Spring 2024 Update

Message from the BCBS Chair:
I hope, like me, you are looking forward to a great summer whilst keeping your fingers crossed that we get the decent spell of weather we are due. I would like to take this opportunity to give you a quick update on the tenancy of the White House and plans for the future.
The current tenancy with L&B Hospitality was due to expire in June 2025. However, they have decided to give us early notice of termination. They have given us the six months notice required under the terms of our agreement, which means that their tenancy will end, at the latest, on December 1st this year. This gives us a reasonable amount of time to find a new tenant to take over the running of the pub.
Ben, our current tenant, is committed to ensuring that the handover is as smooth as possible. He is himself a resident in the village, and has a strong desire to help us ensure that the pub continues to thrive and remain a valued community asset. Finally, on behalf of the Committee and the Shareholders I would like to thank Ben and his family for all their hard work in growing the pub into a successful centre of the community.
John Anson
Chair, Bladon Community Benefit Society

AGM 2024

This year’s AGM will be on Tuesday 5th March 2024 at 7.30pm. Keeping with tradition, it will be held in the White House and there will be a free drink for all shareholders in attendance.  We have had a busy year of infrastructure improvements which we would like to update you on, and the meeting provides an opportunity to gather feedback on areas we can continue to work on to improve.  

The rules of our Society specify that we need at least 10% of the membership to be present in order to be quorate. That equates to a minimum attendance of 48 shareholders, so please do make an effort to come along. If you are representing other family members who are shareholders, please obtain their permission beforehand and notify us when signing in.
The AGM is for shareholders only, so the pub will be closed to the general public during the meeting, but the bar will remain open both during and after the meeting.

All of the current members of the committee have expressed an interest to remain in post. If any shareholder would like to join the committee please email me at chair@bladoncommunitypub.org. Our Society rules dictate that we should have no more than 10 committee members. If this is exceeded we will take a vote at the AGM.

AGM 2023

It’s been an eventful year at the White House, and this year’s AGM will be on Tuesday 7th March 2023 at 7.30pm. As last year, it will be held in the White House and there will be a free drink for all shareholders!
 
The rules of our Society specify that we need at least 10% of the membership to be present in order to be quorate. That equates to a minimum attendance of 48 shareholders, so please do make an effort to come along if possible.  The AGM is for shareholders only, so the pub will be closed to the general public during the meeting, but the bar will remain open both during and after the meeting.
 
Eight current members of the committee have expressed an interest to remain in post. If any shareholder would like to join the committee please email chair@bladoncommunitypub.org. Our Society rules dictate that we should have no more than 10 committee members. If this is exceeded we will take a vote at the AGM. 

Summer 2023 update

It’s been a while since I have sent out an update on progress at the The White House, so I would like to highlight some of the upcoming activities at the pub, as well as give you an update on what the BCBS committee have been planning for the future.

Ben and the team have had a busy summer period, and have been able to attract new members of staff to join the front of house team.  Along with the regular weekly activities, there is now a monthly music quiz, and we have had Aunt Sally teams playing on both Wednesday and Thursday evenings during the summer.  This is a great boost to trade, and marks the return of the White House as a “proper” Oxfordshire pub!
On Sunday 27th August there will be a Summer Party hosted at the pub, with an all day BBQ, live music, a disco and Karaoke.  Games, including Aunt Sally and boules, will be hosted at the pub and recreation ground respectively.  It would be great to see a good turn out from the village to enjoy some late summer fun.  Our gratitude goes to Nicky Rogan for spearheading the organisation of this party.  

The committee has been active in prioritising various projects to maintain and improve the quality of the building and its facilities.  The rendering to the new extensions at the front and rear of the building has been completed, and have really helped to integrate them into the existing structures.  The improvements planned to the barrel store at the front of the pub should help to further improve the visual impact.  A major capital project has been approved to replace all the windows in the pub with new, energy efficient frames and glass.  These are designed to be sympathetic to the age and design of the pub, and will create an improved visual impact whilst improving heat retention in the winter.  
Further improvements are planned to the commercial kitchen where a new hot water system and wall coverings are required.  As a committee we strongly believe that continued investment in the pub infrastructure will create a better environment for customers and the staff, whilst also helping to protect the value of our investment.
The pub garden has been an attractive asset for the pub during the warmer months.  The committee members are keen to ensure that the current high standard of this area is maintained, and so will be organising working parties in the early autumn to complete some repairs and further enhance the outside area.  Please keep a look out for notices about this, as many hands make lighter work!

In the meantime, please enjoy what is left of the summer, and I hope as many of you as possible can get a chance to visit the pub in the coming weeks and months.  

Winter 2023 update

As the weather has turned colder we are really seeing the benefits of the investments made to both the heating in the pub and the new double glazed windows. Early in the New Year we will be upgrading the hot water system for the kitchen, and also finishing the work on the interior of the cellar. This will mean that the pub will have to close for a few days (8th to 16th January) to enable this work to be completed safely.
Before this happens Ben and his team will be delighted to see you over the holiday period, and are hosting a New Years Eve party. All are welcome, and although the kitchen will be closed for the normal menu service, an optional buffet will be available for pre-booking.
A few weeks ago a working party of volunteers made some repairs and improvements to the garden area, and we will be requesting additional help in early Spring to get the outside area ready for what we hope will be a busy summer period.
I also would like to take this opportunity to give you advanced warning of the BCBS Annual General Meeting, which will be held in the White House on March 5th 2024, starting at 7 pm. As with this years AGM, the Committee will be offering a complementary welcome drink and we would love to see as many of you as possible at the meeting.
Finally, I would like to wish you all a very Happy New Year, and look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in the White House over the next few weeks and months.

