I have used reference to the Phoenix in a previous heading!  If I used it again, you would think immediately of Christmas Dinner.  So, I had to find another eye-catching phrase.  I hope that my replacement hints at mystery, and the unknown for 2024!

To the casual observer, passing by the new Resource Centre, it probably looks almost the same as a month ago.  However, the same observer would not have detected the undertone of excitement, and the humming vibrations in the corridors.

The library is tidy and ready in appearance.  David Ingleby is still working hard to produce a brand new Library Book Catalogue, and making amazing progress.  A final, new bookcase is due any day.  This will host the Military section.

The IT suite is taking form.  Neal Bower is struggling with the spaghetti of wiring, to ensure that it all works when we press the ON buttons.  The desk tops are also starting to look more business-like.  There is a home there, still, for our Microfiche reader.

The Broadband and WIFI - well, suffice to say that two out of three is not bad!  We are still awaiting the promised relocation package from FOCUS.  To avoid litigation, all I will say is, I don't have these problems at home.

Thanks to the efforts of the Hub's own IT team, we have a hint of broadband, sufficient to have three customer ready workstations on the internet, and with access to Ancestry, FindMyPast, British Newspaper Archive and The Genealogist.  Of course, the LFHS publications and indexes will be on each computer as standard.  We are also working towards a useful library of Trade directories, in digital form, again on each computer.

The main room is looking more business like, with hardly any cardboard boxes left in sight, thanks to the efforts of all the helpers.  But most of all, the kettle and Tea Urn are fully operational!

At a meeting of interested parties, on Monday, 27 November, it was agreed that the centre is approaching a state of readiness, sufficient to offer a productive service to our members, and other visitors.

The LFHS Resource Centre will therefore re-open after Christmas, on each Monday (except PH) 1000 am to 2.30 pm.  This weekly opening will start on Monday 15th January 2024.

However, there is an innovative and experimental addition.  As the centre and the Lincoln Branch Meetings are located within the same Community Centre, we feel it makes sense to open the centre the same day, but in the morning.   This will give those visiting from afar a longer time in the building, so that it will be possible to do some research in the morning, and then progress to the talk in the afternoon.

This means that the new centre will actually open at 1100 am on "Saturday 13th January 2024", to coincide with Lincoln Branch's first meeting of the year.

Some may query - "Why still just One Day per Week??"  Simple really, we do not have sufficient stewards to provide any more.  We have eight stewards, plus an emergency spare.  Each steward gives one day per month (we need two people on duty to look after two rooms), so that equals four days.

I know I bleat on about more volunteers, but we are really limited within the Society.  We are not alone, other societies are in similar  situation.  I am looking for some 'social' stewards, who can 'meet & greet' visitors, and then pass them to the 'duty' steward.  The skill set involves pointing out rules and operating a kettle.  Are YOU up to this level of achievement?  If so, call in one day, and I'll make you your first cup of tea before we have a chat!  Remember, we are ALL volunteers - there is no contract.

Graham Heath