Notices of Annual General Meetings and General Meetings of the society

Notice of 43rd Annual General Meeting of the Berkshire Family History Society

Annual General Meeting and election of officers and trustees

As published in the March 2018 edition of the Berkshire Family Historian and on this website, and in accordance with the society's constitution, notice is given that the 43rd Annual General Meeting of the Berkshire Family History Society will be held on

Monday 11th June 2018 at 7:30 pm

before the Vale Branch meeting at

The Barn, Crown and Thistle Hotel, 18 Bridge Street, Abingdon OX14 3HS

Location details (link opens Streetmap page in new window). Directions to the location are also given further down this page.

Crown And Thistle
Crown and Thistle, Abingdon

The society’s trustees looking forward to meeting as many members as possible at the AGM and the Branch meeting that follows.

The main business of the meeting will be to receive a brief report from the Chairman on the past year’s activities, to receive from the Treasurer the independently examined accounts for the year ending 30 April 2018 for acceptance and approval, and to elect for the year 2018/2019 the society’s President, Vice Presidents, Officers and Trustees. A small change to the constitution will also be put to the members present, and their approval requested to a change in the address documented for the society. It is not currently anticipated that there will be any other major business to transact.

Read the constitution of Berkshire Family History Society Link opens a PDF file

Officers and Trustees form the Society’s Executive Committee. The committee will be seeking to fill a number of vacancies to restore trustee numbers to their permitted maximum (see Note below). Without its full complement of Trustees, the society may be unable to continue to provide all existing services to members. There is also the need for Trustees to be found to represent two branches whose current representatives have reached their maximum permitted number of years on the Executive Committee, please speak to your branch committees if you are interested in joining their committee and representing the branch.

Nominations for Trustees for the Executive Committee closed on Thursday 28 May 2018 but there may be opportunities to be co-opted to fill any vacancies.

Information about being a Trustee of a Charity and what it entails can be found on the  Charity Commission website

See "The essential trustee: what you need to know, what you need to do" and "Charity trustee: what’s involved" (Ref CC3 and CC3a 10th July 2015).

Certain people are not able to be a trustee:

  • Persons under the age of 18;
  • Anyone convicted of an offence involving deception or dishonesty unless the conviction is spent;
  • Anyone who is an undischarged bankrupt;
  • Anyone who has been removed from the trusteeship of a charity;
  • Anyone who is disqualified from being a Company Director;
  • Any other person described in sections 178 to 180 of the Charities Act 2011.

Note: In addition to two members who resigned during the year, a further two members of the current committee must stand down having served five consecutive elected terms as a Trustee.

Our venue: The historic Crown and Thistle Hotel, dates to 1605, and was extensively restored in 2013 at the cost of £1.8m. The Grade II listed coaching inn comprises of three buildings, one of which is The Barn, clustered around a cobbled courtyard, framed by 200-year-old wisteria. Many of the inn’s original
features such as timber beams, open brickwork, stone walls, and windows which are not square, remain. It is ideally situated in the heart of old Abingdon, close to the many other places of historical interest and to the River Thames.

We do hope that you are able to arrive well before the meeting so that you can experience some of the history and uniqueness of Abingdon.  To help you get the most out of your visit we will be offering two different guided walks. Our first walk on offer is about one hour long and within the town centre. It will start from the courtyard of the Crown and Thistle Hotel at about 4.30 pm, members of the Vale of White Horse branch will lead you on a gentle stroll, pointing out various places of interest.  The walk will take you to see the only remaining parts of Abingdon Abbey, a Victorian folly and the old County Hall.  Don’t worry if you miss the guided walk, we will also have a self-guide version available.

The second guided walk available on the afternoon is a little more strenuous.  It will be led by Martin Buckland, a member of the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust, and takes approximately 3 hours.  ‘The River’s of Abingdon Walk’ will start at Abingdon museum (old County Hall) at approximately 2.30 pm,  you will be taken through the Abbey meadows and over Abingdon weir and lock and onto Swift Ditch and the ancient lock remains, then back along the eastern bank of the Thames back towards the town.  Much of this walk is along tow paths and uneven ground and appropriate footwear is a must.  Martin has led guided walks for many years and his walks are always interesting; this walk will show you the other waterways within Abingdon as well as the River Thames. 

Whichever walk you choose, you will be given plenty of time to get a meal or refreshments before the meeting.  Abingdon has many good tea rooms, restaurants and pubs.   We are pleased to say that Berkshire FHS members will be entitled to a 10% discount at ‘The Kings Head & Bell’ which is at the end of our guided walks and only a short distance from the AGM venue.

So why not come down early and make a special occasion of it. After the AGM, the Vale of the White Horse Branch will be hosting a talk by Dr Simon Wenham, entitled More than three men in a boat: the rise and fall of pleasure boating on the Thames. The Victorian period is often described as the ‘golden age of the Thames’, as it was during this time that the river was transformed into a vast conduit of leisure. It was the era of steam launch trips, Venetian fairs, regattas, picnics, carnivals and ‘three men in a boat’. This talk covers more than 150 years of pleasure boating and shows why some common perceptions about the river’s history are misleading.

Parking: There is parking available at Hales Meadow Car Park (just the other side of the bridge) and Rye Farm Car Park (opposite side of the road to Hales Meadow). Of the two, the Rye Farm Car Park is the better option as it is larger and on the same side of the road as the hotel. Both car parks are open 24 hours a day and chargeable seven days a week (including Bank Holidays) from 8am until 6pm, however, the first two hours of parking are free. Please note that a valid ticket must be displayed at all times during the charging period, including the free two hours, which effectively makes it free from 4pm. Disabled badge holders can park free of charge (unlimited time), providing they display their badge correctly. If all disabled bays are full then a standard bay may be used.

Read more: Notice of 43rd Annual General Meeting of the Berkshire Family History Society

Additional information