A fortnight ago, I returned refreshed from holiday expecting drizzle and an autumnal nip in the air, but how fortunate Hampton has been that the warm summer weather stayed long enough for local residents to enjoy some very memorable outdoor events.
Screen on Hampton Green
as if Hampton's Transport Gala didn't provide enough excitement, a day later Hampton played host to an open air showing of the film 'War horse', a free event kindly organised by the Hampton Village Traders' association (thanks to a generous cash grant from London Borough of Richmond's Civic Pride Fund). It was a beautiful evening and the audience was treated to the sight of a harvest 'supermoon' rising in the sky. members of local churches gathered to take part in a service to commemorate Hampton's war heroes and pupils from hampton academy volunteered to rattle buckets for donations to support the event. This popular occasion can only go ahead each year if funding and/or sponsorship is secured. Please contact Caroline Badgery, secretary and treasurer of HVTA, on 020 8941 9775 if you'd like to make a donation or help sponsor the event in future.
At last there's some encouraging news to report with regard to the unauthorised moorings in hampton. after eight years of lobbying by local councillors the minister for local Government, kris hopkins, has given provisional approval to a byelaw which will hopefully result in the removal of the boats, although we're still waiting for some indication of how long this will take to be actioned.
Kempton Park housing development
The Jockey Club have decided to delay putting in an application for their proposed housing development on the Kempton Park estate that will seriously impact the traffic through Hampton until after the next election. A spokesperson for Keep Kempton Green said: "as one councillor – stating the obvious – put it to us, it would be electoral suicide. By delaying the application, a cynic might say, the Jockey club will be doing so just when the council feels it can safely ignore the electorate for another few years." more importantly, there is talk of revising the local Plan which would cover spelthorne's housing targets and land availability, amongst other things. With hampton bordering the affected borough, we must be wary of any knock-on effects changes in policy might have on our immediate environment and we'd like to reassure you that the society's monitoring of the situation is ongoing.
The Triangle sign
I'm pleased to say that initial designs for the new sign have been presented to the society's committee and revisions are currently being worked on before being submitted to the council for approval and a request for help with funding. Best wishes to you all.
Sam Redfern, Chair
Thank you to everyone who attended our 58th Annual General Meeting on Thursday, 3 April. The evening finished with an excellent talk by the Reverend Derek Winterburn about the setting up of St Mary's Hampton CE Primary School, which certainly highlighted the dedication and commitment of those involved in the process and we wish them every success going forward.
For members that couldn't attend the AGM, here is a summary of the key matters reported:
A steady increase in members continues – 47 new households joined us in 2013/14, most of these being recruited at the Hampton Christmas Celebrations.
Disappointingly, the issue of unauthorised mooring on the bank of the river beyond Garrick's Temple is still unresolved. Earlier in the year, the Department for Communities and Local Government raised more points about the Council's draft bye law and the Council addressed these in writing a few weeks before the AGM. The DCLG was due to get back to them in early April, after which the amended bye law was to go out to consultation in the borough. With regard to the proposed development at Kempton Green reported in our Spring newsletter, an official planning application is yet to be submitted. However, we are in touch with the main parties involved and will be keeping a close eye on any developments.
Many of you have expressed concern about the fate of Hampton Police Station after its closure last month. Rumours that it will be turned into a supermarket have been quashed and the Hampton councillors have asked that the police station be put in the Richmond Council's 'Site Specific Development Plan' for housing. This plan looks ahead over the next 15 years and is used to determine planning applications on specific sites.
A long-running campaign by local councillors to make Hampton Court Road a safer place for cyclists has proved a success and the request for clearer signage along the cycle pathway has at last been sanctioned.
My heartfelt thanks go out to everyone on the committee for all their hard work and I would like to thank you, our members, for all your suggestions, help and support. If anyone of you would like to become more involved in the society, don't be shy – do come and talk to us. After all, it's important for all organisations to have a regular injection of new ideas.
