What a year this has turned out to be! Who would have thought we would end up in the grip of a world wide viral pandemic?

When I was asked to run as chairman, I had no idea how quickly things would change. There were rumours of a new virus in the Far East but no hint of what was to come in the next couple of weeks! 

For us here in the BCA, it has been a very busy period as we have tried to keep up with the businesses in our village and their opening times, trying to help people who needed support and finding things for the kids to do during lockdown!

It has also meant of course that we have had to cancel both BareFest and Christmas on the Crescent this year. We hope to have them back, bigger and better next year when, hopefully, things will have calmed down enough to run a festival.

We have not been able to physically meet for committee meetings but we have been using the Internet to meet virtually and start to organise. Membership is good and we are looking to expand that as we move forward, especially for the businesses, so that we can push trade in their direction. The FaceBook page has become very popular and a great place for people to help each other and to learn which businesses are open and what their hours are. Quite a few businesses have been delivering goods directly, a complete paradigm shift for them and one they have embraced fully, protecting their businesses and proving a much needed service to the community.

Now, as the country starts to reopen, it will be interesting to see how people react. For me personally, I will still be keeping my distance and not taking any chances, while trying to support our fabulous local businesses as much as I can.

Thankyou so much from myself and the BCA committee to all of you. Both those providing service and those supporting them. The future is just around the corner and we will all come together again in our lovely village before we know it. Thankyou for your patience and understanding during this extremely difficult period for us all. Be nice to each other, support each other and our community can only benefit from this lockdown

Ian Maude – Chairman BCA

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