Draft Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held at 7 pm on 23rd October, 2023 at the Fisherrow Centre, Musselburgh

Welcome: Jock Stein, the Convenor, welcomed everyone.

Present: Lorna Dixon, Dawn A Dister, Jane Patmore, Shona Montgomery, Mary Johnston, Richard Candy, Kenny Gilchrist, Yvonne Dalziel, Penny Hext, Philippa Ramsden, Graham Leake, Tammy Swift-Adams, Ali McDougall, Alison Low, Malcolm Young, Keith Cornwall, Arthur Greenan, Sheila Thacker, Caitlin Brown, Penny Durkan, John Warren, Katrina Hadland, Billy Graham, Jock Stein, Brenda Thomson, Vicki Jarrett, Margaret Skea, Mike Duffy, Michael Thomson and Leslie Thacker.

Apologies: Christine Holland, Diana Stevens, Hannah Faoilean and Jeff Kemp.

The minutes of the AGM held on 24th October 2022 were approved (proposed by Billy Graham, seconded by Philippa Ramsden).

Convenor’s Report: Jock reported that the Groups have continued as before, with the service of Margaret Skea as their creative writing fellow. The Port Seton Group, however, has withdrawn from Tyne and Esk Writers. Its members were functioning independently and none of them had paid a sub. Jock visited them. It was a friendly meeting and he was hopeful that they would continue, but following that visit, he was sent an email saying that they wished to withdraw. Jock has thanked Irene Holligan who was their rep for a long period of time.

A new CWF, Vicki Jarrett has been appointed. She has met all of the groups. Jock welcomed her.

Winter workshops took place and two out of the three were successful. No-one turned up to the third workshop, which should have been popular. It will be repeated again, along with one from Amazon and one with the National Museums of Scotland – all of them after the New Year.

The most important thing that has happened over the last year is that we received a Tesco Golden Award ticket which means that we are in receipt of £10 000 from Tesco. While part of this will be used for regular activities, it has allowed T & E to do two new things:
1) The Anthology, With a Pinch of Salt, which was to be launched immediately after the AGM.
2) Plan for a joint workshop with the Museum of Flight.

Vice Convenor’s Report: Jane Patmore explained that Tyne and Esk Writers does not work with children, although this year, we have supported a charity for children who have autism. The Museum of Flight, on the other hand, has a schools’ programme. Tyne and Esk Writers and the Museum of Flight have agreed to work together to provide a project. In February or March, next year, a workshop will take place for Tyne and Esk members. Later in the year, a similar one will take place for pupils from selected secondary schools. The pieces produced by both groups will be displayed at one venue.

Treasurer’s Report: In the absence of Diana Stevens, Jock read out the report.

The draft accounts to March, 2023 have been agreed by the Trustees/Committee. Copies have been circulated to members and will also be available to download on the T & E website.

OSCR (the Office to the Scottish Charity Register) will require sight of the accounts by 31December, 2023 at the latest.

The balance at the bank at the year end on 31 March. 2023 is £22 246. The balance currently stands at £8 150. Donations and grants during this financial year were £150 from Dunbar Harbour Trust, £584 from Local Giving and £10 000 from Groundwork UK – Tesco. The latter amount was the result of ‘golden anniversary token’ being donated to Tyne and Esk Writers.

£10 000 has been lodged in a Fixed Term Deposit Account with the Bank of Scotland. This can be transferred to an Instant Access Savings Account when the fixed term is completed.

The annual report and accounts will be available on the Tyne and Esk website in due course, together with the minute of the Annual General Meeting. https://tyneandeskwriters.org.uk/

Membership Secretary’s Report: In the absence of Diana Stevens, Jock read out the report.

At the present date Tyne and Esk Writers have 78 paid-up members. It has been very encouraging to find that most of the new members have signed up via the online facility on the website.

As not all groups were meeting face to face, the Committee agreed that the membership fee would be waived up until 31 March, 2023. Thereafter, from 1 April 2023, the membership fee of £20 has been reinstated.

There are new contact forms on the website so potential new members can join online. It is also now possible to complete the application form and make payment online through the website.

Convenor: Jock Stein agreed to undertake this for one more year, but this will be his last one. (proposed by Jane Patmore and seconded by Graham Leake) There were no other nominations.

Vice-convenor: Jane Patmore is standing down. Yvonne Dalziel was appointed. (proposed by Kenny Gilchrist and seconded by Alison Low) There were no other nominations.

Treasurer: Diana Stevens is going to continue for one more year. (proposed by Jane Patmore and seconded by Tammy Swift-Adams.) There were no other nominations.


Dunbar: Tammy Swift-Adams is standing down and Caitlin Brown is taking on the role.

Dalkeith: Graham Leake is continuing.

Penicuik: Hannah Faoilean is standing down. No-one has offered to take on the role. Sheila Thacker agreed to ‘keep the group going’.

Haddington: Billy Graham is continuing.

North Berwick: Lorna Dixon is continuing.

Musselburgh: Jane Patmore is standing down and Jeff Kemp is taking on the role.

Poetry: Jock Stein is continuing.

Committee: Jane Patmore and Brenda Thomson are standing down, but both have agreed to help out if necessary. 

Scrivens: George Cunningham is continuing.

Everyone, but particularly those who are standing down, was thanked by Jock for their work.

Any Other Business: Nil

The meeting closed at 7.35 pm

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