MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2022
HELD IN THE HALL, WIGSTON COLLEGE ON WEDNESDAY 23 FEBRUARY 2022 AT 7.15PM
The meeting was opened at 7.15pm by the Chairman. He gave the apologies for those listed below:
Liz Ward, Michael & Benita Vann, Judith Proctor, Tony Lawrence, Di Lawrence, Jane Callis, Andy & Carol Lincoln, Alan Freckingham, Joy Heskins.
The meeting was attended by 69 members and one visitor who joined on the night.
The Chairman announced, with great sadness, the death of our founder member and President, Duncan Lucas. His funeral will be on 1 March at 1.00pm at the URC on Long Street. Donations are welcome and will be split amongst Wigston Charities and organisations.
1. MINUTES OF AGM 2021
The Chairman then reported that the Minutes of the AGM 2021 had been posted on the Internet for members to read in preparation for tonight’s AGM. He then asked if any members had any points to raise of which there were none.
Acceptance of the Minutes were proposed by Sheila Bolton, seconded by Peter Chimley.
2. CHAIRMAN’S REPORT 2021
2021 was a most difficult year for us all, both with dealing with Covid-19 and all of the associated issues in the running of the Society and the Heritage Centre.
With the hard work by Committee members, we were able to overcome issues and move forward. One of our biggest problems was all the changes with speakers and dates which was managed by Ann Cousins.
Zoom was a very useful tool for the committee as we were able to meet monthly online, resolving issues and plan for the future.
I would like to thank members for their support during this difficult period and we look forward to regular meetings in 2022.
Thanks also to the Committee for without their tireless work there would not be a Society or Heritage Centre.
I hope that 2022 will be kinder to us and allow the Society to continue with a full programme of talks and outings.
Thank you all
3. WEBMASTER REPORT
The website still gets regular viewers, with an average of 250 hits per month to the home page. The site has now been indexed and added to 40 world-wide search engines.
In the last 12 months several new features have been added including a digitised audio version of Doreen Boulter’s Wiggy’s War, and several new transaction files have been added to the Members Only area.
The photograph archive has been updated by Mike Forryan, and now contains over 11,000 photographs
The latest addition is our new Online Store bringing all of our publications and products in to one place, and can all be purchased via the SumUp credit card system, with the transaction charges much less than PayPal
4. PUBLICATIONS REPORT
In the spring of 2021, we published the third volume of the Wigston - Window on The Past Series edited by Steve Marquis, and in Spring 2022 the fourth volume, currently being printed, will be available.
DVD and publications sales were much slower than previous years due to the lack of meetings and the Heritage Centre being closed for part of the Year.
Slightly later than planned we issued the 5th of our historical DVDs based on Wigston Cemetery in early January 2022 researched by Peter Cousins.
Mike Forryan compiled our historical calendar for 2022, which we published in September 2021.
5. MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY’S REPORT
Last year saw continued problems due to Covid restrictions and precautions resulting in a number of meetings taking place via Zoom. However, we were able to hold 3 meetings in the College Hall in the Autumn. Unfortunately, it became necessary to cancel the December meeting/Christmas party.
Despite the continued problems due to Covid, we had 22 new members join the Society and had 8 resignations. Sadly, we have to report the deaths of Tony Atkins and Brian Woodward, both long standing members.
We were able to attract a total of 20 visitors through the year, some of these for our meetings on Zoom plus on our guided walk around Hoby, but most for the ever-popular talks on railways in the Hall in the Autumn.
At the end of the year, we had a membership of 180.
6. TREASURER’S REPORT
This is the report on the accounts for the year ending 31 December 2021, the second year affected by the covid pandemic and its resulting restrictions. A decision was taken late in 2020 to levy subscriptions at 50% of the agreed rate in view of the reduced level of activities anticipated in 2021, which in themselves led to fewer opportunities to sell books, DVDs and calendars.
