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Threlkeld Village Hall Trust Annual Report 2009/2010



This Annual Report relates to the year to 30 September 2010. Threlkeld Village Hall Trust is a Registered Charity (number 231380). It is responsible for all aspects of the management of Threlkeld Village Hall (also known as Threlkeld Public Room). The objective of the Trust is: “ the provision and maintenance of a village hall for use by the inhabitants of Threlkeld without distinction of political, religious or other opinions, including use for (a) meetings, lectures and classes and (b) other forms of recreation and leisure time occupation, with the objective of improving conditions of life for the inhabitants”. Trustees during 2009/10 were: Donald Angus. Roger Bragg, Carolyn Cripps, Alison Critchlow, Sue Dunn, Steven Oldfield, Trevor Roberts, Bryan Rothwell, Gill Winter. Bank Barclays Bank, Penrith Solicitors Cartmell Shepherd, Penrith Officers Chairman: Trevor Roberts Garden Cottage Threlkeld Keswick Cumbria CA12 4SQ Email: Vice Chairman: Bryan Rothwell Secretary: Steven Oldfield Beckside Threlkeld Keswick Cumbria CA12 4RT Treasurer: Roger Bragg Hall Caretaker Sylvia Tuer, Grange Farm, Threlkeld

Legal and constitutional framework of the Trust Governing Document Until 2008, the Trust operated under a Deed executed in 1899 when the land on which the Village Hall was subsequently constructed was donated to Threlkeld Parish. A review of the constitutional arrangements took place, culminating in the Charity Commission issuing a “scheme” under charity legislation, which took effect from 1 May 2008, and which is the current Governing Document. Under the new scheme, the Trust Management Committee is responsible for all aspects of the Trust, and are the Trustees under charity law. All were registered with the Charity Commission. The Parish Council is the Custodial Trustee, its sole function being to hold the title deeds and similar documents, including the new Governing Document, all of which are in the safe keeping of the Parish Council Solicitors. Land Registry All the land belonging to the Trust is formally registered with the Land Registry. The land is registered in the name of Threlkeld Parish Council, which is the Custodial Trustee.

The Village Hall Trust Management Committee The Trust Management Committee is the body which has responsibility for the Village Hall and other activities of the Trust. It consists of:

  • three people appointed by Threlkeld Parish Council: Donald Angus, Roger Bragg, Carolyn Cripps
  • three people elected at the Annual Meeting on 21 October 2009: Trevor Roberts, Bryan Rothwell, Gill Winter
  • three people coopted by the Committee: Alison Critchlow, Sue Dunn, Steven Oldfield

The Trust Management Committee are the Trustees of the Village Hall Trust with the usual responsibilities under charities law. The Trust Management Committee has met on four occasions during the year. Minutes of the meetings are available on the Threlkeld Community Website. Key topics discussed have included:

  • ongoing consideration of the financial position of the Village Hall
  • review of fees, charges and remuneration
  • ongoing consideration of activities
  • ongoing consideration of routine maintenance
  • oversight of progress on the revitalisation project and very detailed consideration of the complicated options for funding, the risks involved
  • review of the Equal Opportunities and Environmental Policies
  • further consideration of health and safety issues, especially fire safety
  • continued implementation of a major programme of improvements to the existing Hall
  • a review of activities aimed at older people in the village in the light of declining support for the whist drives (this review has been inconclusive)
  • a very detailed review of the future of the bonfire site.

The Trust Management Committee has delegated day to day Hall management responsibilities to its Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. The Trust Management Committee has established two Action Groups: the Social Activities Action Group and the Children’s and Young Persons Action Group. The Threlkeld Village Hall Revitalisation Action Group is jointly responsible to the Parish Council (which established it originally) and the Trust Management Committee.


Bookings and use of the Village Hall Appendix 1 lists the organisations and types of activity involved in using the Village Hall during 2009/10. Generally, the Hall is well used in the evenings, especially on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. It is less heavily used during the day. Charges were reviewed by the Trust Management Committee in November 2009 and fixed at: £4.50 per hour for the Main Hall £4.00 per hour for the Meeting Room Electricity at 20p per unit in addition (users record their use of electricity). Camping:£5.00 per night per person. The Treasurer is given authority to vary charges as seems desirable to suit specific circumstances. The Parish Council, Village Hall Trust Management Committee and associated meetings/activities use the Hall without charge.

