General Meetings

 AGENDA for the 38th Annual General Meeting of the SOCIETY of FRIENDS of the FLEET AIR ARM MUSEUM at 18.00 on Thursday 28 september 2017

President to take the Chair

  1. Apologies for absence.
  2. Approval of the 2016 AGM Minutes.
  3. Approval of the Minutes of the Special General Meeting of 30 March 2017.
  4. Matters Arising from the Minutes.
  5. Motion: ‘That “Family Membership” be added to the membership categories listed in paragraph 7 of the Society’s Constitution.’
  6. Motion: ‘That the Annual Subscription for “Family Membership” (2 Adults and up to 3 children) shall be £32.00.’
  7. General Manager’s Report.
  8. Chairman’s Report.
  9. Treasurer’s Report and approval of the accounts.
  10. Election of an Independent Examiner.
  11. Membership Secretary’s Report.
  12. Grand Draw Report.
  13. Talks, Visits and Social Report.
  14. Jabberwock Editor’s Report.

General Manager to take the Chair

  1. Election of President.
  2. Election of the Council.

President to take the Chair

  1. Any other business.

Minutes of the Special General Meeting of the SOCIETY of FRIENDS of the FLEET AIR ARM MUSEUM at 19.30 on Thursday 30 March 2017

 Those present:

 SOFFAAM Council Members

Richard Hufton – Chairman

Graham Mottram – Vice Chairman

Robert Heath – Membership Secretary

Ivan Childs

Tim Smith

Rosanne Crowther

Ian MacKinnon

Malcolm Smith – Secretary

Other Attendees

Gordon Johnson – President

Taff Lewis

Philip Unwin

Approximately 68 Society members

1.      Introduction

The Chairman opened the meeting and welcomed the attendees. He asked the Vice Chairman to outline the reason for holding this SGM.

2.     Background

Graham Mottram explained that the foundation meeting of the Society had been held in November, as being near the date of the Battle of Taranto, so that subsequent AGMs had been planned to be held on its anniversary. Conditions in November being normally both dark and cold, the date had been moved to the first Sunday in October.

3.     Proposal

Gordon Johnson took the chair and read out Paragraph 10a) of the Constitution, as follows:

“The Annual General Meeting of the Society shall be held on the first Sunday in October…”

Paragraph 13 states, in effect, that any amendment to the Constitution had to be approved at a formal meeting. Member Philip Unwin had contacted the Chairman in late 2016, requesting Council to consider moving the date of the Society’s AGM from the first Sunday in October to the lecture evening in September or October. This was discussed at the December 2016 Council meeting and a proposal to amend the Constitution to read “The AGM shall be held before the September talk” was carried unanimously. Subsequent correspondence suggested that this amendment might be too restrictive, what if there was no talk in September, for example? Gordon asked, firstly, that the proposed amendment should itself be amended, to read: “The AGM shall normally be held before the September talk …”  The proposal was made by Ivan Childs and seconded by Taff Lewis. It was carried unanimously.

The President then asked for a proposer for the final words. Philip Unwin proposed and this was seconded by Ivan Childs. It was also carried unanimously. The Secretary accepted the action to amend the Constitution and to inform all interested parties. This concluded the business of the meeting.


The minutes given above are approved.
Position: Chairman
Signature: (Original signed)
Date: 30 March 2017

Minutes of the 37th Annual General Meeting held at the Fleet Air Arm Museum on Sunday 2nd October 2016

The Grand Draw was held before the meeting started. The meeting started at 14.00 with 27 members in attendance.

(Attendees are listed at Annex B.)

1. Apologies

Apologies had been received from Martin Turner and Claude Patten

2. Approve the Minutes of the 36th Annual General Meeting held on 4 October 2015

Peter Lovegrove proposed the approval of the Minutes, seconded by Ivan Childs. The minutes were approved by the meeting and later signed by the Chairman.

3. Matters Arising from the Minutes

There were no matters arising.

