THS Annual General Meeting: Tuesday 9 November 2021 – Chairman’s report

Tatsfield Horticultural Society

Annual General Meeting

Tuesday 9 November 2021 at 19.30

Chairman’s report

I thought that it might be interesting – although it’s somewhat irritating – just to remind you that, at the AGM on 10 November last year, Jon began the Chairman’s Annual Report by saying:

‘In normal times, the Chairman’s Annual Report takes an enjoyable journey through the past year of the Society, reflecting on our busy year and noting our successes, but this was not a normal year’.

Unfortunately, to a certain extent, I have to start this year by repeating those very words as, because of the continuing Covid-19 epidemic, we had to cancel all of our events in virtually the first half of 2021. Our THS meetings continued to take place via zoom but there were no Garden Club meetings in February and March, no Spring Show in April, no Plant and Produce Sale, no visits to Tatsfield Gardens – and so it went on.

However, as the epidemic started to become more controlled, we did finally manage to resurrect the group RHS Garden Wisley visit and about 40 of us were able to thoroughly enjoy a visit there on 26 June – the weather was very kind to us and, although there were some cautionary rules to follow, it was a very interesting, relaxed and enjoyable outing.

The Autumn Show on 11 September in the Village Hall was our first show for two years and was very successful. However, the Covid-19 restrictions which we had to follow at the time of organising the event meant that there were fewer visitors and entries than would usually have been expected, although we did have some new entrants and we opened the event to members and non-members. Unfortunately, it was too late to organise refreshments although we realise that a lot of people who come to the Shows enjoy the opportunity to sit down with a couple of friends with a cup of tea to drink and some home-made cake to eat!

A fair number of us managed to get together for the Autumn Garden Club in October, with Ian Hayman giving an informative and very enjoyable presentation and slide show on the creation and care of garden ponds – although the use of the description ‘garden pond’ seems somewhat limited having seen the many beautiful, creative and what I would describe as ‘small lakes’, that he has designed and built!

I would like to thank all of our Committee and their other halves, there were quite a few, for their work this year. In addition to attending meetings, none of our events would be so successful without the hard work of setting up and clearing away. Particular thanks to Peter Maynard for opening up the venues, some very early, and to Carol for all her work as the Show Secretary.

THS is continuing to support Tatsfield in Bloom. However, not surprisingly, TIB fund raising has been, and will continue to be, difficult. Also, the number of active TIB volunteers available is not as great as in previous years which makes it difficult and hard work to keep the village looking at its best. However, 2021 marked the 25th Anniversary of Tatsfield in Bloom and, on that basis, it was decided that TIB would still enter this year’s South and Southeast in Bloom competition – although not in 2022. Planting had to be limited, but was as colourful as ever and there was even a floral 25th ‘Birthday Cake’ constructed on the Bakery Flower Bed – and TIB succeeded in being awarded a Gold in the SSEIB Large Village category.

I should also mention that one, necessarily long-delayed, but very worthwhile, THS special event was able to take place just a couple of weeks ago. On behalf of THS, Jon Allbutt presented the Banksian Medal to Sheree and Simon Cook and their staff in recognition of the outstanding support and service given by ‘Sheree’s Store and Tearoom’ to the Tatsfield Community over the last year or so during the Covid-19 pandemic.

All of us hope to be back to ‘normal’ next year with the Spring Show on 9 April 2022 – classes will be as per the 2020 schedule and there will be a new Year Book in June 2022. The committee will be meeting in January 2022 to organise the printing of the Year Book and organising the Programme for Summer 2022 to Summer 2023.

The programme will appear on the Tatsfield Horticultural website which can be

found on https://tatsfieldhorticulturalsociety.weebly.com

Tatsfield Horticultural Society will not be able to continue unless we have the support of its membership and, whilst it is important that we receive your support at the events and by retaining your membership for 2022, it is just as important that our membership come forward and offer to join the committee to keep it going. There is a variety of roles, mostly administrative, so please do consider coming forward and joining us.

At the conclusion of this evening, the next time we will be in contact will be when we knock on the doors to request your membership for 2022 and it will again be our intention to ask for £5 membership for a family and a small donation from our senior residents.

Pam Bishop

Chairman, Tatsfield Horticultural Society

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