Draft Minutes of Warsash Art Group's AGM 2020

Wild Weather - Joan Lee - Mixed Media

Below are the draft minutes of Warsash Art Group's 2020 Annual General Meeting, circulated to Members via email on March 1st 2021. All personal information has been removed to protect people's privacy. The Minutes will be signed when the Group can meet in person, the 2021 AGM being postponed from the due date, 4th March due to the Covid-19 lockdown. Minutes produced by Joan Lee, the current Secretary of Warsash Art Group.

 Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of Warsash Art Group

Thursday 5th March 2020 -  St Mary’s Church Hall, Warsash, 7.30 pm

Chairman Chris Francis (CF) welcomed Members to the meeting. There were 36 members, including eight members of the retiring Committee; and no visitors. All attendees’ names were recorded in the signing in book.

 I 1.  - Apologies for absence were received from sixteen members. Total attendance was 27, excluding the Committee members sat at the table at the front. This was considerably lower than usual, reflecting the growing anxiety about Covid-19 (there were not yet any restrictions).

 2.     Minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting held on 7th March 2019. These had been circulated to all members with the February Newsletter. VBt proposed they be accepted and VBd seconded this proposal. These were approved by a show of hands by the members present and signed by the Chairman.  
  1. Any matters arising from the Minutes – There were none.

4.     Chairman’s annual report (CF) – The Chairman reflected on a good year overall, including the Annual Exhibition which had made a small profit. There would be some small changes for the 2020 Exhibition, including pricing of 3D / craft work. He reminded exhibitors to present their work well and to keep to the times allotted by the Exhibition organisers when handing work in and out. The Group now has sufficient numbers on and off the Committee for the Group to continue to offer a full programme of activities, but this will continue to depend on people volunteering to help. He thanked the Membership for supporting him during his first year as Chairman.


  1. Treasurer’s report and audited accounts 

The Treasurer, Jane Johnson gave a full report. Paper copies of the Annual Accounts to 31st December 2019, were circulated to everyone present. These and the report are filed with these Minutes by the Secretary. The Accounts had been examined by RB as correct. In real terms the accounts showed an overall loss of £438.42 when invoices relating to the Sarisbury Green Parish Rooms received in early 2020 were included.

 6.     Summary of committee’s work - All the Committee Members present introduced themselves and summarised the work they do for the Group:

 Programme Secretary JM gave an overview of the demonstrating artists and speakers at the evening meetings through 2019 and the first one of 2020 with the ever popular Pip McGarry. She hoped that there’d been something of interest to everyone. The programme is now booked through to February 2021 and will begin next month with a demonstration by Ronnie Ireland entitled ‘The Humble Pencil’. JM is now standing down and has handed this job over to Clair Clark. She is confident Clair will bring some new ideas to the role and carry it out very capably. Jane’s full report is filed with these Minutes by the Secretary.

Membership Secretary -Caroline McGrath (CMG) – membership numbers at the end of 2019 were 179 which was down on the previous few years. Subscription renewals are due on 1st April. She has already received 90 renewals and was handing out membership cards at the back of the hall this evening. The subscription for 2020/21 has increased to £20. This was to due to increasing expenses all-round. The exhibition screens need refurbishing and at some point, possibly at short notice, the Group may need to pay for their storage. Currently, this is a garage in Warsash for which there is no charge.

 Tutored Tuesday Classes and Saturday Workshops – CM

Chris Madden has organised the Tuesday classes tutored by Kay LePoidevin and occasional Saturday workshops for the past five years. He said that it had sometimes been difficult to attract people to some of the Workshops and wondered if Members might be prepared to pay more to fund better known tutors asking higher fees. There were two workshops in 2019: Maggie Cochran – Expressive Acrylic Painting in April and Stewart Beckett – Watercolour in June. Both had been slow to fill and numbers were down for the second one. When they are under-subscribed, they make a loss and may have to cancelled. Neither is there any return for the a considerable amount of work undertaken by the organiser behind the scenes. Because of the need to cover costs, no refunds will be offered to people who book but later drop out (FH).

 Linda A has offered to organise the occasional workshop, in CM’s place

Numbers  have been much better at the Tuesday classes: steady at around a total of 30 people per term. For the spring term there were 18 at the morning class and 12 in the afternoon. These include a core of Members who have booked repeatedly for sometime and clearly benefit from going. With them particularly in mind, he considered these classes an important activity organised by this Group and that they should continue. Therefore he has postponed stepping down until the autumn. John M said this evening that he can replace him as Tuesday Classes organiser. He will shadow CM until September and then take over from him. The summer term starts on Tuesday 5th May. The notice and booking forms and notice will go out with the next newsletter on 2nd April.

