Minutes of the Eleventh Annual General Meeting, 17 July 2005


The Martineau Society met on Sunday 17 July, Dale House, Liverpool University

11 members were present


1.         Apologies were received from Margaret Thomas, Howard Hague, Maureen Colquhoun, Barbara Todd, Frank Schulman, Mollie Martineau and Charity Scott-Stokes.


Noted: The recent death was reported of Prof Ken Fielding who had been a great supporter of Society.  It was agreed that he will be sorely missed, particularly as he acted as link between activities concerning Dickens, Carlyle and the Society. An obituary will be included in the next Newsletter. Also noted was the death of Mrs Doris Shelton, another member of the Society


2.         Minutes of 10th AGM: 4 July 2004

The Minutes were circulated and approved.


3.         Matters Arising not on the agenda

There were none


4.         Chairpersonís Remarks

Thanks were proffered to Sophia Hankinson for organizing this yearís conference, and also to Margaret Marks for checking out appropriate accommodation. Thanks were also conveyed to Alan Middleton for continuing to carry out secretarial duties up to the formal handover to Gaby Weiner at this conference.  The role of chairperson was discussed as was the need to raise the profile of the Society, and members were invited to give their suggestions on this to Valerie Sanders.  At present, enrolment to the Society was generally stable. 


It was also reported that a new annotated version of Deerbrook, edited by Valerie Sanders and published by Penguin Classics, had appeared at the end of 2004. 


5.         Annual Report

The Secretary circulated the summary of the main events of 2004, including last yearís conference in Oxford and the papers presented.  Various revisions were suggested  

Agreed: the revised report to be circulated, and then a signed copy sent to the Treasurer.


6.         Treasurerís Report

It was reported that the Societyís finances remain healthy though membership had decreased slightly on the previous year. Subscriptions were up however due to the contributions of 3 new life members (£450) plus institutions and members which/who pay via BACS. The Societyís administration costs remain modest thus enabling money to be expended on various activities, for example, coach trips such as at the 2004 conference, and publications such as the Miscellany produced for the 2005 JM bicentennial.


A rise in overseas subscriptions was proposed, from the current $10 to $20 (concessions) and $30 (full) to cover the full cost of postage of notices and the newsletter.  The application form (both paper and on the Societyís website) would need to be revised accordingly.

Agreed: to accept the Treasurerís report, and convey thanks to Iris Voegeli for all her work.

Agreed: to the proposal to increase overseas subscriptions.


7.         Newsletter Editorís Report

The one issue this year had ended up longer than usual (34 pages rather than 20 pages), and therefore cost more in postage.  It was agreed that since the Newsletter is the main point of access for most members, it should be as interesting and informative as possible.  It was also noted that the 2004 Accounts statement should be included in the next Newsletter.

Agreed: to convey thanks to Valerie Sanders for all her work as Newsletter editor.


8.         Election of Officers and Committee

The following persons were elected or re-elected:


8.1 Chairperson                       Valerie Sanders (re-elected)

8.2 Treasurer/ Membership Secretary  Iris Voegeli (re-elected)

8.3 Secretary               Gaby Weiner (re-elected)

8.4 Newsletter Editor                               Deborah Logan (new appointment, proposed Valerie Sanders, seconded Gaby Weiner)

8.5 Additional Committee                       Elisabeth Arbuckle, Barbara Todd (re-elected), Shiu-fang Lai and Margaret Marks (new appointments)

Co-opted members: Alan Middleton, Sophia Hankinson (re-elected).

All members (excepting the Newsletter editor) were nominated en bloc (proposed by Elisabeth Arbuckle, seconded Rod Voegeli)


9.         Other Matters

9.1  Harriet Martineau Sociological Society Meetings.

- No report had been received, but one will be included in the next Newsletter

- The most recent meeting had taken place at Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, on 23-5 May 2005. During the meeting, participants had followed the trail of HM through Bowling Green, and papers had been given on HMís relationship with Florence Nightingale, HM and health and invalidism in the 19C, and slavery/abolition issues.  2 graduate students (of Deborah Logan) had also given papers on HMís political economy

- It was planned to hold the next meeting in Ireland in 2007, so it was suggested that this might offer an opportunity for a joint meeting of HMSS and the Martineau Society.


9.2  Martineau Society Website

A great deal of work had been done on the website resulting in much improvement.  Thanks were conveyed to Alan Middleton and the new HMC webmaster and IT officer, Sarah Lawson, who is prepared to continue with this role.  It was agreed that the Secretary will prepare a short report of the Liverpool conference for the website.


9.3 Publicity

There had been some delay in the production of a Society leaflet which was now a matter of some urgency.  Following last yearís meeting Rod Voegeli had approached an individual to arrange production of leaflet, but this has not as yet been completed.  It was agreed that Rod should follow up on last yearís plans as soon as possible. Otherwise, it was agreed to adapt the existing leaflet (produced for the 2002 Ambleside meeting).  The Chairperson offered to pass on a copy of the 2002 leaflet to Rod.


9.4 Future events of the Martineau Society

9.4.1  AGM 2006

Both Manchester and Edinburgh were suggested as venues for the next meeting. It was agreed to opt for Edinburgh for 2006 and to explore possibilities for accommodation immediately.  Preferred dates were 13-16 July 2006, or failing that, the weekend before.  Buccleuch Place was proposed as the main venue for the meetingís activities, with accommodation in the Kenneth Mackenzie Suite or Pollock Halls.  Useful contacts mentioned included Andrew Hill, Unitarian minister and Ian Campbell, key figure in the Carlyle Society. The organising group for the 2006 meeting was agreed as: Elisabeth Arbuckle, Shiu-fang Lai, Gaby Weiner, and Margaret Marks. This group was given the responsibility for deciding on the content and emphasis of the 2006 meeting.


It was also suggested that publicity flyers for Edinburgh could be speedily created following decisions about the dates of next yearís meeting.


9.4.2  AGM 2007

Ireland (Dublin) was suggested with a link to HMSS, as suggested above in 9.1


9.4.3 AGM 2008

Manchester was proposed.


10. Any Other Business

Agreed: that occasional gifts for small tasks undertaken for the Society were allowable, at the discretion of the Chairperson and Treasurer

Agreed: to attempt to have more joint meetings with other Victorian/Literary Societies, for example, by sharing speakers or having day-long themes at the annual meeting.