Meeting 27 November 2006
Attendees: Sue King (chair). John Webb (secretary), Laurie Baker (treasurer), Marion Kennett, John Kennett, Diane Broughton, Paula Evennett, Viv Stevens, Bibi Baker, Margaret Baker
1. Welcome. This was the first meeting held in the Tudor Barn; apart from needing jumpers, it was agreed it was a suitable meeting venue.
2. Apologies: Jonathan Bangs (Parks), Sophie Walker, Bernadette Vizena, Keith Billinghurst (Progress Residents Association), Dee King, Sue Winter and Paul Higgs.
3. The minutes of the meeting on 30 October were approved. One matter arising was the question of the Barefoot memorial. The recommendation was for a straightforward renovation of the plaque and the Co-op Funeral Service had been approached for an estimate and advice on the use of anti-graffiti coating. The damage to the coping stone edges could be disguised by simply turning them around, maintaining the ‘match’. It was agreed it was impractical to restore the sundial in its current location. Thought might be given to siting another sundial elsewhere within the Pleasaunce. John K said there was a sundial expert living locally, Philip Daniels, who might advise on options.
4. Finance Report. Laurie suggested we opened a community account at the Nat West, as we needed an account for the grant application. This was agreed. There was a fund of £250 available from Parks when this had been done and more than £100 collected at events.
5. Other reports and feedback.
- John W outlined the findings of the wildlife survey and the recommendation that it should form the basis of a grant application. This was agreed, also the need to take measures to get rid of the duckweed.
- Sue reported on the management group meeting; there had been a discussion of security and the clearing of graffiti; also proposals to work with the railway station to advertise the Pleasaunce and the Railway Children connection. There was to be a new paper circulated about Eltham each month, first edition in December; the Pleasaunce would have a regular column, starting in January’s edition.
- Meeting with Parks. John W circulated the minutes from this meeting. There had been a good exchange of views and many of the points made by the Friends had been aired; however, it remained to be seen what action would result. An issue remained over the willow hedge. This would be seen as giving an indication of the willingness of Parks to compromise with its new partners, the Friends. The Friends had tried to soften the blow by adding the item to the grant application, thereby reducing any budgetary problems that replacing all or part of it would cause. Depending on the response, it might be necessary to involve the management committee in the issue; the recollection was the management committee had been promised ‘a mixed hedge’.
- Sue reported on the first meeting of the Friends’ Forum. This had been to establish a constitution; some groups present had complained about a lack of support from Parks for their activities.
- The winter event arrangements were described. It was noted that the attendance in previous years had been too low and it was hoped to have a better turnout this year. There was unanimous concern about the suggestion that the event should be considered ‘low-key’ and therefore only lightly promoted. It was suggested that ticketing and, perhaps £2 entrance fee, another year might solve the problem of knowing how many people would attend and entrance supervision. It would be important to have a ‘wash-up’ early in the New Year with Parks and earlier planning for next year.
- The photography competition had been conceived at the last minute, mainly as a ‘learning curve’ exercise to have a good bash at it next year. Members were urged to put in entries to ensure a lively competition.
- The Big Garden birdwatch was pencilled in for Saturday, January 27. There would be a need for the bowls pavilion to be used for refreshments, a licence obtained and for help on the day. Feeders would be put in place to ensure some birdlife was present, also some children’s activities. It would run from 11-3pm.
- Christmas Fares. Space had been reserved at the Eltham CoE fare on Friday, and the Gordon and Deansfield fares on Saturday afternoon. It was hoped to sell calendars and advertise the various activities on going i.e. the event on the 8th, the photography competition, the bird watch in January, the website and the group generally. Those present offered their time to ensure the stands would be manned.
The point was made and agreed that a full events summary for a year ahead needed to be mapped out. This would be particularly important when preparing next year’s calendar so that the dates of Pleasaunce events, including the twice-monthly ranger walks could be filled in when people bought them. It was possible that walks with different themes could be arranged.
7. Breathing Places bid. Parks had been receptive to this and an outline application had been sent to them for consideration. It was noted that it was a major opportunity to involve other groups of a many and varied nature in the life and development of the Pleasaunce as a community resource.
8. Publicity and communications.
- John W said the calendar sales had exceeded expectations and another 200, on top of first 500, had been ordered. It was expected they would sell well at the Fares. There were options for maximising sales further next year and making a useful profit for the Friends. It had been agreed that next year, it would be endorsed by the Eltham Society and the E Nesbit Society’ which would broaden its appeal further.
- The website had been attracting a regular flow of visitors, up to 220 on week with more than 660 hits. It was important that it should be varied regularly so that it would provide new interest and not go stale. John K suggested items on the Tudor Barn’s 70th anniversary of opening (this year) and also on the Holbein painting of Margaret Roper and Thomas More, currently on view at the Tate and represented in the Tudor Barn’s stain glass windows.
9. Activities sub-group. It was agreed that, as events and activities would be a central part of the Friends work now that the preliminaries had been worked through, that the next meeting should be devoted entirely to this.
10. Liaison with other groups. This would be essential if the Friends were to maximise its appeal.
11. AOB – none raised.
12. Date and time of next meeting. Monday January 8 at 7.30pm in the Tudor Barn.