Minutes of the meeting held at Barton village Hall on 10 September 2022 beginning at 2.15pm
The Chair opened this first general meeting since January 2020 with a brief statement recording the Federation’s heartfelt sympathies for the Royal Family on the occasion of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and gratefully remembering the contribution the former Sovereign had made to the life of the Nation of the past 70 years, not least as custodian of the Royal Philatelic collection, one of the greatest collections in the world.
Present: A. Beaver-Thompson (City of Preston); E. Dunn (Bolton); B. Evans (Burnley); C. Griffiths (Chair/Trafford); P. Hampson (Spring Stamp Auctions); A Jones (Bolton and Lostock); P. Kirk (Treasurer and Packet Secretary/Macclesfield and Prestbury); K. Knight (Rochdale); S. Parkin (Stockport ); D. Sigee (President/Trafford); J. Smith (Poynton and Stockport); N. Thompson (City of Preston)
Apologies: Norman Hudson (Ellesmere Port); Dave Rothery (Kendal)
The Minutes of the meeting held at Sale Grammar School on 11 January 2020 had been published previously on the website. Two matters arising were considered:
SP reported that he had identified only four members of constituent societies who were qualified as judges at regional level or above. After discussion, it was decided that societies should be asked for expressions of interest regarding training for judges, which, it was understood, would be organised by ABPS and partly funded by the Federation.
2. Thanks to Adrian Jones
The Chair reported that after the last AGM the Executive committee acting under its powers of section 12a of the constitution had agreed to confer upon Adrian Jones the title of Honorary Vice-President of the Federation for Life, in recognition of his service to the Federation and philately in the North West over many years.
The Chair reported that he had invited all constituent societies to send him brief reports regarding their activities. Reports were received from seven societies. Unfortunately, one of these reports recorded the closure of the society (Aberconwy PS). In other cases, although thankfully there was a resumption of activities after the disruption caused by the pandemic, a general decline in attendances was reported.
Societies appeared to be trying in various ways to retain existing members or to attract new ones; organising Zoom meeting; changing to afternoon meetings; advertising in ‘free’ newspapers and local libraries; organising displays in local venues; using Facebook; raising the profile of philately in general through postings on the internet. At present, however, it was difficult to say how effective such initiatives would be in the long term, although the Zoom meetings organised by Stockport PS were clearly having some success at present with regular attendances of 20 or more from a wide local, regional and even international area.
The Treasurer gave a brief outline of the state of the Federation’s finances. The Bank Balance at 01/09/2022 was £8740.83 compared to £7673.29 at the end of 2019.
Expenditure since the last general meeting had been low, principally relating to the expenses associated with running the website. Income was currently now almost completely reliant on the Packet Circulation, which over the last year had performed exceptionally well.
However, as Packet Superintendant, he also reported that the current circulations appeared to be generating less income than previous circulations and that this would be a worrying trend, if it continued, given that income from subscriptions was low, partly due to declining memberships within local societies, to the closure of societies and to the slow start up of activities by some societies.
He requested that any societies wishing to take part in the Packet circulation should contact him as soon as possible and reminded the meeting that income from the packet was shared between the participating societies and the Federation.
3. Web matters
The Federation web site appeared to be working well, but the Chair, as webmaster, stressed that he could only up-load information regarding special events, auctions and fairs, if local societies provided him with the relevant material.
The email circulation of ‘News’ etc. appeared to be effective, although the distribution list could become out-dated very easily and some members appeared to miss postings.
Fourteen entries had been received for the One-Page Competition earlier in the summer.
NOTE: DR who had been unable to get to the meeting due to the local traffic situation, subsequently reported by email to the Chair that currently only five entries have been received for the Autumn 16-page competition. He further reported subsequent to his email to all 34 speakers on the Federation’s list, two have so far withdrawn and one is only now offering Zoom presentations.
3. Future Developments: a Discussion
The Chair presented a brief paper and invited discussion on the future role of the Federation and how it could help societies.
It was agreed that its current areas of activity (website and email circulation; Packet; Paul Gaywood Lecture; Competitions; Speakers’ List) were all useful at a regional level and could not easily be provided by a national organisation such as the ABPS. It was also agreed that meetings such as the current one offered opportunities for the sharing of ideas aimed at promoting our hobby and recruiting new members for local societies, such had already taken place under item 2a above.
4. Paul Gaywood Lecture
The next Paul Gaywood Lecture will be hosted by Rochdale PS and will be held on 11 May 2023 with the President, David Sigee, as speaker.
Societies were invited to offer to host future lectures and should send the Chair expressions of interest as soon as possible. The Federation would cover Speaker’s expenses and other costs, as necessary.
5. 75th Anniversary of the Federation
There was a discussion as to how this significant anniversary could be celebrated. An earlier idea to sponsor a large regional Stamp Fair unfortunately had proved impossible. Other ideas were considered including a social event to take place at the same time as the next Paul Gaywood Lecture, possibly with involvement of local dignitaries. KK undertook to sound out Rochdale PS to see what might be practical. It was also suggested that a display of Federation Cups might be possible at a future Stamp Fair and the Chair undertook to sound out the Manchester Traders’ Association about this.
The Chair thanked all current officers and committee members for their work and support over the period since the last general meeting.
On the suggestion of the Chair it was agreed, for the purposes of calculating the terms of office of all officers, post holders and committee members, to disregard the year 2020/21. The effect of this was that:
- all Officers were now entering the final year of their three-year terms of office;
- the President had completed his first two-year period of office;
- all committee members had completed their two-year terms of office.
Given that all concerned had expressed a willingness to continue in their roles and that no further nominations for any of the positions or roles concerned had been received, the meeting agreed unanimously that all concerned should be re-elected for a further two-year term of office.
President: David Sigee
Chair: Clive Griffiths* (one year of office remaining)
Treasurer: Peter Kirk** (one year of office remaining)
Committee: Eddie Dunn; Ken Knight; John Morton; Stephen Parkin; Dave Rothery***
** Packet Superintendant
*** Competitions Organiser and Speakers’ List co-ordinator
The meeting closed at 3.15pm