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The Society’s AGM was held on Thursday 5th March 2009. Peter Rainey had resigned from his position as Vice-Chairman and the Chairman, Alan Webster thanked him for all his work for the Society There were no nominations for the office of Vice-Chairman and the position was left vacant for the present. The following officers and members of the Committee were re-elected.

Chairman Alan Webster
Secretary Hazel Blackhall
Treasurer Martin Wimbush
Membership Secretary Wendy Bateman
Committee Members Erika Bannister
  Shelagh Evans
  Jeanette Griffiths
  David Guest
  Roger Paulson
  Linda Shortt

The meeting was preceded by a fascinating talk on wildlife photography by Danny Green and ended with cheese and wine. 

Future Programme.  

Thursday April 2nd & Saturday April 4th. Charles Darwin was born 200 years ago in 1809 in Shrewsbury and Pam Powis will talk about his family background and formative years at our meeting. Then on Saturday morning we will meet Pam at the coffee stop (Battle of Shrewsbury Visitor Centre/Farm and Coffee Shop) and there will be a coach tour of the town.  Pam will lead a 45 minute walk round the Darwin Trail in Shrewsbury. For this the group will be split in two to make the tour more manageable. Maps will be available for free time wandering. After lunch there will be an optional coach tour visiting places that have Darwin connections in the surrounding countryside returning to Shrewsbury for a 4.30p.m. departure. The coach leaves Repton Church at 8.30a.m. There are 3 places left (£16). 

Thursday May 14th. A Wine Tasting - “Everyday Bordeaux Wines” conducted by Keith Grainger. Keith has been to the Society on several occasions now and usually brings 6 or 7 wines that can be purchased from supermarkets or wine shops. He is very knowledgeable on all matters concerning wine and conducts a most enjoyable and informative tasting. Tickets are priced at £7.50 the same as two years ago and are limited to 40. 

Sunday May 24th (members only). There will be an evening visit to Claymills Pumping Station (Meadow Lane, off Derby Road, Burton upon Trent DE13 0DA). This Pumping Station was built in Victorian times to pump the very large quantities of effluent, mainly from the many breweries, to a treatment works at Etwall. The site ceased operation in 1971 and since 1986 volunteers have worked to the restore the buildings and equipment and it is now in steam over several weekends a year. The site is described by English Heritage as “The most complete one of its kind in the UK” and comprises four very large beam engines, boilers, ancillary engines, steam powered workshop and offices. 

The site will be in steam on the 24th and again on the 25th and we have been asked to arrive at 4.30p.m on the 24th for an introductory talk in the Learning Centre. The site will be closed to the general public at 5p.m and after this time guides will take small groups of us around the site, which will close at 6.30p.m. when the boilers will be  banked etc. ready for start up the next day.

 Access to the upper floors, which are of the open mesh type and therefore not suitable for stiletto heels, is via stairs although there is much to see at ground level. It is an industrial site and although fairly clean the suggested rig of the day is gardening/housework rather than tea at the Ritz! The fee for this private visit will come out of Society funds and no tickets will be issued but please tell me if you intend coming if possible so that the guides can be advised of numbers. It is members only but there is no upper limit.

Directions are available if necessary and lifts can be arranged for those who would like one nearer the time.  

Thursday June 11th. “The History of Marks and Spencer” by Christopher Bailey. Please note this date is a week later than usual because the Hall is in use as a Polling Station on the 4th.

Alan Webster 701838

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