Chairman’s Report May 2020

This season’s meetings have been very well attended up to the 19th March meeting which, along with the talk from Cedric Reavely and Carol Anderson, had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown. Up to that point we have had very interesting talks from Tom Shannon on “Mutiny, A Family Story of Death, Rebellion and Survival” through to “The League of Nations” by Michael Davies, followed this year by Brigadier David Innes on Oxfordshire’s Military History and Tim Porter on Evesham Abbey.

We also had two very successful walks around Milton under Wychwood in the autumn, led by John Bennett, looking at the architecture of the village and the changes that have taken place over the years.

I have attached this season’s talks starting on 17th September with Tim Marshall on Quaker Clocks and the Milton-under-Wychwood connection and right through till 20th May 2021 AGM and Julie Ann Godson on “Oxfordshire in the Past”. I hope you find something of interest there.

The most significant advance for the Society this year has been the renewal of the website thanks to David Betterton with help from Alan Vickers. I strongly urge you to have a look at it by following the link or just type in Wychwoods History Society into your browser. There you will find audio recordings of local people, photos, events, archive details and, the first scanned Journals. We will also be asking you if you can identify photos of local villagers long past. We would like to hear from you if you have stories or articles that we could up-load to the website for the interest of all of us.

I was hoping to arrange visits to Evesham Abbey and North Leigh Roman Villa this spring/summer, but these will be put on hold until we are clear of the Covid 19 virus and lockdown. There are several members who have shown an interest in these visits and I hope to re-arrange them in the Autumn.

Members numbers
I am sorry to say there has been a decline in the general numbers of members in this last year, though the attendance at meetings has been very good. To have a thriving Society we need a good membership base. If we could all find one new member each, then we would once again have a healthy History Society. Or if you know of an ex-member who could be persuaded to re-join by passing on the 2020 -2021 programme, that would be very helpful.

AGM and Subscriptions
The committee decided at our recent Zoom meeting that we would waive subscriptions for this coming season (September 2020 to May 2021 AGM). Membership cards will be issued as usual in September. The Committee will remain the same until the first meeting in September when a vote will be taken by the membership on committee members standing.

Finally, I hope we all come through this very tough time together, all the villages in the Wychwoods have a very strong sense of community. I wish you well for the days, months and years ahead when will have to get used to the new ‘normal’. I hope you have kept well and that I will see you, God willing, on Thursday 17th September.

Roger Watts
Chairman and Membership Secretary,

This report is also available as a PDF – Download here