IN THE COMMUNITY: The Finchampstead Society Annual General Meeting

By Jane Parle

The Finchampstead Society AGM was held on March 28 at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall, Finchampstead.

Concluding the meeting were talks given by Councillor David Cornish and Trevor Ottleveski.

The first part of the agenda was led by Adrian Hobbs, the Chairman of the Society. Adrian extended a warm welcome to a large group of members and visitors. Apologies for absence were then recorded. This was followed by the Minutes of the last year’s AGM which were read and approved.

Adrian then gave a detailed Chairman’s report in which he informed us that one of our members Margaret Mearing had died.

Margaret bequeathed a generous legacy to the society and in addition left the Chronicles of Finchampstead, which were to be kept in the archives as part of the Society records.

Adrian then reminded members of the Society’s mission statement which aimed to retain the character of Finchampstead in a variety of different ways. These included aspects such as supporting resident’s interests; opposing undesirable development; preserving our past and securing our future and promoting a variety of social events.

Last years’ event programme included a New Year’s and May Day walk; a quiz evening; spring and autumn dinner at Jacksons’, California Park.

The final event of the year was a carol concert which included St James’ choir, selected readings and community singing. A collection was made for Thames Valley Air Ambulance.

All events were well attended and thoroughly enjoyed.

This year it is proposed to continue with seasonal walks, as well as a spring dinner at Jackson’s, a visit to the re3 Recycling Facility, followed by the Hogs Back Brewery beer tasting evening which will take place in the Memorial Hall, plus a talk about British Postal history before 1750 and many other activities which will be communicated later.

On the question of membership it appears that our numbers are continuing to fall. While we maintain our older membership it seems that younger people are reluctant to join. This has also affected the appeal for members to join the committee. Especially as three committee members are standing down and only one member has been recently co-opted.

The Jones VC Trophy was presented to Felicity Workman in recognition of the extensive contribution that she has given to Finchampstead over many years.

This important trophy is awarded annually to a person/s for outstanding services within the Finchampstead community.

Cllr David Cornish then gave an enlightening and detailed short talk about Neighbourhood Development Planning.

After a refreshment break Trevor Ottlesevski spoke about the history of the Ridges and Simon’s Wood. His interesting talk included slides showing historically how these areas had unbelievably evolved.

One early view of Wellington College showed the college centred midst large areas of forest. The change was quite surprising when you consider the housing development that now surrounds the college. The meeting concluded at 10.30pm.

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Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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