Chairman's and Treasurer's report,

17th September 2019


- Noel Mitchell

I don’t propose, this time, to review the whole of last year’s programme. But I will say that, when looking through the ten talks, trips and other events that we have held in the last 12 months, I was impressed by how “local” our activities really have been. Our themes included Nelson, Norfolk at the WWI Armistice, Horsey, Great Yarmouth regalia, Victorian Schools in Norfolk, The Museum of the Broads, and the recently accomplished “Finest Quay in Europe” walks, excellently guided by Janet. There was also the ancient footpaths walk on the east fields, led by the inexhaustible Ann, who also presented another of her Archive Afternoon – and there was last year’s AGM!

For some time our AGM talks have been presented by members. So last year three members were gently encouraged into “taking the floor”, each to deliver a short talk. One was especially local as it concerned metal-detecting in and around Martham. The speakers were confident, interesting and much enjoyed. Between them, they helped to deliver the longest History Group meeting ever.


Now let’s take a look forward – by asking a question often repeated at AGMs:  “What are you doing with all that money?” Our usual answer has been couched in terms such as “retaining a working balance”, “speakers becoming more expensive”, “subsidising coach trips” (although not this year, when Peter’s trip to Ely was not only a resounding success but even made a profit!). Well, now some more constructive answers are in early development:

1. Our Archive. The original and long term reason for accumulating funds.  Meetings are being held with the County Library Service to discuss whether space could be found in Martham Library to accommodate, and to make accessible, our existing collection of local materials. In addition, our archive sub-group has been given access to other Martham-related documents currently stored, un-catalogued, in the basement of Great Yarmouth Library but which could be brought back home. If space is found our funds could contribute to acquiring storage and display facilities.


2. Archive training. We have succeeded in becoming, along with some 20 other Norfolk communities, a member group of a Norfolk Records Office Partnership Agreement.  NRO is applying for a substantial grant which, if successful, will lead to a small number of our members, not necessarily only from the committee, receiving training in the creation and management of physical and digital archives, and also to our receiving the required training equipment to use locally. We have heard that Norfolk Records Office negotiations have gone well and that the result will be announced shortly.

3. It has often been noted that even though the History Group has previously led a number of well-attended and well-received village walks, Martham unlike many other places, does not have a village trail. The committee is now looking into creating and publicising such a self-guided walk (yet to receive its name) to take the form of a good quality locally-printed leaflet and by one or more information boards. Expensive, but our reserves could be used as match funding in support of a grant.


4. The Schooldays in Martham Booklet. This booklet written by Ann with help from Nicola and Chris was last updated in 2010 and has sold well.  The Committee has decided once again to update the booklet and to obtain quotes for printing locally. The costs of this procedure will have to be covered but hopefully will be offset by future sales.

5. And finally – Blue Plaques.  If you have not seen it, go up Black Street and observe the plaque we installed a year or two ago on the wall of the old rectory. The Committee would be pleased to hear your ideas about who or what could be commemorated next.


So it is going to be a busy time for the Committee and for any others of you who may volunteer to join these ventures. I know that members are all grateful for the work that has been done and for the work that is to be done – and not only by the Committee. Always remember that helping with the washing up is at least as important as someone like me delivering speeches. Of course we all remain grateful to the Methodist Church, and to all those who display or distribute our posters and advertisements, which now reach over 20 locations and publications in and around Martham - and who knows how many thousands of people.


So, a good year in the bag and an interesting year ahead – even better if all you members keep attending in the numbers that you do and bringing your friends and neighbours along as well. To help you keep in touch, you should continue to visit our website,, where amongst lots of other items, the full text of this address will be published.


Noel Mitchell

Chairman, Martham Local History Group

Financial Report – 2019: Martham Local History Group

- Chris Harrison


Over the last twelve months the amount held in the History Group’s bank account has increased slightly to £3395.43.  This takes into account the fact that we had one extra talk this year and the speaker’s fees were higher than last year.  Subscription receipts have been received from 78 members, an increase from last year of 3, with total receipts amounting to £780.00; in addition, income from non-member receipts & donations total £211.20, which is almost identical to last year.  We also have three uncleared cheques, one to GYBC in respect of the recent South Quay walk, one to The Museum of the Broads in respect of the visit paid there in June, and another to cover the secretary’s expenses, all will be accounted for in next year's annual statement.


As with previous years the annual subscription allows all members free entry to our monthly meetings, and it is encouraging to note that average attendances are still achieving over 40 people including the occasional visitor.  The committee considers that the subscriptions received should be sufficient to continue this practice of free entry for members.


Annual subscriptions for Members will remain unchanged at £10.00 and will be due by the end of December this year, and anybody not renewing by the last day of February 2020 will be removed from the Membership.  Renewals can be paid from today, as can any new membership request, and these will benefit in being valid until 31 December 2020.


As mentioned in the Chairman’s report, the funds held in MLHG account may appear on the large side but with future projects being discussed the funds may well be used to offset the cost of producing a Village Trail leaflet and information boards, and also the possible reprinting of the Schooldays in Martham booklet which was first produced in 2010 and is now out of print.

We also have a large number of documents held by committee members for which we are continually looking for places to safely store these items.  We are hoping that we may be able to secure some space in Martham library to achieve this.


Once again thank you to all Members who renew their membership and support our events throughout the year, without you the History Group would not exist.



Chris Harrison

MLHG Treasurer

17th September 2018

Statement of accounts

1 September 2018 – 31 August 2019


Please click on this pdf file to see the full accounts as presented to the AGM, 2019


Assets of Martham Local History Group         

(Balance at Bank £3395.43 + Petty Cash £23.73) = £3419.16

N.B. There are uncleared cheques £22.69 (Secretary's expenses), £92.00 (GYBC – South Quay walk) Museum of the Broads £216.00

I certify that these figures are extracts from the Martham Local History Group's Account documents maintained by me. 

Funds are lodged with Lloyds TSB, Great Yarmouth.  Account No. 62533960


"A more detailed version of these accounts is available from the Treasurer on request.  These accounts have been independently examined and approved."



10 September 2019                                     Chris Harrison



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