President's report





Thank you everyone for attending the AGM

First of all I would like to thank all the committee members who have so willingly over the years given their precious time and help in all aspects of running the society, and also all members for supporting the society and hope we have been able to satisfy the expectations  of our constitution which is to foster and develop an interest in Bishop’s  Stortford and district Arts by holding drawing and painting evenings, demonstrations and other activities including public exhibitions.

Thanks to Carole Crosby we had an interesting and varied programme, having seven demonstrations by professional artists, and three of our own members  taking  part in the programme.  Bill Morris and Heather Brown gave us demonstrations, and Ray Whyard kindly stood in for Richard Honey who was unable to do the critique  due to a last minute problem he had to attend to at the College.   We had some very successful  afternoon painting sessions, visiting Heybridge Basin, Hole Farm in Bentfield Bower Stansted  and Easton Lodge Gardens.  Probably the highlight of the summer was the Stort river trip, although the weather was awful,  we had an enjoyable time, and some of us who took the tiller under close supervision by the Skipper  received  a signed certificate.

We had two very successful exhibitions during the course of the year at the ECCO Charity Shop.  With a total of 22 paintings being sold.  A donation of £150 was made to the ECCO charity, and although we donated a further £175 for the second exhibition this was generously given back to us by the C.E.O.   It was felt by the committee that George the manager of the Shop and his lady assistant Chris should be given a gift  in reward for all the help they give us. George was given a  gift voucher and Chris was given a house plant.  We are also indebted to Palmer and Martin who kindly provided the transport for delivering the display stands to and from the exhibitions.  Our thanks also go to the following. Yvonne Robinson for dealing with the submission forms, and Eileen Valder for printing the labels.  Also to  all the men who helped collect and erect the stands, and  Barbara Anderson and Nick Dittrich who hung the paintings.  Last and not least Carole Crosby who arranged the stewards roster.  Thanks also to all the members who supported the exhibition in submitting their paintings for display.  Thanks also to Heather Brown and Ray Whyard for donating paintings for the raffle prizes.  We also had a watercolour paintings donated by Betty Hills who celebrated her 100th birthday this year.  One special painting of Manuden was donated for the raffle prize.  The other paintings were given to members who knew Betty when she was a member.  A special thank you goes to Nick Dittrich our publicity officer for designing our posters and flyers for the exhibitions.

When the new Independent newspaper was launched I approached Paul Winspear the editor of the paper if we could have one of our artists showing their paintings on a regular bases, which  he kindly agreed too.  So during the course of the last eighteen months every fortnight  we have  had one of our artists showing some of their paintings.    If you would like to have your paintings displayed please let me know and I will make preparations to arrange it. Usually I visit you and photograph the paintings, which then get  sent to Paul the editor for publishing.  I will also need to take a portrait photograph of you and ask you to complete a 200 word biog. of yourself  which will then be  published with your paintings.

With all the help and support that the newspaper have given us we thought it would be a nice gesture by the Society  to give support to  Paul Winspear the editor who was planning to run in the London Marathon sponsoring a child cancer charity

Carole our programme secretary has completed the programme for the current year and you will find a draft copy  of it on the back of the meeting agenda.  I think you will agree that it looks to be a very interesting and exiting programme.   Carol after four years as programme secretary  has decided to step down , and therefore we will be in desperate need of someone to take over the role. Are there any volunteers to take over from Carole.  If you think you would like to support the art society in this way please speak to me or one of the committee.

You will notice in the programme that we have an outing to the Fitzwilliam Museum on the 15th June, it is located on Trumpington Street in Cambridge and it is proposed that we go there by coach leaving the Rugby Club at 10.30 am. The museum includes one of the best collections of antiques and modern art in Western Europe It is also close to  the botanical gardens where some may like to visit afterwards.  The fee for entry into the gardens is £6.concessions for over 65’s is £5.50 I suggest that you may like to take a picnic to have in the gardens.  For a coach of 25 people the fare will be £15 but this coach will not have a toilet.  A larger coach holding 32 people will have a toilet.  The journey is not very far so most people should be ok with the smaller coach.  If you are interested please put  your name on the list which is circulating round the members.

Most of you will have seen the notice from Eileen our secretary about our desperate need for more people to serve on the committee, I have been acting as the membership secretary since Maureen Coe decided to resign, and of course the most important job of programme secretary is now vacant and it would be nice if someone with the knowledge of the art society could take  this over.  I am sure other members of the committee would assist in helping to put it together.

During the year we had some sadness in relation to deaths within the society we also heard that Betty Hills celebrated her 100th birthday, as a tribute to her and the other people who sadly aren’t with us anymore their paintings were shown in the independent Newspaper.  Geoff Mcguire a member of the committee passed away, and Pat Gardner who served as secretary for many years also passed away .

Another celebration that we can look forward to in January is the anniversary of our society’s 85th Birthday, which we will combine with our New Year  celebrations.

This ends my report and I would like to wish everyone an enjoyable summer painting and success with the exhibition in June.  Thank you again for supporting the society and for attending the AGM. We will now adjourn the meeting to enjoy a glass of wine and appreciate  the portraits on show.

David Cooper

President / Chairman