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Fifty-six members attended the fourteenth Annual General Meeting of The Wainwright Society on Saturday 25 March 2017.

Prior to the AGM, John Bewick introduced Sean Day, Director of the Calvert Trust Lakes, the Society’s main beneficiary for 2016. Sean showed members a short DVD about the work of the Trust and then went on to give details of the renovation of the Bowderstone Bothy, which has been made possible by donations for the work including £10,500 raised by the Society during its Challenge event and by sales of the Society’s calendar in 2016.

Sean explained that the bothy, formerly leased to a Mountaineering Club, will be adapted to meet the needs of the Trust’s disabled visitors. The work is expected to be completed by volunteers during 2017 and, when finished, will mean that up to twelve people at a time will be able to experience a night ‘in the wild’ using the bothy as a base for various activities including abseiling in Bowderstone quarry.

Sean concluded his presentation by thanking members of the Society for their valuable support during the past year.

John Bewick thanked Sean for his interesting talk and this was followed by the presentation of a cheque for £10,500 by Eric Robson, Nick Holmes and Caroline Nichol.

presenting a cheque for £10,500Caroline Nichol, Eric Robson, Sean Day & Nick Holmes presenting a cheque for £10,500.
Photograph: Andrew Stainthorpe

The AGM commenced at 3 p.m. with Eric Robson in the Chair. He welcomed all members to the meeting.

In his Chairman’s report, Eric highlighted the notable events of 2016 including the Wainwright Prize where the Society took part in the judging process for the award for outdoor, nature or UK travel writing. The winner in 2016 was Amy Liptrot with The Outrun. The Central Fells Challenge raised £1500 for the Calvert Trust and there was a presentation of the cheque at the Bowderstone Bothy in May. The Wainwright Exhibition, held for a second year at Keswick Museum, was supported by the Society. The Wainwright Memorial Lecture in October with guest speaker, Richard Else was a great success with Richard telling a near sell-out audience at Rheged about his long association with Wainwright during the 1980s when he was the director of the films made for the BBC. The Society purchased six items at the auction of Wainwright artefacts sold by Hunter Davies in September. These unique items will be deposited with the Wainwright Archive at Kendal on loan.

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

Terry Abraham, winning the Open Class of the 2016 Photographic CompetitionEric Robson presents a framed photograph of his winning entry to Terry Abraham for winning the Open Class of the 2016 Photographic Competition.
Photograph: Andrew Stainthorpe

Eric also presented David Harrison with a framed photograph of his winning entry in the Society’s Themed Class (Limestone Country) of the 2016 Photographic Competition.

David Harrison, winning the Themed Class of the 2016 Photographic CompetitionEric Robson presents a framed photograph of his winning entry to David Harrison for winning the Themed Class of the 2016 Photographic Competition.
Photograph: Andrew Stainthorpe

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

David Harrison, winning Best in Show in the 2016 Photographic CompetitionEric Robson presents a framed landscape photograph taken by Derry Brabbs to David Harrison for winning Best in Show in the 2016 Photographic Competition.
Photograph: Andrew Stainthorpe

Eric thanked Derry Brabbs, the judge of the competition for the past 14 years, who is retiring this year. Derry was unable to attend the meeting but Eric showed members a slate plaque, which will be given to Derry for his past service to the Society.

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 Ian Newton as Society Treasurer. Other members of the Committee were re-elected in their various capacities.

There were reports about Society Membership, Society Development, Finance, and Walk Events. The Secretary reported back to members about the Coast to Coast National Trail campaign, which is supported by the Society; the opening of Wainwright Way in Blackburn attended by the Secretary and members of the Wainwright family; the siting of two Wainwright installations on the Ullswater Way, with support and advice by the Society and, finally, an update on the Society’s response to National Grid’s proposal to site pylons to the south of the Lake District National Park and around the head of the Duddon estuary, which the Society opposes.

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

Derek Cockell
Secretary