From the Committee

GRAYSHOTT GARDENERS MINUTES OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2018

(provisional – to be approved at the 2019 AGM )

 held on Wednesday 21st November 2018 at 8pm at Grayshott Village Hall

  1. Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Jan Bebbington, Sue Byrne, Richard Coates, Sue Coates, Sue Emrey, Debbie Gilley, Granville Godbert, Suzi Gordon, Eric Harris, Hilary Harris, Michael Moore, Anke Morris, Ann Noyce, Geoff Noyce, Ann Seal, John Stutchbury, Joy Stutchbury, Claire Wallbank, Carol Wass, Sue Wheeler.

  1. Minutes of the Meeting of the Annual General Meeting of 8th November 2017
  2. Proposed: Karen Flood                          Seconded: Anne Waddell

The 66 members present endorsed this.

  1. Matters Arising

There were none.

  1. Annual Report by President

Welcome to our 113th AGM.

Where has this year gone? And what a strange year, weather-wise, it has been, with the cold blast from the east and then the long hot dry summer. Still, as gardeners, all was taken as it came and, overall, we have had another both enjoyable and successful year.

Our membership remains around 210 with new members joining and sadly a few leaving. Around half of the total members have attended every meeting, giving us a full hall, which is much appreciated by our speakers.

This year we had an extra lecture in August at the members’ request and continued the format of lectures and keynote speakers with summer outings organised by Terry. As in the past, what a varied selection of topics we covered. To recap briefly: –

Unusual ferns; Back to basics; Summer in the garden; Hydrangeas; The delightful Italian themed evening with wine nibbles and accordion accompaniment from Franchii seeds; Behind the scenes at Hampton Court Flower Show, with Hart Canna nurseries; Woolbeding Garden; Grasses and late Perennials; and then Putting the Garden to Bed with Ray Broughton and his many unusual tips and anecdotes. Our keynote lecture from Sue Biggs gave us an insight into the past, present and future of the R.H.S.; we gave her a donation toward the new and exciting changes they have planned. We still have to come, our second keynote lecture in December, with Timothy Walker on ‘In the not too bleak mid-winter’.

Terry and his team already have the next 2 years’ programme in hand, but as we are likely to be saying goodbye to him and Maureen in the not too distant future, I want to take this opportunity to thank them both for all they have done for Grayshott Gardeners during their time in Grayshott.

This year there were a number of changes on the Committee, with Rosario now as Secretary, assisted by Anne as Minutes Secretary. John Price has taken on the role of photographer, recording our events and getting them published. Leslia took on the role very efficiently of Show secretary and we had 2 very successful shows despite the weather and them coinciding with the World Cup and Wimbledon. Once again it was a pleasure to see new members sharing the cups, with many visitors supporting the shows; I know some come not only to see the exhibits but also for the teas and chat. What a lovely accolade this is both to the exhibitors and catering teams. Jan Bebbington leads the lecture night catering team and Sue Debenham the special events team. Sue is now stepping down and we thank her for all her hard work over the past 3 years. Chrissi Dye will take over this role.

We continue to take part in the inter village events with mixed fortunes. The Close Brook Cup caused problems that, in the following intervillage meeting, have been clarified and are not likely to occur again. Happily, we won both the Spring Floral Cup and the Snow Cup. The latter we last won in 1995, my thanks to Sue Debenham and Suzi for helping me with these. We are most grateful to Anke, who has continued to update and organise our web site with all of our events along with other useful and interesting features, please use it.

Karen, your Chairman, has continued to work tirelessly for the club, especially with plant propagation and organising the plant sales at many of our club nights along with our very successful May plant sale. Without this added income we would not be able to afford such well known lecturers; we owe her our grateful thanks. After many years on Committee and having been both Secretary and Chairman she is taking a well-earned rest, and stepping down, but will continue the plant sales with your help. Karen, thank you for all you have done; I know It has not been easy to fit in with your work and home commitments.  Anne Waddell re-joined the committee as Deputy Chairman and is willing to become your next chairman.Other sources of income come from the raffles, so efficiently and well presented by Hilary and Eric. They always welcome any suitable prizes. Our tea and coffee on lecture nights, primarily enabling us to socialise and exchange ideas, have the added bonus of some income to cover the expenses at party nights, such as tonight and Christmas. Our subscription has remained static for some years, but this may need to change with the rising cost of Hall hire if we wish to continue in the same format, but more on this later.

