Minutes of the Committee Meeting of The Friends of Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life
held at The Museum on Tuesday 5th November 2019

1). Present: Paul Chandler, Stuart Eastwood, Nigel Lewis, Matt Lund, Mike Milbourn, Doreen Parsons, Mike Rosling, Geoff and Barbara Stitt and Peter Green (via Skype).
Apologies Mary McArdle and Jim Henderson.

2). Matters Arising
2.1 Friends Banner – no progress since previous meeting. Nigel to discuss with SE and Nick Hazelwood.

2.2 Gallipoli Talk by John Mather – successful talk though not quite to the original subject. There remains an issue of attendance at talks on a Saturday afternoon. In addition, given that Friends could come to the Museum lecture series, which was now well established, it was decided that only occasionally would a Friends Lecture” be held and efforts would concentrate on one or two major events during the year.

2.3 Jeff Mills Retirement – Arrangements had been made by Geoff Stitt for the dinner to be held at the Brantwood Hotel, Stainton on Wednesday 6th November

2.4 Membership and recruiting – update by Mike Rosling

2.5 Constitution – Nigel to bring to next meeting

2.6 WW1 Lonsdale Dinner 12th October – this had been very successful with £1900 raised. John Crouch produced a wonderful meal, which was thoroughly enjoyed by the 25 who attended. Nigel passed on the committee’s thanks to Mike Milbourn, Stuart Eastwood and Jules Wooding for all their help with the arrangements.

2.7 The Lion and the Dragon magazine – discussion as part of main agenda.

2.8 Valuation event with Paul Laidlaw – in spite of wide advertising, the event was not well attended. Nigel thanked Doreen Parsons and Geoff and Barbara Stitt for all the hard work that they had put in for the event.

2.9 Museum Gazeebo – nothing purchased as yet –ongoing action.

2.10 Mike Rosling raised the issue of the use of military phrases such as “Dining Out” and the use of former military ranks, which may put off the wider (non-military) membership of the Friends. Matter to be discussed at the next Committee meeting.

3. The Lion and The Dragon Magazine.
There was considerable discussion about the magazine, including content, but principally size, frequency of publication and costings.
Peter Green, the editor stressed the need for consistency and an established format (which can , the need for the Newsletter and clarity of purpose, and more material from the Museum. It was agreed that content would be a major part of the discussions at the meeting at the Museum involving Peter, Nigel, Matt and Stuart.

As regards costings, both Peter Green and Mike Rosling gave breakdowns of productions costs and Mike had added in costs of postage etc., which offered various options. Mike pointed out that annual production and postage costs made a significant inroad into the annual sum received from membership subscriptions (£910 per annum).
After much discussion it was agreed that for the next 12 months, there would be for issues, based on a print run of 125 per issue, which covered those required for posting, delivered by hand and spares). It also took into account that a number of members received electronic versions of the Newsletter.

4. Accounts
Carl Stitt had provided the latest set of Accounts.
Matt Lund raised the issue of the advertising bill from Cumbrian Newspapers for the valuation event, which the Museum had paid and the Committee agreed to cover the cost.

5. Events
The Bowls Painting – Stuart outlined the Museum’s conservation plans for the Crimean Bowls Painting. The most detailed quote for the work from the Lancashire Conservation Studios was just short of £6000 (including VAT) for comprehensive work on the picture.
Given what had been raised at the Lonsdale Dinner the Friends agreed a target of £4k for fundraising the balance of what was required for the painting. Various options were discussed, which included a major event e.g. Hog Roast to be held in 2020 and another in 2021. Nigel agreed to approach Lady Ballyedmond for the 2020 event at Corby Castle.
Paul Chandler mentioned the possibility of another joint event with the ABF and Museum with BBQ and Band performance, but also agreed that if the hog roast went ahead in the summer this might clash.
Doreen Parsons had spoken with Lord & Lady Henley about the possibility of using Scaleby Castle for a fund-raising event. Given work currently in progress at the Castle, this would be a possible option in 2021 for the Friends main summer event.

6. Museum Report.
Stuart gave an update on the Museum covering the last few months. One of the most significant achievements was the granting of full Accredited Status for the Museum by Arts Council England in October. Accreditation is extremely important for all aspects of the Museum’s work. The Museum was originally granted this in 1989 but it had been changed to provisional in 2014 during the Alma Project. The Museum had met all the standards required but the long issue of the lease for Alma Block had delayed it.
Plenty of material had come in for the collections and the Afghanistan exhibition had been very successful. The current exhibition History of the Regiment in 100 Objects would run until the beginning of December.

7. Membership – Mike Rosling gave a brief update on the current membership status which stood at around 125 members.
The issue of membership payment by Paypal was discussed. Matt Lund agreed to set up the process as it was easier and more logical to do it through the Museum, which held the charitable status, rather than try and set up an independent account for the Friends.

8. Date of Next Meeting – 14th January 2020 at 16.00 hours in the Museum.

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