Report from the 2021 AGM

Below you will find a transcription of the Chairman’s report. You can also read or download the minutes of the AGM:

ULRHS Chairmans Report, November 2021

This report covers both 2019-20 and 2020-21 periods, as we have not held an AGM since 2019. I did, however, produce a short report which was circulated in the Newsletter in November 2020, so I do not intend to rehash that content – we have moved forward in many areas, but the pandemic and its effects are still not behind us. We did decide to make the 2020 subscription cover 2021 as well, as we have not been able to offer our regular programme in full in either year.

In the past year, we have experienced a lockdown, then tapering limitations, followed by removal of all restrictions on July 19th (just too late for our Summer Show!). This has impacted our programme considerably, and we are only just returning to meetings in person and coach trips. Despite those limitations, we have staged several Zoom talks, a few garden visits, and a surprisingly successful Summer Show. The monthly newsletters led by Tricia and Lois have, we hope, kept our members involved and informed, and I am very grateful to them and the other regular contributors for all the work they have put in. Now that we can gather at our monthly meetings (though some may still be reluctant to come in person, for perfectly valid reasons), it has been decided to cease the newsletters and use the meetings and the website as the primary route to communicate our activities to the membership.

The Summer Flower and Produce Fair, with its theme of Lavender, was able to proceed despite some restrictions being extended almost at the last minute. This required a fair amount of rejigging of arrangements (particularly by the Catering team), but everyone pulled together, the weather was kind on the day, and we saw in excess of 1000 visitors come through the gate to enjoy the exhibits in the marquee, the stalls and entertainers on the field and the cafeteria service from the doors of the Hall. A surplus was achieved, and donations made to three local organisations as promised in the 2020 schedule. We now look forward to a more “normal” 2022 Show, and preparations are already in hand

Three long-serving Committee members (Pam Corbin, John Routley and Rose Mock) stood down in 2020 and they should again be thanked formally for their tremendous service to the Society. We now have two more retirements to report. Anita Routley has been Membership secretary for a number of years and has adapted well to the considerable increase in our membership and the associated record-keeping workload – it has run smoothly as we have grown. We are deeply grateful to her and hope that Monica Mellor can continue in the same vein. I shall be standing down as Chairman after four interesting years – I do not believe in the job being done by the same person for too long – but will not be leaving the Committee and am confident that the new team will take us forward into the new decade. There is still space for new blood on the Committee – more hands make lighter work for each – so please consider how you can help the Society with some of your time and skills.

Finally, we have a motion to amend our ability to make donations to good causes. There is little point in the Society hoarding money which can be helpful to others, and I hope you will see fit to approve the amendment to our Constitution. The Committee has been very careful in managing our finances so far, and I am sure it will continue to be so.

Robin Britton