AGM Report

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Report of the Annual General Meeting held on Tuesday 16th March, 2021 at 3.00 pm.  In accordance with HMG Directives due to the Pandemic, this meeting was held via ‘Zoom’.

Those in Attendance 

Barbara Cordina, East of England u3a Trustee
Gill Reeves, Temporary Acting Chairperson & Speakers Secretary
Brian Hyam, Temporary Acting Treasurer
Peter Ely, Groups Co-Ordinator 
Kath Jarvis, Secretary
Pauline Anthony, Business Secretary/Assistant Secretary 
Maria Buckley, Social Secretary
Joy Chambers, Joint Membership Secretary  
30 Members of Brentwood u3a were in attendance. 
Apologies for Absence:  Irene Welch, Joint Membership Secretary

Gill Reeves, Temporary Acting Chairperson opened the Meeting saying: 

1. Welcome

to this the 29th AGM for Brentwood u3a - good to see you all.

2. Report of last year’s AGM

   You should have all received a copy of the last AGM for 2020 either by email or post.

3. Matters Arising

 Does anybody have any matters they would like to bring up concerning last year’s report? There being none, may I ask for a nominee and a seconder to approve the report as an accurate account please?   Proposer - Maria Buckley.  Seconder – Nick Williamson.

4. Chairman’s Report 2020

 I’m sorry to say it’s been a very sad year for Brentwood u3a, principally with the loss of Brian Leith; this coupled with the fact that we have insufficient members/volunteers on our committee that I now have the unenviable task of closing the group.

5. Acknowledgements

I would like to express my appreciation and thanks to Kath Jarvis our secretary, who has taken many many minutes for us and prepared many monthly committee meeting agendas.

Pauline Anthony our business secretary who herself has had a very sad year.
Maria Buckley our social secretary/collator of replies.
Ray Tozer who was treasurer and sadly had to stand down, and I’m very grateful to Brian Hyam who took over from Ray on a temporary basis.
Christine Tozer who was membership secretary and also had to sadly stand down, and many thanks to Joy Chambers and Irene Welch who took over.
Bill Reeves who took over running the website.
Peter Ely our groups’ coordinator.
All our convenors, who so devotedly run the groups, which in essence is the backbone of the u3a; and lastly Peter Bennett, who has spent many Monday afternoons in all weathers taking charge of the car park!
Thanks to all.

6. Social Report

January 2020 Brian delivered his last AGM, and Paul Higgs entertained us royally!
On 29th February, we held a post-Christmas lunch at Ashwells with just under 50 members joining us.
In March we had our last monthly meeting before the lockdown which was very sparsely supported       unsurprisingly. In addition to which my speaker cancelled due to worries regarding Coronavirus and       Brian Leith entertained us with some slides of u3a times past.

Sadly on the 15th of May Brian Leith died, since which I have unpicked and returned monies to 42 people who had hoped they would be enjoying a five day break to Northumberland in June last year.

Throughout the summer, we have endeavoured to keep in contact with you by email, and to a lesser degree by post. Eventually we grasped the Zoom habit, and have now had three monthly meetings with speakers. Some of the groups have managed to run through these difficult times, making use of our Zoom contract and others by telephone or email.  ‘Well Done’ to those concerned.

Other than that, this committee has endeavoured to hold this group together and repeatedly asked for volunteers,
and with the exception of Joy Chambers, Irene Welch, and Brian Hyam this has been fruitless, so without sufficient committee members, the group is unsustainable.

7. Financial Report

It gives me great pleasure to hand over to Brian Hyam for his report.

Treasurer Brian Hyam put both the Income and Expenditure Account Year End 31st December 2020 and the Balance Sheet as at 31st December 2020 electronically on-line, for the benefit of the attendees.  Hard copies had been previously either emailed or posted.  With the aid of an electronic arrow, he highlighted aspects of comparison of years 2019 and 2020. At the meeting Brian drew attention to the most pertinent points leading to an increase of funds. He explained the additional expenses of the mailshots due to our communications to members endeavouring to recruit committee members and also our Zoom subscription so that we could hold on-line talks to benefit our members. 
This facility enabled the committee to hold meetings. There were no questions following this report.

Brian paid tribute to Ray Tozer and thanked him for his help in handing over the Treasurer’s position. In addition he thanked the positive, hardworking and enthusiastic committee including Gill Reeves, for their support and encouragement. He also thanked Mr. Michael Lansdell, our Independent Examiner for his help and his offer of continued assistance with financial matters when dispersing capital to other u3a’s pro rata to them welcoming our ex-members. 
Brian asked for a proposer and seconder to approve these accounts. Proposer - Kae Freeman, Seconder - Linda Jones.