Finally, a big thank you to those people who volunteered to help at the Hampton Fun Day on Saturday 17 May. The weather was glorious and we ran a roll-a-penny stall which proved very successful. The wonderfully hot weather helped make the Hampton Fun Day a great success. Jim Monahan, Amanda Hunt, Christine Paganelli, Sheila Cuzner, Katy Grubb, Beth Redfern and Peter Cave all helped either set up our stall or run our roll-a-penny game, built and kindly lent to the Society by Michael Carr. We welcome all our new members who joined on the day.
Wishing you all a wonderful summer. Let's hope it's as sunny as last year!
Sam Redfern, Chair
Weather-wise, what a turbulent start to 2014! My parents live in Staines and have so far escaped being evacuated, even though the water has crept up the road to within a few metres of their home.
However, my mother reassures me that "the Dunkirk spirit is alive and well in Staines-under-Thames!" and indeed, stories of communities pulling together in the worst affected areas are astounding and heartening. Social media sites have come into their own in the quest to provide locals with up-to-date news and advice and to co-ordinate help from volunteers: flood update pages created this week on Facebook, covering Staines, Shepperton and Sunbury (nothing for Hampton as I write!) have attracted thousands of followers and volunteers. I'm sure you will all join me in wishing our neighbours safe and well during this crisis.
2014 Annual General Meeting
On a lighter note, spring is round the corner, and brings with it the Society's AGM on Thursday 3 April. Following the usual business on the agenda (see below), the Reverend Derek Winterburn will be giving a talk on what was involved in the setting up of the new free school in Oldfield Road, St Mary Hampton CE Primary, which opened its doors last September.
A new opportunity
In our four and three years as Treasurer and Chair respectively, William and I have seen several new faces join The Hampton Society's committee and our membership grow from strength to strength. It has been an enriching experience: as well as being invited to several prestigious local organisation and council events, we have become more closely involved in the community and made lots of new friends along the way. We do feel, however, that it is only fair to offer others the opportunity to take on leading roles within the Society and ensure that new people continue to join the committee. There are plenty of local issues affecting Hampton residents in the year ahead and your support would be greatly appreciated.
So, don't be shy! If you would like to be part of our open and friendly team, please contact me or any member of the committee. Nominations for 2014/15 are also welcomed in writing to the Secretary, Rosemary Hill, 7 Upper Lodge Mews, Bushy Park, Hampton Hill, TW12 1NE and need to be presented before 20 March.
I look forward to seeing some of you at our Quiz Night and AGM.
Agenda for AGM, 3 April 2014
1. Minutes of AGM held on 18 April 2013
2. Matters arising from minutes
3. Presentation and approval of accounts for 2013/14
4. Appointment of Independent Examiner for 2014/15
5. Chair's report
6. Elections of officers and committee in accordance with the rules: Chair; Treasurer; five committee members.
7. Any other business
Sam Redfern, Chair
I wonder how many of you have started writing your Christmas cards? The first card to hit our mat every year is from a family member who has hers all ready to post by 1 December yet mine always seem to be despatched in a slow trickle right up to the last minute.
This year, happily, I have at least bought my cards – Hampton Society ones of course! Last year the society cards sold out by early December, so don't delay ordering yours from any of the committee members (contact details on right) or popping along to Ohso, Station Road or The Greenwood Centre, both of whom are very kindly selling some for us again this year.
Road and pavement repairs
Friday 13 December is the closing date for submitting suggestions for the Council's Community Roads and Pavements Fund. This is a scheme introduced last year, following comments from the 'All in One' consultation, releasing £35,000 per village area to invest in road, pavement and drainage improvements. It's up to local residents to nominate the area they live in and say how they think the money should be spent. For more information, go to www.richmond.gov.uk and look under 'transport and streets'. Winning roads in Hampton since the scheme began are Cardinal's Walk, Cotswold Road, Hanworth Road, Douai Grove, Buckingham Close, Nightingale Road and Church Street.
