Minutes OF THE 34th AGM, 2016

The 34th Annual General Meeting of The Hadleigh Society was held in Hadleigh Old Town Hall on Wednesday 15th June 2016 at 8 p.m.

26 members attended.

1.   Apologies for absence

6 members sent apologies.

2.   Minutes of the 33rd AGM

Approved as a correct record.

3.   Treasurer’s Report by Chris Drake

I am happy to say that it has been a peaceful year on the financial front. Mavis has continued Margaret’s sterling work as Membership Secretary so subscription income as recorded has only gone down a little: this always tends to fluctuate as members remember or forget to pay. The potential for savings in printing and postage costs by using email more is now limited: thank you for your cooperation in this. We showed a small deficit on the year in our routine operations. There is a substantial reduction in total funds as, because the Tesco saga has finally been resolved, we returned the donation received in October 2013 with our thanks for the loan.

It is often suggested that as our members tend towards the more elderly end of the age spectrum we should hold our meetings in a ground floor room for easier access. While the committee are sympathetic to that argument I must point out that we get this room at a preferential rate. Using either the Dining Room or the Guildroom would treble the cost of room hire, equivalent to a 40% increase in subscriptions. Our membership is tending to go down slowly so extra members attracted by easier access to a ground floor room would be very welcome. However, would there be enough to compensate for those leaving because of the required fee increase? We could find ourselves in a downward spiral of fewer members, increasing fees and reducing income with only one outcome.

My thanks go to Paul Garrard of Walter Wright Chartered Accountants for his help once again in the preparation of the accounts.

If you have any questions relating to the Accounts for 2015/2016 I will attempt to answer them.

In a brief discussion of solutions for disabled access Jan Byrne confirmed that any change in the Town Hall arrangements would lose our preferential rate and that other venues in the town all charged similar rates to each other. Margaret noted that places such as the Ansell Centre were not as easy to book for our occasional use. Chris stated that any change would result in a charge around £100 per meeting.  Jan reported that the Town Hall management has looked extensively at stair lifts, which reduce the overall capacity of the Old Town Hall to about 50 and only allow one disabled person at an event. A lift would probably have to be external.

4.   History Group Report

Presented by Jan Byrne on behalf of the Group Chair, Sue Angland.

After a well-earned break lasting several months, the History Group reconvened to discuss its next research project.  It was decided that the next project should be ‘Hadleigh in the 1960s: a decade of change’, and that is what we are currently working on.

It could be argued that the 1960s witnessed the most significant change and development in the town since the decline of the medieval woollen cloth industry. 

During the 60s there were large areas of housing and employment development which led to rapid population growth.  But there was also a decline in some traditional trades in the town.  Of course, the 1960s is within living memory for a lot of us, and we hope to include some personal accounts of everyday life from people who were living here at that time. 

In 1965 Hadleigh Urban District Council published its Local Plan, which made some interesting recommendations for Hadleigh.  So if you want to know what did and what didn’t happen within the town, you’ll be able to find out when we present our research to the Society next year.

5.   Environment Group Report

The Environment Group of the Society has been re-formed, initially to work on  the Roof the Kitchen project.

We are also looking at Listed Buildings in the town; are there any omissions, and should we create a Local List.

Buildings on a Local List would be those which are considered to have particular interest,  historically or architecturally, but are not significant enough to warrant Listed status.

A Local List once approved by Babergh, becomes an adopted policy document, which should offer the buildings some protection from unsuitable development or demolition.

The Guildhall Kitchen

We had hoped to make this presentation in the kitchen itself, but the weather seems too unreliable, however as  we do have permission to go into the garden, if anyone would like to talk to us about the kitchen on site, we can go down afterwards.

Since our report in the December Newsletter, Morgan Lear has done a lot of work on a report; he will outline the next phase,  but first, Roger is going to remind us of the importance of this ‘ruin’ and why we feel it is important to save it.

One thing we may need during this project is an archeologist; so if you, or any of your friends have the qualifications and would like to be involved, please let us know

Margaret mentioned a Ruby celebration in 6 years time, so we have a target.

It is a long time since the vision of ‘Roof the Kitchen’ was first talked over between John Bloomfield and myself; it was when FOHGS was 5 years old and the Had Soc was 20; we thought that gave us 5 years to launch, if not complete the project, for a joint Silver Celebration, and 10th birthday party.

 Unfortunately the Tesco application arrived, so it all remained a dream.

