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Chairman's Review 2016

From Keith's report it is clear we had a disappointing Show. We didn't attract the craft stalls we were hoping to and for the first time since I became Chairman there appeared to be an awful lot of "grass" visible.

We were down on the numbers coming into the Show and the weather didn't help although it was dry and windy.

We expanded the Show to include a concert on Sunday afternoon which was well attended but the Event in the Tent was poorly attended.

In the past I have had comments that I am too hands on for a Chairman. I spent the best part of show week on the village green and towards the weekend from 6.00am until after 10.00pm. I am sure you don't need to hear this but by Sunday evening my head couldn't work out if it was Monday morning. I'm telling you this not for sympathy but to show you how desperately we need more members in the Committees. What I experienced was pretty horrific. I have been approached by young parents wanting to help on Show Day but we need help during the year and in particular putting the Show together and taking it apart.

Keith has told you we have been eating into our funds to cover the expense of putting the show together. Its not just the Show, the monthly talks are suffering from lack of members attending to the point that it is becoming quite embarrassing particularly when speakers have travelled some distance and only 18 people turn up. Consequently to cover the speakers fee and hire of the hall we are not making enough money to cover the costs. In my letter to you within the AGM details I explained to discontinue talks will be detrimental to the Society as contact will be lost altogether. We no longer have email addresses so would you kindly add these to the list going round and we can then send a reminder of talks coming up. In the new year we propose charging £1.50 to help towards covering the costs and this will include tea or coffee but we delayed implementing this until AGM tonight and we have your views on this idea.

Its not all doom and gloom. The children's committee hosted a very successful Plant a Pot and the parents came into the Church Hall for coffee and cake - but sadly very few members came in to support us. Likewise the cream tea at Anne and Franks could have been better supported. The Harvest Show and Supper made a pretty nice profit but one wonders how much longer we can continue to eat into our funds - probably just one more show! There is still the misconception that Sefton provide funds for the Summer Show - some hope. You will see from the accounts just how much the hire of the marquees cost without the added expense of furniture, fencing, security, generator; the expense goes on and on.

There is just one more event, the Christmas Floral Demonstration on the 29th November, here, starting at 7.00pm tickets still £5.00 including mulled wine and Christmas cake. Karen Bell was giving the demonstration and only requesting her petrol. Sadly she has had to withdraw and I have found a replacement in Joan Hardwick. Joan is a NAFAS Demonstrator and we have gone ahead and booked her. It will be a superb evening but it is going to cost rather more than petrol money. Please support it, I have tickets with me.

Finally I wish to thank Prue Shenton Frank Hanley and Ted Hartill who have resigned their positions as Vice Chairman, Secretary and Schedule Chairman their support both to the Executive Committee and the Society as a whole has been considerable Prue has put up with me for 8 years My thanks also to Karen Fairclough who made the Floral Queen's dress. Karen has been making the dresses for years and supports the Society by not charging us. Thanks also to Olivia, Kath, Claire, Louise, Carolyn and Prue for help with the War Memorial.

I am sad to say we have lost two faithful members in Mrs Bultitude and John Hainsworth who have both passed away. John only recently and we give our condolences to Vera.

I really don't have anything further to add. We are planning the Summer Show for next year and hope to make use of the marquees by hiring them out. We have found someone to run the bar in the same manner as Rob ran it. The craft marquee will be back and work is in progress to provide Tasting Tables and Trade Stands. Please don't let this be our last Show. In 2008 AGM when I became Chairman we had a loss of &pund;8000.00 and we bounced back - lets do that again.

Best Wishes - Tricia Pearce

Chairmans Review 2015

I will start this review with a huge "get well soon" to Peter Wood; a long time member of the Society who withdrew as Showground Manager and Chair of the Showground Committee shortly before the Show this year. I understand Peter's treatment is progressing well and we all look forward to his active return.

This time of year in Horti speak its quite slow and there is time to reflect and sort out in our heads what we want to achieve for next year's Summer Show and we have been doing a lot of thinking.

A very important fact of the Summer Show is protecting members of the public; protection from the possibility of an incident on Show Day. The Charity Commission has produced a Constitution which will remove a possible claim against members of the Executive Members and Clive is pursuing this new Constitution on our behalf.

We are also attempting to adopt a more professional outlook. We engaged John Lyon Taylor to produce a more substantive Operational Report and Risk Assessment and now feel we have covered ourselves and the public as well as we possibly can.

