AGM 19 April 2018

The photo shows Harvey Tordoff, Michael de Jong-Smith, Mike Balmforth and Peter Shaw preparing for the AGM


Minutes of the 57th Annual General meeting of the Midhurst Society, held on Thursday 19th April 2018 at the South Downs Memorial Hall, North Street, Midhurst GU29 9DH commencing at 7pm.


Committee present: Sue Edwards Chair and Honorary Secretary

Harvey Tordoff Honorary Treasurer

Peter Shaw Lecture Secretary

Claire Cox Administrative Secretary

Michael de Jong-Smith Membership Secretary

Malcolm Hutchings Listed Buildings Officer


  1. Apologies for Absence: Alison Day, Jean Talbot, Bridget Howard, Jean Hicks, Caroline Haynes, Trisha Murray, Dennis and Angela Geal, Paul and Susan Ryan and Jane Jackson


This AGM was attended by 50 people


(2) The Minutes of the 56th Annual General Meeting 2017 were approved and signed as correct.


(3) Matters Arising: None


(4) Report from the Chair: In addition to the printed Report which was distributed with the AGM papers, Sue Edwards offered the following points, having first welcomed visitors from Australia.


  1. Membership unfortunately continued to decline despite several new members arriving in the last three months. The evening lectures had also seen fewer people attending. Sue encouraged members to attend the talks for next year and asked them to spread the word to friends.

  2. Sue suggested that the purpose of the Midhurst Society should be re-visited and how well we fulfilled this purpose.

  3. The Executive Committee spent a great deal of time on Planning issues and would very much appreciate comments from the membership when asked to express opinions - members did seem unwilling to do this.

  4. Sue asked membership to share concerns and information with the committee.

  5. Grateful thanks were expressed to committee members and to the volunteers who helped with the lecture evenings.

  6. Sue then spoke of the need to reach out to younger people as a way to help the Society to thrive.


(5) The Honorary Treasurer’s Report was presented by Harvey Tordoff.

Items of note:

  1. Harvey presented a financial statement for the year to 31 December 2017. It showed a decrease in receipts accompanied by a decrease in payments with the result that we have an excess of income over expenditure of £1,294.

  1. He also raised the issue of Legacy Funds totalling £35,234. It was agreed that we would ascertain the original history, source and intention of this legacy which has been on account for over 15 years to our knowledge.

  2. Sheila Ryan asked if it would be a good idea to offer lecturers larger payments as the hall costs were lower at the South Downs Hall. Sue Edwards replied that better attendance by members would still be needed to offset the costs involved.

  3. It had been noticed that subscriptions had not been raised, as agreed at the 56th AGM. It was explained that our present financial situation would not seem to warrant this. Also, such a measure would need formal debate – with prior notice – at an AGM.


(6) Adoption of Accounts. The 2017 Accounts were adopted unanimously.

Proposer: Sanchia Elsdon

Seconder: Tina Litchfield


(7) Election of Officers



Michael Balmforth Proposer: Sheila Ryan

Seconder: Sue Whitehead

Elected unanimously


Honorary Secretary

Sue Balmforth Proposer: Sue Whitehead

Seconder: Sheila Ryan

Elected unanimously


Honorary Treasurer

Harvey Tordoff Proposer: Andy Robertson

Seconder: Brian Cox


Elected unanimously



(8) Election of Committee

The following Committee Members stood for re-election: Claire Cox, Michael de Jong-Smith,

Peter Shaw

Proposer: Peter Sydenham

Seconder: John Murray


Elected unanimously en bloc



(9) Thanks were expressed to Mervyn Evans-Jones who was the Independent Examiner of the Society’s accounts for 2017 and a gift of appreciation was proposed.


(10) Thanks were also given to Malcolm Hutchings who is stepping down as Listed Buildings Officer and Steve Diver who attends to the sound and lighting in the hall.


Sue introduced Peter Sydenham who has written a book about his years as an evacuee in Midhurst during the war. He now lives in Australia but is here to promote his book and had some copies to sell at the meeting. Also attending was Tania Pons who has written a book as well about the wartime airfield in Midhurst. Sue invited everyone to look at the books and the displays of heritage postcards.


Sheila Ryan then proposed a huge thanks to Sue Edwards for all her hard work and who was stepping down as Chair. She presented Sue with an orchid and gift token.