Chairman’s Report

    Chris Roberts said that the committee has continued to follow the aims of the association and to fully support the Members. The most obvious deliverable is the monthly programme and we have had another successful year of events and speakers. The YMCA maintained their high standard for the summer barbecue and the Christmas lunch. The annual visit was to the Harrier Heritage Centre at RAF Wittering where we were made very welcome; for many it brought back fond memories of the Harrier and in-service support.

    Behind the scenes the Committee has kept pace with the administration of the Association. This past year we have wrestled with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation to find a compromise way through legislation that was not designed for organisations like ours. Our web space supplier TalkTalk gave us very little notice of withdrawal of the service, but one of our Members, John Gardner, came to our rescue by offering us the use of web space within his business site.
    After holding the subscription at 5 since the Association began, we have had to succumb to inflation and increase it to 7 to recover financial ground and keep us healthy for the next few years. This represents around only 2% per annum in an environment where costs have increased significantly. We all know how much Royal Mail has increased the price of stamps and we had to accept printing costs that were originally covered by BAE Systems when the newsletters were printed for the Association at Farnborough. 
Annual General Meeting 2019 Reports

Toptop toptop

In the past year Members have made good progress with the restoration of Hunter T7, XL623, and soon we will be applying for planning permission for the proposed site in Kingston, facing the old factory site on Richmond road next to the fire station. We have also assisted with the acquisition of G-HAWK/ZA101 for Brooklands where it can now be found next to G-VTOL, and we have helped to save XX154, the first Hawk from being lost to the nation; it was either going to be broken up for spares or exported.
    Membership has ebbed slightly to 339. The committee will continue to try to keep membership level up but we will need your help to put out the word that the Association is good value! I conclude by reminding you that it is your Association; the Committee works for you. Our ears are always open for input and comment.

Secretary’s Report
    Barry Pegram, after announcing the ten apologies received, reported that the Membership stood at 339, well short of the ambition to reach 400. Of these 220 are ‘local’, 102 are ‘distant’, 17 are overseas, 48 are ladies and 23 are Affiliates unchanged from last year. Eight Members have not responded to renewal notices for two years so will be removed from the Membership list, and sadly twelve Members have died. There were five talks (with one cancelled as it clashed with the John Farley memorial event at Brooklands in October): Ed Hui on paper aeroplanes (33 attendees), Dick Wise on Ernest Hemingway (30), David Hassard on the Surrey aviation industry in WW I (42), Chris Roberts on historical aspects of flight (44) and Ambrose Barber on his post-retirement activities (30). The AGM was attended by 22, the visit to the Harrier Heritage Centre at RAF Wittering attracted 24, 30 came to the barbecue and 48 to the Christmas lunch. The three socials drew 19, 21 and 21.

Treasurer’s Report
Martin Pennell was unable to attend so his report was presented by Barry Pegram. Income followed the usual pattern of subscriptions (1726) and raffle takings (512). Principal expenditures were venue hire (500), stationery and postage (1187), speakers’ expenses (84), raffle prizes (85) and insurance (379). The barbecue, Christmas lunch and Wittering visit were essentially self financing. A donation of 2000 went to the Brooklands Museum for the restoration of P.1127 XP984 and other Hawker projects. The finances with a bank balance of 2459 at Dec 31st 2018, were in an acceptable state and it was expected that this position would be maintained following the subscription increase for 2019.

Discussion

Frank Rainsborough suggested that short (3 - 10 minutes) informal talks on Members’ interests would be attractive at Socials.

David Hassard raised the question of Affiliates. He suggested that the personal approach might be effective in attracting new members; invite interested people to join, bring a guest to a meeting, contact old colleagues, give them a Newsletter.
The cost of postage continues to rise. Perhaps Members would accept e-mailed Newsletters?

Electronic payment of subscriptions was being considered by the Committee.

The publishing of booklets on Sopwith and Hawker was suggested.