Looking at general income and running costs, subscription and visitor’s fees were down by £435 on the previous year. However, related costs were only about £120 less than 2020 which was of course also affected by lockdowns, so some costs like lecture fees and room hire actually went up in 2021. The cancelled Christmas party in 2021 caused a net cost of only £20.00 after much of the unused food and drink was sold off. Overall, there was a deficit of £108 in this area of our activity.
Donations and grants at nearly £990 covered the costs of the Heritage Centre of £742.
During the year, 49 DVDs were sold at a profit of £224. Dave Andrews, who narrates the DVDs, has received his usual commission of £1 per copy which he donates to a charity. There were 136 calendars for 2022 sold during the year resulting in a profit of £108 after writing off unsold stock. In terms of books, we sold a total of 91 copies of the various titles resulting in a profit of just over £250. Therefore, the total number of items sold was 276 compared with 498 in 2020.
As a result, the overall surplus for the year was £737 which, after non cash adjustments, lead to bank balances increasing to £9573.
Our thanks, once again, go to Garry Davies who has examined the accounts. I have a signed copy in my possession which can be examined if you wish. He is prepared to act again next year. My own thanks go to Peter Cousins who has controlled the sales of DVDs, calendars and books and to Roger Whalley who has ably completed his first year as membership secretary dealing with subscriptions.
I present these accounts for your approval.
Acceptance of the Accounts were proposed by: Peter Smart, seconded by Linda Forryan
7. ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE
The Chairman reported that we have a new Bulletin Editor, Steve Marquis, who has been co-opted onto the committee and needs to be officially voted on.
This was proposed by Mike Hibbitt, seconded by Rupert Brooker.
Judith Proctor has been co-opted as a new committee member and needs to be officially voted on.
Proposed by Stuart Mucklejohn, seconded by Joan Rowbottom
The Chairman reported that both Tricia Berry and Jane Callis have decided to stand down from the committee but will remain members.
The following committee was then elected: -
Vice Chairman/Webmaster/Publications Peter Cousins
Membership SecretaryRoger Whalley
Bulletin EditorSteve Marquis
Heritage Centre LiaisonJoan Rowbottom
Margaret Gee, Linda Forryan, Neil Hancock, Judith Proctor
Proposed by Robin Woolley, seconded by Sue Henderson
8. FUND RAISING
The Chairman announced that he felt that the Society required a person to be able to “open doors” with businesses to help fund and support us with donations. He has had a meeting with Tony Fisher of Fishers of Wigston who has agreed to take on this role.
9. SUBSCRIPTIONS 2023
The Chairman announced that due to ever rising costs the Committee had decided to propose that all rates of subscription be increased by £1.00 per person for 2023. Rates will, therefore, be: Full Membership £14.00, Concessions £11.00, Students £6.00, and overseas £7.00.
Proposed by Robin Woolley, seconded by Mike Hibbitt.
10. VENUE AND MEETING DAYS
The Chairman made the members aware of the difficulties that Ann Cousins is having with hall bookings with the Wigston College. We can no longer use the hall during school holidays and half terms, and we have had to change some dates. It was decided that it was time to look for alternative arrangements for our meetings. After much searching it was decided that the best place to accommodate us is the Menphys Hub in Bassett Street, South Wigton.
The move, however, does cause a change in the days of our meetings. We will have to move to Tuesday evenings instead of Wednesdays. We will still maintain the meeting during the 3rd week of each month with the exception of the December meeting which will be a week earlier. The times will remain the same, open to members and the public from 6.45pm, with the talk starting at 7.15pm, finishing by 9.00. Members will be informed of the new dates in due course. A show of hands indicated that at least 80% of the members in attendance agreed with the move.
Note: - These changes will not take effect until September 2022
It was asked by a member if leaving the College Hall would have any effect on the Heritage Centre. The Chairman explained that after a meeting with Mark Mitchley, the Executive Head of the Academy that they were very happy with our presence in the Centre.
Colin Towell stated that he was full of praise for the immense amount of work that that Mike and Peter undertake on behalf of the Society and that this was fully appreciated by the membership.
The AGM closed at 7.45pm. This was followed by a talk from Peter Cousins on The Significant Buildings, Conservation Areas and Blue Plaques of Wigston Part 2.