FEBRUARY 2020 CHAIRMAN'S LETTER AS PUBLISHED IN THE NEWSLETTER
By the time that you read this Newsletter Christmas will be far behind us and a New Decade begun. Let us all wish for good health, happiness and a positive 2020 for our families, friends and fellow members.
2020 will be an exciting and fully charged year, as it marks National Trust`s 125th Anniversary. Wow. Throughout the land there will be a number of Special Events held to celebrate this amazing landmark and we must all keep a lookout for National Trust publications and notices in local newspapers. If we receive any notifications ourselves we will add them to our monthly Email newsletters. You will see a fuller National Trust report in later pages.
Let us all take a moment to reflect on 125 years! I wonder if the founders, Octavia Hill, Hardwicke Rawnsley and Robert Hunter could have dreamt that one day there would be over 6 million members benefitting from their dream and philanthropy?
With over 500 properties under their management and protection, National Trust are, beyond doubt, the Keepers of our nation’s heritage for the benefit of all. Linked to this, National Trust holds a portfolio of seven Unesco World Heritage sites. Our favourite is the Lake District, where we have held a Timeshare in the Langdale Valley for 35 years. We signed up as members there in the early 80`s, and still marvel at the foresight and generosity of Beatrix Potter and her friends that has ensured this beautiful place and others can be enjoyed by all.
Closer to home 2019 has been a good year for our local NT properties, with a record number of visitors recorded, plus steady progress made on restoration and renovation projects. Your committee has received some lovely letters of thanks for the support that WMNT Centre has provided. It is very clear that our efforts are greatly appreciated.
For our Centre, a New Year means a new itinerary of Coach Trips, Talks, Social Events and Holidays. This Newsletter contains details and booking forms. Should you wish to keep your Newsletter intact, then either photocopy the relevant form or send your application on a separate sheet of paper. The coach trips that were organised in 2019 were fully subscribed and it is worth recording that every one of them was on a dry and sunny day! I think our organisers have special access to advance weather forecasts!
Throughout the land, National Trust Supporter Groups work hard to promote the National Trust, raise funds for local projects and share member fellowship. However, many groups are reporting a variety of difficulties such as recruiting new members, finding committee volunteers and fund-raising ideas. WMNT has recently joined a small group of Chairmen from the local (Midland area) Centres with the aim of sharing our problems and hopefully, finding solutions. We hope to hold our first get-together in the first two months of 2020
Clive Hooper is our holiday guru. Each year he organises two trips, one in the UK and one on the Continent and he has provided many of our members with wonderful memories. This year, the first trip is to the Loire Valley in France, (17th to 23rd May) and incorporates visits to great Chateaux and Gardens set against the glorious backdrop of the Loire. Felicity and I spent two weeks there last May and heartily recommend that you take advantage of this opportunity. Clive tells me he has places available in all categories (doubles, twins, singles).
Clive`s second trip is to the Historic Houses and Gardens of Sussex, Surrey & London form the 6th to the 11th September. This trip is fully subscribed but Clive is happy to keep a reserve list, as sometimes members plans go wrong and they have to drop out.
On page 19 of the Newsletter you will see the menu choices for this year’s Lunch. Numbers are restricted so please do not delay – post your form asap.
Wendy Hill has very kindly taken over from Marina Riley to organise a trip to the Birmingham Royal Ballet on 20th February to see Swan Lake. Wendy may still have one or two tickets available (people do have to cancel sometimes) so do call if you would like to join this trip. This is a chance to see a first class production with your friends and fellow members that would be so much more difficult to do on your own.
Pam Pardoe and myself (with support) hope to organise several Social Events/Trips this year. They will usually be for small groups (around 20) to local places of interest where we can share our own transport to keep costs down. We will do our best to announce these projects at our Talks, but please also log on to our monthly emails for further details
Talking about our monthly Newsletter emails (Mailchimp) I would like to reassure you that they are very safe to open. Your email addresses that we hold for this purpose are not stored with your address or telephone number and therefore of no commercial value to third parties. We will never send you an email requesting you to carry out any financial transaction or other dubious request. If in doubt, do not open, but ring one of your committee members.
No Newsletter would be complete without a request for help with our activities. We are currently between Treasurers and urgently need someone to help. “Treasurer” can sound rather daunting, but please let me assure you that this is not the case. Mainly it is a question of simple book-keeping, very light workload and with behind-the-scenes help available at all times. We also need someone to take over from David Sharman, who is stepping down as of our AGM, to act as a collection point for our Newsletter content. With just two Newsletters a year this is a pleasant task that can easily be done at home and even shared with a friend. The role simply collects/collates details of Talks, Trips and Holidays and other articles that are then forwarded “en masse” to me for setting out and printing our Newsletter. So, please, please will someone step forward.