The Joe Meek Society
Minutes of the Annual General Meeting.
Held at The George Hotel, Newent, Gloucestershire on Saturday 9th June 2018
Welcome and opening remarks by the Society Chairman. (Pete Rochford)
Peter welcomed 13 members and 7 other guests to the meeting which started at 12:15pm. Pete then continued with his report of the years activities and plans for the future which will be minuted here under item 5.
Apologies for absence.
Apologies had been received from: Peter Knight (Moontrekkers), Bobby Rio, Malcolm Lenny (Packabeats), Craig Newton, and Mark Newson.
Approval of the minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on the 10th June 2017 at The Tabernacle, Powis Square, London W11 2AY.
These minutes had been posted on the website since June 2017 and copies were available at the meeting and were not read aloud.
They were unanimously approved as a true record of proceedings.
There were no matters arising.
Chairman’s report. (Pete Rochford)
Peter thanked everyone for attending and to the committee members for their contributions over the past year and also to Sandra Meek for her continued support and enthusiasm for the Society and for her help in promoting the AGM venue.
On behalf of all present Peter expressed our collective good wishes to Malcolm Lenny who was taken urgently to hospital for heart surgery just a few days before the meeting. Malcolm was to have been performing with The Triumphs during our evening entertainment and will be missed. We wish him well for a full and speedy recovery.
Also to Craig Newton, a previous chairman of The Society who has recently had back surgery.
Peter expressed his wish to concentrate on the positive aspects of Joe’s life both in his early life in Newent where the Meek family was well known and respected and later in London with his contribution to the music industry.
Over the past year we have re-introduced car window stickers to advertise the society, a supply of which was available at the meeting.
Bobby Rio held a very successful river cruise on The Thames last August which he and Shy attended. Bobby still has a great singing voice and it was a shame he could not be with us today.
During August 2017, Peter approached Gloucester City Council to discuss the possibility of erecting a statue to Joe outside No.1 Market Square. There has been a positive response as they were also considering something to replace the tree that was in the middle of Market Square but which has now died. Apparently, The Forest of Dean Council are also interested in promoting something in Joe’s memory. Peter will continue to pursue these possibilities.
During September 2017, Julie Rose Bower produced a trail guide along Holloway Road as part of the LGBTQ Heritage Open Days Unsung Stories Festival with 10 sites informing the public of different aspects of Joe’s life. This culminated in a spectacular video projection onto the front of 304 Holloway Road. This is available to view on You-tube and Julie’s own website as well as our own.
Two radio broadcasts come to mind which featured Joe. On the 29th May, BBC Radio 4 Extra did a program about the development of the “Electronic Sound” in music and Joe was featured as being a pioneer. Also, on the 28th June this year, Mike Guy of Radio North Sea, an internet radio station, is featuring an interview he did with Lissa Gray of “Johnny Remember Me” fame amongst others. Will be well worth listening into if you get this notification in time.
It is the intention of The Society to put on some events during the coming year to further promote Joe and his music. Look out on our website for news.
Peter again thanked Sandra, in advance, for giving up her time to conduct members around Newent on a walk to point out some of the history of the family’s association with the town and the stories associated with buildings you would otherwise just walk by.
Peter although disappointed at losing The Triumphs for the evenings entertainment, was please to announce a stand-in duo who specialised in 50’s and 60’s music, who had been found at very short notice by Dan from The George Hotel, and we thanked him for his efforts. In addition, our own Rob Bradford, (singer with The Triumphs) would also be performing a couple of sessions during the evening.
Also, at the evening gig, there would be a raffle of donated items which included a signed print by “Stewy” of the mural of Joe that adorns a wall on Holloway Road. Proceeds of the raffle, (which raised over £110), was split between Joe’s preferred charity, The Dolphin Club in Newent, and The Society.
Presentation by The Treasurer of the accounts for the year ending 31st May 2018. (David Nevols)
Copies of the audited accounts were made available to the members present.
I am pleased to submit my financial report for the past 12 months and these continue to show that The Society remains in good shape with a retained balance of £1717.86.