Xmas 2022

As December gallops on, we wanted to send seasons greetings to everyone and let you know what’s going on at the White House over the festive period:

Wednesday Dec 21st 
Christmas Quiz night, starting at 8pm
Get your Christmas jumpers out, the cheesier the better 
 
Thursday Dec 22nd
Christmas coffee morning, families welcome, from 10am onwards
 
Friday Dec 23rd
Christmas party 
Children’s Christmas tea & Santa visit with present, starting at 6pm, £10 per child (please pre-book)
 
Christmas Eve
Festive fun, all welcome
 
Christmas Day
Open for drinks 12 to 3pm
 
Boxing Day
Brunch served and open as normal for drinks
 
New Year’s Eve
Ticketed £10 buffet (please pre-book)
Glitter & Sparkle party, dress to impress 
Open to locals for drinks

All bookings should be made directly to the White House

After all their hard work, Ben and the team will be taking a well-earned rest from Jan 9th, when the White House will be closed. It will reopen again on Jan 14th, with 20% off food for the rest of January.

The White House is open!

Dear Shareholders,  
 

After two days of hard graft by Ben Bullen and his team they are now ready to start service at the White House from this evening (Friday 8th July), and will be open over the weekend.  For the first few days they will be serving drinks only, as there is still some work on going to get the kitchen back up and running.  This includes some improvements we are having done early next week to the electrics into the kitchen.

Ben is planning to start food service later next week, so please keep an eye on postings on social media and notices outside the pub for further information.  With the lovely weather forecast over the next few days, I hope to be able to see some of you enjoying the hospitality on offer as we welcome Ben and the rest of the White House team on their new venture.  

Best regards,


John Anson Chair – Bladon Community Benefit Society

Tenancy update

Dear Shareholders,

In my previous message I informed you of the changes taking place with the tenancy of the White House, and I would now like to update you on what has been happening since then.

The committee has advertised the tenancy opportunity in a well-respected trade paper, and has received a number of enquiries. These are being followed up and are at various stages of progression.

As an interim measure Fran has been running the front of house, with Ben and Charlie continuing to provide excellent food from the kitchen. There have been some issues with getting enough staff to cover all the required shifts, which has meant that the pub has only traded from Wednesday afternoon until Sunday afternoon. These are the same issues that are being felt across the trade, and we appreciate everyone’s understanding during this period.

Everyone at the White House is busy gearing up for the Jubilee celebrations over the long Bank Holiday at the end of this week. We would love to see as many of you as possible at the pub, where they are putting on a number of events. Please see the pub Facebook page or the signs outside the pub for more details.

Best regards,
John Anson

Chair – Bladon Community Benefit Society

What’s on at the White House

Dear Shareholders

It’s now been just over two months since Ben has taken over the tenancy of The White House, and perhaps a good time for an update on progress.  Trading over the summer period has been encouraging, and it has been good to see that the Thursday coffee mornings and the Wednesday night quiz are still going strong.  These have been joined by a number of new initiatives to help broaden the appeal of the pub, such as the introduction of a hearty brunch menu on Saturday mornings, and the pub being open for drinks on Monday and Tuesday evenings.  


In addition to these, Ben is also keen to encourage more pub related games and activities during the week.  The cribbage league has restarted on Monday evenings, and Robin Jones has organised a crib “taster” on the first Sunday afternoon of every month for people to try their hand at this fun card game.  These sessions start at 4 pm and run for a couple of hours.


On the second and fourth Tuesday of every month The White House will be hosting an open games night.  A selection of board and card games will be brought along each week to choose from – and if you have something you’d like to play then bring it along!  Gaming is free, starts at 6.30pm and continues to closing time. It’s open to all – families and children are very welcome, just drop in and leave whenever suits you.  The next few dates will be:-
Tuesday 27 September
Tuesday 11 October
Tuesday 25 October
Tuesday 8 November
Tuesday 22 November

Ben is also planning to put on more music events at The White House, and the next gig will be on Friday 30th September featuring Legends Rise, an excellent covers band that is making a return visit to the pub.  The set is due to start at 8:30 pm, so if you are free why not kick off this weekend with some live music!

John Anson

Chair, Bladon Community Benefit Society

Relaunch update & kitchen open

Dear Shareholders,  


Just a quick update on progress following the relaunch of the White House under Ben Bullen’s stewardship.  As planned, the first week or so has been taken up with work on the kitchen electrics and some other improvements to the facilities.  Alongside this the pub has been open for drinks 6 days a week, only being closed on Monday.  It has been good to see some familiar faces as well as visitors using the pub garden in the recent warm weather.  

More good news – Ben wishes to make it known that from today (21st July) the kitchen will be open, and the pub will be serving food again.  I have seen the menu and happily it does include some of the old favourites as well as some new dishes.  I look forward to seeing some of you down there soon!


Best regards
 

John Anson Chair – Bladon Community Benefit Society