MINUTES of the Annual General Meeting of the Society held at the Cheviot Centre, Wooler on Wednesday 12th April 2017
- Apologies for Absence:
Val Glass, Pam Ratcliffe, Chrys Murphy, Anne Bird, Pat Humphrey, David Alston, Carolyn Brewster, Richard Waters
- Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 13th April 2016 were agreed.
- Matters arising from the last minutes: none
- Chair’s Report from Mike Allport:
“Firstly, I must congratulate you all as we have increased our membership to the record number of 80 this year. We must be doing something right. The committee must be congratulated for all the hard work they put in to increase membership. This started at the Glendale Festival when some of the committee staffed a stall and was followed up with a flyer last August. It all was augmented by the hard work of our membership secretary, Patsy Healey, in chasing up members.
But you would not come along if the programme were not both interesting and stimulating. Well done Rosemary Bell for producing such a programme. Eight interesting talks, a visit to Newcastle’s Victoria Tunnels, a walk round Berwick’s historic walls and hopefully this coming Saturday a visit to Gibside. The average numbers of members coming to meetings is in the mid-thirties.
It may appear that as a Society we are just involved in the seasonal monthly lectures but we have been busy throughout the year.
First, Richard Waters once again organised the First World War Exhibition in St Mary’s which has attracted a great deal of attention. The Middle School continued to contribute to the display and must be thanked.
As well as organising the exhibition, Richard has been a diligent treasurer for several years, and we thank him for all his work and wish him well as he leaves the committee and Wooler.
We ran a second annual quiz in January. The quiz organisers, Patsy Healey and David Alston, repeated their excellent job and were responsible for a very entertaining evening. However, they both feel it needs some new blood with fresh ideas to organise it next year. We are therefore looking for volunteers.
Allan Colman and Pam Ratcliffe are in the process of producing a historical walk guide. This will be ready for the start of our 2017/18 season.
We have been given a copy of an early 20th Century local diary and a volunteer is currently transcribing it so it can be read by all.
One of our members is currently considering the feasibility of producing information on the pill boxes around the town, with an interpretation board at one of them.
At the moment our website is hosted by the Glendale Gateway Trust and attracts significant interest on a regular basis. This includes enquiries from members of the public which we try to answer. Pam Ratcliffe, our secretary, is the first port of call for these and is diligent in finding the answer or someone who can answer. The website was responsible for bringing an American couple to our March meeting; their father/father in law had been a German prisoner of war in Wooler. As a result, we have decided to develop the website so that it includes a search engine.
Many thanks to those members who have listened to and made notes on the talks and then crafted articles for the local papers. I’m sure this helps to bring in the 61 visitors we had last year.
May I also thank Pat Brown who has produced the posters advertising the monthly meeting for several years and is stepping down this year.
In my thanks, I cannot miss out my wife, Kate, who produces the refreshments prior to the meetings.
Finally, well done the rest of the committee for attempting to keep me on track.
Please remember next season is the celebration of our 40th year of existence!
- Treasurer’s Report from Richard Waters:
Income for 2016-17 was £2063.90 (£1055.73 in 2015/16), and expenditure £867.88 (£867.88). The increase in income over last year was due to increased membership fees, increased book sales over the internet, and a small grant provided for ongoing projects. Increased expenditure arose through our membership development work over the year. We also anticipate further spending next year when projects reach the publication stage. Given our end of year balance of £5779.87, the treasurer (in absentia) proposed maintaining the membership subscription at £8.00 and the charge for visitors at £3. This proposal was supported by John Hardy, seconded by Margaret Kirby, and agreed by the meeting.
- Election of officers of the Society and Members of the Committee
Richard Waters is resigning from the Committee as he is marrying and moving to Hexham. The remaining committee members (Mike Allport, Rosemary Bell, Patsy Healey, Pam Ratcliffe & Allan Colman) were willing to stand again. Frank Morgan proposed their re-election, seconded by Patrick Sheard. Derek Riley was proposed as a new committee member by Patsy Healey and seconded by Linda Rhind. Kate Allport has offered to act as Treasurer until a new Treasurer is found. This arrangement was proposed by Allan Colman and seconded by Patrick Sheard. All these proposals were agreed by members.
- Comments from the floor
Patsy Healey alerted members to the need for volunteers to help with the quiz next year, as David Alston has decided not to be involved again. Help is also needed with membership subscriptions and the front desk in September and October as some committee members will be away then.
(Kind offers of help were received after the meeting!)
The meeting closed at 20.45