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( Charity Number SC 012686 )

Minutes of 42nd Annual General Meeting
Held on Thursday 3rd March 2022 at 2.30pm in Broughton House.

  1. Welcome by the Chairman.

    The Chairman, Mike Duguid, welcomed the members of the Friends of Broughton House and Garden and thanked them for attending the meeting.

    Apologies for Absence

    Mr Joseph Sassoon, Mr Douglas & Mrs Hilary Alcock, Mrs Gwendoline Shaw, Mrs Laura Shaw, Mrs Charlotte Iglehart, Mr Lesley & Mrs Margaret Fortune, Fiona Lee, Lady Beverley Vaux, Mrs Pat Withall, Mr Alan Withall, Helen Henderson, Kaye and Margaret Andrews, Lady Susie Ross, Rev. Graham and Mrs Louise Finch, Robert Reddaway, John Curtis, Bishop Gordon Mursell and Mrs Ann Mursell, Flora McDowall, Mo Pattullo, Mrs Janet Hannay.

    The Chairman read a letter from Mr Joseph Sassoon, son of the late Kirkcudbright artist, David Sassoon, sending his good wishes the Friends.

    20 members attended.

  2. Minutes of 41st AGM.

    The minutes were approved without correction.
    Proposed by Mrs Chris. White, seconded by John McQuistan.

  3. Matters Arising.

    There were no matters arising.
    Mr Jim White wished it to be noted that the 41st AGM, conducted virtually on Zoom due to Covid restrictions, was an unusual and unprecedented event.

  4. Chairman's report.

    This has been another difficult year for the Friends of Broughton House and Garden with our events having to be curtailed because of the Covid pandemic. However, we did manage to host two events via Zoom and two face-to- face. In April we were due to have a talk by Michael Lawrie NTS Head Gardener Dumfries & Galloway on "The School of Heritage Gardening and its 60th Anniversary" However, he was unavailable for various domestic reasons so we had to cancel that event.

    In May we heard a fascinating online talk on "Queens, Razors & Pelicans Feet, Seashells of the Solway Coast" by marine biologist Jim Logan in which he described the spectacular lives of what many of us take to be mundane creatures lying around on our beaches.

    In June, Mike Jack, First Gardener for Broughton House & Garden, highlighted the point that, despite Covid, there was no let-up in the work in the garden in his superb talk "Developments at Broughton House Garden". The main focus of the talk was the creation of the new border which involved the removal and replanting of two long sections of yew hedge, a new path and extensive planting of new border plants.

    The traditional "Afternoon of Carols" with mince pies and mulled wine took place in December and was very well attended. It was superbly organised by Graham and Louise Finch and the usual eclectic mix of poetry being recited and stories being read by members of the Friends group led to a most enjoyable afternoon. Yet again, Gordon Mursell accompanied the enthusiastic carol singing on piano with his infectious joie de vivre.

    The year's programme is due to be completed with an "Evening with Burns" rescheduled from its initial January date to late February. Claire Hastings, accompanied by guitarist Aaron Jones, will be joined by Rose Byers to entertain us with a selection of Scottish and Irish songs.

    As Chairman, I should like to express my sincere appreciation to all the Committee members for their sterling support and hard work during another difficult year.

    Chairman: Mike Duguid

  5. Treasurer's Report & Adoption of Accounts.

    This is my second AGM Treasurer's report and efforts to simplify the management of our funds continue. More and more members are moving onto an annual BACS payment of membership and that is welcomed, as it removes the need for annual collection and administration of membership payments.

    The Statement of Accounts for 2022 for reporting to the Charities Commission has been approved by our accountant and the Trustees. Our grateful thanks again to Mr Leslie Fortune, our accountant who has generously agreed to continue as our approving accountant. The summary of our approved accounts is attached.

    Our balance of funds at the end of 2021 was £5,827.90. The current balance at 13 Feb 2022 is £6,242.64. All our funds are unrestricted.
    The only event in 2021 was the Carol singing which was enjoyed by a capacity attendance (reduced by COVID regulation). The profit, reduced by COVID regulation was £156, but it was a most welcomed event enjoyed by all as the beginning of social gatherings again. Our events will always comply with government COVID regulations.

    With the return to more normal times and the appointment of Mr David Stothard (who will talk at the AGM), opportunities will emerge for the Friends of Broughton House & Garden to enhance the assets and their enjoyment through both volunteer and funding contribution. We look forward towards a more sustainable future for Broughton House and Garden both within the community and its status as such an important visitor attraction.
    Finally sincere thanks to Mike and the other Trustees as well as Mel, Sarah and David at Broughton House. And a special thanks to Gwen for communication across the membership and for helping to receive payments from members and guests at events.

    Dr Will Williams, Treasurer & Membership Secretary
    Friends of Broughton House & Garden, 13 Feb 2022.

