THE LEEDS PHILOSOPHICAL AND LITERARY SOCIETY LIMITED
189TH ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2008-2009
The Council presents its report and financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2009. The financial statements comply with current statutory requirements and with the requirements of the Society’s memorandum and articles.
The Society is a company limited by guarantee governed by its memorandum and articles of association. Membership is open to anyone on payment of an annual subscription of £18 which is due on 1 October each year. Only those members who have paid or have been elected to Honorary Membership are entitled to vote at the AGM. In the event of the Society being wound up, every person who is a member, or who has been a member within one year, is liable to contribute to the debts and liabilities of the Society a sum not exceeding £10.
STRUCTURE, GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT
The members of the Council are considered to be both directors for Companies Act purposes and trustees for Charities Act purposes. One third of the members of Council retire by rotation at each Annual General Meeting (normally held in December), when appointments or reappointments are made. The Council has powers to co-opt to its membership. Membership of the Council takes into account the need to have members with expertise to cover the variety of activities of the Society.
All members of the Society are notified prior to the AGM of the names of the Council members who are due to retire and are invited to submit nominations. Of those members who retired at the AGM held on 3 December 2008, Dr C J Hatton, Dr R Jakeways, Dr J E Lydon, Professor A C T North and Mrs P Wainwright were reappointed. Professor C M Taylor was co-opted to Council in March 2009.
The Officers of the Society are elected by and from the members of Council at the first meeting of Council following the Annual General Meeting; at the Council meeting on 22 January 2009, Dr Hatton was elected as President, Dr Lydon as Secretary and Professor North as Treasurer and as Vice-President.
Council met on six occasions during 2008-2009. Parts of its business were delegated to the following committees: Grants, Events, and Publications, chaired by Dr Hatton, Dr Jakeways, and Mr Hirschmann respectively. These committees are required to act in accordance with the Society’s Aims and Policies, and their recommendations are put to the Council for its approval.
Mr Norman Madill has continued as Assistant Secretary, managing the Society’s links with its members, the sale of its publications, and other necessary administrative matters.
THE SOCIETY’S AIMS AND ACTIVITIES
The Society aims to promote the advancement of science, literature and the arts in the city of Leeds and its immediate area. In furtherance of this aim, which Council believes to be of benefit to the public in this area, the Council’s policy has been to disburse its income as follows by:
· providing a programme of free public lectures relevant to the Society’s aims
· supporting the work of the City of Leeds Museums & Galleries
· supporting other activities in Leeds of a scientific, literary or artistic nature.
· providing grants for purposes of research, publication, or artistic performance
· awarding prizes
In making grants to promote the advancement of the Society’s aims, the Council places particular emphasis on (but does not limit its grants to) the support of activities which directly benefit the citizens of Leeds or assist those engaged in academic and scholarly activities relating to Leeds and its immediate area. It does not normally give grants in general support of students on taught courses. The value of grants is normally in the range £100 to £2,000, although this limit may be exceeded in special circumstances. The Council is keen to support new endeavours by the award of ‘pump-priming’ grants.
ACHIEVEMENTS AND PERFORMANCE
During the 2008-2009 session, the Society continued its recent successes in fulfilling its aims as listed above, including a growing number of artistic and scientific events for members and non-members as detailed below. During the year the Society lost 9 members through resignation or death and welcomed 15 new members, so that at the end of September 2009 the total number stood at 171.
