Minutes of the Branch Meeting  

11 March 2019

Those present:

Stephen Atkinson (Chairman); Joe Bowman (Treasurer); Chris Bratt (Secretary); Tony Breakell (Venue finder); George Edington; John Holmes; Bob Bond; Mary Breakell; Ben Martindale; Sam Robinson, Brian Jones (Trustee contact); 

Alison Shaw

  1. Apologies 

Patrick Lacey, Sid Brighton, John Deans, Mat Roberts, Pat Adair. Irvine Weston, Charles White, Anne-Marie Willmott, Glyn Walsh

2. Minutes of last meeting 16 July 2016 which had been circulated were signed as a correct record (with one minor amendment).

3. Matters arising

The Cockermouth stone purchase had been agreed £520.00, including transport; it was set to be delivered to demo wall on show ground Saturday 16 March

4. Chairman’s Report

The Chairman reported that the Branch had won the Large Branch of the Year for 2018, and he had been presented with the award at the recent AGM at Skipton.

Linda Clarkson had wondered whether branch could mount a demonstration at Coniston Show: it was agreed that members would be asked but finding people for another July event might be difficult.

Some discussion ensued round  the idea of Regional meetings and workshops to promote walling, share ideas and experiences.  Whilst good in theory, it represents yet another demand on members’ time.

5. Secretary’s Report

3 new members who have joined this year (Stewart Marshall,Charles Eggleston, Chris Wilson) all attended the first weekend meeting.

Correspondence from Show Ground Offices had confirmed our attendance at both Country Fest and the Westmorland Show and had added an invitation to join Open Farm Days again this year, 25 & 27 June. Volunteers would be sought.

The Web site and Facebook are well supported: and our thanks to Charles White and Mary Breakell for editing our social media.

The First NEWSBRIEF of year has been sent and printed copies of  2019 Schedule of Events sent to all members.

Six members had attended Ray Babb’s funeral.

6. Treasurer’s Report

The current balance is £14,394.74. 

The training course levy for 2108 had been paid to national and instructors had been recompensed.

The need for members to go on First Aid training was discussed in line with the 3 year validity.

The various budget headings had been agreed and amounts allocated – as reported at the AGM

It was agreed that £1000.00 be allocated to national for booklet re-printing.  Alison to send a list of those booklets needing re-print.

7.  Beginners’ courses

It was reported that the March and May courses were fully booked and some bookings for autumn courses.

8. Practice Meeting venues 2019. 

The 2019 programme is now completed and a good start had been made; although the weather on the first meeting was atrocious.

Plans are advanced for the meeting at Nent Head and Northumbria branch has been asked if they’d like to join us.

9. National report  (Alison Shaw/Brian Jones)

Alison reported that the AGM had gone well: there was however a vacancy on the Trustee board for an Hon. Treasurer.

A new ‘branch’ is being set up: to be known as the Ellwood branch (after Ted Ellwood, who is a founder member of the DSWA and instrumental in the establishment of Cumbria Branch).  The branch will encourage a sharing of expertise, experiences and best practice to encourage younger professional wallers. Sam Robinson and Ben Martindale (both members of Cumbria Branch) are leading the project,  The meeting agreed to offer them whatever support they might need in establishing the initiative.

There had been 3 new appointments made to DSWA staffing: all part time and funded by grants.  A fundraising Development Officer; help for Linda Clarkson; and a project officer working on hedging and walling boundary issues with the Pendle Hill Partnership.

The new national website is up and running.

10.  Any other business

1. Mary Breakell had found a potential speaker for the AGM; the talk is on the Yards of Kendal.  It was agreed that this might well be of great interest to many members,

2. The Canal Trust is looking for DSWA to provide walling training for 3 weekends over 3 years for its volunteers. Alison will seek further information.

3. Peter Standing has produced the Farleton Fell GEO walks booklet.  Copies are available (£4.00) from the office.

4. Bob Bond is to investigate a proposed wall in Staveley which would join two tracts of woodland together. It might make a Wallathon in 2020.

Next Meeting:  15 July 2019

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