Chairman’s Notes

As I write this the Chelsea Flower Show is on. Designers and presenters have brought to it more remarkable structures and layouts this year. There are excellent ingenious, clever and beautiful creations.  I am reminded that among all these nature rules. Capability Brown recognised this in exploiting nature in his many landscapes featured in National Trust properties. This year is the 300th Anniversary of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown’s birth. Today National Trust gardeners and volunteers carry on the good work.

Our Tour Organisers have arranged and led many interesting and enjoyable visits to gardens and properties again this year. We have also had a range of visits and talks embracing properties and people steeped in history and enjoyable theatre visits.  For these we thank our volunteers for their time and effort.

We are very fortunate that the Officers and Committee Members were prepared to be re-elected at our AGM in March. We convey our thanks and appreciation to all those who have taken on the various roles and responsibilities in running our Association and members for participating in visits and events. All contribute to making it a success and achieving our dual objectives. These are to provide interesting, educational and enjoyable activities for members of our Association and to raise funds to further the work of the National Trust. We need to ensure it continues by providing succession to these vital roles. Any members interested in volunteering to take on a role and joining our team, which can be very enjoyable and satisfying, please talk with me or any of our Committee Members.

Geoff Hearsey, who has arranged and run  the draw at meetings for many years, and raised significant sums, wished to retire. Our thanks to him for that valuable contribution.  We are pleased that role has been taken over by Colleen Ward, supported by Diana Welch and Yvonne Wise. This is also the valiant team who arrange and run our Charity Coffee mornings and raise significant contributions there.

We have held membership subscriptions at the same level for many years but following the Treasurer’s report on the increasing costs we are facing, the AGM in March decided that from January 2017 the membership subscription should be increased. It will be raised to £15 for the first member of the family and £10 for subsequent members of the family living at the same address. These are considered to be still modest figures. 

It saves a huge amount of time if subscriptions are paid by standing order. There is a form towards the end of this newsletter to enable you to do this. It would be helpful if those paying by standing order already could let their bank or building society know of the revised figure well in advance. For those who bank online the figure can easily be changed over the internet. We look forward to members renewing their membership, and continuing to participate and support their Association.

Best wishes for an enjoyable summer.
Gerald Orbell


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