Hall management and maintenance issues Routine maintenance/facilities improvement Most routine management and maintenance issues are delegated to the Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer of the Trust; and to the Hall Caretaker (Sylvia Tuer). In practice, Roger Bragg takes the lead on this. In November 2008, the Trust Management Committee took the decision to spend money on a series of repairs, improvements and facilities in recognition of the fact that the Hall is likely to remain in use pretty much as it is for several years pending us raising the money for the full revitalisation. This programme was started in 2008/09 and continued in 2009/10. Some of this work was also justified in relation to health and safety considerations. Improvements and work carried out in 2009/10 included:

  • repairs/easing of internal doors
  • temporary fixing of the main door
  • more work to stem leaks in the flat roofs over the toilets
  • full review of all our fire safety provisions and implementation of a number of improvements in this respect
  • purchase of an 80 place set of good quality dinner/supper crockery, for use exclusively in functions involving “sit down” meals – the cost of this enhancement to our facilities was met almost entirely by a grant from Cumbria County Council Eden Neighbourhood Forum); Steven Oldfield has constructed a chest for this to be stored in securely
  • various electrical safety repairs and improvements
  • establishment of all year round flower displays on the main road window sills.

The work has been done by a mixture of voluntary and paid effort. Thanks to all the following for assisting in Hall maintenance: Roger Bragg (who generally supervises this activity), Steven Oldfield, Sylvia Tuer, John Knifton, Kevin Metcalf, Jane Roberts, Dot Benson. A number of other changes have been agreed by the Committee and are in the course of implementation or more detailed consideration. These include exterior painting to the front of the Hall; a more substantial repair to the front door; and a more substantial repair to the leaking roof over the toilets. The Trust Management Committee has to balance very carefully its expenditure on maintenance and improvements with the possibility of the impending major revitalisation. It remains fully committed to maintaining the Hall in a reasonable (and certainly safe) condition during this awkward period of transition. Special appreciation to Sylvia Tuer who very capably looks after bookings, cleaning and general maintenance. Insurance, licenses etc The Hall is insured, with insurance including employers' and public liability. The insurance premium is paid by Threlkeld Parish Council. The Hall has a licence for music and also pays the Performing Rights Society to cover the playing of recorded music. Temporary licenses are obtained for sale of alcohol as required. Thanks to John Fleet and Tim Foster for assistance with this.


Social Activities Action Group This informal Action Group arranges events and activities in and in conjunction with the Hall, for benefit of the community. These events/activities are separate from the fund raising activities in support of the Revitalisation Fund; are in addition to the activities organised by the Children and Young Person's Action Group; and are also in addition to many social activities carried out by a variety of village organisations. Christmas Whist Drive The traditional Christmas Whist Drive attracted about 40 people. Thanks especially to Carolyn Cripps, Sylvia Tuer, Marjorie Mattinson, Harry Wilson, Donald Angus. The regular monthly winter whist drive programme was not held this year. The Trust Management Committee reviewed generally the provision of this sort of activity and activities for older people generally. It is hoped to establish some regular activities for older people at some stage. The Grand Christmas Draw was held in conjunction with the Christmas Whist Drive. This was a useful general fund raiser. Thanks to Roger Bragg for organising this, and to the Horse and Farrier, Four Seasons Foods and many local people who kindly donated prizes. Christmas Shopping Trip The coach trip to Glasgow on 28 November 2009 took 41 people. Thanks to Carolyn Cripps for organising this. Highlights Theatrical Productions There were three Highlights events in 2009/10: Phileas P Souper (musicians and miming clowns) – Saturday 24 October 2009 Kirsty McGee (folk singer) – Sunday 21 March 2010 Helen Barrett (jazz singer) – Thursday 6 May 2010 (NB the venue for this event had to be switched to the John Knowles Pavilion because the Village Hall was in use for the General Election; thanks to Threlkeld Cricket Club for facilitating this change). A fourth event, a Christmas show Carolling and Crumpets, was unfortunately cancelled at the last minute due to the artist being ill. This has been rescheduled as part of the 2010/11 programme. Thanks to Gill Winter for representing the Trust Management Committee with the Highlights organisation and for managing this programme. Her approach of aiming for events other than theatrical productions (where Threlkeld is generally well served via the Theatre by the Lake) was supported by the Committee. Events are run by the Village Hall for the benefit of the village, not as fundraising events, although they are expected to cover costs. They would all be far too expensive for us to run without the help of the Highlights scheme. They would all normally cost at least £600 - £1000. With Highlights it costs us £130 plus 70% of any other takings on the door.

