Waltham St. Lawrence Silver Band

Annual General Meeting 2018

The 2018 WSL Silver Band AGM was held at the Neville Hall on 24th January with 18 members present. Opening the meeting at 8.00 p.m., Keith Penton explained that the outgoing Secretary, Chris Bennett, was unable to attend through illness, which also meant that the official 2017 minutes were not available. The website report on the previous AGM had been distributed in advance in their place, and was accepted as a true record.


The meeting was informed that the band had fulfilled 15 public engagements in 2017. It had lost five players – one deceased, one retired, two moved away and one resigned but still willing to dep when possible. Five new regular members had joined.

As Treasurer, Keith Penton presented the financial report. The band had made a loss of £2,793 over the year to end September 2017, largely attributable to the visit to Germany in June and the purchase of a new cornet for £1,200.

The Chairman’s report was presented by Jane Lynn. She voiced thanks to Jim Pullen, who had resigned as conductor in the course of the year, and to various individuals who had contributed efforts to keep the band running as committee members, librarian, refreshment providers and deputy conductors. It had been a mixed year, with the death of Howard Lunn and a memorial concert for Paul Singleton on the one hand, and a successful pensioners’ party featuring a star turn by Wendy Craig on the other. June had been a very busy month, with four engagements and a successful trip to visit Musikverein Friesheim in Germany. Jane extended a warm welcome to our new players, and a sad farewell to those who had left. Jim Pullen was especially thanked for helping the band through difficulties at the beginning of the year.

Jane reviewed the year’s engagements, which included the three regular Remembrance Day locations, and mooted the possibility of resuming marching for the parades in Waltham and Bray in 2018. Street carolling had again been reduced to match the physical capabilities of members, and the year had ended with a good community get-together at Round the Pound. Special thanks were extended to Angela Townsend, Nick Buffault, Margaret Saunders and Isabelle Crawley-Boevey for their help as collectors and in the kitchen, and to John Townsend for playing Father Christmas.

Looking to 2018, Jane announced that sponsorship from Bishop’s Move Ltd. had been secured for another year, and she presented a cheque to the Treasurer. Jane extended a warm welcome to our new conductor Steve Block, and voiced hopes for another great year.

Steve Block, who took up the post of Musical Director at the beginning of January, addressed the meeting. He thanked the band for its warm welcome, and said he had been impressed by people’s enthusiasm and commitment. There was good potential to improve and develop existing members, and gaps also needed filling. He hoped he could help recruit new players. Steve felt it was important to build up an audience base, especially locally, using concerts and outdoor engagements to attract an audience. He suggested organizing a “bright and breezy” concert in late spring, and perhaps another in the autumn. It was to be noted that 2018 sees the centenary of the end of the First World War. A balance meanwhile needed to be struck between concert programme choice and playing music for the band’s own enjoyment.

Steve hoped to focus on developing key skills: listening to each other; watching for directions from the middle; and accurate playing of parts. He looked forward to an exciting year.

Election of officers & committee

Apart from the Secretary, members of the outgoing committee were willing to continue, and were re-elected as follows. No nominations for new members were forthcoming.

Officers and committee were elected as follows:

Chairman Jane Lynn
Secretary Vacancy (Later: Marie Wharmby)
Treasurer Keith Penton
Committee members
Steve Saunders (Engagement Secretary)
Ben Midgley (Equipment Officer)
Debbie Morton  
Clair Williams  

Non-committee posts

Bandperson of the Year

Ballots had been handed out during the meeting to elect the 2017 Bandperson of the Year. Winner of the title this year was Keith Penton.

The meeting closed at 2100, and was followed by a rehearsal.