THE Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society
191st ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2010-2011

 


The Council presents its report and financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2011.  The financial statements comply with current statutory requirements and with the requirements of the Society's memorandum and articles.

 

CONSTITUTION

 

The Society is a company limited by guarantee governed by its memorandum and articles of association. Membership is open to anyone on payment of an annual subscription of £18 which is due on 1 October each year. Only those members who have paid or have been elected to Honorary Membership are entitled to vote at the AGM. In the event of the Society being wound up, every person who is a member, or who has been a member within one year, is liable to contribute to the debts and liabilities of the Society a sum not exceeding £10.

 

STRUCTURE, GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT

 

The members of the Council are considered to be both directors for Companies Act purposes and trustees for Charities Act purposes. One third of the members of Council retire by rotation at each Annual General Meeting (normally held in December), when appointments or reappointments are made. The Council has powers to co-opt to its membership. Membership of the Council takes into account the need to have members with expertise to cover the variety of activities of the Society.

All members of the Society are notified prior to the AGM of the names of the Council members who are due to retire and are invited to submit nominations. The AGM held on 8 December 2010 approved the re-election of Dr M Dagg, Dr C J Hatton, Mr P N Hirschmann, Dr R Jakeways and Professor M R D Seaward and the election of Cllr Mrs Elizabeth Nash as a trustee and member of Council. The Council co-opted Ms C Paynton as a trustee and member of Council at its meeting on 13 January 2011.

The Officers of the Society are elected by and from the members of Council at the first meeting of Council following the Annual General Meeting; at the Council meeting on 13 January 2011, Professor North was re-elected as President, Dr Lydon as Secretary, Professor Taylor as Treasurer and Dr Hatton as Vice-President.

 

Council met on six occasions during 2010-2011. Parts of its business were delegated to the following committees: Grants, Events, Publications and Museums, chaired respectively by Dr Hatton, Mrs Wainwright, Mr Hirschmann and Professor North. These committees are required to act in accordance with the Society’s Aims and Policies, and their recommendations are put to the Council for its approval.

 

Mr Norman Madill has continued as Assistant Secretary, managing the Society’s links with its members, the sale of its publications (in association with Jeremy Mills Publishing Ltd), and other necessary administrative matters.

 

THE SOCIETY'S AIMS AND ACTIVITIES

General

The Society aims to promote the advancement of science, literature and the arts in the city of Leeds and its immediate area. In furtherance of this aim, which Council believes to be of benefit to the public in this area, the Council’s policy has been to disburse its income as follows by:

·        providing a programme of free public lectures relevant to the Society’s aims

·        supporting the work of the City of Leeds Museums & Galleries

·        supporting other activities in Leeds of a scientific, literary or artistic nature.

·        providing grants for purposes of  research, publication, or artistic performance

·        awarding prizes

 

Grant-making policy

 

In making grants to promote the advancement of the Society’s aims, the Council places particular emphasis on (but does not limit its grants to) the support of activities which directly benefit the citizens of Leeds or assist those engaged in academic and scholarly activities relating to Leeds and its immediate area. It does not normally give grants in general support of students on taught courses. The value of grants is normally in the range £100 to £2,000, although this limit may be exceeded in special circumstances. The Council is keen to support new endeavours by the award of ‘pump-priming’ grants.

 

ACHIEVEMENTS AND PERFORMANCE

During the 2010-2011 session, the Society continued its recent successes in fulfilling its aims as listed above, including a growing number of artistic and scientific events for members and non-members as detailed below.  During the year the Society lost 11 members through resignation or death and welcomed 20 new members, so that at the end of September 2011 the total number stood at 182.

Events

The regular monthly events covered a wide range of topics as usual and were always well supported both by Society members, guests and members of the public. The following events took place:

 

·                    Complex Fluids – the key to non-equilibrium physics? (Dr Mike Evans)

·                    Geology, Analogy and Architecture in Leeds (John Thorp)

·                    Annual Pre-bonfire night event (Mike Hoyland and Matt Smithson)

·                    Civic Politics of Leeds in the 19thCentury (Matthew Roberts)

·                    AGM dinner and speaker (Martin Wainwright)

·                    Boomerangs (Dr Bob Reid)

·                    The Calendar (Dr Martin Kapel)

·                    Phyllis Bentley – Yorkshire Writer (Professor Dave Russell)

·                    Annual Science Fair

·                    Sugar Island (Dag Hagenaes-Kjelldahl)

·                    Biological approaches to providing alternative energy: prospects and problems (Professor Teresa Thiel)

·                    Stop Worrying – Radiation is Good for You  (Dr Bob Bury)

·                    A Clarinet on the Hoof (An Evening with Michael Meadowcroft)

·                    Visit to Temple Newsam: John Smeaton (Dr John Coney)

·                    Summer Visit to Renishaw Hall

·                    The Role of Lichens in Shaping our World (Professor Mark Seaward)

Grants and Prizes

During the year the following grants and prizes were awarded by the Society:

  • to support educational projects in Autumn 2011 linked to the fourth Leeds Lieder+ Festival
  • to support a Family Science Show at the Otley Science Festival in November 2010
  • on behalf of The Leeds Pageant to support a new community theatre production, The Crossing
  • to aid publication of a small book recording the social history of Roscoe Methodist Church, Leeds
  • to help provide the staging of the Northern Ballet Archive Exhibition at the opening of its new purpose-built home on Quarry Hill
  • to pay for a bursary for a young chorister living in the Leeds area
  • towards the purchase of an Anglo-Saxon hoard discovered in the Leeds area by metal detectorists
  • in support of a visit to archives in London associated with a study of the research into anthrax carried out during the 1870s and 1880s in West Yorkshire and its relationship with that carried out on the continent
  • to support a visit to the archives of The Royal Institution to examine the Bragg Notebooks in their possession
  • towards the costs of the taxidermy of Lotherton Hall Bird Garden specimens
  • to fund prizes for the 2011 Leeds Peace Poetry Competition
  • to support an exhibition at the University of Leeds of photographs and rare film of the business activities of Yorkshire businessman Weetman Pearson (Lord Cowdray) in Mexico (1889-1919)
  • to assist the publication of The Yorkshire Potteries by John Griffin
  • to support the publication of a biography of Alice Bacon, Member of Parliament for Leeds North East/South East 1945-1970
  • to enable the Thackray Museum to acquire a rare volume of the Rules and Orders of the General Infirmary at Leeds, published in 1770
  • towards the costs of materials for an exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 1911 schools strike, and exploring Leeds University’s Alf Mattison Collection
  • towards the cleaning, re-articulation and mounting of the Heavy-footed Moa skeleton originally purchased by the LPLS in 1868

·        Arthur Chadwick Prize (University of Leeds):  Joel Edward Beevers

·        Modern Language and Cultures Prize:  John Carvel

Publications

 

The Society has agreed to the joint publication with the Thoresby Society of the second edition of Walks Round Redbrick by the late Maurice Beresford, revised by Christopher Hammond, to be published in 2012.

 

The Society gave a grant towards the publication of Building a Great Victorian City. Leeds architects and architecture 1890-1914 edited by Christopher Webster, to be published in 2011 by Northern Heritage Publications in association with The Victorian Society West Yorkshire Group.

 

The Leeds City Museum

 

As before, we have continued to enjoy a good relationship with Mr John Roles, the Head of Museums and Galleries, who has attended a number of Council meetings, and with the staff of the Museums, to whom we are most grateful for their collaboration. In particular, we benefited from the co-option to Council of Ms Ceinwen Paynton, the Principal Keeper of Leeds City Museum, and regret that we are losing this contact as a result of her move to the National Trust in the Lake District. Council meetings have continued to be held in the Museum Denny Room. The annual Science Fair again took place in the splendid space of the Museum’s arena, which we hope will continue as its normal location and the arena has also provided a splendid theatre for our ‘pre-bonfire night spectacular’.

 

The Museums Committee, with representatives from the Council and the Leeds Museums Service, has provided a valuable meeting place to discuss collaboration in the planning of events and the best use of grants for supporting the museum.