It was with some trepidation that I attended the AGM last Friday knowing that Paul Ricketts, Chair for the last 7 years, has now reached the limit allowed by the constitution, and therefore had to stand down. Also standing down are John Walsh, editor of the splendid Journal for the last 15 years, Judith Thomson as Treasurer after 7 years, and Gillian Bromhead who has been Membership Secretary for the last 15 years as well.
I had volunteered for the role of Chair, and was looking forward to making notes on how to run an AGM, since at the last AGM, I was too busy taking notes as Secretary to properly observe proceedings. Unfortunately Paul was unable to attend the AGM because his Mother needed his presence, so I was thrown in at the deep end and became Chair immediately.
The committee now comprises:
Chair: Linda Kasmaty
Vice Chair: Ray Ward
Treasurer: Paul Gregory
Secretary: Jane Milner-Barry
Membership Secretary: Katie Ackrill
Paul Ricketts and Ray Ward have agreed to edit and publish the Journal.
A formidable team whose varied talents will help drive the Friends to bigger and better things; the fact that Katie Ackrill works on reception will make it much easier for people to join the Friends.
A new role of Event's Organiser has been created, but not as yet filled, however we can discuss this at our first committee meeting with the 'new team' next Monday evening.
Following the business end of the meeting, Helen Miah gave us an update on the Museum and Art Gallery, successful Heritage Lottery Funding and Arts Council bids have enabled 2 new people to be employed- Stefanie Vincent is Collections Manager and Jon Ratcliffe is working with younger people. There are plans to work with other groups within the town, and with 3 changes of exhibition so far this year in the gallery, it's not surprising that audience figures have doubled, and they are coming from further afield.
The Heritage Lottery Funding bid for the new Museum and Art Gallery is being finalised now and will be submitted on the 30th November, more news as we have it. Exciting times ahead with a vibrant, energetic team of people at the Museum and Art Gallery to drive the project forward.
With the distractions, I only took 2 photographs: