Talking newspapers for blind and visually impaired people in Oxford & district

Oxtalk 'Sound Orb'



Welcome to the AGM 2016. Regular attenders and people attending for the first time.

It is pleasing to meet so many listeners again. Once every year there is this opportunity for Oxtalk listeners and volunteers to meet.

For the majority of 2015/16 it has been a relatively calm and smooth year. Oxtalk, the Oxford and District Talking News, has settled into the new recording base at OAB and it now does seem like ‘home’. OAB’s staff continue to make Oxtalk volunteers very welcome.

Listeners you will be able to meet Bridget in person. She has been your contact throughout the year and she makes sure any requests you have are attended to.

Most of the activities, other than making sure the weekly recording is produced, have been in the last few months.

John Foddy – an excellent and dedicated Technical Officer for many years let me know around June that he would have to resign at the time of the AGM for family reasons. I hope it is your wish and with your approval that I will take him a ‘thank you’ gift on behalf of Oxtalk? As Ray Anson will tell you shortly we have replacement Technical Officers in training.

Around June time Colin Cure, Director of OAB, requested a year’s sabbatical leave which the OAB Trustees approved. You may wonder why I am telling you this, the reason why is that the interim Director replacing Colin is not able to take on his duties as a Keyholder on Tuesday nights. This put in jeopardy Oxtalk using OAB – eventually OAB’s Insurance Company agreed to the proposal that if long term Oxtalk volunteers could be persuaded to become OAB volunteers, they, the Insurance Company, would then approve them as Keyholders. We are very grateful to Lesley Court, Mandy Wood and Ray Anson who agreed to become OAB volunteers and therefore were approved as Keyholders. So they will be opening up and closing Bradbury Lodge on allocated Tuesday nights and this has averted any further action being necessary – I appreciate their extra involvement as I am sure you do as this now means Oxtalk can continue to be recorded at OAB on a Tuesday night.

In August Oxtalk’s publicity increased when Oxtalk was the subject of a television news item – filmed by BBC’s ‘That’s Oxfordshire TV’, this was followed by a full page article in the Headington Monthly magazine, repeated in the Wheatley News and there was a separate article in the Oxford Mail.

A few weeks ago Chad Clarke – one of the Technical Officers and an international musician, suggested Oxtalk had a new ‘brighter, livelier’ introductory piece of music. This is something that has been considered before but obviously not taken forward. Chad composes music, plays the Harmonica and sings his own compositions and I asked him to send me some pieces of music he thought suitable. This he did, the Committee listened to the 4 pieces he sent and chose the piece they thought best. When you arrived you may have been aware music was being played in the background. I would now like you to listen to this piece of music – it is by the way called Fat Pig Tango. It is actually a song which Chad sings but I am only going to play the music. [Play] Did you find this bright and cheerful, foot tapping? Does it have your approval? ……. Chad will do what is necessary for Oxtalk to use it and we will let you know when the music is changing.

During the coming months some Readers are taking a break but will be returning in 5/6 months time.

Some people’s names you will not be hearing again as they have resigned for various reasons – Jonathan Higgens who was a Reader and then Newsgatherer and Diane Pearson who was a Reader as was her husband Ian, all long serving Oxtalk volunteers. Eiddwen Sullivan is resigning from the Committee but is continuing as a Reader. Sadly Anne Ambler is resigning as Vice Chair, as of this meeting, but is continuing as a News Editor, Copier and Reserve Reader. Anne has been involved with Oxtalk since the early 1980’s and her input into completing grant application forms, giving talks about Oxtalk and organising other fund raising events – such as last week’s event at ASDA in Wheatley has been invaluable. Anne we wish you to accept these flowers with our thanks. Thank you. Subsequently Geoff Ambler has resigned as of today as Treasurer and Technical Officer. Geoff is not present but is thanked for his involvement with Oxtalk in his absence.

I would like to thank all the volunteers who support Oxtalk throughout the year and those volunteers who helped at Wheatley last week and at the UK Older Peoples’ Day held at the end of September in Oxford Town Hall. Your afternoon tea has been organised by Mandy Wood with the appetising delicacies awaiting you prepared by various Oxtalk members.

Oxtalk is managed by a dedicated group of volunteers who we now have to call Trustees, as per the Charity Commission’s Charter. The Trustees attend 4 meetings 4 times a year as well as this AGM and represent Oxtalk as and when required. There are always minutes to be produced and records to be kept and Lesley Court is an excellent Secretary – many thanks Lesley for all the extra unseen work and support you give to Oxtalk.

Because of recent circumstances the Trustees will need to change the current Constitution, replacing it with the Charity Commission’s Standard Constitution. We were not able to have this prepared for this meeting. When it is ready we will call an Extraordinary General Meeting to explain the changes and seek your approval. The Charity Commission is the organisation Oxtalk is accountable to.

In a short time, when the AGM business is finished we will welcome Susan Griffiths from the Oxford Museums. When the time arrives I am sure you will find Susan Griffith’s talk very interesting.

The meeting will conclude with your afternoon tea which I know you will find very enjoyable, as well as having the opportunity to talk to other people.

Thank you.

Margaret A Simpson

Chair.                                                                                          15 October 2016.

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