2013 has just entered its final quarter, and life at Legge House is looking quite different to twelve months ago. We have welcomed many new weekend groups, and had old groups continuing their annual youth weekends in Wroughton. There have also been enquiries for already booked dates which we have had to say ‘no’ to. This is a good position to be in, but we hope we haven’t lost potential future business as a result. Until the end of October there have been eleven weeks with no mid-week bookings (two of which were while the boiler was being replaced), and only four empty weekends since we reopened.
Improvements and maintenance
The building has had a few improvements, new coats of paint, curtains and carpets and the Kitchen is about to have an extractor hood fitted to meet current regulations. We have retained the Food Hygiene Rating of 5. The lawns have been well maintained by Kelvin (Church Sexton) and Roger has looked after the hedges.
The secret garden is also having a make-over thanks to the relaying of the Church footpath providing us with redundant slabs replaced by new ones. The patio laid outside Uffcott will be squared off using slabs given by someone in the village who no longer wanted them in his garden.
The fire pit seats are new and the overhanging tree gave no option but to have two further branches removed. (Nature sometimes surprises even those who have spent a life time in the country!)
Farewell and welcome
Ruth left us in August, to take up a post in Chorley Wood. She was always here until she found a job she wanted to do, and this is it. Although we are missing her we wish her well for her career and thank her for her flexibility and ability to stand in for Mark and Sheila in any role. What a full grounding she now has to take into any future situation.
We have welcomed Jackie Guy and Jo Ridd, both of whom are learning new skills to make an integrated team to take Legge House into 2014. The village young people continue to occasionally help us out in the kitchen. Developing their work experience, confidence and training is an important aspect of Legge House.
Meetings and Residential Stays
Exactly what 2014 has in store for us we do not know; of the 40 booked groups, we have a new school, and several new youth groups, H5 are bringing more schools than before and many of the regular groups have re-booked. This year we have hosted several local schools for courses run by Swindon and Wiltshire County Councils, and if their funding allows they will be using us more. We have also welcomed the Great Western Hospital for various meetings.
The worrying situation though is that our French visitors whose money generates a large proportion of our income had a disastrous year, putting our finances under strain. To compound the situation our largest corporate user, has changed the way it books conferences and their booking agency policies currently appear to over-ride any community considerations of our client.
With self-catering schools now booking two or three days each week next spring, we are hoping that conferences request the empty days, and we do not have to turn too many away.
As you can see, your continued prayers for Legge House are important, both for the insight of the management committee to respond to our new situation, and for the continued homely and friendly atmosphere people experience while visiting or staying at Legge House. The premises have a feel that “Makes Quality Time Possible” even if a business meeting is taking place.
But first, 2013 has to be completed. We have spaces for mid-week events, including your office Christmas party. We are also planning two events which you are invited to.
Our last open day, with the Historical society was a success, therefore on November 24th we will hold another open day. From 10am – 4pm. It will be an opportunity to come for a cup of tea and cake, and have a look around. There will be art on display, and hopefully some local handicrafts here too. If you have something to display / sell, please phone to discuss, the more interesting we can make the event the better.
Christmas Dinner Date
The Christmas Dinner has become a popular event and this year it will be on Tuesday December 17th at 7.30pm or when the Service in the Church finishes. Due to the pressure on our finances, we will regrettably have to charge for the food this year: £10 each.
As in the previous two years, staff here would appreciate your assistance in making the evening run smoothly, so that they can enjoy the sit down meal too.
Mark and Sheila look forward to exciting times at Legge House, with many groups able to spend quality time together away from the pressures of everyday life.
Hope you can come and enjoy what Legge House has to offer!