8. Any Other Business

Gill Reeves asked if there were any questions.

9. Moments of Reflection

Let’s take two minutes to think of those we have lost during this past year.

10. To Close

It now just remains for me to close the meeting.

To be clear, closing down Brentwood u3a gives me no pleasure at all, but clearly I think you will understand that I have no choice.

So, moving on, I feel sure you will all settle into a new u3a life, where I’m hoping our valued friendships will continue, keep well and looking forward to seeing you all soon.
That concludes my report.

      Gill Reeves (16th March 2021)




January 20th, 2020

Report of the Brentwood U3A 28th Annual General Meeting

The meeting, held at Shenfield Parish Hall on January 21st, 2020, was opened at 2.15 pm by Brian Leith (Chairman, Newsletter Editor and Webmaster). Members of the Committee present were Ray Tozer (Treasurer), Kath Jarvis (Secretary), Christine Tozer (Members Secretary), Gill Reeves (Speakers Secretary), Pauline Anthony (Business/Assistant Secretary), Peter Ely (Groups Co-ordinator), Maria Buckley (Meeter and Greeter).


"Thank you all for coming to this, the 28th Annual General meeting of Brentwood U3A.


All members should have received a copy of last year's (2019) report with the December issue of the Newsletter, which also included the Activities List and Calendar, the Trusted Tradesmen list and most importantly the Membership Renewal form, which hopefully all members have completed and returned with their cheques to our Membership Secretary.


Does anybody have any matters they would like to bring up concerning last year's report? There being none, may I ask for a nominee and seconder to approve the report as an accurate account.

Proposed by Joy Chambers, Seconded by Christine Pearce.


In accordance with our Constitution nominations were sought for all committee posts. The deadline for nominations, to be sent to Secretary Kath Jarvis, was December 16th, and Kath has informed me that there were no nominations for any of the posts. I am grateful to all the members of the committee who have agreed to continue to keep the wheels rolling in their respective positions for another year. However, there is still the post of Social Secretary that needs filling. Anybody that may be interested in finding out what is involved should get in touch with me or any member of the committee. Anybody taking on the role will, of course, have the full support of the committee.

I will now move on to my report of the past year.


There has been a steady intake of new members throughout the year which has sort of kept in line with the number of those who have left us. My membership secretary informs me that it is still too soon to be entirely sure as to our final number, there being a number of members who have still to send in their Renewal Forms.

My understanding is that other U3As in the area are experiencing similar results regarding membership numbers. This year we have experienced the loss of one or two Groups, which is disappointing. There is always hope that there may be some members who may be keen to run other special interest Groups. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch if you have an idea about running a Group. Naturally, help is available from members of the committee. There is evidence of continuing integration between our neighbouring U3As – Shenfield, Hutton and Warley, which I will cover under Brentnet later.


As we enter 2020, I would like to express my appreciation to those here with me – the committee.

Among other duties Kath, our Secretary, as well as carefully recording the minutes of our meetings (quite a tricky task), has spent time managing the Tick List, while ensuring that the Newsletter is sent out to those not having access to the Internet and living outside the area, and annually ordering U3A diaries,

Pauline, our Business Secretary, every week sorts through the numerous pieces of mail from the U3A Trust that land on her doormat, from these she creates notices for inclusion in the Newsletter as well as placing them on the Notice Boards in the hall, which she updates each month as required.

Ray, our Treasurer, continues to keep a tight hold on the purse strings and will give a brief rundown of our finances shortly.

Christine, our Membership Secretary continues to keep an eye on the comings and goings of the members on the membership list and welcoming into the fold new members. At this time of the year she is kept particularly busy as members renew their membership – as well as reminding those whose memory it may have slipped.

Speakers Secretary, Gill, has reached the end of her first complete year in the role. The first speaker of the year, in February, was a very interesting man, Tim Moorey, who revealed the secrets of setting and solving crosswords. He was followed in March by Linda Holdaway, who told us about the National Garden Scheme. Karen Bowman made a welcome return in April to tell us about the days of press gangs and some of the cruel practices of that time. Linda Cool told us about the RNLI at our May meeting, while Roger Smith talked about the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust at our June meeting. In July Andy Bennett enlightened us about the mystery of Keeping Bees.

