Chairman’s Report 2013 AGM

Welcome to the 83rd AGM of Uplyme and Lyme Regis Horticultural Society – lovely to see you all tonight. This is my 5th report for the Society and I only intended in doing four!!

Thank you for all who have helped make 2012 another successful year for the club – putting up posters/tables/chairs, collecting subscriptions, publicity, helping with teas and fundraising events, etc – the committee value your help . Special thanks to the committee who yet again have worked hard during what has been a very difficult ‘weather’ year. Several events were plagued by torrential rain – Pippa Greenwood’s talk, the trip to Cothay Manor, this year’s barn dance and of course, the ‘Summer Show’. We had to cancel all the field events and hold just the horticultural show and teas in the hall and patio extension. Fortunately Jenny Oldfield remained calm throughout her ‘swansong’. Thank you Jenny for organising another excellent show in what was the worst weather for years. Despite that we still had a good number (600) and standard of entries and the teas organised by Pam were much appreciated.
The inclement weather has continued and the January meeting with Mary Benger had to be moved on a week due to snow!
But despite all that we have had an interesting range of talks – David Cox delighted us with his knowledge of Butterflies, Nigel and Ashley Ball let us into the secrets of their prize-winning carrots and potatoes, Phil Gamble taught us how to sow seed, Sue Applegate how to grow and plant irises and Hugh Warwick with ‘How hedgehogs can save the world’ drew a capacity audience.

In 2012, we had an excellent coach trip to the Malvern Spring Show, a wet but entertaining trip to Cothay Manor plus evening visits by car to Little Bredy near Bridport, and Trill Farm, Axminster – thanks to Brian, Ann and Pam for organising them.

Ann also organised the Autumn Show and Plant Sale in September which once again was successful and well supported with entries – an enjoyable afternoon with good weather! Ann is handing the reins over to Brian after several years so thank you both.
We took part in the Lyme Regis Christmas Tree Festival once again and have given donations to RNLI and Slow Ride to Turin. In addition, we have agreed to pay for trees on the green outside the church – replacing the Horse Chestnut that was felled.

And so to this year – the Barn Dance in January was great fun although we did not sell as many tickets as we would have liked – we have yet to decide whether to do it again next year – any feedback would be welcome.

On 24th April we welcome back Brian Carlson showing us how to create a hanging basket – some of you may remember he showed us how to take fuchsia and geranium cuttings a couple of years ago.

On 7th May we have a coach trip to RHS Wisley Gardens – Brian is taking bookings

The fundraising Plant Sale and Coffee Morning will be on Saturday 18th May. So please come along – any donations of plants and produce (cakes/veg/jam) will be very welcome. Also offers of extra help for manning the stalls/teas etc.

Other 2013 outings include Hidcote Manor /Kiftsgate Gardens, Avebury Manor and St Bridgets Rose Fields – if you are interested speak to Brian, Ann, or Rob. Non-members are welcome to all of these events.

On 20th July we hold our 84th Summer Show and Country Fayre which will open at the earlier time of 12 noon to give everyone time to enjoy all there is to see. This year Sue Stones has taken over the reins as Show Secretary with help from Zoe Stansfield. They started work last September with help from the committee to sort out the schedule for the competitive entries of fruit, flower, veg, cookery etc, contact stallholders and arrange entertainment on the field. Pam had the idea of including a number of Countryside attractions so booked a Falconry Display, Hurdle Making, Beekeepers etc.  This theme takes us back to our roots. Live Rabbits and Dead poultry were part of the entertainment/exhibits in the past, as was the largest collection of Queen Wasps by a schoolchild – just think what Health and Safety would say today – must remember not to have triangular flapjacks in the children’s competition.

As Beryl has said we welcome new committee members – we meet on the first Monday of the month at 7.30pm for about an hour to sort out the various events. We usually go out for a meal at Christmas and some take part in a couple of quizzes.  We need new blood with fresh enthusiasm and energy so that the society can continue into the future.

The committee aim to provide a varied and informative programme – if there is anything you would like to see on the 2014/15 programme let us know and we’ll see what we can do. Any other suggestions, comments are also welcome as are offers of help for our events.

Lastly, thank you for your support – without your attendance at events/ talks/shows/outings there would not be a society. Thank you.