Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held in the Chief Librarian’s Meeting Room, Manchester Central Library on 18th April 2015.
The President, Thomas Woodcock, CVO, DL, BA, LLB, FSA, Garter Principal King of Arms took the chair to commence the meeting at 1pm.
Present: Council Members Alan Kenwright (Hon General Editor), Jackie Roberts (Hon Treasurer & Membership Secretary), Tom O’Brien, Simon Oliver, John Dalton, Dr John Perkins, Dr Colin Rogers, Rev Tom Steel, Ken Taylor, Douglas Wilson, Neil Hudson (Hon Secretary), and other members, Jennifer Holt, Alan Powell & EJ Bull.
The President opened the meeting by warmly welcoming all to the meeting.
- Apologies for absence were received from Jacquie Crosby, Kevin Bolton, Malcolm Parr, Bill Joynson, Jill Drabble, Tony Foster & Paula Matthews.
- The minutes of the 2014 AGM were accepted and approved.
- Matters arising:
- Item 10: Neil Hudson reported that he had received no communication on this outstanding item, which remained an action. Action: Malcolm Parr
- Donations to fund future publications: Alan Kenwright stated that donations had been successfully obtained for volume 177, but that none had been sought for subsequent volumes, and asked how could sponsors of future volumes be identified such that the Hon Secretary could seek financial contributions. After some discussion, it was agreed to include a suitable enquiry of members in a future Newsletter. Action: Neil Hudson
- Honorary Treasurer & Membership Secretary’s Reports: Membership: The reports had been previously circulated. Jackie Roberts presented an analysis of membership changes noting that the decline in subscriptions from libraries & societies had levelled off with the resignations of Southport & Crosby Libraries, M&LFHS (subsumed into Manchester Archives) & Bury FHS (closed) in 2013. Jackie commented that it was becoming increasingly difficult to collect subscriptions from libraries because of the level of bureaucracy involved. Confirmation was received that no payments had been received from Lancashire County Council for their 7 Library subscriptions which LPRS was continuing to fund. Malcolm Parr’s initiative to send out recruitment literature to all purchasers of CDs & volumes is having a positive effect.
Treasurer’s Report: Analysis of the Statement of Receipts and Payments showed deficits for the past three years, as a direct result of the high level of publications. It was felt by the Hon Editor & other members of Council that we should publish as much as possible whilst we have the expertise & resources to do so. If our current situation prevails, it was considered unlikely that crisis point would occur in 10/12 years. During the discussion, it was pointed out that we could markedly reduce expenditure by publishing as soft-back volumes, CDs rather than volumes, &/or raise subscriptions. None of these options were accepted by the meeting.
The Treasurer stated that sale of our CAF Equity Investment had realised £48,277.64, and after discussion, Council agreed that:-
- Around £25,000 should be available in accessible funds to furnish publication costs
- £15,000 be invested in medium term CAF growth investments
- £15,000 in 10/12 year CAF Equity plans
- The remaining sum to be invested in fixed interest bonds for a period of ½ years
The meeting unanimously accepted the Treasurer’s Reports (copies appended). There being no other financial matters, the President thanked the Hon Treasurer for her reports & her hard work during the past year.
- Hon General Editor’s Report: Alan Kenwright presented his written report, circulated at the meeting (copy appended). 2014 saw the publication of three volumes, an updated version of MIND, & LPG update sheets. Volume 183 (Manchester Cathedral 166-1700) was published before the AGM & is now in the hands of members. The Hon Editor pointed out new banners for use at sales events displayed in the room, which the meeting approved. During the review of potential publications, Alan stated his future intention to publish one volume before the AGM & (hopefully) one during November to facilitate contact with members to remind them of subscription renewals. In the ensuing discussions on future publications, the following points were made:
- St Helens (1697-1841) was ready as a potential 2015/16 volume. During the ensuing discussion, Tom Steel commented that the stated commencement date was dichotomous as the chapel only returned to the C of E in 1710 & everything up to 1812 has already been published. Nevertheless, entries of the Chapel were attributed & recorded in Prescot registers from C17th, with unpublished BTs extant for 1676-97 facilitating the volume to present the registers for this period together with the years 1813-41
- Aughton (1541-1764) was ready potentially as volume 184
- Rainford (1813-41) would be published as a CD this year
- The six Low Furness registers would be combined to produce one volume (space permitting) & published as 185
- Future Wigan registers would be published as CDs
- Billinge, Upholland & Pemberton are ready to publish as one volume
- Cartmel (1771-1837) may be ready for publication during 2016
- Lancaster Priory, Lancaster, St Anne (Bap) & Lancaster, St John (Bap, Bur) are ready to publish as one volume during 2016
- Liverpool, St Nicholas (1726-1754/60) is a potential 2015 candidate
- Samlesbury, Balderstone & Mellor are ready to publish as one volume during 2016, providing permission may be received from the appropriate parishes.
