The 2016/17 season commenced last September when we held a special evening in the Town Hall with the guest speaker Tony Russell, writer and broadcaster – this was to celebrate at least 160 years of a Gardening organisation in the town. As reported at last years AGM. this proved very successful and was enjoyed by all. Our usual monthly indoor meetings then moved back to this hall in October.
Topics and speaker have been very varied. 5 of the 8 speakers were already known to us from previous years, and good presentations from the 3 new speakers.
Two full day and two half day trips were arranged – Bristol Botanic Gardens and Suspension Bridge (it poured with rain all day!) but seemed to be enjoyed by all and The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, (a record number of 60) – a beautiful day but not long enough to see everything. The part days were to Cerney Gardens and Charlecote Park, good weather and enjoyed by all. Unfortunately the wrong size coach was sent for Charlecote but thanks to Elaine Parsons and Jo Rigg who went home to collect their cars everyone reached Charlecote. Pulhams were full of apologies and refunded the price of the coach for that day. The committee have decided to hold the £300 over until next year and reduce the cost of trips for 2018. Despite not filling the coaches for all trips we made a profit of £120 which has been transferred to the main account.
The paid-up membership stands at 72 at present.
We received our usual gift of £50 from the Batsford Foundation. This is sent to us to help off-set the cost of speakers.
To help with the expenses of speakers, insurance and hire of this hall we have a sales table at most meetings and continue to have a plant sale at the Chipping Norton Town festival – raising £203 this year. Many thanks to all who supplied and purchased plants and helped in any way.
A group of members and friends continue to help with the gardens at Abbeyfield during the summer/autumn season and a smaller number have also spent time tidying the garden at the front of Beech Haven care home, adding spare plants we have to the borders.
At last year’s AGM I asked if members would consider helping with some of the secretarial duties. Thank you to all who volunteered – Martin Freeman who continues to prepare and display posters and keeps the website up-to-date; and would like to hear from any member who has a gate, fence or even a tree that we could use to display our posters for meetings as we have lost several sites), to the refreshment team, Elaine Parsons, Joan Thomson and Stuart Rigg; Elaine also the PA system and George Barrow for distributing the “Country Gardener” magazine. Martin would like to hear from anyone who would be willing to help with the website.
If any member is interested in renting an allotment by the senior school, there are quite a few vacant – anyone interested please see me afterwards for details.
Paula has indicated that she wishes to relinquish her post as Chairman at next year’s (2018) AGM but is willing to continue until that date. Please will you all consider this position over the next few month’s – letting me know if you would be willing to take on this role or nominate someone.
Thank you to the committee for your continued support, and to you, members and friends for your support at meetings, trips and the plant sales.
Linda Souch said the financial report is attached – we hold good balances and we are in a very healthy position. Holding the sale table and festival plant sale enables us to meet all our expenses so the membership fee would remain at £10 which it has been for quite a few years. Linda drew attention that we receive discount at some garden centres when we present the membership card.
All were willing to stand for another year – the membership agreed to the reappointment of officers:- Chairman – Paula Mitchell; deputy chairman – Reg. Cornish; secretary – Eileen Forse; treasurer – Linda Souch and membership secretary – Emma Bayley.
All members were will to stand for another year – they were duly appointed:- George Barrow, Terry and Kate Bartholomew, Martin Freeman, Elisabeth Morland, Doug. Paxton and Wendy Sumners.
The committee had asked Paul Embden if he would be willing to take on this position and to become a member of the committee, to which he had agreed. All the membership duly elected Paul to these positions.
The treasurer had asked Michael Fletcher (our examiner for 2016/17) if he would be willing to undertake this position – to which he had agreed. The membership unanimously appointed him for another year.
Maretta Cambray said on behalf of the membership, she would like to thank all the committee for all the work they do during the year – the membership all agreed.
Date of next AGM – Wednesday 21st November 2018.
There being no further business this part of the evening closed.