Last Tuesday morning, the Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire Branch of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution held its AGM in the bar of Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre. The meeting was very special, as it was the first meeting attended by the new Honorary President of the Branch, Charles Hanson, television star of ‘Bargain Hunt’, ‘Flog It!’ and ‘Antiques Road Trip’, who kindly agreed to chair the proceedings. After the minutes of the previous AGM were received, Branch chairman John Grubb, gave a very brief report, before Branch treasurer Muriel Haslam presented the annual accounts, and was delighted to report that the Branch had raised the grand total of £15,999.32 for the work of the R.N.L.I. during the year, bettering the total raised in 2011.
Peggy Grubb’s secretary’s report, outlining some of the highlights of the year, was read to the meeting in her absence, and Tony Dale, souvenir secretary, reported on sales of £7337.94 during the year – a new record! Brian Dick, in his new role as 100 Club organiser, detailed the new 100 Club arrangements, and invited anyone interested in becoming a member of the 100 Club. The retiring 100 Club organiser, John Heath, was thanked for all his work in that capacity over the years.
Brain Dick, wearing the hat of box secretary, then reported on the ongoing success of the collecting boxes; and Mary Rhodes, events organiser, gave a report on the events covered during the year – and appealed for help in covering this year’s events.
The Branch committee was then re-elected ‘en-bloc’, with the addition of Meryl Ashton, and Branch officers elected: Chairman, John Grubb; vice-chairman, John Heath; secretary, Peggy Grubb; treasurer, Muriel Haslam; box secretary and 100 Club organiser, Brian Dick; souvenir secretary, Tony Dale; minute secretary and events organiser, Mary Rhodes. Mary Rhodes then outlined the programme of events for the year, before Sarah Bailey, the R.N.L.I.’s regional fundraising manager, addressed the meeting, highlighting what the branch’s financial contribution meant in terms of training and equipment, advising of progress in getting a ‘D’ Class Publicity Boat to the area again, and asking for help in raising funds for a tractor and launching trailer for the new Shannon Class All Weather Lifeboat shortly to be based at Ilfracombe, replacing the ‘Spirit of Derbyshire’, purchased largely with funds raised by the people of Derbyshire over twenty years ago.
Finally, Charles Hanson thanked the barnch for inviting him to be president, and promised to promote the R.N.L.I. and support the branch whenever possible.
Refreshments were served at the close of the meeting.
Forthcoming events of interest include the branch’s Flag Day in Chesterfield Town Centre and Vicar Lane Shopping on Saturday, June 8. On the same day, Peak Peformance are giving a concert at 7.30pm at Whittington Moor Methodist Church in aid of the Lifeboats, tickets £5 from John and Peggy Grubb on 01246 272460 or at the door. On Sunday, July 14 from 1pm to 5pm, there will be an Open Gardens Event at 257/261 Chesterfield Road, Temple Normanton, and on Saturday, November 16, from 9.30am to 12.30pm, at the Eastwood Hall on Rose Hill, Chesterfield, a coffee morning and craft fair. For details of all these events, and the numerous collections and outings for the sales stall, or to offer help in any way, please contact John and Peggy Grubb.