Welcome to 2015
Extract from 127th AGM Minutes, held 27th June 2015 ...
Future of AOSA
Linda Hewison informed the AGM that, in view of the financial situation and the falling number of Members, the Committee felt it was time to consider the future of the Association, and will start this at their meeting on 26th September 2015. It is obviously important that Members have a voice in the discussions.
Fears were expressed that the end of the Magazine would mean the end of AOSA The question was asked if the Magazine was to become web-based, could a paper version be sent to those without computers.
Expense is a key issue, since annual subscriptions do not cover the costs of sending out the Magazine.
Sue Fox pointed out the reduced numbers attending the AGM; meal numbers, too had decreased dramatically from 52 in 2010 to 34 in 2015 (and not all are Old Scholars - some are partners). This is probably due to the cost of travel and accommodation, and the increasing age of Members. It was difficult to find Old Scholars willing or able to play in Sunday’s cricket match. Sue felt the Association was facing a choice: fade away gradually or set a cut-off date and finish with a big celebration. In 2017 it will be 20 years since the School closed. We should celebrate the fact that the Association had lasted so long.
Linda Hewison emphasised that everyone loves the School and the Association. Points raised will appear in the 2016 magazine and the views of Members are needed.
Roy George suggested sending a newsletter to all 500 Members so they could make their views known. However Sue Fox reminded Members that the “Dilemma” notice sent out in 2010 had produced few responses. (Again, expense is an issue.)
Liz Bownes (nee Banks) reiterated concerns regarding finance and accommodation; she felt the Association is not sustainable in its current form.
Susan Riley thought that the Committee would need 2 or 3 suggestions as to how / if the Association should continue.
Diz Dexter took up this idea: following the AGM and any feedback, the Committee could decide on options which will go in next year’s Magazine to be voted on in next year’s AGM, and the final decision will appear in the 2017 Magazine. Options should be put on the website too, with a request for feedback.
Colin Brooking wondered if the costs of the Magazine could be separated from those of the Association, but this would be complicated as Life Members obviously do not contribute any further revenue (to annual costs) once they have joined.
Graeme Kidd, as a non-Old Scholar Member, recognised the depth of feeling, but felt it was necessary to be practical.
George Hetherington wondered if the Association could continue without the Magazine, but Louise pointed out that news / information might still need to be sent out, and not everyone was on email. Time was obviously needed to digest the points raised and to give feedback. John Smith reminded Members that the closure of the School meant that no new Old Scholars were joining to provide revenue. Perhaps it was time for a dignified closure and celebration, and to continue “virtually”.
Charles Megginson passed away, news reached us on 2nd May 2015.
I am very sad to have to report to you the death of our last Bursar John Roberts.
As you know John did sterling service during his time as bursar and was instrumental in a number of initiatives to try to improve the viability of the School alongside our Head Alice Meager. Once the closure became inevitable he was a tower of strength to all involved and it was through his services that the closure, sale, auction sale, and final handover to the buyer went so smoothly and the maximum possible return for our assets was achieved.
The 2011 reunion took place over the weekend of 25th/26th June. If anyone would like to send details on how this went, photos etc for the website please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
For some time Dick had been planning to move the AOSA website to a new domain registered specially for it and as part of that move we had planned to update the look of the site to make it easier to navigate and to bring the code up to modern standards. As his friend and business partner I have taken over the task of completing this as I know it was something dear to Dick's heart and so the pages have now been moved and the process of modernising them is well under way. There are no changes to the original content, it is just being wrapped in a better navigation system.
A system to automatically redirect visitors from the old pages to the new ones has been installed but you should update your bookmarks to reflect the new URL: www.aytonoldscholars.org
There are over 1100 pages on this site so you will find some that still have the original look - these will be updated as quickly as I can work through them but please be patient as it will obviously take some time to complete. The forum and other interactive pages should work as before but if you do find any pages that are clearly broken (not just in the old format), or email links that still go to Dick, please let me know.
Richard John Dennis
We are very sorry to announce the death of our webmaster Dick Dennis, on 12th February 2010, in his beloved Hospice on the Isle of Man. Dick had been in poor health for some years and in 2009 had surgery for cancer of the oesophagus from which he never fully recovered.
The website is now being looked after by Dan Smith - let me know if you would like to add to or change something on the website.
The AOSA 2010 Magazine - is online, along with all Mags since the website first went online. Follow this link for Mags Contents page
Were you a member of the School Orchestra in 1953? There is now a larger photo of the orchestra in full swing on a separate page. When you place your mouse pointer over the head of any one of the Orchestra, a box with a number will appear. If you know any of the names left blank the name can be added. Just e-mail giving the number and name(s) - (christian and family names please). These will be added to the popup box.
The original Jubilee History of Ayton - 1841 to 1891 - written by George and Ralph Dixon, is now online.
Thirteen chapters describing the formation and running of Great Ayton School, as it was then known, in detail to delight any historian but also of great interest for Ayton old scholars curious about the early days of their School, and all the better for being written by the two men, father and son, who ran the School for all the years covered in this book.
A list of boys educated at the North of England Agricultural School is now online. The list of girls will follow soon.
A fascinating insight into education and the life of Ayton School in the 19th Century.
- Want to see the Roseberry and Cook's panorama every day? The view is online
- You can now join AOSA here
- Notice Board and What's New? AOSA Committee names and addresses can be found in the Getting in Touch pages.
- Want to pay your Subscription by post or change to a Banker's Order? There is a printpage here for you.
Annual Report matters are dealt with by Linda Hewison. Editor at:email@example.com
For subscriptions and matters for the Treasurer's attention:firstname.lastname@example.org
and matters relating to AOSA members' records:email@example.com