Thursday 25th March 2021
Chris Williams (Chair); Brian McEwan (Vice-Chair); Steve White (Treasurer).
Mike Darbon (Beckenham Theatre Centre); Jackie Dowse (Imperial Players); Cynthia Hearing (Chelsfield Players); Deborah Kelledy (Phoenix Drama); Christine Lever (Theatre 62).
Pauline Armour (Bromley Little Theatre); Simon Clark (BADA); David Pascoe; Tim Pearce (Matchbox); Davina Pike (Imperial Players); Carole Spencer (PBDS)
Minutes of AGM Tuesday 28th July 2020:
These were accepted as an accurate record of the 2020 meeting.
Matters Arising from 2020 Minutes:
There were no matters arising.
Chris Williams reported that despite the successive lockdowns over the past year societies had striven to remain in touch with their memberships and communities through a variety of innovative strategies ranging from play readings and quizzes to virtual and radio performances.
A sub-committee had been set up to further explore ways forward regarding the future of the Guild’s Annual Full Length Play Festival and, in particular, the feasibility of a ‘Fringe Fest’ with the aim of celebrating and promoting amateur theatre within the Borough.
Of considerable concern was the future of societies already struggling before the pandemic and the need for the Guild to support them.
Despite the difficulties over the past year, Chris felt that there was a real sense of optimism amongst Guild members which promised exciting times ahead and she thanked all for their ongoing support.
Festival Organiser Report:
In the event that the pandemic had forced the cancellation of both the 2020 and 2021 Annual Festivals, there was nothing to report.
Steve White reported that both his own and the Chair’s ongoing efforts to access the Guild’s accounts with Nat West and NS&I had so far resulted in identifying a present balance of £4,837.15 within NS&I. With the help of former BTG Treasurer Margaret Glenn the Guild was now seeking new mandates enabling it to access the NS&I and Nat West accounts.
Former BTG treasurer Brian John has continued to ignore all requests for further information
has now been effectively side-lined. This together with Nat West’s consistent lack of support and appalling face to face and online service has merely exacerbated the problem to the extent that the only way forward would appear to be to close the Guild’s accounts with both Nat West and NS&I (in which interest rates are practically negligible) and seek a new bank. Steve White agreed to act accordingly.
Prior to the meeting Secretary David Pascoe had announced his decision to resign owing to ongoing pressure of work and intention to move from the area in the near future. David was thanked for his services to the Guild. Cynthia Hearing’s offer to replace David as Secretary was accepted unanimously.
In the interim period, two Committee meetings had been held on 24 November and 28 January respectively, as a result of which a sub-committee of Chris Williams, Brian McEwan, Steve White and Simon Clark was convened on 4 February to address the future of the Annual Full-Length Play Festival and to this end, present proposals for discussion at the AGM on 25 March.
Election of Officers:
This item had not appeared on the Agenda and was not covered. Apart from the Secretarial replacement referred to above, the same Officers elected at the 2020 AGM presently remain in post.
Fringe Fest Report:
Brian McEwan outlined the idea of the BTG Fringe Fest originally rescheduled for Saturday 26 June 2021 in Hayes Village Hall (since cancelled as a result of ongoing Covid restrictions) as a possible ‘dry run’ for a wider Bromley Borough based Drama/Arts Festival. On the Edinburgh Festival model, this had the potential to promote amateur theatre throughout the Borough. BLT and BTC had already engaged in a discussion of the Borough project with Bromley Arts Council and Mike Darbon agreed to represent the Guild’s interest in further discussion with the Council. In the meantime, it was agreed to re-schedule the Hayes Village Hall event over a weekend in September 2021 and to re-consider a production of ‘Lockdown in Little Grimley’ as a central feature of the programme.
The open forum centred on the responses to the proforma circulated to all societies following the meeting of the sub-committee on 4 February delegated to present proposals for the future of the Annual Full-Length Play Festival.