ACTING CHAIRMAN’S REPORT FOR 2019
I am giving this report as the Acting Chairman. During 2019 our Chairman was Richard Measures, who stepped down in December 2019. On behalf of the committee and members I would like to thank Richard for his help and guidance during the year.
The present committee was formed in December 2018. It was a difficult time for the club and we decided to obtain feedback from members on our future. We started with a social evening in December which was very well attended. Members were clear that they wanted the club to continue and that they enjoyed learning about the history of Gringley, plus other events; talks, visits to places of historical interest. Members were able to renew membership on the night leading to an increase in members.
During 2019 we arranged 10 club nights: five speaker events and five informal club nights. Speakers’ talks were on the Battle of Towton, London Transport, Ranskill Ordnance Factory, Edwardian Village Life and the American Civil War. Informal club nights included general discussion of activities and projects. We had a visitor to our February meeting, Kevan Pooler who introduced his fascinating new book, ‘Convicted for Courage, about the lives of POW’s in local camps during WW2.
During the summer we arranged an evening guided Village Walk, starting at the school and covering High Street, the Beacon and returning to the school via Finkell Street and Little Lane. We discussed places of interest and local anecdotes. The first walk had 18 people and the interest was such that we held the event a total of five times, with around 70 taking part.
The subject for our annual outing in June was clear, following interest shown in the Battle of Towton. Our tour included battle sites at Wakefield and Ferrybridge, leading to the Towton Battlefield Trail. We also had time to visit two local pubs near Towton. Two tours were arranged, with a total of 25 people.
In September, once again we hosted a walking tour of the village and canal as part of the Chesterfield Canal Society Walking Festival. Our walk of about four miles started at the Church, then down to the canal and returned to the village via the Beacon and High Street. Fourteen Canal Society members attended and the feedback from the festival organisers was very positive.
Our new committee recognises that administration of the club is important and during the last quarter we looked into updating the club’s Constitution and the website. (See Secretary’s report).
Our final event was a social evening in December. It was a well-attended event in the Blue Bell. We reviewed our activities for the year and plans for 2020. Existing members renewed their membership and with new members we have a growing club, a solid base of members and a strong programme of events planned for 2020.
Mike Garrett, 20/2/20.