Chairman’s Notes

Following the resignation of Carol Wood, on moving home, we were very pleased that June Hearsey was prepared to resume the role and that she was re-elected Membership Secretary at our Annual General Meeting in March. All other Committee members agreed to be re-elected and continue with their responsibilities and I extend our thanks to them, the Tour Organisers, and other volunteers. They all make a very valuable contribution to the success of the Association.  I would especially like to thank Denise Symes, Valerie Jackson and Catherine Knott who add a nice touch to our Talks evenings by arranging and serving coffees. Particular thanks to Catherine Knott who is retiring from that role and to Jenny Dunbar who has volunteered to take her place. Angela Goodenough, who has been arranging and managing our coffee mornings at St. Nicolas Church Hall, wishes to retire after the coffee morning on Thursday 31st July, 2014.   These have been very successful fund raising events. 

We raised £8000 from activities during 2013 and, as agreed at the Annual General Meeting, will be making donations to projects at local properties. We continue to support the work on refurbishing Sandham Memorial Chapel and providing improved visitor access and facilities. We heard an excellent talk from Alice Lee on the history of the Chapel and planned new developments. The paintings, which have been on exhibition at Somerset House, London and Pallant House Gallery in Chichester will be returned to the Chapel for the opening on 5th August 2014. The Annual General Meeting reaffirmed our policy regarding the Education Fund which receives specific donations. Grants made to schools support educational visits to National Trust Properties.

A third of our members pay their annual subscription by standing order. This is simple and many members will have standing orders for other purposes. I urge those who have not yet arranged a standing order to please do so. This saves you postage and the Association the postage involved in sending out reminders. Our arrangement is that membership cards for those paying by standing order will be available for collection at meetings. Those that have not been collected will be posted to members after the Annual General Meeting.

We have an interesting variety of visits during the coming months and talks will resume as usual in September. The talk on Monday the 10th November will be at Newbury Rugby Club, Monks Lane, because rehearsals for the pantomime at the Corn Exchange take place at Greenham during that period. The question of a location for talks was discussed at the Annual General Meeting when it was reaffirmed that on grounds of cost, suitability and excellent service we should continue meeting at the Greenham Arts Centre.

Best wishes for a very relaxing and enjoyable summer.

Gerald Orbell

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