ENGLISH WESTERNERS' SOCIETY

REPORT OF THE 

45TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

 HELD ON SATURDAY 6TH OCTOBER 2001

AT OVER-SEAS HOUSE

The Meeting

The Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday, 6th October 2001 in the Rutland Room, Royal Over-Seas League, Park Place, London SW1A 1LR at 5.00 p.m. Owing to unprecedented demand, our normal rooms were not available for lunch when we reserved them in July and we reverted to holding a dinner. 

Our veteran diners were: Society President: Joseph Rosa (Ruislip) and vice-presidents Barry C. Johnson (Birmingham) and Colin Taylor (Hastings); Kevin Galvin (Kingston); Rex and Rosemary Pope (Reading); David Jackson (Surbiton); Peter Russell (Bexleyheath); Francis Taunton and Bob Wybrow (Bromley). This year we welcomed for their first AGM: Ray Buller (London); Pat Gavin (London) who had last attended a Society meeting more than 40 years ago; and Neil Gilbert (Suffolk.) Apologies for absence had been received from the Chairman (Richard Pratt; who was in Australia) the Secretary, Catherine Petersen, who is standing down from office and Associate Editor Peter Harrison, who was taken ill but has now fully recovered. The main attractions to this AGM were an interesting talk on the Saffron Walden Shirt by Neil Gilbert, which was extensively illustrated with slides. This was to be followed by a talk on the Big Hole fight by Francis Taunton but the programme over-ran to such an extent that a potted version was given. There had been a delay in taking dinner as the business session, which was, unusually, held before dinner over-ran by more than half an hour. Normally business is devoured swiftly. This year there was lengthy discussion on various matters, including the possible conversion of the Society to a charity, its relationship with the Custer Association of Great Britain, coverage of subjects in our printed publications, and whether or not we could earn more interest if cash was invested in a term issue. Following Neil Gilbert’s talk the annual auction was held which raised £58 for Society funds. Those attending finally dispersed at around 11 p.m. having adjourned to the cocktail bar. 

The Secretary’s Report and Associate Secretary’s Report 

The New Members Information Pack is now being issued to new members and since the system was introduced in 2001, 16 members have received these. They receive in the pack a Letter of Welcome from the Chairman, copies of our latest publications (the Brand Book and Tally Sheet), a list of Office holders, a copy of the Society Charter and a catalogue of Society publications. 

The second area in which I have continued to be heavily involved is the Society’s web site. This develops the excellent work that the Associate Editor, Peter Harrison, using web-space allocated to him by America On Line (AOL) started two years ago. Peter continues to support me in this work. The Society is a registered name: www.english-westerners­-society.org.uk. Westerners Publications Limited and the Custer Association of Great Britain (CAGB) were simultaneously registered with UK2Net our ISP provider. The new site is now updated monthly. It is planned to include in the future the publication of short articles to encourage new members, 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. (KEG.) 

Editorial Reports The Tally Sheet 

During the last year three issues of the Tally Sheet have been published. These contained nine articles but only 39 book reviews. Members will notice that the number of reviews is slightly fewer than we have published in the last few years. This is primarily due to the length of some of the reviews. There is nothing wrong with this as, without exception, the books concerned needed long reviews in order for the reviewers to express their view to the membership. At the present time I have a backlog of reviews, but over the coming issues this will gradually be reduced. This is not to say that further reviews are no longer needed: they are, if I am to present to members a comprehensive coverage of new books as they are published. What is slightly worrying however, is the decline in the number of review copies the Society is receiving from publishers. This may be due to fewer books being published on western topics both here and in America or it may be that publishers are sending out fewer review copies. It is, therefore, vital that members submit reviews to me of books they have purchased. If members wish to ask if a review has been submitted or is in the offing a quick note or e-mail (tom.wanless@virgin.net) to me will quickly provide an answer. 

Last year I asked members for articles for the Tally Sheet and I am glad to report that, as usual, contributions soon arrived on my desk. I must, therefore, thank Mary Christian, Roy O’Dell, Dennis Cross, Bob Munkres, Allan Radbourne, Bob Wybrow and Francis Taunton for responding so quickly. Without their contributions, the Tally Sheet would be even thinner, or possibly non-existent. Articles take time to research and write and, hopefully, further contributions are already being considered or written. These will all be gratefully received. I can only reiterate: no articles or reviews means no Tally Sheet! 

In conclusion, I must thank several people for their help over the past year. First the members of the executive committee who are always ready and willing to help. Then there are individuals. It is always invidious to name names, but in addition to those mentioned above, a special mention must be made of Chuck Parsons. He is our leading reviewer and it is always a pleasure to receive his contributions. Well written and informative, his reviews keep English Westerners abreast of the latest American publications. He deserves our thanks, and I, for one, always look forward to receiving mail from him.(TLW)

Printed Publications: 

Special Publications 

At the beginning of 2001, the Society issued its ninth Special Publication - a facsimile reproduction of the very scarce booklet by John Lemon on the Northfield Robbery. This was mailed to members as part of their 1999-2000 subscription in lieu of the Brand Book for that year. This lengthy publication incorporated the latest technology and the Society acquired 250 copies for only £855. 

