Charitable Incorporated Organisation
I am very pleased by the unanimous support given at the AGM to the proposal that we change the Emsworth Maritime & Historical Trust into a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. The level of participation in person on the day and voting by post beforehand totalled 86 and was a high level of involvement. This demonstrates solid support for a major constitutional change. It is also good for the governance of the Trust.
The proposal to increase the subscription by more than the amount recommended by the committee has raised some issues. The proposal has been overwhelmingly supported both at the meeting and in the subsequent email poll of our members. However, we do have the curious situation of those attending the meeting voting for one increase and those voting by post voting for another. We will resolve this conundrum in a proper fashion before the end of the year.
I am grateful to all those who participated in the Stewards’ Training programme during March – trainers, trainees and in particular Christine Bury who masterminded it all. This year we have trained a number of new stewards, and others have returned post Covid, so I am looking forward to another successful season.
During the winter Havant Borough Council (HBC) have repaired the broken window sash cords and in doing so have discovered that the wooden frame of one window is very rotten – so we will not be able to open that until it has been repaired. HBC are also going to replace the front door with a composite version which will survive the weather better. Tony Stimson is liaising with HBC on this project and has chosen a door that is as similar to the present door as possible.
If you visit the Museum, you will see the result of the work in the Main Room. We have moved the Warblington cabinet to replace the Black Rod cabinet (the Black Rod uniform is having a temporary rest). The effect has been to open up the eastern end of the room to give the impression of more space.
As you know, the Museum has always struggled for storage space. In recent years we have rented a secure store at Safestore in Portsmouth, but the costs have risen sharply. So, I am deeply grateful to Geoffrey Marsh of Marsh Plant for allowing us to use part of his secure warehouse. This benefit in kind will have a substantial impact in reducing the Museum’s costs.
Our thanks are due to Nigel Gossop who has produced a series of varied lectures over the winter. He is now working on next winter’s programme and would welcome suggestions for speakers.
History of Emsworth in 20 Objects
A casual remark by Trevor Smith has resulted in the very rapid implementation of this project. There is now a tour of the Museum guided by QR codes that can be scanned by smartphones. Visitors are guided to some of the most iconic stories of Emsworth. The selection of the 20 objects was the subject of considerable debate – in part based on a survey carried out in 2022. We have to acknowledge that we plagiarised the idea from the British Museum.
I am pleased to say that in the last few months, the outreach programme has gathered momentum.
Phil Magrath and Shelagh Standen have been working with the Art Group at Hewitts and inspiring them with some of the Museum’s objects and stories, with impressive results.
We have run an off-site rope making demonstration and will, of course, be running another in the Museum on 29th/30th July. Keep the date in mind to entertain children and grandchildren. There is a touch of magic when the rope begins to form.
Offsite lectures have been delivered to U3A and other groups.
EM&HT were invited to take a stand at the History Festival in the Spring, Havant. The stand was manned by Christine Bury and me with panels on the themes of ‘People; Places: Projects’ to describe the Trust’s activities. It was an excellent opportunity to network with other local history groups – many of the other stands were also staffed by EM&HT members.
In summary, my message is that the Trust is making solid progress towards its goals. Thank you all for your support.