MEETING AT RECTORY COTTAGES
The object of the Rectory Cottages Trust is ‘to preserve Rectory Cottages for the benefit of the people of Bletchley.’
The building dates from 1475 and is listed II*. The Trust members all live locally and are responsible to the Charity Commission.
We welcome all sorts of clubs and societies to have their meetings in the Cottages.
What we have to offer you
1. The Porch. The key unlocks clockwise and vice versa. Inside, there is a stable door on the right which gives entry to the office and the front and back rooms.
The stable door can be used as a ticket office to take admission money.
2. The Hall is 9m (30ft) long, 6m (20ft) wide and 7m (25ft) high. There are 50 black seats which are ‘one-hour-comfortable’. The chairs link together in rows from the left side only: if you try to undo them from the right you will break them.
The Hall will hold 50 people comfortably and 70 at a crush. Always leave room to get out of the Hall in emergency: avoid putting chairs or tables across the doors. There is an emergency light over the main door if the power fails.
There is off-peak underfloor heating at night and at weekends. Please do not touch the thermostats: it will make no difference and may leave the place cold for the next day.
Additional heat may be had from four fan heaters which puff hot air around the floor. Convector heaters are no use in the Hall as the hot air goes straight up into the roof. If you use more than four heaters in the Hall you will blow the fuse.
In the winter when the underfloor heating is on, the Hall stays warmer if you leave the curtains drawn together. In the summer it is cooler if you leave them apart: there is a blue-and-white notice inside the porch door to tell you when the heating is on.
If you want to show slides or films, use the projector stand in the office and shine the slides onto the white wall at the other end. This saves bringing a stand and a screen. You will need a lens of at least 100mm focal length; a standard slide will show up 3m (10ft) by 2m (6ft).
Please stack the chairs at the end of meetings. The chairs stack four high.
3. The Front Room is about 4.5m square. It will hold 25 people if the seats are arranged in 4 rows of 6 (and a speaker). It has twelve red seats which are linkable and which are ‘four-hour-comfortable’. Additional chairs may gladly brought in from the other rooms, but please would you put them back afterwards?
There is a storage heater which normally keeps the room quite warm, but please use a convector heater as well should you need it.
In the winter, it keeps the room warm if the curtains are left drawn together.
4. The Back Room is 4.5m by 4 metres and has twelve red ‘four-hour-comfortable’ chairs, a piano, a storage heater and an extra convector heater for use when needed. It will hold 20 people in four rows of five. There is an emergency exit from the back door. The same key opens both front and back doors of the Cottages.
5. The Kitchen is down two steps in the passage. At the left hand side of the washing-up sink, you will find a switch to turn on the hot water [and another to turn on the electric urn. This urn is filled from the tap above it and holds a gallon (5l). Urn being replaced at present] There is also a twin hotplate for heating soup, milk etc.
Under the sink are the hotplate, kettles, teapots and plates. In the drawers are the teaspoons and tea-towels (please leave wet ones to dry on the rails at the right side of the draining board when you have done the washing-up).
There are also lavatories and washplaces off the kitchen.
There is a small radiant bar heater over the LADIES door to keep the kitchen warm in the winter (please turn it off when you leave). There is a smoke alarm in the passage.
6. The Office has a row of cupboards, and in the right hand one you will find spare light bulbs. Plastic lamp mountings hold 60w bulbs (please, not the 100w ones; they burn the plastic) and the glass mountings hold 100w bulbs. If there are no bulbs left in the shelf, please tell the Secretary (who will replace them).
Under the cupboards in the office are six folding tables each 6ft(1.8m) by 2ft (600mm). Please help yourself, and please put them back afterwards. Under the right hand cupboard is the meter cupboard with the circuit breakers. On the opposite side is the stable door into the porch and the projector stand (with a lamp to change film reels!). There are also sockets for a convector heater and your projector.
Cupboards occasionally become available for societies at a small additional charge.
Charges for use
The hire charge for the Hall is £15 and for the smaller rooms £7.50 per morning, afternoon or evening. If you are in business for profit, you may be asked to pay more.
Receptions are by arrangement: we have numbers of bookings for parties for silver or golden weddings and the like. Weddings have to be over by 6 p.m.: experience has sadly shown that revels into the evening leave a trail of disaster which is not worth the trouble. Neither are we keen on childrens’ parties (sticky fingers) nor teenage rave-ups.
You are expected to tidy up after you, to leave the place ready for the next group.
Fees are payable on the day unless special arrangements have been made with the Secretary.
Helpful Hints for the best use of Rectory Cottages.
If you are having a reception, your caterer may find it easiest to bring in food through the back door and prepare it in the back room. Wedding cakes look well on a long table at the side of the Hall under the carved heads in the roof! The front room is useful when set out with chairs around the walls for nattering and you can arrange chairs in the Hall two by two, like compartments in a railway carriage.
It is easier to put out tea in the office than in the kitchen.
If you have a group or society in the Hall which stops for tea, pour the tea on a table in the office and encourage people to circulate from the Hall, in through the passage and out through the stable door and the porch back into the Hall.
- As the building is largely made of wood, is highly inflammable and also irreplaceable, smoking and any other naked flame is most strictly prohibited.
- As there is a flat upstairs, and neighbours nearby, we do not allow loud noises. In general, choirs and orchestras are all right, but amplified music is not.
Wheelchair users regularly come to meetings here. Access is on one level to all the meeting rooms, but the lavatories are down two steps with an awkward turn.
There are four off-road spaces at the front. There is a large car park on the Green behind the Wilton Hall (signposted ‘St Mary’s Church Parking’, but it is equally for your use).
Please avoid the Church Hall car park next door: they need it for themselves.
We usually have over 1000 bookings each year, and many of our clubs and societies have been coming here for over twenty years. It is a happy place. If you think your club would feel at home in this characterful old building, would you like to come too?
For any further queries, and for bookings, please ask the Secretary, Karen Lamb on/fax 01908 644432 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org