2020 AGM

CDWS AGM 22nd July 2020

This year we had a distinctly odd AGM.

Held in the afternoon, in July, with no food, with very little time to chat, with no entertainment, with no wine, without leaving the house!

Even so, about 30 of us signed into our Zoom session and we got the business done while looking at 20 screens of other members looking back at us.

Chairman, David Powell opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and giving the sad news that Peter Day, Kay’s husband, had died earlier in the week from an asbestos related disease. Peter has been a good friend to the Society, a regular attendee and an organiser of our trips to wetlands bird sanctuaries in his role as chairman of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and he will be sorely missed.

David gave his Chairman’s report, commenting that although we had had to cancel or postpone 3 events, over the past year we had been able to successfully hold over 10 events.  The Society hopes to hold its Golf Day in September, a country walk in the Autumn, but it is still uncertain whether conditions will permit us to hold our ever-popular Christmas Drinks event.

Membership has remained steady at 120, with new members replacing those who have left.

Peter Chapman gave his Treasurer’s report from Brecon and said that the Society’s finances are in good order.

It then came to the election of the officials. All members of the Committee agreed to stand again for the following year, with the proviso that Peter Chapman will need to relinquish his post as Treasurer within the next few months when he and Pat complete their move to Wales.

David thanked the committee for their time and efforts in running the society and running its events. He also called for members to volunteer for Committee membership as without them, the Society cannot function.

This must have been the fastest AGM on record. We finished after about 30 minutes, with very little chance to chat and a final farewell as the Zoom meeting concluded.

2019 AGM

CDWS AGM Coleshill Village Hall May 17th

A good turnout of over fifty members set the scene for an informative, interesting and illusionary evening.

Our Chairman, David Powell got off to a good start (this being his first year as Chairman and hence his first chairing of the AGM) by welcoming us all. In particular Thelma and John Lusher who had traveled all the way from the New Forest. The reports for the year were encouraging; membership strong at one hundred and sixteen; finances in good shape; two new members of the committee have volunteered their services – Merle Davies and Peter Chapman; and there has been strong support for all the events over the year. Particular thanks were directed towards Graham Beavan on his retirement after a long tenure as Treasurer.

Jonathan Pegler had briefly taken on the role of Treasurer to fill the gap and so he presented the Accounts for the year. Under his watch the magnificent sum of £20 had been dealt with. Peter Chapman has now stepped into Graham’s shoes.

The formal part of the evening was, as ever, well presented and short and was followed by a meal. The caterer was Anne Tennant who clearly knows exactly what the members of the CDWS enjoy, and on this occasion was like a human dynamo. The rest of her team were at an event catering for the mayor of Beaconsfield so Anne was chief cook and bottle washer and everything in between. Well done Anne! The choice of desserts was particularly appreciated. Bread and Butter pudding and custard, Chocolate mousse, cheese and biscuits, Fruit Pavlova and I spotted a fruit salad for someone dairy intolerant. The gentlemen on our table made a bee-line for the Bread and Butter pudding, and then when Anne explained that she really didn’t want to take anything home, they were happily also tucking into Pavlova. No doubt belts were loosened.

After the meal came the entertainment. This year it was the place of Bertie Pearce whose web site says that he “…brings wonder and laughter to your event”. We were not disappointed on either count. The theme was “Now you See it-Now you Don’t, The Art of Visual Deception”. This was a whistle-stop tour through Surrealism, Trompe L’eoil, Ambiguous Imagery, Optical Art and Camouflage. Fascinating, thought provoking, puzzling, entertaining, amusing and all delivered at a pace that kept you on your toes, engaged and surprised. A particular ripple of amusement occurred when Bertie said that in America artists had used illusionary methods to paint potholes on the road which appeared to be 3D in order to reduce speeding. Here in Buckinghamshire we have no need for artists’ illusions. We have the real thing.

Interspersed with the artistic journey were a number of magical moments. Ably assisted by our very own Ann Lawrence, Kay Day and Gwen Hill, Bertie performed mysterious and inexplicable tricks. Ann, Kay and Gwen have clearly been sworn into secrecy as they were reluctant to share any explanations afterwards. Perhaps they could be prevailed upon at a future event to offer magical entertainment?


The evening closed at 10 pm everyone having been well entertained and well fed. Thank you to all.

Janet John

2018 Annual General Meeting

On 11th May 2018 we held our annual general meeting at Coleshill Village Hall.

People started arriving at 7pm, and by 7:30 there were 44 members present as Kay Day called the room to order.

The minutes for the previous AGM were agreed and Kay reviewed the past year, starting with the passing of Mike Stythe, an enthusiastic supporter of CDWS and who had organised memorable trips to Snowdonia. Kay remembered how Mike’s army background meant that he always planned for the unexpected, including carrying a foldable stretcher in his rucksack in case of mishaps on the walk!

Two of the past year’s events had been beset by snow, many were unable to attend the Christmas party due to impassable roads (leaving generous supplies of canapes for those who were able to attend). Then the St David’s Day Dinner had to be postponed as snow meant that even the staff at the Harewood Downs golf club were unsure that they would be able to get in. On that basis, Kay hoped that there would be no snow forecast for the summer lunch on 1st July!

Kay reviewed the past year’s events and thanked Ernest Morris for hosting the Summer Lunch, Colin & Di Thomas for hosting the Christmas drinks and Pam Britton & Chris Thomas for arranging the golf day.

There were 7 new members this year meaning that we now have approximately 120 members.

Graham Beavan gave his financial report, showing that the society’s finances were in good form with an underlying balance of about £2,800. Graham also announced that he is planning to move houses, and would soon he stepping down from the committee.

We then came to the election of the committee. Ann Thomas and Jean Owen are both retiring from the committee, and Kay and Jonathan Pegler are stepping down from positions as Chairman and vice Chairman after many years of service, but would still be standing as committee members.

Colin Picton has been seconded to the committee as Minutes Secretary, and was now proposed and elected.

David Powell was proposed as the new chairman, with Rob Britton as vice chairman, and these were both elected unopposed.

Ann Evans thanked Kay for her years of service as Chairman, Vice Chairman and Minutes Secretary and present her with a bouquet of flowers.

Ann Tennant then served a choice of chicken or beef stew with a choice of desserts.

David Powell thanked Ann Tenant for once again providing such a good meal, and then ran through the list of coming events: Spring Walk, Aberystwyth trip, Summer Lunch, Windsor Races, Golf Day, Bristol coach trip, Musical evening and Christmas Drinks.

David then introduced the evening’s entertainment – Tony and Margaret Curtis with Jayne Pegler reciting light hearted and amusing works by among others Carol Ann Duffy, Idris Davies and (of course) Dylan Thomas.

The evening ended around 9:30 with Jonathan Pegler leading the singing of the national Anthem.

Annual General Meeting 2017

We all gathered at Coleshill Village Hall at 7pm on Friday 5th May, for our 2017 AGM.

Chairman, Kay Day, called us to order at 7:30 and we went through the ‘official’ business of the evening. Kay recounted some of the trips and events of the past year and mentioned some of the planned events for the rest of the year.

Membership is now at 129 and Jonathan Pegler (standing in for Treasurer Graham Beavan) reported that our bank balance has been managed down to the target figure through subsidising some of the events.
All committee members were willing to stand again and were duly re-elected , and Kay agreed to continue as chair for an additional third year. Jonathan, on behalf of the members, thanked Kay for her leadership and presented her with a bouquet. We are happy to announce that Rob Britton has also agreed to join the committee.

After the AGM we enjoyed an excellent supper supplied by Ann Tennant’s team, we settled down to an evening of Magic.

Mike Smith was introduced as a holder of the Silver Star award which is the highest achievement given by the Inner Circle and its House of Magic, which is in a secret location.


Arranging us into a loose semi-circle around him, Mike started by saying that he was a Mentalist and was going to give us an observation test. His constant chatter, was accompanied by his producing a red ball, which in turn appeared and disappeared. With his jacket sleeves rolled the ball was either in his hand, in his pocket, or simply turning into a piece of fruit. Card tricks are a staple diet for magicians and  Mike was no exception and had us all marvelling at his sleight of hand.


Mike then produced three lengths of rope, duly inspected by a member of the audience,  that they were quite ordinary and were of different lengths. Mike then proceeded to manipulate the lengths into one long one, then two long and one short, then into a complete circle and so on. He then turned his craft to fool us with various dice tricks. Just when we thought that we had ‘seen through’ the deception, we were surprised, yet again, by another turn of events.

Next came a hair-raising feat with paper cups, placed over numbered small blocks. One block held a vicious large spike. As each member called out, at random, a number, Mike slammed his hand down smashing the cups. The last number, obviously the one with the spike, was the number not called out. We all held our breath.

Mike then announced that he was also a psychological magician and a mind reader. Producing a book he asked two members to pick out, from any page, a letter, which they were asked to tell him. They were then asked to pick from the book a word starting with that letter of more than five words, but to keep it secret. Mike proceeded to guess the correct words. It was all very spooky.

The evening ended with Mike seemingly swallowing, with great ease, a fully blown up balloon under our intent gaze. It was an evening of high drama thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Kerry Birbeck

2016 AGM

So the AGM took 20 minutes, but it also took the whole evening.

People started gathering from about 6:30, allowing everyone to meet and catch up before the start of the meeting at 7:30.

Kay Day welcomed 67 members of the Chiltern District Welsh Society, including 2 new members and reported 22 apologies for absence. That took 20 minutes.P1060375

Kay described our activities over the last year, the Summer Lunch, Golf day, Tring walk, Christmas drinks, the days in the Brecons, the trip to the BBC studios and Fullers brewery, Quiz evening, St David’s Day dinner with soprano Alys Roberts.P1060377

Kay thanked all our organisers and kind hosts.

This year we are looking forward to the spring walk at Cliveden, going to Ralf & Margaret Broomby’s for the summer lunch, a trip to two Cambridge colleges in September, bird watching at the London Wetlands in October, and Christmas drinks at Colin & Di Thomas’s.

Treasurer, Graham Beavan, reported on our healthy finances, he is managing to subsidise many of our events in order to reduce our bank balance.

Membership is expected to be about 130 this year – we continue to grow in numbers.

The committee all agreed to stand again and were all re-elected. Kay thanked all the committee members for their hard work over the year.

So that took 20 minutes – what took the rest of the time?

P1060381 Well, Anne Tennant’s wonderful team fed us with salmon, chicken or beef, plus a variety of desserts.

That was followed by coffee and a lot of nattering.




P1060384Then Mary Medlicott entertained us with stories from Wales.

Mary last visited us in 2003, and we were very pleased that she could return with more stories including one about ‘2 dreadful women’ and the burial of a dead cat, followed by a series of tall tales about Shemi Wad (James Wade) from Fishguard.

We concluded well after 10pm and made our way home celebrating another successful year.


AGM & Woodland Walk

The Annual General Meeting – 9th May

AGM’s are often dry, tedious affairs, but not with CDWS!

Our chairman, Jonathan Pegler welcomed over 50 members to the AGM held in the village hall in Coleshill. Jonathan described some of the highlights of the previous year, including the trip to Highgrove, our St David’s Day dinner, the perfect weather for the Summer Lunch, the Golf Day, the four day sightseeing trip around Cardiff, visiting the Magic Circle and the Christmas Get-together.AGM 2014

A quick straw-poll revealed that there was sufficient interest in a visit to see the London Welsh Festival of Male Choirs at the Albert Hall on October 18th. Details will be circulated soon.

Graham Beavan briefly explained the intricacies of the Society’s funds, reassuring the membership that we still had some.

With the formal part of the evening over Ann Tennant and her staff provided a delicious choice of hot dishes and desserts – so difficult to choose between that I had to try several of them.