There has been a fall-off in membership numbers over the year by some 25 UK members although support from Europe and Worldwide has remained fairly constant. Digital membership is still quite modest which may indicate the desire for a hard copy to read where ever one wants to, against having to be tied to an electronic device.
With membership levels reduced we have been able to make marginal cost savings by ordering fewer copies of the Thunderbolt and Newsletter from our printers, but the net result is that our retained balance has fallen by £343.27 over the past 12 months.
For the past two years, we have known that the Thunderbolt editorship was going to change and that this would provide the opportunity to review our printing methods and by providing our printer, Catford Print Services, with a fully computerised proof copy, they would be able to reduce their charges. In anticipation of this, over the past two years I had decided to hold subscription rates at £17.00 for UK members. This is a level that has remained constant now for 7 years. However, events did not proceed as speedily as originally planned and the Editorship change is only now coming into effect. Thus, we have had printing and postage increases for those two years without any increase in income.
That being said, The Society remains adequately funded to meet all our costs as and when they fall due.
With the last Mark Newson produced Thunderbolt now scheduled for July this year, the pricing structure of our operation now needs to be overhauled. There is also an agenda item today as to the future and frequency of our publications which will further complicate the budget, so until that is resolved, I will make no forecasts in this treasurers’ report. However, I do have financial models completed for this AGM covering these possibilities and will present them at the appropriate time.
All my figures are available for scrutiny should you wish to go into more detail, and any questions are welcomed.
As always, I would like to record The Society’s thanks to Catford Print Centre who have continued to provide us with an excellent product, and my personal thanks to all the members of the Committee for their help over the past year. Special thanks to Ray Liffen for auditing my workings and, as usual, to Pete Rochford, Rob Bradford and Andy Knott with whom I have most contact financially, and also to Mark Newson for his editorship of The Thunderbolt, Nicola Shilcock for her expertise in typesetting and layout for the Newsletter. Steve Nash and not forgetting his wife Kait for giving up a room in their house for the stock of back issues, and last but by no means least to Rob Humphreys in sunny Spain for his excellent management of our Website.
On request for the accounts to be adopted as a true record, a unanimous response was returned.
2017-2018 Revenue Account
I certify this to be a true record of the transactions carried out between the dates of 01/6/2017 and 31/05/2018
David Nevols Ray Liffen
Reports by Committee members.
Secretary. (David Nevols)
Having had a very disappointing turnout at last year’s AGM, held at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill, London, the search was on for a more popular venue and it was decided to come back here to Newent. It has been quite a few years since we were here, 2nd April 2011 to be precise, so it is about time we came back.
My thanks to our hosts here at The George Hotel for the room and the all-important refreshments today, and also for giving us the venue for tonight’s entertainment which was to have been provided by The Triumphs, our very own Joe Meek tribute band although unfortunately they had to cancel due to the illness of Malcolm Lenny. I have met Malcolm many times. A really nice guy and I wish him a speedy recovery. In their place, Rob Bradford will be providing some of the entertainment with many RGM numbers and the George’s management have, at very short notice, been able to hire a husband and wife due who specialise in 50’s and 60’s pop. Really looking forward to that.
Thanks also to Sandra Meek-Williams, Joe’s niece and a tireless supporter of The Society. She, along with our Chairman, Pete Rochford, will be embarking on a guided tour of Newent this afternoon pointing out all of Joe’s old haunts. An event not to be missed and I hope you will enjoy the walk around the town.
Thunderbolt editor. (currently Mark Newson)
Although Mark did not send a formal report, I did receive a letter from him with his good wishes for a successful meeting and that he was sorry not to be here.
In his absence, Mark raised a few points in his letter. The first being the future of the Photoshop material which he still holds. Suggesting that these photos and negatives be passed on to another committee member.
Mark also suggested that the ongoing Thunderbolt could contain details of upcoming gigs by RGM artistes. Mike Berry is still touring and Dave Watts Tornados are also regular performers amongst others.
