ENGLISH WESTERNERS' SOCIETY
REPORT OF THE
56TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
HELD ON SATURDAY, 6TH OCTOBER 2012
AT DOGGETT'S COAT & BADGE
Once again, the sun shone on us as we began our Annual meeting at the Doggett's Coat and Badge. Located next to Blackfriars Bridge, our balcony provided a lovely view, as always, across the Thames and the all-too-familiar London skyline.
After coffee had been served and members had had the opportunity to reacquaint and mingle, the official part of the meeting was called to order at 11am and the committee members gave their reports.
Following this, we all enjoyed a hearty, two course lunch before retiring to the balcony for socialising and the traditional group photograph.
Due to an unfortunate air conditioning malfunction, the afternoon talks and book auction were moved to the bar.
The meeting officially came to an end at 5pm, at which time members could choose to stay and socialise or return home.
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, please do remember, everyone is welcome to attend the meeting even if they do not take lunch!
First I should advise that I have apologies from the following members – John Ackerley, Derek Batten, Richard Pratt, our former Chairman, and Allan and Marion Radbourne.
To touch upon some of the salient features of the past year, I am pleased to say that we are completely up to date with not only our regular publications, put have also published the second volume of our Golden Jubilee Publication, The Secrets in Box 20. This volume has been well received in the United States.
A couple of developments on the social side – we have introduced the delights of Twitter this year should any members wish to avail themselves of this facility; and we have published a list of members and their respective interests and very much hope this will facilitate contact between members. FBT
VICE CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
Folders for new members continue to be compiled after confirmation from the Treasurer that a new member has formally joined. The content of the pack remains unchanged although the Committee handout is changed annually and the EWS Publications Catalogue is also undated to reflect the latest release on a Brand Book. The Catalogue does not include an index of the Tally Sheet. A complimentary copy of both the Brand Book and Tally Sheet is included. New members also receive an order form so they can obtain copies of other publications.
The website is updated monthly or when changes need to be made. The cost of the site is shared with WPL and CAGB and saves the Society money through this arrangement. The website is in need of a redesign and we have received an offer from a member in New Zealand to revamp the site. I have also had the potential offer of support from a local college lecturer in Kingston upon Thames to use this as a project in their web design module. It is my intention to examine the feasibility of both these offers. KEG.
The membership number remains steady at 167 – with 13 new members and 12 losses.
Review copies of books have continued to be received from the usual university presses and acts as a sign of confidence as to the Society’s credentials amongst publishers of Western books. It is also reassuring that while we comment on the lack of interest in Western history in education and in the media, these publishers are providing a considerable programme covering a wide field. RC
Special Publications: I have heard from a number of potential contributors for a Diamond Jubilee Publication. I am currently considering the most appropriate format. At this stage I propose a two volume publication, one Indians/Indian Wars related and the other Outlaw/Lawmen themed.
The Brand Book: The last Brand Book (volume 45, numbers 2 & 3) was Tom Cunningham’s An Indian Called Wounded Knee: Miss Viola Clemmons and the White Lily Company’s Tour of England and Wales, 1891-92. The next Brand Book will be Keith Robinson’s Fist Fighting Out West: Wyatt Earp – Fair and Square Referee, (volume 46, number 1). I have the following articles awaiting publication; Kingsley Bray – Sans Arc Lakota Tribal Organization and Leadership; Michelle Pollard – Witnesses to the Passing of a Legend (Jesse James); Roy O’Dell – The Bill Cook Gang (outlaws), Ben Cravens (outlaws), and The Witney Brothers (outlaws); Chuck Parsons – Reminiscences of Sam Graham (Texas Rangers, outlaws, Indians); Tom Cunningham – Mexican Joe (Indians/Wild West shows); Bob Wybrow – Jim Cummings (outlaws).
Three cost cutting suggestions have been made; alter the format of the Brand Book to A4, with double columns; reduce or eliminate the use of colour illustrations; reduce the type. I am not in favour of a change in the size and neither are any of the contributors I have canvassed. Black and white worked very well with Jeff Broome’s Brand Book. I plan to produce Keith Robinson’s next Brand Book in black and white. GML
The Tally Sheet: Since the last AGM, the Tally Sheet has seen a balanced selection of articles; seven in total. These same issues contained a combined total of twenty-one book reviews, submitted by eleven contributors. I would like to say a huge thank you to those who have sent articles, reviews and items for the Society News sections. The members list shows a range of interests out there and we would love for you to share them. Currently I have the following articles awaiting publication: A Return to the Concordia Bank, John Barney Swinney – “Cousin to Jesse James”, and, A Bold Robbery of the Cass County Grocery Store, December 1873, all by Robert J Wybrow; Fighting Sam Browne, Roy O’Dell; and, Mexican Joe – “The Red Eagle of the Sierras”, Tom F Cunningham.
This year has seen a rise in postage costs and this has caused us to use a lighter cover for the Tally Sheet, which we hope is not too distressing. At this time, there are no plans to cut the number of pages for the Tally Sheet.
Twitter: Our Twitter page is now up and running. We have five followers at present, an ‘elite’ mixture of members, organisations and writers. This will undoubtedly grow as time goes on and our Tweets attract interest. MP
SOCIETY MEMBERSHIP: This remains stable with a current membership of 167 made up as follows: Honorary Officers – 2; Founder members – 1; Committee members – 7; Secretary to the Committee – 1; Full UK members – 107, Overseas associates – 49.
Note: Stocks of Society Publications, People of the Buffalo, polo shirts and ties are not included in the financial statements above
Executive Committee -20012/2013
Note: Although no longer serving on the committee, Mary Christian, with the help of her husband Mike, kindly continues to mail our publications to members as before.