Chairman’s Report

Sylvia Harrop

Since I reported to members at the 2007 AGM, we have been able to run all the usual winter activities and, as I write, look forward to more lectures, walks and our Summer Outing in 2008.

We are extremely grateful to Robert and Betsy Bell for inviting us to hold our AGM at their home, Langcliffe Hall, last October. Over 70 members attended - which necessitated covering two rooms - and after the business proceedings enjoyed an excellent talk by Mike Slater on ‘Isaac Newton in Langcliffe?’. Since then, we have enjoyed two lectures, the first in November on ‘Mass Murder in 17th century Lakeland’, a glimpse into the family history of the speaker, Reg Postlethwaite; and the second in March on the ‘Rebuilding of Hellifield Peel’. The heroic struggle to rescue the Peel and make it into a habitable home has received wide coverage, and the Langcliffe Village Institute was packed to hear Francis Shaw’s excellent lecture. We must have had the largest, or one of the largest attendances ever seen by the Trust for a lecture. Fortunately, the committee had decided to invest in a microphone system to use in our lectures, and Francis had the responsibility of using it for the first time.

Our Annual Recital in January moved to the most southerly church in our area, St. Michael and All Angels, Kirkby Malham. The Leeds Parish Church Choir were on splendid form, and had a good and appreciative audience. We are most grateful to the vicar and churchwardens of St. Michael’s for their hospitality, and to the ladies of the church for a superb tea, laid out for us after the Recital. Next year we move back north to St. James’, Clapham.

Our Christmas Party was also a very enjoyable occasion, as usual. The venue moved to Clapham Village Hall, with a new team headed by Ken Pearce. They did an excellent job, and a full house of members and guests enjoyed a delicious buffet (provided by members as usual), accompanied by more of Mary Slater’s quizzes and entertainment by Rob Clarke of Eldroth. A good number of members have enjoyed this year’s Sunday walks, in the sure knowledge that the problems from the gas pipeline should be at last at an end. Overall, this year’s programme is well under way, and I hope that many members will be able to participate in the varied activities which the committee have arranged.

This year’s Journal promises to be as varied and interesting as ever, and I look forward very much to reading it in a couple of months’ time. We are very fortunate that we have so many members who are ready and willing to write articles on their researches and interests to submit to the editors. Many thanks to our editors for all their work in producing such an interesting volume. Finally, my continuing thanks to all those who help to keep the Trust running in many different ways. Your contribution is very much appreciated by me and by the committee. The Trust couldn’t continue without you.