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Minutes of the Annual General Meeting Held in Sarratt Village Hall

16th October 2019

Present: Some 30 members and friends. Chair: Jennifer Haynes, who welcomed everyone.

1. Apologies: Steven Booth, Carol Chorley

2. Correspondence: None.

3. Minutes of AGM 2017: Taken as read, approved and signed.

Proposed: Kate Soothill, seconded: Merle Liddy

4. Matters Arising: No matters arising.

5. Society Secretary’s Report (Sandra Turner) Another active year with a committee well organised to run the shows, trading stall and outings. Making my life much easier.

This year we have upgraded the schedule using a friendly printer to keep the costs down, but we are always looking for advertisers to help with the cost – if anyone knows of a company or individual who may want to advertise then please let us know.

We also continue to find opportunities for events and garden centre discounts for our members and we will continue to do this.

6. Treasurer’s Report (John Gill): Accounts circulated and accepted

Proposed – Anne Dorritt; Seconded – Graham Peiser

7. Financial Report by the Treasurer for the year ending September 30th 2019. The society showed a small deficit for the year of £47 compared with the prior year deficit of £49.

Subscription and donation income was down slightly on the prior year at £659. Other income from village markets and the programme advertisement amounted to £125. The two successful spring and autumn shows generated a combined net surplus of £111 and there was a small surplus from the society trip of £8.

Overall the Society generated total income of £912.

Expenditure for the year, which included subscriptions, memberships and sundry administration costs, amounted to £757 which was down on the prior year. The expenses for the AGM amounted to £203.

Overall total expenditure for the year amounted to £959.

This left the Society with a small deficit for the year of £47. Overall the financial position remains robust with closing funds at September 30th 2019 amounting to £4,150.50, the bulk of which is retained by the HSBC bank with the remainder held in cash.

Attached is the Statement of Account for the Society for the financial year. Further information on income and expenditure is available on request.

8. Show Secretary’s Report (Steven Booth) This year, the society held its two shows as usual: in Spring and Autumn. This year, the weather has been relatively kind to us leading to a good crop of entries for each show.

The Spring show had 298 entries which represented a 50% increase over the previous year. The 45 entrants gave us a show of high quality.

The Autumn show had 289 entries (from 59 entrants). Following a cooler and wetter summer than last year this represented a significant increase. Again, the quality was high, with the lead judge commenting that it was on a par with the larger regional shows.

However, the shows are not just about the numbers. They are a time for the people of Sarratt to show their skills and talk to others who share their interests. A large number of people come to view the exhibits, have a drink with friends and perhaps a flutter on the raffle. The editorial comment in Spotlight exclaimed "it seemed as if the whole village was there!"

The shows thrive and survive thanks to the army of volunteers that make it happen. As a Society and a village, we are so lucky that people give their time so freely. The judges do their bit behind the scenes. The committee members and many others from the village make sure the hall is ready for the exhibits; the teas, coffee and cakes are ready for serving; the raffle is ready to be drawn and the prizes are waiting to be awarded. I would like to express my sincere thanks to all who have helped make the shows a success this year. Thank you.

9. Membership Secretary’s Report (Muir Stratford) –Our membership number for this year is 217, which is round about our usual membership figure but we are always seeing new members to boost our numbers. This includes 10 new members. I think the number of members we do have is excellent for a village of our size and the two shows are always very well supported. I try to ensure that newcomers to the village are aware of the Society and welcome information regarding new members.

As usual, I must thank all the subscription collectors, who also deliver the Summer newsletter; it is not always the best weather for collecting subscriptions early in the new year.

Our 2 newsletters are always well received and information about the Society is well publicised on the Sarratt Village website and in Spotlight as well as the shop. I am always seeking items for inclusion in the newsletters and contributions and/or suggestions from members are always most welcome. Through the good offices of our Society Secretary, we now use email as much as we can to communicate with members and we currently hold over 130 email addresses. If we do not have yours yet, please let us have your details so you can be kept fully informed about the Society.

My grateful thanks go to all the members of the Committee for their contribution which makes my job as Membership Secretary quite easy.

10. Chairman’s Report (Jennifer Haynes) – It has been another successful year for Sarratt Horticultural Society. We saw two excellent Shows with a record number of entrants for the Autumn Show and we are so pleased to see new members entering.

This year we organised a trip to RHS Wisley for 50 members. Everyone enjoyed it despite the terrible weather that did in fact get better as the day went on. The new Welcome Centre at Wisley was very nice, with a lovely shop and café. There will be some photos of our day at Wisley on the Slide Show later.

As we are an RHS affiliated society we can have one free trip a year to an RHS garden. This keeps the cost of the trip down and we only have to pay for the transport. It is for our members to enjoy.

We also organised an evening visit to Church Gardens in Harefield, a restored 17th century walled garden. The members that attended were very complimentary about the Gardens and the superb guided tour given by Kay McHugh, the owner and Head Gardener.

Horticultural Shows in general, are on the decline, but it seems here in Sarratt, it is the complete opposite. It is very gratifying to see so many people enjoying the shows and having the interest to exhibit too. Any feedback from the Shows would be gratefully received. Please speak to anyone on the Committee and let them have your thoughts. Whilst I am on the subject of the Committee, I would like to thank them all for their commitment and hard work before, during and after the Shows. In my opinion we are a great team! Well done all of you!

Finally, with an apology to Strictly – ‘KEEP GARDENING!!’

11. Election of Officers (following 2-year term) and Committee.

a) Vice - Chairman: Kate Soothill

Proposed: Graham Peiser Seconded: Margaret Stratford

b) Society Secretary: Sandra Turner

Proposed: Muir Stratford Seconded: John Rickard

c) Membership Secretary: Muir Stratford

Proposed: Ian McClelland Seconded: Barbie Knight

The Committee were re-elected en bloc

12. 2020 dates

· Spring Show: Saturday 4th April 2020

· Autumn Show: Saturday 5th September 2020

· AGM: Wednesday 14th October 2020

13. Any other business

Thanks, were given by Colin Plummer by the Village Hall Committee for the funds raised from the Horti Trading Stall at the village markets throughout the year.

The business of the AGM closed at 8.22pm followed cheese and wine and members able to view a slide show of recent shows and outings.

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