2020-21 Chairman's Annual Report

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2020-21 Annual Report

The past year has been a very challenging time for everyone. There can be no organisation, employer or indeed any citizen who has not been affected in some way. Helensburgh Heritage Trust is no exception to this and like many other organisations we have been driven in the direction of technology and the internet to maintain continuity.

A series of Board meetings as well as our AGM have been held via the Zoom Platform. This has meant some alterations to our constitution and I would like to thank Stewart Noble in particular for his experience and diligence in this respect.

Our previous Chairman, David Clark resigned at the end of the last financial year and I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Trust Board to thank David for his sterling work over the years. After several months with no chairman, I decided to offer the board my services and I’m delighted to say that I was elected by them in August. It will be a big job to try to match David’s enthusiasm and effort but I will do my best.

I would also like to thank Geoff Tompson who resigned from the Trust Board in September. Geoff and his wife Trudi were both directors but sadly Trudi had to resign because of ill health in 2018 and passed away not long afterwards, after succumbing to a bravely borne illness. We understand Geoff’s decision and thank him for his contribution. Geoff’s departure has been balanced by the co-opting of Alison Gildea to the board. It is good to have another woman on the board – particularly one with the array of business and creative skills that Alison brings.

It was very disappointing for us to have to cancel our series of Winter Talks at the Council Offices. There was, of course no alternative to this. However, Stewart Noble held a very interesting and enjoyable ‘webinar’ talk on John Logie Baird. Donald Fullarton and Jim Chestnut have continued to improve the excellent HHT website which attracts considerable interest worldwide. During the year a couple of newsletters were produced for members. On the social media side, our Helensburgh Memories Facebook Group once again saw growth and now has more than 8,400 members worldwide.

Planning permission has been granted for a display board beside the RAF Helensburgh memorial at Kidston Park. Although the cost of this can be met from the Trust’s own funds, we are grateful for considerable assistance of a benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous. Further donations will of course also be much appreciated.

The Trust has significant input into the committee which has been formed with a view to celebrating the centenary of John Logie Baird’s invention of television in 1925. This committee includes Iain Baird, the pioneer’s grandson as well as Brian Keating who is the man behind the Scottish Submarine Centre and the Tower Digital Arts Centre. We look forward to keeping you informed of progress in organising exhibitions and events to celebrate the achievements of Helensburgh’s  most famous son.

Robert Ryan