Chairman’s Notes

We have had an excellent year of activities again thanks to all the volunteers who have taken on the various roles to make it a success. These are vital individual roles but enhanced and made more successful and satisfying with good teamwork. We do need more people to volunteer to be part of our team.

Our Tour Organisers have arranged and conducted a wide range of interesting and enjoyable day visits. Our Extended Tours enable us to visit places we could not reach on day trips and these continue to be popular.  Previously members have enjoyed tours in Northumberland, Suffolk and Norfolk.  In September 2016 Edna Wall, who chairs our Planning Group and coordinates the tours, arranged a very successful and enjoyable Extended Tour of North West England. Ian and Elizabeth Hopper have written a fine account of that tour in this newsletter. This was the last Extended Tour Edna will plan and lead. We are grateful for her work over many years and are very pleased that she will continue to chair our Planning Group and arrange day visits. In addition to the tours and visits members have enjoyed a variety of theatre visits arranged by our Vice Chairman, Keith Spires, which are always well supported. Keith also manages our Education Fund which helps to promote educational school trips to National Trust properties.

A wide range of informative and entertaining talks each month continue to be well attended and enjoyed. These have been arranged for several years by Michael Perkin who has ably researched and enlisted speakers. Having completed the programme of lectures for 2017 Michael wishes to retire from the role and we need a successor soon, to begin securing speakers and preparing the programme for 2018 onwards. Chris and Felicity Buckingham will be moving away nearer their family this summer and Chris will need to resign from the position of our Treasurer. We thank him for the many years he has filled that vital role so efficiently. We earnestly hope there will be members coming forward to succeed Michael and Chris and enable the Association to continue. Any members interested in doing so please speak to me, Chris or Michael. We do also need more Tour leaders and would like to explore setting up a Facebook page if anyone out there would like to take this on?

Please note standing orders have to be altered to the new rate (agreed at out AGM) from January 2017 (£15.00 for the first member of the family and £10.00 for subsequent members of the family if living at the same address). I hope members continue to enjoy being part of our Association and have renewed their membership.  These will be my last Chairman’s Notes as, after completing 5 years as Chairman, I am due to stand down at the AGM. I shall continue to participate in supporting the Association and wish it continuing success. 

My best wishes for a Happy New Year

Gerald Orbell  

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