business – we need volunteers (Friends of the Stute) to help us with any of the following jobs:

·        repairing front of stage woodwork including panels;

·        finishing and painting window reveals on small windows above chair store;

·        installing new beam and track for curtain rear of stage;

·        mending rear porch guttering;

·        cleaning windows (as high as can be) inside and out;

·        fitting dusk to dawn sensor and cut-off timer for outside flood lights;

·        painting inner front door and fitting new draught strip;

·        painting inner front porch;

·        painting inner stage window frames;

·        re-pointing brickwork on front left hand corner of building with lime mortar.

Probably a busy time of the year to be asking, but then busy people tend to find time for everything. Drop us a line using the CONTACT page if you feel you can help. We'll be very grateful for any help to make these improvements to the grand old building.


November was a good month.  Another coffee morning, the third village market, a few  hirings and a sell-out live music gig all brought in cash and ensured the hall was well used. It was also great to have the school's 80's disco and dinner in the Institute this year.

Supporting, or mounting, such events in the Institute raises funds to  maintain and improve the place. Supporting, or mounting, events in the Institute also shows that the old (and fading) communal life of the village has not disappeared altogether. Because, you see, it's not all about money – although you'd be forgiven for thinking so!


Future dates for the popular coffee mornings are 3rd Dec; 7th Jan and 4th Feb.

The annual Senior Citizens' Christmas Lunch is on Thursday 10th Dec and by special request (from the stallholders!) there is a Village Christmas Market on 12th Dec. The future of the village markets will be decided at our committee meeting this month (1st Dec), so if you've got an opinion about them let us know. 

On 2nd Jan the traditional new year live music concert features Granny's Attic a group of young Worcester musicians who play Scottish, Irish and English folk music extremely well. Tickets for this are £7 and you bring your own drinks. Always well attended, make sure you book tickets beforehand from Justin [824788].

We're hoping work will begin on the Lighting and Insulation Project in January and be finished in time for a Valentine's Ball on Feb 13th. Remember how good last year's event was. Then on March 12th we're having a bit of theatre with a marvellous play called The Life and Times of the Tatman. More details in February's edition of this magazine.




After a summer of negotiations with an intractable energy team at British Gas, our bid for  a grant of £6000 to improve the lighting and insulation in the hall was unsuccessful. However with money from our parish council, Church Eaton Charities, the local community fund and Staffordshire County Council plus our own input of over £8000 we are determined to go ahead with the Lighting and Insulation Project albeit somewhat amended. We've had to jettison plans for secondary glazing but the lighting will be updated and the hall ceiling will be insulated. It's very disappointing of course but we've squared up to it and the work (by Bradford Estates) will begin early in the new year.

The first Village Market in September was deemed a 'reasonable success' in the survey we conducted and we were able to add fruit and vegetables, pet food and fresh flowers to October's mart in response to customer requests. The cafe made a goodly £222 largely as a result of tasty bacon rolls and home made cakes.

Thanks to those people who donated produce and those who bid for it at the recent harvest auction in the pub which raised £320 for the Institute (and a similar amount for the church).

So what's on in November? Well, there's a coffee morning on 5th with a jewellery stall and there's the last village market on Saturday 21st. By then we will have established whether these markets are worth continuing with next year.

Tickets are selling steadily for Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra on Thursday 26th November. This Newcastle-upon-Tyne group shuffles and boogies, with panache and infectious good humour, through their own brand of western swing, blues, gypsy jazz and country. Tickets are £9 each from Justin. Sadly this Live & Local  presentation may be the last as Staffordshire County Council has now ceased funding the scheme which brings top quality shows to rural communities such as ourselves. Perhaps the people who make these 'cuts' (they prefer the word 'savings') should remember what Winston Churchill said when he was asked to cut arts funding in favour of the war effort. He simply replied, 'Then what are we fighting for?'

We would like to welcome Jeremy Jones onto the committee. He has already done a lot as a 'Friend of the Stute' since his arrival in the village and now he has decided to offer his not inconsiderable skills and experience to help us further in our planning and decision making. We could do with another couple of recruits to help share the load. As someone once said, 'Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they have the heart.'




