CHAIRMAN’S ANNUAL REPORT TO THE TRUSTEES FOR 2022
2021 was another rather strange year for the Packing Shed, due to Covid. We finally managed to open at the beginning of July, rather than late April, with restricted numbers allowed for bookings. Later in July, as restrictions eased, we were able to plan open days and accept unrestricted bookings. Unfortunately, the first two open days had to be cancelled, the first due to generator problems and the second to bad weather, but the next three went ahead as planned.
Due to the late start, bookings were down but we ended the year just a few hundred ponds down. Our treasurer will supply the figures in her report. Not a bad outcome, all things considered.
The Borough Council tried their best to make life difficult for us by insisting on Boatman’s licences and medicals for all our launch drivers in addition to the RYA certification. The cost was prohibitive, so at a Colchester Borough Council Licensing Committee meeting held on Zoom, I argued our case, stating that the Packing Shed was a vital element in Colchester’s oystering heritage and that their charges could potentially close down our charity. Eventually, they agreed a reduced licence fee for charity launch drivers and a simpler and less expensive medical. This brought the cost down to a more manageable level and it was agreed that for 2021 only, there would only be 5 launch drivers. These committed to being available for all the events for the truncated season.
During lockdown Greg, Alan. Bry, John, Jenny, Gavin and Wendy continued to refurbish the museum section of the Shed adding oyster shells and clear and concise labels. Favourable comments have been received from many visitors so it was clearly worth the time and effort
involved - thank you.
Thanks to Greg and Tom, the two generators are now working properly and hopefully will continue to do so throughout the 2022 season.
Planning for 2022 was an important part of the committee’s work in late 2021. Kevan came up with an incredible list of money-making ideas, which were discussed carefully and then reduced to a more manageable three! These are: a midsummer party with a hog roast in June, a Paddle In for paddle boarders and kayakers in July. and a Pirate party in August. Watch out for further details for these events.
In 2021 we gained another 3 volunteers: Heidi Cornish who has taken over all the children’s activities, as chief pirate, John Tasker who has offered to be a general all-round helper and Mim O’Neill, who made all the delicious scones to serve at Open Days. Unfortunately, she will be unable to help this season as she is having building work at her house, but has promised to continue in 2023. If you can help with the scone making or know someone who would be willing to help, then please do let me know.
In closing, I must thank all my fellow trustees, launch drivers and volunteers for all their efforts throughout the very trying last two years. Your commitment and dedication to the Packing Shed
has meant that it continues to exist successfully, illustrating the heritage of Mersea Island.
Let us all hope that 2022 is a much healthier and safer and more prosperous year for everyone.
CHAIRMAN’S ANNUAL REPORT TO THE TRUSTEES FOR 2021
For all of us, 2020 was the strangest of years.
The Packing Shed has not been open to visitors since the end of the 2019 season. Income has been non existent although there have been some donations totalling £830. Other charities have also suffered in the same way.
Because we were closed for the whole 2020 season, the maintenance team, of Greg and Tom, used the time to carry out essential repairs on the Shed, including replacing the anti-slip mesh on the jetty, replacing one of the steps which had been washed away in a high tide and replacing the weather vane which had blown down. Greg also replaced the manual pumps on both launches, and antifouled Packing Shed 2 before it went into the water.
Late in 2019, the Shed was completely rewired with new switches, sockets and cables. This meant some areas needed tidying up. Between lockdowns a group of volunteers went out to the Shed to rectify this and revamp the museum. I took charge of the painting, assisted by Greg whilst Bry, John, Jenny, Gavin, Wendy and Imogen concentrated on the artifacts. Rust removing was great fun, as was rebuilding the old scales that were originally found under the Shed. I hope you will be as impressed with them as I am! The old rudder has been moved and is now fixed securely in a safer place, unlikely to fall on anyone.
John and Jenny had a plan to revamp the museum, so after asking Alan Bird to use his expert knowledge to explain what everything was, disposed of the rubbish. They then executed their plan for a clearer display of the artefacts. New shelves, made by Greg, made all this possible, and the museum now looks far more professional. All that still needs to be added are sheets explaining what each item is and how it was used.
It is with regret, that we have had to say goodbye to Angela Peppiatt, who has left for personal reasons. She served as minutes secretary for the last few years, keeping the committee on the straight and narrow. Beryl has kindly agreed to take on this role and has proved an excellent replacement.
Gill Tydie, too has stepped down from the position of catering manager, due to ill health, but is hoping to still be a volunteer at the occasional open day.
It just remains for me to thank each and everyone of you, for standing by the Packing Shed after such a difficult year. I hope that 2021 will show be an improvement so that we can all be together at some point.
22nd April 2021
Virtual AGM, April 2020
Being unable to meet for our annual general meeting, our chairman and treasurer prepared their annual reports which are reproduced below
CHAIRMAN’S ANNUAL REPORT TO THE TRUSTEES FOR 2019
2019 turned out to have been slightly less busy than 2018, bur once again was a reasonably successful year.
Our volunteer team changed slightly with David Jarvis, Fraser Haddow, Tom Knight and Ant Jones withdrawing from active launch driving (the latter two because of pressures of work). However other launch drivers stepped up and we managed to cover every booking and all the open days.
Gill Tydie took on the role of catering manager, but other commitments meant she was unable to attend all the open days. Luckily Bry once again took on the task (as well as her other duties) – much appreciated, Bry.