There are still a number of people who have not paid their subs. If this applies to you, we greatly value your support and we hope you still wish to be a member. If you do, then please send payment to the treasurer, William Redfern. Better still, I would urge you to set up a standing order – it not only makes life easier for us, but you will no longer need to worry about simple oversight or forgetfulness!
And finally, it was encouraging to see a good turn-out at the Hampton Square opening ceremony. How well the Sunday market fits into the scheme and breathes new life and energy into the area. It was also a pleasure to meet Auntie Angela/Miss Moneypenny/Lady Rosamund Painswick, a.k.a. Samantha Bond! Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and I look forward to seeing you at some of our events.
Sam Redfern, Chair
Well, it really feels like we had a proper summer this year and it was heartening to see so many local events taking place in good weather. Most recently, the "Screen on Hampton Green" cinema night managed to stay dry and saw a strong turnout to see Toy Story 3. Congratulations must go to the Hampton Village Traders Association for organising this special event and securing the funding to enable it to go ahead.
Of course events like this are only possible if we have a thriving trading body within Hampton, and that depends on us all making good use of local shops and services.
An enhanced environment
The flower baskets in Station Road looked fabulous again this year and the pink and blue flags displayed by the traders in the lead up to the birth of the royal baby certainly lent a festive feel to the village over the summer. In addition to this, Hampton received official recognition as a beautiful place to live when Hampton Common and Hampton Cemetery both earned Green Flag awards as two of the best green spaces in the UK.
Enhancements to the local environment continue. In last year's autumn newsletter we reported on the proposed Hampton Square developments and the successful bid by St Mary's Church Hampton to open a new free school in Oldfield Road and it's wonderful to see both ideas come to fruition so quickly. I was able to visit the school on the day it opened and was blown away by the dramatic transformation to the interior of the building which looks brand new.
New DVD of Hampton stories
I'm pleased to report that we have already sold most of our first batch of 50 Hampton Matters DVDs, which we advertised a few weeks ago in an e-newsletter. We've just taken delivery of another 25, so if you would like a copy (cost only £5), please call either me or William on 020 8286 7071 to arrange to pick one up from us at 66 High Street. For those of you not on our email list, the DVD has been produced by The Hampton Riverside Trust and shows stories of life in Hampton recorded in the first decade of this century. The film quality is very good and intercut with many historical images supplied by local historian, John Sheaf. There are ten stories featured which include The Hampton Ferry, The Last Shop in Thames Street and Hampton School's Founder's Day.
A full programme
Finally, we have a superb lineup of talks and events for 2013/14, all of which are listed in your membership cards, so do pencil them into your diaries and don't miss out! We understand that some of you are not able to attend our events; however, we would like to thank you for your ongoing support. Your membership is very important to us and enables us to continue protecting and improving Hampton.
Wishing you all a wonderful summer – let's hope it's a sunny one!
Sam Redfern, Chair
Thank you to everyone who attended our Annual General Meeting on Thursday 18 April, which finished with a fascinating illustrated talk by architect Allan Garland on the restoration of Garrick's Villa. The speaker was introduced by one of our members, Lewis Lloyd, who delighted us all by bursting into song! For those members who couldn't be there, here is a summary of the key matters reported:
I'm pleased to say that the steady increase in new members has continued and that we now represent nearly 500 households. Our focus continues to be on finding ways to raise awareness about the Society and encouraging new local residents to join.
Over 90% of members are up-to-date with their subs, which is a fantastic achievement, as four years ago this figure was a rather sad 30%. Following the motion passed at last year's AGM to move towards payment by Standing Order, over 30% of members have taken this up so far, which has already helped us enormously. More please!
John and Sheila Farndon's hard work and commitment over the past 20 years, looking after refreshments at our events, has been appreciated by everyone. We presented them with a case of wine, selected by Hampton Cellar, which was very well received! I'm pleased to report that committee member Julie-nne Monahan and her husband Jim have very kindly offered to take on the role of organising refreshments at future events and they are looking for volunteers to be part of a flexible rota. Please contact Julie-nne if you can offer help with refreshments at one or more talks or events during the year.
