07 April 2014

AGM chairman's report


17th April 2014


This year-end report mirrors those ofr many recent annual programmes, which clearlymeet Members’ requirements. The sustained high level of membership, together withthe continuing support of monthly meetings and the outings is an indication that the Committees’ efforts throughout the year are appreciated.  Christine Liddell hasmaintained the very high standard in her selection of quality speakers to present a very interesting programme.  John Angel’s stewardship of our finances has maintainedthe provision of good value with modest annual membership fees.  Ann Kelway, Jill Gregory and other volunteers have ensured an extremely high standard of catering, particularly at our Christmas social event.  Athis we were entertained by a group “Down from the Wannies” and Michael Taylor with one of his testing well prepared quizzes.  Members will have noticed that for the past 3 meetings refreshments have not been available afterwards.  This is not because we have exhausted our supply of biscuits or lack volunteers in the kitchen – the decision to suspend the service was taken simply because there was no demand!  

The May visit of 22 members to Featherstone Castle, courtesy of John Clarke, provided a rather unique opportunity for a guided tour of his home.  This was followed with tea & biscuits and an interesting talk by John outlining his stewardship of therambling Grade 1 listed property.
As a consequence of Mrs. Howard’s illness the planned guided tour of Naworth Castlein June was substituted at the last minute with a very interesting guided tour of the Gardens.  The group of 35 then enjoyed lunch at nearby Lanercost Priory followed by a leisurely afternoon visit to the monastery and 13th century church.  Because of the late change the visit to Naworth Castle is to be repeated on 26th June this year and wehope for the same fine weather on the day.
The assembly of 45 members and guests in Durham, for the July afternoon visit to see the touring Lindisfarne Gospels, was a great success and I am sure everyone enjoyed the experience.  The earlier guided tour of the Cathedral (The Shrine of St. Cuthbert)followed by lunch in the Prior’s Hall was an appropriate introductionWe even had time to enjoy the environs of Palace Green or stroll along the banks of the river Wear.

Michael Taylor continues his work on the development of our websitehttp://www.ponthistsoc.freeuk.com, in addition to administering the rota of volunteers who dedicate their time to the Help Desk in Ponteland Library on the first Friday afternoon of each month.  I take this opportunity to thank Michael, Geoff, Ann and Jill for their continuing support of this important link with the community.  If any members are interested in joining this band of helpers or indeed are interested in the work of the Committee then please make contact – we would welcome more input from you!  I am pleased to report that David Turner recently volunteered and has been co-opted to join the committee.

I present my report for adoption.

John Turner