Chairman’s Notes

 

I hope that Members enjoyed a festive Christmas and New Year and that you are looking forward to our interesting and varied programme for 2012.  After five years as your Chairman, I shall be retiring by rotation at our AGM on March 12th, when my successor will be elected.  I have very much enjoyed being Chairman and Lecture Organiser and working with so many committed and competent people since joining the Committee in 2002.  I hope that I leave the Association in good shape and have every confidence for the future.

I am pleased to report three new appointments.  Michael Perkin has agreed to take over from me as Lecture Organiser, starting in January.  Amanda Findlay, who is Curator of Sandham Memorial Chapel and has been a member of the Association for some years, has agreed to succeed June Hearsey as Membership Secretary from the AGM, and Elizabeth Howlett has agreed to take over from Ian Hopper as Newsletter Compiler from March 2012.  June and Ian are retiring from their positions.  We thank them both for their consistent dedication, support, and help over many years’ service to the Association, which has raised such large funds for National Trust projects.  John Foster has agreed to stand for the Committee at the AGM.

Thank you for voting and the submissions regarding our venue for lectures and events.  You will recall that with the redevelopment of the St Barts Wormestall building we were obliged to move, and found suitably equipped and priced accommodation at New Greenham Arts from October 2010 to May 2011.  When the new St Barts building opened, we decided to try the Sixth Form study area that was offered to us, for four months to December 2011.  The Committee has weighed all your views and relevant factors and has concluded unanimously that there are four determining reasons why New Greenham Arts is clearly the more suitable location. (1) The New Greenham Arts auditorium is much more suited in its shape and configuration, and has equipment such as a screen which the St Barts venue does not.  (2) New Greenham Arts can take an audience up to our maximum of about 150, while the comfortable capacity of the St Barts venue is about 90.  (3) Access to New Greenham Arts does not involve use of a lift; that at St Barts has proved very inconvenient for both the organisers and many members.  (4) The service which we have received from New Greenham Arts has been outstandingly good.  The prices of both venues are almost the same.  We shall therefore resume our lectures and other events at New Greenham Arts from January 2012, when I look forward to seeing you.  We thank St Barts School for their help over the four months.

A major new initiative has been our educational fund, by which we offer to local schools to defray the cost of a coach journey to a National Trust property.  The idea was devised and is administered by Gerald Orbell, and several schools have taken up the offer.  It is funded from our reserves and from funds skilfully raised from charitable foundations by Keith Spires.  We hope by this means to interest the next generation in the National Trust and raise the profile of the Association.

We shall be celebrating our 30th Anniversary as an Association with a lunch at Esseborne Manor on Sunday 20th May, at the attractive price of £30.  Details are inside and I hope that as many of you as possible will join us for this important event.

I look forward to seeing you at our 2012 meetings.

 

Anthony Pick

Chairman





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