Meeting Minutes: held Thursday July 23rd
(due to Covid
restrictions, held by Zoom with 12 members participating)
Isabelle Kingston, Kathy Fuller, Liz Turner, Marion and Ian
of last year’s AGM minutes
The previous year’s AGM minutes,
having been previously circulated and posted on the website, were accepted unanimously
following a brief resume by the Chairman.
This last year has obviously been
heavily disrupted by the Covid pandemic but prior to lock-down the main
activity was the continuing barrow project.
The superb community effort in 2018 to clear the barrow surface allowed
a start on the geophysics survey and prepared the way for the removal of the
diseased and dying trees in August 2019.
This was at times spectacular, especially with the larger trees and
allowed the first uninterrupted view of the barrow in many years. Whilst it appeared a bit “raw”, the sight of
the barrow elicited interest from many passers-by and whilst we were working on
the barrow there was a constant stream of enquiries. The new information board
helped immensely and attracted a great deal of interest and positive comment.
Thanks again to Sue Parry and the design team for bringing it to fruition.
Barrow Project: data collection was completed by early Spring,
following problems with the survey equipment and bad weather. Then began the data reduction and
interpretation. Bearing in mind this
technique has not been previously applied in such detail to a barrow, there has
been a very steep learning curve. A
glitch in the data handling required re-interpretation and a revised report, which
is almost ready for re-submission. At 40
pages, 24 figures and over 11,000 words it has required a fair amount of time
to complete! We will be making a full
presentation to the Group as soon as lockdown regulations allow.
It is apparent that the site
(church, barrow and agricultural complex) is now attracting interest from the
wider archaeological community who consider it of local, if not national,
importance. In particular the dating of
the Bronze Age and Anglo Saxon phases is important. A visit to the Wiltshire Museum with Dr.
Sophie Beckett (an expert osteologist) to critically review the archived
remains from Cunnington’s 1885 excavation has resulted in a report which lays
the basis for future projects to date the various remains and possibly open a
full osteological examination to identify the sex, origins and health of the
Visits: Only one visit was
made, in July 2019, when Nick Baxter led a full group for a walk along the
Kennet (and beyond), recounting the fascinating history of the hidden parts of
Marlborough. This followed on from
Nick’s previous walk in 2018 along the High Street and was to his same high
Talks: There were no talks
in the latter half of 2019, but a History Group display was put on in the
church for the Christmas Fair and engendered a great deal of interest. Then Covid struck…..
Website: The last year saw a total of 2,225 “hits”,
25% from the USA, 14% from the UK. The
hits are well down on last year, but a steady stream of e-mail enquiries all relating
to family queries and anecdotes continued.
These are in still good shape and the committee has recommended holding
the annual fee at £10.
Meeting Date: following the decisions at the last
AGM, future meetings will be on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm, April
Future Activities: There
will be no meetings organised until it is clearly safe to do so and Government
restrictions have been lifted. This is
unlikely in the foreseeable future so more use will be made of the Website to
expand and improve the history content.
Access will be made available to the updated Church History and
archaeological reports. Links to virtual
tours of museums and sites of interest will be added. Forward planning for an audio project to
record local memories to add to those we already have and make them available
on-line will be put in hand. We hope to
hold meetings in the Spring, if permitted and in the meantime the possibility
of holding a few meetings using Zoom will be investigated.
Bruce Fox July
All standing committee members stood for re-election and
with no other candidates offering to stand, were elected nem con.
Total funds stood at £377.89
Budget 2020 / 2021 (assumes meetings
will be possible in 2021)
Speakers 3 x
hire 3 x
Web fees 50.00
It was agreed that subscriptions
should remain at £10 which should be delivered to Alex Matthews (Treasurer),
either as cash or cheque payable to the Ogbourne St Andrew History Group.
A question was raised over the
cost of the Barrow Project and the Chairman stated that, other than incidental expenses
in a visit to Devizes Museum by the Osteologist Dr. Sophie Beckett, no charges
had been incurred by the History Group and that all the work was by volunteers.
The funding for the barrow tree clearance
had been funded by grants obtained by the PCC from Historic England.
The Chairman restated his
comments made in his report about the current situation and commented that a
return to “normal “ would be implemented as soon as allowed, with a
presentation on the Barrow Project as a priority. Emphasis would be on providing information to
members via the Group website.
It was noted that a Charity, Caring
for God’s Acre would give advice about caring for the graveyard in an
environmentally friendly way to encourage wildlife.
The meeting was declared closed at 7.47 – a record brevity
of 17 minutes