Annual Report and Accounts
For AGM on Thursday 26th November 2015
Executive Committee 2015-2016
Linda Kasmaty - Chair
Ray Ward - Vice Chair
Jane Milner-Barry - Secretary
Paul Gregory - Treasurer
Katie Ackrill - Ordinary Member
John Walsh - Ordinary Member
Vanetta Joffe - Ordinary Member
Rosemary Savage - Ordinary Member
Paul Ricketts - Ordinary Member
Mike Bradley - Ordinary Member
Ian Wilkins - Ordinary Member
Martin Newman - Ordinary Member
Helen Miah - Manager: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery
c/o Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, Bath Road, Swindon. SN1 4BA
Registered Charity – no. 1050267
Friends of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery 22nd Annual Report
At the end of my first year as Chair of the Friends of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, what have we achieved? We had quite a change of personnel on the committee following the last AGM, and initially had a time of adjustment where we got to know each other and began working more effectively together; committees can be unwieldy, and with eleven of us on the committee, we have often divided into sub committees and moved forward more quickly by that means.
We felt we needed to improve the appearance of our flyers and Journals, and so in addition to editing the Journal, Ray Ward has been responsible for adding a coloured front cover and inner pages. Ray has also been involved in lots of organising of the talks and trips, producing coloured flyers and posters to advertise them. I feel this has made a tremendous difference to how the organisation is perceived and has been worth the additional expenditure involved in using colour printing.
It has been necessary to increase the membership subscription in order to help pay for these costs, and the cost of postage when sending out the Journals three times a year; we have had to drop the concessionary membership because this didn’t cover the costs of membership, new life memberships may also have to be dropped for the same reason. Paul Gregory took over as Treasurer this year and our accounts are now managed using Sage, and stored electronically. Increasingly members are paying online and by Standing Order. We have contributed towards carbon dating of ‘The Hand’, new chairs for talks and decorating the two front downstairs rooms in the museum.
Mike Bradley from the National Trust was introduced to us by Helen Miah, and was co-opted onto the committee, and will become a full committee member at the AGM we hope. He has been responsible for introducing various fabulous speakers from the National Trust, including Tina Sitwell and Tom Freshwater, and recently organised a trip to their headquarters, Heelis which has just celebrated 10 years in Swindon. Mike has also worked on completely redrafting the Friends’ Constitution which I hope will be approved at the AGM.
We were very sorry this year to lose Pam Little from our committee; Pam has given a tremendous amount over the years to the committee.
One of our goals was to increase membership numbers, to put us in in a better position to support the work of the museum and art gallery. We now have 200 members achieved in part I think by support and advertising from the museum staff, including Katie Ackrill, who not only works in Reception but is our Membership Secretary.
We use social media to advertise to a wider audience, all events are reported on our blog, and Friends on email receive regular updates reminding them about talks and trips. I would like to think people feel we are a friendly, accessible organisation worth supporting.
One of the highlights for me this year was booking James Russell to come and talk to us about Eric Ravilious, only to discover that he was also curating a magnificent exhibition of Ravilious’s work at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. About 45 of us went to visit the exhibition on a day when there was a tube strike, so long hours were spent in the coach travelling to and from London; it did give us a chance to get to know each other better, and the exhibition was a joy.
We were fortunate enough also to visit Rabley Drawing Centre in September where Meryl Ainslie gave us a splendid welcome and series of talks and demonstrations; it was very good to be able to reciprocate in some way last week when the Rabley Friends visited the museum and were treated to an excellent talk by curator Sophie Cummings who as Meryl so rightly observed, is a ‘whirlwind of activity’ about the place. The new wall in the gallery enabling travelling exhibitions to be hosted is working brilliantly, it was proposed by Rabley Drawing centre as a way of supporting the museum taking the Craigie Aitchison exhibition and hosting more temporary exhibitions in the future.
We were very disappointed that the Heritage Lottery bid for £12.5million for the new museum and art gallery to be situated in the cultural quarter of the town centre was turned down in May this year. The council is still committed to giving £5million towards the new building, and is working with a Trust that has been set up to manage the second bid. Recruitment consultants have been appointed to employ a project director in March 2016 who will oversee the next HLF bid.
We are in the process of having a website built which will keep people better informed about us, and enable them to join the Friends and buy tickets for talks and trips online. We have a great programme of events unfolding for next year, details of which should be available at the Madeleine Emerald talk on Angels on December 10th. Talks have become so popular, with many selling out, that it’s a good idea to buy tickets in advance. We are planning three Private Views for Friends next year, giving new perspectives on the new exhibitions and enabling discussions to take place.
Thank you for your continued support.
Linda Kasmaty (Chair) November 2015
For the Financial year ending April 30th 2015
The Accounts of the ‘Friends of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery’ have been examined together with the books and such explanations as required by the bookkeeper and/or Officers of the Executive Council.
We the undersigned, having been appointed by the membership at an Annual General Meeting state that the accounts represent a true and fair view of the organisation.
Executive Member____________________________________________ _____________
Executive Member___________________________________________ _________________
Membership Representative___________________________________ ________________
Executive Committee Nominations 2015/16
Nominations for Election made prior to the AGM,
VICE CHAIR RAY WARD FOR 2 YEARS
SECRETARY JANE MILNER-BARRY FOR 2 YEARS
ORDINARY MEMBERS JOHN WALSH FOR 1 YEAR
VANETTA JOFFE FOR 1 YEAR
KATIE ACKRILL FOR 1 YEAR
PAUL RICKETTS FOR 1 YEAR
MIKE BRADLEY FOR 1 YEAR
ROSEMARY SAVAGE FOR 1 YEAR
MARTIN NEWMAN FOR 1 YEAR
IAN WILKINS FOR 1 YEAR
In accordance with custom, the above persons are deemed elected subject to confirmation by the meeting, unless further nominations are made from the floor of the meeting. In that case members will vote for individual members. The posts of Chair and Treasurer will come up for election for two years at the 2016 AGM.