THE Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society
194th ANNUAL REPORT FOR 2013-2014


The Council presents its report and financial statements for the year ended 30 September 2014. 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 4th December 2013 approved the re-election of Dr Hatton, Dr Jakeways, Cllr Nash, and Professor Seaward.

 

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 16th January 2014, Professor Hill was elected as President, Dr Lydon as Secretary, Mr Evans as Treasurer and Professor North as Vice-President.

 

Council met on six occasions during 2013-2014. Parts of its business were delegated to the following committees: Grants, Events, Publications and Museums, chaired respectively by Dr Hatton, Professor Bushby, Mr Hirschmann and Professor Hill. 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 Hirschmann resigned from membership of Council in July 2014, and the decision was taken to suspend the Publications Committee for the time being, there being no current plans for further publications beyond those of record, which are handled by the Council.

 

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.

 

The Society’s archives

The Society’s archives are held in the Special Collections section of the Brotherton Library and during the year conservation work has continued on the more important documents in the collection. Professor North and Dr Hatton have undertaken a review of holdings in various libraries in Leeds with a view to ensuring that, as far as possible, there are complete sets of the Society’s Annual Reviews for public access in the University of Leeds and City Libraries, and a further complete set in the Society’s office. We are grateful to the Trustees of the Leeds Library for giving us two bound volumes of early Reviews, which contribute usefully to this project. Exploratory talks have taken place with the Leeds City Museum and the University of Leeds Special Collections on the subject of improving the preservation and accessibility of the Society’s varied archive.

 

ACHIEVEMENTS AND PERFORMANCE

 

During the 2013-14 session, the Society continued its recent successes in fulfilling its aims as listed above, including a programme of artistic and scientific events for members and non-members as detailed below. During the year the Society lost 14 members through resignation or death and welcomed 14 new members, so that at the end of September 2014 the total number remained at 185.

 

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:

·         John Evans  Military Paintings.

·         Mike Hoyland and Matt Smithson  Pre-Bonfire-Night Spectacular.

·         The Priestley Lecture: Dr David Maw  Ben Franklin, Priestley’s American Counterpart.

·         Annual General Meeting and Dinner, with after-dinner speaker, Professor Anthony Ogus Operatic Experiences – Then and Now.

·         The Harrison Clock in the City Museum: Reception and lecture Dr Richard Dunn Putting Harrison in his place.

·         Jim Gamble  Meccano.

·         Annual Science Fair – in Leeds City Museum.

·         Prof Sheena Radford Protein Folding - Nature’s Origami.

·         John Atkinson Grimshaw Event - unveiling memorial plaque at St George’s Fields and lecture by Eveleigh Bradford.

·         Prof Joyce Hill  The Vale of York Hoard in its Viking Context.

·         Prof Eileen Ingham  Natural Tissue Scaffolds: off the shelf tissue transplants.

·         Summer visit to Quarry Bank Mill and Jodrell Bank.

·         Natural History-Themed Road Show at the Discovery Centre, organised jointly with the Leeds City Museum.

·         Bob Holman  Woodbine Willie, an unsung hero of World War One.

In addition, the Society was represented at a number of events, including the preview of the Grayson Perry tapestries at Temple Newsam, and the launch of the Heaton Map project at Leeds Beckett University. The President and other members of the Council were also pleased to accept invitations to events associated with previous grant-awards.

 

Grants and Prizes

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

·         Richard Wilcocks, £1000 towards the cost of commissioning James MacMillan to compose a work to be performed by Leeds Festival Chorus in the Town Hall in March 2014.

·         John Frederick Mee, £1000 to support the delivery of an interactive drama and creative writing project, Gawain and the Green Knight, to 600 Years 5 and 6 pupils in Leeds and West Yorkshire.

·         Anne-Marie Moore, £1000 to deliver a multi-sensory, switch-accessible computer system to facilitate meaningful play between disabled and non-disabled children at events in Leeds.

·         Clare Brown on behalf of Leeds Museums and Galleries, £750 to purchase a second-hand 'Hill' entomology cabinet for the Discovery Centre.

·         Benjamin Saunders, £1000 to purchase new music for the Diocese of Leeds Schools Singing Programme.

·         Linzi Saunders, £750 to support Pavilion's young people's The Follies of Youth, in a history and community project excavating a lost Japanese garden in Otley.

·         Anna Reeve, £750 to fund conservation work by the Leeds City Museum on the University of Leeds' ancient Cypriot collection.

·         Professor Edward Royle, £100 to support the publication of a study of The Great Yorkshire Election of 1807 by Ellen Gibson Wilson who died in 2008.

·         James Lomax, £1000 towards the festschrift in honour of the late Dr Terry Friedman whose 30 year career was spent at Leeds Art Galleries.

·         Dr Dolf Mogendorff on behalf of the Sinai Players, £1030 to support their performance of a new musical, Bridge Street, celebrating the Leeds Jewish community's early history, to be performed at the Carriageworks.

·         Dr Andrew Turton, £1000 to contribute to the publication costs of William Turton, Leeds and Horse Trams.

·         Jane Anthony, £1500 to support an English language production of Mozart's The Magic Flute by Young Opera Group.

·         Hazel Costello, £250 to support the Otley Science Festival Family Science Fair.

·         Jillian Johnson on behalf of the School of Music, the University of Leeds, £750 to support a performance of Peter and the Wolf by the Orchestra of Opera North in their 'Family Concert' series.

 

Publications

During the year the Society published a 48 page illustrated booklet, Darwin’s Finches: The Story of the Galápagos Finches, by John W Grahame and David R. Westhead, with figures by John Lydon. Copies were distributed free of charge to all state and independent secondary schools and sixth form colleges in the Leeds area. This was intended to support the teaching of evolution by presenting the nature of Darwin’s evolutionary observations in an accessible way and setting out the confirmation provided by the more recent evidence from DNA data.

 

The Leeds City Museum

As before, we have continued to enjoy a good relationship with the staff of the Museums, to whom we are most grateful for their collaboration. It has been helpful that Mr John Roles, the Head of Leeds Museums and Galleries, has attended a number of Council meetings.   Council

meetings have continued to be held in the Museum. The Museum’s arena again provided a splendid theatre for our ‘pre-bonfire night spectacular’.

The Museums Committee, comprising representatives from the Council and the Leeds Museums Service, has met twice in the course of the year and provides a valuable meeting place to discuss collaboration in the planning of events and the best use of grants for supporting the museum.