Committee Minutes

2017 AGM: Agenda and previous minutes

Reading Astronomical Society

Minutes of the Reading Astronomical Society Committee Meeting held at St Peter’s Church Hall, 6pm Saturday 18th February 2017

1          Present

John Talbot, John Paraskeva, Gerry Bond, Peter Tickner, Chris Menmuir, Tracey Talbot, Kenelm England, Anne Chadwick, Malcolm Brown, Eddie Thorpe, Alun Halsey.

2          Apologies


3          Minutes of Previous Meeting 19th November 2016 and Matters Arising

The minutes of the last Committee meeting were reviewed.  Actions carried forward are:

Anne had suggested dates for a Society trip to the University of London Mill Hill Observatory. Very little interest. Action closed.

John T to purchase 2 laptops and a replacement projector. Ongoing.  ACTION John T.

Gate access from St Peter’s Church Hall into Sol Joel Park for use by the Basics Section. No response from Church Committee.  ACTION Chris to follow up [post meeting, the proposal had been REJECTED. Action closed.

Anne suggested that RAS should purchase a couple of meteorite samples (nickel/iron and chrondite) for use at outreach events. Ongoing.  ACTION Anne.

Peter T reported that he could not find any suitable Solar System models for outreach events.  Some planet models are very small.  Ideally, two sets are required. Ongoing.  ACTION Peter T.

4          Chairman’s Report

John reported that he had been given artwork (a picture of an asteroid) to donate to a good cause.

5          Treasurer’s Report

Tracey reported on finances. The membership database tallies very closely (50p) with the account summary, but there is a time lag in getting statements. Tracey is setting up online banking.  ACTION: Tracey.

Need to review that the Society property insurance still covers our needs. ACTION: Alun to update the list of telescopes with replacement value.  ACTION: Chris to find out if FAS have a better insurance offer.

The 2016 Christmas raffle resulted in an excellent contribution to the Society funds. Thanks are due to the many members who donated items and purchased tickets. Eddie suggested that the Committee use some Society funds to buy higher-value items.  ACTION: Chris to add a proposal to the AGM agenda.

6          Astrobasics Friday Club Report

The Friday Club to be well supported and attended. An Imaging Workshop has been scheduled for next month.

7          Librarian’s Report

The old magazine software CD’s have been discarded, while magazines continue to be passed on to members, and new books will be purchased as required. There have been requests to purchase some new DVD’s. We have too many books for the existing trolley, an additional smaller trolley may solve the problem but it will need to be stored in the right-hand cupboard.  ACTION: Kenelm to review trolley and cupboard dimensions, plus cost of a new trolley.

8          Publicity Report

JT and GB jointly operate the website. We get many enquiries and between Committee members, we are able to respond effectively. There are no areas of concern.

9          Request for a PA system

A member suggested that we use a PA system to improve the audio in the Hall. It was noted that for several years we regularly used a wired system. Now that we have a greater attendance at meetings it may be beneficial.  ACTION: John T can borrow a system for us to trial at the next meeting. The Committee should then get feedback from the members (via a show of hands) as to whether we should purchase a system.

10        Review responsibilities of Society Treasurer

Tracey and Chris together handle the membership subscriptions and database. Tracey receives the forms and subscriptions, then Chris enters the member details onto a password-protected online database. Only the Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary have access to this data. The current process is time-consuming and care must be taken to keep the finance and membership data in step.  It is proposed that we create an additional Committee post, Membership Secretary.
ACTION: Chris to draft a change to the Constitution, for approval at the 2017 AGM.

11        Outreach activities

We have provided support to several local Beaver, Brownie, Cub, Scout, and school groups throughout the winter months, and received good feedback and requests for follow-up visits.
Pending are requests for British Science Week (ACTION: Gerry)
The Scout 2017 Funday in London E4, and a BBC Creative request for an ident will be declined.
It was suggested that we join the Southern Area Group of Astronomical Societies (SAGAS). ACTION: Chris to contact SAGAS.

12        AOB

John T requested that Committee meeting minutes are posted on the Society website for all members to read. ACTION: Chris (note that previous minutes are available on request).

Gerry and John T confirmed the Facebook privacy status.

Kenelm offered to speak to Dr Allan Chapman next time they meet, to invite him to present a talk next season. ACTION: Kenelm.

Due to changes in the published programme, we need to organise a speaker for our April meeting. ACTION: Gerry [post meeting note: Bob Mizon, MBE, will present his talk “Seven Moons”]

13        Next Committee Meeting

Saturday 20th May 2017 at 6pm. The Hall has been booked.


Chris Menmuir

26th February 2017