Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting was held on 28 March 2012 in the Orangery. The President, Sir Angus Stirling, welcomed all those present. Apologies had been received from Mary Lambert, John Rae, David White, Cllrs Lightfoot and Feilding-Mellen. The minutes of the previous AGM were approved.

The Chairman, Nicholas Hopkins, gave his report for 2011. He said that the Holland House terrace was now open to the public in winter and the Friends had paid for six benches for it, as well as the poetry seat near Lord Holland’s statue. They had also had the wall-mounted fountain in the Dutch Garden conserved. The first of two booklets subsidised by the Friends, The Families of Holland House, was now on sale. The Design Museum would be the new tenant of the Commonwealth Institute ‘tent’. There was still time (until 2013) for an application to modify the consented design of the old Holland Park School playground site for residential use. The 2011 Art Exhibition by over 60 artists had made a profit of ca £2,000 for the Friends. The Friends were still seeking payment through legal channels of the oak-bench maker’s debt. Mr Hopkins announced that he was retiring as chairman but was happy to remain as a trustee.

The Treasurer, David Jeffreys, pointed out some features of interest in the Report of the Trustees incorporating Accounts for the Year to 31 December 2011 and the Report of the Independent Examiner, both of which had been circulated previously. Net assets stood at ca £70,000. There had been a large increase in grants.

The Secretary, Mrs Rhoddy Wood, presented her report. She said that there were 803 paid-up members and ca 150 might still renew. About 70% had signed for Gift Aid, and ca 60% paid by standing order. There were now 46 joint members. Mrs Wood thanked all volunteers.

Sir Angus thanked David Jeffreys and Manuela Gardner – both now standing down – for their work as trustees. All other trustees and those co-opted – Carron Batt (Treasurer), Gordon French (Art Exhibition Organiser) and Jennie Kettlewell (Projects) – were re-elected. Leslie Du Cane was re-elected as the Independent Examiner.

Looking ahead to the current year, Sir Angus said that the second booklet, The Pleasure Grounds at Holland House, would be published shortly. The Friends were now sponsoring Ecology Centre walks so that the public could attend them gratis. The building of the new Ecology Centre next to the Adventure Playground would be finished in 2013. The Friends were hoping to involve teenagers in the park through painting. They hoped to fund a new ‘What’s On’ notice board. Jennie Kettlewell was helping the Borough in its project to form a national collection of Campsis. Together with park staff The Friends were looking into whether to repair or replace the drinking fountain by the Stable Yard. Sir Angus urged Friends to help find a new chairman.

In answer to questions from the floor: the path by the Mediterranean Bed, which was being revamped, would be called Diamond Jubilee Walk; also to mark the Queen’s Jubilee, the park had hosted 100 black poplars, subsequently distributed to all London boroughs for planting. The Friends would press for faster erection and dismantling of the opera canopy. The Borough had disliked the report by consultants of a review of the buildings of the park; The Friends would keep a sharp eye on any future plans.

After the close of official business presentations were made to Mr and Mrs Hopkins from the trustees in recognition of Mr Hopkins’ work as Chairman.

[Summer 2012]

Annual General Meeting
Wednesday, 28 March 2012, at 7.30pm in the Orangery

Our Annual General Meeting presents all of you with the chance to hear what your committee has been doing on your behalf in the previous year and to learn what it is doing in the current year. Equally it is your opportunity to tell us whether you are satisfied with what is being done in your name and of your particular concerns about the Park. The meeting will again be chaired by our distinguished president, Sir Angus Stirling.

All our AGMs are important, but this one will be especially so as it will include the election of new faces to several key roles in our organisation. During the year we have co-opted three members to be Treasurer, Art Exhibition Organiser and Projects Organiser respectively and they have been working hard, but need your formal approval to continue as trustees. We are also very much hoping to have found a new chairman by then, but nothing is yet fixed, so this is the time to think whether you or anyone you know could do the job. For details of what that would entail, please contact Nicholas Hopkins. Whoever takes on the post will influence the style and direction of The Friends for some years to come. Do please come to the AGM to give your support to the new office holders.

Most of you will know that the AGM is held during our annual Art Exhibition in the Orangery and that after the meeting is a great time to view the exhibits and, we hope, alight on a piece you cannot live without. Wine will be served.

This is also the time to think about what you can do for The Friends over and above paying your annual subscription. Of course money is important for our work, but the lack of volunteers from within our membership has become very noticeable and is a real concern for the future strength and well-being of The Friends.


(Winter 2011)

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting was held on 30 March 2011 in The Orangery. The President, Sir Angus Stirling, welcomed all those present. There were no apologies. The minutes of the previous AGM were approved.