Following the success of our hanging baskets last year, which were match funded by the council, the good news is that this year, it looks as though the council will be funding them entirely. This will allow us to start the ball rolling with our next proposed project to enhance the area, the revitalisation of the disused pub sign on The Triangle, High Street. The council have already agreed in principle to the idea and we will be applying for extra funding once the sign design is ready for submission.
One issue which has dragged its feet is the unauthorised mooring on the bank of the river beyond Garrick's Temple. It has taken a year to carry out the required statutory consultation on a proposed new bye-law giving the council the necessary powers to act and is now with the Secretary of State for provisional approval. Officers are hopeful of a reply soon but the necessary bye-law is unlikely to be in place by this summer.
In contrast, things have moved very quickly for St Mary's Church following their successful bid for a new Church of England primary school at The Oldfield Centre. They've already appointed a headmistress and the first pupils will be admitted this September, which will help alleviate the current shortage of primary school places in this area. Do take a look at their website to find out more.
The proposed regeneration of Hampton Square (Tangley) is well underway and, along with the new monthly Sunday Hampton Market, should help to develop further interest in this area, not just from local residents, but from the community as a whole.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful team of volunteer newsletter deliverers who commit four times a year – in all weathers – to making sure the newsletter arrives safely. Their help is very much appreciated and is an example of how important it is in organisations such as ours to have a lot of people doing a little bit.
And finally, a big thank you to those people (you know who you are!) for putting yourselves forward to help at the Hampton Fun Day. It was heartening to receive so many offers
Wishing you all a wonderful summer – let's hope it's a sunny one!
Sam Redfern, Chair
Now that we're well into 2013, I wonder how many of you have managed to stick to your New Year's resolutions? I had just one, which was to embrace social media and learn how it could benefit me in my working and personal life.
So far, so good. I'm starting to get the hang of it and, as a result, the Hampton Society Facebook page and Twitter account are both now being actively used. This is already helping to increase awareness of the Society, as well as keeping the Society itself more up-to-date with local issues. If you already have a Facebook or Twitter account do please follow us by clicking the icons on our website. You might also enjoy taking a look at community Facebook page "Did you/do you live in Hampton?" where local people have been posting their stories, memories and photos of the area.
Those of you who have regularly attended our talks and events over the years will be sorry to learn that John and Sheila Farndon have stepped down from their long-standing role providing refreshments and tending the bar. After their 20 years' loyal service, I'd like to say how much John and Sheila's efforts have been appreciated by everyone and to thank them for their commitment and hard work.
We are currently looking for volunteers to take on (or indeed share) this important role and I'm sure John would be happy to discuss what's involved with any interested parties.
Finally, please see below the agenda for our Annual General Meeting on Thursday 18 April, which we hope as many of you as possible will be able to attend. Once the usual business is concluded, there will be a short talk on the restoration of Garrick's Villa, which promises to be very informative.
We're always looking for new committee members to help share the responsibility of representing the community
With over 105 new households joining last year alone, we are a thriving society. The committee should represent all ages and areas of Hampton. We always welcome 'new blood' to reflect our ever-expanding membership. Do you like organising events, have accounting skills, have experience of planning issues or researching items of local interest? If you would like to make a contribution to the direction of the Society you are cordially invited to contact me or any member of the present committee. Nominations are also welcomed in writing to the Secretary, Rosemary Hill, 7 Upper Lodge Mews, Bushy Park, Hampton Hill, TW12 1NE and need to be presented before 4 April.
Agenda for AGM, 18 April 2013
1. Minutes of AGM held on 5 April 2012
2. Matters arising from the minutes
3. Presentation and approval of accounts for 2012/13
4. Appointment of Independent Examiner and Banker for 2013/14
5. Chair's report
6. Elections of officers and committee in accordance with the rules
c) Five committee members
7. Any other business
Sam Redfern, Chair
This October saw Hampton celebrating not only the first anniversary of the local Women's Institute but also that of MTV youth, a Friday evening drop in club for 8-14 year olds at the Oldfield Centre, Hampton.
