AGM 2019 Minutes

AGM 18th November 2019

 Attendees: 32 Members (Names removed for privacy).

 Apologies for Absence: 6 Members (Names removed for privacy).

 Minutes of previous meeting: Minutes were read and agreed as accurate.

 Matters arising: None

 Chairman’s Report: Heather Martindale, gave her report and reminded us of all the events we have enjoyed this year: three Shows, an outing to Hyde Hall, ten splendid talks, many open gardens visits plus Epsom Common Day. Heather thanked the committee by name with special thanks to Cathy Flitter who, during her first year as Show Secretary produced three very successful shows. In recognition of her retirement as Chairperson, Alan Moody and the Committee presented Heather with a voucher and a gift.  

 Treasurers Report: Pam Davis presented the accounts to the meeting and said that they had been audited by an independent accountant. The accounts showed a loss of £432 which is made up of three purchases, table cloths for the afternoon teas at the Shows, new display boards for the photography section and a new lap top for the Society. These purchases will enhance the Society. The overall cost of the 3 shows, which were well attended and a great success was £330. Tea and Cake Stalls made £294.97, Plant Sales made £429.20 and Raffles made £132.39. The Monthly meetings were well attended with an average of 38 members per meeting and cost £88.00. The outing to RHS Hyde Hall made a profit of £235. The society has maintained its funds through subscriptions, advertising and also £100 raised at Epsom Common Day. Proposed by Cathy Flitter, seconder Margaret Haslam, all were in favour

 Show Secretary’s Report:

Monthly Meetings. Cathy Flitter felt that our monthly meetings have gained a little this year. A pleasing selection of speakers, who were, on the whole, exceptional, plus increased number of members attending, combined to make this a really enjoyable year to organise.

Cathy is hoping that our members will be encouraged by the programme for 2020, and come along in increasing numbers. Cathy voiced concerns regarding the size and layout of the existing hall, as it is often difficult for members to see all the ‘hands on’ demonstrations or view the slides.   There are alternatives in our current location, such as moving seating around or perhaps changing how our meetings are presented. This would definitely be the preferred option rather than changing to another hall. However, this is something that should perhaps be considered.   Suggestions from members would be very welcome indeed.

Cathy offered her sincere thanks to Viviane Sinnock for arranging for the equipment to be available for the speakers and Margaret Haslam for the refreshments. Members are going to be offered opportunity to give their views and assessments on the speakers. Completed feedback forms, supplied by Surrey Horticultural Society will be returned to SHF which will assist other Societies to decide on their speakers for the year.

 Shows: Cathy Flitter organised three very successful shows. There were fewer exhibitors for the Spring Show, but the flower arrangements were all stunning. Although the Summer Show was preceded by very wet weather, there were plenty of exhibits, especially roses. There was an abundance of entries for the Autumn Show, particularly in the Junior Section, but there was a distinct lack of people to assist in setting up and breaking down the tables and exhibits. Cathy made a plea for more support next year. Cathy thanked in particular Margaret Angus and Viviane Sinnock.

 Membership Secretary’s Report: Steve Roebuck thanked the team of road reps who deliver our newsletters in all weathers, and collect the subs from the vast majority of our members and Margaret Haslam for writing and distributing the newsletters to the road reps. We have had another good year for membership. This year we lost 23 members but gained 27, giving a total membership of 386 of which 6 are Honorary.  

Half of the new members joined at our shows and another 10 joined at the Epsom Common Day, but many of our new members come via word of mouth. Newsletters sent by email helps us to gain members where there are no road reps. However, it does not result in any significant cost saving as we do not pay per page for printing. Where a new member does have a rep in their area we prefer them to receive their newsletter this way as there was a 25% turnover of email members, but only 3% of members where a rep calls. Email & postal members and road reps can pay their sub by bank transfer.

 Alan Moody stated that the subs for the Society will remain at £3 per annum.

 Election of Chairman, Officers and Committee Members:

Alan Moody said that the Chairman was standing down so we would need a new chairman, but also more members to join the committee. A member asked what the commitment would be; Heather said 8 committee meetings per year. Isabella Glanville-Taylor and Tricia Wakem offered their services.

Alan stated that the rest of the Officers and Committee Members were willing to stand for a further year. Alan asked for a proposer: Elizabeth Lewis, seconder Eileen Dann, all were in favour.

 Julian Flitter is happy to examine the accounts, proposer Keith Lewis, seconder Steve Roebuck, all were in favour. In the absence of a chairman, meetings would be chaired by the committee members in turn.

 Proposed change to the Rules of the Society. It was proposed that the number of committee meeting forming a quorum be reduced from 6 to 5. Proposed by Mary Wood, seconded by Patience Morriss, all were in favour.


 Open Gardens Group: John Lucking reported that the Open Gardens Group is still very successful, with 60 members out of 386 taking advantage of visiting member’s gardens. John now contacts participating members by email.

 Website: Steve Roebuck reported that our web-site had to move from its existing host as Surrey County Council was no longer hosting this for local groups. SCC suggested a different host which is free and the website has been successfully transferred, so once it has been checked the address will be advertised to all members of the society

 New Members meeting: Cathy Flitter is planning a meeting in February, mostly for new members, to help them feel welcome, and for existing members who would like to enter a Show, called 'Have a Go at a Show'. It is hoped that existing members would attend to give information and encouragement to new members.