Contributed by Mr Jim Worgan
s I have already indicated, I shall be standing down as Chairman at the A.G.M. in May 2010 after seven years at the ’Helm’. The time has now come for a new chairman to take the Society forward. When I was appointed as Chairman in May 2003, the minutes of the A.G.M. stated “There was some discussion as to whether we should revert to the Chair being taken in rota or if it should be a permanent appointment. It was finally decided that a Chairman for a year was preferable to a rota one. This is something that perhaps needs addressing at this year’s A.G.M.
Many initiatives have been launched during my chairmanship, for none of which, however, can I claim any credit. The Blue Plaque Scheme has been very successful and with those in the pipeline, seventeen will have been installed throughout the Borough. The Schools competition goes from strength to strength and already we have had expressions of interest for the 2010 competition
2009 saw the reintroduction of the Civic Awards Scheme which culminated in a prize giving ceremony by the Mayor at the Civic Offices on November 2009.
The Society was instrumental in drawing eritage Open Days to the attention of various organisations across the Borough to the Heritage Open Days Scheme. During the event in September 2009 more buildings of historical or architectural interest opened to the public and three History walks took place in Silverdale and Kidsgrove.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Society a lecture by Andrew Dobraszczys was held in 2008 followed by a further one in 2009.
These are, of course, in addition to our “normal” deliberations and I am extremely grateful to all members for their contributions which continue to mark the success of the Society.
One highlight of my chairmanship was the presentation of the very first Newcastle-under-Lyme Certificate of Outstanding Service presented by the Mayor to our former President John Wild in December 2007. Imagine my complete surprise when I was presented with the second such Certificate. This came right out of the blue and I felt that I did not deserve it, having been a member for only six years; I therefore accepted it on behalf of the Society.
We continue to be held in high regard by all with whom we come into contact and our views are eagerly sought and respected. I have enjoyed my term as Chairman and I wish the incoming Chairman every success for the future.