From the Committee

Cancellation of events
Regrettably, owing to the current Coronavirus situation your Committee has decided to cancel all events from April 2020. A review of the situation will take place in September 2020.
Grayshott Gardeners Outings for 2020 are also cancelled until further notice.

Olive Robinson

It is with great sadness we have to let you know that our Past President and Chairman of Grayshott Gardeners, Olive Robinson, passed away peacefully at the weekend.

Olive provided inspirational leadership which helped create the wonderful Club we are today with her vast horticulture knowledge and encouragement. We will remember her with much fondness.


(provisional, to be approved at the 2020 AGM)

held on Wednesday 13th November 2019 at 8pm

at Grayshott Village Hall, Headley Road, Grayshott

  1. Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Pat Barratt, Sue Emery, Karen Flood, Jane Gale, Granville Godbert, Pat Godbert, Eric Harris, Hilary Harris, Alan Hedger, Julie Hedger, John Price, Gordon Rae, Judith Rae

  1. Minutes of the Meeting of the Annual General Meeting of 21st November 2018

Proposed: Brian Spencer Seconded: Suzi Gordon

The 71 other members present endorsed this. They were signed by the President.

  1. Matters Arising

There were none.

  1. Annual Report by President

Gill Purkiss gave her President’s report as follows:

This is my fifth and final report as I will now expect to be stepping down as President.

On reflection, I wonder how those early garden members, of over a 100 years ago, would view our

progress and programme. I’m sure there would be a number of differences, but think they would

be well pleased with what they started.

How quickly this very full year has passed, our talks covering such a variety of topics: container

gardening to landscapes, royal gardens, Kew gardens, and our own, Gordon’s and Judith’s

Grayshott garden twice – who can forget the beautiful array of snowdrops braving the snow.

There were auriculas to mighty oaks with garden design and cut flowers all adding to the mix and

creating a lively interest in gardens, numerous outings and 3 key-note speakers. Nick Bailey on ‘365

Days of Colour’, Ann Marie Powell ‘The Countryfile Garden’ and still to come Steve Bradley ‘Spring

in the Garden’ to lift our spirits through the dark days of winter, and help us to look forward to a

another full year. With around 100, out of our over 200 members, attending these meetings.

A programme, including the many informal garden visits, has been arranged under Terry’s

guidance, a role which he has done for many years as Chairman of the Programme Committee –

along with many other jobs – wine for our parties, monthly news, notice board and hall bookings

as well as contacting our speakers as to any requirements they may need. The fruits of this we

have all enjoyed immensely and he along with Maureen, who also served in the past on the

committee, will be sadly missed as he steps down and they leave for pastures new. We give them

both our heartfelt thanks and wish them well. Terry’s role as Chairman of Programme Committee

has been taken on by Karen and his other duties, by various committee members.

Garden-wise, with the vagaries of our English weather it has not been easy, but then ‘is that not

part of the challenge?’; we still managed to put on 2 very good shows under Leslia’s guidance, and

also took part in the intervillage shows. It is with sadness that we learnt of Brian Deville’s death a

few weeks ago. He was a delightful man and had judged our shows on many occasions: always fair,

knowledgeable and helpful with many tips on how to improve our showing. He will be missed.

Karen has continued with the plant sales at club nights and the very successful May sale without

which we would not be able to afford such wonderful speakers, thank you so much, Karen. I know

she always welcomes plants so please keep them coming, also you may be able to help her

overwinter some of them.

After many years as our Hall representative, Brian Spencer stood down and John Price has taken

over, he is also our official photographer along with Gordon keeping a photographic record of our

events, many of which are posted on the gardeners’ web site that Anke keeps updated.

Our finances are healthy: but this is largely due to Karen’s plant sale. This is income that we cannot

necessarily rely on, and if we wish to continue with the high standard of speakers, and with the rise

of the rent, we will need to increase our subs to £20 as indicated at the AGM last year. I hope you

will agree with this. It is still exceptionally good value. Hilary and Eric have continued with the raffles

with the prizes that always look so inviting and the proceeds of which, along with that of

refreshments, also help to swell the coffers. Thank you.

