Ashampstead Recreational Trust

Registered charity number: 300113

Ashampstead Recreational Trust’s charitable objectives are the provision and maintenance of the Village Hall and recreation ground for the use of the residents and the immediate neighbourhood without distinction of political religious or other opinions including use for meetings, lectures and classes and other forms of recreation with the object of improving the conditions of life for our residents.

The Trustees are all volunteers and give their time enthusiastically to meet the Trust’s objectives. However, it is heavily reliant on the support of parishioners to keep financially sound. There are several ways you can help:

  • Support Village fundraising events such as Pub Nights and special occasions at the Village Hall

  • Book the Village Hall for your family events

  • Spread the word to people outside the village that we have an excellent village hall and recreation ground

  • Give us your suggestions about events that will help us raise funds

    If you are willing to volunteer a bit of time to help us with an event or keeping the hall and grounds maintained that would be fantastic. Contact Les Billing: or Trudi Butcher:


Current Officers & Trustees


Les Billing           Chairman

James Bartlett    Treasurer

Caroline Butler    Secretary


John George       Marketing

Trudi Butcher      Minutes Secretary

Alan Ellender      Hall Warden

James Hole         Ex Officio for Lord Illiffe

Graham Light      PC Representative


Notes from Ordinary Meetings & Minutes of Annual General Meeting June 2021 to May 2022

Meeting of the Ashampstead Recreational Trust

held on the 15th November 2021 at Ashampstead Village Hall

at 7.30pm




Present:      Les Billing (Chair), Trudi Butcher, John George, Alan Ellender, Graham Light,
                     James Bartlett, Caroline Butler, James Hole


The following topics were discussed at the meeting:


1.     Apologies for Absence:  There were none


2.     Minutes of the Previous Meeting:  These were approved and signed .


3.     Matters Arising from Previous Meeting:

a.     Metered Standpipe/Orchard - we have received a quote from Thames Water for the
        standpipe and are looking for a landscaper to design the orchard.                              

b.     Wickstead Playground Quote – we have currently received pledges of £2,000 on Good
        Exchange towards the playground.

c.     Village Hall Updates -

        EICR Certificate Update – we are currently looking for an electrician to quote us for
        organising the certificate.

        Painting Hall Doors – we are looking for a painter to paint the four external doors.

        Damp Wall Treatment -  now the gutters are no longer leaking, we need a contractor
        to make good the damaged walls.

d.     Flower’s Piece Signpost – Martin Butcher has concreted the signpost back in place.

e.     Gigaclear Installation – Gigaclear were unable to find the ‘pot’ outside the village hall to
        complete the installation and will come back at a later date.

f.      Jubilee Celebrations, June 2022 – we will discuss this nearer the time.

g.     Pub  Nights – we need more volunteers to run the Pub Nights with additional events to
        attract customers. It was suggested we regularly put a standard form into the Leaflet,
        welcoming new residents and asking for contact details if they would like to be
        informed/get involved with village activities.

i.      Annual Quiz Night – we are looking into holding the annual village quiz in the summer,
        rather than having people crowd into an unventilated, heated hall in the winter.


4.     ART Finances: These will be discussed during the next meeting.


5.     Ashampstead Bonfire Event:  4th December 2021, 5.30pm start – the committee discussed the organisation and arrangements in detail. People will be asked to make a donation when they first purchase a drink at the bar or food at the barbecue to ensure we can continue running this event in the future.

We now have card machines so people can pay by card if they prefer. 


6.      Problem Resident:

It has been brought to ART’s notice that certain tenants in Flower’s Piece have been parking their camper    van and trailer on ART’s land without permission and dumping garden waste in the hedges bordering the Chalk Path.  ART will visit the tenant to explain the procedure for residents to obtain permission to park on Flower’s    Piece, which is private land.  They will also speak to Sovereign Housing to outline their concerns and those of neighbours.

The Parish Council is aware of the matter and is involved.


7.     Any Other Business:

a.     Goal Posts - the Parish Council will be asked if money from the Community
         Infrastructure Levy can be used to replace the broken goal posts on Flower’s Piece.


8.     Date of Next Meeting:  Monday 17th January 7.30pm


9.     The meeting ended at 9.30pm

Meeting of the Ashampstead Recreational Trust

 held on the 4th October 2021 at Ashampstead Village Hall

at 7.30pm




Present:  Les Billing (Chair), Graham Light, John George, Alan Ellender, Caroline Butler,
                  Trudi Butcher and James Hole


1.      Apologies for Absence:  James Bartlett                                                                          


2.      Minutes of the Previous Meeting:  The Minutes were approved and signed.


3.      Matters Arising from Previous Meeting:

a)      Metered Standpipe: This project has been put on Good Exchange to try for funding and is awaiting
         the submission of documentation before it goes live.

b)      Wickstead Playground Quote: A quote has been received from Wickstead for new playground
          items.  The project has been put on Good Exchange and, as with the project above, is awaiting the            submission of documentation before it goes live.


c)       Village Hall Updates:
          EICR Certificate Update – ART is applying for the electricals certificate as the hall is rented out for
          money to the public.


