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NEWSLETTER, Spring 2018

Chairman's Report Autumn 2018.

Dear Members,

picture of the ChairmanThe vagaries of the British weather never cease to amaze one. At the start of my Spring Newsletter 2018 I was moaning about the unexpected snow falls. Now I am rejoicing in the extraordinary spell of warm weather, which I hope you have all enjoyed.

I regret that I must start my Newsletter by informing you about the unexpected and unwelcome changes to the membership of our executive committee. Firstly, Donald Way has retired from the committee. For me, as I am sure for you all, Donald has been the very embodiment of our Trust branch for an incredible forty years. In that time he has been secretary, treasurer and vice-chairman, all posts he held with his exemplary devotion to the task in hand. In addition he organised many holidays. On all your behalf I would like to take this opportunity of thanking him for all his services to our Centre and wish him well for the future. Maureen Stone and Alison Gavin, who both kindly volunteered to join the committee in response to an earlier appeal from me for new committee members, have resigned. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their contribution to our committee discussions. Kate Luke has been ill and in hospital for several weeks, but is now back home. I know that we all wish her a speedy return to full health. In my Autumn Newsletter 2017, I reported that George and Evelyn Roberts had volunteered to be joint Membership/Bookings Secretary and serve on the committee. Unfortunately they have recently informed the committee that they are now unable to take on the post and sit on the committee. Well above the call of duty, Neil Pollock has offered for one more year to act as Acting Membership/Bookings Secretary, for which we are very grateful. I have to stress that we cannot go on relying on Neil's public spiritedness and must find a replacement for him in the near future. If any member of our Centre feels that he or she would like to fill the vacancy, please contact me or our joint secretaries, Sandy and Margaret Moreland. On a brighter note, Sandy Wilson, a long standing member of our Centre and keen supporter of its activities, has accepted an invitation from the committee to join its ranks. His position will ratified at the autumn AGM. These all mean that we need five new members of the committee. I would sincerely urge members of the Centre to consider volunteering for the committee. Without a full committee of twelve members we are simply unable to offer a full range of winter and summer activities. As a result of all these changes and of ill health on the part of other members of the committee, we do not have enough committee members who are able to organise a summer outing. As a result we are unable to offer a full programme of summer outings in 2019. We will be running at best only three outings.

On receiving their spring copy of the Trust's Scotland in Trust magazine, members may have noticed that the normal Events Leaflet insert was missing. This decision was taken unilaterally by Trust headquarters. It aroused great concern from the committees of several Centres, including our own, as the Events Leaflet has been a major way of alerting members of other Centres and Trust members who do not belong to any Centre of events at other Trust Centres. On behalf of our committee I sent Mr Mark Bishop, Director of Customer and Care at Trust headquarters, a lengthy email setting out our objections. As a result, Mr Bishop offered to meet me in person to discuss our concerns. Our subsequent meeting produced no meeting of minds. However, Mr Bishop did give me a picture of the Trust's financial difficulties which I would like to share with you. The Trust has a conservation deficit of £47 million, that is the sum needed to repair and upgrade all properties. In the last financial year it had a budget deficit of £12 million. In that year Trust membership fees raised £16 million, fundraising £10 million. Donations from Membership Centres and groups was £150,000, that is roughly 0.1 per cent of annual income. The Trust's properties were visited last year by 250,000 fewer visitors than ten years ago. In the last financial year the Trust recruited 60,000 new members but lost 45,000. At present the National Trust for Scotland has 375,000 members, of whom one third live outside Scotland. Four and a half per cent of adults in Scotland are members of the NTS but the percentage is ten percent for the National Trust for England and Wales. Last year only 0.2 per cent of members of the NTS made a donation to the Trust.

In my Spring Newsletter 2018 I informed members of a Forth Valley Heritage Forum organised by Dr Murray Cook, Stirling Council's Archivist, to be held on 3 March and to be attended by me. Unfortunately, the now infamous "beast from the east" meant that the event had to cancelled. Dr Cook hopes to reschedule the event at a later date.

Members will note an updated privacy notice with this Newsletter. You may be aware that a new General Data Protection Regulation came into force in May 2018. The committee has reviewed its privacy policy in line with the new legislation and changed it accordingly.

