Nicky Gulley (Chair)
We moved into the village nearly 6 years ago, looking forward to being able to wander to the pub with family and friends, only to find out that the pub had just been closed, what a disappointment that was, however we were lead to believe this was temporary while Batemans found a new manager. Clearly this was not true.
In my day job I work as a self-employed bookkeeper and part time work-based trainer, both these roles involve home based work activity and many weeks I meet few people. These roles involve long and busy days which would definitely benefit from having a venue in the village where we could have a stroll to at the end of the day and grab a drink and a meal, also this activity would enable us to meet the many new neighbours that we have not yet met and it is primarily for this reason I have got involved with the Covenham Plough Community Hub project. This is a lovely village to live in, but we really need a venue to meet, eat and greet. I hope I am bringing my business skills and experiences along with funding knowledge and a hard work ethic to the group to help make sure that The Plough opens as a sustainable Community Hub which has something for everyone. And eventually I will meet everyone from this lovely village that we chose live.
Laura Clark (Secretary)
I moved to the village 7 years ago with my husband and 2 children. I am the Director of Operations for Dig Inclusion, a Digital Accessibility Company and employ 10 staff. I spend much of my time working from
home. 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!
Covid 19 has proved particularly isolating, and many new people have suddenly found themselves working differently – For me The Plough would provide a support network not just for homeworkers – a place to work if my broadband goes down, but a central drop off place for essentials, just like Fulstow village hall did at the start of the pandemic.
There is a decline in pubs across the UK, the hospitality industry has been particularly hard hit but there is growth with community pubs, 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, homeworkers to work. I hope that my mixture of working for a large charity and running my own business allows me to bring my knowledge of bringing to market and growing a new service.
Ali Fazakerley (Treasurer)
I was born in Cleethorpes. My work has been mainly in clerical roles in various trades and for several years I ran my own small online retail business.
Having lived in Norfolk and Oxfordshire we were spoiled by having so many good pubs to visit – we know that people will travel for good food and well-kept beer as they would regularly travel 20 miles from Oxford to visit pubs near us.
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.
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.
Over 100 community owned pubs are thriving with a 100% success rate. Not to mention the many cafes, shops, farms and other community businesses around the country.
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 civilian life. For the last twenty-one years I have lived in Covenham and I enjoy it. Since we lost our pub, the social side and engagement with other locals has taken a hit, we have nowhere to meetup and chat over a pint or a coffee. I am aware that village life is not as communal as it once with the gradual destruction of infrastructure. No shops, no garage, no doctor’s surgery, no scout group, no public transport and now, no pub!
Over recent years we have witnessed a growing population here with new builds and long may it continue. That might come as a bit of a surprise to some, but I wouldn’t be living where I am now if someone before me hadn’t built the house I live in! What I do object to are the opportunists, in our case the person that bought the pub to make a quick buck by obtaining change of use by turning it into residential property.
That trend, I’m pleased to say, is now reversing as government and local authorities realise the importance of village pubs to the wellbeing of the communities they serve. I work from home so the commute isn’t stressful and more of us will be doing just that for the foreseeable future and that makes a village hub more important than ever so I now view this project as part of my day job.
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. 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, just as we exchanged contracts The Plough closed. We have been here for over 5 years but still have not met all our neighbours, this is why I am keen to be involved in this project. I have many skills which I am happy to use to support this project and help bring the village together. I also hope this project will help me meet more people and make many more friends. I have visited many community pubs and hubs through the Plunkett Foundation and of our own choice, these are sustainable businesses, all bringing neighbours together and giving back to the community, I want to be involved in bringing this community spirit to Covenham.
Gareth Smith (Shares Secretary)
I moved to the village around 3 years ago with my wife 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 (Member)
I am the owner of PCR, A commercial vehicle body shop, repairing and painting commercial vehicles. We moved to Covenham 6 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 many such events and drinks with neighbours.
Helen Coxon (Member)
I have lived in Covenham village for over 18 years now, and plan to see the end of my days here (I’m only 47 so plenty of years left!)
I remember the days of a village with a heart – the Plough at the centre where we knew our neighbours and were actively involved in village life – I passionately want those days back, and to serve the whole community.
I am a HR Manager and have worked for the same international company for 31 years now.
I am a people-person and can draw people together with diverse backgrounds, ages and personalities.
I can interview tenants to run the Plough and select a suitable candidate to serve and be part of our community.
I am a mum of 2 girls aged 9 and 12 – I know what young people want and need.
As a keen gardener and veggie plot owner, I will contribute to helping create a welcoming outside space for our community and grow and donate plants / vegetables for our village.
I am actively fit and not shy of physical work. I cannot wait to get started in clearing the area and bringing all the community together to help create our Hub – no matter what physical ability, age, gender or background – we all have something to offer.
Steve Coxon (Member)
I have lived in Covenham village for over 18 years now, and have no intention of ever leaving.
I am a Manager at an Oil Refinery and have worked for 32 years now.
I have a mathematical mind and can contribute to the committee with budgets and fundraising.
I am a sociable person and bring infectious enthusiasm to others.
I will actively encourage other villagers to contribute to raise funds.
I strongly believe that the Community Hub is desperately needed inn our village for all to enjoy.
I am a dad of 2 girls aged 9 and 12 – I know what young people want and need.
I am actively fit and am willing to throw myself into helping with the renovations to get our Hub ready and will encourage others within the community too.
Diane Seddon (Photographer)
We moved to the village about 5 years ago. I am a retired professional photographer working in corporate, agency, and media imagery.
When we came to initially look at our house, the pub was open, by the time we had completed and moved, it had shut. We were looking forward to meeting the other locals here, and this is why both my husband and I got involved with the Covenham Plough Community Hub Project.
There is currently no venue in the village for us to meet, and socialise, and even in our current odd Covid world, there would be space for a pub that served meals and take away.
A pub would be the hub of this village – and I feel it is important to save it for future residents as well as for ourselves. If we can purchase the Plough, it will be much more than just a pub – it will be a space for people to meet, drink and eat. It will be somewhere that locals can drop in for a coffee – or maybe even watch a film.
We have not met most of the village yet – even after all this time – I hope that I can help provide imagery as needed as we work towards a successful opening….
Michael Seddon FRICS (Cost Consultant)
After 35 years of working in the Construction Industry centred around the North West market, I established my own Quantity Surveying Practice in 2010 and moved to Covenham in 2014, just a few months after the Plough Inn was closed. While a supporter of the need for a Village Community Hub which will give back a focal point to this very ‘linear’ village, I feel I bring a level of objectivity to the team which is not coloured by previous association with the Pub.
As an experienced Chartered Quantity Surveyor and Project Co-ordinator, working in all sectors of the Construction Industry, covering both new build and refurbishment works, I have assisted in the practical construction and cost advice associated with the works and cost planning of the proposed Pub and Hub restoration.
As with other members of the committee, I see a lack of that village facility which allows people to meet and socialise outside of the home. A facility that will be in increasing demand once the current pandemic is brought under control.