Chairman’s Report 2015-16

I have now completed my third and last year as Chairman of the Society and will be handing over to our vice-chairman Peter Shipley.

I have really grown to enjoy introducing the speakers and hope that you agree that we have had another outstanding year.

We have enjoyed another fine programme of lectures arranged by Roy Eaton our programme secretary who has worked very hard for the last two years engaging some excellent visiting speakers as well as speakers from our own membership, such as: Chris Bruce-Jones - who spoke talk on ‘Henry Williamson of Tarka’. Terry Philpot’s - talk entitled ‘Beside the Seaside’ and out incoming president Peter Shipley who spoke on ‘Parliamentary Reform 1832-1884’.

Good attendances averaging 85 and plenty of interesting questions put to our speakers from our members and guests. Our membership numbers have continued to grow, now standing at 90.

Roy has already competed the 2017/17 programme, again covering a diverse range of historical topics.

Again, our thanks are due to the Minister and Elders of the United Reformed Church some of whom are members of the society, for enabling us to meet here and to use their excellent projection system which I feel is a great improvement on our old screen.

As always with our meetings, the efficient working of the technology is of great importance and our thanks go to John Fogg - Elliott who continues as Equipment Officer.

This year saw the retirement and subsequent sad passing of our President for many years, Keith Louis. Keith’s series of eye-catching posters promoting our meetings were a great help and our sympathies go to his wife Judith.

On a happier note, we are pleased to thank Patrick Alderton who kindly agreed to be our new president.

Our promotional posters are now being produced and posted in nine different locations in the Oxted and Limpsfield area by past chairman - Trevor Burrage.

Our Publicity Officer, Stuart Paterson, continues to submit press reports to local newspapers and magazines and prompt reports on our talks that appear on our website. ,

I continue to manage our website oxtedanddistricthistorysociety.org and we are receiving interest and enquiries on a regular basis. I am however dealing with one or two bugs that seem to have affected our web-site that have required us to alter our website address to oxtedanddistricthistorysociety.org.uk.

The Summer outing in June to Fishbourne Roman Palace & Chichester Cathedral was a great success with lovely weather and a particularly good guided tour of the villa and its mosaics.

My three years as Chairman, which I have enjoyed, would have been much harder without the stability, support and guidance of our committee members and I must express my sincere thanks to those not already mentioned: Kath McCarthy our Hon Secretary, and Anna Burrage our Hon Treasurer, For their hard work in keeping up the administration of the society’s accounts. and minutes.

Thank you for allowing me to take the chair, It has been a privilege and I am certain that Peter will fulfill the role in his own unique way.

Christopher Pendred