ENGLISH WESTERNERS' SOCIETY
REPORT OF THE
46TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
HELD ON SATURDAY 5TH OCTOBER 2002
AT OVER-SEAS HOUSE
Vice President Barry Johnson and Members of the Executive Committee
Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday, 5th October 2002 in the
Rutland Room, Royal Over-Seas League, Park Place, London, SWIA ILR at 3.00
p.m. This year most of those present took lunch and altogether seventeen
Present were: Simon Casson (East Grinstead), Michael and Mary Christian (Kendal), Pat Gavin (London), Kevin Galvin (Kingston-upon-Thames), Neil Gilbert (Suffolk), Michael Hancock (Shaftesbury), Peter Harrison (Southampton), David Jackson (Surbiton), Barry C. Johnson (Birmingham), Brian Keefe (London), Richard Pratt (Stockton-on-Tees), Peter Russell (Bexleyheath), Francis Taunton (Bromley), Stuart Tucker (Ashtead), Tom Wanless (Chippenham): and Bob Wybrow (Bromley). The main attraction to this AGM was an interesting talk illustrated with maps and slides on General Crook's battle of the Rosebud fought against the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians on 17 June 1876. The lecture and subsequent discussion lasted for more than an hour. Following the talk the annual auction was held which raised £88 for Society funds. During the meeting the Society office-holders delivered their reports (see below) and office-holders for 2002/2003 were re-elected. (See below.) Also during the meeting, Mary Christian kindly agreed to accept the nomination of Associate Secretary and she will help Richard Pratt and Kevin Galvin as necessary. Members were very sorry to learn that Dave Griffiths, who regularly attends our AGM, had been seriously injured in a traffic accident a week earlier and was still in a coma. We all sent our best wishes to his wife Shirley and hoped that he would soon recover. Those attending dispersed at around 6.30 though a few of us remained behind for more than an hour in the cocktail bar.
A note on the AGM: All members are entitled to attend the AGM free of charge, irrespective of whether or not they take lunch. (There is a buttery on the premises, which serves snacks and a three-course meal). We take lunch in our own room partly because in this way we avoid a room-hire charge, and also because this furnishes us with an opportunity to enjoy a meal together. But, do remember, everyone is welcome to attend the meeting even if they do not take lunch.
The Secretary’s Report
New Members' Information Pack
Very little has changed since my last report as Associate Secretary. A second batch of "New Members Information Packs" was ordered due to the successful introduction of the scheme in 2001. There is no change to the contents. New members 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 latest Society Charter and Catalogue of Society publications, which is updated with the publication of each new Brand Book.
The second area in which I continue to be heavily involved concerns the Society's website. This is developing with the addition of new pages that include; a members' photographic section, monthly Book Reviews (extracted from the latest Tally Sheet to give potential members a "feel" for what we do as a Society), "bin end' sales of past publications, the Society Charter together with links to new Brand Books developed by Associate Editor Peter Harrison. EWS is a registered domain, which is included in all our correspondence viz. www.english-westerners-society.org.uk. This site includes links to Westerners Publications Limited (WPL) who are the official hosts of the site and to which EWS contributes a proportion of the cost of the web-space, and to the Custer Association of Great Britain (CAGB). All three are registered with UK2Net our Internet Service Provider.
It is proposed to strengthen our links with this organisation, which co-ordinates the activities of the various international Corrals during the coming year and it is our intention that with the approach to our Golden Jubilee in 2004 our contribution to Western history will be recognised internationally. With the passing of the popular Western novel and "B Western" in the cinema and television membership of the Corrals has steadily fallen over the years and today the English Westerners' Society is one of the relatively few that regularly maintains a publishing programme. (KEG)
The Tally Sheet
During the last year members have received two copies of the Tally Sheet, the third issue, which will make up Volume 48 has been slightly delayed due to circumstances, which were beyond my control. The issue has now been printed and was mailed to members with the AGM Report.