The Chairman, Nicholas Hopkins, gave his report for 2010. He said two oak benches had been donated to the Park. The plan for wall hangings for the cafeteria had had to be abandoned. Listed Building consent had been given for the Commonwealth Institute scheme, but planning permission would still be needed for work on the interior. A revised plan for the apartment block on the Holland Park School playground site would be unlikely to affect the Park adversely. The proposal to build a new house against the Park boundary wall in the grounds of Park Close had been granted on appeal. The 2010 Art Exhibition by over 70 artists had raised ca £1,000 for The Friends. Mr Hopkins described the other events of the year. The oak-bench maker had failed to refund The Friends’ deposit, and repayment was being sought through legal channels.

The Treasurer, David Jeffreys, pointed out some points of interest in the Report of the Trustees incorporating Accounts for the Year to 31 December 2010 and the Report of the Independent Examiner, both of which had been circulated previously. The fund balance was £74,619.

The Secretary, Mrs Rhoddy Wood, presented her report. She said there were 780 paid-up members and ca 150 might still renew. About three-quarters had signed up for Gift Aid. Mrs Wood thanked all volunteers and especially those who were helping with the art exhibition.

All existing trustees were re-elected with the exception of Deborah Newberry who was standing down. A former trustee, Manuela Gardner, who had recently been co-opted, was re-elected as Hospitality Officer. Leslie Du Cane was thanked and re-elected as the Independent Examiner.

The meeting approved a resolution that joint membership for couples should be £20 or £15 for seniors. A second resolution, that there should be a life membership category, was rejected. A third, that “senior” should mean aged 60 or over, was amended by vote to 65 or over.

Looking ahead to the current year, Mr Hopkins said that the texts of the two new booklets about the history of Holland House and the development of its gardens were almost complete. Holland House terrace would now be open to the public for the winter months. Funding had been obtained for a new Ecology Centre adjacent to the Adventure Playground. Pigs would again be employed in the Park during the summer. A poetry seat was being donated by The Friends and they might be asked to contribute to stone seating beside the outdoor chess board and to conservation of the fountain trough in the Dutch Garden. The Friends might also take over responsibility for some Ecology Centre events due to the current lack of funds. The Borough would carry out maintenance work on the circular tree benches and the ceramic tiles. The Council’s Feasibility Study into the Holland Park Estate had employed outside consultants to look at possible “better” uses for all its buildings. The Friends would mount strong opposition to any unacceptable proposals. Mr Hopkins appealed for a new Treasurer to replace Mr Jeffreys, who wished to stand down, and pointed out the need for succession planning for other senior trustees.

There were questions and answers about the Council’s Feasibility Study.
Sir Angus Stirling declared the Meeting closed at 9.10pm.

[Summer 2011]

Annual General Meeting 2011

Annual General Meeting
Wednesday, 30 March 2011 at 7.30 pm in the Orangery

Our Annual General Meeting gives our membership the chance to hear what your committee (the trustees) has been doing in its work on behalf of the Park, and to learn what it hopes to achieve in the current year. It is also a good opportunity for you to meet all the trustees in person and to tell us of your thoughts about, and concerns for, the Park. The meeting will be chaired by our president, Sir Angus Stirling.

Of course our constitution does require that we do a little formal business, such as elections to the committee, but most of the meeting is spent giving and receiving news and information about the Park and things which affect it and our enjoyment of it.

Over the years I have used various approaches to try to persuade a greater number of members to attend, but sadly it is still only a small proportion of our members who bother. This time I am simply going to repeat a recently revived exhortation: “Your committee needs you! Please come!”

An added attraction is that the AGM is held during our annual Art Exhibition in the Orangery, and after the meeting is the perfect opportunity to view the exhibits – possibly even purchasing something – with a glass or two of wine. How can you refuse!

This is also the time to consider becoming a trustee of The Friends or offering to undertake some work on their behalf. We are always looking for new talent to bring energy and renewed enthusiasm to the committee. Please feel free to contact the chairman or secretary for more details and a confidential, no-obligation chat.

[Winter 2010]

Proposed New Subscription Categories At present we have only two categories of annual subscription: £12 for a single member and £9 for a single senior member, which means that those married couples or partners who join together pay two single subscriptions. Many charities offer joint membership, usually at a rate slightly less than double the single membership, and your committee considers it would be beneficial to The Friends to have such a category. All subscription rates have to be approved by the membership in General Meeting. Your committee therefore proposes the following resolution for approval at the AGM:

1. “There shall be a category of membership called joint membership open to any two individuals living at the same address. The annual subscription for joint membership shall be £20 or £15 for seniors. To qualify for joint senior membership both members must be seniors.”

A member has suggested that life membership should be available to The Friends. Your committee is uncertain that this is something that would be attractive to members or prospective members but, in order that the membership can decide, proposes the following resolution:

2. “There shall be a category of membership called life membership the subscription for which for the duration of the member’s life shall be £300 or £200 for seniors.”

The use of the term “senior” or “concession” varies from one organisation to another. Your committee considers that it would be fair to define it as applying to anyone aged 60 or over and proposes the following resolution for approval:

3. “For the purpose of membership subscriptions ‘senior’ means someone aged 60 or over”.

[Spring 2011]