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The Fifteen

The Society was founded in October 2000 to promote interest in the Northumbrian Jacobites


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AGM minutes

AGM Minutes

AGM minutes



held at Dilston Chapel on Saturday, 28th April 2018 at 11 am


Present:  Roland Finch, Hon. Chairman; Elizabeth Finch, Hon. Treasurer/Membership Secretary; Jan Lawson, Minutes Secretary/Assistant Membership Secretary; Susan Ketelaar, Commitee Member, John & Elizabeth Nicholls; Pam Malkin; Douglas Smith; Edward Toll; George & Sheila Lonie; John & Madeline Bell; J.R.Bell; Pat & Radcliffe Hare; Freddie Everatt; Jean Rowntree; Peter & Madeleine Quince; Janet & Harry James; Richard Robinson; Jennifer McNish; Nicholas Adams; Christopher Tudge; Peter & Carol Fletcher;

1.      Welcome

The Chairman welcomed everyone to this year’s AGM and thanked members for attending.


2.      Apologies for Absence 

Apologies were received and accepted from: Maurice Milne; Adrian Radclyffe (Kenya!); Jonathan & Katherine Clark; Christine Belcher; Margaret Warren; Jean Wright; Patricia MacInnes; Peter Pininski (Poland); Diana & Phil Sanderson; Lorraine Hunter


3.      Minutes of the AGM held 13 May 2017 at Dilston

The Minutes were unanimously adopted as a true record – proposed by Sheila Lonie and seconded by Susan Ketelaar.


4.      Matters Arising

Several matters were raised including the Langley Cross, current lease and insurance etc. These will be covered under Any Other Business later in this AGM.


5.      Treasurer’s Report   

The Treasurer reported that the accounts submitted are from January 2018 to date. If members have any questions with regard to the accounting during 2017 they are asked to contact the Treasurer direct. The Treasurer confirmed that monthly statements are received from Barclays Bank and are in line with monthly income and expenditure.


Members will see that the Society has a comfortable surplus at the moment. However, we cannot be complacent. The main areas of expenditure continue to be the production of the Journal and postage and these costs are currently covered by the income from membership subscriptions


Subscription levels will remain unchanged at £15  per member and £20 per couple or institution. There is no current intention to increase these. Membership subscriptions compare very favourably with other similar societies.


6.      Membership Secretary’s Report

·        Membership – currently we have 101 paid up members (from 83 memberships), including 3 institutional memberships (1745 Association, Stewart Society and Traquair). Memberships being due by the end of January each year, the cut off point for renewals is the end of March. Only those who have paid will receive a Journal.

·        Talks – Please remember that talks on the ’15 and the Society are available for groups. Liz urged members to speak with their own clubs and societies to promote this service. Committee members responsible for booking speakers are always looking for new ideas and will thank you for your recommendation. The talk is light-hearted, but interesting – in the form of a slideshow and story – so not academic and those who have heard it so far have enjoyed it.

·        Facebook – Members were encouraged to look at this page and if they would like anything included, to send to Elizabeth Finch. There are now 681 followers (up by 81 from last year) worldwide and the society is linked to other like-minded societies. Articles are often shared with the 1745 Association and the Stewart Society but please note these are only sent to our members on e-mail.

·        Contact Details – Email is the preferred form of communication. If you change your email address please let Liz know. The cost of postage continues to rise and only the essentials are now sent by post which we hope those members not using email appreciate. The Journals will continue to be sent out by post in printed format.


7.      Appointment of Officers and Committee

·        There being no other nomination, Roland Finch was proposed by Peter Fletcher, seconded by Harry James and unanimously re-elected as Chairman.

·        The rest of the committee as below were nominated en bloc by Radcliffe Hare, seconded by Peter Quince and unanimously agreed.

o   Elizabeth Finch was re-elected as Treasurer/Membership Secretary

o   Jan Lawson was re-elected as Secretary/Assistant Membership Secretary

o   Lorraine Hunter was re-elected as the Society’s Social Events Secretary.

o   Susan Ketelaar was re-elected as a committee member.

o   Eileen Elliott and Pam Malkin had previously agreed to help out with committee duties as and when required.


8.      2018 Events Programme

·        The Society events held so far this year had gone well.

·        A press release to the Hexham Courant had been arranged re Marc Bryant’s recital on 19th May

·        Arrangements were progressing well for the Prestonpans/Rosslyn trip on 23rd/24th June. So far 19 people are signed up for the coach.

·        Arrangements also well in hand for the rest of the year (Carlisle trip, Annual Dinner, October talk and Christmas lunch).


9.      2019 Programme

·        John Nicholls advised that he had acquired 3 potential speakers following his visit to Culloden in April 2018

·        It was suggested that a repeat visit by Bennet Zon would be well received

·        Possible trips suggested for 2019 were Belgium (by Lorraine Hunter), Skye/Dunvegan (by Douglas Smith) and Paris St Germain/Versailles (by Liz Finch)

·        Suggestions were also put forward by Pam Malkin for a possible clairvoyant visit.


10.  Consultation: possible expenditure/marketing

·        Susan Ketelaar suggested the possibility of the Society funding a flower trough in Hexham with a dedication plaque and appropriate interpretation boards – to promote the Fifteen.

·        John Nicholls made the suggestion that the Society could fund more plaques linked to the Jacobite Trail.


11.  Any Other Business

·        John Nicholls then took the floor to advise us of the current situation regarding our Society, Dilston Heritage Trust and Cambian College

o   The Society as previously remains independent from the Trust

o   John explained that during MENCAP’s time North Pennines Heritage Trust folded and because Dilston was The Fifteen’s ‘spiritual home’, in October 2015 a tenancy agreement was made with Cambian.

o   Cambian has taken over the public liability insurance and John, on behalf of the Trust, now only needs to pay the “employer’s” element of the insurance

o   3 major outstanding issues in relation to the site, namely

§   Vegetation on/in the Castle walls

§  Deterioration of the decking in the Castle

§  Water ingress in the crypt

remain in need of attention and Cambian is now agreeing to the cost.

·        Douglas Smith raised the question of the future Journal production and was advised that the collection of material and publication would pass from John Nicholls to Liz Finch.

·        Peter Fletcher asked whether the Society Journal was going to be made available by e-mail or on the website – to which the answer was NO. The present printed version is the preferred format. After production our Journal is deposited with the British Library

·        John Nicholls advised that a complete set of 1715 Journals has been bound and is in the library of The 1745 Association, hence preserved. He also advised that there are still old issues of the 1715 Journal which can be sold at half price for society funds.

·        Roland advised that an enquiry had been received from Revd Christopher Warren of St Mary’s Church, Hexham regarding a project being proposed by the church for which Lottery funding would be applied. Because of the historical links with the Radcliffes, Dilston and recusancy, he proposed a meeting with the Fifteen to discuss a way forward. Roland advised that a meeting had been arranged for 16th May at 7pm which he, Liz and Lorraine would be attending.  

·        Regarding the Langley Cross – a meeting has been arranged with Guy Opperman, MP,  for 3pm on Thursday,  30 August to discuss possibilities of a way forward for preservation of the cross and also possibly the Dilston site. Jane Torday-Bates has also been informed.

·        A suggestion has been put forward that, due to the current plastic and recycling issues, people may want to bring their own cups/mugs to meetings. We will continue to have disposable cups for the moment (next meeting in the Chapel not until October)

12.   Close

There being no further business, the Chairman warmly thanked members for attending.

The meeting closed at 1.15pm                


 Jan Lawson, Secretary; Roland Finch, Chairman