Children and Young Persons Action Group This Action Group is coordinated by Trevor Robson. It is responsible for organising some specific events described below. Threlkeld Youth Club The Youth Club is for the moment in abeyance. Village Bonfire The Village Bonfire and Fireworks Display took place on Saturday 7 November 2009 instead of the traditional 5 November. This proved to be a bad move because the weather was awful – wet and windy. Despite this, an estimated 200 people from the village and around attended. There was a 50 minute spectacular firework display, together with a turnip lantern competition, soup, sweets etc. Village children collected money for fireworks by Penny for the Guy collections throughout Threlkeld. Against strong opposition from pumpkins, it was Hal Walsh’s turnip lantern that won the competition. Judges were Andy and Sue Judge from The Hollies, new to Threlkeld. Kiln How is used subject to close restrictions by courtesy of Threlkeld Parish Council and the nearby field by permission of Harry Robinson. There are many people involved in organising this event – in building the bonfire, letting off the fireworks, organising the bonfire, clearing up afterwards. making soup etc. The emphasis is on safety. Thanks among others to: Roger Bragg; Val Bragg; Kevin Robson; Kevin Metcalfe; Sue Dunn; Malc Stevens; Trevor Robson; Diane Robson; Gill Winter; Sandra Hewitson, Pat Taylor and the youth club; Barbara Wilson; Jane Roberts; Sylvia Tuer; Eileen Robson; Sue and Andy Judge. The future of the Village Bonfire This year, for the first time, there were some serious complaints about sparks and blowing embers from the bonfire affecting nearby property. This prompted the Village Hall Trust Management Committee to review the bonfire site at Kiln How. Although this site is in many ways ideal, and has been used successfully as the bonfire site for many years, there have been reservations expressed by a number of people because of the effort put into developing Kiln How for conservation purposes, and this once a year occasion was seen as incompatible with this. The Committee considered all the issues involved, and looked at a number of alternative sites and options. It eventually decided that it was not advisable to continue on the Kiln How site, and it negotiated an acceptable alternative site on the Recreation Field – this was agreed with the Recreation Field Trust and the Cricket Club. The site and arrangements proposed appeared to meet the various regulations stipulated by the Fire Authority, the local authority and the insurance company. Trevor Robson, who has taken responsibility for the bonfire arrangements and led the team involved for many years, took this opportunity to relinquish this role, since a new set of organisational arrangements would need to be set up. The team in support of Trevor was likely to remain in place, and Trevor himself was willing to support a successor. However a named responsible person is necessary to run the event. The Village Hall Trust advertised for a successor vigorously in Beneath Blencathra, making it quite clear that in the absence of a volunteer taking on this role then the bonfire would not take place. No response was received, so accordingly the Trust Management Committee concluded that it is not possible to have a bonfire and fireworks this year. In future, if someone does come forward, it will probably be possible to revive the event on the new site. Village Sports The Village Sports Day is another important regular event in the village social calendar. It was held on the afternoon of Saturday 3 July 2010 in conjunction with the School Summer Fayre. This year the weather was bright and sunny, perfect for the children's races. However the support for this day was very limited, and takings on the gate and raffle were greatly reduced on previous years (perhaps it was just a clash with other events in the area). Thanks to Ron Horne, Sylvia Tuer, Sue Dunn, Jane Metcalf, Kevin Metcalf, Trevor Robson, Roger Bragg, Val Bragg, Diane Robson and the Friends of Threlkeld School for helping on the day and organizing everything. 2010 Trophy Winners Frank Hebson Cup.... Holly Cowper Orell Cup…..... Maisy Archbold Newman Cup……Joseph & Ella Horne Stuart Cup Senior Girls .....…..Holly Cowper Stuart Cup Junior…….Courtney Nelson Joe Bowe Trophy Senior……..…….…Charlie Robson Joe Bowe Trophy Junior …Harry Vaillant / Adam Beaty) Committee Junior …….Katie Hewitson Committee Cup……..Ben Holmes The Children's Fancy dress winners were decided this year by Andy and Sue Judge from The Hollies B &B. Under 5's 1st Matthew Birkinshaw as a caterpillar 2nd Hannah Birkinshaw as a Fairy Over 5's 1st Catlin Mc Keever as a cow girl 2nd Alex McKeever as a dark knight 3rd. Ellie Winter& Katie Hewitson also as Cowgirls

