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Fifty-eight members attended the twelfth Annual General Meeting of The Wainwright Society on Saturday 28 March 2015.

Prior to the AGM, John Bewick introduced Malcolm Tillyer, the Chairman of the Brathay Exploration Trust, the Society’s main beneficiary for 2014. Malcolm told Society members about the work of the Trust from its beginnings in 1947 as a charity whose main aim was to inspire young people to explore different landscapes in the UK and abroad in order to have a greater knowledge and appreciation of the environment and the impact of human activity on the natural world.

He explained what a difference the support of the Society had made to the organization, not only in financial terms but also the publicity had helped to raise the profile of the Charity. The funds given by the Society had enabled the Trust to initiate their Taster Weekends project, the first having taken place last September involving a group of youngsters from the Leonard Cheshire Disability charity. Three further weekends were planned for 2015 and the same in 2016.

Malcolm concluded his presentation with an upbeat assessment of the future of the Trust and thanked the Society for their valuable support during the past year.

John Bewick thanked Malcolm for his interesting presentation and this was followed by the presentation of a cheque for £10,700 by Eric Robson, Jenny Whalley and Caroline Nichol.

(L_R) Jenny Whalley, Caroline Nichol, Malcolm Tillyer & Eric Robson presenting a cheque for £10.700. - David Johnson

(L_R) Jenny Whalley, Caroline Nichol, Malcolm Tillyer & Eric Robson presenting a cheque for £10.700.
Photo: David Johnson

The AGM commenced at 3 p.m. with Eric Robson in the Chair. He welcomed all members to the meeting and gave a special welcome to Jane King and Annie Sellar, the daughters of Betty Wainwright and Joint-Presidents of the Society.

In his Chairman’s report, Eric highlighted the notable events of 2014 including the Lakeland Ridge Walks Challenge, the Memorial Lecture with Alison O’Neill and the Society’s involvement in the inaugural Wainwright Prize awarded to the Book of the Year for outdoor and travel writing. The Encounters Project had yielded nearly 70 stories from people who met or knew Wainwright and the Society was hoping to publish a book of these later in the year. Eric also thanked members for their generous donations to the Society’s Wainwright Book Project that enabled the collection to be completed and which was now housed with the Wainwright Archive in Kendal. Eric then informed members of forthcoming events planned for 2015, including another Society party on the weekend of the Memorial Lecture. He also gave details of a special Invitation Day for Society members to be held in May at Kapellan, the headquarters of Animal Rescue Cumbria.

During his talk, the Chairman presented Niels Rasmussen with a framed photograph of his winning entry in the Society’s Themed Class of the Photographic Competition.

Eric Robson presents a framed photograph of his winning entry to Niels Rasmussen for winning the Themed Class of the 2014 Photographic Competition. - David Johnson

Eric Robson presents a framed photograph of his winning entry to Niels Rasmussen for winning the Themed Class of the 2014 Photographic Competition.
Photo: David Johnson

Eric also presented Andrew Clayborough with a framed photograph of his winning entry in the Society’s Open Class of the Photographic Competition.

Eric Robson presents a framed photograph of his winning entry to Andrew Clayborough for winning the Open Class of the 2014 Photographic Competition. - David Johnson

Eric Robson presents a framed photograph of his winning entry to Andrew Clayborough for winning the Open Class of the 2014 Photographic Competition.
Photo: David Johnson

Andrew also won Best In Show and received a framed landscape photograph taken by judge, Derry Brabbs.

Eric Robson presents a framed landscape photograph taken by Derry Brabbs to Andrew Clayborough for winning Best in Show in the 2014 Photographic Competition. - David Johnson

Eric Robson presents a framed landscape photograph taken by Derry Brabbs to Andrew Clayborough for winning Best in Show in the 2014 Photographic Competition.
Photo: David Johnson

Following the Chairman’s report, there was the annual election of Officers of the Society. Eric Robson was re-elected Chairman of the Society, Derek Cockell was confirmed as Secretary and John Pulford as Society Treasurer. It was agreed that Paul Spinks would continue as auditor for a further year. Other members of the Committee were re-elected in their various capacities.

There were reports about Society Membership, Society Development, Finance, Publicity, and Events. Jenny Whalley thanked Martin Roberts for his work as Project Manager of the Calendar Team. The Society presented Martin with a framed montage of the six calendars he has produced, raising over £48000 for various charities since 2010. Martin was not at the AGM to receive his gift.

Jenny Whalley with the framed montage, which will be given to Martin Robaerts. - David Johnson

Jenny Whalley with the framed montage, which will be given to Martin Robaerts.
Photo: David Johnson

At the conclusion of the meeting, the Chairman thanked members for attending.

Derek Cockell
Secretary