The club has been going from strength to strength and now has over 120 youths on its books and a highly dedicated team of 20 local volunteers. Since the club began, Hampton has seen a 67% drop in anti-social behaviour and local youths now interact more positively with the local police.
Just as we believe the Hampton Society facilitates a channel of communication within the community and brings people together, it is clear that the ethos of other local voluntary organisations, which target specific sectors of the community, are in line with our own: "to ensure that the provision of amenities enhances the quality of life for the residents of Hampton". Well done to everyone involved for their time and commitment and for the positive effect their efforts have generated.
Thanks to everyone who bought our Christmas cards and to Announce It! and the Greenwood Centre for selling many of them for us. It has certainly proved convenient to have a premises from which to purchase them and they have been selling very fast (only 10 packs left at time of going to press!).
Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year.
Sam Redfern, Chair
What an excellent year to be living in Hampton! An obvious highlight has been the Olympic torch and cycling events happening on our doorstep, in particular Bradley Wiggins emerging from the gates of Hampton Court to a roaring crowd following his Olympic Gold win.
Then, not to be outdone by the Olympics, Hampton Village Traders Association scooped two Golds in the Diamond Jubilee Shopping Parade Competition! A big thank you to the traders for their efforts to improve our shopping experience.
Hampton Academy has been celebrating continued improvement in its academic achievements with 76% of students gaining five or more A*-C passes at GCSE in all subjects – an increase of seven per cent on 2011's record performance. The lower school's new building is due to open in November and its new sixth form launches in September 2013.
It seems a while ago now, but I'm delighted to report on the sell-out success of our summer party at Hampton Sailing Club back in June. It wasn't quite the balmy midsummer evening we'd been hoping for, but thankfully any rain held off until we were all back on dry land! The Sailing Club members who kindly volunteered to help on the night provided an exceptionally friendly welcome and seemed to enjoy the party just as much as the guests!
And finally, if you feel bereft now that the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics are over, do come along to one or more of the interesting talks we have lined up for you this autumn including the wine tasting, details overleaf.
Sam Redfern, Chair
There are certainly some perks to being Chair of a local organisation, as I discovered this week when I attended a reception in the VIP guest marquee during the Queen’s visit to Richmond Park on 15 May. Sadly, heavy rain and a flash hail storm meant the Queen spent much of the time in her car. However, I was delighted to be unexpectedly presented to Princess Alexandra, which meant I still had an exciting story to tell when I got home!
Our treasurer, William, with help from new committee member, Christine, helped raise awareness of the Hampton Society by setting up a stall at the event, alongside the Hampton Village Traders, who generously invited us to share a gazebo with them. Michael Badgery, Chair of HVTA commented, “Wet, cold, but the community spirit amongst the villages of the borough was fantastic!”. Various Hampton schools and scouting groups were also there to line Her Majesty’s route through the park.
It was wonderful to see so many of you at the Hampton Society AGM on 5 April and to see John Sheaf’s thought-provoking images of Hampton past and present. I was particularly fascinated by his photographs from past Jubilees, my favourite being one of cubs and scouts sitting cross-legged in front of a huge tower
of wood, old furniture and other kindling collected together for an enormous bonfire (a reminder of what life was like before ‘health and safety mania’ set in!).
Members who attended the AGM supported our request to move predominantly towards Standing Order as a method of paying membership subscriptions, although we accept that this will not be possible in some cases, where we will of course still accept cash or cheque. Processing applications and chasing payments is very time-consuming for a voluntary organisation like ours and we greatly appreciate your help in this matter.
We were sorry to say goodbye to two committee members, Bill Weisblatt and Tony Marks, who will both be greatly missed. However, we are delighted to welcome to the committee two newly-elected, energetic ladies, Julie-nne Monahan and Christine Paganelli.
