The Giles AGM covering 2020 and 2021.

The Chairman, Patrick Hartley, opened the meeting, held on 10 January 2022. Approximately 21 members of the Giles Group were in attendance. He reported:

“This AGM covers the last two years, although we did manage a financial summary report covering the 18 months to July 2021. There were a couple of meetings in the early part of 2020, then maybe 4 meetings in Autumn 2021: we are keen to start these up again in the coming year.

Equally the Tuesday coffee mornings were reinstated in Autumn 2021, but have shown very low attendance as the weather got worse. The Tesco surplus bread distribution ceased during the pandemic, and has not restarted.

Total membership currently stands at 41 – similar to two years ago: but 10 of the names on our list of members are from Wayfarer Place, so have typically joined recently. Several members have left the Group, through ill health, or moving into retirement homes away from Alresford: in particular the committee would like to mention Jeanne Nicholls, who has moved to Belford House, and did for many years organize the Giles Minibus pickups and outings very successfully.

With low activity also the expenditure of funds has also reduced. During the first year Clive expressed his wish to step down as Treasurer – unfortunately he cannot be with us today as he is isolating after testing positive for Covid at New Year. As reported last July our Nationwide account was closed, and only after help from Dave Adam were we able to create a new account at Lloyds Bank. The committee decided to co-opt and appoint Dave as the new Treasurer, and he will present the accounts.”


Dave Adam presented the accounts summary for the last two years. This basically showed the only major expenditure had been the hire costs for the Community Centre facilities, for both the meetings and the coffee mornings: these had totalled £234 over the period, meaning our bank account balance with Lloyds is currently £1888.54 (as at 10/01/2022). It was also pointed out that the new bank account, opened in November 2021, is in the name of “The Alresford Giles Association”, rather than the Giles Group.  The Giles Committee were very grateful for the £100 passed to the Group by Brenda Lowe, one of our members, in her Will, which was a kind thought, early in 2021. In view of the healthy bank balance, Dave suggested that we waive the membership fee for 2022, which was agreed by the meeting.

Secretary’s report

Nick Denbow mentioned that there were copies of the minutes of the previous AGM, held in February 2020, on the desks, and asked for a vote to accept these. This was proposed by Audrey Chalk, seconded by Rosemary Johnson, and passed by the meeting.

For the future, a schedule of the meetings planned for the next six months has been established, and cards were issued with the dates listed. Also a membership list was circulated. The list of planned meetings and the AGM minutes will be published on the website.

The discussion was opened up to talk about future suggested activities. With the current low attendance at the Tuesday coffee mornings, caused both by Covid and the poor weather, it was agreed coffee mornings would be suspended for January and February, to save the room hire costs. Equally there will be no outing in January. It was suggested that we should plan a trip to the Lasham garden centre shop.

For talks in the latter part of the year, topics suggested were (1) a talk from the Trading Standards people about scams etc, (2) a talk from a school teacher about current school activities, (3) a classical guitar presentation (4) Famous people met on aeroplanes – by Clive, (5) the activities and help available from the Alresford Pigs.


Giles Group Meetings for 2022

While we are confident that Meetings will restart sometime, the changes in regulations make it very difficult to confirm our meeting schedule. Currently the planned schedule for the first part of 2022 is as follows:

Meetings will take place on the second Monday of the month, at 2pm in the Community Centre, starting in January. Provisionally the plans are:

January 10th: The meeting will have our AGM and financial report, plus the party postponed from December, plus maybe some games of Bingo or similar, and the normal raffle.

February 14th: For Valentine’s Day, Margot Power will tell us what it has been like being a Town Councillor in Alresford, and naturally answer questions.

March 14th: Bernie Simmons will give a talk on the town Minibus history, which is currently run by the NATT, the New Alresford Town Trust.

April 11th: Nick Denbow will fill in here with a talk about Alresford Crafts, the maker of soft toys and dolls who worked in both town mills in the 60s and 70s, using example from the Alresford Museum.

May 9th: Denise Buxton, the Alresford “Village Agent” will introduce a talk on the services and activities offered by these community agents, who are supported by Age Concern and HCC

…..and then in June (on June 13th) we will possibly schedule a garden party, in the sunshine!

Following the discussion at the AGM in January, the coffee mornings will be suspended for January and February, and then hopefully continue on Tuesday mornings, 1030-1200, in the Community Centre from March starting on 1st March. However there will be no coffee mornings on the second Tuesday in the month, when this event conflicts with the coffee morning at St John’s.

