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Events > 2007

Fourth Annual General Meeting of The Wainwright Society

Sunday 21st January 2007, 12.30pm, Blackburn Cathedral Crypt

Eighty-seven members gathered in the crypt of Blackburn Cathedral and Eric Robson chaired the fourth Annual General Meeting of the Wainwright Society. 

The location was chosen so as to combine the meeting with the service of celebration of the centenary of the birth of Alfred Wainwright.

The Chairman reported the development of the Society through the year and assured members of the continued growth of membership. We had a most successful Memorial Lecture at Rheged, so much so that members who were late in applying for seats were disappointed. The 2007 lecture, in October, will be advertised quite soon and will feature Cameron McNeish, editor of The Great Outdoors and with many other claims to fame.  This year we plan to take the, bigger, IMAX theatre and precede the lecture with a buffet meal, for those who wish to partake of it.

The Pennine Journey project fieldwork is complete and the maps and route descriptions are nearly ready for the designer to prepare the guide book of the walk.  The Chairman thanked David Pitt for his sterling work on this ‘landmark’ project.

He reported that the Society guided walks had been poorly attended and none were planned for 2007. The ’50 Best Walks’ project had been, similarly, poorly support there being only 22 to date. The project will be put on the ‘back burner’ but members asked that we might display these 22 on the website so as to encourage others to re-vitalise this idea, which seemed to have considerable merit but which had attracted little support.

Eric Robson presented, on behalf of the Society awards to two young members. Jordan Ross and Jonathan Broad were both marginally younger than Ellen Regan, who started this challenge, being 9 years and 7 months and 9 years, seven months and 22 days old, respectively, at completion of the 214.  Jonathan set an even harder standard in completing all 214 in one year! Both lads received boxed sets of the Lakeland Sketches, donated by Frances Lincoln, the publisher. 

Mick Boddy won the film section of the 2006 Photographic Competition and Phil Mann the digital section. Phil was present to receive a DVD in the Great Walks series entitled The Howgills.  The Quiz winners from October – Stephen McKnight who received a copy of In The Footprints of Wainwright and Ruth Ravalde for December who will be posted a copy of A Gleaming Landscape - 100 Years of The Guardian Country Diary.

The Committee were re-appointed ‘en-bloc’ for a further year as was David Pitt, as Honorary Auditor.

Membership of the Society at the end of 2006 stood at 525 and renewals thus far were over 300. These equate to 590 when the numbers in member’s households are taken into account. 

Honorary members had been appointed during the year and in order to recognise this new class of membership it was proposed that a new clause be added stating that ‘The committee may, at their discretion, offer honorary membership to deserving persons. Such actions to be reported to the AGM next following’.   This was agreed by the meeting and the 29 appointments, already advised in Footsteps and on the website, were ratified.

The Finances were reported by Treasurer John Pulford who assured members that they were in good order, despite the loss reported at the end of September 2006. This deficit was due to the timing of expenditure preceding receipts in connection with the Great Lakeland Challenge book and the 2005 Memorial Lecture.  The present year would reflect these in the opposite direction and he anticipates a healthy surplus in September. The accounts were adopted and it was agreed that we should donate a sum, to be decided in committee and dependant upon the finances. to Kapellan, the Wainwright animal rescue shelter.

Coast to Coast
The chairman outlined how the Society challenge for 2007 was to be developed, involving the selection of team leaders to survey 38, 5 mile route sections and the need for completion of all reports by the end of July with the intention of publishing a book of the reports by the end of September, the first copy of which will be presented, along with the Society petition to the Minister for Rural Affairs.   There is no intention to seek changes to the original concept which stood for itself but simply to report upon changes to access, rights of way and avoidance of long sections of road walking.

Everest the Easy Way
The Keswick Mountain Festival (May 16-20) this year will include a Wainwright Society event. Honorary Member Sir Chris Bonington is patron of the Festival and no stranger to Everest or, nearer home, Skiddaw.  Everest is roughly 30,000 feet high and Skiddaw is about 3,000 feet, so for every 10 ascents by members we shall achieve one ‘Everest’.  Members have been invited to do the walk from Keswick and to pay at least £5 to the Society for the privilege. The whole of these donations will be handed to the Keswick Mountain Rescue.

An Autumn informal Dinner has been suggested and members voted by a show of hands that the committee should be asked to make the proposal into a reality. A guest speaker was felt to be an additional draw and this was accepted.

A member proposed a vote of thanks to the committee for their work in running the organisation and the meeting closed at 13.15 hours, at which point we moved to the nave of the cathedral for the Celebration of the Centenary of the Birth of Alfred Wainwright.