          Painting Hall Doors – ART is looking for a painter to do this.


          Damp Wall Treatment – ART is investigating the damp patch on the wall in the west corner of the
          large room above the window.  


          Toilets – Running repairs have been made to the toilet but the cistern will need to be replaced.


4.       ART Finances: This will be carried over until the next meeting as the Treasurer was not present.


5.       Ashampstead Bonfire Event:  
          4th December 2021. This will go ahead in the usual format and articles will be put into the Leaflet
          and on the Yattendon interactive whiteboard to advertise the event.


6.       Flower’s Piece Update:

a)       Orchard – ART is obtaining quotes to set up a village orchard on Flower’s Piece.


b)       Signpost – The signpost at the bottom of Flower’s Piece has been knocked over by contractors
          working on nearby roofs and will be replaced.

7.       Gigaclear Proposal:

           Gigaclear has offered to provide 900MB of broadband with a router to the village hall, free for

           a year, after which the offer will be reviewed.  ART has completed the forms and is awaiting a
           response from Gigaclear.


8.       Any Other Business:

a)        Jubilee Celebrations June 2022 – ART will set aside some money in case the village wishes to
           hold an event to celebrate the Queen’s 70th Jubilee.


b)        Lime Trees – ART will look into planting small lime trees at the northern side of Dog Lane to
           match the ones on the south side and provide an avenue for future generations.  


c)         Pub  Nights – ART will research ideas to improve the monthly event and what precautions

            are needed to keep pub customers safe during the pandemic in winter.


d)        Annual Quiz Night – the Quiz will not go ahead this year because social distancing would be
           impossible in the hall in November.  It was suggested it could be held under different
           circumstances in the summer.  ART to discuss with Mary Calvert. 


10.     Date of Next Meeting: 15th November 21 at 7.30pm


The meeting closed at 8.30pm

Meeting of the Ashampstead Recreational Trust

 held on the 27th July 2021 in Ashampstead Village Hall


Les Billing (Chair), Caroline Butler, Trudi Butcher, Alan Ellender, James Hole, James Bartlett, Graham Light.  Apologies: John George.


The following topics were discussed at the meeting:
1.    Ashampstead  Arms

Helen Bartlett has kindly agreed to take over the management of the Pub Night stock from David Weston, who will retain control over the legal aspects of the event.


2.    ART Finances

It was decided that a further £5,000 of the Trust’s funds should be invested in M&G Charifund Units. 

ART has also decided to invest more money into maintaining the village hall, including mending the broken electricity meter and supplementing the present wall heaters with additional oil-filled radiators if needed. The damp in the large room will be sorted out, as well as other minor maintenance projects.


3.     ‘Sparklers’

The ‘Sparklers’ pre-school group from Upper Basildon approached ART with regards to renting the village hall for up to two terms whilst their new permanent premises had been made ready.  However, it was decided that hiring out the village hall for long periods might conflict with regular hall users and village residents.  Also, parking numerous vehicles in Church Lane twice a day would possibly cause difficulties for the residents, so ART regretfully decided not to rent the hall to the pre-school group.


4.    Flowers Piece Update 

a)   Playground: ART proposes to update the children’s playground, so Wickstead will quote for: Replacement fencing

       Rubber crumb for flooring, both just under the equipment and throughout the whole area         (which would mean no more mowing would be needed)

       A new ‘spider’ climbing frame to replace the present one 

       The remaining equipment will be repainted

       It was also suggested that ART could use the Community Infrastructure Levy payment
       from the Parish Council towards providing outside gym equipment to be situated in the
       vicinity of the children’s playground.


b)    Community Orchard

       A sub-committee has been looking at providing a community orchard and a pond on
       Flower’s Piece. Health and Safety measures regarding the pond are being considered
       and the committee has looked into installing standpipes to provide water for the trees,
       tapping off the mains in Church Lane.


5.     Ashampstead Bonfire Event

To be held on 4th December 2021 on Flowers Piece. Fireworks have been booked and planning for the event is underway. 


6.      Date of the Next Meeting

         Monday 4th October at 7.30pm.                            

Annual General Meeting of the Ashampstead Recreational Trust

held on Tuesday 27th July 2021 at Ashampstead Village Hall at 7.00pm


Present: Les Billing (chair), Caroline Butler, Alan Ellender, Trudi Butcher, James Bartlett, James Hole
              and Graham Light.


Members of the Public Present: None


1.    Apologies: John George


2.    It was confirmed that the notice of meeting was published two weeks prior to the meeting date.


3.   Minutes of the Previous Annual General Meeting:
These were approved by the Trustees and signed by the Chairman.


4.    Treasurer’s Report and Accounts for the Year Ended 31st March 2021:

The accounts were audited by Andrew Sivyer FCA.


