Chairman’s Report

Roy Gudgeon

Once again, as I look back over the events of the past year, I think that we have had another successful twelve months. Our membership is rising, albeit slowly, the attendances at our walks, talks and other events are increasing, which I take as an indication that the membership is in agreement with our programme.

This coming year, we have more walks than ever before, many with specialist leaders who will be able to give historical details of the area visited, as well as information in that particular area. The annual Christmas Party was adjudged by all to have been an excellent event and my personal thanks are extended to all who provided food for the evening. I firmly believe that the involvement of so many of our members ensures a good attendance and an excellent evening. After much discussion it has been decided to continue with the same format for this year, but the venue is not at Dalesbridge as stated in the Programme, but will take place at Austwick Village Hall, where I am sure we will receive a warm welcome.

You may recall that the Trust made a financial grant to Bentham Photographic Club to assist them in providing a historical record of the buildings in their area. David Johnson gave full details in last year’s journal, and with the task almost complete, you will find an update of the position elsewhere in the Journal. We have also made a grant to assist Austwick Parish Council to improve a site of historical importance relating to sheep dipping in former days. This year will also see the Trust becoming involved in the publication of a book concerning Bentham Datestones, and more publications are planned for the future.

Peter and Nick Harling are making excellent progress with their project to record all the ‘street furniture’ on the roadside, once again mentioned in last year’s journal, so we are hopefully making some positive impact of a lasting nature. This year our Annual General Meeting will be held at Stainforth Youth Hostel, giving members the opportunity to see one of the area’s important houses, which is not normally open to the general public.

I am confident that we shall continue to prosper, our committee is I feel particularly strong in many ways, and I think that the future will show that we are continuing to became involved in the district, in all aspects. The Journal once again attracted much acclaim, and we all owe a great debt to Maureen Ellis who is the ‘mastermind’ behind each year’s edition. My thanks go once again to all the committee for their hard work and dedication, and I believe that we have in the Trust created a warm atmosphere that will auger well for the future.