Thanks to everyone who baked cakes and helped out on our Fun Day stall last weekend. It was a great success with not a drop of rain in sight!. We made a profit of just over £200 to go towards the hanging baskets we are sponsoring in the village. We also signed up 20 new members.
We greatly appreciate all your positive comments, contributions and support over the past year and I’d like to finish by wishing everyone a dry and sunny Jubilee holiday and lots of success with all your street parties!
Sam Redfern, Chair
There’s plenty of coverage in the news about the forthcoming Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 London Olympics, but I feel I must give these events a mention here as they will have a great impact on us locally.
No doubt some of you are already making plans for a Jubilee lunch or street party to make the most of the extended Bank Holiday, but it’s worth keeping an eye on what else is going on in the area. At Hampton Court, for instance, there will be a 1950s themed weekend celebration and free entry to the formal gardens for one day on 2 June.
This month will also see the delivery of the first LOCOG (The London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) leaflet, outlining details about the events around Hampton Court and the necessary road closures, parking provision, rerouting of buses etc. The second leaflet is due out in June.
The LOCOG team met with local residents and organisations at Hampton Court last week to put forward their proposals. They have a challenging job on their hands but appear to be working very hard to ensure that events run smoothly. It certainly set me thinking about where to stand to gain the best views of the torch processions (24 & 27 July), as well as the cycle events: Road Races (28/29 July) and the Time Trial (1 August). If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!
Another important 2012 event I would encourage you to attend is our Annual General Meeting on Thursday 5 April (Maundy Thursday). I would like to remind you that, after the business of the meeting, John Sheaf will be giving a talk on Victorian Hampton.
On a final note, I would like to thank Bill Weisblatt, who will be standing down from the committee this year, for his most valuable contribution and long-standing commitment to the Hampton Society since the 1960s and for the help and advice he has given me in my role as Chair.
Sam Redfern, Chair
It's been an exciting summer for Hampton with the London-Surrey Cycle Classic road race test event passing through Bushy Park in August. Then, one Sunday afternoon, I was lucky enough to catch sight of comedian David Walliams (or his arms at least!) during his marathon swim along the Thames. Standing by Garrick's Temple, soaking up the carnival atmosphere of well-wishers cheering from the banks and the boats, I was reminded how very fortunate I am to be living here.
There have been some very enjoyable Hampton Society events recently, most notably the tree identification walk at Hampton Court and a very merry evening tasting wines, courtesy of Premier Wines (great to see some new faces at these events). We're delighted to congratulate some of our older members on impressive landmark celebrations in their lives (see left). Many people regard the Hampton Society as an organisation for the over-60s. However, as a result of an age-range survey on our membership forms, we are able to confirm that our members span all ages and many of our newer members are between 30-50. Some are even 20-30 (not to mention all the children who are part of the Society)!
Unfortunately, this isn't currently reflected at all our talks and social events. It's totally understandable that society talks will not be top of most people's 'to do' list (I, myself, have work and family commitments that prevent me from always being able to go along). However, the events I have attended have always been worth the effort and the next two interesting talks coming up this autumn are firmly in my diary. It would be great to see you there, but if these don't appeal, then hopefully our quiz night in February will draw more of you out of the woodwork!
And finally, make sure you get your orders in early for our Christmas cards (see below) as they sold out very quickly last year. It might seem early to be promoting them, but I've already been informed by two of our members that they bought their Christmas cards months ago! Best wishes to you all.
Sam Redfern, Chair
It is a privilege to be following on from Bill Weisblatt as Chair of the Society for 2011/12. During my 18 months on the committee, I have marvelled at the depth of Bill's knowledge of all-things-Hampton and, although I have been a Hampton resident for 14 years, I've clearly got a fair bit of catching up to do! Thankfully, Bill has agreed to stay on the committee for another year to help guide me through my first year.
The Hampton Society AGM was held on 7 April 2011 and details of the newly elected officers and committee are listed opposite. Bill reported that three members of the committee, John Beasley, John Wood and Colin Greenhalgh had resigned due to other commitments making it difficult for them to continue, and thanked them for their contributions.