6.   Chair’s Review by Margaret Woods

During the year June 2105 – June 2016 we have had an entertaining and varied range of speakers:

First on the programme in August 2015 were two Hadleigh Society members, Roger Kennel & Sally Looker, who gave a fascinating & well-illustrated talk on ‘Beating the Bounds around the Parish of Hadleigh’ – this was a real highlight.

Then in October 2105 Roy Tricker, that redoubtable vicar, entertained us wonderfully with his delightfully humorous & informative talk on the The History of the Diocese: A Hundred Years Not Out’.

In December William Tyler provided a skilfully delivered & lively talk Out on the Margins – Suffolk Poachers & Smugglers’. We enjoyed it so much we invited him back this coming December before he flees East Anglia for the West Country.

Our first evening in January 2016 brought Edward Martin who very kindly stepped in at the last moment when the scheduled speaker sadly & suddenly died. Edward set out to enthuse us about the Bronze Age in Suffolk’ & we all seemed to feel he succeeded in that aim.

Mark Mitchells was the March 2016 speaker & he gave a truly inspirational talk on The Lost City of Dunwich’.

Our final speaker in May 2016 was Dr Nick Sign who spoke on Servants in Suffolk Country Houses’; he rather made us think we should most definitely prefer to have been born upstairs!

Attendance at meetings has been very pleasing varying between 41 & 68, though disappointingly membership numbers have dropped a little to 153, so do please encourage your friends & family to come along & also some youngsters who can carry on the work of the society in future years.

This year we have taken to using e-mail as the main means of communicating with members. Small programme cards have been made available for those who do not have a computer but these cards seem to have proved quite popular with everyone. We do hope members are becoming used to and feeling comfortable with this change.

Two major planning possibilities appeared on the Hadleigh scene during the year. The first was the McCarthy & Stone development on the former Brett works site which only this week has presented to Babergh its plans for retirement flats and bungalows; committee representatives attended the meetings to discuss possible issues. The other is the Orchard Meadows plan to build on the former Town House Fruit Farm site; this is in the very early stages of initial consultation & Graham and I will attend a meeting on Friday. The following planning items also came to the attention of the committee & warranted some action:

-          The possibility of parking charges was raised but that has not come to pass, we did however make Babergh councillors well aware of our views

-          Committee members attended the special talks concerning St Mary’s Church  fairly radical development plans for the church  building

-          The extremely serious leak in the Deanery Tower roof was drawn to our attention & we added our voice to those of a few other town groups by sending a letter to the bishop expressing our grave concerns & requesting its urgent repair. It is currently being repaired.

The committee has operated well this year with only four members, all holding an office, who obviously have had to work extremely hard. Pleasingly tonight we have one additional nomination for a new member but a further committee member would be still be most welcome.

In view of this rather small & therefore busy committee I must say a huge thank you to each of them -

Hattie for re-activating the Environment Group, which now also incorporates planning, & also for masterminding the current project concerning the guildhall medieval kitchen.

Chris our treasurer for his meticulously kept accounts & his useful pragmatic advice at committee meetings, especially on financial matters

Graham who, as secretary, is the lynchpin. He is so very efficient & his great knowledge & experience of the society & its rules are invaluable & crucially they enable him to ensure we adhere appropriately to the constitution. He is also indispensable as webmaster & newsletter editor.

To the three of you many many thanks for all your hard work & support.

Not on the committee but essential to our smooth running are:

Sue Angland who continues to be chair of our History Group regularly dealing patiently & helpfully with family & other historical enquiries

Our new Membership Secretary Mavis Winders is clearly running that aspect of the society with great efficiency & good humour.  Thank you both.

During the year another new venture was to set up 3 sub-committees to help with the running of meetings; they have proved successful due mainly to their enthusiastic membership.

The first sub-group with Mike Fosdike, Richard Westwell & Michael Woods have helped with setting up the room prior to meetings, we simply could not have managed without them. 

Also our programme group whose role is to help with ideas for future speakers, in particular Gill Dudley.

And for their first event this evening, the initially called Catering Group or we thought a new & more appropriate name might be the Special Event Management Sub-committee, who tonight have set out the cheese & wine for our enjoyment; they will hopefully help again with our December mulled wine & mince pie meeting.

Our most grateful thanks to all of these wonderful sub-committee members.

And of course you the society members are the main reason we exist so we naturally greatly value your continuing support. Please enjoy this evening’s short talk followed by the wine & cheese & we look forward to seeing each of you at as many of our 2016-17 meetings as you can manage to attend.  Thank you all very much indeed.

