Chairman’s Report


Registered Charity No. 1098311



This is the Chairman’s report to the 30th Annual General Meeting of the Friends and fourteenth Annual General Meeting of the Charity as required by our constitution. The objects of the Friends are to advance the education of the public in Maldon and the surrounding areas by providing support and assistance to Thomas Plume’s Library (Registered Charity number 310661) through activities and projects and in such other ways as the Executive Committee may from time to time determine. In planning our activities the Trustees kept in mind the Charity Commission’s guidance on public benefit.

Membership of the Friends now stands at 140 each paying a subscription of £5 supplemented by generous donations. During the year 2016/17 the Friends held their AGM in the Octagon at St Mary’s Church followed by refreshments provided by the committee. The speaker was Dr Christopher Thompson, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Buckingham, who spoke about ‘Thomas Plume: a life in his notebooks’. Christopher Thompson has had close association with the Plume Library being a Plume Trustee from 1977 – 1981. On Monday 18th July a group of approximately thirty Friends visited the Foreign Secretary’s residence at Chevening near Sevenoaks in Kent. The Estate Manager, Colonel Matthewson took the Friends on a conducted tour of the house and James Bettley, Chairman of the Plume Trustees and Librarian at Chevening spoke about the history of the Library illustrated by a display of the books. This was followed by a visit to Chartwell.
The Plume Library was not open for the Heritage Open Days this year as this event was not supported by Maldon District Council. The Plume School Year 8 visits took place between Monday 10th October and Friday 4th November when 9 classes came to look round the Library. The prizegiving for the previous year’s winners of the Friends of Thomas Plume’s Library History Prize was held at the school in July. Megan Burton received a £20 book token as overall winner. Oliver Thirkettle, Anneka Gordon and Benjamin Sayward were awarded £10 book tokens as highly commended runners-up. Two further prizes were awarded to Abbie Mortimer-Ford and Josephine Harrison. Our final event for this year was the Quiz , held at the beginning of February, which raised £1,326.75 for the Charity’s funds.
The Friends have funded the purchase of one book missing from Thomas Plume’s collection in this financial year; a Lexicon dictionary, published in 1609. Money has also been donated to the Library for a project started in January 2017 for the conservation of the Library archives.

The Committee (Trustees) has met four times during the year. I would like to thank all the members of the Committee for their help and support. The Trustees of the Charity for the year 2016-2017 were:
Susan Swaffin-Smith      Chairman
Robert Anthony Doe      Secretary and Correspondent
Janis Croom                     Treasurer
Diana June Arthur
Alan Brown
Susan Edwards
Helen Kirstine Kemp
Mary Carmen Wells

The principal address of the Charity is that of the Correspondent, Mr Tony Doe, 23 Wentworth Meadows, Maldon, Essex CM9 6EH

Sue Swaffin-Smith, Chairman 31st March 2017