Annual Report and Accounts
For AGM on Thursday 31st October 2019
At Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, Bath Road, SN1 4BA
Linda Kasmaty - Chair
Mike Bradley - Vice Chair
Rosemary Savage - Secretary
Paul Gregory - Treasurer
Katie Ackrill - Ordinary Member
Erik Burnett-Godfree - Ordinary Member
Kathy Geddes - Ordinary Member
Ian Wilkins - Ordinary Member
Martin Newman - Ordinary Member
Rachel Voyce - Ordinary Member
c/o Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, Bath Road, Swindon. SN1 4BA
Registered Charity – no. 1050267
Friends of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery
26th Annual Report
In last year’s report, I said I hoped we would have some definite plans for the future location of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, once again commenting on the superbly central location of Swindon, with its fantastic transport links. Plans suggested by the council in March proposed a large centre incorporating a theatre and concert hall as well as the museum and art gallery, which would make Swindon a destination and bring to fruition plans to encourage tourism here. In the meantime with 18 pieces of artwork currently being displayed at the Civic Offices in Euclid Street, and some at STEAM Museum, the collections are becoming more accessible. Additionally two part time jobs of engagement officer and schools liaison officer have been created although we are not sure when the £400k allocated to improving Apsley House will be spent.
We remain keen to provide an interesting programme of talks and trips, and I think have done particularly well this year with a total of five trips, and ten different talks. It may take me a while, but all talks and trips are written up on the blog at www.friendsofsmag.blogspot.com where you can see photographs and a write up about all of them. It has been wonderful this year to have two exhibitions in the small part of the gallery showing work of two artists living in Swindon, the first, David Bent talked about his work in May, and Ken White will talk about his exhibition at the end of November. I have been really pleased that Friends have been invited to two Private Views this year: this is a valued benefit of membership and gives Friends a chance to chat to each other, and other guests.
We are also keen to raise as much money as possible in order to be able to supplement the income of the museum, this year we have paid for two restorations and funded materials a flyer for the very popular children’s workshops organised by Olivia Frost who also keeps our website updated and refreshed. We will be looking for more ways to raise funds for the large number of projects needing them in the coming year.
We are looking forward to the second Annual Open Exhibition in the main gallery, submissions closed on 24 October, with the exhibition running from 19 November until 21 December. This is such a good way of further publicising the museum and art gallery and encouraging more visitors, and gives artists selected the thrill of seeing their work on the walls of the gallery.
The Friends’ committee gives invaluable service for which I’m very grateful. As ever there are changes among the committee members. We said goodbye to Ian Wilkins when he relocated in July, and Erik Burnett-Godfree has stepped down after a very productive year. Working with Sue Pycroft, he has turned the Journal into a magazine! Paul Gregory has been a wonderful Treasurer, but is stepping down from that role, although remaining on the committee. Adam Bartoszewski has kindly agreed to replace Paul as Treasurer, and we have been very pleased to welcome David Hughes to the committee.
We continue to have concerns about the opening hours of 11am-4.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday. We do need to be open longer hours and on Sundays to attract more visitors. Signage directing visitors to the museum is inadequate. Innovative solutions have been suggested by the Friends, and will hopefully be adopted soon.
Finally and most importantly I’d like to thank all the Friends for their continued loyal and invaluable support, , and of course museum staff including Sophie Cummings, Nicki Western, Tracy White, and front of house staff, who go above and beyond to make sure everyone has a superb experience at Swindon MAG.
Chair, Friends of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery
26th October 2019
Annual General Meeting
AGM held on Thursday 25th October 2018
Venue: Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, Old Town.
1. Apologies for absence: Ian Wilkins, Rachel Voyce, Gwyneth Weir, Jan Ephgrave, Christine Tipper, Lyn Davies, J & B Walsh, S & P Webber, Martin Newman, Gordon Samuel, C & J Stuart, Angela Atkinson, Lesley Andrews, Alan Howe, Janice Booth, M & E Yates, Nicky Alberry, Vanetta Joffe, Martin Styles, Vicky Silver.
Present: 44 members.
2. To approve minutes of the AGM held on 9th November 2017: previously circulated to all members were accepted as a true record. No matters arising. Proposed: Martin Savage. Seconded: Jane Fox.
3. To approve the annual report: Proposed: Sophie Cummings. Seconded: Mike Bradley.
4. News from Curator Sophie Cummings: The bid to HLF for the museum relocation was unsuccessful but work has continued with exciting exhibitions, acquisitions, restorations and workshops. The Friends have given considerable support such as the following:
· A donation to the purchase of Harold Dearden’s 1945 Swindon painting
· The new dimension of family workshops in the summer
· The museum garden has been taken over by the Friends, lots of colour and fresh planting, all for enhancing the environment. The art work for the new external signs was paid by FSMAG.