 There was no meeting during August, and in September we had Sophie Biebuyck, accompanied by her constant companion, Rusty, a cockapoo hearing for the deaf, dog. This enchanting young woman who was profoundly deaf, easily won the hearts of the assembled members. At October’s meeting two men - John Jemison and Neil Richardson told us during a talk entitled "The Braintree Dopplegangers," about being alike in appearance. The similarity between them was remarkable. In the final talk of the year, November’s speaker (Martin Larrett, one of our own members), gave us an interesting, illustrated talk about the men in Queen Victoria’s life.

Thank you Gill a great selection of speakers. I think from the outset, when she first took on the task, she was primed with the well- known saying about pleasing all of the people all of the time. Not an easy task and at the year’s end I think she managed to do just that.

At this point it should be pointed out that Martin Larrett, with some of the other speakers opted to have any "fee" for their talks donated to charities of their choice, and each month Pauline pins any acknowledgements from such charities on our notice board.

The final two members of the committee are Peter, our Groups Co-ordinator, who is always willing to help out with anything related to the Groups, and Maria our Meeter and Greeter, who as well as greeting members at monthly meetings is pleased to welcome new members.

A wonderful team team ladies and gentlemen, to whom I am indebted for their support and help in keeping Brentwood U3A ticking over. A ripple perhaps?

And so we turn to the backbone of Brentwood U3A – the Convenors. It would be difficult to calculate how much of their time is devoted to the work they do in running their Groups, and as ever there are the hidden expenses which are even more difficult to calculate. In November last year we arranged an afternoon tea for those who help to keep the wheels turning. Though I am aware that they are content to carry on with the great unrewarded work they do, in line with the U3A Trust’s guidance for Convenors, the staging of some sort of a thank you is recommended in gratitude for all that they do behind the scenes – the planning, the research, the preparation, the giving up of their homes, all of which takes time and effort.

Other members who go almost unnoticed are the band of members who are always willing to help out, from the regular helpers who put out the chairs to those that help to put them back and who make the running of Brentwood U3A so much easier. Among these are Peter Bennett who come rain, hail or shine is found helping members park their cars to maximize the space available in the car park. Thank you all,

Finally, I would like to thank one other group. This consists of the people who give us a reason to turn up each month here in the hall, who justify the existence of the Convenors, and support the efforts of others. I am of course talking about you, the members who support the efforts of those involved in the year-to-year running, who make a big difference, for a start, simply by turning up at the monthly meetings. Your support is essential and much appreciated. Give yourself a ripple.



saw the first event that was arranged, though it was hardly an event, but was the inclusion of an entertainer following the Business Matter of the Annual General Meeting. Paul Higgs, an accomplished musician gave a talk, "illustrated" with music. This was particularly well received by the members, as Paul is a virtuoso trumpet player, who is also very handy on a keyboard.


saw a two-parter of an event with a morning visit to the Bank of England Museum, followed, after lunch, with a short stroll across the road to the Mansion House where members enjoyed a conducted tour of this beautiful building in the heart of London’s business district.

In April, members on nine tables consisting teams of sixes and sevens, with a team from Warley U3A, took part in a quiz night, which was well received and which included a fish or chicken and chips supper. A team headed by Maureen Laming and Pam Bangert were the eventual winners.

In June I whisked 53 members away by coach to Weston-Super-Mare for a five-day break. There were some highs and lows, but in the main the food was very good, the weather throughout the five days was kind, and the itinerary included visits to some quaint villages. Overall the members enjoyed a pleasant break in this popular seaside resort.


saw the annual pilgrimage to Southwold. Highlight, as ever, was lunch at the Froize – David, the proprietor as usual providing a delicious choice of dishes. The play – The End of the Line was entertaining though some thought a little too predictable. Naming no names, one or two decided the theatre wasn’t for them and made their way to the local hostelry! But the weather was kind and the usual homeward snack went down well.

In August the Walking Treasure Hunt was resurrected after a lull of around three years. This event, instead of the monthly meeting in the hall (which was closed for refurbishment), went down very well. After a casual stroll around Maldon collecting clues, members ended up having lunch at The Swan Hotel where the winner, Joy Chambers, was declared. Another fair day weatherwise. I am indebted to Gill Reeves, who gave up so much of her time in assisting me in finding and creating the clues.