4. General Manager’s Report

The General Manager, Marc Farrance, reported as follows

Visitor numbers to the end of the 2015-16 financial year are expected to be slightly lower than the previous year, but still should be around 105,000 to 106,000. The catering organisation did well and will show a good surplus at the year end. During the year we opened the Jutland Exhibition in Hall 1, showcasing the Short 184 and Sopwith Baby. There was also a short commemorative exhibition on Eric Brown and we plan to acknowledge his career in more detail in the future. We also plan to expand the WRNS exhibition, also to replace the Physics of Flight with a revised display.

Moving on to Museum renovation: we plan to re-paint the entire frontage of the building, also to repair and re-decorate the pedestrian bridge. We have already re-sited the unsightly gas compound. The roof of Hall 2 needs to be replaced – a major expense probably running into six figures. This will oblige us to appoint an expert Project Manager. The increased access to Cobham Hall has proved to be extremely popular.

We hope to make small improvements to the Museum frontage, but to achieve the long-planned major re-build, we will have to wait our turn in the NMRN works programme.

Recently-joined member Geoff Freeman said that the Tank Museum at Bovington provides a guided tour of a specific tank. (There is an additional charge for this.) He asked whether the FAAM could provide a similar activity, by allowing visitors to sit in the cockpit of selected aircraft. Marc replied that this was something the Museum was planning for the future, but it needed to be properly managed with a need to ensure the safety of the public. Graham Mottram commented that he could recall this having been done in the past. A premium price was charged but there was need for careful management to ensure that exhibits, many of which are unique specimens, are not damaged.

5. Chairman’s Report

The Chairman, Richard Hufton, reported as follows:

Thank you Marc and welcome everyone to the 37th Society Annual General Meeting.

Firstly, I must record our sadness at the passing of three stalwart and energetic supporters of the Fleet Air Arm Museum. In February the world’s most famous Naval aviator Captain Eric “Winkle” Brown ‘crossed the bar’. More recently we have lost Society Vice-President Captain Keith Leppard and our former long serving Chairman and Jabberwock Editor, Squadron Leader Maurice Biggs RAF. All had considerable influence in the ongoing success of the Museum and of the Society.

On a happier note, congratulations are due to mark the retirement of four of our longest serving Council members: Derek Moxley, Gordon Johnson, Bill Reeks and Gerry Sheppard. All have served the Society in different roles for 25 years or more, and I would ask you join me now in offering our thanks for a job well done. Towards the end of this meeting museum General Manager Marc Farrance will be asking members in the audience to elect a new Council to serve the Society for the next 12 months.

The Society has received fourteen applications for nomination to serve on the new Council. All will be bringing valuable skills which are needed to enable the Society to grow and prosper. Marc will also ask you to elect Gordon Johnson as our new President and to support a proposal to appoint Derek, Bill and Gerry as Honorary Vice-Presidents in recognition of their long service.

In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank our exceptionally hard working Council, our generous volunteers for giving their valuable time at Talks evenings and all members who have contributed a huge effort to make 2015/16 yet another successful year in the Society’s history. The Council has already agreed to fund several new museum projects over the next 12 months; details will follow in forthcoming editions of Jabberwock.

6. Approval of the Amended Constitution

Malcolm Smith drew the attendees’ attention to copies of the amended Constitution, which were to hand. This had been reviewed by Council members, he said, and a copy had been published for several weeks on the Society’s website. There were no fundamental changes and the main effect of the exercise had been to make it clear that Council members were all trustees of the Society, legally responsible for the overall management and decision making of the Society, including the exercise of control over its financial affairs.

Graham Mottram proposed that the amended Constitution be accepted. The proposal was seconded by the Secretary and unanimously agreed.

7. Treasurer’s Report

The Treasurer, Gordon Johnson, reported as follows:

As you will see from the annual accounts your society remains in a strong financial position with total funds of £52,789. During the year we donated £1,758 to the museum which was for the restoration of the painting ‘Channel Patrol’ which is now on display in Hall 1. Further amounts are already committed for projects in this financial year.

We continue to accumulate funds, which we hope will assist with the cost of the scheme to improve the museum entrance.  However, no date is available for the start of this project.

