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Friday 27 November 2015

AGM followed Dr Mike Pringle's talk

Last night thirty five of us gathered together for the Friends of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery's AGM at 6.30pm; it was good to see so much support; there was so much going on that it was hard to get through the business in an hour, in fact we over ran, and had less time for chatting and refreshments. There will be minutes, kindly prepared by our secretary, Jane Milner-Barry, but I'll try and summarise what happened at the meeting. We were pleased pass the newly prepared Constitution, albeit with a few minor amendments, written with the help of Mike Bradley who was co-opted onto  the committee because of his expertise in constitution writing. We were then able to vote in members of the committee, including welcoming new members: Mike Bradley, Martin Newman and Ian Wilkins.
I have added extra pages, accessible from  'Pages' on the right hand side, to include my report and other information from the AGM.
We were then pleased to welcome Nicky Alberry, who explained that in September this year, SBC gave the authority for the SM&AG charitable Trust to be formed, Robert Hiscox was been asked to lead the Trust which has two main aims: to take forward the design of the new museum and art gallery, and recruit a director going forward. Lawyers have been appointed and a new charitable constitution has been drawn up. There are 5 members of the Trust at the moment, in addition to Nicky Alberry and Robert Hiscox, there's Joel Joffe, Peter Troughton and Cllr Brian Mattock. The closing date for applying for the job of director of the next HLF bid is 21 December and details appear here.
Communications regarding the newly formed Trust have Nicky admitted been poor, and this will change, a view emphasised by Paddy Bradley. 
Paddy is keen to form a triangular engagement with us, the council and the Trust, which was good news. Joel also spoke passionately about preparing the way for a new HLF bid and looks forward to the time, as we all do, when we have a new museum and art gallery in the cultural quarter in the centre of town.
This left little time for Stef Vincent , Museum Collections Project Manager, to talk about 'The Hand' shown below:
 Research by a student at Cranfield University has shown the hand is human and Egyptian, more on this in 2016.
The picture below shows Stef talking to people about the hand before we began the AGM.
Apologies for the lack of photographs, I was concerned about what was going on.
After the break Dr Mike Pringle gave us a fabulous talk on Richard Jefferies, the importance of his legacy, and the work being done at the Richard Jefferies Museum at Coate.
I made a note to read a copy of 'The Story of my Heart', Monty Don's favourite book, and 'After London', Will Self's favourite book. Jefferies had a passion for nature and the environment. His bust is in Salisbury Cathedral, and he is widely celebrated.
After clearing up, Jane and I went to the Plough for a well earned lager:
Thank you to all who came along last night, and engaged with the process.

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