7.   Election of Officers and Executive Committee Members

Present committee nominated and returned en bloc. Ray Whitehand was elected as a new member. Jan Byrne was re-elected as President.

Jan Byrne 

President

Margaret Woods

Chair

Chris Drake

Treasurer

Graham Panton

Secretary

Hattie Bawden

member

Ray Whitehand

member

 

The meeting finished at 8.30pm

This was followed by a brief presentation on the Guildhall Kitchen by Roger Kennell, Morgan Lear and Hattie Bawden and then to finish, wine and nibbles.

Accounts

2016

2015

INCOMING RESOURCES

Subscriptions

£959.00

£1,040.00

Meetings

£86.00

£45.00

Donations

£25.50

£0.00

Books sold

£54.00

Trip on "Victor"

SLHC Study Day

£356.40

£1,070.50

£1,495.40

Bank Deposit Interest

£0.80

£0.35

TOTAL INCOMING RESOURCES

£1,071.30

£1,495.75

RESOURCES USED

TOTAL DIRECT CHARITABLE EXPENDITURE

Donations & Affiliation Fees

£50.00

£240.00

Printing & Publishing

£62.20

£80.00

Postage & Stationery

£31.38

£68.02

Society Meetings & Materials

£777.14

£655.18

Trip on "Victor"

SLHC Study Day

£280.80

£920.72

£1,324.00

OTHER EXPENDITURE

Administration & Sundry

£177.00

£220.19

TOTAL RESOURCES USED

£1,097.72

£1,544.19

NET INCOMING RESOURCES FOR THE YEAR

-£26.42

-£48.44

GENERAL FUND

Balance Brought Forward at 1 May 2015

2815.39

£2,863.83

Balance Carried Forward at 30 April 2016

£2,788.97

£2,815.39

RESTRICTED FUND - "Hands Off Hadleigh"

Balance Brought Forward at 1 May 2015

£1,307.89

Donations Received

-£1,250.00

£0.00

Expenditure - Literature

£0.00

£0.00

Expenditure - Stationery & Postage

£0.00

£0.00

Balance Carried Forward at 30 April 2016

£57.89

£1,307.89

RESTRICTED FUND - Public Address System

Balance Brought Forward at 1 May 2015

-£64.00

£642.00

Grant Received

Expenditure - Remote Microphones & Stand

£706.00

Balance Carried Forward at 30 April 2016

-£64.00

-£64.00

TOTAL FUNDS AT 30 April 2016

£2,782.86

£4,059.28

BALANCE SHEET

30 April 2016

30 April 2015

CURRENT ASSETS

Bank Current Account

£764.40

£2,041.62

Bank No. 2 Current Account - Fighting Fund

£0.00

£1,307.89

Bank Deposit Account

£2,015.88

£707.19

Cash in Hand

£2.58

£2.58

£2,782.86

£4,059.28

 

INCOME

Date

Bank

Ac

Subscriptions

Meetings

Fighting
Fund

Other

Donations

Notes

06/05/2015

£63.00

c

£63.00

05/05/2015

£12.00

c

£12.00

Direct Credit

05/05/2015

£12.00

c

£12.00

Direct Credit

05/05/2015

£12.00

c

£12.00

Direct Credit

12/05/2015

£12.00

c

£12.00

Direct Credit

13/05/2015

£196.50

c

£132.00

£51.00

£13.50

02/06/2015

£12.00

c

£12.00

Direct Credit

11/06/2015

£48.00

c

£48.00

28/07/2015

£92.00

c

£92.00

07/08/2015

£57.00

c

£48.00

£9.00

07/10/2015

£126.00

c

£124.00

£2.00

12/10/2015

£20.00

c

£20.00

Direct Credit

04/11/2015

£8.00

c

£8.00

Direct Credit

20/11/2015

£40.00

c

£40.00

01/12/2015

£12.00

c

£12.00

Direct Credit

09/12/2015

£110.00

c

£100.00

£8.00

£2.00

21/01/2016

£8.00

c

£8.00

Direct Credit

25/01/2016

£12.00

c

£12.00

Direct Credit

01/03/2016

£8.00

c

£8.00

Direct Credit

17/03/2016

£198.00

c

£172.00

£18.00

£8.00

29/04/2016

£12.00

c

£12.00

Direct Credit

Total

£1,070.50

£959.00

£86.00

£0.00

£0.00

£25.50

£1,070.50