Meetings for Nov/December 2021

In November, the Giles Group meeting in the Community Centre on Monday 8th will have a Q+A session about health, vaccinations and Pharmacy services: leading the event will be Mr Suki, the Pharmacist in charge of Wessex the chemists in Alresford. The meeting will start at 2pm approx. and be followed by the normal tea and a raffle.

The Minibus outing will be on Monday 15th November, visiting either the Eastleigh Swan Centre or the Kingsley Village market.

In December the normal meeting was going to be replaced by the Christmas party, from 2-4pm on Monday 13th December. We were hoping to start with some Christmas carol singing from the Perins school Music Department, followed by a Bingo game or similar, and tea, with mulled wine as an alternative! Regrettably this was cancelled at the last minute, because of new Government restrictions.

There will be no Minibus outing in December

Schedule for 2022

By January we hope to publish the talks schedule for 2022, as far as it can be arranged, with new membership cards.

Coffee Mornings

Working with the Community Centre management, we are cancelling coffee mornings when they have other bookings for the downstairs rooms at the centre, as this enables them to use the room more profitably (in blocks of several days at a time). We therefore will NOT hold coffee mornings on:

26 October,

16 and 23 November,

7, 14 and 21 December.

The next full meeting will be 10th January.

September Meeting! (+October too)

The next regular monthly meeting of the Giles Group will be on Monday September 13th, at 2pm in the Alresford Community Centre.

There will be a speaker, probably a young lady called Ellie, from The Environment Centre in Southampton ( They are an independent charity that aims to reduce carbon emissions, encourage sustainability, improve air quality and provide affordable warmth. They are financed by Hampshire County Council, and help local residents in Southampton, Portsmouth and rural Hampshire by providing tailored advice on energy use, heating, and insulation: they also advise on support such as the priority services register, and switching energy tariffs.

Ellie and a colleague will give a brief talk about these topics, and their “Hitting the Cold Spot” Service…. and then answer any specific questions you may have about home heating in general. They are also available on 02380 336172.

Afterwards we will have the normal teas and cakes, plus the raffle.

October Meeting

For our October meeting, on Monday October 11th, Mark Turner, the Chef and Restaurant Manager at Wayfarer Place will give a slide show covering his visit to Machu Picchu, the 15th-century Inca citadel in Peru.

Early morning in wonderful Machu Picchu

Image by Pedro Szekely,

Meeting in August!

The First Giles Group meeting for 2021 will be held on 9th August, the second Monday of the month, at the Community Centre in Alresford, from 2pm to approx 3.30pm.

This marks the re-start of our monthly meetings, but this first meeting will not have a Guest speaker: instead we will explain what has happened over the last 15 months, and discuss what our members would like to see as activities for the future.

There will also be a short slide show showing a selection of photos of some previous Giles outings, and some amusing kids with animals/pets pictures.

Plus teas as usual!

The Town Minibus will be available for anyone who needs transport one way or both ways, with collections starting at 1pm from the Meryon Road garage. The bus fare will be £2 this year, for the return trip.

Please advise numbers wanting the bus to Nick Denbow, before Monday 9th

Contact data for Nick Denbow (Giles Group Secretary) is, or phone 01962 734824 (leave a message if not available)

[Plus don’t forget the Tuesday coffee morning sessions have restarted as normal, every week on a Tuesday 10.30-12 o’clock, with the doors wide open and small tables to spread us all out!]

How we were…back when?

In the earlier days of the Giles Group history – for after all it has been going for nearly 30 years – there was a Group photo taken by Brian Champion, in the Community Centre lower hall, showing the Group of members one Summer, assembled for their “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party”.

The sober photo shows a group of very respectable elderly citizens:

Can you recognise anyone?

On the back row, starting from the left, we have identified the following:

Liz Lawrence – Unknown – Mary Keer – Unknown – Brian Purkiss – Unknown – Geoff Sayer – Unknown – Tessa Purkiss

Then in the front row, starting again from the left:

Mr Lawrence – Unknown – Molly Cook – Maureen Proudfoot – Fabia Wrigley – Unknown – Monica Dore.

Then approximately across the middle row mainly of ladies we have:

Unknown – Gladys Ashe – Unknown – Unknown – Joan Ogilvie – Peter Middleton – Unknown – Nan McNamara

After the formal photo there was another, dressed for the Mad Hatter’s tea party:

Same people, different hats.

When was this picture taken? It was a long time ago, the Community Centre walls were papered, and had no tapestry or pictures on there. So probably pre-2000? If anyone can tell us when, or add names, please do!

