Nicky Gulley (Chair)
My work as a self-employed bookkeeper and part time work-based trainer involves long and busy days which would definitely benefit from having pub in the village where we could have a stroll to at the end of the day and grab a drink and a meal. My husband and I moved into the village just over 4 years ago and were really looking forward to visiting the Plough and meeting our new neighbours.
Unfortunately, the Plough closed its doors as we exchanged contracts. As our day jobs keep us very busy, we feel we have not really met everyone in the village yet, and it is for this reason I have got involved in Covenham Plough Community Hub.
This is a lovely village to live in, but we really need a venue to meet, eat and greet. I am bringing to this project all my business skills and years of experience on recruitment, training and employment as well as funding and tendering knowledge from previous roles of working in the world of business, targets and KPI’s. My aim is to work with our team to help make sure that the Plough opens as a sustainable Community Hub which has something for everyone, so eventually I will meet everyone from this village that we chose live.
Laura Clark (Secretary)
I moved to the village 5 years ago with my husband and 2 children. I am the director of operations for a digital accessibility company and spend much of my time working from home. With teenage children getting on the school bus and working remotely I’d love to have a village pub where I can go and meet people and talk to someone other than the dogs and cats!
I have extensive experience with recruitment and management of staff, handling a small companies accounts and content marketing.
I have been supporting the CPCH board by running our social media campaigns as well as ensuring these are accessible and inclusive to all. Whilst there is a decline in pubs across the UK there is growth with community pubs, and if we can purchase the Plough we’ll be adding so much more than just a pub to the village, but a social space for neighbours to meet. I hope that my mixture of working for a large charity and running my own small business allows me to bring my knowledge of bring to market and growing a new service through online marketing.
Whilst there is a decline in pubs across the UK there is growth with community pubs, and if we can purchase the Plough we’ll be adding so much more than just a pub to the village, but a social space for neighbours to meet. I hope that my mixture of working for a large charity and running my own small business allows me to bring my knowledge of bring to market and growing a new service through online marketing.
Ali Fazakerley (Treasurer)
I was born in Cleethorpes but have lived in Norwich and Oxfordshire. From aged 8 to 18 I was active in the guide and scout movement attaining the Queens Guide Award, I learnt many practical skills. My work has been mainly in clerical roles; Hotel Banqueting Secretary, School Secretary, Warehouse Manager, in various trades, and for several years I ran my own small online business selling fishing flies and fly-tying materials by post.
We settled in Covenham 20 years ago, one of the deciding factors was that it had a pub and it was through the Plough that we met our neighbours and made new friends, I joined the darts team and met many more people around the area, which helped us feel we belonged.
Since the Plough shut we don’t see people as often, the sense of community is diminishing, and I strongly feel that without the heavy restrictions and overheads a brewery imposes, the Plough could be a busy and vibrant destination pub/cafe selling well kept beer and good home cooked food at reasonable prices. Using the back room as a community hall we could hold all sorts of events in a warm and comfortable space; bring a sense of belonging and community spirit back to the village and bring people in from neighbouring villages and further afield. Community owned pubs are thriving with a 100% success rate.
Ian Fazakerley (Communications)
I have been lucky enough to live and work all over the UK and overseas both during my time in the Royal Air Force and beyond. For the last twenty years I have lived in Covenham and I enjoy it. Since leaving the RAF I have worked as a marine electrician, a special needs teacher, TV engineer, computer engineer, outward bound instructor and I’m currently a software developer.
In the voluntary sector I have been a Venture Scout Leader in the UK and Malta, worked with Norfolk Museum Services and RSPB in a variety of projects such as the provision of bat boxes and raptor rehabilitation and became one of the countries first wildlife inspectors (Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981) as a result. I am also a trustee of St Bartholomew’s Church here in Covenham, well we do have barn owls!
Since we lost our pub the social side and engagement with other locals has taken a big hit, we have nowhere to meet up and chat over a pint or a coffee. Younger members of our community no longer have the opportunity to get a taste of working life in the pub or affiliated events, those that remember the days when Chris and Sharon ran the pub will know a generation of youngsters that had their first work here in the village.
