Saturday the 14th November, an overcast, rainy day was the day of our 98th A G M, the venue was The Tramways Social Club in the City of York. The staff made us welcome with tea well before the opening time and looked after us well all day.
Our Chairman, Phil Gomersall, opened the meeting at 10.30 AM by introducing our guests, Mr. David Alinson FNVS and Mrs. Liz Bunting BA (Hon) Law.
Mr Alinson, Chairman of The National Vegetable Society, then entertained and educated us for the next hour or more by taking us through the preparation of soil / growing medium, seed propagation, some seed saving, reproduction by vegetative means, crop protection and finally harvesting of produce for the table or exhibition.
David grows his produce to eat but grows exhibition varieties and if they are good enough they go on the famous N V S displays, the produce is grown on two allotment plots rented on a private site. During his time with the National Vegetable Society he has edited several books intended to introduce gardeners to the world of Showing.
During the lunch break another guest Mr Darren Lovatt, the York City Allotments Officer, demonstrated a new self contained engraving machine, programmable to work on items from a mobile phone through computer equipment, cycles, tools and even heavy plant. Darren marked several forks and spades and left most of us wondering how to get hold of one.
After lunch the business of the day was undertaken with the usual reports from the Treasurer and Secretary, the officers were re-elected along with the Regional Representative.
With business out of the way Mrs Liz Bunting, the Legal Advisor and Business Manager for the National Allotment Society took the floor and led us through such items as, Head Office staffing, production of Policy Documents and the fact that head office has been involved directly with several shows this year. Liz also mentioned our Partner Alliances with such bodies as Natural England, Garden Organic, WRAS, Barnsdale Gardens, Co-op UK and lately Kew Gardens who are keen to have our input on a scheme for 12 / 16-year-olds.
Liz brought to our attention a Local Planning Development document from a local area, Barnsley, where she is intending contacting sites in the area. Answering a question from the floor Liz outlined the difference in Statutory, temporary and private sites from a legal point of view.
Mrs Bunting also advised sites to look to their insurance, register their lease if it is for twenty years or so and also to examine becoming a Limited Company of some sort to protect trustees.
One such way would be to become an Industrial Provident Society under the sponsorship of the N S A L G, a comparatively easy and cheap alternative.
Leaflets on the various choices were available with other information on the display table.
As the meeting came to a close Tony Heeson was shocked and surprised to hear that he had been nominated for the Yorkshire Cup for his services to and for the Yorkshire Region. The proposal was well received and carried unanimously.
After recovering Mr Heeson thanked the members for their support and the award.
The Chairman then closed what was judged to have been a successful and enjoyable meeting.