January 2009 Members’ Meeting
Twenty-four members and one non-member attended our first meeting of the year on 10 January 2009.
Janette Gregson, welcomed everyone to the meeting and wished all a Happy New Year. She explained that the format of the meeting would be a little different to the usual, as, instead of a speaker after the business reports, everyone was invited to stay and have a coffee and a chat with an opportunity to look at some of the research recently completed. This also offered a chance to chat to committee members if anyone was interested in becoming more actively involved in any of the sub-groups. The informal nature of this meeting was the result of suggestions made towards the end of last year by some members who thought it would enable people to talk and get to know other members of RSHG.
CHAIRMAN’S REPORT: Janette explained have quietened down for the winter period as usual.
We have had 20 maps of Ryde and the environs restored, cleaned and encapsulated using the last of the money from the grant funding. These maps will be available for display at exhibitions.
Ryde Cemetery Restoration Project is ongoing, with Janis Mundell working very hard to maintain momentum. The building work is a little delayed, but the tenders will be in on February 5th, with the work due to begin in the Spring. Free training has already begun and is proving very popular locally, the workshops on Genealogy and Researching Historic People being rerun in January. A new and exciting conservation training opportunity will begin at the end of January. This will be delivered by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, and is to be thoroughly recommended.
Work on the Heritage Trail in conjunction with Friends of Ryde Cemetery (FORC), has been put on hold at the present time.
RSHG is forging ahead with the Living Links Project run by the Hampshire Archive Trust in association with the County Record Office. The aim is to bring the archive material available locally to the people and to encourage the public to be more aware of local history. Talks are underway with various bodies and we aim to produce an Audio Trail for Ryde, hopefully to be launched around Easter, 2010.
FINANCE REPORT: The finance report showed that we still have a healthy bank balance.
MEMBERSHIP REPORT: Kate, who has recently taken over the task of Membership Secretary from David Earle, reported that since our October meeting we have gained five new members, which means we now have 57 fully paid members.
REPORTS FROM WORK GROUPS
RESEARCH GROUP: Ann Barrett was able to relate that, despite a lull over the Christmas period, 141 files on the website were updated and had information added in the previous three months.
MAPPING GROUP: Mapping of the Old Parish and Old Cemeteries is now complete and work has started to map the New Cemetery.
TRANSCRIBING GROUP: Janette announced we now have a total of 5614 individual records on the website, which is just over half of the cemetery and we have very nearly finished the readable stones in the Old and the Old Parish Cemeteries.
PUBLICATIONS GROUP: Carol advised that the theme for this quarter’s news letter is crime and punishment and copies will be sent to members with the minutes of the meeting. Carol also spoke about plans to hold Ryde History Week in St Thomas Heritage Centre in May 2009.
NATURAL HISTORY: The team has produced Nature Diary walks for the last nine months and the next three will complete the whole year. The results are uploaded to the website with many photographs of the various flora and fauna found in the cemetery. Carol advised that the group would meet in the cemetery on the morning of Saturday, January 24th, to take part in the RSPB Garden Birdwatch 2009.
The official business of the meeting was over by1130, and the group dispersed to study the display boards and folders around the room and enjoy the first social gathering of the New Year.