Springtime is drawing near again thank goodness. It seems to have been a hard cold winter, but once again, hardy snowdrops seem to be surviving well, and local country houses are already advertising their displays. Time for a trip to the Cotswolds I think. A heavy fall of snow presented us with an uncommon challenge in December, when we were forced to cancel our evening lecture meeting. Using a combination of emails and our website, we were able to achieve this with minimum inconvenience. Thank you Kathy and John for maintaining our website which has been wonderful for promoting our Association and the delivery of information.
On reflection, 2017 seems to have been a very good year for the Association. Car and coach outings have again been well supported, and our monthly walks have been very popular. The outings committee has put together another interesting schedule. The Annual walkers’ holiday in mid-March this year to the Isle of Wight, is fully subscribed, an indication of its popularity. Sadly, we have as yet not been able to resurrect the annual Association holiday, but the committee keeps it under review, and is open to suggestions, ideas and volunteers.
The lecture programme has proved as popular as ever with a wide range of returning and new speakers. The lecture committee, under the guidance of Margaret Wood works hard to achieve this, working up to two years ahead to book quality speakers. The theatre group continues its interest.
A recent topic at our management meeting, was that of manpower and volunteers. The next two years will see a period of change. Margaret Jones has advised that she will step down from the organisation of refreshments for our evening meetings in April, after many years. Margaret Wood has indicated that she will relinquish responsibility for speakers’ secretary in September 2019, Cliff Hubbold has decided to vacate his role as President in April 2019, and I feel that after six years it is time for me to retire as chairman in April 2019. Clearly it is important that these posts are filled to maintain the quality of our organisation. The dates mentioned will give successors a working year from now to shadow those currently holding the positions to learn the ropes. The organisation will not thrive without strong management. If you would like to undertake a role, then please speak to Vivian Fairbank or myself for details. Remember time passes quickly!
Our account is healthy, and we have been able to send donations to a variety of projects. Our membership numbers are fairly stable, and Lilian works hard to manage details and contact. Her database proved invaluable at the time of the December meeting cancellation. Sadly, her predecessor of many years, Mary Sankey, died recently.
Finally, a big thank you once again for all of the hard work and support from members of the association and the committee, and all of those who have assisted in any way during the last 12 months.