LANCASHIRE PARISH REGISTER SOCIETY
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held at the Anthony Burgess Centre,
Chorlton Mill, Cambridge Street, Manchester, on 5th April 2014
The President, Thomas Woodcock Esq CVO DL FSA, Garter King of Arms, took the chair to commence the meeting at 1 p.m.
Present: Council members Alan Kenwright (Hon General Editor), Tom O’Brien, Jackie Roberts (Hon Treasurer and Membership Secretary), Neil Hudson (Secretary), Simon Oliver, John Dalton, Dr John Perkins, Colin Rogers, Rev Thomas Steel, Malcolm Parr (Publication and Sales), Ken Taylor and other members Pat Parr, & Jill Drabble.
The President opened the Meeting by warmly welcoming all to the meeting.
1. Apologies: Douglas Wilson, Kevin Bolton, Phil Stringer, Jennifer Holt, Jacquie Crosby, & Tony Foster.
2. The Minutes of the AGM held 20 April 2013 were approved.
3. Matters arising:
• Item 4: Jackie Roberts confirmed that seven copies of published volumes had been sent to Lancashire Libraries, free of charge, but commented that her letters seeking re-instatement of membership had been ignored.
• Item 10: Malcolm Parr reported that the data file relating to the demography of Manchester in the C16th & C17th was huge. It was suggested that consideration be given to preparing a CD for sale, having obtained the permission of Ben Alexander to do so. Malcolm Parr agreed to approach Ben Alexander. Action: Malcolm Parr.
• Item 10: Malcolm Parr confirmed that details of LPRS publications & membership were sent to all purchasers of CDs, together with a Standing Order form.
• Item 10: Neil Hudson confirmed that he had sought the views of members regarding their format preferences for future publications. 31 members stated that they preferred hard back volumes, 9 preferred CDs, & 4 would accept either. Neil stated that as Council were unanimously in favour of volumes, the clear message was to proceed using our present guidelines.
4. Honorary Treasurer and Membership Secretary’s report: Membership.
Jackie Roberts circulated her reports & accounts prior to the meeting (appended). Of the 392 members at the end of 2012, 33 members failed to renew, but we welcomed 12 new members, leaving us with 371 members at the year end (289 private & 82 institutions). Thus the trend of falling membership has continued from 2009 when membership was 463, a fall of almost 20%. Discussion suggested that the decline in membership was common to some other societies.
Treasurer’s Report: The accounts for the year to 31 December 2013 were presented which had after internal audit been scrutinised by the Independent Examiner. Income was down by £4,964.46, but total expenditure during the year fell by £1489.12, leading to an overall loss of £1489.12 which was down on last year (£3727.97). Income included a legacy from Joan Holding of £1000, and £1000 towards the cost of publishing the Dalton PR from two sources – Kirby Archives Trust (£500) & Cumbria FHS (£500) – with a further £250 having been received in 2012. Total funds stand at £76071.
There was discussion surrounding the provision of donations to fund future publications. Previous discussion had suggested that editors be asked to solicit grants from appropriate local sources, a process which many were reluctant to do. Neil Hudson stated that he would write to seek donations if help could be given to him in establishing a list of potential benefactors. Action: Neil Hudson.
Jackie reported that the bank had changed our sort code to 090154 & asked that this be noted accordingly by users.
The accounts were unanimously accepted and the thanks of the meeting were expressed by the President for the Hon. Treasurer’s hard work and the careful exposition. [Copies of the Hon. Treasurer’s Report appended]
5. Honorary General Editor’s Report: Alan Kenwright presented his report in writing (Appended). The three volumes published during the year involved major problems with their publication, including the index to the Hindley volume & the spine of the Dalton volume. As a result Alan was seeking a new printer & sought any suggestions from those present.
The review of potential publications identified three registers ready, & three registers nearly ready to go to the printers, namely:-
• Horwich 1660-1841 (the next to be published)
• Manchester Collegiate (possibly)
• Low Furness (possibly)
• St Helens/Rainford (possibly)
Two volumes are likely to become available for publication during 2015, namely Church Kirk & Cartmel.
An updated LPG and MIND are hopefully to be completed during 2014. Alan reported that the Wigan volume above would be the last published in this format, with succeeding volumes being released as five CDs. Tom O’Brien suggested that instead of printing separate CDs for members, all five elements be printed onto a DVD, leaving individual CDs to be sold to non-members.
Progress was reviewed with other volumes, & Alan sought volunteers to edit any of the five untouched C17th registers, finding volunteers for both Ringley & Samlesbury, as well as a further volume of Lancaster.
The report was accepted and the thanks of the meeting were expressed by the President for the Hon. General Editor’s hard work and the careful exposition.
6. Sales & Publications Report: Malcolm Parr circulated copies of his report prior to the meeting (appended). Malcolm reviewed sales of both volumes & CDs stating that older, out of stock volumes were soon sold & that he had a list of volumes being sought by collectors, some of whom were non-members. He stated that he had approached several libraries & replaced volumes from stock where these were heavily damaged due to over-use, at no extra charge. He suggested that if Council Members advised him of such volumes on other library shelves, he would also replace if possible. His actions were endorsed by the meeting. Neil Hudson suggested that old volumes should be sold to non-members at a premium.
Malcolm reported that he had updated the email listing of members & suggested that he would enquire whether or not members wished to receive any future individual volume if he had advanced notice of publication dates. Neil Hudson reported that there were already on file members who had indicated their wishes not to receive particular volumes on an on-going basis.
Malcolm referred to the large amount of volumes being stored which on present sales would take over 18 years to sell, & suggested consideration should be given to reducing the number of volumes held. This was left for further discussion.
The report was accepted and the thanks of the meeting were expressed by the President for the Publications Officer’s continuing hard work and his detailed analysis.
7. Horwich PR 1787: John Perkins referred to his previously circulated report on the extraordinary disagreement between the Horwich Chapel Registers & the BTs for 1787. John summarized the recorded items and offered a possible explanation as to the circumstances leading to the content of the documents. After some discussion, the report was accepted with the thanks of the meeting.
8. Election of Officers: It was proposed by Colin Rogers, seconded by Tom O’Brien, and agreed unanimously that the present Officers be re-elected en bloc.
9. Election of Council Members: Neil Hudson stated that he had received the resignation of Phil Stringer from Council, & read out Phil’s email setting out his reasons. The President thanked Phil for his many contributions throughout his membership of Council (some 15 years) during which time he was responsible for developing & maintaining the Society’s website, & a valued resource for help & advice on all matters pertaining to computing. After discussion, it was agreed unanimously that the remaining Council Members be re-elected en bloc, & that the vacancy formed by Phil’s resignation be held over to the next meeting.
10. Nomination of 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. Both had previously agreed to do so.
11. Any other business:
• Tom Steel reported that he had recently discovered & transcribed what amounts to a 1535 census of all males aged 14 & above within a significant area of west Lancashire. The data comprises c4000 names grouped by township & parish. The meeting agreed that this information was both interesting & important, & suggested that it be included as an addendum to the next publication of an appropriate register.
• Alan Kenwright stated that the Rules of the Society were in need of updating & suggested that the Officers prepare a revised set for circulation to Council for amendment/comment before a definite proposal was circulated to members at least two month before the next AGM. This was agreed, along with the suggestion from Malcolm Parr to publish the draft resolution on the Society’s website at the time it was circulated to members.
• Neil Hudson raised the question of free provision of volumes to Lancashire Libraries & it was unanimously agreed to continue the practice, with reviews every two years.
12. Date and time of the next meeting was agreed as Saturday 18 April 2015 at 1pm, venue to be confirmed.