This year has certainly been a year of extremes! So far we have had snow and freezing temperatures at the early part of the year, floods and heavy rain, then a heat wave with day after day of sunshine with scorching temperatures and threats of hosepipe bans. This combination of extremes has had a beneficial effect on flowers, shrubs and tree foliage. This is particularly true in the case of the formal laid gardens of our National Trust properties, which have been magnificent, with glorious flower blooms. It would appear to have boosted visitor attendances. It is amazing how cool some of the older properties are in this extreme heat.

We have been able to benefit from this also on our Association outings, by coach and car, which again have proved very popular. We were saddened by the death of Derek Weaver, a member for many years, and who assisted his wife Pam in the organisation of car outings. Another long-time member, Dr Pam Paddock, who died earlier this year, has left a generous legacy to the Association. We will advise how this will be used following our next committee meeting.

Our winter/spring schedule will soon commence with a wide range of topics and some of our favourite speakers. It is always encouraging to see high numbers of members attending, and our speakers often comment on this. We have planned some social events, always popular, and are planning an annual lunch in late February.

Again, please keep an eye on our excellent website, where details are made available for all to see. Tell your friends about us! Thank you for your continued support.

Finally, as always, I would like to say a big thank you to all members of the committee, event organisers and supporters. What pleases all of us who are involved, is seeing members taking part in, and enjoying events we have organised.

GDPR

I am sure that you will have been contacted by many organisations regarding GDPR. We too have had to declare our intentions. We have tried to keep it as simple as possible. Basically we promise to keep your details safe in the terms stated. We have kept the amount of information stored to a minimum, but to be sufficient to provide a good level of service. We will ask you to sign a form on payment of your subs, but will also assume that anyone paying their annual subscription would want to be included.

Malcolm Taylor

Chairman