Minutes Of An Extra-Ordinary General Meeting Of Warminster History Society & Museum

Thursday 12th April 2018:

Minutes Of An Extra-Ordinary General Meeting Of Warminster History Society & Museum, Held At Warminster Library On Monday 9th April 2018.

17 people, including the History Society's current Committee members, attended this meeting. Helen Taylor wrote the following minutes ~

The purpose of this meeting was to decide whether or not the Museum & History Society has a future. Alwyn Hardy, Mary Ross-Gower, Rodger Stocks and Helen Taylor were all re-elected for this meeting.

The committee’s proposal was read to the meeting by Mary:

For various reasons we have been unable to prepare a full programme of talks for the coming twelve months.
The proposal that the committee is putting forward for the coming year is for two summer evening meetings. One would be in May and one in June. They would be held on a Thursday evening and would start at 7.00 p.m. The advantage of this time is that visitors would be arriving while the Library is still open and will enter through the front door.
Admission charge would be £2.

Warminster Museum and History Society is a charity and as such is expected to do more than arrange evening talks. Already this year, we have agreed to give talks to one of the
local schools and to one of the town’s scout troops. This is an activity we regularly provide and will continue to do so. Wiltshire Council expect us to be part of the education efforts of our town and these are talks that we give without payment.

As a charity, the executive officers are held to account by the members of the Society, and these members, at an AGM, will approve or disapprove of how the Society has been run.
This will continue to be necessary even if there are no monthly meetings. The members of the present committee believe that it is essential that the Society continues
to promote and preserve a knowledge of Warminster’s history and heritage and we know that you, the present members of the Society, share this belief.

Our proposal is that a membership fee of £2 per annum be introduced. This contribution would indicate that people are in agreement with the aims of the Society even without the
monthly meetings. The £2 membership fee would, it is hoped, encourage members to become more closely involved in Society and Museum business, and it would, of course,
give them the right to vote at an AGM or EGM.

Should members wonder ‘what do I get for my money?’ it is proposed that they will have half price access to the two summer talks. They will also of course continue to have access to the small Museum Library. Should any of you here this evening not wish to remain a member under any changed
circumstances that may be agreed this evening, you can request a refund of the £2 that you paid when you came in and your name will be erased from the record.

Comments from the floor ~
Members were invited to comment on this proposal or ask questions.

Mary was asked if she would consider giving a talk on the WWI Project.

David Pollard thought that the Society website was the key to encouraging more visitors and ultimately more members, as the internet is often the first tool that people use. He thought
that there should be more pictures than currently appear on our website and that these images should be searchable. Mary agreed but explained that the Society’s volunteers are
actively involved in the digitisation of material held by the Society, both documents and photographs. The three major surveys of the town in the 18th and 19th centuries have been
digitised. David asked if these could be put on the website, but Eric explained that doing a satisfactory job is a huge project and involves building a database. David’s reply was that we should pay someone to do it for us, as we have the funds. Mary would prefer to digitise everything first.

Danny Howell thought that providing only two meetings a year would be a backward step. Mary reminded everyone that, despite numerous requests over the past year, no one could be found who was both willing and able to set up the room. It is not just a matter of putting out chairs and a projector. Whoever volunteers must be able to cope with any IT difficulties that may occur, often due to the speaker bringing their own equipment that sometimes doesn’t want to ‘talk’ to our projector.

Jill Russell offered to arrange an outing in the local area as an alternative to meeting in the Library. Mary thanked Jill and asked her to go ahead and organise. It will be in one of the
villages close enough to be quickly reached by car and will take place during the better weather.

Eric was asked what the two summer talks will be about; one will be ‘Our Warminster’ and the other will be ‘Warminster Common’.

Jill asked that the original proposal for the next year be changed slightly to say that we will offer at least two meetings and possibly an outing. It would be good if we can offer something in more than just two months in twelve.

Mary then asked everyone present if they were happy for the Society to continue to exist and there was unanimous agreement.


After discussions with the Library, the two meetings are fixed for the third Thursday of May and of June. It would suit the Library better if our meetings start at 7.30 as usual and that
people arrive via the back door.
Thursday 17 May 2018 7.30 p.m.
Thursday 21 June 2018 7.30 p.m.