To succeed we need to grow and not remain static. It has been great working with such an efficient team, and with a new team under Anne Waddell’s guidance I am looking forward to this coming year with renewed enthusiasm. This last year we added the role of Deputy Chairman. This is a post we would like to fill again not necessarily to take over in 3 years but more of a stand in on club nights when Anne is unable to attend and to ensure continuity. Individual members also contribute to the growing life of the village: such as caring for some of the village plantings and opening their gardens for the Hidden Gardens weekend in May.

To thank all who help would take far too long but there is one person who for the past 15 years has been our representative on the village hall committee, for which we would like to show our appreciation with this small gift, Brian Spencer. John Price has kindly offered to take over this role for us at its next A.G.M.

I sincerely thank the outgoing committee for their support and all of you who help in numerous ways; and I look to the New Year with a new team, new challenges and another successful gardening year.

This will be my fifth and final year as your President, a role that has been both challenging and enjoyable.

I now call on Dennis Homer to give the Treasurer’s Report.

  1. Treasurer’s Report and Presentation of Accounts

Good Evening Ladies and Gentlemen.

This is the Treasurer’s report for the financial year ending 30th September 2018.

Grayshott Gardeners has had another good year financially.  In round figures we recorded an income of £9,362 with expenditure of £8,240 giving a positive result of £1,122.  This result is in line with the Financial Policy of the Club which is to maintain cash reserves in excess of one year’s estimated expenditure.

Copies of the summary report showing the breakdown of the figures by category of Receipts and Payments are available throughout the hall and should be read in conjunction with this text.  I will return to these figures in more detail later.

With respect to Revenue, year on year Receipts have shown a marginal decrease of £193.

A significant increase in revenue was recorded for Plant Sales up £71, Raffles up £118, Keynote Lecture Tickets up £115 and Visits/Trips broke even.

With respect to reductions in Receipts, Subscriptions were down £133, Social Events were down £655 and Miscellaneous Items were down £110.

Plant sales have again done exceptionally well this year at £3,754 up £71.  It is worth highlighting that Plant Sales is one of the positive factors that enables the Club to deliver high quality speakers and exceptional value for the annual subscription.  Our thanks for the success of the Plant Sales again goes to Karen Flood and her helpers.

Raffles have once again made a significant contribution of £675 up £118.  Our thanks go to Hilary and Eric for providing all of the raffles at Club events.

With respect to Payments, year on year Payments have shown a decrease of £476.

Increases in Payments were recorded for Printing and Stationery up £70, Public Liability Insurance up £5 and Miscellaneous Items up £106.

The Club made a Bursary payment of £200 to Harry Baldwin from Kew Gardens to help with personal travel and research costs.  Harry will be giving the Club a talk in September next year.  The Bursary amount will be included in his lecture fee and has been included in Miscellaneous items.

With respect to reductions in Payments, Hire of the Hall is down £63, Lecture Fees down £69, Plant and Bulbs down £402, Shows down £124, Social Events down £295 and the Website down £22.

I am sure you will all agree that the subscription of £15 for the 2017/18 year has been exceptionally good value for money.

With respect to Lecture Fees the Club has secured some very good speakers for this year who have charged some exceptionally competitive fees.  As you are aware Lecture Fees can and do vary significantly from year to year.  Our thanks go to Terry Boorman and the Programme Sub Committee for a year of excellent speakers and garden visits.

In conclusion Grayshott Gardeners is financially sound with an adequate amount of cash reserves.  This will enable the Committee to continue to provide top quality speakers, interesting spring and summer shows and extremely competitive plant sales for the foreseeable future.

I would also commend that Members make use of the Club’s Website at grayshottgardeners.net which reflects and showcases the activities of the Club.

That concludes the Treasurer’s report for the year 2017/18.  Are there any questions?

Thank you.  May I now propose these accounts for acceptance by the Members?

Proposed: Richard Thornton               Seconded: Elizabeth Lacey

  1. The Honorary Auditor for 2019

Liz Munson has agreed to continue in this role.

Proposed: Brian Spencer                      Seconded: Vanessa Thompson

  1. Election of Officers

Before moving to the election of officers, it was confirmed, with delight, that Gordon Rae will continue to be our patron. Gordon’s contacts and relationships facilitate the Programme Committee in securing some of our speakers. Thank you again Gordon for all your support.