ART ended the financial year with a surplus of £9,619, much higher than last year’s deficit of £7,755.

This was due to the hall having received a Covid Grant from Government of £10,808 and our total running costs for the year having been kept down to £2,521.


Despite fund raising events for the period having only made £461 due to the country being in lockdown, the Trust still has £22,352 in the COIF Fund (Charities Investment Fund Units), £23,751 in MG Charifund units, £3,290 in the deposit account and £16,949 in cash.


The motion to approve the accounts was proposed by Les Billing and seconded by Alan Ellender.


5.   Chairman’s Report:

The Chairman told the Trustees that although most fundraising events were curtailed owing to the national lockdown, ART still held two Pub Nights and a picnic which raised £461.Les Billing was also able to obtain a Covid grant from the Government, which has meant that ART’s funds are healthy. However, as a charity, ART is not supposed to be a profit-making entity and usually just tries to hold two years’ running costs for the hall in reserve.


Les Billing then proposed that, during the following ordinary meeting, the Trustees should discuss whether to invest some of the excess funds in the Trust’s present investments, held both in COIF and M&G Charifund units, and also to invest in new projects around the village.


6.   Appointment of Committee of Management:

Chairman –      Les Billing, proposed by Graham Light, seconded by James Hole

Treasurer –      James Bartlett, proposed by Les Billing, seconded by James Hole

Secretary –      Caroline Butler, proposed by Trudi Butcher, seconded by Les Billing 
Trustees –        John George  - marketing

                         Trudi Butcher  - minutes secretary

                         Alan Ellender - hall warden

                         James Hole    - ex officio for Lord Illiffe 

                         Graham Light - PC representative 


Election of the remaining Trustees not holding an official office was proposed by Les and seconded Caroline.


7.   Declaration of Acceptance by Members:

All trustees signed the declaration (except John George who was not present, but will be asked to do so at a later date).


8.   Any Other Business:
James Hole asked for, and was provided with, a copy of the original Charitable Trust Documents for his information.


9.    The meeting ended at 7.25pm

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Ashampstead Recreational Trust

held on the 9th July 2018 at the Ashampstead Village Hall at 7.00pm


Present: Les Billing (chair), John George, Caroline Butler, Alan Ellender, Trudi Butcher, James Bartlett, David Slack


Members of the public present: None


1.     Apologies:  None


2.     Confirmation of Notice:
It was confirmed that the notice of meeting was published two weeks prior to the meeting date.


3.     Minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting:
The minutes were approved were approved by the Trustees.


4.     Treasurer’s Report and Accounts for the year ended 31st March 2018

The accounts have been audited by Andrew Sivyer. The Trustees would like to thank him for doing the accounts. James has given him some wine as a thank you.

There was a small deficit of £242 as there had been fewer events and ART made a loss on the village party. The Bonfire Event made £1,426, but hall hire dropped over the year. The cash on deposit is £18,290 and cash in the bank is £15,296. James will eventually move this sum to earn some money, either to COIF or Charifund units, but will keep these funds accessible in the short-term as we will need to pay for the floor repair and for legal fees regarding Flower’s Piece.

Trudi proposed adoption of the accounts, which was seconded by Caroline.


5.     Chairman’s Report:

Les mentioned the successful events held to help maintain the hall, which comprised the annual quiz, bonfire event, the Watermill’s ‘Nesting’ and monthly Pub Nights, some of which incorporated ‘added extras’, such as film nights. The Trustees would like to thank everyone who helped to organise these events. Unfortunately, the annual Winter Party had to be cancelled and carried a cost as we had to recompense the magician.

Hall hire was slightly down last year, but still contributed to the running costs. ART will need to come up with some more money-raising ideas.

The committee room floor needs to be repaired as damp has meant some of the floor joists have rotted.

Les thanked the committee for their continued hard work and dedication.


6.     Appointment of Committee of Management:

Chairman - Les, proposed by Trudi, seconded by David

Treasurer - James, proposed by Les, seconded by Caroline

Secretary - Caroline, proposed by Trudi, seconded by John

Trustees  - John, proposed by James, seconded by Alan

                 - Alan, proposed by David, seconded by John

Ex officio for Lord Illiffe - David

PC representative - Trudi


7.    Declaration of Acceptance by Members:

All trustees signed the declaration.


8.     AOB:  None


The meeting ended at 7.30pm.


Notice of Annual General Meeting

to be held in Ashampstead Village Hall

at 7.00 p.m. on Monday 9th July


To conduct the following business:


  1.   Apologies

  2.   Confirmation of publication of notice of the meeting

  3.   Minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting

  4.   Treasurer’s report and accounts for the year ended 31 March 2018

  5.   Chairman’s report

  6.   Appointment of Committee of Management

  7.   Declaration of Acceptance by Members

  8.   Any other business