The Treasurer and Chairman said that to meet increasing expenses and for the classes to be self-funding without any subsidy from the Group’s bank account, there would be a small increase in the fee to £61 per person for the summer term.

 Annual Exhibition – FH. A full report on the 2019 Annual Exhibition was published in the November Newsletter. FH organises the Exhibition jointly with RB (Entries Co-ordinator), dealing with logistics. Committee member BC is among their core team of helpers. Preparation for this year’s show is well underway. The dates have moved back a week this year, to the last week of August, to better coincide with the Hamsphire Open Studios period, hopefully increasing footfall, and sales. Handing in will be Tuesday 25th; the Preview evening Wednesday 26th; and will open to the p­ublic Thursday 27th – Sunday 30th August. Entry forms will go out in May, by email. There was a shortfall in helpers in some areas last year. If you intend to exhibit, please could you also offer to help steward during the show or in the tearoom. The Heavy Gang will be recruiting people to help set up and dismantle the screens etc before and after the show. If you think you could offer your services this year, please speak to / email / FH, or MJR for Heavy Gang help.

 Secretary and Newsletter (Joan Lee / BG) - JL thanked  everyone who had helped with various tasks, including stuffing envelopes for posting and proof reading during her 5 years as Newsletter Editor. She replaced BG as Secretary last year and appreciated his assistance and guidance. Among the Secretary’s admin jobs was keeping the Group’s email database up to date; making sure everyone's details there were correct. This has been even more important as newsletters and other key documents have been sent out to the vast majority of Members by email as of November 2019. She reminded Members to check their inboxes and spam boxes. Most of these emails had reached people, she was aware that a few hadn’t. She suspects most of these are uncontrollable tech related issues, meaning members need to spread the word when information goes out.

BG thanked JL for her work she had done since taking over from him and expanded on what the Secretary’s tasks involved. He is now standing down after eleven years on the Committee which was about the same length of time he has been a Member of WAG. He will continue to help with setting up the hall for evening meetings.

 The Chairman thanked everyone on the Committee and other helpers for their work.

  1. Any questions from members.

 Information for Members – John M [and others afterwards] said that he found the foldable Programme Booklet with the dates of evening meetings,classes and key contacts very useful and would like them to continue. Until now, this has been prepared by BG and printed on card locally. JL said that she intends to produce one next month for Members to collect at evening meetings, if time allows (the period after the AGM being particularly busy). However, she is considering changing the format to A4: the full programme and also the Exhibibition dates on one side and contacts on the other. This will be included April Newsletter.

 FH pointed out that even with the general move to distributing documents electronically, Committee members still use their home printers behind the scenes. Though they claim expenses towards consumables (cartridges, paper), it adds to the wear and tear of the printer.

 Exhibition – Vic Bird said he hadn’t received any call out for help on the “Heavy Gang” last year. FH said she had been trying to target younger members and did not want to assume the same people would be able to volunteer every time. Most of the shortfall was at the end of the Exhibition.

 Storage – had we considered sharing storage with Fareham Art Group who faced the same issue last year? Secretary’s note: JL had approached the then Chairman of Fareham in March but they later made other arrangements.

 Tutored Workshops – open bookings to members of Fareham Art Group: CM and JL said this had been / will be considered in the event of a shortfall but at least up to and including April last year, that hadn’t been necessary. JL is aware Fareham AG do likewise and there is an overlap in membership of the two Groups.

 Ian L thanked the Committee and other helpers for everything they had done to make all the Group’s activities happen. The Members present joined him in applauding.

 As required by Rule 3, the Committee retired.

 9. Election of new Committee. (As nominated seven days prior to AGM). The new Committee for the year 2020/21 was elected unanimously. 

 10. Any other business.

 Coronavirus (Covid-19) - Amid growing public and official concern about the growing number of cases in the UK and worldwise, the Chairman raised the possibility of evening meetings being cancelled. No one attending the AGM thought this was necessary at present. However this may need to be reviewed depending on developments. Attendance this evening was notably down on previous AGMs, but inclement weather may also have been a factor. 

Note from Joan March 2021 - we were soon overtaken by events, our programme suspended as we entered national lockdown. As far as Joan's aware, everyone has stayed safe from the virus but some of them have had family members affected by it. 

Exhibition – CF said the Exhibition team may need to approach members regarding transport of screens next August as that used until now will not be available.

 VBt stood down from the Committee in June after serving the Group in various capacities. He preceded CF as Chairman; and had organised Exhibition prior to that. He thanked the Committee and Members for all the help and support they had given him.

The Chairman thanked everyone present for attending this AGM and looked forward to another interesting year ahead. The meeting closed at 8.20pm and was followed by wine and soft drink refreshments; and view a display of members’ art.

 Joan Lee, March 2021. Revised March 2021.


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