Ryde Social Heritage Group research the social history of the citizens of Ryde, Isle of Wight. Documenting their lives, businesses and burial transcriptions.
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Our AGM on Saturday 8 October was attended by 34 members and 2 guests and there were apologies from 11 members.

Janette gave the annual report for the 6th AGM. The first AGM was held on November 2006 and the group has been existence in an informal way prior to that since January 2002. Next year we will be celebrating our 10th Anniversary!

In the past year we have added information from Binstead and Ashey cemeteries and from St Thomas Church graveyard and have added biographical information to many of those records. We receive a lot of information from people who have found information on their ancestors on the website and who want to share what they know about them with us and others.

We now have a huge and growing archive of information about the people, history and development of our town of Ryde.

Since the last AGM we have had 8 exhibitions at various times throughout the year and have hosted or supported a number of Open Days and events both in Ryde Cemetery and at St Thomas Church. We have also had two successful group outings, one to see the Brannon exhibition at Brading Roman Villa and one to Carisbrooke Castle.

In June we were runners up in the Arts & Heritage section of the Community Action Awards and received a certificate and cheque for £100.

We recently published a new book called RYDE PUBS written by member TONY GALE. This is an excellent book listing all the pubs there have been in Ryde with a short history of each. The price is £3 plus p&p so please contact us if you would like a copy.

Arthur Williams Treasurer gave the financial report which shows the group to be in a good financial state. Arthur also explained to the members the reasoning behind the small increase suggested for subscriptions. There was a vote on the increase and this was passed by an huge majority with no objections.

Kate MacDonell gave the Membership update and advised that at the AGM we had 75 fully paid up members – 63 from the Island, 54 of these living in Ryde, 8 mainland members and 4 international ones.

The new Committee was voted in by a unanimous show of hands:

Janette Gregson – Chairman
Secretary – no nomination
Membership Secretary – Kate MacDonell
Treasurer – Arthur Williams
Additional Committee Members: Carol Strong, Ann Barrett, Shelagh Gaylard, Colin Hunt and Barbara Hunt.

There were reports from all the work group leaders – Ann Barrett – Research, Carol Strong – Publications, Janette Gregson – Transcribing and David Earle – Mapping. All the reports demonstated how busy and productive the group has been over the past year.

David Earle, in his mapping report, advised that he would be resigning from the group but would remain Honorary Ryde Cemetery Only Consultant and would continue to man the Heritage & Learning Centre on week day mornings for the time being. Janette thanked David for all his hard work and said that everyone would miss his input to the meetings and his humourous reports. David has been one of our most productive and resourceful members and the group could not have achieved half of what it has done without his support. We will miss his input but are pleased that, although he has resigned, he will still have some involvement with the group.

Under Any Other Business Shelagh advised we are thinking of organising another group outing for around Christmas time and details of date and venue would be sent out to members in due course. After the outing Shelagh has invited everyone back to her house for Mince Pies, teas and coffees.

After the business of the meeting was complete we had some light refreshments and a ‘Guess the Baby’ quiz. Seventeen members had submitted photographs of themselves as babies and other members had to try and match the baby photograph with the correct name. We had a lot of fun with this, some people seemed to have changed very little over the years while others were much more difficult to match and, much to the amusement of the people involved, some of them were mistaken for members of the opposite sex! At the end of the quiz everyone was a winner and everyone received prize.

We had a very enjoyable morning.