Oxted & District History Society - Chairman’s Letter

Chairman’s Letter - Autumn 2014

I have now completed the first of three years as your Chairman, and

am delighted to report another successful year for the society

due, in the main, to yet another outstanding programme of speakers

arranged by Kath McCarthy.

We heard from a wide variety of visiting speakers

as well as three talks by our own members -

The Kaiser. The Tsar & Europe’s last Emperors by Peter Shipley.

Following the theme - The Causes of World War One by Brian McEvoy.

An Enclosure of the Waste at Limpsfield by John Tolley.

We continue to be greatly indebted to the Minister and Elders of the United

Reformed Church for allowing us to meet here in these congenial surroundings.

Overall attendance has continued to grow, averaging between 70/80

with over 100 at one talk. 

Our membership now stands at 94 and we have seen a large increase in

income from visitors’.

We also had a visit from Oxted School Six form students. Something we

are going to encourage.

Our sound and visual technology has perform well, most of the time

thanks to John Fogg-Elliott, our  Equipment Officer.

Our only significant hiccup occurred when a visiting speaker had the

microphone on the wrong lapel.

Our apologies to those who found it hard to hear. A lesson that we have now


I am sad to report that, after about 20 years, Moyna Bridge has asked to

retire as our Hon Secretary and I must record our sincere thanks to her

for her long and valuable service on our Committee.

On hearing of Moyna's forthcoming retirement, Kath McCarthy expressed

interest in taking over as Hon Secretary instead of continuing as

Vice-Chairman, and succeeding me as Chairman in two years' time,

Whilst Kath's proposal was accepted with sadness, I am pleased to report that

the Committee will be proposing Dr Peter Shipley as Vice-Chairman with the

intention that he will take over as Chairman in 2016.

Peter is a professional historian and we are fortunate that he is willing to join

us enthusiastic amateur historians on the Committee.

Publicity is important to the growth of our society and our thanks go to Keith

Louis, our President, for preparing and displaying eye-catching posters for our

meetings, in the Oxted area, and to Stuart Paterson, our Publicity Officer, for

his amazingly quick reports on our talks and press reports for local

newspapers and magazines.

Our society’s website for which I am responsible, continues and I

am hopping will develop into a more interactive medium later  this year.

More news of that in the Autumn.

Our Summer outing to ‘Strawberry Hill House’ was a great success with a nearly full coach and an exceptionally interesting pair of guides.

Only enhanced by the delightful catering and surroundings..

Last year’s Newsletter, produced for the first time by our past chairman

Trevor Burrage, is deserving of our sincere thanks and also mine for

producing some exceptional material for the web site.

My first year as Chairman would have been much harder

without the support, guidance and mentoring of our past Chairman, Trevor

Burrage and the Committee.

I must express my sincere thanks to those already mentioned and, also, to

Moyna Bridge, our departing, Hon Secretary, and Anna Burrage, our Hon

Treasurer, for their very important work in keeping the administration of the

Society in such good shape.

Finally, I am grateful for the help and support of our new Program Secretary,

Roy Eaton who has organised a very interesting programme of talks starting

in the Autumn.

Christopher Pendred