The Treasurer’s job has grown over the years and to make it more manageable a small team has been recruited. Ivan Childs has taken over the franking machine and all aspects of Jabberwock mailing. The financial aspects of our talks evenings are now in the hands of David and Jenny Smith and in addition David and Jenny are giving invaluable technical help to enable us to make successful Gift Aid claims.

My time as Treasurer ends before the end of this meeting and I would like to thank all of you who have helped me over the last 19 years. I am sure you will offer a warm welcome to your new Treasurer.

Graham Mottram suggested that the minutes should formally record the Society’s gratitude to Gordon for his long and dedicated service as Treasurer.

Gordon then asked for the Meeting to approve the financial accounts. This was proposed by Christopher Shores and seconded by Ivan Childs. The proposal was carried unanimously.

8. Election of Independent Examiner

Chris Shores proposed that Malvern Carvell should continue to act as the Independent Examiner and the proposal was seconded by the Graham Mottram. The proposal was carried without dissent.

9. Membership Secretary’s Report

Robert Heath reported as follows:

Overall membership is holding steady with a small increase each year. The current paying membership total is 1058 and over the past year membership has risen by 37. This takes into account 69 new members joined, offset by those who have retired or have died. In 2012 our membership total was 1013, so an increase of 40+ is heading the right way, but I would like to see it higher. If every existing member introduced just one new member, think how much more SOFFAAM could donate to the Museum.

Over the past year we have created two display banners for use at functions; contacted the other major UK aviation museums to add our name to their computer links; and have made a start on contacting overseas museums. Plans are afoot to distribute, once again, the ‘Join’ leaflets to public libraries as far afield as possible.

My thanks to all members for their loyalty to date. It is worth it.

10. Grand Draw Report

Bill Ellison reported as follows:

The results of last year’s Grand Draw were as follows:-

Ticket Sales of £1952.00 which generated £1235.40 to our funds. This year’s ticket sales got off to a good start, as we had decided to sell tickets at Air Day on 2 July, which we had not done so for some years. We raised £352.00 on the day. I must thank the Museum and their staff for accommodating us and supporting us in their marquee and giving us a good position.

This year’s overall ticket sales are about the same as last year’s, but greater than the year before. This is my first year as the Grand Draw Promoter and I would like to thank all those who have given/sponsored prizes and those who have made donations.

Finally I would like to thank Bill Reeks for helping as he usually does with the Draw and has done over many years, before ‘retiring yet again’. He will be missed.

(Financial aspects of the Grand Draw are listed at Annex C.)

11. Talks and Visits Report

Rosanne Crowther reported as follows:

The past twelve months has as always provided our members a wide variety of speakers, whose subject matter covered such varied aircraft such as the Sunderland, Dam-Busters, Warthog, Lynx and a selection of the Historic Flight Vintage aircraft.

Visits and Outings

Due to other commitments, I have not organised as many outings as I would have liked too this year, however, those booked have been well supported.

RAF Cosford – May 2016

The long journey to RAF Cosford was well worth it for the 37 members on the coach.  The whole day went smoothly with the addition of guides which was totally unexpected. There was so much to see a second day would not have gone amiss; certainly worth another visit if you are in the area – and it’s free of charge!

Exeter Metrological Office visit – October 2016

The full allowance of 40 members and guests set off for Exeter in driving rain.  Fortunately, by the time we arrived at the centre the sun was shining. The well organised procedure allowed us into the building in time for all to have a substantial lunch before starting the tour. The three hours of walking up and down stairs in such a huge building certainly contributed to many having a quick doze on the way back to Yeovilton!  Each member of staff was specialised in their individual field and all were very professional, and willing to answer numerous questions. Certainly worth a visit, particularly as it’s free of charge.

Christmas Lunch

Due to an unexpected cruise, I am unable to co-ordinate the traditional December lunch on 10 December as I will be at cruising back from the Caribbean! The Council discussed the situation last month and agreement was reached that the Christmas lunch would be delayed until Saturday 14 January 2017.

Finally, can I convey my sincere thanks to the Council in supporting me with my various proposals for talks and visits.