Village Hall Teas At Easter and during the summer, teas were again provided for sale in the Village Hall at weekends and on Bank Holidays. This service is operated on a voluntary basis, and provides useful income in support of the Village Hall ongoing management and maintenance. (Two weekends were run by St Mary’s Church in aid of Church funds). The service has has again been a big success, financially and socially. About 2250 (1600) people were served over 31 (24) days, an average of about 72 (60) per day. (Last year’s figures in brackets – so this year was much more successful than last in every respect). This year, customers were invited to complete short questionnaires to provide some very basic factual information about where they had come from, how they were travelling etc. Responses were obtained from about 80% of customers. The information is required as part of the market research in support of the revitalisation scheme. However, the opportunity was taken to seek any comments on the existing service. Comments were universally positive, with especial mention of the friendly staff and the home baked produce. Thanks to all the many volunteers people who help make this scheme work so well – this includes the organisers, the people who buy supplies, the servers, the washers up, the bakers, the people who put out signs etc.- Pat Knifton, Kate Smalley, Jane Roberts, Carolyn Cripps, Dot Benson, Marion Turner, Laurence Deadman, Eileen Read, Ros Shirreff, Gaynor Harding, Julia McGregor, Hilary Eddleston, Blencathra Centre, Liz Jones, Elizabeth Beresford, Diana Matthews, Donald Angus, Christine Gott, Sue Foster, Steven Oldfield, Trevor Roberts, Pam Bowell, Ann Hughes, John Deadman, Jo Alberti, Marion Hodgson, John Hodgson, Ron Horne, Jean Horne, Kathleen Oldfield, Sue Judge, Ruth Taylor, Marion Wright, Sylvia Tuer, Barbara Wilson, Nicola Lowis.

Threlkeld Village Hall Revitalisation The Village Hall is undertaking a major revitalisation project, work on which has been undertaken since 2007. The Village Hall Trust Management Committee has led the way on the project in 2009/10 because all the issues under consideration have been complex ones regarding funding possibilities and associated risks, which it is the Committee’s responsibility to consider. However, the Village Hall Revitalisation Action Group continues in being, overseeing the project generally, subject to the overriding responsibility of the Village Hall Trust Management Committee and the Parish Council (it is jointly accountable to both these bodies). The Revitalisation Action Group met one during the year, a well attended meeting in April 2010, and has been kept in touch via emails and newsletters about progress. The small sub team of people concerned with local fundraising, led by Dot Benson, has continued to meet regularly to organise local fundraising. A number of Action Group members have recently been assisting the architects with detailed plans for the scheme. Progress on the scheme during the year is summarised below:

  • following the granting of planning permission in July 2009, emphasis switched to trying to secure major funding for the scheme
  • various funding applications have been made, but without any major success, although it did appear that we were being taken more seriously now that we had obtained planning permission; sources of funding of the nature and scale required are much reduced now (the previous Big Lottery programme which applied to Village Halls, from which we might have benefitted, came to an end early in 2007; another previously potential reliable source was the Northern Rock Foundation, but this ceased to support such schemes because of its changed situation)
  • the inclusion of a commercial Coffee Shop run as a community enterprise opens the door to a broader range of funding than a stand alone Village Hall revitalisation, and the establishment of the Community Interest Company has made a difference in how we are regarded in this respect
  • we have been offered, subject to other funding being put in place, £83,300 from the Rural Development Programme England, which supports rural enterprises
  • we have been in detailed discussion for about six months about the possibility of a grant/loan package from Communitybuilders, a Government programme aimed at making communities financially sustainable – this has focused heavily on the potential of the Coffee Shop to generate reliable funding to underpin the scheme; however, at a late stage in the process Communitybuilders came up with a series of additional requirements (linked to cutbacks in public expenditure apparently) which meant that this option could not be pursued
  • discussions with Communitybuilders have led to us being provided with a great deal of free advice and assessment from consultants regarding business management, finance and related matters; much of the advice has been positive and all the assessment very positive
  • the discussions with Communitybuilders also required the scheme to proceed to the next stage of design, since if made, a Communitybuilders investment would have to take place within a tight timescale; after considerable discussion the Management Committee decided to take this step and the architects have been commissioned accordingly to take the project to the Building Regulations stage of the process, which brings the project to within about six weeks of a start on site if and when funding is secured
  • the costs of this design stage (which form part of the overall capital cost of the scheme) are considerable but are offset by the Lake District National Park Authority agreeing to allow its two grant offers totalling £25000 to be used at this stage to move the project forward at a critical stage and make it more “investment ready” (and also a new grant of £500 from Cumbria County Council); this support is crucial and progress could not have been made without it
  • our local fundraising has continued, backed up by various smaller grants, and the Revitalisation Fund reached about £27000; although a considerable proportion has now been deployed to pay for the design fees and related charges, emphasising the vital significance of this local effort
  • the establishment of the Coffee Shop Community Interest Company has brought in some very experienced volunteers who have given a much sharper edge to the commercial aspects of the project.

A series of local events and activities have been held to raise money and awareness locally. These include: School Choir Concert A Supper Dance Table top/car boot sale Threlkeld Pudding Festival Threlkeld Mugs and T-shirts – continued sales Threlkeld Recipe Book – continued sales of second edition Folk and Blues Night A Ceilidh


The Revitalisation Fund has also benefited from many individual donations, large and small, from local people, visitors and village organisations. A Gift Aid scheme is in operation but has not really taken off. An Easyfundraising scheme was established. This means that for anyone registered who purchases goods/services on the internet, or who makes an online search, a small commission is generated which goes directly to the Revitalisation Fund. This has got established with about 20 members and has so far generated over £300 (with no effort and at no cost!). Log onto if you want to register. The Revitalisation Group includes the following: Jo Alberti, Donald Angus, Sarah Bennett, Dot Benson, Pam Bowell, Roger Bragg, Una Cowper, Carolyn Cripps, Alison Critchlow, Sue Dunn. Guy Duxbury,Sandra Hewitson, Sue Foster, Ron Horne, Jean Horne, John Knifton, Pat Knifton, Barbara Lowesmith, Nigel Matthews, Steven Oldfield, Jane Roberts, Trevor Roberts Trevor Robson, Diane Robson, Bryan Rothwell, Jonathan Rothwell, Ros Shirreff, Jon Trotman, Sylvia Tuer, Gill Winter Eileen Witherington, Herbert Witherington, Neil Beresford, Adrian Eddleston. Additionally, people too numerous to mention have actively assisted with fund raising events. Despite all this positive progress behind the scenes, it is inevitable that a certain amount of “ennui” is setting in as we do not succeed in getting funding for what is clearly an ambitious (some would say over) ambitious scheme, and the economic outlook seems to get worse by the day! This is something the Trust Management Committee is keeping under review. However, there is a recognition that this is a project for the long term benefit of the village, there are not necessarily any easy alternatives, and that we may have got the right scheme at the wrong time. The Management Committee gave itself the length of the planning permission to secure funding, and this period was made five years (rather than the usual three) because of the difficulties of funding such schemes. It is up to the advocates of this project to maintain enthusiasm and encourage others to do so.

Threlkeld Community Website The Threlkeld Community Website was established under the auspices of the Village Hall in 2007, but responsibility has now been assumed by the Parish Council. It is operated and managed by Helen O’Brien. It contains a wealth of local information, constantly updated, including much information about the Village Hall and the revitalisation project.

Public involvement/information A report on Village Hall activities is regularly included in the village newsletter Beneath Blencathra. This has a circulation of about 350 copies locally. Information is put onto the Threlkeld Community Website, which is regularly updated. The Annual Meeting of the Village Hall was held on 21 October 2009. It was attended by about 40 people. A full update on the revitalisation scheme was presented, and an informal drinks and nibbles party held after the business of the meeting was finished, at which Willie Tyson of Middle Row Farm gave a stimulating talk on the local farming scene.

