Annual report 2008-9

This year’s AGM began with the election of a new Old Boys’ Society Chairman.

Those of you who attended the 2008 Annual General Meeting will remember that before the meeting was formally opened it fell to me to announce that the Committee had, earlier in the year, been in receipt of a letter from Mark Follows tendering his resignation as Chairman and Committee member. This action had been made necessary by his increased career and other commitments.  The committee had discussed the situation, and recommended to the meeting the appointment of Ivan Rhodes as Chairman. This recommendation was voted on by the assembled members and passed unanimously. Ivan took over as Chairman with immediate effect.

The Treasurer reported that the Society was healthy and financially sound. The Income and Expenditure Account shows a balance of £12,678, while the Investment Account stands at £24,679. The Hartley McIntosh account stands at £8,866.

The election of Treasurer and Secretary was straight forward, both being re-elected un-opposed. The resignation of the Chairman means that the position of Vice-Chairman has to be discussed in Committee and a nominee will be recommended to the A.G.M. in 2009.

The 2008 Founders’ Day Dinner was once again a success, upward of 150 members enjoyed a pleasant evening, with Roger Ingham entertaining us with an excellent speech. Profits from the evening, from the Bar, Raffle and Ticket sales, were £807. This was less than had been anticipated, due to unforeseen additional costs.

The Cricket pavilion demolition has now been completed. A Society working party was set up to discuss its replacement and has recommended that a replacement should be built between the Sports Hall and the “ Top ”.  This proposal needs to discussed with other interested bodies within the School, and any alternate areas for sporting investment debated.

A target date for completion is the Centenary of the Old Boy’s Society in 2012. An appeal is to be launched when there is something positive to report, please support it generously when you receive the correspondence.

On the Sports side of the Society activities, the annual rugby match against Giggleswick Old Boys is still being played, last years match resulted in a defeat for the Society Team. This year’s match will be played on the Sunday, December 13th. please watch the “Craven Herald and Pioneer” for details of venue and time of kick-off.

The annual cricket match against the boys continues.  Would interested potential playing members please contact Ken Oxley, or David Smith, via the School.

Golf is, at the moment, the busy sport.

We have the Hitchin Trophy, played for by Old Boys during May each year, won this year by Ivan Rhodes . Normally this competition is played at Skipton Golf Club, but this year it was played at Ghyll Golf Club.  An Old Boy, Bill Lee is the 2009 Captain and, with his Club’s permission, invited us to play there this year.

The Society Annual match against the School has been revived, and returns to it’s traditional venue, Ghyll Golf Club, in early July.

The annual match against Giggleswick Old Boys continues to thrive, 2008 saw The Society team retain the title for the fourth consecutive year. The 2009 match will be played in early July.

Would golfers interested in playing in any of the above in 2010 please contact the undersigned.

The President reports that the pupil role now exceeds 750, it is anticipated that this will maximise at about 850 by September, meaning that the school will be “full” within it’s present facilities.

At the end of the 2008 Summer term the Headmaster, Tom Ashworth, retired. During his time at the Skipton he has worked energetically on behalf of both the school and Society. We wish him well, and hope that he and his wife, Ros, enjoy a well earned retirement.

His replacement as Headmaster and Society President is Graham Hamilton. Graham has previously been a Deputy Head at School, this is the first time in living memory that a permanent appointment had been made internally.  We are enjoying working with him.

Commencing in May 2009 will be the restoration of the Memorial Library, the dividing wall in “Big School” is to be demolished returning the room to its original size and the room becoming a new, extended, library. At the same time the old School House Dining room will be converted into a Sixth Form Resources Area, incorporating new shelving, furniture, lighting and a Careers Area. The anticipated completion date is September 2009.

A School tradition is the commission of a portrait of retiring Headmasters, and the Society has assisted in the purchase this year of Tom Ashworth’s portrait, an additional commission has been a portrait of M. L. Forster, which will fill a gap in the portraits of previous Headmasters.  These portraits have been completed, the formal unveiling is planned to take place on completion of the Memorial Library restoration.

The school web-site now has the facility for users to purchase goods from a wide range of suppliers, please use this option if possible; the School receives a percentage of each purchase price to boost school funds.

The website has recently been up-graded by the IT department, and the “Old Boy’s Society” pages of the site up-dated. The Society pages will be kept up-to-date by liaison between your Committee and the School IT department, any members having comments about the site, or having items for it, should contact the under-signed.

As you can see, the Society is in good health. Your Committee thanks you all for your support, if you know any Old Boy who is not a paid-up member of the Society please encourage them to join, the more subscriptions we can achieve the more we can do to help YOUR school improve the facilities for all.

Len Price (Hon. Sec.)

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