Giles AGM for 2019

The AGM for the Giles Group was held on 10th February 2020, in the Community Centre. The meeting was well attended, by about 30 members. The year was very positive, with many new members joining, primarily from McCarthy & Stone’s new development: the total of active members is now over 40.  The funding received at the year end from the Co-op boosted our finances for the next 12 months, and attendance at the meetings and the coffee mornings are at record levels: possibly boosted by the cakes at the meetings, and the Tesco bread at the coffee mornings.

The financial report is as below:

2019 FY Giles results

The full AGM minutes are as below:


Minutes of the AGM held on 10th February 2020 in the Community Centre

The meeting was opened by Patrick Hartley, the Chairman: copies of the 2019 AGM minutes were on each table, as well as copies of the financial summary accounts for the year to January 31st. There was a good turnout, with around 30 members attending.

2019 Chairman’s Report: Patrick Hartley, the Chairman, reported a good year in general. The only hiccup was possibly from the problems with finding drivers and helpers to man the Mini-Bus – but with help from the Pigs and Margot Power we have kept the outings going, all thanks to them, and we now have Ray as an allocated driver, which is excellent.

The Coffee mornings regularly see 12 sitting round the tables, and the free Tesco bread deliveries have been well received. New members have been streaming in, from the arrivals at Wayfarer’s Place, recruited by Una!

Generally the Giles Group has been doing well, over the last year, with a variety of different talks, and this seems set to continue for 2020. Patrick expressed his thanks to all the Giles committee and other helpers, like Gina and Audrey Chalk, for their support in all the meetings.

2019 AGM The Secretary, Nick Denbow, then read a summary of the minutes of the 2019 AGM, and asked for these to be accepted by the meeting. Proposer was Tessa Purkiss, seconded by Paul Gunner: the vote in favour was unanimous.

Treasurer’s Report: Clive Earthy presented his financial report, thanking Carole Cook for auditing them, and Jackie for typing them. The total income was up £230, mainly thanks to a generous donation from the Co-op of nearly £800. Without this the outlook would have been a lot different. The expenditure was largely the same as the previous year, where we had cut back significantly on speaker’s fees.

Without the Co-op windfall we would have faced a poor outlook, so with relatively fixed outgoings, we need to boost the income. It was proposed that we increase the membership fees by £2 to £17 per annum, and also seek further NATC funding for our activity later in the current year. The regular raffle at the meeting would be reviewed, possibly to have fewer prizes, of a higher value.

The report was proposed by Clive, seconded by Nick Denbow, and passed with a unanimous vote of the members present.


Three of the Giles Committee members, Patrick, Diann and Jeanne, stepped down from the Committee and offered themselves for re-election. There were no other nominations for the Committee, so these three were re-elected.

Ann Holliday, on behalf of the members, thanked the Committee and their helpers for their work in making the Giles Group continue to run well.

Jeanne reminded members that the Alison McGregor trip round the Solent is scheduled for the evening of June 15th: with only 12 seats available please book early!




Giles Christmas party 2019

The Giles Group of Alresford enjoyed a well-attended Christmas party this December, starting with some Carols (and other songs) from the Perins school girls choir, led by their music teacher, Mel Ashford.


The event this year brought a successful year to a close, with many new members, and with notable support from the New Alresford Town Council and several of the major supermarkets. In particular Tesco in Broad Street has made regular donations of bakery products via the Giles Tuesday coffee morning, which is then also delivered to Makins Court. In November the Giles Group were delighted to receive a donation from the Co-op National Community Support Fund, which has helped the strained finances. Plus, as seen in the photo above, Sainsburys kindly donated their used Christmas decorations to the Community Centre,which brightened up the meeting room.

After being entertained and even joining in the sing-song with the choir, the Giles members enjoyed some cakes and sausage rolls, contributed by several of the members, plus quite a lot of Mulled wine!

More pictures of the choir and audience follow:

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Financial results for 2018

The February 2019 meeting of the Giles Group was also the AGM, where the financial performance over the 2018 year was discussed.

The overall spend for the year was £1115, in fact just £7 less than last year. The income was approx £130 more than in 2017, but this included two separate donations from the New Alresford Town Council, of £325 each – these payments replaced a similar level of support from other bodies, classed as ‘Donations’ in the previous year. Two other sources of revenue were down on 2017, Membership subscriptions were down £40 for the year, and the raffles earned £40 less than in 2017.

The full figures can be seen in the report below.

Scan Giles AGM

The funds carried forward into February 2019, the start of the Group’s next financial year were £1024, which should cover costs for the rest of the year.