Once again, as we move towards another new season, may I wish you a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.
We are now heading towards our return to Bannockburn after an absence of nearly two years. A period which has seen many changes to our former home. Changes which are undoubtedly going to affect us in the operation of our group, particularly with numbers attending our meetings regarding the size of the premises and the parking facilities, both of which are drastically reduced in size. Returning at this point, with two meetings to go, will allow us to give a more accurate assessment of those facilities. In February we have 66 members who have applied to attend and this should give a fair test to those facilities. Unfortunately it will mean that anyone turning up "on spec" for these meetings will have to wait until all those who made previous application are seated, before gaining entry. With that in mind I would urge all members who have previously booked a place at any meeting, and find themselves unable to attend, to notify our bookings secretary, or other member of committee, of that inability to attend, in order that persons on the waiting list may be notified of the ensuing vacancy. With the reduced capacity of the new premises this policy will have to be adopted on a regular basis, as it has been noted, while meeting at "The Smith", where a closer watch had to be kept on numbers attending, that on each occasion we were approximately 10 to 12 in number below the number which had booked to attend.
With further regard to The Battle of Bannockburn Centre, I have much pleasure in announcing that the manager, Scott McMaster, has arranged for our members to pay a preview visit during the afternoon of Monday, 24th February. In order to facilitate as large a number of members as possible wishing to attend on that date, I would ask you to notify us as early as possible, of those intentions, in order to give Scott the opportunity to arrange a time and for a suitable number of staff to be available to oversee the tour in manageable groups. Sandy Moreland has volunteered to form a list of applicants for this purpose as Neil, our regular Membership and Bookings secretary, is on holiday during the weeks leading up to the event. Therefore, on this occasion, please notify Sandy, by e-mail or phone, if you would like to attend as early as possible please.
A very full and entertaining programme of summer outings has been arranged, and these, commencing with the trip to the Burrell Collection and Pollok House, will once again start off from Springkerse, as in the previous two years. With that in mind I would remind you of our agreement to utilise, for car parking purposes, only that part at the north-western end of the car parking area, to the left of PC World. That is, that area closest to the' Park and Ride' facility. The second pick up area outside "The Smith" will be in operation as usual.
I am also delighted to confirm that our holiday to Northumberland will go ahead. I have been informed by the hotel that they will accept our group, even though our numbers should remain below expectation. However, I have to point out that our allocation of single rooms has already been taken up, and therefore future applicants should be prepared to accept shared accommodation in twin or double rooms. The only alternative would be to pay for a twin or double room, effectively at a single supplement of £172 for the holiday. I know, by speaking to a number of you on previous bus trips, that you have felt that it was too early to book, but I would advise you to make application now, if you would like to come with us.
To remind you the holiday will consist of five days/four nights on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis at the four star Gosforth Park Hotel, Newcastle, and will be visiting Bamburgh, Lindisfarne, Alnwick Castle and Cragside House, with a stop off at Melrose for a break on the way home. The holiday runs from Friday, 30th May to Tuesday, 3rd June. Travel Insurance is required and may be obtained through your regular Home or Life Insurance Company or from any insurance company specialising in Travel Insurance. If you have any problems with this please contact us and we will do all we can do to help. It should be remembered that this may not be the cheapest method and would only cover for the duration of this holiday, whereas a policy taken out privately may well cover you for all the various short breaks or holidays you may take over a yearlong period. It should also be remembered that all payments, in full, should be made by 14th March, details of which you will receive shortly.
In closing I wish you all a pleasant summer, with warm sunny days at home in the garden and also while taking advantage of our summer outings. Once again, on behalf of your committee, I would urge you all to voice any complaint or criticism about venues, topics of talks, speakers or the general running of Stirling Members' Centre, to me or any other committee member. One of our main concerns is directed towards finding newer, and more importantly, younger members most necessary in order to maintain the future of our group. This is a national problem. Our aim is to please and considerable time and effort is spent doing so.
Jack D. McGregor,
We currently have 212 memberships representing 278 people.
If any member who currently does not pay his/her subscription by Standing Order or has not completed a Gift Aid mandate and wishes to do so, please contact Robert Jackson, our treasurer, who will supply the appropriate form(s).
We would like to offer their family and friends our deep and sincere sympathy on their sad loss.