THE LEEDS PHILOSOPHICAL AND LITERARY SOCIETY
196TH ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2015-2016
The Council presents its report and financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2016. 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 which is due on 1 October each year. The Annual General Meeting held in December 2014 had agreed to raise the subscription from £18 to £25 p.a. with effect from 1 October 2015. 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. The AGM held on 10th December 2015 elected Mrs Eveleigh Bradford and Mrs Mollie Temple as members of Council, and re-elected Ms Janet Douglas, Dr P J Evennett and Professor C M Taylor.
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 14th January 2016, Professor Hill was elected as President, Dr Lydon as Secretary, Professor Taylor as Treasurer, and Dr Hatton as Vice-President. Following the resignation of Mr Evans, Professor North had acted as Treasurer from 1st October until 31st December. At the Council meeting on 14th July 2016, it received the resignations of Professor Hill and Mr Morrison. It agreed to appoint Dr Hatton as President with immediate effect and Professor North resumed the position of Vice-President.
Council met on six occasions during 2015-2016 in the Civic Hall. Parts of its business were delegated to the following committees: Grants, Events, and Museums, chaired respectively by Dr Hatton, Professor Bushby, and Professor Hill. Dr Hatton assumed the chair of the Museums Committee after Professor Hill’s resignation. The 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 and other necessary administrative matters.
During the course of the 2015/16 year, the Society lost 17 members (through death & resignations) and gained 9 new members; at the end of September, membership totalled 175.
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
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.
The Society’s archives
The Society’s archives are held in the Special Collections section of the Brotherton Library, University of Leeds, where they are available for public consultation.
ACHIEVEMENTS AND PERFORMANCE
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:
· Tony Abramson Where there’s muck, there’s brass.
· Mike Hoyland and Matt Smithson Pre-Bonfire Night lecture and demonstration at Leeds City Museum.
· Annual General meeting and dinner at University House, with after-dinner speaker Professor Martin Millett The Roman site of Aldborough (near Ripon).
· Andrew Morrison Thomas Dunham Whitaker – his books, his library and his legacy.
· Dr Stephen Muir William Sterndale Bennett – the man and his music.
· An evening with Professor John Fisher Dinner and talk at University House Fifty active years after fifty.
· Annual Science Fair in Leeds City Museum.
· Laura Wilson Introduction to the “Treasures of the Brotherton” exhibition.
· Martin Watts Four centuries of natural history books in the Leeds Library.
· Kersten Hall The life of pioneering scientist William Astbury – the man in the monkeynut coat.
· Summer outing: a visit to the National Glass Centre and the Anglo Saxon Church of St Peter, both in Monkwearmouth; and to Arbeia, the Roman Fort and Museum at South Shields.
· David Winpenny A Very Dangerous Work – Sir Gilbert Scott and the restoration of Ripon Cathedral.
During the year the following grants were awarded by the Society:
· Yvonne Hardman on behalf of Leeds Museums and Galleries, £1000 towards the acquisition of an Early Medieval Gold Finger Ring.
· Karen Lynch on behalf of Yorkshire Garden Trust, £600 to enable the display of the Capability Brown plan for Temple Newsam at the Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate.
· Sarah McDonald on behalf of the Thackray Medical Museum, £300 towards the reprinting of Surprising Lives – A trail through Beckett Street Cemetery.
· Clare Brown on behalf of Leeds Museums and Galleries, £200 towards the acquisition of two male Firecrest Regulus ignicapilla mounts.
· David Ward on behalf of Northern Opera Group, £600 towards a production of Amahl and the Night Visitors at the Leeds Corn Exchange.
· Nima Poovaya-Smith, £500 towards the costs of two Alchemy salon programmes in partnership with The Round Foundry and The Leeds Library.
· Tony Haynes on behalf of the Grand Union Orchestra, £400 to support a collaborative musical project between the GLO, South Asian Arts UK and the University of Leeds exploring the theme of Leeds’s industrial heritage and migration past and present.
· Rebecca Machin on behalf of Leeds Museums and Galleries, £200 towards the turning of a frozen beaver specimen into a taxidermy mount.
· Glennis Burgess, £500 to support 12 creative writing workshops with Autism First; these to be part of the provision of Courthouse Words, the first literature festival organised by Otley Courthouse.
· James Lomax on behalf of the Leeds Art Fund, £1000 towards the publication costs of Victorian Chatelaine: Emily Meynell Ingram of Temple Newsam and Hoar Cross 1840-1904.
· Benjamin Saunders, on behalf of the Diocese of Leeds Music Fund, £990 to support the John Duggan workshop programme to improve the musical engagement and aspiration of 30 disadvantaged young people from one school over 30 weeks of the academic year commencing in 2016.
· Dr Stephen Muir on behalf of the Clothworkers Consort of Leeds, £657 to purchase choral music by Hans Gal for performance in Leeds, York, Prague and Pilsner in 2016.
· Dr Max Farrar, £400 to support workshops based on the publication of the best 20 short stories and poems inspired by the life and tragic death in Leeds of David Oluwale.
· Steven Burt, £1000 to support the creation of a fly-through of the First White Cloth Hall in Leeds.
· Rachael Rix-Moore, £300 to support activities associated with bringing the Aftermath Dislocation Principle Riot Tour 2016 by Jimmy Cauty to Leeds.
· Gill Crawshaw, £845 to produce a booklet to document the disability arts project Shoddy: a Textile which took place in Leeds in April 2016.
· Geoff Wain, £900 to support MathsWorldUK outreach activities associated with the international 2nd MATRIX (Mathematics) Conference in Leeds in September 2016.
The Leeds City Museum
We have continued to enjoy a good relationship with the staff of the Museums, to whom we are most grateful for their collaboration. It has been helpful that Mr John Roles, the Head of Leeds Museums and Galleries, has attended a number of Council meetings.
The Museums Committee, comprising representatives from the Council and the Leeds Museums Service, has met twice in the course of the year and provides a valuable opportunity to discuss collaboration in the planning of events and the best use of grants for supporting the museum.