The Committee would like to record their collective thanks to Mark for his amazing contribution to The Society over the past 20 or more years. We have purchased an engraved trophy for Mark in recognition of his outstanding efforts in promoting Joe’s memory. Although we would have preferred to present the award in person, we shall make arrangements to get this to him with hopefully a photograph taken to commemorate the event.
Membership Secretary. (Andy Knott)
The current membership numbers amount to 222 of which 12 are digital subscribers, 17 are European members and 4 from Worldwide. The remaining 4 are Honorary and Life members.
We have welcomed 9 new members over the past year but overall UK membership has reduced by 25 due Andy believes by the absence of any high profile events over the past year involving Joe. The last real surge in membership was after the issue of the film “Telstar” in 2008.
Andy thanked all the members for their continued support and to also thank those who remitted additional donations with their subscriptions which were greatly appreciated.
Andy concluded by giving thanks to other committee members for their assistance and support and specifically to Mark for his herculean efforts over the past 20 years in really bringing Joe’s name and achievements to the fore.
Back issues. (Steve Nash)
Steve reported a very quiet year for back issues sales and his stock continues to build up in his spare room! Should any member wish to purchase back issues of either the Newsletter or Thunderbolt then please get in touch via the website or contact any committee member.
Website Administrator. (Rob Humphreys)
From his home in sunny Spain, Rob reported that it had been a fairly routine year on the website front. Not that it has been difficult to find news items to put on our latest news page as we get a quite steady flow of information to post there.
Digital membership now stands at 12 members. There has always been a low renewal rate of digital members. We still get a steady flow of enquiries through our contact form and as I write this we are dealing with someone who received a contract from Joe but never signed up.
GDPR Compliance. (David Nevols)
A current requirement for all Company’s and Organisations to consider. The General Data Base Regulations.
The Society holds data on it’s members. This consists of names and addresses, some e-mail addresses, some telephone numbers and some age information.
The names and addresses are fundamental to our operation in order to mail out the publications that our members have subscribed to. This is permitted under GDPR as an “implied contract” and need no further action.
E-mail addresses are only held for fast contact of members if required. GDPR becomes an issue if we were to use these addresses for unsolicited marketing purposes, which we do not. So, in the opinion of the Secretary, this is also not an issue. Other information requested on our membership application form is stated as being “optional” and is therefore provided willingly, so again does not present a problem.
The storage of this data is on the personal computer of the Membership Secretary, and the Treasurer/Secretary also maintains a copy of this for backup and budgetary purposes. Both are considered as safe as practically achievable.
These opinions were offered to the floor for comment or disagreement and none was forthcoming.
The future of The Joe Meek Society publications. (David Nevols)
I raised this opinion with the committee several months ago and it was agreed to include it in our AGM agenda for members views.
Although I am the Treasurer for The Society, my reasons for considering this issue are not financial. We can afford to fund the printing and distribution of the Newsletter. As you will know, Rob Bradford currently writes the Newsletter, with assistance in the layout and typesetting coming from Nicola Shilcock. My concern is that with Mark Newson’s retirement for producing the Thunderbolt, the considerable task for our new Thunderbolt editor, Rob Bradford, and indeed Nicola, would be enormous and in my opinion, unfair.
The Newsletter which was started way back in the early 1990’s was the method we used to communicate imminent events and news without having to wait for the four monthly Thunderbolt. The internet was in it’s infancy in those days and we certainly had no website, which is now the main medium though which we communicate urgent news. The content of the current issues of the Newsletter are mainly editorial pieces which could, and probably should, be included in the Thunderbolt.
That said, should anybody else wish to take on the production of a bi-monthly newsletter, the Society would be willing and able to fund it.
Opinions were sought from the floor and there were no dissenting voices and the motion was carried unanimously.
There are cost issues to consider. From the accounts which have been distributed, there was a shortfall of approx £350 over the year which equates to about £2.00 shortfall per member.
It was further unanimously agreed to retain membership rates at £17.00 per UK member with the previous shortfall made up by the anticipated cost savings in the non-production of the Newsletter and change to computerised printing of the Thunderbolt. Any surplus achieved was to be used to fund events that The Society would endeavour to put on in the future for the benefit of its members.
