THE LEEDS PHILOSOPHICAL AND LITERARY SOCIETY LIMITED
190TH ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2009-2010
The Council presents its report and financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2010. 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 2 December 2009, Ms S P Wrathmell did not offer herself for re-election; the meeting approved the re-election of Ms J.N. Douglas, Dr P.J. Evennett, Dr E. Reed, and Professor B.F. Richardson as trustees and confirmed the election of Professor C.M. Taylor (co-opted in March 2009) as a trustee and new member of Council.
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 21 January 2010, Professor North was elected as President, Dr Lydon as Secretary, Professor Taylor as Treasurer and Dr Hatton as Vice-President.
Council met on six occasions during 2009-2010. Parts of its business were delegated to the following committees: Grants, Events, Publications and Museums, chaired respectively by Dr Hatton, Dr Jakeways, Mr Hirschmann and Professor North. 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 (in association with Jeremy Mills Publishing Ltd, see below) , 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 2009-2010 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 10 members through resignation or death and welcomed 12 new members, so that at the end of September 2010 the total number stood at 173.
The regular monthly events covered a wide range of topics as usual and were always well supported both by Society members, guests and members of the public. The following events took place:
· Sergei Taneyev (1856-1915):The Missing Link in Nineteenth-Century Russian Music. (Dr Anastasia Bellini)
· Bionanotechnology: Using Nature to help exploit the Room at the Bottom
(Professor Peter Stockley)
· AGM dinner and speakers (Professors Greg Radick and Mike Dixon)
· The History of the Swarthmore Educational Centre (Tom Steele)
· Food, Health and Cancer (Dr Victoria Burley)
· An Evening with Rachel Feldberg – Director of the Ilkley Literature Festival
· The Annual Science Fair in the City Museum
· The Geological Exhibition in Leeds City Museum (Joe Botting)
· The Leeds Mummy ( Professor Rosalie David)
· Geoengineering and Global Warming (Dr Alan Gadian)
· Summer Visit to the Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society and the new City Library
· The Staffordshire Hoard (Professor Joyce Hill)
Grants and Prizes
During the year the following grants and prizes were awarded by the Society:
· Continued support for a student to research the history of the Society’s scientific collections
· Support for the Leeds Pageant project, Herod’s Epiphany
· Towards the purchase of insect cabinets for the Discovery Centre of the Leeds City Museum
· Support for the mounting of a large green iguana, a recently-deceased inhabitant of Tropical World, in the Leeds City Museum
· Support for research into Leeds related aspects of Violin Culture in Britain, 1880-1930
· Support for a concert by Fretwork at Leeds University
· Support for the staging of a play commemorating the visit of Frederick Douglass to Leeds in 1859
· Towards the costs of a Festschrift collection of essays for Professor Julian Rushton
· Towards the costs of a web presentation of historical physics equipment held by the University of Leeds
· Support for a bursary to enable a young person to attend the Yorkshire Youth Choir Residential Courses, 2010
· Towards the costs of a concert performance of the first act of Taneyev’s opera, Oresteia
· Support for the establishment of a new amateur orchestra, the Leeds Haydn Players
· Support for a masterclass in classical chamber music at Lotherton Hall
· Support for an exhibition celebrating the life and achievements of Professor William Astbury FRS at the Thackray Museum
· Towards the provision of staging for the Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall at Leeds University
· Towards the printing costs of a new leaflet for the Rodley Nature Reserve Trust
· Towards the provision of a display case in the Leeds City Museum for the Harrison precision pendulum-clock No 2 of 1727 (budgeted half from the 2009/10 and half from the 2010/11 funds)
· Arthur Chadwick Prize (University of Leeds): Rebecca Surtees
· Modern Language Prize (University of Leeds): Helen Brown
· Six further grants, approved in September 2010 and notified to recipients before the year end, will be paid out in 2010-11 and listed in next year’s Annual Report
As described in last year’s Report, R D Chantrell (1793-1872) and the architecture of a lost generation by Christopher Webster was duly published in association with Spire Books. It has been well-received and is selling well.
The Society has entered an agreement with Jeremy Mills Publishing Ltd to market and distribute some of the Society’s backlist, including The Building Stone Heritage of Leeds.
A revised version of the Society’s flyer and membership application has been produced.
Grants awarded to authors to assist with their costs in this and previous years have resulted in the publication of the following during 2009/10:
Art and Ideology in European Opera: Essays in Honour of Julian Rushton, edited by Rachel Cowgill, David Cooper and Clive Brown (Boydell & Brewer)
Letters from Malham, Wartime Life at High Barn Cottage, edited by Hilary Diaper (The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery)
The Leeds City Museum
We have continued to enjoy a good 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 for their collaboration. Although last year, we held most of the Society’s lectures in the Museum’s Thoresby Room, changes in the Museum opening hours resulted in an increase of staffing charges and we decided that in future most of our lectures would be held in the University’s School of Music, which has the added advantages of a raked lecture theatre and easier car-parking facilities. Council meetings have continued to be held in the Museum Denny Room. The annual Science Fair again took place in the splendid space of the Museum’s arena, which we hope will continue as its normal location.
The Council has re-established a Museums Committee, with representatives from the Council and the Leeds Museums Service, and this has met to discuss collaboration in the planning of events and the best use of grants for supporting the museum. Of particular interest this year has been the recovery of the Harrison clock from the repairers and plans for its proper display in the City Museum. The clock was featured on BBC television.