From the Chairman

Welcome to this first note from the Chairman on our new bright and informative website.

What does SANHS do? It researches, protects and preserves the built, natural and social history of Somerset. 

It researches the archaeology of the county, involving the local community.

It has collected many wills, manuscripts, maps and record books to build an understanding of past social history. 

It records and preserves the fauna and flora  of the county, and studies the geological structures.

It studies and records the built  history of the county.

It provides grants to enable some of this work to be carried out.

Which of these activities are my speciality?  None, my background is in nursing, but I have a general interest in them all. I was brought up in Kent but from the age of about 25 wanted to live in the west country. Somerset is where I feel at home, and SANHS is where I enjoy being involved.

Chris Jessop
SANHS Chairman, Christine Jessop

August 2019

Thank you to those that sent donations for the web managers fund. Enabling us to pay Louisa extra hours has meant the website has progressed rapidly as she has the skills and knowledge about the Society. We are only able to continue as long as the money lasts, so if you would like to help us get this project established, please consider making a donation, no matter how small. A cheque to the office with web manager fund written on the back, or contact Louisa if you would prefer to use BACS, email [email protected] or tel 01823 272429.

Fiona Holmes, a SANHS member and ceramicist, has set herself a target to throw 100 pots in 100 days. She has produced sculptures previously and has set herself this challenge to help raise funds for the Society’s web site. At the end of 100 days, the four best pots will be selected to raffle. Those who sponsor Fiona will be entered into the raffle, alternatively, come along to the talk she and David Dawson are giving ceramics, and buy a ticket. Follow Fiona’s blog.

Hopefully work on the Norman Garden project will soon commence, we have written consent for contractors to access the gardens via the Castle Hotel car park. Some gardening work has already been carried out by a volunteer and more is be underway as there are now more people offering to help. We are restricted to the areas we can work on because of the fragility of the wall at the back of the garden, the major part of the project.

Unfortunately, there is unlikely to be a SANHS newsletter in the autumn, and the e-bulletin will not be resumed until we have a volunteer to take on these tasks. These activities take time and although it is something that could be done by someone anywhere in the world we have had no volunteers.

We are still looking to recruit a Treasurer. David Victor, our outgoing treasurer has kindly agreed to undertake some of the responsibilities and has trained Louisa to enable her to take on some of the activities. David is quite happy to support anyone who comes forward to fill this essential post.

You will soon receive a letter regarding how you would like to receive your Proceedings in 2020, electronically or printed. Anthony Bruce, Adrian Webb and Rob Webley have spent a lot of time looking at ways of reducing our costs, and the Proceedings are the biggest single part of the budget other than the administration cost. The Board are not prepared to reduce the quality or frequency of Proceedings.

A questionnaire sent to some members resulted in about a third who said they would prefer an electronic version. It has to be remembered that not everyone has a computer or printer, therefore we need to look at doing both versions. Please send your forms back to the office as promptly as possible as it will mean quite a lot of extra administrative activity which has to be completed by November.
Christine Jessop

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