    Dr Williams reminded the meeting that email is the most efficient way of communicating with members and urged those who were not on the contact list to pass their details to the Secretary as soon as possible.

    Proposed by Mr Mike Lawton, seconded by Mrs Sarah Steele.

  6. Election of Office-Bearers and Committee members.

    Mrs Chris White indicated that, after many years on the Committee, she had decided to step down. The Chairman thanked her for her long service.

    There had been no nominations for new committee members.

    Mrs Jackie Medicks asked what committee membership involved.
    The Chairman described the work of the Committee: planning and organising events to raise funds to enhance the House and Garden, and to keep Hornel's legacy alive in the town. It is a forum for the exchange of ideas to further these aims.
    Mr Ashley Medicks suggested that the schools should again be approached, offering the resources of the house and Garden to young people for musical performances and art activities.
    Dr Williams told the meeting that the NTS had recently committed to consult with properties on planning for the future, which would provide a forum for such plans to be promoted and discussed.
    Mr Colin Eade suggested that some funds might be set aside to provide a bursary for educational projects. He also suggested that the Property might provide Work Experience for senior pupils, and also exploit its natural history resources (ie bat colonies in the property).
    The Chairman mentioned some of the projects that The Friends and Kirkcudbright Rotary Club had initiated with the local schools in the past but emphasised that we should aim to focus our activities through the curriculum.

    The Office Bearers and Committee were re-elected unopposed:
    Chairman: Mr Mike Duguid
    Secretary: Mrs Gwendoline Shaw
    Treasurer & Membership Secretary: Dr Will Williams

    Members of the Council (Committee):
    Mrs Sandra Walsh
    Mrs Penny Bryson
    Mr John McQuistan
    Flora McDowell
    Revd. Graham Finch

  7. Talks for the Friends of Broughton House & Garden.

    These talks will take place in Broughton House. All will take place at 7pm for 7.30pm.

    1. Thursday 7th April; A demonstration by Joshua Miles, artist, of Birch Tree Gallery, Castle Street, Kirkcudbright.
    2. Thursday 5th May; A demonstration by Ewan McClure, Artist in Residence at Broughton House.
    3. Thursday 2nd June; Helen Creasy, "Out, Damned Spot", The Challenges of a Paper Conservator.
    4. Sunday 17th July; A Garden Party to celebrate Hornel's 158th Birthday, drinks and music in the Garden.

  8. Any Other Competent Business.

    Mrs Patricia Beeson, who produces the beautiful dried flower arrangements in the House, appealed for donations of dried or silk flowers for future arrangements.

    Mr George Makins enquired how much remained in the Book Fund, founded by Mrs Rosamond Stenhouse Stewart, recently deceased. The Chairman suspected that the remaining funds were no longer in the possession of Broughton House and are probably now with NTS Central funds. He undertook to pursue this through the new Visitor Services Manager.

    Mr George Makins suggested that, as the needs of the Property change over time, perhaps the remaining funds could be used for other purposes within the Property.
    The Chairman pointed out that the NTS has a policy of No Further Acquisitions, even though there are valuable books that should be given a place in the Library at Broughton House. He expressed the hope that the new Visitor Services Manager's interest in the Library might improve the situation. He expressed the view that the valuable library resources should have wider exposure and hoped that the catalogue would soon be completed and available online.

    Mr Colin Eade enquired whether any of our funds were already committed for projects over the next twelve months.
    The Chairman replied that the Friends hoped to contribute to a decorative wrought-iron gate for the Garden.
    The Treasurer said that our funds were designed to make a long-term difference to the property.

    The meeting closed at 3.07pm.

    The Chairman invited Mr David Stothard, Visitor Services Manager (Broughton House and Garden, Threave House and Thomas Carlyle's Birthplace), to give an update on NTS matters and his plans for Broughton House.

    Mr Stothard explained that he is responsible for three properties but plans to spend time in each one each week. He had recently submitted an application to renew the Museum status of Broughton House and Garden which he believed would be successful. Such status ensures staff training and funding opportunities, as well as imposing an obligation to maintain the Property appropriately. He aims to integrate Broughton House more firmly into the community, and to exploit the potential of the property by recruiting more volunteers. At the recent Open Day the number of volunteers had increased from 7 to 20. Mike Duguid has agreed to be the Lead Volunteer, to act as a liaison between the Volunteers and the Property Services Manager.
    There are plans to encourage local groups to continue to use the House as a venue for their meetings and to encourage researchers to use the vast resources of the archive. The Property will take part in Open Doors Day this year, and the opening hours of the House and Garden will be extended. Schools will also be welcomed to use the House and Garden as an educational and creative resource It is hoped that these initiatives will re-establish the Property as an amenity available to all.

    The Chairman thanked Mr Stothard for his presentation and promised the support of the Friends for his plans.

  9. Date of Next Meeting.

    The 43rd Annual General Meeting will be held at Broughton House on Thursday 9th March 2023 at 2.30pm.

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