AGM 2003 - 5 August 2003

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This yearís South Chilternís Group AGM took on a new format.  It was split into three parts with a visit to the gardens of two of the committee members and with the AGM at Chartridge Village Hall in between.


The first garden to be visited was that of Marion Hoffmeister in Little Chalfont.  This included afternoon tea with home made cakes. 


Everyone then went on to Chartridge Village Hall for the AGM itself.  The original group was joined by others, so the hall was quite full.

Preparing for the AGM

The Group Co-ordinator, Liz Kwantes, welcomed everyone particularly those who had not been to an AGM before.  She then went on to give apologies for John May who has been very ill and was in hospital. It was very much hoped that he would soon be better. John has been organising the Farmersí Market in Maidenhead.  Due to his illness we have not been able to run the stand this year apart from July which was kindly organised by the Gethins.  Help for next year was requested from the attendees, it is very much hoped that we can do this at it is an opportunity to raise our profile.  Lynn Powell who is the Surveys Co-ordinator also sent her apologies.


Liz thanked the rest of the committee for their support over the previous year and Helen Turner particularly for the outstanding events that she had organised. She then handed over to Geoff Cubley who is the Treasurer.


Geoff reported that we currently have £1,179 in the bank, although we had made a loss of £284 this year.  It had been decided that we would have a cushion of £500 and that none of the events would be profit making.  Our one fund raising event is the plant fair at Beaconsfield, we need this event to cover such things as administration costs.  It was felt that we had really got to grips with the finances and Geoff was thanked for all his help. 


Helen Turner talked about the events. There was a comment that some of the trips were quite expensive.  Helen explained that it was quite difficult to plan the trips particularly by coach, as the cost of the coach had to paid for even if only a few turned up.  She said she would calculate a price based on a break even number of people.  If this number was exceeded she has been able to give refunds. Helen was applauded for organising such an interesting series of events over the year.


In Lyn Powellís absence Liz Kwantes read out her report. She mentioned the information she has received towards a Nursery Directory for the area.  She thanked everyone for the enthusiastic entries, but there were still not enough to publish a directory. It was agreed that some people preferred not to give the information via a form and this should be allowed, the problem with this was that information could be left out. Lyn suggested another competition for the autumn, which was met with approval. Everyone is encouraged to let Lyn know of any nursery visits they make, for the directory.


Helen Turner was thanked for producing the newsletter and it was agreed that the actual quality of the print itself was much improved.  It was suggested that the minutes of the AGM could be included, although several people admitted that they would receive it and just leaf through, so may miss some of the information given out.  Helen said that she was disappointed with the number of people entering the competitions and crosswords as this was hard work.  Everyone said that they would like to continue with them though. There was also concern that some GW? members were still not receiving the newsletter. Helen explained that we are working with GW? on this.


Marion Hoffmeister then talked about Trials. She said that this area had not yet been set up fully and she was talking to Gardening Which? about ideas in this area.  She also said that the Chenies Flower Festival was on the 25th August and the SCG would be having a stall to promote the group.


The elections for the next year then took place. Liz Kwantes said that she would continue as Group Co-ordinator for another year.  All the other co-ordinators said that they would also continue.  Someone will need to join the team in John Mayís absence to organise the Farmersí Market for next year and also the plant fair.


The attendees were then able to ask questions and some lengthy discussions were held on the type of trips people enjoyed. It was also suggested that some of our activities could be included in the main Gardening Which? magazine.


The AGM being over everyone then made their way to Helen Turnerís house for a look at her garden and for supper.  Everyone was welcomed with a refreshing glass of Pimms out in the garden. It was decided that Helen must spend all her waking hours looking after the garden as it was so perfect and was definitely not a low maintenance one.  It was a lovely evening so everyone was able to wander round and admire the beautifully designed area.

View of Helen Turner's house

A small part of Helen Turner's garden

It was then dinner time and again Helen had surpassed herself with a magnificent spread with an enormous amount of choice. 

A delicious spread

The evening ended with Geoff Cubley presenting both Marion and Helen with a bottle of rather expensive wine each as a thank you for making our AGM so successful and enjoyable.

Geoffrey Cubley presents Marion Hoffmeister with a rather special bottle