Over the next few issues of The Whistler we introduce the current members of the West Hill Community Association Management Committee (the Trustees) to give you a flavour of who they are, what they do and maybe to inspire you to become one yourself. Be assured, it’s quite painless.
Hello, I am Dorothy Lamb, a Brummie by birth, a University administrator by day and a craft and local history obsessive by night. Likes: swimming; cinema (only ‘proper’ cinemas like the Duke of Yorks, though); dogs; a good book; Victorian and Edwardian architecture; the Arts & Crafts movement; stained glass; mosaics; languages; chocolate; knitting and Clangers. Dislikes: bad manners, chewing gum, coffee, courgettes and celery.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN THE WEST HILL AREA?
A long-term resident of Compton Avenue, I have lived here since my student days of the early 1980s. Home is at the top of a splendid Victorian house with a distinctive glass-sided turret. Researching its history and residents from c1857 has proved thoroughly absorbing. I have also produced a history for Vinod of the changing occupants and occupations of ‘Bright News’. Be warned, it is a fascinating and obsessive hobby.
WHEN / WHY DO YOU USE THE HALL?
The monthly general knowledge Quiz has long been an attraction for me. Much missed are the regular monthly film nights from a goodly number of years ago. The Hall is utterly charming in its simplicity and, over a century on, hosts a myriad of events – from fencing to yoga, from Qi Gong (no, I didn’t know what that was either) to singing.
The Hall lends itself perfectly to the twice-yearly local history talks that I organise. Three years on, the talks have proved to be a great success with the community and it is always a pleasure to welcome familiar and new faces to the events. The next talk in May is a fascinating tale from the man who lives in the cottage above Clayton Tunnel.
Wearing my other hat – knitted in the round by me, of course – I organise the annual ‘Craft Works’ fair each November. Always on the lookout for new stallholders, do contact me via The Hall email (email@example.com) if you are interested in participating in this year’s craft fair.
WHY DID YOU BECOME A TRUSTEE?
It might sound a little trite but the Hall had given me so much over the years, particularly giving me the confidence to organise craft fairs and to sell my work, that I wanted to give something back. So three years ago I volunteered my services to WHCA. Since then there have been lots of changes to the Hall, both inside and outside: new, lighter folding tables and a revamped kitchen, to name but two. Plans are currently in place for more refurbishment: it is an ever-evolving building, though the older it gets, the more TLC it needs (I know the feeling only too well!).
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEONE WHO MIGHT LIKE TO BECOME A TRUSTEE?
Just do it! You will get out of it as much as you put in. With four meetings a year, including the AGM, the time commitment isn’t onerous but you would have the opportunity to suggest, organise, help and inspire and keep this Association and Victorian building going with new events, new life and new energy.
I have lived in the 7 Dials area all of my life. You may know me from walking my spaniel, or may have seen him looking through our window in West Hill Place.
I have done quite a lot with the Hall over the years – Jumble Sales, Race Nights, attending Quizzes every month, Dancing Classes, Yoga, to name a few. Also, the Catch Club with my children, that used to be run there.
We are looking for new ideas and new members to join our committee. We are a very friendly bunch, and anyone can join in and be a Hall volunteer, like me!