The Sole Society, a Family History Society researching Sole, Saul, Sewell, Solley and similar names

Chairman's Report December 2005

The Annual Gathering

By Bob Solly

This article was originally published in the December 2005 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society

Members explore the contents of Don Steel’s book shopThis year the Society revisited Oxshott in Surrey and held its Annual Gathering at the village hall on Sunday 9 October.


The total attendance was just under forty and all the attendees arrived in good time, to be met with refreshments prepared by the committee members.


 Tony and Maureen Storey had brought with the one on the Society’s newest investments – a professional display system. This was very well presented with photographs, internet and archive information across the range of names.


Don Steel brought his extensive book shop and this was laid out in an adjoining room and was visited by members during the break periods.


The meeting started promptly with a talk by Michael Gandy on non-conformist records. The talk covered a wide area and was very entertaining. As anyone who has heard Michael talk at a family history society meeting will know, he is a real enthusiast who has the ability to bring any subject to life. His encyclopaedic knowledge means that he makes do without notes, even answering baffling questions.


Ian Sewell shows off his enormous family treeHe was also able to spend some time after his official talk had finished with various individual members and everyone enjoyed the time he spent with us. 


A substantial lunch was provided by Rosemary Bailey and Diana Kennedy and everyone thanked them and the other washing up volunteers for their hard work.


We were then pleased to welcome back Peter Park who gave an interesting talk covering the recruitment of sea-men; particularly appropriate because of the Trafalgar anniversary.


He used the Society’s other new acquisition, the slide projector, to illustrate his talk. Thanks to Robert Hena for his help in obtaining this equipment.


The Annual General Meeting then dealt with the formal matters of the day. The accounts were approved and I presented details about the Society and its satisfactory financial position. Bob Sheldon, as membership secretary, highlighted the fact that the Society now had the highest number of members in its history. Some questions were raised by the attending members and I agreed that these would be covered at the next committee meeting.


Linda Brand (left) shows Jennifer Ball (right) and other members a number of photos which she had discovered in the loft of an aged aunt.Having received no notification that any members were willing to offer their services, the committee was proposed and approved for re-appointment en masse.


The AGM having finished, all the members were eager to continue the discussions within their name groups that had begun over lunch. The session ended about 4.30pm and I can say for certain that everyone had a very enjoyable and useful day.   










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