Dr Colin Rogers volunteered to prepare Ringley for publication after his involvement with Lancaster ceases. Neil Hudson volunteered to enter indexing characters to the Warrington registers. Ernie Bull volunteered to do some transcriptions.
The Hon Editor stated that as the Baladek Masanti 26029 material used to cover our present volumes is in short supply, & may no longer be available, Council had to decide a replacement colour. After discussion, black was the majority choice of the meeting, with the existing material being used whilst available.
Alan Kenwright was concerned that the Council was not getting any younger, & that only three members were proficient in the editing process. He stated that an Apprentice Editor or Editors should be identified and trained. It was agreed to include a plea in a forthcoming Newsletter. Action: Neil Hudson
There being no further items, the meeting unanimously accepted the Hon Editor’s Report, & the President thanked the Hon Editor for his report & hard work during the past year.
- Sales & Publications Report: Neil Hudson presented Malcolm Parr’s report stating that after a disappointing 2013, the Society had moved to a similar trading position to 2012 with increased orders from GenFair (but failing to reach 2012 levels) whilst Parish Chest orders had continued to slide. However, thanks to Malcolm’s initiative in advertising in local libraries & churches, together with an advertisement in Lancashire FHS Journal & furnishing recruitment details to all LPRS customers, direct orders have shown large increases. Malcolm has stated his intention to continue liaising with libraries to promote publication sales. There being no questions, the report was unanimously accepted & the President thanked Malcolm for his achievements & hard work.
- Election of Officers: It was proposed by John Perkins, seconded by Douglas Wilson, & agreed unanimously that the Officers be re-elected en bloc.
- Election of Council Members: It was agreed unanimously that the existing Council Members be re-elected en bloc. It was proposed Alan Kenwright, seconded Neil Hudson, that Jennifer Holt be elected to Council, & agreed unanimously by the meeting.
- Rule 7 – Constitution Change: It was proposed Alan Kenwright, seconded Neil Hudson that:
- So long as the funds of the Society permit, one ordinary publication, at least, shall be issued in each year. The Society may from time to time issue extraordinary, additional or occasional publications, comprising either re-issues of its own previous printed publications, or publications printed by other recognised bodies or individuals, with relevant permission, &/or include additional historical material for Palatine Lancashire.
Alan stated that the purpose of the amendment was to facilitate a broadening of the material to be published within our remit as a Society, to enhance interest in published registers as well as enable publication of data relevant to the vast majority of our members such as The County Palatine of Lancashire Parish Maps at 1837, the 1535 census of all males aged 14 & above in an area of West Lancashire, or perhaps MI’s for the church. During the discussion, Colin Rogers suggested that whilst he understood the sentiment, he thought the proposal too wide such that the Society could lose its identity unless due care was taken. He proposed, seconded John Perkins, that the last words, namely ‘for Palatine Lancashire’ be replaced by ‘relevant to the Aims of the Society’ After further discussion, this amendment was carried unanimously.
- Nomination of the Independent Examiner: The Hon. Treasurer reported that the appointment of an Independent Examiner was not strictly necessary. Nevertheless, it was agreed unanimously that David Smethurst be asked to continue, along with Douglas Wilson as Auditor.
- Any other business:
- Meeting unanimously agreed to the publication of The County Palatine of Lancashire Parish Maps as at 1837 suggested by the Hon Editor in his Report.
- Colin Rogers referenced the annotations presented by Bosdin Leech in his transcripts & asked the meeting if their inclusion in published registers was considered relevant. After some discussion, the meeting unanimously agreed that relevant annotations could be included in published volumes.
- Date and time of the next meeting: was agreed as Saturday 16 April 2016 at a venue to be confirmed, or Saturday 23 April if the previous date was not available.
There being no further business, the President thanked all for their attendance, and the meeting closed.