The President, Gill Purkiss, Treasurer, Dennis Homer, and Secretary, Rosario Henshall, will continue to stand in 2019.

Proposed: Brian Spencer                     Seconded: Liz Munson

  1. Election of Committee

There have been three resignations from the Committee in 2018: Sue Debenham, Granville Godbert  and Bernard Vyner. And, as many of you will be aware, our Chairperson, Karen Flood will be stepping down in December this year.

We are therefore looking for additional Committee members. Anne Waddell has been asked to take on the role of Chair and will be officially voted into the role at the first Committee meeting in 2019. Help is requested for setting up microphones etc for speakers. If anyone would like to know more, please speak to Dennis Homer or John Price.

All other Committee members, listed below, will stand for another year:

Jan Bebbington

Terry Boorman

Anne Butler

Helen Deighan

Chrissie Dye

Leslia Farnfield

Jane Jones

Anke Morris

John Price

Holly Russell

Proposed: Brian Spencer                      Seconded: Pat Barrett

  1. Grayshott Gardeners Trustee at the Village Hall Committee

It was noted that Brian Spencer will be retiring from the role of Grayshott Gardeners’ representative on the Village Hall Committee in July 2019 – after more than 15 years. The President presented Brian with a small token of thanks and expressed appreciation for his Services. John Price has agreed to take over from Brian when he steps down.  

  1. Items for Discussion by the Membership.

One item has been received concerning the proposal to increase membership subscriptions. Chairperson, Karen Flood, spoke to this item.

Good evening.

Before I finish my time as Chair for Grayshott Gardeners, I would like to take the opportunity to recommend to members that we increase the subscription for the year 2020 to £20.00. I would like to agree the increase at tonight’s A.G.M. to be minuted for action in 2020.

I believe that Grayshott Gardeners membership is excellent value for money. We currently have over 200 members including life and half year joiners. A very healthy number.

This year we have also added to the benefit of membership by increasing the number of lectures/events through the year. Additional lectures in April and July. We also arrang garden visits for members during the summer months.

2019 will see 11 lectures and the A.G.M. with wine and cheese for members. We continue to book high calibre speakers and will next year have 3 keynote speakers – Nick Bailey in February,  Annemarie Powell in July and Steve Bradley in December. If you divide the proposed fee of £20.00 by these twelve events, it is £1.66 per person per evening i.e. less than a cup of coffee.

Members are also reminded that they are able to obtain discounts at listed businesses on production of their membership card.

As an R.H.S. affiliated club we are bound by our constitution to hold a minimum of one year’s income, which we do have as per our accounts.

The club, however, has run the past few years in a deficit as costs increase. This year you can see our operating deficit is £1,900 without other income. Income for the club has to come from other sources as, unfortunately, members subs do not cover costs.

Subs income 2018……£2,900

Cost of lecturers………£2,200

Village Hall Hire……….£1,900

Raffles, refreshments at club nights and shows and the sale of plants have become a necessity for us to continue to run the club as it is today. 2018 income from them is in total £5,000.

My current contribution of time and effort in producing plants for sale is unlikely to continue in the long term. So, the £3k income from plant sales cannot be guaranteed.

We could as a club reduce costs by reducing the number of lectures per year or indeed having less interesting or costly speakers, but I would suggest that this is a backward step for us.

We have recently been advised that the village hall will be reducing the discount (discount we get for being a regular user of the hall) and after 2 years removing that discount completely. Another increase in costs for the club in the future.

We have held the current subscription cost at £15.00 for several years now and like everything else our costs continue to increase.

An increase to £20.00 for 2020 is my recommendation in order to keep the club viable.

Could I ask for a proposer and seconded please?

Proposed by: Angela Bailey                 Seconded by: Joan Spencer

And unanimously endorsed by the members present. 

  1. Award of R.H.S. Bronze Medal

Gill Purkiss, the President, presented the R.H.S. Bronze Medal to Jill Meech for the best overall contribution in the Spring and Sumer shows, based on the combined points from both shows.

  1. Date of Next A.G.M.

Wednesday 13th November 2019 at 8.00 pm in Grayshott Village Hall.

The meeting closed at 8.27 pm.

President’s Signature………………………………………………..

Print Name………………………………………………………..

Date……………………………………………………….