Letter to Members

Letter to Members

15 Jul 2022

                                                                                                                                    July 2022

Dear Members                                                                                                             

What a finale to our season!  I think you will all agree that was an amazing lecture to end with.  The speaker was excellent, his slides amazing and 28 very satisfied visitors shared it with us.  All that remains for us to do now is enjoy the sunshine and have a relaxing summer.

Your committee met earlier this week to review the year and to plan our future.  They work very hard on your behalf to ensure the society runs smoothly.  My heartfelt thanks to them all. After many trials and tribulations and various experiments, we agreed that James has now got the sound as near perfection as he can, your 2022/23 programme has been finalised and your membership/programme cards will be ready for you to collect in September.  Our speaker secretaries put in a great deal of hard work to ensure we have a varied programme to hopefully suit everyone, and they deserve a big thank you from us all.  Should you have a topic or speaker you particularly want to hear, please talk to either them or a member of the committee.  Your suggestions are always welcome.

There will be a few changes to the committee in September.  Sue Peckitt, who has arranged your speakers for several years, has retired as Programme Secretary after 4 difficult years of Covid, having to cancel and re-book speakers.  Jenny Howard-Vyse, who has filled this role for 6 years, is also retiring at the AGM.  She too has worked long and hard to ensure that your speakers arrive safely, are fed, watered, and have everything they need to deliver their lecture. Our thanks and good wishes to them both.  I am happy to tell you that the programme is now in the very capable hands of Alyson Jones, who will do an excellent job.  Jenny has been supporting and helping Alyson these past few months and we have a very good programme booked for the year 22/23.  Jenny isn’t leaving the committee; she is just changing roles and has offered to organise some trips for us.  Again, if you have any suggestions, please talk to her.

For our society to function well we need your help.  There are several tasks that need to be done, but you don’t necessarily have to commit to joining the committee.  For example, our speakers often need collecting from or returning to Darlington or Northallerton station and delivering to Tennants with time to set up their lecture and have a bite of lunch.  This normally means they need to be there by 1 p.m.  We have 9 lectures per season which means that if several of you offer, nobody does a lot of journeys.  The lecturer also needs looking after over lunch, so the committee has agreed, as a thank you to the driver, to pay for their lunch.

Unfortunately, we are going to have to raise our subscription this year.  We have not done this for the past several years, but Tennants have put up our room hire charges, lecturers’ fees have increased, and you don’t need me to tell you what has happened to travel costs.  Our lecturers are very thoughtful and keep their expenses to a minimum, but they have still increased.  We are going to have to charge £60 per member from September.  However, if you break this down it works out at £6.60 per lecture which is still cheaper than going to the cinema and will just about buy you a coffee and a scone.  You still receive your magazine from The Arts Society keeping you abreast of exhibitions etc. and because we book top quality lecturers who are all endorsed by The Arts Society, they charge appropriate fees. On the presentation of your Membership Card there is still the benefit of 10% on your food in the café on lecture days.

Not wishing to end on a dreary note, all that remains is for me to thank you all for your support through what has been quite a difficult year for me.  It has been a delight to see so many of you every month and I look forward to seeing you all again on Tuesday September 27th when Nicholas Merchant will talk to us about the Collections of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great.

Enjoy the sunshine and have a good summer.

Best wishes

Susan

About the Author

Susan Rumsey Chair

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