Articles published have included pieces by Dennis Cross, Bob Munkres, Mary Christian, Roy O'Dell, Francis Taunton and Charles Heath. The third issue of the volume contains the first part of a long article on John Kinney by Dennis Cross and resume of the careers of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid by Dan Buck and Anne Meadows. Articles in hand for the first two issues of Volume 49 will include essays by Allan Radbourne, Mary Christian, Bob Munkres, Roy O'Dell and the continuation of the Dennis Cross piece on John Kinney. Once those two issues of the magazine have been completed I have nothing in hand for the third and final part of Volume 49, so once again I am appealing to members for articles. In particular and I have mentioned this in the past we have had an almost complete lack of Indian ethnological articles in the Tally Sheet during the time I have been editing the magazine so this type of article will be particularly welcome. All articles received will be considered; subject matter can cover a wide variety of topics, exploration, the Civil War, the Indian Wars, travel, law and order - the list is endless but if I do not receive articles there will be no Tally Sheet.
Another topic that causes me concern is book reviews. This year has seen a dearth of review copies being received: to date I have received two from University publishers since last Christmas. Publishers seem to be loath these days to send us review copies so I rely heavily on what members send me. The backlog, which I had some time ago, is now just a memory so I am appealing to members once again to send me reviews of books that they have purchased and read.
In conclusion I must thank the committee for all there help since the last AGM and) in particular Dennis Cross, Bob Munkres, Roy O'Dell and Chuck Parsons for there articles and reviews. (TW)
The Brand Book
The rarity of the accounts raised by Allan Radbourne and contained in The Battle for Apache Pass has proved to be a popular feature with students of the period and this publication the second issue for Volume 34 has already been reprinted. Hopefully our cover design and illustrations have contributed to the popularity of this work.
The sizeable Volume 35 Captain Tom Bell and His Legion of Ruffians finally got into print this year after waiting for a suitable moment to produce a volume equivalent to three normal Brand Books. It has presented well, despite a couple of minor printer "glitches." The work has ventured into the unusual subject of the Californian outlaws rather than the traditional “Old West” as such. As the tale of a large and well-organised gang, it makes interesting reading when compared to the more usual small bands of desperadoes. Apart from illustrations provided by the author. It also features an excellent plan of the Californian Gold Fields, which is included as a fold-in page.
Currently on the stocks is the final issue for Volume 34. The Scalp Lock Shirt long held by the museum at Saffron Walden, Essex. This publication is expected to be copiously illustrated and will have our first full colour cover and a centre section also in colour. Neil Gilbert has expanded on the basic theme of the shirt itself to identify aspects of the Plains Indians' culture, which created it.
Following completion of this project it is anticipated that work will start on a piece from Francis Taunton in connection with the 1877 Battle of the Big Hole telling the story of this high point in the Nez Perce resistance on their epic journey. This is currently expected to form the first issue for Volume 36. Other projects have been identified and should be putting in an appearance later in 2003. (PH)
Work has continued on our l0th Special Publication now entitled More Sidelights of the Sioux Wars and it is now expected that this will be published by the spring of 2003. It will appear in a limited edition and will contain four or five articles with a possible length of nearly 200 pages. Full details will be circulated to members early in the New Year.
The Society will soon be 50 years old and to commemorate this half-century of achievement we shall be publishing a special Golden Jubilee Publication timed to appear as closely as possible to our 50th birthday, which will be in November 2004. (FBT)
The Treasurer’s Report
As will be seen from the financial summary below the results for the year to 31st August 2002 showed a modest increase in income with a smaller increase in expenditure. The current year shows another reasonable surplus and overall the Society continues to hold reasonable reserves. At 31st August the Society had £2570 in the bank, excluding the Special Publications fund.
Generally costs have now stabilised and we continue to enjoy income from the sales of back issues. Miscellaneous income is suffering from the decline in the rate s of bank interest we receive on our healthy bank balance. The number of members has shown a significant net increase during the year. At 31st August 2002 the state of the Society membership was as follows: Honorary Officers – 4, Honorary members 1, Founder members – 2, Committee members – 6, members and associates - 181. Total: 194 (2001:178). (RJW)
The Special Publications Fund contained £1,726 at 31 August 2002 (2001:
Since September 2001 there have been three mailings; March 2002, July 2002 and September/October 2002. The mailings comprised the three Tally sheets for 2001/2002, two Brand Books for 2000/2001 and the single volume for 2001/2002. The next mailing is planned for the early part of 2003.
Executive Committee -2002/2003
committee for 2002/2003 is as follows:
English Westerners' Society