Pete Tydie was able to prove his worth as a launch driver, having qualified last season. At the very end of the season, Gavin and Wendy Whittaker passed their RYA level 2 powerboat qualifications, and are ready to join the launch driving team when the season restarts. John and Jenny O’Donnell joined the volunteers’ team as did Imogen Gosling. They all proved their worth in the kitchen last year, although John is hoping to complete the coastal section of his RYA level 2 powerboat qualifications, to join the launch driving team.
The maintenance team’s extension of the washing up area proved to be a real boon! David Green continues to advise his “boys” Greg and Tom, who are surely now out of apprenticeship mode!
Kevan Pugh agreed to serve as a trustee and has also taken on the role of publicity – a task he really enjoys.
Weather-wise, 2019 was a good year. We only lost one open day and one booking due to bad weather. There was a reduction in bookings from 26 in 2018 to 22 in 2019, but an extra 2 open days which helped the revenue stream. Also more people opted to stay overnight and happily paid the extra fee to do so.
Unusual bookings in 2019 included a photoshoot for the White Company, one for the Girl Guides and 3 days booked by Mersea Island School, for the children to explore their heritage in science and textiles. A local town councillor asked for a trip around the harbour as being confined to a wheelchair, she had never seen the things that others talked about. She really did enjoy herself and asked for a repeat performance this year!
Lastly and to close, I would like to thank my fellow trustees, committee members and all the volunteers whose sheer hard work and dedication made the 2019 season such a success.
7th April 2020
Treasurer’s Report April 6, 2020
The Trust started 2019 with funds of £13,623.
Receipts for 2019 amounted to £9,828, of which the major components were donations – almost £5,800
Open Days - £3,900
Sales - mainly souvenirs, clothing and posters – amounted to just under £200.
Open Day receipts around £3,900 were generated from 6 open days, varying widely between £360 from our first event and £900 from July’s event.
Payments for 2019 amounted to £6,784 of which the maintenance, licensing and running of our two launches at £2,800 are our greatest expense, (unchanged from the previous year), followed by insurances at £1,300, almost unchanged since 2017.
Maintenance of the Shed and site, in the capable hands of Greg and Tom, was £1,348, of which £1,066 was essential expenditure on renewing electrical services.
Our surplus of £3,044 when added to the opening balance of £13,623 meant that the Trust started this year with funds of £16,668.
Keeping in mind that we need to set aside around £5,200 each year to replace launches and generators on the terms set out in 2018’s report, this represents a negative balance of funds for the Trust – ie funds at the end of 2019 are below the level set in 2018 to maintain operations in the absence of grants.
Bill Norman was a long serving member of the Packing Shed Trust and a trustee, treasurer and launch driver for many years. Sadly, he died, after a short illness, in November 2018. At his funeral the family asked for donations to the Trust in lieu of flowers, and an amazing amount of money was collected. The committee wanted a special commemoration for Bill and after much discussion, chose to install the comfortable teak bench. Inscribed with Bill’s name, volunteers get the chance to talk about our departed friend and colleague to visitors to the island.
October 1, 2019
Chairman’s Annual Report to the Trustees for 2018
2018 was a slightly quieter year for the Packing Shed, albeit a very successful one.
The two new boats have proved their worth and their slightly larger size has been a boon, streamlining our operations. During the winter months, only one is now stored in David Green’s backyard and the other in the Yacht Club City Road car park, on a frame designed by Greg. We also finally sold the old Rigiflex launch – thank you David Jarvis.
Our team of volunteers has expanded with the addition of Gill and Pete Tydie and Wendy Whittaker. Jean freeman and Ginny Jarvis stepped down as leaders of the catering team and Bry led the team for the year (as well as her other duties) – learning to make scones for the first time in her life! Gill has now volunteered to take over as lead on the catering team. We wish her the best for the 2019 season. Pete Tydie and Tom Knight both qualified as launch drivers during 2018 taking our total drivers to 13. Wendy has volunteered to help wherever she can although last year was a difficult time for her. We do hope to see more of her in 2019. Tom Knight also designed a new publicity poster which proved very popular not only to bring in cream tea eaters but also as a fundraiser, as over 50 have been sold at £10 each.
David Green continues to help with the maintenance team despite having stepped back last year. It appears it is in his blood – there is no stopping him! His knowledge and expertise is much valued by the new team of Greg and Tom. The maintenance team, extended the washing up area in the Shed, towards the end of the season, which should make catering a little easier.
David Jarvis stepped down as vice-chair and trustee in order to spend more time on his own boat, but he has offered his help whenever he is available.
Kevan Pugh has integrated back in the team after his time in Canada and is now a committee member and publicity officer. We were delighted that he and his lovely fiancée Nic, chose to celebrate their wedding on the Packing Shed in June. The sun shone and everyone had a great time.
Angela Peppiatt joined the committee as minutes secretary taking over from Paddy who did not wish to continue. She is doing an excellent job!
November was a sad month as sadly we lost our previous treasurer Bill Norman. He will always be remembered for his pyromania whenever there was wood to be disposed of. RIP Bill – you have certainly earned it.
Financially 2018 was a great success, as Graeme will tell you later.
We had some 26 bookings last year, finishing as usual with the Mersea Dredging Match. This included 3 weddings and 5 open days, only one of which had to be cancelled due to bad weather. The first open day of the year on Bank holiday Monday broke all previous records for income achieving £1,394.08. It was an exhausting day but certainly well worth it!
Lastly and in closing, I would like to thank my fellow trustees, committee members, launch drivers, caterers, maintenance team and all the volunteers whose dedication and sheer hard work, made the 2018 season so successful.
Without their commitment none of this would have been possible
Chair, Packing Shed Trust 6th April 2019