Why isn't there a pantomime at Christmas? Have they ever thought of a Country and Western Evening? There should be more evening classes. If the people who propose such ideas for the Institute would come forward and volunteer to do these things, they would find few obstacles in their way. The building is freely available to anyone who wants to use it for the pursuit of a hobby or interest especially if it raises money for the Institute itself. Bring suggestions to the next Committee meeting on Thursday 8th October at 7.30pm or have a quiet word with any member of the Committee [listed below]. Produce a play; start a friendship group; run a disco; organise a day or evening class or just make use of the bar and kitchen facilities. Anything like that. The building is underused but you could also say the same about the church, the school and the pub. We need more community-minded villagers to be brave enough to raise their heads above the parapet and actually get involved.

This month there is a coffee morning on 1st Oct and a second Village Market on Saturday 17th. If you attend the coffee morning we'll spill the beans on what Pat Bryant is really like!

Since last month's report there has been little development regarding the Lighting and Insulation Project nor indeed obtaining the funds we need to implement it. This may suddenly happen or it may drag on into next year.

Tony Lendon has had a look at the woodwork at the front of the stage and he will produce a design and working plan for what needs to be done to improve its appearance.

Once again thanks to all the good friends who rally around to do maintenance jobs, distribute leaflets and regularly attend events. With people like these, running the Institute on behalf of the village is not without its joy.




To access the feasibility of setting up a Community Marketplace next year, we are running three Saturday markets from 10am until 1pm on 19th Sept; 17th Oct and 21st Nov. These are already fully booked by stallholders (in fact we have a waiting list), so please come along with family and friends to support this new initiative. There will be a coffee bar and lots of interesting stalls. If this catches on, it could be good for the village.

          British Gas has been out to survey the hall for our Lighting and Insulation Project and we're hoping that their findings and our plans can be successfully matched so that both energy efficiency and aesthetic needs are addressed. Applications for grants and other  fundraising have begun for this new project which is estimated to cost £22,500 plus vat. Wish us luck for yet another big undertaking.

          People keep asking about the garden path and disabled access which disappointingly is still not finished although it was started over a year ago. It's a work in progress which we hope will be completed soon. But hey, let's focus on what has been achieved recently, (quite a lot actually), and give credit to those who have helped us. The chair store has been insulated with the assistance of Gordon Kennerley; the windows above the chair store have now got secondary glazing, weather peaks and window sills courtesy of Jeremy Jones. The outside wall of the chair store/boiler room has been painted by John Green and Granville Reeves. We mustn't forget the loyal John Hitchens who regularly attends to the garden. Audra Timmis has brushed and washed the inside of the outer back door. The old quarter curtain pelmets in front of the stage have now been removed by Fred and Pat. John Green  has also painted the back of the hall/toilet door and fitted new door-stops to all the toilet area doors. He intends to sand and varnish the stage floor. Sincere thanks to all these people who obviously care about this grand old building.  Our lengthy jobs' list has only four tasks remaining – we need volunteers to have a go at the following:

·        repairing the front of stage woodwork;

·        cleaning windows (as high as can be) inside and out;

·        painting inner front door and porch;

·        re-pointing brickwork on front left hand corner of building with lime mortar.

Let us know if you are able to tackle any of the above.

Does anyone fancy organising a Race Night sometime for us - or in conjunction with another village organisation? People willing to arrange fund-raising events for the Institute are always very welcome, leaving us to concentrate on the maintenance and improvement of the building.

          The Chris Stratman Evening in June raised £438; CERS has donated the Festival cafe proceeds of £730 back to us and the August coffee morning brought in £151. Again, thanks to all those  who donated cakes to the cafe. The next coffee morning is Thursday 3rd Sept.

This year's Live and Local presentation is on 26th November and features Rob Heron and the Tea Pad Orchestra. More details later, but you might just like to check out their music on Utube in the meantime.

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