Minutes of Literary & Resources Committee

The Arthur Ransome Society

Literary and Resources Committee

Note of the Committee’s 19th meeting, held on 16 January 2016 in Leeds

Present: Peter Wright (in the chair)
Chris Birt
Nick Brewster
Ann Farr
Julian Lovelock
John Pearson
Paul Wilson

Apologies for absence

An apology had been received from Winifred Wilson.

Minutes of the previous meeting (5 September 2015 in Sparsholt near Winchester)

These were adopted as a true record.

Matters arising from the above minutes (and not covered elsewhere on the agenda)

Margaret Ratcliffe was not in a position to take over physically the remaining stock of Amazon Publications books currently held in the TARS library.  The Committee decided, subject to the Trustees’ concurrence, to inform Amazon Publications that the library no longer had room to accommodate the books and that they should be removed by a date to be agreed.

Matters arising from the Trustees’ meeting of 26 September 2015

-TARS archives:  the Committee attached importance to the identification and proper organisation of these and wished to be kept informed of the work to be carried out for these purposes by Chris, Ann and Victoria Priest, who were to meet shortly.
-possible commercial activities of TARS: the Committee affirmed its interest in this matter.
-Red Slipper Fund: the Committee agreed after discussion that Peter would prepare for the forthcoming Trustees’ meeting a note identifying three possible ways of providing ongoing finance for the Fund:
a. an annual sum of £250 to be budgeted and transferred to the Committee’s account, it being understood that the Trustees could reconsider the arrangement if too much of this balance remained unused;
b. an annual sum of £250 to be budgeted but not transferred to the Committee in advance of a specific requirement;
c. the Committee’s account to be topped up as required so as to keep the balance at  £1,000.
The Committee’s preference was for a. but it would accept the Trustees’ decision, which could be expected to reflect the point that fostering AR research was one of the official objectives of TARS.
-minutes of Trustees’ and Committee meetings:  the Committee welcomed the decision to place the draft minutes of the Trustees’ meetings on the TARS website.  It would propose to the Trustees that the minutes of the Publications and Literary and Resources Committees should appear there too.

2015 Literary Weekend

This had been a success; there had been positive comment on the programme, the speakers, the venue and the local management team.  The attendance had been 77 as compared with 82 in 2013, thus continuing a slow historical decline in numbers.

2017 Literary Weekend

After discussion of research by Chris on possible hotel and university venues in Scotland, the Committee, noting that hotels would be too expensive, expressed a preference for Queen Margaret University on the east side of Edinburgh, subject to verification that it would be available on the first weekend of 2017.  Peter would report this to the literary weekend sub-committee and invite it to arrange a visit to the university and, if that location were not to be available, to St. Andrews and Stirling universities also.  A booking ought to be made by April 2016.

TARS Library

The Committee thanked Winifred for her written report and was particularly pleased to note that the library was again in possession of the complete works of R. L. Stevenson and that it was hoped to complete restoration of the Petrograd map in time for the 2016 AGM.
The Committee agreed that the subscription to the periodical ‘Slightly Foxed’ should be discontinued.

TARS Stall

Paul presented his written report.  He had found a TARS member who might be prepared to succeed him in due course as manager of the stall.  The Committee invited him to pursue this contact.

Report of Publicity Officer

Julian had received no new requests for pull-up stands to carry TARS publicity.  The Committee felt that the best approach here might be to buy a general AR stand for each region.  It noted that one of the problems of such stands was the requirement for high quality photographs.
In anticipation of the 50th anniversary in 2017 of AR’s death, the Committee would discuss at its next meeting a palette of publicity ideas which it might present to the Trustees.
Julian drew the Committee’s attention to material in ‘The Times’ of 4 January 2016 on AR’s knowledge of Norfolk dialect.

Filmed Reminiscences Project

Jed Yeates’s illness and other factors were reducing the likelihood that the DVDs would be ready for the 2016 AGM.  If that objective could not be met, Christmas 2016 could the next best publication date, given the 2017 anniversary.
Ann showed the Committee a set of possible designs for the DVD box cover; the Committee indicated its preferences so that  Ann could take the matter forward.
An article on the project would be needed for next September’s ‘Mixed Moss’.

Anniversary ‘Mixed Moss’ 2017

The Committee discussed possible content for this issue.  It envisaged a longer than usual edition with a distinctive cover, and containing new material as well as, subject to avoiding copyright problems, selections from issues 1 and 3 of the magazine.
These orientations should be discussed by Peter and Julian with Barry Gouldborne, chair of the Publications Committee.

Other business
The new S & A film was finished but it was not clear when it might be released – perhaps not until 2017.
Nick would look into a claim that there was some inaccurate wording concerning AR in a new exhibition in the Treasures Gallery of Leeds University Library.

Date and place of next meeting

Provisionally 1 October 2016 in Kendal.

John Pearson, meeting secretary

21 January 2016