AGM 15th May 2017

AGM 15th May 2017: Chairman’s Annual Report

Since our inauguration in June 2015 and our first AGM last May, I am delighted to announce that the Society is going from strength to strength. As Mary Smith, our Treasurer, will explain in a few minutes, the Society is in a sound financial position and we have over 60 paid up members.

Since last September we have hosted a wide range of talks which have all been well attended. Paul Harding started the programme with his talk on St George, and in October Jon Goldswain followed on from his talk last year on Sir Edward Elgar with a talk on how various women in Elgar’s life influenced his music. To coincide with the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, the battle was the topic of our talk in November and this was followed in December by a talk on the Worcestershire Regiment.

In January Paul Harding took us further back in time to the Battle of Evesham in 1265. Those of you who have attended Paul’s talks will remember his enthusiasm and colourful costumes. In February, Worcester china and antiques expert Henry Sandon came to Broadway and in a crowded Torrington Room at the Lygon Arms, shared his impressive knowledge and entertained Members with his interesting tales of the antiques business.

Our meeting in March was held jointly with Broadway Arts Festival. Local art historian Juliet Heslewood gave a fascinating illustrated lecture on the work of William Morris and his connection to the Cotswolds. Over 100 people attended the lecture and the proceeds from ticket sales and the bar held on the night raised £187.46 which was split 50/50 between the Society and Broadway Arts Festival. Last month, here in the Parlour, Alan Bielby, Chairman of the Gloucestershire & Warwickshire Steam Railway took Members through the railway’s fascinating history. He gave us an insight in to the work that goes on behind the scenes to keep a heritage railway running, and to the thousands of hours of effort and millions of pounds it is taking to extend the railway to Broadway which should be up and running by the end of March next year. After tonight’s AGM, Committee Member, Geoff Sanders, will be giving us the final talk in this year’s programme; an illustrated talk on ‘Snapshots of Victorian Broadway (The People of The Census Returns)’.

Most of our meetings over the past few months have been held in Broadway Methodist Church Hall. The society has outgrown the space provided by the Hall and in future we plan to hold to our meetings here in the Lifford Hall Parlour. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Methodist Church Hall Council, the residents of The Court for allowing the Society to use their Community Room free of charge (and for serving refreshments) and also the Lygon Arms Hotel for hosting Henry Sandon in the Torrington Room.

During the year the Society has purchased its own projector and screen helped by donations from Wychavon District Council, Broadway Tourist Information Centre and Broadway Parish Council. Going forward, we have an exciting and varied programme of talks for 2017/18 starting on Monday 18th September. The first weekend of July we hope to put on a display in Broadway churches’ ‘Celebrating the Community’ event and over the next few months to start researching some specific periods of Broadway’s history. Geoff has kindly agreed to manage these projects and will be contacting Members to see whether anyone is interested in getting involved or has an interest in a particular period of history that they would like us to research.

I would like to thank the Committee and all Members for their support and hope that the membership and resources of the Society continues to grow during the forthcoming years.


Debbie Williamson
15th May 2017