Finance The audited accounts for the year ended 30 September 2010 as presented to the Annual Meeting on 20 October 2010, are set out in Appendix 2. Total income was £13138.89, total expenditure was £7949.87. The balance in reserves carried forward was £16473.74 compared with £11644.85 at the start of the year. The surplus this year was mainly as a result of increased revenue from lettings and from the summer weekend teas service, coupled with close control of expenditure (especially of electricity use). The reserves are retained to cater for emergency repair work on a defective flat roof, which is for the moment being “patched up”, but which is showing signs of needing a more substantial repair or replacement. The Threlkeld Village Hall Revitalisation Fund is maintained by the Threlkeld Parish Council. This is where all the locally raised money for the revitalisation project is banked. At the end of September 2010, this fund stood at about £15000. However, this amount was just after the transfer of funds to pay for professional fees, which will in effect be reimbursed by the grants referred to above – it is estimated that after these grants and architects bills have been taken into account, local funds will contain about £25000.

APPENDIX 1 ORGANISATIONS/ACTIVITIES USING THE VILLAGE HALL IN 2009/10 Village Committee meetings etc Threlkeld Parish Council Threlkeld Village Hall Trust Management Committee Threlkeld Village Hall Revitalisation Action Group Threlkeld Village Hall Revitalisation Fundraising Team Threlkeld Village Hall Revitalisation Liaison Meetings with architects, environmental health, possible funders Threlkeld Housing Association Threlkeld Children’s Summer Outing Committee Public meetings Threlkeld Annual Parish Meeting Threlkeld Village Hall Annual Meeting Meeting re housing in Threlkeld Theatrical and musical events Highlights productions * May Day Blues – folk and blues night Threlkeld School Summer Production Threlkeld School Christmas Production * Threlkeld School Choir Concert * Ceilidh Health The Village Hall is the base for equipment for Threlkeld First Responders (who also hold meetings there). Elections The Village Hall was a polling station in the elections for both Eden and Copeland District Councils. General social events Christmas Whist Drive * Threlkeld Pudding Festival Coffee evenings * Beetle Drive Village social and recreational organisations Threlkeld Youth Club Blencathra Bowling Club Threlkeld Senior Citizens Threlkeld Women's Group Sunday Club Blencathra Hunt Ball Threlkeld Cricket Club Other general social and recreational activities Pilates Boxercise Social Dance Dog obedience training * Supper Dance Friends of Threlkeld School Dance Threlkeld School Christmas Fair Keswick Embroidery Guild Dance classes (children and adults) Cumbria Beekeepers Cumbria Soaring Club (training) Promises Auction (Blencathra Hunt) Model aeroplanes Private use Birthday parties Wedding receptions Funeral teas/gatherings Conferences, exhibitions, training etc Lake District National Park Authority/Lake District Local Councils visit and meeting Highlights workshops Skiddaw House exhibition and meeting Keswick Churches Together Felt making workshop Workington Childrens Centre Fund raising events and activities Village Hall Teas * Table Top/Car Boot Sale St Mary’s Church Teas Other Overnight use as a camping barn Overnight use as a base for the Bob Graham Round Working on hang gliding equipment NB * indicates a fund raising event for the Revitalisation Fund



Main account
Receipts   Payments  
Balance brought forward 317.04 Transfer to deposit account 5000.00
    Transfer to deposit account 5000.00
Lettings and electricity 4590.63 Professional fees 440.63
Special events 5876.58 Special events 2193.36
Car park donations 1326.62 Electricity 961.68
Grants 1000.00 Water 1088.72
Other donations 339.00 Cleaning 250.23
    Postage and stationery 45.06
    Licences 135.43
    Caretaker’s wages 960.00
    Sundry expenses 35.00
    Donations to Revitalisation Fund 500.00
    Transfer to Project Account 500.00
    Cash at the bank on 30/09/10 139.87
  13449.87   13449.87




Deposit account
Balance at 30/09/09 11327.81    
Transfer from current account 5000.00    
Interest for the year 6.06    
    Balance at 30/09/10 16333.87
  16333.87   16333.87




Income, expenditure and reserves
Total income (including interest) 13138.89    
Total expenditure 7949.87    
Reserves at 30 September 2010 16473.74    


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