Our Annual Dinner in September, held for the first time in The Ivy Hill Hotel, Margaretting (more popularly known as Bartella’s), turned out to be a very pleasant evening. A choice of three meals per course, pre-ordered from a varied menu, provided a wide selection to suit most members’ palates.

Our Annual Dinner in September, held for the first time in The Ivy Hill Hotel, Margaretting (more popularly known as Bartella’s), turned out to be a very pleasant evening. A choice of three meals per course, pre-ordered from a varied menu, provided a wide selection to suit most members’ palates.The "Autumn Event," in October, was an afternoon tea, held at Shenfield Parish Hall, but with a difference. The difference was the inclusion of live entertainment in the form of three musicians - Paul Higgs on keyboard (members may remember him at last year’s AGM), Ted (the hat) Simkins on bass, and Caroline Lima, a singer, who entertained members with a selection of original and classic ballads in the style of Peggy Lee. Catering was done by regular favourites Jeans Caterers.

Finally for 2020, in November, Convenors and helpers were thanked for their input during the past year by attending an afternoon tea at Bentley Golf Club.

In December, for the first time in our history, we had a monthly meeting. There was a pleasant seasonal feel in the hall, with a junior choir from St Mary’s School entertaining the members with a selection of carols. This was followed by a glass of sherry and a mince pie instead of the usual tea and biscuits. The whole afternoon seemed to be well received, but this year, with the third Monday in December being close to Christmas Day, it was thought that this was possibly not likely to very practical. However, consideration was given to having a meeting on the lines of last year’s Christmas event, with hopefully the services of the school choir, one week earlier on December 14th.

Just completely out of curiosity, with a show of hands, how many members here would consider coming to a monthly meeting on the second week in December. Thank you.

I would now call on Ray to give a run-down of 2019’s expenses.


I can report that the accounts for 2019 show a surplus of £129. Our member subscriptions are slightly down on the previous year, and you will also see reductions in our Gift Aid returns and the Third Age Trust Members Fees (formally known as Capitation Fees). Most of the other expense items remain much the same, the two exceptions being the reduction in our Copying & Newsletter costs, and the extra December meeting. Earlier in the year our chairman obtained a good deal with a local printing firm, and your Committee decided to fund an additional meeting in December, which also reduced the newsletter postage cost. Just for the record, included in the £250 cost of the December meeting was £50 worth of goodie bags for the children in the choir and a £75 donation to the School. The remainder was the usual Hall cost and the refreshments of sherry and mince pies.

Our Social Events brought in a small surplus. However without a dedicated Social Secretary I have closed the Barclays no 2 acct.

The accounts were audited as usual by Mike Lansdell as our independent examiner, and the Committee would like to invite Mike to continue in the role for this year. In closing I thank you for your attention and now invite any questions.

Thank you Ray, May I have a proposer and seconder to adopt this year’s accounts.

Proposed by Kae Freeman, Seconded by Peter Bennett.


With a small increase in U3A members attending Group meetings and activities run by other than their own branches, discussion took place at a meeting last September of Brentnet (a group of members made up of the chairmen of the three other local branches of the U3A - Brentwood, Shenfield, Hutton and Warley, and usually accompanied by another member of each branch), to draw up a few relevant guidelines. I don’t think such an occasion has ever arisen.

With the emphasis on guidelines - the basic premise is that any member wishing to attend a Group activity that is not run by their own branch, may do so provided their attendance does not prevent a member of that branch from attending such a Group. It was suggested that in a similar situation, attendance by members at monthly meetings, but not belonging to that branch, would do so for no more than two occasions. To continue to attend monthly meetings, such a member would be invited to join that branch. In any case attendance of monthly meetings by members not belonging to that branch will be expected to make a small donation to toward the cost of the meeting and refreshments.


Does anybody have anything they would like to raise?



A couple of years ago I made a suggestion that we take a moment or two to reflect on members who have passed away. This was well received and has now become a regular feature at our AGM meetings, so once again I ask that you take a moment to remember those members who are no longer with us.

Minute’s silence.

Thank you. That concludes my report.


All that remains for me to do is to close this the 28th Annual General Meeting of Brentwood U3A. Thank you all for your continued support. I hope being a member of Brentwood U3A in 2020 will in one way or another, bring a little something extra to us all.



Brian Leith (January 20th, 2020)

We will now have a short tea break and I would hope we may be back in our seats as soon as possible.

It now gives me great pleasure to introduce you to Paul Higgs, who will now demonstrate his immense skill as a musician.

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