Several of our members have asked when Rotary Hall may be able to function again. You will know that in accordance with the Government’s regulations, the Hall has been closed to ourselves and our usual hirers since the middle of March, although it has been used since then by a NHS training company, who will be using the hall again until August 8th, a use permitted by the regulations.

You have probably read that the government intends to relax the restrictions on the use of buildings like the Rotary Hall, so that, in due course, we will be able to welcome back all of our hirers. But as you can imagine, there are a whole range of rules and restrictions which must be followed to make sure that everyone is kept safe, before we are allowed to re-open. These new rules and regulations mean that it is unlikely we will be able to use the hall in the same way as we have done in the past – at least in the early days, when social distancing restrictions will mean that the capacity of the hall is severely limited. 

There was a Rotary Company meeting recently and it was decided that if the present Government rules remain as they are today, it is anticipated that the hall will be available to hire from the 1st September 2020. However, in the light of ongoing Government advice, we will be reviewing that date during the next two months,

There will be a need for special arrangements to be put in place; not only about cleaning; but also the way the hall is laid out to comply with social distancing; how the toilets are used; the lobby is used to avoid congestion; and for the time being, a prohibition on the use of the kitchen. Because of this we are asking our hirers to accept some additional conditions, which they must comply with if they wish to hire the hall.

This has been a worrying time for everyone, but our aim is to enable local community groups to once again use our facilities in the best and safest way possible as soon as we can. The timing of the recommencement of holding our own Club’s meetings in Rotary Hall will be subject to review by Club Council. This will certainly not be before September at the earliest, however it is likely that because of the profile of our member’s age and health, this could be some time after this.

We have to bear in mind that in the end, due to Government requirements, which may well change due to the progress of the fight against COVID-19, things could move forward faster, or we could be forced back to square one. Rotarian Eric Sambell - PDG

Rotarian Henry Miles made a DVD of Rotarian Adrian Foster’s Presidential Year 2019/20 in the Rotary Club of Chippenham and he would be happy to provide you with details on how to obtain a copy to keep in your Rotary archives.