When Keith took over the role of Treasurer the first question he asked was "what is the budget"? We don't have a budget, we know what equipment we have to buy in and that is our big expenditure. To make the process of buying in equipment transparent the Showground Committee are filtering through suppliers just to make sure we know how much our expenditure will be prior to the Show.

Frank, who apart from being Secretary; is a member of the Showground and has adopted the role of Trade Stands Manager and he is actively locating a wider variety of stands with particular emphasis on the horticultural side of the Show.

We had considerable expenditure regarding a Rolling Road Closure. The AA provided this very important role and prepared a very comprehensive plan. It was expensive because it was very close to Show Day when they were engaged but next year it will be considerably less financially because the parade route does not change.

So we are doing our utmost to continue to modernise the Show but ultimately it will always be a horticultural show plus additional input to satisfy the families and children who make it such a joyful occasion.

A brief skip through the past year. We had some good talks, Plant a Pot was a success, moved back to St. John's so that we could again have a Coffee Morning whilst the children worked their magic outside. The Pet Show was organised by Redford Dog Services. Show Day was indeed a very good day, I overheard it was our best ever. For me I felt the committees had really gelled and the atmosphere between us all was calm, we all felt we had produced our best and it showed. Rob feels he has done his best with the evening entertainment and is stepping aside; I feel he has done a great job but it can be a bit like pulling teeth but we will continue in Rob's footsteps. The Car Boot and Table Sale is a good example, it started slowly and now continues to expand each year. Anne and Frank Hanley held a fundraising Cream Tea in their garden. The Christmas Flower demonstration by Pat Armstrong was a huge success and enjoyed by everyone.

We have to thank David Marshall for his further ten years as chairman of the Schedule Committee. David has resigned from this committee but assures us he will continue to be very much a presence in the Main Marquee on Show Day. Ted Hartill has moved from Show Secretary and will take up the role of Chairman of the Schedule Committee and Jamie Halsall, new to the Society, requested he be considered for Show Secretary and he was adopted into that role at the Exec meeting. (That doesn't happen very often). We had an enjoyable Harvest Show, down on exhibits but none the less a good show of vegetables, fruit, flowers and confectionery with Anne Hanley taking the prize for her onions. This was again followed by a Harvest Supper and we were again royally entertained by Alan plus Janet and David Greenwood who entertained us with melodies celebrating the great wars.

My thanks to all Committees under the guidance of the Committee Chairmen, Louise Arber, Janet Greenwood, David Marshall, Clive and Frank stepping in for Peter, Clive again for the Gate, Rob in the Bar, Keith with Maureen and Joyce in the Treasure's Cabin, Ted and Deborah as Show Secretary and helper and Prue, all the Catering girls who worked so hard under trying conditions (funny tasting water, no water, no electricity! We do have an explanation for this and with a few tweaks will ensure it doesn't happen again plus we have a Chairman for Catering as Anne Hanley has stepped into the breach. Many thanks to Frank and Keith; apologies if I have missed someone.

I would like to say whatever fund raising event we put on we would really appreciate your support the Coffee Morning at the same time as Plant a Pot was supported by the parents of the children but very few members of the Society. Anne and Frank have a lovely garden if you came along to see it and the BBQ was enjoyed by those who came but we could have catered for more and the food was good. Just to tease you we have some exciting plans in hand for next year's show. We have to have fund raising events to boost our income and this year we have raised more money and had an enjoyable time too.

Finally we have lost two good friends and faithful supporters of the Horticultural Society, Cath Ainsworth and Alan Batty who sadly passed away this year.

Best Wishes - Tricia Pearce

Ainsdale Community Garden

As members will be aware we now sponsor the Garden and appreciate all the work that has been undertaken to provide Ainsdale with this facility in the first instance. The Garden, maintained to a high standard, relies solely on volunteers for its ongoing maintenance and to support this work they have set up a Gardening Club.

If you would like to offer your help or would like further information contact Jenny Boulton on 01704 578196 or email:

Ainsdale Horticultural society is an active and thriving society.   Its centrepiece event is the Summer show held annually on the Village Green.  This event showcases local talent and produce in a spirit of friendly competition.   However, competitive classes are open to all and visitors from beyond the local area are invited to come and compete  or simply have a great traditional family day out.