Over 60 members attended our Annual General Meeting in Southampton on the very wet Saturday afternoon of 26 October.
Branch Chairman Chris Warren welcomed us to the meeting and introduced National Chairman Peter Morley. In his opening remarks, Peter noted that the past year had been remarkable in that £3 million had been raised for paddle steamers - £2 million for PS Waverley and £1 million for PS Maid of the Loch.
Prior to the formal business, Chris Phillips paid a very informative tribute to our late Founder and President, Professor Alan Robinson.
The Reports and Financial Statements for 2018 were received and it was noted that Jon Jolliffe and Martin Longhurst were re-elected to the Council of Management unopposed.
The meeting received reports on PS Kingswear Castle from John Megoran and on PS Waverley from Paul Semple. Tribute was paid to the hard work by Paul and all the Waverley staff in raising £2 million in six months. John Beveridge showed us a 12 minute video depicting the outcome of the refit of PS Maid of the Loch, culminating in the engine turning under steam for the first time since 1981. John remarked that paddle beats had, after all, been heard in Scotland in 2019. The final report was by David Green on progress with the Society's remarkable Archive.
After a short break, Victor Gray - the Society's first Secretary - reflected on its first 60 years. Then we were treated to a video show compiled by Richard Turner. The first 10 minutes showed significant events in the Society's history and then we were treated to 30 minutes of footage from the early '60's taken by Professor Robinson.
The afternoon was rounded off by the presentation by David Green, as London & Home Counties Branch Secretary (on the right in the heading picture), of a cheque for £5,000 of Branch funds for the Waverley Boiler Refit Appeal to Paul Semple, as General Manager of Waverley Excursions.
Altogether around £1,000 was raised during the afternoon as Geoff Ryder and Peter Bushell ran a very lively souvenir sales table, Richard Clammer sold the Society's Anniversary book and the raffle run by the Branch Committee raised £200.
The full draft minutes will be posted in the near future.