ENGLISH WESTERNERS' SOCIETY

REPORT OF THE 

44TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

 HELD ON SATURDAY 7TH OCTOBER 2000

AT OVER-SEAS HOUSE

 

Committee Meeting  AGM 2000
The Executive Committee meeting on Saturday 7th October 2000: (Left to Right): Francis Taunton; Peter Harrison; Bob Wybrow; Richard Pratt; Barry Johnson (Vice President) and Tom Wanless. (Absent: Kevin Galvin and Catherine Petersen)

Luncheon Left

Looking forward to an enjoyable meal

The Meeting 

The Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday, 7th October 2000 in the Rutland Room, Over-Seas House, Park Place, London, SW1A 1LR at 3.30 p.m. This year all but two of those present had taken the lunch and altogether there were seventeen members and guests and we were delighted to meet several who were attending their first Annual General Meeting.

   These were: Simon Casson (East Grinstead); Michael and Mary Christian (Kendal); Mr J Cockrill (Dartford); Reg Dawson (Swindon); Michael Hancock (Shaftesbury); Peter Harrison (Southampton); David Jackson (Surbiton); Barry C Johnson (Birmingham); Leon Mould (Thornton-Clevely); Richard and David Pratt (Stockton-on-Tees); Peter Russell (Bexleyheath); Francis Taunton (Bromley); Stuart Tucker (Ashtead); Tom Wanless (Chippenham) and Bob Wybrow (Bromley). Apologies for absence had been received from the Secretary, Catherine Petersen and Associate Secretary Kevin Galvin, both of whom had work commitments. President Joe Rosa and Vice President Colin Taylor were also unable to attend in one case because of absence abroad and the other owing to illness. The main attraction to this A.G.M. was an interesting talk on crime in Kansas following the death of Jesse James by the Society’s foremost expert on the James’ Gang. Bob Wybrow. The lecture and subsequent discussion lasted an hour including a question and answer session. Following the talk the annual auction was held which raised £53 for Society funds. The meeting concluded with the reports of the Society office-holders (see below) and the nomination of office-holders for 2000/2001. (See below.) Those attending dispersed at around 6.30. 

Bob Wybrow talk on Jesse James

Bob Wybrow enlightening members on gunfighters in Missouri with Francis Taunton and Richard Pratt listening intently

Warming up! Leon Mould and Peter Harrison clearly enjoying a great afternoon

The Secretary’s Report 

Apart from some isolated problems, the mailings have gone well this year so far as I know. The return address labels worked very well, identifying one or two members who have moved addresses and the changes not being shown in my records. I have received a noticeable increase in membership enquiries coming to me direct, most of which I can only assume are as a result of the web site. I have had only two direct enquiries regarding publications this year. I have also received two research enquiries via the Internet, both of which I was able to deal with relatively easily. (CP.) 

The Associate Secretary’s Report 

At present new members frequently have to wait several months after joining before they hear from the Society. During the year I have been examining the possibility of developing a New Members Information Pack, which they could receive immediately they join. Subject to resolution of the cost factor, it is planned that from 1 January 2001 the new Information Pack will be sent to all members. It will comprise a Letter of Welcome from the Chairman, copies of our latest publications (Brand Book and Tally Sheet), a copy of the Society Charter and a list of available Society Publications.

   The second area in which I have been heavily involved concerned the Society web site. Associate Editor Peter Harrison using web-space allocated to him as a subscriber to America On Line (AOL) originally developed the web site. Although the content has proved excellent it was felt that more space would be needed using an Internet Service Provider (ISP). This has now been achieved with the EWS registered as a domain. The domain registered is www.english-westerners-society.org.uk. Westerners Publications Limited and the Custer Association of Great Britain (CAGB) were simultaneously registered with UK2Net.

