Thanks: This is my first report since 2019 due to our closure during the Covid lockdown. It has been a difficult time for all organisations, and I thank members who have returned to WFS now that we are able to meet normally.
In particular, I wish to thank: treasurer Sue Hilton for her diligence and running the admissions desk; Paul Clark for setting up the system, advice and stepping into the kitchen with Jane; Derek Smith for coping with the projector; Carrie Wade for help with membership etc; Sue Silverthorne and Brenda Cove for running the library; Fiona Markwick with Alex and formerly Ben in the kitchen; Margaret Reid, Mike Spice and Peter O’Sullivan, with Paul, Carrie and Derek for watching so many films prior to their selection.
Sadly, during the last few months, I have learnt of three members passing away, Linda Hoskins, Pauline Shaw and former film selection committee member Derek Cooknell.
Your committee: I am delighted Sue and Paul would be happy with your approval to remain as treasurer and secretary for 2023. I am also willing, if you agree, to remain as chairman, but I will step down in October 2023, or preferably earlier if a replacement is found. Any volunteers or nominations for chairman are welcome.
The year in review: We have so far shown 11 films in 2021-22, achieving an average approval rating of 89%, an increase of 1.5% on the previous full-year averages. Those achieving 98-100% approval were Official Secrets, Whisky Galore (WFS’s first Nostalgia Night) and Capernaum. Lowest was Calvary with 67%. We will try to beat this in 2023 with films of even wider popular appeal, including newer releases than previously possible, plus the occasional wild card.
The staffed kitchen has become more established, with a subsidised wine service, and the library expanded, many with new covers. I remind members that a full catalogue can be found through the website.
Facing problems ahead: With a large bank reserve at the start of 2021, we gave a subscription holiday to existing members, and sold wine at 1950s prices on Nostalgia Night. These benefits and the cost of extra meetings during a two-year period are likely to reduce our reserve from £2.8k to just over £800 by the end of 2022.
Membership has grown to 140, but your committee is concerned by a considerable reduction in attendance post-Covid with fewer people attending public events generally, and the growth of streaming services.
WFS also faces a doubling of room hire fees for 2023 at least, after Abbey Fields removed its subsidy for community groups in order to meet higher energy costs. And we must allow for possible inflationary cost increases for licence fees and refreshments. In response, we will cut spending on DVD and BluRay disks by £150. Around £90 spent on library materials in 2021-2 will not be needed in future.
Resolutions: These savings will be insufficient to guarantee financial stability in a worst-case scenario, so following the subscription holiday, but think it best to be cautious for the year ahead. Therefore we propose:
- Subscriptions for 2023 to increase to £30 per person, or £2.50 per month for any remaining part of the year. If approved, subs can be paid any time immediately thereafter by BACS to Winchcombe Film Society, sort code 40-63-01, account 51056231, giving your name as reference, or at the November meeting onwards.
- First-time guests who do not immediately join will be asked to pay £2.50 to cover the cost of refreshments.
- The price of wine will immediately increase, i.e. from November 2022, to £2 a glass for all meetings.
The resolutions were unanimously approved. Margaret Reid was elected by acclamation as chair to succeed Colin Davison during 2023. Sue Hilton and Paul Clarke were unanimously re-elected as treasurer and secretary.