Committee member Ray Liffen added his appreciation to the wish to contribute towards artists fees, mentioning that not only the costs to the event itself were currently borne by the band members themselves, but also the considerable expense by most band members beforehand in attending practice and rehearsals.
Member, John Cavanagh, added the possibility of using the e-mail data to advise members of any urgent information and to send reminders for events such as the AGM.
All these issues were approved unanimously by the members present.
Ray Liffen added a thank you to Rob Bradford for all his work on the Newsletter over the years for which the members and guests present heartily agreed with a long round of applause.
Following the AGM, and after discussion with the Chairman and Membership Secretary, it was further agreed that all overseas membership rates would reduce due to members being unlikely to benefit from the events funded from the savings. Also exchange rate movements have prompted additional adjustment to overseas subscriptions. As from the 1st July 2018, European members subscriptions will be £22.00 or 25 Euro, and USA rates £25.00 or $35.00.
The Joe Meek Society Hall of Fame nominations.
Each year we nominate two people connected to Joe Meek for induction into the Hall of Fame.
Various names were put forward in general discussion at the meeting, with Patrick Pink, Michael Cox, Houston Wells, Alan Caddy, Dave Adams, Ritchie Blackmore and Mick Underwood, (both of The Outlaws), Mick Stubbs (The Blue Rondos) and Screaming Lord Sutch all nominated.
Following some debate, with proposers and seconders, it was agreed that this year’s inductees would be Patrick Pink and Screaming Lord Sutch.
Election of members of the Management Committee.
One change is necessary due to the retirement of Mark Newson from the position of Thunderbolt editor. He will be replaced by Rob Bradford and the position of Newsletter editor will be retired. Following communication with all other existing Committee members, they are all willing to stand for a further year.
Having received no other nominations, it was proposed by Ken Penrose that all are re-elected en-bloc and was seconded by John Cavanagh. The proposal was put to the floor and was carried unanimously.
Amendments to The Society’s constitution.
One amendment has become necessary. The constitution will be amended to recognise the withdrawal of the Newsletter. From a show of hands, all were in favour.
Date and venue for next year’s AGM.
The disappointing attendance at last years AGM has highlighted the reluctance of some members to travel in or to London. Somewhere close to Holloway Road was requested but finding a suitable venue has always proved difficult. Two that we have used in the past, Phibbers Bar and The Metro are now no more.
There was general agreement that Newent, having suited us so well over the years, was again the best choice and after further discussion it was agreed that we would return to The George Hotel next year, but at a different time of year so as to be as close as possible to Joe’s 90th birthday, 5th April 2019.
It was agreed unanimously that it would be held on Saturday 6th April 2019 at The George Hotel Newent with the probable start time of 12:00 noon.
Any other business.
Pete Rochford was asked to follow up the possibility of commissioning a statue to Joe to be sited near Market Square. This he agreed to do.
A suggestion was put forward to get The Coronet pub in Holloway Road renamed “The Joe Meek”. This may be well out of our control and Ray Liffen mentioned that another famous person represents that area and it could well be named “The Jeremy Corbyn”. Much laughter ensued.
Mark Newson had raised the matter of the Photo Shop in his letter. Mark currently holds numerous photographs and negatives relating to Joe and feels these could be made available to the members (at a cost). There is a potential to infringe copyright if we were to do this and we should consider the matter in greater detail. This will be left with the Committee.
Mark also asked for the DVD’s which are the property of the Society, should be regularly advertised for sale, such as in every issue of the Thunderbolt. Rob Bradford will take this on board.
The radio recordings which have been digitised for us by Craig Newton, should also be advertised for sale but again we may encounter copyright problems. The BBC (from which many of these broadcasts are taken) are particularly protective of their copyright and penalties would be severe.
Closing remarks. (Pete Rochford)
Peter again thanked all the members and guests present for attending, and to the Committee for their support over the past year and to Sandra for her active enthusiasm for the Society. In turn, Sandra wished to thank everyone for their massive support for her Uncle Joe and for keeping his memory alive.
The meeting was closed at 1:55pm.