The regular monthly events covered a wide range of topics and, continuing to be well supported both by Society members and members of the public, were clearly welcomed by those attending. The following events took place:
· Bear Island – an Arctic Nature Reserve (Dag Hagenaes-Kjelldahl)
· Pre-Bonfire Night Spectacular (Mike Hoyland)
· Riding the Waves of Knowledge: from Schrodinger’s Cats to Quantum Computers (Professor Vlatko Verdal)
· AGM, Dinner and Speaker (Barrie Pepper)
· Life and Death in Freshwater (John Hobson)
· James Oxley: Banker, Collector and Photographer (James Lomax)
· A Demonstration of Water Colour Techniques (Stanley Trainor)
· R D Chantrell and the Architecture of the Lost Generation (Christopher Webster), Joint Lecture with the Leeds Civic Trust
· Science Fair in the Leeds City Museum
· The Milestone Society – its Origin, Aims and Activities (June Scott)
· The Newly Built A1 Locomotive ‘Tornado’ (David Bedding)
· The work of the Architects Bedford and Kitson (David Boswell) together with a
Coach Tour of notable Bedford and Kitson buildings (with the Victorian Society)
· Leeds’s Dodo: How a Yorkshire Engineer Unearthed a Lost Species (Mark Steadman and Clare Stringer)
· Visit to Kiplin Hall and Cowton
· The Pigments of Antiquity ( Professor John Griffiths)
Grants and Prizes
During the year the following grants and prizes were awarded by the Society:
· Continued support for the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society Choral Composition Competition, organised by the Leeds University Liturgical Choir
· Towards the costs of a book to accompany the Marc Riboud exhibition at the Leeds City Museum
· Support for a publication of a printed version of a new Bragg Notebook website
· Towards the publicity costs of the 2008 and 2009 Leeds Astromeets
· Towards the publication costs of a book on the life of Leeds artist and teacher, Pam Rex
· Towards the costs of commissions and community projects associated with fuseleeds09
· Support of the Celebrate Headingley Literature Festival
· Towards the costs of a leaflet based on The Building Stones of Leeds
· Support for a series of educational projects linked to the 2009 Leeds Lieder+
· Support of the Ilkley Literature Festival
· Support of research into Halloween and related Festivals in Leeds and surrounding districts
· Towards the publication costs of a book entitled Letters from a Malham Kitchen associated with an exhibition in the Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery
· Towards the publication costs of a book entitled Joseph Priestley: Friends and Foes
· Towards the printing costs of publication on Yorkshire designed landscapes
· Towards the production costs of a leaflet accompanying the publication of a book on the History of the Association for Science Education in the Yorkshire region
· Towards the costs of restoration of the Broadwood pianoforte at Temple Newsam House
· Towards the costs of a performance of 17th Century poetry in the Great Barn of Riddlesden Hall to celebrate the centenary of the Poetry Society
· Towards the design and production of a wall chart depicting the ‘Tree of Life’ for the Leeds City Museum
· Support for a student to research the history of the Society’s scientific collections
· Support for a student to deliver a paper on Sergei Tanayev based on research linked to Taneyev’s diaries in the Brotherton Library Special Collections
· Arthur Chadwick Prize (University of Leeds): Rosemary Wilson
· Modern Language Prize (University of Leeds): Myriam Volk
Grants awarded to authors to assist with their costs in this and previous years have resulted in the publication of the following during 2008/9:
Joseph Priestley: Friends and Foes by Keith Baker (The Priestley Society)
Mr Mercury (The Life of Edward Baines) by David Thornton (Merton Priory Press)
Swarthmore’s Century (A Leeds Experiment in Adult Education) by Tom Steele (Swarthmore Education Centre)
A Lasting Moment: Marc Riboud Photographs Leeds 1954 and 2004 to accompany the Marc Riboud exhibition at the Leeds City Museum
75 Years and More (The Association for Science Education in Yorkshire) by Edgar Jenkins (Association for Science Education)
Geology of Buildings in Leeds (a leaflet to introduce The Building Stone Heritage of Leeds) The Science and Tourism Project, The University of Leeds.
There were no publications by the Society itself during the year. However, following the decision last year to encourage joint publication as a means of bringing our publications to a wider audience, the Society agreed with Spire Books, the well-established publisher of architectural history, to the joint publication of RD Chantrell (1793-1872) and the architecture of a lost generation by Christopher Webster. The hardback book of over 300 pages with 194 black and white illustrations is due for publication in December 2009. The publishers have offered members the opportunity to purchase the book at a pre-publication discount.
The Leeds City Museum
In last year’s Annual Report, we were able to record that the City Museum had at long last been opened and that the Society’s office had been located in it. During the past year, most of the Society’s lectures have been held in the Museum’s Thoresby Room and Council meetings in the Denny Room. The annual Science Fair took place in the splendid space of the Museum’s arena. We have continued to enjoy a close relationship with Mr John Roles, the Head of Museums and Galleries, who has attended a number of Council meetings, and with the staff of the Museums, to whom we are most grateful.