Some of our members help the Parish with the garden plantings. We now have a gardener to help

us, but would appreciate some more volunteers for a few hours each year, perhaps we should have

a board on the table, notifying what needs to be done and when.

The hidden gardens event was also supported by many of you, opening your gardens helping with

teas, box office and in many other ways or just visiting. Thank you all. It was a resounding success

for the village.

To thank everyone individually would take too long, but I am sure that you would all like to thank

Anne and Jane as front of house, greeting you, along with Chrissi and the caterers giving us

sustenance and helping us socialise.

I find it hard to believe that it is 5 years since I took over, with knocking knees, from Gordon whom

we now have the good fortune to have as our Patron. As your President, a role I have found

enjoyable and a privilege working with and supporting the very happy and capable committees, my

wish is that one of you would like to take on this rewarding role. We are a large club and need to

have a full complement of 4 officers and 10 committee members to run efficiently, without

overloading any one person. It was with this aim some years ago that we set up the 2 sub-

committees. This has worked well, but they too would welcome some new members.

I am delighted that we have new members willing to join the main committee and wish them with

Anne every success for the coming year.

Thank you all and happy gardening.

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 2019. Grayshott

Gardeners has had another good year financially. In round figures, we recorded an income of

£9,463 with expenditure of £8,817 giving a positive result of £646. This result is in line with the

Financial Policy of the Club which is to maintain cash reserves in excess of one years estimated


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 increase of £101.

Significant increases in Revenue were recorded for Subscriptions up £121, Keynote Lecture

Tickets up £77 and Visits/Trips essentially broke even.

With respect to significant reductions in Revenue, Plant and Bulb sales were down £199, Social

Events were down £96 and Raffles were down £71.

I would wish to highlight that Plant sales have again done exceptionally well this year at £3,555

comparable to last year’s sales of £3,754. It is worth repeating that Plant Sales are one of the

positive factors that enables the Club to deliver high quality speakers, two free Shows and

exceptional value for the annual subscription. Our thanks for the success of Plant Sales once

again goes to Karen Flood and her helpers.

Raffles have once again made a significant contribution of £604. Our thanks go again to Hilary

and Eric for providing all of the raffles at Club events. It is also worth noting that Refreshments

make a significant contribution at £491 and Visitor Tickets £387.

With respect to Payments, year on year Payments have shown an increase of £577.

Significant increases in Payments were recorded for Lecture Fees up £529, Village Hall hire up

£361, the Website up £71 and Visits/Trips essentially broke even.

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 for a year of excellent

speakers and garden visits. As you may be aware Terry is stepping down from the Management

Committee today and his contribution to the success of the Club will be greatly missed. Can we

show our appreciation of Terry’s efforts in the usual way!

The Committee has made representations to the Village Hall Trustees in respect of the above

inflation rise in Village Hall costs of nearly 8% for this year and a similar rise proposed for next

year. We have suggested that a fund-raising effort would be more appropriate than an across the

board fee increase.

With respect to significant reductions in Payments, Plant and Bulb production costs were down

£202, Printing and Stationery down £111, Refreshments and Social Events down £432 and

Miscellaneous down £167. Fluctuations in Refreshment costs were due to prudent stock holding

and timely purchasing.

I am sure you will all agree that the subscription of £15 for the 2018/19 year has been

exceptionally good value for money. As we agreed at the last AGM, subscriptions for next year

2019/20 will rise to £20 per member. The Committee is still of the opinion that it is prudent to

make this increase as a cushion against future possible revenue reduction and increased costs.

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

which reflects and show cases the activities of the Club.

That concludes the Treasurers report for the year 2018/19. Are there any questions?

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

Proposed: Holly Russell Seconded: Richard Thornton

  1. The Honorary Auditor for 2020

Liz Munson has agreed to continue in this role.

Proposed: Joan Spencer Seconded: Gillian Rawcliffe

  1. Election of Officers

Before moving to the election of officers, Gordon Rae was warmly thanked once again for his

support of the Club in securing some of our great speakers, and also continuing to be our Patron.