In 2002 it is planned to produce a tenth Special Publication entitled More Sidelights of the Sioux Wars. This will be an equally substantial volume, produced in a very limited edition and available to members at an especially favourable price. Veteran members will recall that the first five Special Publications were not included as part of the normal subscription and we are reverting to this policy with this publication. (FBT) 

The Brand Book 

The first of the 2000-2001 issues was printed and mailed to members in late August 2001. It comprised James W Kenedy and was the first Brand Book to be issued using the same technology employed with SP9. It has been generally well received, though a few minor “teething” problems occurred which will be ironed out in the next issues. 

The second issue in the volume, which is planned to be mailed in early 2002, will consist of Allan Radbourne’s paper on the June 1862 engagement at Apache Pass. The third issue, completing the new, extended volume, will be either Neil Gilbert’s paper on the Saffron Walden shirt which will be extensively illustrated, some with full colour drawings. Alternatively, Francis Taunton’s paper on the Big Hole fight will be issued to members sometime in the late spring, early summer. These three issues will comprise the 2000-2001 volume and will restore Brand Book lengths to levels not seen for thirty years. 

The 2001-2002 volume will consist of Roy O’Dell’s mammoth paper Captain Tom Bell and his Legion of Ruffians. This paper is virtually ready for printing and members should receive it in a single volume of more than 100 pages late in the summer of 2002/early autumn. (PH.) 

The Treasurer’s Report 

As will be seen from the financial summary below the results for the year to 31 August 2001 showed a slight increase in income with a much smaller increase in expenditure. The current year shows a reasonable surplus and overall the Society continues to show 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 it was possible to produce our 9th Special Publication significantly cheaper than earlier volumes. This was issued in lieu of the Brand Book for 1999-2000. In the following year we plan to produce three Brand Books, as against two in earlier years. There was also an increase in administration costs in the year. We paid for the website this year (£50) and introduced a membership folder for new members (£63). The website has been partly responsible for the upsurge in new members, 21 in 2000-2001, although a dozen joined of these with effect from 1 September 2001. 

At 31 August 2001 the state of the Society membership was as follows: Honorary Officers - 4; Honorary members - 1; Founder members -2; Committee members -7; members and associates - 164 Total: 178. (2000 - 180). (RJW)

Income

1999

£

2000

£

2001

£

Members subscriptions

1,849

1,931

2,097

Sales of publications

907

198

197

Miscellaneous income

173

166

204

TOTAL INCOME

2,929

2,295

2,498

Expenditure

 

 

Printed publications

788

855

900

Tally Sheet

422

529

568

Administration

399

223

267

Mailings

516

505

618

TOTAL EXPENDITURE

2,125

2,112

2,353

ANNUAL SURPLUS/DEFICIT

804

183

145

Note: The Special Publications Fund contained £1,494 at 31 August 2001 (2000: £1,303.) 

Social Affairs 

In recent decades, Society meetings have been confined to the Annual General Meetings. This year we experimented with additional meetings, organised in conjunction with the Custer Association of Great Britain. The first was held on 17 March at the Royal Over-Seas League and our principal speaker was Rodney Thomas, a former U.S. Army officer, and a current director of the Custer Battlefield Historical and Museum Association who gave us an enthralling talk on the Kicking Bear canvas. Other speakers were Kevin Galvin and Francis Taunton who talked about the Fetterman and Wagon Box fights. There was a good attendance with 23 present. 

We had an equally good attendance two months later, on 5 May, at the Elmbank Hotel in York where international speaker Brian Pohanka gave us his memorable talk on the Little Big Horn campaign. The second part of the daylong meeting comprised Neil Gilbert’s lecture on the Saffron Walden shirt. This was the first Society meeting to be held in York since the organisation was founded in 1954 and we were delighted with the excellent support from our members. (FBT)

Executive Committee -2001/2002

The committee for 2001/2002 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

Kevin E Galvin

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

 NB. OWING TO PRESSURE OF WORK CATHERINE PETERSEN  STOOD DOWN AS SECRETARY AND HAS BEEN APPOINTED THE SOCIETY'S ARCHIVIST A TASK SHE HAD BEEN DOING ALONGSIDE HER DUTIES AS SECRETARY.  THE MAILINGS WILL BE HANDLED BY RICHARD PRATT AND OTHER QUERIES SHOULD BE REFERRED EITHER TO RICHARD OR TO THE NEW SECRETARY KEVIN GALVIN.

 

English Westerners' Society