We are pleased to welcome back to Hampton, and to the committee, Patrick Hooton, who joins Tony Marks in keeping an eye on planning issues. We also welcome Trisha Shirt who recently joined the committee as membership secretary, responsible for managing the list of members as well as co-ordinating the delivery of our quarterly newsletter.
Members who attended the AGM supported a modest increase in subscriptions, the first in seven years, to cover the increased cost of producing the newsletter and hiring venues for our talks and events.
This has been an exciting year for the Society with a record number of new members joining. Since last year's AGM, when we reported a decline in membership, we have made a concerted effort to raise awareness of our existence and our activities, resulting in the recruitment of 80 new members! Word of mouth has proved as effective as our printed publicity and we continue to urge members to make their local friends and neighbours aware of The Hampton Society.
Congratulations to our treasurer, William, who has made a superb job of revamping the Society's website www.thehamptonsociety.org.uk.
We are also delighted with the success of our "e-news" communications, which has enabled us to provide immediate news updates to those members with email accounts although we are currently only reaching just under half of members and would urge the rest of you to provide us with your e-mail addresses as soon as possible so we can extend this service to you all.
Sam Redfern, Chair
There is a good deal of interesting material in this Newsletter and I should like to pay tribute to my talented colleagues who are responsible for the text and illustrations, and, in particular to Maura, who takes editorial responsibility, and to William, who uses his professional skills to provide such an attractive design layout.
One of the important items in the Newsletter is the Agenda for the forthcoming Annual General Meeting on 7 April and amongst the routine items you will see that there is a resolution recommending that the annual subscription be raised from £3 and £5 to £4 and £6 for an individual member or a family resident at one address respectively. The last increase was as long ago as April 2004. We are all well aware that these are difficult times, and they may well get harder, but we hope that our members appreciate the improved quality and services that they are getting in return for their subscriptions and support. It is self-evident that we are spending more on our quarterly newsletters, which have doubled in size, are printed on better paper and profusely illustrated.
We are in the process of updating and improving our website, which is increasingly important these days, and are having to meet higher costs in venue hire, speakers' fees and more adventurous outings. Our recent drive to persuade members to pay their arrears of subscriptions has given us a temporary boost in our bank account but, as indicated above, increased costs will soon eat into our nest-egg.
I hope that you will continue to give us your support and look forward to seeing you at some of our events. With best wishes.
Bill Weisblatt, Chairman
As a result of an initiative from our energetic membershipsecretary, Sam Redfern, well over 100 members have, belatedly, paid their annual subscriptions within the past few weeks.
She added a personalised note to each copy of the last newsletter, reminding memberswhether their sub had been paid or not, and in many instances this had the desired effect. Our members can of course decide that they no longer wish to belong to The Hampton Society and support its activities, and that is a decision that we would accept with regret but with good grace. However, we suspect that in a majority of cases,what is involved is simple oversight or forgetfulness to which we all easily fall victim, and a reminder isenough to do the trick.
There are still a number of people who have not renewed their membership and if anyone reading these notes is in that category, I urge them to sendtheir payment to the Treasurer, William Redfern, since this enables us to continue our work of protecting the environment in Hampton, providing a programme of talks,visits and social activities and issuing four informative newsletters each year.
We have become more adventurous in finding venues for our talksand the last two events have been held at Hampton Hill Playhouse and the White House respectively, both of them proving to be popular and well-attended.
I send you best wishes for Christmas and the New Yearand look forward to seeing you at some of our events.
Bill Weisblatt, Chairman
We are giving prominence in this Newsletter to the new Hampton Academy, which reflects the importance of this significant change in the provision of secondary education in our community.
