Once again we are approaching the end of another summer season, and your committee is well on with organising next summer's programme. In all, this has been a very successful season with 50 members travelling to the Burrell collection and to Paxton House, 44 to Bo'ness and 48 and 42 currently booked for Abbotsford House and the National Museum for Scotland, respectively. Only the Holiday to Northumberland found lesser numbers. After an initial positive reply of 54, in response to the enquiry regarding the resurrection of the short break holiday, only a much lesser number applied for further information regarding the one chosen, which was a bit disappointing. From which only 33 made final application with, due to illness, only 30 eventually making the trip,. That having been said, all those who did come appeared to have had a great time. The hotel and staff were excellent, the food excellent, the coach and driver provided also excellent and even the weather maintained the same standard. To receive the verbal thanks of all aboard upon our return, added to by a number of cards and letters in the same vein later on, was very gratifying and all the effort, in organising same, well worthwhile. I am sure I can include Neil Pollock's name in that, as Neil was a considerable help to me both in his Bookings Secretary roll, and also with his vastly superior computer skills.
I would like to thank all those drivers among you, when making their way to the parking facilities on the summer outing days, for complying with the agreement to park on the northwest side of PC World. My words of; "being welcomed back, at some point in the future," in my last autumn report proving quite prophetic, when the new Bannockburn site was completed, and found to be totally inadequate for our purpose. My thanks are also due to all those who have organised, and overseen, all those various trips which were made. There is a lot of work involved from deciding, in committee, where we should go and then individually, in arranging and organising the trip itself. It should also be noted that our summer programme card also includes the name of the organiser of each outing, with the corresponding telephone number also being shown in the list of committee members included on the same card. In the event of a cancellation, the booking secretary should be contacted initially as normal. If however the message is about an event which is imminent you should contact the organiser of the particular event.
With Bannockburn in mind I think you all, certainly those of you who attended the last two meetings of our winter season, will agree that the facilities at the new centre were also inadequate from the points of size, ventilation and extraneous noise level. With that in mind your committee, led primarily by enquiries and investigation carried out by your joint Secretaries, Sandy and Margaret Moreland, have agreed two fresh venues for your approval. The first three meetings, on this winter programme, to be held in the Mayfield Centre, and the second three in St. Ninians Church Hall. It is hoped that one or other of these venues may become our regular site. A small increase, from &pind;4 to £5 for members and £5 to £6 for non members, was also agreed with regard to the coming winter meetings.
Since my last report I can inform you that the following donations have been made on your behalf. To Branklyn Gardens, £400 for plant labels, so important to many of our members when visiting gardens. To Alloa Tower, £500 for period dressing up clothes for educational purposes and to Culross £600 for external seating, also so very important to our members. Most of these decisions are made from an annual "shopping list" provided by the NTS relative to lists of "most needed" items supplied, in turn, to them by the individual NTS properties throughout Scotland.
I have to inform you that we, your committee, have been approached by the Clackmannanshire Heritage Trust with a view to giving assistance, basically manual, to various properties throughout their area. An approach made due to our membership numbers on paper. It was pointed out that our membership was an aged one and growing older, and younger new members, such as would be useful to them in this respect, were hard to come by. It was also pointed out to them that this was not restricted only to NTS based groups of members and friends, but a malady involving most established organisations in Scotland. This was echoed by Friends of Alloa Tower. This was followed by a member of the local council who suggested one of our summer trips be devoted to a tour of the various Clackmannanshire sites. I suggested that a talk regarding those sites of historical interest could be included in our winter programme, but that numbers sufficient to visit those sites and to make such a trip viable would be doubtful. I have to say now that no further approach, relative to such a talk, has been made. I did say however that I would include a paragraph in this newsletter regarding their problem and therefore, if any of you would be interested in volunteering to assist in the manning, albeit part time, in any of the Clackmannanshire sites, please let me, or any other member of the committee, know and we shall be pleased to pass on your names and availability.
Jack D. McGregor,
The 2014/2015 annual membership fee of £5 for an individual and £8 for a household at one address will be due on 1st October 2014.
If you pay by cheque you will now see that we have added a line on the booking form to allow you to pay the annual membership charge along with any events you may be booking. This hopefully will be more convenient for you and will also aid our administration. The cheque for the membership should be made out to "STIRLING MEMBERS' CENTRE NTS" and signed and dated. If you wish, you can send one cheque for all events AND the membership, or separate cheques for each.
THIS DOES NOT APPLY IF YOU PAY BY STANDING ORDER.