· Several exhibition changes, the current being ‘Cicatrix’. The Friends committee members now help museum staff by serving drinks at the Private Views.
· For the future, a bid to HLF is in place for a project on post-war Swindon to digitise many photographs from the 1920’s and the restoration of the herbarium collection. Another project is analysis on Saxon finds including a sword, found at Brimble Hill near Wroughton.
Stephanie Vincent post of Collections Manager, funded by Historic England, ends in November and she will be greatly missed.
Thanks to the Friends for their part in motivating and challenging the museum, providing volunteer front of house hours, helping and donating to the workshops.
Thanks especially to Linda Kasmaty, chair person to FSMAG and the committee members.
5. To approve the annual accounts 2017-18: Proposed Mike Bradley, seconded Sophie Cummings.
6. To appoint/re-appoint auditors: and a member to be a scrutineer:
Voted: Linda Kasmaty, Rosemary Savage. Scrutineer Maria Drysz.
7. To elect Officers and Ordinary Members of the Committee:
Retiring members Paul Ricketts and Ray Ward both long-serving Friends. Paul has supported the Friends for many years, some of them through difficult times, ensuring the continuing interest in art and artefacts in Swindon. His work on the committee is highly valued. Ray has contributed enormously with his knowledge of art and his editorship of the Journal publication. Their dedication to the association has been absolute, for which the committee offer heartfelt thanks.
Mike Bradley will take over as Vice Chair. Kathy Geddes and Erik Burnett-Godfree join the committee. All members up for re-election will stand.
Proposed: Melinda Smith. Seconded: Kathy Geddes.
8. To receive reports on the year from Committee members:
· Linda Kasmaty: more Friends volunteered for front of house and to assist at childrens’ workshop days.
· Paul Gregory: it was a good year, the total grant to the museum was £5,130. This included £2,148 on the decision to reduce the balance held the previous year. Items which received monies were: Peter Waldron sponsorship £250, HLF presentation film £1,000, museum’s new signage artwork £480, Eileen Cooper painting £2,500, exhibition sponsorship £500, organic restoration £400.
Total income increased from £8,003 to £9,164
Talks and Trips income increased by £1,229 to £5,117
Membership revenue increased by £400 to £2,601
Bar sales and raffles increased by £474 to £723.30
It remains important that we increase fundraising activities, all of which must make a surplus. The membership fee will need to increase to £15.
· Katie Ackrill: Talks: 50 finds from Wiltshire with Richard Henry, Kate Malone, Ceramics collections and museums with Mike Yates, Cicatrix with Katie Ackrill, Janet Boulton with Sophie Cummings, British linocuts with Gordon Samuel, Beginner’s guide to modern German art with Sophie Cummings, Swindon’s cellars, towers and tunnels with Jon Ratcliffe.
Trips: wine tasting at Magnum in Wood Street, a coach trip to London for own choice viewing starting at Tate Britain, visit to Urchfont Manor in June for the Sculpture Exhibition.
· Linda Kasmaty outlined several events for the coming year eg: cheese and wine evening this December, and 5 talks planned every month from February 2019. Trips are planned to visit Victoria Art Gallery in Bath, Corsham Court, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Pangolin Gallery in Chalford.
· Rachel Voyce: fundraising! Goals for 2018-19 include professional object photography, conservation of 1960s aerial photography of Swindon, acquisition of iron age coins found near Chiseldon, conservation of Roman wine strainer and summer workshops.
· Mike Bradley: this has been a busy year, the effort involved towards the HLF bid and now the adjustment and continuation to promote Swindon Museum and Art Gallery in the changed circumstances.
Other highlights included the unveiling of the restored Harold Dearden painting, entertaining Friends of Victoria Art Gallery Bath, volunteers at front of house, the workshops for children in the holidays and some weekends, and the colourful artwork signage and the gardens.
It is vital to remember the importance of this Museum and Art Gallery, the Friends can be instrumental in promoting events, supporting by fundraising, suggesting how, write articles for the Journal, volunteer at the museum, help at the events. Join the committee.
9. To receive updates on progress to locate Swindon Museum and Art Gallery: following a public consultation this year, results have been published and enclosed with the AGM notice. Unfortunately no member of SBC was available to attend this meeting and to date no decision has been taken as to the future location.
10. AOB: None.