Possible visits for 2017

23 March 2017  RNLI Poole  (confirmed)

Fly Be, Exeter Airport   tbc

RAF Brize Norton, Oxford   tbc

WW2 RAF Fighter Command Control, Uxbridge  tbc

12. Editor’s Report

Malcolm Smith reported as follows:

Jabberwock 85 is well in hand and due for issue in early November. My thanks as always to the many correspondents and other contributors, your input makes it varied and (I hope) always interesting. We do not usually carry obituaries, but this issue, exceptionally, carries two – for our previous Chairman, Maurice Biggs and for Captain Keith Leppard.

The Society’s website still receives a steady stream of visitors and more than half of our recent new members joined by downloading the form from this source. I have recently added a portfolio of pictures from the Cosford visit to the site – thanks to Ernest Lear for providing these. I would like to link the website in some way to our page in Facebook, but need somebody a little younger (about 30 years) than I am to show me how to do it.

13. Election of President

The General Manager took the Chair to propose that the meeting elect Gordon Johnson as President. Gordon was the only nominee for this post. The proposal was put by Derek Moxley and seconded by Peter Lovegrove. The proposal was carried unanimously and Gordon is duly elected as our new President.

14. Election of Council

Council members not seeking re-election this year are Gordon Johnson, Gerry Sheppard, Bill Reeks and Terry Pook .Society members who have volunteered to stand for election to the new Council are listed at Annex A As these numbers make up the defined fourteen-member Council, there was no requirement for a selection process. The Secretary proposed that all 14 should be elected and this was seconded by Geoff Freeman. All were elected unanimously.

The Chairman then proposed that Derek Moxley, Gerry Sheppard and Bill Reeks should be elected as Life Vice Presidents. Chris Shores seconded this proposal, which was carried unanimously.

15. Any Other Business

Rosanne Crowther asked why the AGM could not be held on a weekday, e.g., on a Thursday before the October Talk. This suggestion led to a brief discussion. Graham Mottram thought that the original reason had been to hold it on the Sunday nearest to the anniversary of the Battle of Taranto. Since the weather in November was usually very cold, a decision was made in the late 80s to move the AGM to October. He commented that the meetings in those days tended to be more protracted. The Chairman suggested that the matter should be discussed further at the next Council meeting.

Graham Mottram further suggested that the Chairman should send a brief summary of Society activities to our Patron, Admiral Ray Rawbone. Richard agreed to do so.

Ella Minshall brought up the subject of the raffle held on Talks evenings. Could the prizes be displayed as people arrived to increase interest in the raffle? Gordon Johnson suggested that this also could be a subject for discussion at the next Council meeting.

There being no other business, the meeting closed at 14.50.




Gordon Johnson


Richard Hufton

Vice Chairman:

Graham Mottram


Martin Turner

Membership Secretary:

Robert Heath

Talks and Visits Organiser:

Rosanne Crowther

Secretary and Jabberwock Editor:

Malcolm Smith


Chris Adams
Bill Ellison
Ian MacKinnon
Tim Smith
Chris Shores
Ivan Childs
Richard Macauley
David Smith


SOFFAAM AGM, 2 Oct 2016 – List of Attendees


 Derek Moxley

 General Manager:

 Marc Farrance

 Council Members:

Richard Hufton
Gordon Johnson
Chris Adams
Bill Ellison
Ian Mackinnon
Gerry Sheppard
Bill Reeks
Tim Smith
Rosanne Crowther
Chris Shores
Ivan Childs
Robert Heath
Malcolm Smith (Secretary)


Peter Lovegrove
Ernest Lear
Lt Cdr Fred Evans
John Pennington
Stuart Crowther
Jill Fowler
H C Lewis
Richard Macauley
Chris Grocott
Graham Mottram
Ornella Minshall
Gil Johnston
Geoff Freeman



TICKET SALES                                                                            1,971.00


Annual Registration Fee                                              20.00

Printing (1200 books of tickets)                                 81.60

Expenses (postage of prizes)                                      23.90

Cash Prizes                                                                   725.00

Total Expenses                                                            940.50

Profit on sale of tickets                                                              1120.50


Donations                                            70.00

Donations for expenses                      5.00

Donations by prize winners              50.00

Total additions                                                                                  125.00

Total to SOFFAAM Funds                                                       1245.50