Chairman’s Review 2020

Since it is nearly Christmas and the end of 2020 I thought it would be nice to do a catch up on people and events (or non events) in this pretty dreadful year, if only to assure you that your Committee is in good heart and that there is, as Baldric says, a cunning plan for the way ahead.

Neville Snowdon, our President, decided it was time to relinquish this post, so it was with great regret but very warm appreciation of Neville’s huge contribution to the club over many years, that I wrote on behalf of everyone to say thank you and to make him a life member of the Club.  Even at 92 we hope to see him at future meetings.

Eileen Sams had already told us of her intention to stand down from Speaker Secretary after filling the post with distinction for eight years, for which very many thanks are due.

Review of the year
This will not take long! The Club’s planned year started off in September as scheduled for 2019/20 up to the Christmas Party that we all enjoyed.  2020 started with three speakers:

In January Jonathon Huet told us of “Ancient Woodland Remedies”.
In February Simon Richards tutored us on the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park and in March Martin Duncan as Head Gardener, explained the year in Arundel Castle Gardens and wetted all our appetites to go and witness the magnificent spring gardens.

Then the Covid roof fell in and we lost access to Herne Farm Centre and the Club holiday and day visits had to be abandoned.

The Future
So, where to now?  The Committee meet regularly to review the changing scene and have agreed that all meetings will be cancelled until April 2021, by which time it is hoped that Herne Farm will be available without restriction on numbers meeting.

On the 8th April 2021 our own Melanie Oxley will talk on “Gardening in the Climate and Biodiversity Crisis”.

On 13th May Marina Christopher will talk on “The Plight of the Bumble Bee”.

There will be no June meeting as we expect to be away on the Club Holiday planned in association with Success Tours. This is in an advanced state of planning (final details held because – yes, you’ve got it – Covid affecting hotel bookings).  Angela Snow will provide all the details for an exciting and varied visit to Suffolk early in the new year.  Just reserve your diary dates for the week starting 20th June 2021.

We also have a one day coach visit booked to the gardens at Cranborne and Edmonton on the 26th May 2021, visit and booking details will be circulated a.s.a.p

On 8th July Ray Broughton will tell us about “Plants for small gardens”.

On 12th August Barry Newman will reveal the secrets of “Growing in small containers”.

This programme takes us up to membership renewal time and membership slips will be provided in July/August in the normal way.  Subscriptions paid in 2019 will fully cover the period to September 2021. The AGM to be held on the 11th November 2021 will cover two years.

A full list of speakers and activities has been arranged up to February 2022 and will be further extended and published on next year’s membership card i.e.1st September 2021 to 31st August 2022.

We very much look forward to a full and active programme once we can start our regular monthly meetings. There is a lot of catching up to do.   In the meantime please stay safe, stay healthy and remember that this year under lockdown there is no excuse for an untidy garden, and don’t forget “Keep Growing”.

I am missing ringing the bell and the friendly banter and camaraderie that always arises at meetings, but as Chairman I wish you all a special and enjoyable Christmas and New Year in these strange times, with my personal thanks to a brilliant committee who are so willing and supportive.

Many thanks and very best wishes.

12 December 2020