General Secretary’s report – year ending Aug 2017

Is it really a year ago that Ian Clark decided to step down, after seven years of commitment to the Society and I was elected General Secretary for the second time? Thank you Ian for all your hard work. My first task was to ensure that the membership list was up-to-date. We have 89 members of which four have honorary life membership. Sadly this year we had to say goodbye to several long standing members. Jean Reinsch passed away in June 2017. She was a founder member of the Society, a friend of Arthur Raistrick and walks secretary for many years. Brontë Bedford-Payne died in August 2017, having been General Secretary, President, and leader of the local history group. Our former treasurer, Marilyn Lovitt, sadly passed away in March.

Four people have decided to step down from their duties this year. Bryan Pearson has looked after the lighting and sound and has been an excellent fixer of microphones for the speakers. Thanks also go to Val Walker Wilton for starting the refreshment rota which has meant that members and visitors have been encouraged to chat after the lectures. It has also brought in some extra income for the Society.

Patrick and Sally Wiegand are stepping down from editing the Bulletin. They have produced it for the last five years as well as this year’s shorter annual report. Their professionalism has been admired by our members and by other organisations. They also produced the green programme cards, and organised the cover photo competition. We will all miss those splendid Bulletins. The Society’s publications will in future be available online. Before Patrick and Sally took over the editorship, it was Anne Sugden who produced the Bulletin. Sadly, Anne was not well enough to be with us this year and with great regret we learned that she died in June. We send our condolences to Philip as well as our thanks for being honorary auditor.

It has been reassuring to have Ann Shaw as our treasurer and this year she has secured a £900 Roger Stott Community grant for the development of our new website. There has been an increase in visitors this year, in part due to Dave Knight’s publicity. Dave and Chris Alder have been researching the new web site and Chris will become Web Coordinator, aiming to train us in using the new site. Peggy Wright has taken charge of our library. Wally Wilton did a sterling job in obtaining eminent speakers, assisted by Marg Smith. Phyllida Oates, in addition to being walks secretary, has organised a number of fundraising events. Many thanks to all the committee as well as you, the members.
Hanneke Dye