River Thames Society AGM – New Members Invited

The Middle Thames branch of the River Thames Society held its AGM last Saturday at Leander Club.

The Chairman, John Skuse, welcomed 60 members and reported on a generally good year, marred by the loss of several well respected members. He reported on awards by the branch to Gary Acres, Rivertime Trust and Maidenhead Rowing Club. He made the point that these were annual awards and ideas for future recipients would be welcome.

Planning has been quiet with the only major item at present being the floating homes proposed at “The Willows” in Windsor. The Society objected to the Phyllis Court proposed sign on the Cromwell wall. The Skindles development at Taplow is progressing and the Society is seeing the input of the combined group including RTS coming to fruition.

The final topic of the Chairman’s report was pollution. Thames Water have been found guilty of appalling untreated discharges  on several occasions and are facing a large fine. On the morning of the AGM a report came in of a diesel spillage on the Kennet which had closed the river at Day’s Lock.

The Events’ Chairman, Sandra Brown, reported next on the year’s social and educational programme. The well established Christmas Dinner and Henley Festival cruise were well supported  as were the lunches and talks at Leander and Maidenhead. Linda  Humphrys Jones’ scenic walks attracted a small but devoted gathering. The one failure was the January quiz and it was felt that events on winter evenings were becoming unattractive and should re run the quiz at a lunchtime.

Tom Berman gave a brief presentation on the worrying trend for the establishment of unapproved moorings on riparian agricultural land and his intention to approach the EA with the chairman for a policy decision.  The Roger Brown Trophy was awarded to John Grapes.

Membership is holding up but they do need more to join. A discussion took place subsequently on how to attract new members and the use of social media who they would like to find a new member to help them with this.

If you are interested in joining the society, please email Emma Abbott zitzeeb@gmail.com