Minutes of the 2014 AGM

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The Charmouth Local History Society
(The Pavey Group of Charmouth)
The Elms, The Street, Charmouth, Dorset, DT6 6LN
Minutes of the Sixteenth Annual General Meeting 24th September 2014

Chairman’s Welcome:
Pat Stapleton welcomed 24 members to the meeting.

Apologies for Absence:
Gary Readings (Treasurer), Neil Mattingly, Maureen Bullows, Maureen Crossley, Mr and Mrs N Gardner, Rosalind Cole.

Minutes from the last AGM of 30th September 2013:
Copies of the minutes of the previous AGM were available. They were briefly summarised by Pat Stapleton, Chairman. Also the minutes had been displayed on the website for some time. Mrs Stapleton proposed their approval, and this was passed.

Matters Arising:
There were no matters arising.

Chairman’s Report:
Mrs Stapleton summarised the position as it was twelve months ago.  Several committee members had left in the previous eighteen months, our manpower was greatly reduced and additionally our talks had been poorly attended or in some cases cancelled for the same reason.

The committee took the view that we needed to take stock: a subscription free year (2013-14) would enable us to evaluate the services we offer and we would not be obliged to promote events that might not be adequately supported.

Pat noted that we may well have turned the corner with the prospect of two well qualified individuals coming in to join our committee.

She thanked Russell Telfer and Gary Readings, Secretary and Treasurer, for their hard work over the previous twelve months.

Treasurer’s Report :
Unfortunately Gary Readings was ill.  He had submitted the accounts for the year 2013-14. During this year we had taken the unusual step of making a subscription free year as we had seen foreseen problems, that with our under-strength committee we would not be able to maintain the previous level of service.  The effect of this decision had not badly affected our operation although subscriptions and other fund raising activities needed to be reinstated in the coming year.

In 2012-13 we had had a surplus of £423.79 which was a healthy starting position. With membership fees abated for 2013-14 we had a deficit of £104.91. We had received grants of £200 each from Charmouth Traders and NISA which had enabled us to buy a new printer which in turn had enabled of the Village Echo in August. Thanks were passed to these two undertakings. Thanks, and acceptance of the Report, were passed by the meeting.

Secretary’s Report:
Pavey Group had fired on one cylinder this year, rather than using the full engine.  Prior to the AGM last year we looked for nominations to run our committee but found that it was more a time for some long term supporters of the Group finding that they could no longer continue in office.  Pat Stapleton our Chairman and I, Secretary, did offer to continue to serve. Keith Waterson also remained on the committee but found later that he was unable to continue.  We were aided by Gary Readings who offered to become our Treasurer in place of Mike Whatmore, and Mary Lelliott. Thanks indeed to all, both past and current serving members.

Additionally we lost the services of Jeff Prosser who had been a mainstay on the computer and printing front. He had been the Council rep, but on his resignation from the Council he would no longer hold this position. Phil Tritton, with his considerable practical and business experience, is now our council rep – thanks to him too.

At the beginning of the year Neil Mattingly offered us a talk Charmouth and Its Place in History which we presented at the Community Hall in November. Unfortunately there had been a previous promise to support our local journal Shoreline and so we did not benefit directly financially from this talk.  However the talk was very well attended and was a successful event.

For a number of reasons – mainly the reliability of our printers and the software we use – we could not get down to producing our next edition of the Village Echo.  However this eventually got into print at the end of August, just in time to notify you of this AGM tonight.

We presented one more talk during the year, by Mike Seaman on the Lord of the Manor of Catherston. This was an interesting and unusual talk with rare details of life at British embassies abroad in the 19C. Never a dull moment, it seemed, and many was the time when some group or other was baying for the blood of embassy officials – or someone they were trying to protect.

Unfortunately, although this talk was fairly well attended by a number of non-members, we only counted six Pavey Group members apart from committee at this talk, which led us to question whether there was a will from the Group as a whole to attend talks if we organised them.

We feel that along with many other local institutions – churches, social clubs and specialist groups and the like, that the present time is a difficult time for collective social activity – perhaps there are so many other attractions in the home and out of it. But there is no doubt that our membership is at a low point, and our main concern then, of a society which we feel MUST not close, is – unless we have an injection of new blood, we shall to continue to operate on one cylinder. We feel that closing is not an option. The village has too much to lose.
Speaking for the committee as a whole, we have committed ourselves to looking after the Pavey Group. As we cannot at this stage offer our members an exciting package of events, it does not seem right to increase our subscription, even though it has remained at £6 per family for almost all of its existence. However, to reduce costs we have indicated our intention to charge any members who require their copies of any new Echos postage rather than arranging to collect them.

One positive factor: we are in the process of backing up all of our electronic data onto an external drive kept off site. This will be a permanent archive of the Society.

It’s been mentioned earlier that Neil Mattingly has joined us. He has already given three talks for us and written two entire booklets for us which we now sell. It could be that he would like to do a great deal more, and we shall all be beneficiaries. Please then, sign up for another year. The promise, in return, is that you will have another chance, in 2015-16, to keep our ship afloat.
As for the coming year, we continue to solicit your subscriptions, for the princely sum of £6 per family. I have suggested that you will not get so much back as in previous years, but please remember that you will be doing this for the village, for its heritage, for future generations.

As to finance, I would comment that we have saved money on our phone bill and insurance, and we have acquired generous donations from both NISA and Charmouth Traders which has enabled us to buy a modern printer that is up to the task of printing The Village Echo – if we can get enough people to plan it, write it, set it, print it and distribute it.

It is too late to receive any other nominations for election, but if any other paid up members of the Group feel that they can help us on committee, we could co-opt you at our first meeting.
Some of you might feel that you can help us with some of the practical tasks I mentioned above without serving on committee – in which if you could let me have your names and email addresses or phone numbers, we would delighted to have your help

I hope next year will see some opportunities to grow, but because we are realists, we are going to make sure that the Pavey Group does what it must, and does it adequately.

Election of Officers and Committee
Phil Tritton took over for this part of the meeting and reported that the previous committee was willing to stand for re-election but that no new volunteers other than Neil Mattingly had come forward. Accordingly Pat Stapleton, Gary Readings and Russell Telfer were reappointed as Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary respectively.  Mary Lelliott was re-elected and Neil Mattingly was elected to the committee. Phil Tritton remains the Council Representative.

Any Other Business
The Chairman thanked everyone for coming, including Juliet Hankey who had provided refreshments for us in the lead up to the meeting.

Russell Telfer Hon Sec

30th September 2014

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