   The new site is now up and running after some initial “teething” problems. It is planned to include the publication of short articles to encourage new members, society social news especially relating to forthcoming reviews, possibly some book reviews to indicate quality and coverage and other matters thought to be of interest to English Westerners’. Clearly the full potential of this medium will need to be developed during the coming year and Peter Harrison and I would welcome ideas for inclusion. The annual running cost to the Society is roughly £25 and it is confidently hoped that both existing and potential members will derive full value. 

   Members should note that they can access various organisations through the Link Service including the National Archives in Washington DC and the Custer Association of Great Britain. Others are Museums UK (featuring museums with Western attractions); the Oregon and California Trails Association: Westerners’ Czechoslovakia (one of the largest Corrals in the world); the Smithsonian Institution the National Cowboy Hall of Fame; Old West page; Overland Trails; and for those seeking books we have Upton & Co; Bibliofind; and Book Express. Happy surfing! (KEG)

Editorial Reports

The Tally Sheet 

During the last year three issues of the Tally Sheet have been published. These contained nine articles and 49 book reviews. The next issue is virtually complete and should be ready for publication by early November. I have only five articles in hand at present - not enough for two issues of the Tally Sheet. Of these five articles, none is devoted specifically to Indians and ethnology. I do have promise of such an article later in the year but the dearth of such articles is worrying in a Society that is devoted to every aspect of the American West. So therefore, I am. once again, reminding members that no articles means no magazine. Please let me have your contributions as soon as possible so that the Tally Sheet can appear regularly and can maintain its standard. Book reviews do seem plentiful at the moment and I have a file of reviews including three lengthy ones from Francis Taunton and Grahame Wood in addition to many shorter ones from other contributors. These will all be published in due course, over the coming year. I made mention in the last issue of the Tally Sheet that I would like to include in the Society News and Notes section details and addresses of interesting Western web-sites found by members. To date, I regret. I have heard nothing and with computers and the Internet becoming more important in everyday life I am sure that members have probably discovered many such sites. Please let me have details of these so that I can publish them in future Tally Sheets.

   Lastly, I must thank members for their help over the past twelve months. I know that mentioning names can be invidious, but I would like to mention in passing, Chuck Parsons for his regular series of reviews, Roy O’Dell for his articles and help and Jim Dullenty for his catalogues which keep us informed of recent publications in the States. The Society would be poorer without their contributions. Committee members have also helped in a variety of ways with articles, reviews and advice. I am grateful for their assistance. (TW) 

Printed Publications 

During the past twelve months both of the issues for 1998/99 (containing Bob Wybrow’s article on the death of Jesse James and Lee Noyes’ The Guns Long Hair Left Behind have been mailed to members. The combined issues contained 48 pages. Work on the 1999/2000 volumes has been held up owing to technical problems and these are being resolved as soon as possible. It will comprise Cohn Taylor’s paper Sitting Bull and the White Man’s Religion. 

   With the completion of these three Brand Books the Society’s regular printed publications will be completely up to date. Peter Harrison will then take over the editing of the Brand Book with effect from the winter 2000 issue - there are a number of possible articles that could appear then. Roy O’Dell has promised us a lengthy article and Allan Radbourne has promised a substantial account of the Battle at Apache Pass in 1862. These will be published using the desktop technology developed for our new programme called The British Custeriana Series. Members who are engaged on preparing an article for the Brand Book are urged to write to Peter and let him know. Currently many articles appear in the Tally Sheet and the Brand Book tends to focus on longer, scholastic articles — in excess of approximately 8.000 words or those necessarily requiring illustrations. Peter’s address appears at the end of this report. 

   The year 2001 represents the l25th anniversary of both the Custer battle and the Northfield Robbery carried out by the James gang. To commemorate the first the Society plans to produce a special publication (number 9 in the series): to commemorate the second consideration is being given to the reprinting of an extremely scarce work on the Northfield Robbery which should be of great interest to gun-fighting enthusiasts. It is currently planned that both publications should be sent to members as part of their subscription. Other work in the pipeline the first of the British Custeriana Series appeared at the end of August with a second planned for November. Finally with the approach of our 50th anniversary in November 2004 we are already starting to identify possible contributors to our Golden Jubilee Publication. 

