The Annual General Meeting of the Reading Room Committee was held on 17th October 2017. The minutes of the meeting can be read here:

AGM Minutes 17 October 2017

On Thursday 20th October 2016 the Reading Room Committee held its Annual General Meeting. Below is the chairman’s report from the meeting:

Chairman’s Report  
October 2015 – October 2016
A new committee was elected at the last AGM, held in October 2015. The committee represented the various different organisations in the village as well as including those people able and willing to devote their time to Reading Room matters.
At our first committee meeting we confirmed the various posts that were needed to ensure smooth running:

Chairman                                Rosemary Rees
Vice-Chairman                        Ian Wright
Treasurer                                John Ketchell
Minuting secretary                  Veronica Trueman and later, Alison Boothman
Bookings secretary                 Vanessa Stone
Events secretary                     Elaine Illingworth

Pat Charnley
Martin Charnley
Sheila Garnett
Diana Kaneps
Bryan Procter  (Trustee)
Richard Schofield
Chris Weston (Trustee)
Edith Wright

We also decided to re-focus our function as a committee. In the past, the main function of the Committee had been to maintain the Reading Room as a venue for other organisations to hire, and to organise a small number of events that were sufficient to raise money to keep the Reading Room in good order. We decided to try to make the Reading Room more of a centre of village life, and to this end we aimed to hold an event every month. Not only would this raise money for the upkeep of the Reading Room, but we hoped it would help to bring the community together.

We started with the traditional Christmas Fayre in mid-November that was followed by the equally traditional Christmas party in December, brilliantly hosted by Ian and Edith Wright. January saw us enjoying a fish and chip supper that seemed to go on well into the night as friends and neighbours caught up with each other’s Christmas holiday news. In February we let our hair down at a wildly successful country and western night, again hosted by the Wrights. We relaxed a bit in March with an Easter-themed Saturday coffee morning, complete with stalls and a raffle, and then in April celebrated HM the Queen’s 90th birthday on the proper day! This was a big event for us (as well as for the Queen) and involved a street party – but held inside because it was a bit chilly – and a cake competition ably judged by John Harrison. The children at the primary school were involved, too, in a competition to draw the best likeness of the Queen, and there were prizes for all.  21 May is our annual ‘Rent Day’ and this year we decided to turn it into an occasion, with Chris Weston dressing up as the greedy landlord demanding his £1 rent. This was great fun and once the rent was paid, we all enjoyed rummaging through stalls where everything for sale was £1. June saw us involved in a double event over a weekend: the traditional village walk on Saturday followed by involvement in Open Farm Sunday. Chris Weston generously donated the proceeds of his farm barbeque to Rathmell Reading Room and we were involved there as part of the catering team. We had a break over the summer holidays and September saw us head’s down, drawing legs on beetles in a Beetle Drive that was enjoyed by young and old alike. Earlier this month, villagers spent a very jolly evening over pies and peas, with Edith’s secret recipe lifting the mushy peas to a new level. As I write, we are looking forward to a flower arranging demonstration, a Christmas Fayre and our village Christmas party.

All committee members have been fully involved in planning and organising, setting up tables and taking them down again, washing up and drying up, baking cakes and scones and generally working behind the scenes – and sometimes in front of them – to make sure everything runs smoothly. Here special mention should be made of Diana Kaneps, whose flair and an eye for design has kept us all on our toes.

Committee work has not been all about planning and organising events. We have negotiated with our insurers, applied for grants from various different organisations (so far without success) made sure that the fabric of the building is kept in good repair, and, working with Age UK, we have ensured that those with mobility problems can access our activities; we have made sure our activities are posted on the village web-site and have rationalised the rents we charge.

It has, as you can see, been a very busy year for us all. As chairman, I must thank all the committee members and trustees for giving so unstintingly of their time, their ideas and their expertise – and the village for its support.

Rosemary Rees
Chairman of the Reading Room Committee

October 2016


Upcoming Reading Room Events

Bank Holiday Monday August 29thInter-Village Walk. Rathmell, Tosside, Wigglesworth, Walk/Cycle/Run /Ride.
Friday September 9thBeetle Drive. Starts at 7-30pm entry Adults £1 Children 50p Tea/Orange/Biscuits included
Saturday September 24thMacMillan Coffee Morning. 10am till 12noon, entry is free, small donation for refreshments.

Scrabble &/or Chess night in Rathmell Reading Room.
A proposal has been made to hold a Scrabble and / or Chess Night in the Reading Room.
Would anyone, anywhere please register their interest by contacting David Nicholson  01729840316 or Vanessa Stone  01729840451

Thanks for all the support for the above event
For posters, flyers, publicity
Collecting, displaying, baking and manning stalls
To the Landlord for attending
And most of all for coming and spending your pounds and helping to make it a great day
We raised
For the Reading Room
Collection of Rathmell Reading Room Rent & Pound Sale took place on Saturday May 21st. Rent was paid for the first time in over 100 years (£1)

Reading Room £1 Day

Rent Collector

Paying the Rent

Recieving the Rent


Reading the certificate

Sale before it starts

books galore

more cakes

Hard sell

great cakes


loaded up

Cake Pops on sticks

more food

box of goodies



Rathmell Reading Room is located on Main Street, in the centre of the village.


What is it?

It is a village hall and was established in 1901 by a trust deed which gave as its purpose, “a village hall for the use of the inhabitants of Rathmell and the neighbourhood for meetings, lectures and classes and for other forms of recreation and leisure time occupation”, the object of which was, to “improve the conditions of life for the inhabitants”

It is a charitable organisation run by a management committee on behalf of the charity trustees.

Who runs it?

The current holding trustees are Christopher Weston, Bryan Procter, Keith Gerrard, and Duncan Currie.

The current management committee members are:

Elected Members

Rosemary Rees (Chair)

Ian Wright (Vice-Chair)

John Ketchell (Treasurer)

Elaine Illingworth (Events Secretary)

Vanessa Stone (Bookings Secretary)

Veronica Trueman (Minutes Secretary)

Alison Boothman

Martin Charnley

Pat Charnley

Richard Schofield

Sheila Garnett

Representative Members

Diana Kaneps (Thursday Club)

Edith Wright (Chapel)

What is it used for?

The Reading Room is available for use by the community.  It can be used for meetings, parties, and celebrations. The hall seats 50 people and has kitchen and toilet facilities. There is a full size snooker table upstairs; and a well lit car park adjoining the hall.

The hall is used regularly by several clubs and organisations including the Thursday Club and Zumba fitness classes. It is also used by Ribble Banks Parish Council for meetings and as a polling station.

What is the cost of hire?

Bookings can be arranged by contacting Ron and Vanessa Stone (t) 01729 840451. The cost is £12 per session, or £20 for two sessions (a session is a morning, afternoon, or evening).

For current information on the Reading Room contact Vanessa Stone on 01729 840451.