At the start of the month,  we have achieved two significant milestones. Firstly, competitive skittles returned to the Royal Oak. We are very happy to host two female teams and hope to welcome one or more men’s teams when the schedule is clarified. Thanks are again due to the team of volunteers who prepared the skittle alley for competition.

Secondly, I am pleased to report we have made an offer to a chef to run our Kitchen. This offer has been accepted and we are looking to start serving food in November. As we are essentially starting from scratch, we will initially start with a limited offering based on the equipment installed, but we will extend and adjust the menu based on customer feedback as our experience grows. It is intended to offer simple, wholesome food, well prepared and well presented.  Our prospective Chef is Jason Wide who is currently at the Merry Monk. He has over twenty years of experience in the Taunton area, at establishments ranging from the Castle Hotel to the Half Moon at Stoke St Mary in its heyday. Jason is excited to join our venture and looks forward to working with our team, indeed some lucky visitors to the Pub we able to sample some of Jason’s fare as he familiarised himself with the kitchen. There was unanimous agreement that his samples were excellent.

In the first Management Team meeting after the Annual members meeting, it was agreed that all officers would continue in their current roles, namely

  • Graham Gleed: Chairman
  • David Crabbe: Treasurer
  • Nick Sloan: Secretary
  • Mike Blair: Vice Chairman.


Specific tasks will be assigned to other committee members, (John Davison, Simon Dauncey, Paul Fielding and Ann Woods) as workflows become better defined

David Crabbe, who has given outstanding service to the venture over the past two years has indicated that he wishes to step down at the latest by the next AMM. As there will be a significant handover to ensure a smooth transition, we would be interested to hear from anyone who would have an interest in taking on this role at some point in the future.

At this meeting it was also agreed to reformulate the financial forecast based on what are realistic estimates of sales from the shop, cafe and  pub, set against a cost base which is now much more clearly understood. This will be shared with members once finalised.

Work will commence on installing the PV panels on both sides of the function room roof on October 19th. This will be funded by the grant received from SCC climate emergency social fund. With the current trends on energy prices, it was  very prescient to successfully pursue this project.

An initial draft of Project ‘Phase 3 proposals was provided to the committee by Nick Sloan. This looks to optimise the total floorspace of the establishment and will be shared with members for comment once a first draft has been agreed. One important consideration going forward will be how to fund what may be a significant piece of work which moves us beyond what was envisaged in our original Business Plan.