   I would also again explain the new system for producing printed publications. A limited company called Westerners Publications Limited was incorporated in September 1998 and assumed responsibility for the production of printed publications with effect from the summer 1998 issue. The company now has 9 shareholders, including 5 members of the present executive committee and 3 of the 4 honorary office-holders. This company will, through its directors, (currently Barry Johnson. Francis Taunton and Bob Wybrow) liaise with the Society editor responsible for printed publications and see the relevant issue into print. It also has responsibility on behalf of the Society for distributing Society publications to non-members. It is intended that the company’s activities will be as transparent as possible and Society members will be kept fully informed of these in an appropriate manner. A copy of the annual accounts will appear on the company web site in due course. (FBT) 

The Treasurer’s Report

As will be seen from the financial summary below the results for the year to 31st August 2000 showed a sharp decline in income with a much smaller fall in expenditure. The current year nevertheless shows a reasonable surplus and overall the Society is now showing reasonable reserves.

   The most important factor this year was the impact of the decision to purchase from Westerners Publications Limited only enough copies of our publications to meet current needs. As a result the Brand Book programme has shown significant savings. There was also a decline in administration costs in the year. The estimated cost of the Brand Book may also prove to be over-stated. If this proves to be correct the surplus of £238 will need to be revised upwards. At present cash is not a problem. At 31 August 2000, the Society had nearly £1,600 available excluding the Special Publications fund. At 31 August 1999 the state of the Society membership was as follows: Honorary Officers - 4: Honorary members - 1; Founder members - 2: Committee members -7; members and associates - 166. Total: 180. (1999 - 175). (RJW)      

Income

1998

£

1999

£

2000

£

Members subscriptions

1.597

1,849

1,931

Sales of publications

 48

907

198

Miscellaneous income

 207

173

166

TOTAL INCOME

1,852

2,929

2,295

Expenditure

 

 

 

Printed publications

1,113

788

800

Tally Sheet

  520

422

529

Administration

 299

399

223

Mailings

70

516

505

TOTAL EXPENDITURE

2,502

2,125

2,057

ANNUAL SURPLUS/DEFICIT

(650)

804

238

Mailings

Since September 1998 there have been three mailings: November 1999; May 2000; and August 2000. The mailings comprised the three Tally Sheets for 1999/2000 and the two Brand Books for 199 8/99. The next mailing is planned for November 2000. 

Executive Committee -2000/2001

The committee for 2000/2001 is as follows: 

Chairman

Richard J. Pratt

51 Hartburn Avenue, Stockton on Tees, TS18 4ES

Vice Chairman

Francis B Taunton

90 Babbacombe Road, Bromley, Kent, BR1 3LS

Editor

Tom Wanless

29, The Tinings. Monkton Park, Chippenhain, Wilts. SN1S 3LY

Associate Editor

Peter Harrison

19 The Avenue, Southampton, Hants, 501 2SQ

Treasurer

Robert J Wybrow

15 Hurstwood Drive, Bromley, Kent, BR1 2W

Secretary

Catherine Petersen

Rose Cottage, 83 Top Road, Calow, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S44 5TD

Associate Secretary

Kevin E Galvin

130 The Keep, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, KT2 5UE

 NB. OWING TO PRESSURE OF WORK CATHERINE PETERSEN HAS ASKED THAT OTHER MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE SHOULD UNDERTAKE HER PRINCIPAL DUTIES DURING THE COMING YEAR. THE MAILINGS WILL BE HANDLED BY RICHARD PRATT AND OTHER QUERIES SHOULD BE REFERRED EITHER TO RICHARD OR TO THE ASSOCIATE SECRETARY KEVIN GALVIN.

 

English Westerners' Society