After discussion the committee decided there should not be a separate class of membership created for supporters at the Stirling Members' Centre, but that a list would be made of anyone wishing to have Events Cards sent to them. They would pay non-members rates at both winter talks and summer outings.

Our most recent executive committee meeting on 4 July 2018 discussed at length the replacement of the mooted three one-day summer outings in 2019 with a four day, three nights holiday in Aberdeenshire in May 2019 to be organised by Brightwater Holidays of Cupar. This company's services have been utilised by other Members' Centres and found to be satisfactory. In the end it was agreed to postpone this holiday until perhaps 2020.

You will note from the card containing the winter programme of lectures that our speaker at the AGM in October is the local artist Iona Leishman. I attach a flyer for her new art exhibition entitled "The Windings of the Forth". This is to be held at the Smith Museum in Stirling from Saturday 18 August to Sunday 14 October 2018.

Finally, I should add that due to the amount of business to be considered at our last two executive committee meetings, the Centre has so far not made any donations to the Trust. Our October committee meeting will review the Trust's list of properties requests and make various donations on your behalf.

In conclusion, it only remains for me to wish you enjoyment of our winter programme of lectures.

Best Regards,

Bob McKean,


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SUBSCRIPTIONS (Due 1st October 2018)

If any member who currently does not pay his/her subscription by Standing Order or has not completed a Gift Aid mandate and wishes to do so, please contact Robert Jackson, our joint treasurer, who will supply the appropriate form(s).

If you pay your subscription by cheque you will now see that we have added a line on the booking form to allow you to pay the annual membership charge along with any events you may be booking. This hopefully will be more convenient for you and will also aid our administration. The cheque for the membership should be made out to "STIRLING MEMBERS' CENTRE NTS" and signed and dated. If you wish, you can send one cheque for all talks AND the membership.


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We are very pleased that one of our long-standing members has offered to join the committee. He is Sandy Wilson.

He has been co-opted to the committee until his nomination is confirmed at the AGM in October.

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GDPR Data Protection

The new Data Protection Legislation (the GDPR) is now in force and we therefore display our Privacy Notice to confirm how we handle the personal information we hold on our members.

Please also let us know if you have any query or wish to update your details.

Stirling Members' Centre Privacy Notice

The Stirling Members' Centre NTS maintains personal information provided to us for the purpose of advising our members and other interested parties of news and events in our programmes and of contacting them about matters relevant to their membership and events.

We maintain such details on file solely for this purpose and do not and will not share them with a third party nor use them for any other purpose. They are all password protected.

From time to time in accordance with long established practice we may publish on our webpage reports on events which include photographs of members and friends attending. Please let us know if you have any objection to this.

You may contact us at any time to be provided with the information we hold on you and to request that it is amended or deleted. Should you have any complaint as to how we have handled your data, you can contact our Data Protection Officer, Bob McKean (Tel 01259 760733), and if you are not satisfied with our response, you can make a complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office.

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Lilias McDonald
Lilias was one of the original members of the Stirling Members' Centre and passed on 29th December 2017 aged 96. She was a great supporter of the Centre.

John Thomson
John was a relatively recent member and passed in November 2017. His wife Tessa will remain a member.

We would like to offer their family and friends our deep and sincere sympathy on their sad loss.

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We are very pleased to confirm that Grahams Family Dairy continue to sponsor the postage costs of our bi-annual newsletter. Our grateful thanks for this sponsorship to all at Grahams.

Graham Dairies Logo

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Art Display

Iona Leishman at The Smith Art Gallery and Museum, Stirling

"The Windings of the Forth"
An exhibition of new paintings.

Picture In the Shadow of the MonumentIn the Shadow of the Monument

Saturday 18 August to Sunday 14 October 2018

With Jayne Whitehead of Ivymaud creative garden design www.ivymaud.co.uk

Dumbarton Road Stirling FK8 2RQ: 01786 471917
Open Tue - Sat 10.30 - 5, Sundays 2 - 5, Closed Mondays

Café, shop and garden www.smithartgalleryandmuseum.co.uk
iona@ionaleishman.co.uk 07773 347780

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