Funding and Future Reunions:
Dick Dennis introduced the subject, saying that we have a decision to make, as the outgoings are now always more than the income. The Magazine, which is excellent and read worldwide, now costs £2.74 to produce and this takes up most of the annual subscription. But now we need a plan for the future. The costs have soared since we first had reunions at Whinstone View, and can only increase with time. The forecast until the money runs out is somewhere between 10 and 15 years if we continue as we are.
Ideas put forward at the open forum were:
To ask every Association Member, Life Members included, to contribute an extra £1.50 a year. This would cover any shortfall;
Look for another venue e.g. a hall in Ayton Village, and get caterers and a bar ourselves;
See if any conference facilities would be available at an hotel etc.
Raise more cash from people who come to the reunion, either by:
Putting up the price of meals;
Asking for an attendance contribution;
Sponsorship - of say the Marquee;
Asking those present to make a voluntary donation;
Make use of the Marquee on the Friday evening for fund raising event;
Get a smaller marquee;
Put up the Annual Subscription, this however would only affect those who are not Life Members;
Explain to Life Members that after 30, 40 or 50 years maybe it is time to review the subscription which was possibly 3/5/10 guineas at the time of joining as there are now no school leavers coming on board to even things out;
See if any further economies can be made;
Find another place to erect the marquee.
It was pointed out by Jenny Summerfield that the Old Scholars are the only group who use Whinstone View for a gathering. Jenny also reminded those present that if we did move from this venue it would be very unlikely that we would be able to return.
Most Members like the venue as they feel it is the nearest situation to the School with the open field and places to sit and catch up with friends. Joyce Spinks (Dobbing) said that it would be nice to have the AGM in the Meeting House, and although this idea was applauded by many, the logistics would have to be carefully thought through. While we have the marquee we should use it. However if another venue were to be found this would be an idea to be considered.
Many Members spoke during the open forum and eventually Margaret Carnegie (Wilkinson) proposed, and Diz Dexter seconded, that we continue to meet at Whinstone View for the 2006 Reunion. The Committee will look into the various ideas which were put forward and come to the next AGM with the appropriate information to enable those present to make a well-informed decision.