Report by chairman Les Goddard for the year 2017-2018

At last year’s AGM the existing committee members were re-elected en bloc with Roger Brown and Sarkis Kupelian augmenting our numbers. In accordance with our constitution, the committee officers were elected at the subsequent committee meeting and remained unchanged.

We repeated the two major events we introduced to our programme in 2015/16 – music on the lawn and the scarecrow festival, which again proved to be very successful. Our third outdoor concert featured a folk band. In September 2017 our third scarecrow festival was, in my opinion, the best event the SCA has ever staged in bringing the whole community together. You are probably aware that preparations for this year’s festival are well underway. Our summer event will be a Medieval Family Festival run in collaboration with the Friends of Sandal Castle at West Yorkshire Sports Club on August 11.

The festive season commenced with the Christmas tree light-up. The switch-on was followed by an entertaining evening at Sandal Castle School.  Following discussions at the 2016 AGM we pursued the procurement of a “live” Christmas tree which was finally planted in November 2017. Our grateful thanks go to our ward councillors for their support in this process, including obtaining financial assistance. Early December drew another packed house to the West Yorkshire Sports Club where we enjoyed listening to the Horbury Victoria Youth Brass Band. We plan to repeat both these popular events prior to Christmas this year.

These events were augmented by a few old favourites such as the cheese and wine evening including a talk “Heraldry and Family History” by SCA member David Lane, litter picks, helping local organisations and the return of hanging baskets for the summer months. Our final event of the 2017/18 financial year was a very successful wine tasting evening which, unfortunately, was the last event organised by Jean Chaplin as she decided to resign from the committee. Jean has, however, continued to be a key member of our scarecrow festival organising committee.

In the current year we will again be staging a few more “firsts”. However, if you have any ideas for future functions we would welcome suggestions, particularly if you are willing to help with the organisation. One of my key aims as chair of the Association is to engage with the wider community so please let me know of any ideas you have to enhance community spirit and inclusivity within Sandal.

On the communications front, the website continues to be updated, our Facebook “likes” increased from around 1700 to 2000 in the last year and we continue to be on Twitter at “sandalvillage” in addition to continuing to update our members through regular emails.So 2017/18 proved to be another good year for the Association with membership increasing from 410 to over 430 households. Thank you to those members who have continued to support the Association and we extend a warm welcome to those who have joined during the year.  We will strive to increase membership again during the coming year. Membership application/renewal letters will again be distributed to approximately 3,000 households with our autumn newsletter prior to the October 1 renewal date.

Finally, I would like to thank both the committee and the members who regularly assist us at events for their work and support during the year. If anyone else wishes to join us please contact myself or any other committee member.

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