Committee AGM Report 2021 & Accounts

Committee AGM Report 2021 & Accounts

20 Aug 2021

Committee AGM Report 2020/2021

 It is difficult to produce an enthralling report of our activities over the last year when, certainly from the point of view of the majority of the membership, very little has happened. This does not mean that your committee has been entirely inactive and we have continued to meet on Zoom, and latterly in person, in order to make plans for the future course of the Society in the face of inevitable continuing uncertainty. We also hope that many of you have been able to make use of the on-line resources provided by the National Arts Society and have enjoyed the magazine which has continued to be produced and circulated to members. Mail-chimp has been our key method for keeping you informed and this is certainly the most efficient and cost effective means of communication. We appreciate that this is difficult for a small number of members but we would urge you to provide us with an email contact if at all possible.

In September I accepted the role of acting Chairman of the Society. I am conscious that, to many of you, I am something of an unknown quantity and look forward to the chance of actually meeting you in person in the near future. Obviously we are indebted to Martin for his commitment and dedication as Chairman over the last years during which our Society has grown in strength. His relaxed, informed and amusing style has been much appreciated and he will be a hard act to follow.

Sue West continues in the key role of Secretary and as such has been largely responsible for the overall organisation of the Society as well as ensuring that members are kept up to date with our affairs through mail-chimp. I am very grateful for her help and guidance over the last year.

Judie Graham-Clegg is a highly efficient Membership Secretary and has overseen the maintenance of a full membership despite all the difficulties of the pandemic and there remains a small waiting list to join. We were very sorry to learn of the demise of Arts Society South Lakes but are very pleased to welcome a number of their former members to Lunesdale.

Angela Pape was left with the unenviable task of cancelling all of our planned speakers in 2020 and 2021, but nevertheless has arranged a very interesting and varied monthly programme of lectures beginning in January 2022. We very much hope that this will be able to proceed with something near normality, although clearly we may have to adapt to the situation current at that time. Full membership fees have been suspended for the year but, as previously stated, we will be asking for a subscription of £15 which is the affiliation fee to the National Arts Society for 2022 which we are obliged to pay for each member. We hope that you will accept the need for this and that as many of you as possible will be able to enjoy the new season.

Our Study Days, Outings and Tours team consists of Jenny Fisher (study days), John Wilson (outings) and Sue O’Brien (tours) with Judie Graham-Clegg as adviser. The COVID pandemic meant that all events planned for 2020 were cancelled. Jenny had arranged two study days; Timothy Walker on colour in garden design and Barbara Askew on coronations through the ages. John’s outings to the World of Wedgwood and Isel Hall with the Lakes Distillery were not to be. Sue’s tour of Hampshire and Wiltshire was also abandoned.

Almost all future events are on hold for the time being. However, John is in the process of reorganising the outing to Isel Hall which is now planned for Tuesday 5th October. At the time of writing, details have yet to be finalised but we probably require around 30 participants to make this viable. We hope that many of you will find this an attractive proposition.

Before COVID intervened, a survey was conducted to establish the level of support for extra events, which was reinforced by collating data from past years. The team concluded that there is a reasonably strong level of support for outings which will continue. For study days and tours, interest is limited; a different approach will be tried in the form of one or two-night field trips. There was a net balance of £1,706.99 in the Trips Account on 31st March 2021. This represents a surplus built up over a number of years and acts as a buffer against loss making events and also provides the working funds needed to pay deposits in advance and purchase equipment. 

Mary Frankland remains highly committed to Young Arts projects and is starting to plan for 2022, focussing largely on schools.

Cathy Hartley has continued as our Treasurer for the last year but, as previously agreed, is now standing down. We are very grateful for all her hard work and efficiency during her time in the post. Happily, Margie Dixon has put her name forward for election and I believe that she would be an excellent replacement.

John Parkinson continues to work quietly and effectively in his management of projection and sound systems which is of crucial importance to our full enjoyment of lectures and presentations. He would however very much appreciate the existence of another member or members willing to act as back up to maintain this vital role. Would anyone with the relevant expertise please come forward.

On 21st September we are holding our first Annual General Meeting since 2019 which offers the chance of finally getting together again. This will take place at 11.00am at Borwick & Priest Hutton Memorial Hall and will be followed at 11.30am by a lecture by Richard Norman about a Russian realist painter called Ilya Repin, little known in the UK. Because of the likely need to limit numbers and for those who cannot stand the excitement of an AGM, Richard, who many of you will know as a past Chairman of our Society, has very kindly agreed to give the same lecture at 1.30pm. Judie definitely needs to know your intentions regarding attendance and it is important that you let her know, well in advance, which session you would prefer ( We hope that as many of you as possible will be able to come to one of the sessions and will find the event enjoyable.

We are very grateful for your continued support and I look forward to finally meeting you all.

John Houghton

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