Committee Meeting – August 2017

Minutes of Committee Meeting held in the Star Room, John Gray Centre, Haddington, EH41 3PJ
2.30 p.m. Monday 28th August, 2017

1. Present: George Cunningham (Convener) in the Chair, Jock Stein (Vice Convener and Poetry Group) Brenda Thomson (Dunbar), Diana Stevens (Treasurer), Billy Graham (Haddington), Lorna Dixon (North Berwick), Sheila Thacker (Penicuik), Graham Leake (Dalkeith), Jane Patmore (Musselburgh), Ron Thomas (Treasurer elect)
Apologies : Annabel Cavaroli (Midlothian Libraries), Trina Gavan (East Lothian Libraries), Eric Platten (Penicuik).

2. Minutes of Previous Meeting: accepted, proposed by Brenda, seconded by Jock.

3. Matters arising from Minutes not covered below – none.

4. Fund Raising (George leading discussion)
• Our last attempt at fund raising failed, in spite of a very good submission prepared by Rebecca Mckinney. Charities are inundated with submissions and the successful ones seem to be those relating to disadvantaged groups and young people. Brenda suggested this was an area to be discussed, possibly at the AGM.
• The possibility of narrowing the remit of the CWF (the main need for funding) was discussed, though this would be to enable the job to be manageable rather than to reduce salary.
• Suggestions for funding applications included The Robertson Trust and The Weir Trust (Jane to explore these).
• Jock has 5 applications outstanding to: The East Lothian Educational Trust, and 4 Local Authority Common Good Funds.
• Successful professional writers e.g. J K Rowling, Alexander McCall Smith might be approached (although they may have particular interests they would be prepared to support).
• The Penicuik Group includes a local councillor who is interested in lobbying Midlothian Council to divert monies spent on setting up Creative Writing Courses towards T& E Writers. This would not be a large amount but discussion is ongoing.
• Jock and Jane will pursue as above.

5. Treasurer’s Report
• T&E yearly Report and Accounts were agreed, and will be presented at the AGM. At the AGM Diana retires as Treasurer. Ron Thomas will take over as Treasurer, Roy Moller as Membership Secretary.
• Bank of Scotland balance stands at £5827.60. Income from Membership was £1220 (65 paid up members). Regular donations are coming in from members.
• Signatures for Bank of Scotland Mandate forms (change of signatories) are needed from Ron, Roy, and Jane. Diana, George, and Brenda will cease to be signatories, Jock will remain.
• Ron’s signature will be required on the final accounts submitted to OSCR (before 31 December 2017).

6. Operating without a CWF (Jock )

• Two suggestions were included in the Minutes of the last Committee Meeting:
1) some of our own writers facilitating other groups meetings
2) sharing work between groups

• Those members of the groups who have skills or experience to offer (e.g. in getting published) could visit groups with a view to sharing these or facilitating discussions if requested to do so by the groups, probably only once or twice a year. Transport might be a problem. It was agreed that Jock would write an article to be published in Scrivens asking if this would be acceptable and who would be willing to do it.
• Sharing work with other groups was agreed to be unpopular.
• Ways of conducting group meetings to stimulate ideas (i.e. rotating the chairing of meetings, including short writing exercises) were discussed and Brenda agreed to write an article outlining how the Dunbar Group functioned.
• Providing that Scottish Book Trust continues to give funding support, the Workshops are very worthwhile and should continue.
• The general consensus was that the best way forward was to try to make the groups as effective as possible.

7. Group Feedback (if anything new)
Musselburgh: small numbers at meetings during the summer
Penicuik: open mic session September 7th – all welcome, Penicuik Library. Penicuik Community Arts Group has invited contributions for the Christmas Lights switch-on event.
North Berwick: invited to contribute to an Absent Friends, Grieving and Loss event in North Berwick on November 11th organised by the NB Health and Well Being Network.
Haddington: Not sure if they will still have access to a room in the Town House. Billy’s latest book (semi-autobiographical) will be out shortly.
Dalkeith: Rebecca McKinney’s book The Angel in The Stone will be launched in Waterstone’s on Tuesday September 5th.

8. The Second Poetry Group: The 2nd Poetry Group will have its first meeting on September 14th, 7 p.m. in Stagg’s Bar, Musselburgh. Dates of meetings thereafter to be confirmed.

9. Arrangements for AGM

• Dalkeith Arts Centre Monday 11th September, 7.00 p.m. George to send out notice.
• Brenda cannot be there. Billy volunteered to organise refreshments (i.e. wine and soft drinks) to be served after AGM. Minimum donations to be suggested. George to chair AGM, Jock to chair WOTY event.

10. Date of Next Meeting – Friday December 10th 2.30 p.m. Lasswade Library. Tbc.

11. AOCB

• Diana – Facebook page links to blank page – needs updating to current T&E website. Diana offered to take on updating it.
• Jock – proposed Newbattle Abbey Literature Festival. A proto-literature festival event will take place on 25th October 7-9 p.m all welcome. Also there will be a meeting on 6th September re the Festival – Brenda volunteered to attend if free.

Scroll to Top