Village News


The amount raised at the Village Hall Christmas Fair on 1 December was £2,535.40.


For family reasons one of the Marston Parish councillors has had to resign from the Council.

This has also led to a requirement for a new trustee of the Bede Charity No. 256417.  For more information on this charity please visit the Charity Commission website and search for the charity using the charity number.

Anyone who wishes to be considered for either or both of the above posts should contact the Parish Council Clerk, or any member of the Parish Council.


A small working party (Stuart Vickers, Kevin O'Sullivan, Paul Mann, Jason Scott, Mel Gardner and Sandra Allen) spent Saturday morning in the pub and lifted and stacked all of the wooden flooring.  This means we can now allow volunteers in to the strip the walls in the Managers' flat. Can anyone who is willing to help with this please contact me and we can try and arrange a convenient date?
We continue to apply for grants but no further success to date, largely because decision dates are generally 3 to 6 months away. If anyone knows of an organisation that may be able to help us either with funding or supply of materials please let me know - no matter how small it will all help towards getting the pub refitted.
Sandra Allen


On 28 October The Thorold Arms Community Benefit Society Ltd (TTA) held our Annual Members Meeting (AMM) in Hougham and Marston Village Hall.  It was an extremely enjoyable meeting attended by 47 of our 177 members plus around 25 others.

Prior to the main business we announced the new name for our village hub - The Thorold.
Naming of the hub had proved to be a much more contentious subject than we had thought it would be.  We have heard strong views from people on both sides of the fence, for and against changing the name. The committee has spent a significant amount of time digesting the views of the shareholders and discussing the best way forward.  What we have done and will continue to do is invite people’s views, listen to them and make the best decision we can.  Not everyone will agree all of the time, and some decisions will be more contentious than others.  But we trust that our shareholders and future customers will understand that we are doing our best and will not take exception to our decision or let it put them off using the hub for the various uses which are intended for it.  We think ‘The Thorold’ is snappy, updated yet familiar, and likely to be what everyone in the villages would have referred to it as anyway! Of course, for many, the shop is as important an aspect to re-open as the pub is.  We will call the shop by the name that was the most popular alternative – “The Villagers Shop”.  It has suitable connotations regarding its ownership, and is a nice play on the common village shop.

The main business of the meeting progressed with reviews of the previous minutes and Annual Accounts; there were no comments on the decision not to appoint external auditors; we held the election for members of the Management Committee - Melanie Ellerington, Mel Gardner, Paul Mann, Stephen Manuel, Kevin O'Sullivan, Jason Scott and Fran Stephens were unanimously elected to the 7 vacant positions.

The meeting was then opened to all and Tim Found gave an update on progress since we bought the pub on 27th July this year.  This included a number of thank you's : Pete Baker (P V Baker Fencing, Hougham) for replacing the entire northern fence-line; Imogen Sibley (Blank Canvas Design, who lives in Marston) who has been helping us with design ideas and had prepared mood and ideas boards for display at the meeting; Pam MacAllister (T-Square Design Architectural Services) for providing updated designs and plans ready for submission to the planning authority; Alan Dennis and Rob Morley who helped make the electrics and water supply safe; Mark Fox for pruning trees; all the volunteers from the Gardening Party in August; Steve and Clare Pullinger for continuing to keep the grass manageable; the Pumpkin club for the donation to the TTA funds.

There was information on the plans and costs for the refurbishment. Now that we have full quotes overall cost has risen to just under £433,000. Although we are now in possession of the More Than a Pub Grant (£50,000) and Key Fund Loan (£50,000) we are currently about £110,000 short for full refurbishment. We continue to look for grant funding and are getting help from InvestSK (SKDCs new economic development company which provides business support and grant finding assistance).  However, the share offer remains open until at least the end of November so if you want to invest for the first time or add to your previous investment please do so. The application form is available on the website ( or ask one of the committee members for assistance.

We are now aiming to open the renovated hub of our villages on the second bank holiday in May 2019.

The meeting was followed by a question and answer session.  There was opportunity to look at the mood boards and have conversations with members of the committee whilst drinking tea/coffee and eating home-made cakes.  Sale of drinks and cakes raised £56.50 for TTA funds.
Sandra Allen (on Behalf of the Management Committee)


The Parish Council has purchased a new park bench for Kerr's Crescent which is made from recycled plastic.  The old one had been installed on the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977 and was in a poor state of repair.