Present – Peter Firth, Bob Neate, Roger Mitchell, Alan Potter, John Sharp
The meeting took place via Zoom.
Death of Chairman
The Committee and indeed the whole membership of the Society were deeply saddened by the sudden and unexpected death of the Chairman. Hazel’s funeral will take place at St Helen’s Church Crosby at 11.30am on 4th March.
John will write an appreciation of Hazel and of her contribution to the Society. This will appear in Forum 16 which will be sent to members during the coming week.
Roger will write and send a letter of condolence.
If numbers permit, Peter will represent the Society at Hazel’s funeral.
Item 11 of the constitution states that ‘the committee will have the power to fill up any casual vacancies occurring among the Officers of the Society’ and accordingly Alan Potter was unanimously elected to act as Chairman. We now have an entirely male committee and hope to remedy this by recruiting new female members at or before the AGM.
The minutes of the Committee Meeting on12th January were approved.
Alan reported that the refreshment of the website, which was under way at the time of Hazel’s death had been put on temporary hold, but would now resume. A considerable amount of new material had been added and Committee members were encouraged to review this and suggest further improvements to make it more colourful and accessible.
Bob reported that the additional security required by HSBC was now in place. He will arrange for Alan to become a signatory. As in previous years accounts will be made up to the end of February with appropriate bank statements.
Programme for February and March 2021
The Zoom meetings continue to work well with two activities this week – Session 4 of Roger’s Course and John’s talk earlier this afternoon. Attendance remains steady at c15, but we would like to encourage new zoomers. Over the coming weeks, Peter will give 2 talks and Roger will complete his English Travellers Course.
John has sufficient material for the February and March editions of Forum.
Programme for April 2021 Onwards
It was agreed that a Zoom meeting with an outside speaker should be arranged for a Friday afternoon in May. Alan will contact Glen Godenho with a view to finding someone who lectures for Liverpool University CE and who is familiar with online lecturing. If possible, the lecture should be on a scientific, mathematical or geographical topic.
We hope that by June, we may be able to have in person meetings as well as or instead of online ones. A June Lichen Walk at the Botanic Gardens and a more social Summer Meeting (plus AGM) possibly at All Saints are planned. The postponed visit to Scarisbrick Hall may be possible later in the summer.
We have 3 courses planned for the Autumn 2021 to Spring 2022 Season. Alan’s postponed course on The Brain, Peter’s course on England under the Norman Kings and Roger’s course on The Country House in the 20th Century. All three would run for between 6 and 10 sessions and there is considerable flexibility about timing and length. We hope that at the next committee meeting, we may feel able to start to draw up a programme.
Payment for Lecturers
There was full agreement that the pattern established in 2019-2020 should continue. Lecturers should receive a fee equivalent to what they would have received if the course had been run by Liverpool University CE. This was a way of showing that our courses were at a level similar to CE courses and would apply whether the course was delivered in person or online. Lecturers who had presented Zoom lectures were encouraged to put in a claim and the Treasurer has budgeted for this. For the 2021-2 Season we hope to return to the usual system of funding lectures and courses by subscriptions and course fees.
It was agreed that the next committee meeting should be at 3.30pm on Friday 26th March after Peter’s talk.