Millennium Committee Annual General Meeting 2000, Chairman’s Speech

The millennium committee was started in the late spring of 1998 with representatives from all of the village organisations. It was set up to plan a programme of special events and activities to celebrate the millennium with some lasting memorials in the village.


A list of the best ideas was selected from the many suggestions put forward. Appropriate fund raising was then planned for the eighteen months leading up to the millennium.

Fund-raising activities that took place included:

- Two jumble sales brilliantly organised by Cilla Brock

- A papermaking evening that gave villagers the unique opportunity to talk to papermakers about the ancient craft, have a go themselves, then receive a limited edition sheet of handmade paper with a millennium commemorative watermark, followed by a cheese and cider ploughman’s supper.

- Two fabulous walks, one an early morning breakfast walk in April across the top of the Mendips ending with breakfast at the village store tea rooms - the damp weather did nothing to spoil the walk and the other an evening ‘cider’ walk in July, ending at the club for a barbecue and cider.

- A summer fete in June which was rather grey and showery but still made a lovely day out for the many villagers who attended: there were craft and cake stalls, a dog show , pony rides, teas and face painting.

- As well as fund-raising sponsorship was sought from local companies who provided gifts for raffles and cash .

The residents’ society funds were also donated to the millennium fund


Following a successful fund-raising year in 1999 plans were made to spend the money raised and agree suitable projects to celebrate the millennium.


Final projects agreed were:

  • A village notice board

  • Trees planted on the boundaries of the village

  • A large summer party

  • A village book


Further fund-raising continued in the early part of the 2000 including sales of the village photograph, a jumble sale and most significantly the awarding of a grant from the Awards for All Millennium Festival Lottery Grant.


The total amount raised meant that all the projects planned can now be completed.

The village notice board soon to be delivered will be placed on the wall outside the shop.


The first tree was planted on New Year’s Day by Mrs Barker-Mill, in the grass car park of the caves. Trees were kindly donated by David Scarth. The guards were made by Somerset Forge and the plaques were generously engraved by Paul Fisher of the Galleries.


An awful lot of hard work by the committee led to an extremely successful summer party held in two large marquees at the caves grassy picnic area. About 250 villagers enjoyed a hog roast and buffet, live seventies’ tribute band called the “Man from Funcle” and a skittles competition, all washed down with plenty of drink. The overwhelming response after the event was, “We should do this every year”!


Particular thanks are given to Ryan Symes for giving free use of a generator, Les Davies for lending the Mendip Wardens Marquee, to Wookey Hole Caves for use of the ground, Lana Gibson for the catering and all the committee members.


The village book partly written and edited by David Hudsmith, will have contributions from various village organisations and individuals writing about the village business, interests and way of life, with both modern and archive facts and photographs.


It is agreed that “Wookey Hole 2000” will continue as a fund raising group for village events and that the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002 will be the next event to celebrate.


Finally, as chairman of Wookey Hole 2000 I would like to give my special thanks to all the committee members who turned up at each meeting and to those who have special responsibilities; Julia Scarth as treasurer, Clare Haskins as secretary, Rob Hale as deputy chairman and fund-raising co-ordinator, David Hudsmith for the book and to everyone for their efforts which have given, and will give, so much pleasure to the villagers of Wookey Hole.



K. Smith

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