The pub is an important part of any village and a community hub to go with it adds vibrancy to any community and, hopefully, a modest financial return to those that invest. Most importantly though it becomes so much more than just a pub and that is why I am involved in trying to save it and develop it to meet the needs of those that want it whether it’s for the gardeners, silver surfers or the knitters amongst us, it will be their/our community space. If you don’t believe it can work I can tell you there are well over 150 such community hubs throughout the country now and they are adding to property values in their locality (up to 15%), such is the recognised benefit of this modern approach to hubs.
Colin Gulley (Project Coordinator)
I am a self-employed heating engineer, plumber and electrician. And have spent a great portion of my working life on building sites and within the construction industry, being a time served electrician too.
I have a very keen interest in eating and drinking out, so when we looked for a new home out of town, Covenham was an ideal choice. Unfortunately, with the pub now being closed we need to travel out of town for a pint of local beer.
We have many friends and family visit so it would be great to have the Plough reopen, and it is for this reason that I am getting involved in bringing this great building into community ownership. I have visited many community pubs and hubs through the Plunkett Foundation and through personal choice and these are all sustainable businesses, all bringing and giving back to the community. It makes sense to me to be involved in this project, and put into the community of Covenham, and support the giving back to the community too. This is a business just waiting the happen.
Paul Burd (Vice Chair)
I have been a teacher of Science to all genders and ages 8+ up to oxbridge entrance and undergraduate levels whilst also directing whole school academic, pastoral, ICT infrastructure and recruitment spheres at various times. I have also worked as a professional coach driver and milkman and also in industrial cleaning and the building industry.
My wife, Alexis, born in Cleethorpes, was also a life term teacher. Her grandmother, Beatrice Fell, was born (1899) in the house opposite Marcus Motley’s current farm buildings near the Mill House and moved (when a young girl) with her family to a smallholding known as ‘The Gout’ at the other end of the village (St. Mary’s) (behind the present dwelling of the same name) but sadly of which little trace remains. Alexis has great uncles who fought in both world wars. One, William (Bill) Fell, is named on both the war memorial and on a plaque in St. Mary’s Church and is buried in St. Bart’s cemetery and another, Ernest Fell, died at Dunkirk. Alexis and I celebrated our wedding at the Mill House (1977).
Our ties with Covenham remain strong despite moving to Salmonby (near Tetford) in August 2018 and we just couldn’t refuse (we tried) to support the most committed group of community-minded villagers in trying to buy and develop the Plough for the benefit of the Covenham villages.
A community pub / hub / cafe is a tremendous asset for any community (see elsewhere for the almost endless possibilities). Every village should have one and every Covenham villager should support the development of one.
Gareth Smith (Shares Secretary)
I moved to the village around 18 months ago with my partner and 2 (late teenage) children from Calderdale. Both my partner and I work from home – I am a Lead Security Architect for a multi-national IT company, and my partner is a Medical Artist. We would both love to be able to use a facility such as the pub to meet with clients, or just to get out of the house and meet friends and neighbours. A venue such as the pub would allow the people within the village (and surrounding areas) to meet and grow new friendships, to participate in activities that would benefit themselves and others, and to bring a real sense of community to the village. That is why I volunteered to be part of the group that aims to bring the pub back to life as a community hub.
Paul Clark (Without Portfolio)
I am the owner of PCR, A commercial vehicle body shop, repairing and painting commercial vehicles.
We moved to Covenham 5 years ago from Cambridge to be closer to the workshop in Horncastle, which has just celebrated its 10th year of business. It’s been hard work building a good reputation, starting the business from just myself and growing now to have our own workshop, office and offer employment opportunities. As well as offering business advice on premises as an engineer I’ll be looking forward to the renovation period of The Plough, the first week we lived here I had one pint before The Plough closed its doors. I enjoyed the village fetes and hope the purchase of The Plough allows for much such events and drinks with neighbours.