From the Committee

Grayshott Gardeners Patron

Gordon Rae VMH

Grayshott Gardeners Committee 2024

PresidentGordon Rae
Chair – temporaryAlan
Secretary – temporarySue
Shows CoordinatorPamela
Membership SecretaryJane
Programme SecretarySue
Plant SalesJan
Refreshments – temporaryJane

Grayshott Gardeners AGM

8th November 2023

Annual report by Chairman Mr John Price

2023 has proven to be another challenging year for your committee, who I believe have done an outstanding job under very heavy workloads.

Despite the frosty weather, we completed another successful albeit late New Year Flower Count. This resulted in an amazing 34 species being identified in Grayshott.

The frosts also challenged Gordon and Judith Rae who managed to donate more Snowdrops which contributed £245 to our funds. This winter we will launch “Project 500” which will be an attempt to raise £500 from the sale of Snowdrops, this will require all of your help and support (like buying). Are you aware Gordon is also author of Plant of the Month in our Newsletter?

Thanks to the efforts of our Programme Secretary Sue Wheeler, we had another full, varied and interesting programme, which was reflected in the support from members.

Sadly, we had to cancel at the last minute in early March our Keynote Speaker Tony Kirkham due to snow. I am pleased to let you know that Sue has rebooked Tony for 2024.

Thanks to Vanessa Thompson’s support, (another off Committee member) we recommenced garden visits with two groups visiting Munstead Wood, which was the former home of Gertrude Jekyll. The knowledge of The Lady Head Gardener who led these tours added significantly to their success. The visits were just in time, as the House and Gardens have been sold to the National Trust who are planning the restoration and remagination of the gardens. It will be interesting to revisit when their work is complete.

This was followed by an impressive visit to the very extensive and mature private gardens of The Manor House in Haslemere, again led by the Head Gardener.

Despite the inclement weather which led up to the big day of the Spring Show in April, it was a success with 200 exhibits. Our thanks go to Pamela Wright and her team of Anne Waddell, Christine Pointer, Judith Rae, Karen Cozens and Liz Munson, plus all the helpers who set up the hall then helped clean up after the show. With particular recognition for the valiant efforts of you our members who nursed their plants through such difficult weather to enter,

Without your commitment there wouldn’t have been a show.

For next year we have two new members to the show committee, Amanda Dowden and Sue Erler.

Following a bumper Plant Sale in 2022, we were in doubt over holding a sale in 2023 not having Karen Flood’s professional support.  However, members came forward saying they would support Jan Bebbington with the result that we made £1500 on the day, so our thanks to Jan and all members who provided plants manned the stalls and those who bought them!

Plus, Jane Jones and Anne Waddell who spent all day with Jan washing the pots prior to them going on sale, this is a typical team effort like all other activities of the club.

Angela Pointon and Margaret Price Have helped improve our funds by holding Raffles, which are often helped by donations from members, so donations or unwanted new Christmas gifts are always welcome. Next year The Raffles will be led by Di Boyden with Liz Brown and Rose Gadsden.

We continue to be grateful to our speakers who permit us to Video their presentations and enables members to replay their presentations and take notes, or catch up, if they missed the meeting. This year the average viewings have been 45 per meeting.

Rain seemed to dominate as we approached the Summer Show, but again hardy Grayshott Gardeners won through enabling Pamela and her team to report receiving 275 entries.

Our final visit of the year was to Arundel Castle Gardens, which was a coach trip organised by Jane Jones and Anne Waddell. Blessed by good weather again for a visit, we enjoyed an interesting and amusing tour by the Head Gardener.

Reflecting comments by members who replied to our survey, requesting more basic training, Sue Wheeler organised two workshops on propagation led by David Hurrion. These were a great success and we all came away with pots containing cuttings and seeds to mature, as proof of our skills.

Alan Wright has done another excellent job as Treasurer keeping the books straight at this time of rising prices. You may remember last year’s AGM I did warn you that we may have to increase our subscriptions due to rising costs, from the remarkable value of £20 to £25 a year, well I will leave Alan our Treasurer to explain the outcome!

 I formally stand down at this AGM at the end of two years as Chairman, thank you for the honour of holding the role in such a prestigious club as Grayshott Gardeners. this was only possible due to the support of the committee and you the members. Apart from myself two long standing members retire who deserve special recognition, Helen Deighan who has held many roles mainly under the false guise of Communications. Also, Chrissie Dye who with her team of numerous supporters have kept us supplied with teas, Coffees and Cakes, not always seen but major contributors to our success, thank you so much for your support, (please keep it up for next year)!

Lastly but not least thanks to our Secretary for the past two years Sally Hancock, this is also her last meeting.

I am offering to continue to be the club Photographer and making the videos (with our speakers permission), (I know I must improve my video skills), so I will still be around but not on the committee.

As I said at the beginning, your committee has been overloaded, lacking volunteers to join to help them spread the load, although we have received some splendid support from a few members who are helping out but not on the committee.

You should be aware the current committee which comprises ten members, with current resignations that falls to six. I must mention those six key members

Who remain to run the club.

Gordon Rae – President

Alan Wright – Treasurer

Pamela Wright – Shows Coordinator

Jan Bebbington – Plant Sales

Jane Jones – Membership Secretary

Sue Wheeler – Programme Secretary

I am pleased to say it is going to be helped by the addition of three recent volunteers who have come forward to join the committee, who I hope you are going to elect and welcome today under item 8 on the agenda, they are Karen Cozens who apart from other duties, also produces our Newsletter (off committee), plus Carmen and Graham Harvey Browne, Thank you on behalf of the members for volunteering.

Please join me in congratulating this team, on their determination to maintain the club’s structure as we look longer term to a full committee.

To show my appreciation I have tried the impossible, to mention everyone who has helped during this difficult year, if I missed you out, I am sorry but everyone who helps is appreciated. It demonstrates that keeping the club running is a team effort.

Going forward into 2024, we do not have enough members prepared to take on all the Committee roles necessary, therefore informal discussions have taken place between the remaining committee members, for an interim measure to maintain the club in existence.

I am sure after they have met as a new formal Committee, they will make you aware of their decisions.

This just emphasises the serious nature of the requests we have been making for support, which has not changed. This is an interim measure, so please consider joining them as a volunteer, giving them support on the committee, or helping off the committee.

Thank you.

John Price.

Chair Grayshott Gardeners.

8th November 2023