Members were reminded that Gill Purkiss was standing down as President as her term of

office had come to an end. To date there had been no success in identifying a new President. It

was thought that this may, in part, be due to the ambiguous role, with some confusion between

the role of President and the role of Chairman. Additionally, the Club has the good fortune of an

outstanding Patron, a role unique to Gordon, who is extremely well connected to people in the

horticultural world and is an amusing and eloquent raconteur.

Therefore, it was agreed that there is a need for clarity on the role of President. The Committee

were inclined to the view that it should be an ex-officio role, with the holder serving because

the Club needs their expertise or influence, but it was felt that this needed further discussion

before proposing to the membership any constitutional change. Dennis Homer had stepped

forward to offer his services as Interim President until such time as a President was in place.

The retiring President expressed the view that it was not tenable for an officer to act as both

Honorary Treasurer and Interim President, because of the work involved, although Dennis was

confident that he could discharge both roles effectively, especially as the role of President was

temporary. The retiring President also commented that it may not be a possible to form a

quorum as the constitution requires that two officers and three members of the Committee shall

form a quorum at the meeting of the Committee. It was noted that, in reality, this has never been

an issue and it was not anticipated to be problematic in the future; if necessary, meetings would

be arranged to suit the availability of officers.

After much discussion, a motion was proposed that the position of President continues for 2019

to be one of three officers elected to the Committee and that starting from the AGM 2019 the

role of president is filled by Dennis Homer, on an INTERIM basis, until such time as a permanent

President is identified and the Committee has deliberated further on the role of President.

68 members voted for this motion, 5 voted against. The motion was carried.

It was noted that the three officers willing to continue to stand are:

INTERIM President: Dennis Homer (until such time as a permanent President is identified)

Honorary Secretary: Rosario Henshall (for 2019/20)

Honorary Treasurer: Dennis Homer (for 2019/20)

Proposed: Leslia Farnfield Seconded: Brian Spencer.

They were duly elected.

  1. Election of Committee Members

There is one resignation from the Committee in 2019. Terry Boorman has stepped down, as he

and Maureen are planning on moving away. On behalf of the Committee and the members, Terry

was thanked for all his hard work in leading the Programme Sub-Committee and for both his and

Maureen’s unstinting support and help with our Club.

We have three new Committee members and the remaining existing members all have confirmed

their willingness to stand for another year:

Jan Bebbington, Anne Butler, Helen Deighan, Chrissi Dye, Terry French, Jane Jones, Anke Morris,

John Price, Vera Randle, Holly Russell, Alan Stokes, Sue Wheeler, Alan Wright and Pamela Wright

(the last three being the new Committee members who are welcomed with open arms).

Proposed: Barbara Homer Seconded: Angela Bailey

They were duly elected.

  1. GG Trustee at the Village Hall Committee Meetings

It was noted that John Price now is the Trustee, representing Grayshott Gardeners, at the

meetings of the Village Hall Committee.

  1. Items for Discussion by the Membership

No items were received.

  1. RHS Bronze Medal

The RHS Bronze Medal will be presented to Judith Rae at the December 2019 Club meeting. This

medal is for the best overall contribution to the Spring and Summer Shows, based on the

combined points from both shows.

  1. Any Other Business

The Chairman, Anne Waddell, ratified with the Club that Terry Boorman be made an Honorary


Proposed: Jane Jones Seconded: Rosario Henshall

The membership endorsed this.

The Chairman, Anne Waddell, presented flowers to Gill, retiring President, for all her help and

Support of the Club over many years (5 years as President and 19 years on the Committee).

As per the Constitution, Gill becomes a Life Member, having served as President.

  1. Date and Venue of Next A.G.M.

Wednesday 11th November 2020 at 8.00 pm in Grayshott Village Hall.

  1. Next Speaker Meeting

Wednesday 11th December 2019 at 7.30 pm in Grayshott Village Hall.

The meeting closed at 9.27 am.