Glenys at AGMFinally, we were entertained by Glenys Groves, accompanied at the piano by Francine.  Glenys ran through a selection of songs from opera and musicals, some well known, others a new treat.  I had never heard Cole Porter’s song about the Little Oyster before!

Glenys finished to well deserved and enthusiastic applause. We then quickly restored the hall to order and said our farewells at about 10:30.




Visit to Church Wood, Hedgerley

A small, but elite party met by the village pond in Hedgerley on Saturday 17th May. We knew that our search might be in vain, but we were prepared to overcome many hardships in our search for late bluebells.

Hedgerley Walk

Hedgerley Walk

In fact the weather was perfect, the going easy, and yes! – we did find some late blooming bluebells. We were told that if we kept our eyes peeled, we might spot some rare wild orchids growing next to the path – but no-one spotted them.

We meandered around the wood, with Gwyn and Jean Owen striding out ahead acting as pathfinders while others admired the wild flowers and tried to identify them.

After an hour or so we reached the church with an interesting churchyard, indicating that we were arriving back in civilisation – and there would be a pub nearby!

And what a pub – the journey was rewarded with a visit to The White Horse in Hedgerley, well known for both its food and beer. We sat in the garden talking of previous more adventurous escapades while enjoying one of a variety of beers from the cask and a great selection of hot & cold dishes. Hedgerley Pub

2013 AGM – Friday 17th May

We had a tremendous turnout for the 2013 AGM, over 60 people travelled to the Coleshill Village Hall.

As Chairman, Gwyndaf John welcomed everyone and remembered all the events that had been organised over the past year. Membership at the yearend was 109 paid-up members (plus a few honouree ones).

Our Treasurer, Graham Beavan, went through the accounts which showed that we actually made a slight profit for the year; the books are looking quite healthy.

Jonathan Pegler then took us through the proposed amendments to our Constitution. Jonathan explained that the original Constitution was drawn up over 10 years ago when the Society was first proposed and the actual running of the group has deviated from that over the course of the years. The revisions refer to small things like the approval of the accounts, membership of and elections to the committee.

What may have been a dry subject was brightened up by some lively questioning from the floor, but with a couple of very minor revisions, the new Constitution was unanimously approved.

Gwyn, then turned to elections to the committee. This year, four members of the committee are standing down, after many years of really fantastic service, these are: Bob Ford, Eileen Mitchell, Hugh Griffiths and Maldwyn Pugh. Bob and Hugh are past chairmen, Eileen was our Treasurer for many years, and Maldwyn was secretary and did most of the administration behind the scenes for many a year.

Gwyn congratulated them all, and presented them with small tokens of the Society’s appreciation. At this point, Gwyn announced that he was standing down as Chairman, and would be succeeded by Jonathan Pegler.

Jean Owen is a welcome new addition to the committee. The remaining officials were re-elected for the following year. So the new committee is:
Life President……………..Ann Evans
Chairman…………………Jonathan Pegler
Vice Chairman……………to be appointed
Minutes Secretary………..Kay Day
Treasurer…………………Graham Beavan
Membership Secretary….Ann Lawrence
Other Members…………..Anne Thomas, Jean Owen, David Powell, Gwyndaf John

Jonathan and Gwyn gave fair warning that other members could be co-opted onto the committee – and therefore no-one should feel safely out of the running.

Ann Tennant’s team then provided an excellent hot meal with choice of puds and coffee.

The entertainment for evening was provided by Maldwyn Pugh , who gave an interesting and amusing talk about his childhood growing up in a welsh dairy business in Soho. Maldwyn described his family memories and those of wartime.

As his talk progressed he started to reveal stories of some of the characters he got to know as a child and teen. Maldwyn then started talking about some of the street trade that he was able to observe from his vantage point living above the Soho streets. He also offered to reveal even more if approached discreetly after the talk.

We finished about 10pm and there were willing hands to help clear the hall before we left.