Primary schools throughout the Borough have attained very high standards, as shown in the national league tables, but secondary education has lagged behind and despite the best efforts of the current and previous staff Hampton Community College has a disappointing record of underachievement over the years. The proposal to replace the College with an academy, run by a Swedish-based company, met with considerable scepticism, not least on the part of The Hampton Society, and it seemed that these concerns were shared by many of the College staff and governors, as well as by local parents. Critics of the proposed scheme included leading local Conservative councillors, then in opposition, and it is a quirk of the way politics work that the major change is now being implemented by the current Conservative administration. However this came to pass, what is now important is that our young people deserve the best possible quality of education at the critical secondary stage, and we wish the new Hampton Academy every success.
John Beasley has decided that his other commitments make it impossible for him to continue as a committee member and he has accordingly resigned. He is a long- standing member of the Society and we are pleased to know that he will continue to perform his valuable function as a newsletter deliverer.
The Summer Party was once again held in the delightful surroundings of the Stockyard in Bushy Park and as well as enjoying the food and drink and good company members helped to choose the photos for this years Christmas cards, which will be on sale at our autumn events.
This is the fourth in our series of enlarged and illustrated newsletters and judging by the comments we have received the changes and improvements are appreciated by our members. It is self-evident that producing newsletters in this form involves more work and is more expensive and we repeat our previous request that
you should tell your friends and neighbours about The Hampton Society, its activities and benefits, and encourage them to join.
I hope to see many of you at our talks, visits and, of course, at the Christmas Party on 3 December.
Bill Weisblatt, Chairman
The annual general meeting of the Society was held on 15 April 2010 and details of the newly elected officers and committee are listed opposite. At the meeting warm tributes were paid to officers and committee members who were retiring after giving enormously valuable service to the Society and the community over a number of years.
Ray Alen had brought wisdom and common sense to our deliberations and had, with reluctance,taken on the role of Chairman at a time of transition for the Society. Jean Alen had not merely carried out the challenging duties of Secretary, but had prepared our two sell-out books of reminiscences, organised a series of photographic exhibitions, re-vamped the newsletter layout, set up the website and generally, brought an unprecedented degree of technological skill to our work. Colin Sinnott was an exemplaryTreasurer,performing his arcane labours with accuracy and unfailing patience. Bryan Alderson, the longest serving of those who have retired, has simply been a tower of strength (literally so when it came to moving tables and chairs at meetings) for many years.We shall miss them all and hope to keep in touch with them.
We have started allotting tasks to the committee members and the process will continue. Alice Fordham,Rosemary Hill and MauraWaters will arrange visits and talks. Sam Redfern and John Wood are looking after membership, Maura Waters has taken over as newsletter editor,with support from William Redfern, and Tony Marks will keep an eye on planning issues, where he will co-operate with our friends at Hampton Hill Association.
We were given clear guidance at the AGM that we should maintain an effective dialogue with our neighbours in Hampton Hill and we shall of course do so. I have already had talks with Mike Walker, HHA Chairman, and we shall continue to consider how and to what extent we can share our activities.
When appropriate we shall also see whether it is feasible to make use of the excellent facilities at the White House.
Another important issue that was helpfully raised at the AGM was the size of our membership, which has declined in recent years and is smaller than could reasonably be expected for a community like Hampton. We shall do what wecan to improve our publicity and make clear the attractions of joining and supporting the Society.We hope our members will do their best to bring our existence and activities to the notice of their friends and neighbours.
As well as losing a number of committee colleagues this year, we have also had to replace some long-standing newsletter deliverers who have retired after a long period of valuable service. We are grateful to them for helping us to keep in touch with our members. We very much appreciate the offers of help we have had with the job of delivering the newsletters and will take up these welcome offers in due course.
As well as having new committee members and new deliverers we have also taken note of the fact that political control of the Council (as well as the Government) has changed.We are of course non-party-political although many of our activities inevitably have a political element – planning, transport, traffic, Heathrow and so forth. We shall as always be glad to work with the Council and with our local Councillors, of whatever persuasion, but shall not hesitate to oppose them when it is in the best interests of the residents of Hampton to do so.
I send best wishes for the summer to all our members and look forward to seeing you at our events.
Bill Weisblatt, Chairman