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GREETINGS FROM THE CHAIRMAN

1000 903 Rob

Dear Friends

The Annual General Meeting of the Friends was held on the 19th April. It was a successful meeting with much participation by members attending. This event included a reception, lunch, the AGM, tea and scrumptious cakes.

Recognising that just a small percentage of members are able to attend the AGM, mainly because of the distance they must travel, we decided to action the suggestion made by a member attending the AGM, that we include the annual reports of the Chairman of the Friends and of the Principal of Higham in this Newsletter, so that all members are kept informed.

The two reports tell of Friends of Higham activities during our 21st Anniversary year 2014-2015. Activities which have included the 21st Anniversary booklet, the Catalogue of Arts & Crafts items at Higham, the Friends new Logo, volunteering at Higham, ‘The Story of Higham’ book update, and the plans George Cooke has to enhance and sustain Higham as a heritage building.

The first edition of book ‘The Story of Higham’was published in 1990. The second edition takes the story to 2015 and includes four new additional chapters. ‘A splendid achievement … The Story charts, with honesty and directness, how endlessly adaptable Higham has been: from medieval farmhouse, family home, youth hostel and school, to residential college’ writes Richard Moore. Writing and printing the book is the Friends gift to Higham. It was presented to George Cooke by the Friends at an event on the 3rd June. It is now on sale at Higham.

The Friends committee was elected at the AGM for the forthcoming year. The committee, now at full complement of ten is:- Chair-Ann Pilkington, Deputy Chair-Mary Bradbury, Secretary-Rob Ives, team members Shirley MacWhirter, Jean Geatrer, Vron Spencer, Sally Alexandre. New members elected are Linda Hastings, Frances Flower, Mary Stott-Treasurer. Jean Geater is now Membership Secretary. The time and commitment given by committee members, all of whom are volunteers, is greatly appreciated.

Best Wishes
Ann Pilkington
Chairman of the Friends of Higham,

Chairman’s Report for the Annual General Meeting 19th April 2015 – Printed here in full

Friends of Higham – a registered charity – established in 1993
‘Friends of Higham’ was established in 1993 and gained Registered Charity status in that same year. It continues to be a Registered Charity meeting the requirements of the Charity Commission. We have an approved constitution, submit an Annual Report to the Charity Commission, support Higham Hall College – an Educational Trust, demonstrate public benefit and inclusion through providing Bursaries for Higham Hall College, are non profit making and are able to claim Gift Aid from HMRC on members donations and fees. Membership currently stands at 364.

Friends of Higham Committee
I am delighted to say we have a committed team of 7 working hard on behalf of the Friends of Higham – each one bringing to the team their special interests, skills, and time. I take this opportunity of thanking them all very much and all those dedicated committee members over the last 21 years.

From the 11th April last year 2014 to the 11th April this year 2015 we celebrated the
21st Anniversary of the Friends of Higham
We had a super 21st birthday year working on tasks to achieve the aims we set ourselves for the year 2014 through to today’s Annual General Meeting.

Communication with Friends of Higham Members
During 20014 communication with members of the Friends of Higham was carried out through a Newsletter via post, email, website, through the Annual General Meeting and Minutes, and through meeting and talking with members when we find ourselves on the same courses and/or at Higham at the same time.
We will put News Updates on our website following quarterly Friends Committee meetings from now on.

Activities of the Friends during 2014 and continuing into 2015

Volunteering
When elected Chair in 2012 the aim I had for the Friends was to involve members more in activities we undertook and this coincided with the appointment of George Cooke as Principal at the beginning of 2013 and his desire for members to be involved through volunteering their time, interests, and skills to Higham. We have seen this develop through 2013 and 2014 – members agreeing to be on a volunteers list that George can call upon for tasks at Higham such as acting as guides on open days and helping at the annual National Garden Scheme Day at Higham and similar events. Other members volunteer for mini-bus driving, gardening, and other activities at and for Higham.

Catalogue of Arts and Crafts items at Higham Hall
The Friends committee volunteered to create a catalogue of arts and crafts items at Higham to provide a ‘Guide’ for visitors to Higham and an ‘Inventory’ for Higham – this project began in the summer of 2013. The first stage, an Index File of items in the public areas at Higham is complete and is available from the office for visitors to use.

We were beset in this task by an enthusiast, George, moving items around. We solved that by putting the items information pages in a ring binder – when George moves items of art or craft the page in the Index File can also be moved to the correct section – dining room, lecture room, corridors, and so on. We love it – hope you do too. We will add to this during 2015 and beyond.

‘The Story of Higham’ book update
‘The Story of Higham’ book was published in 1990 – this project to update it to 2015 began in the autumn of 2013 and will replace the old edition in June of this year. The Friends committee team with Alex Alexandre as Editor have been responsible for this project and have involved many members of the Friends and others too.
It has been totally absorbing and fascinating. The attic has been searched for old documents, photos, plans, drawings, and diagrams. The original chapters have been enhanced with up to date information and images which were found in the attic and elsewhere. People associated in all sorts of ways with Higham past and present have told us stories, some have been written in the book. Four new chapters have been added to the book. Three Principals have each written a chapter and the Friends have their own chapter at the end of the book. Members of Higham staff have been a memory bank for us, have also ‘found out things’ for us, done library searches. If ever there was an example of everyone being involved and of team work this has been it.
The book is now in its pre-press proofs form. The Friends are giving 500 copies of the book to Higham. Sales of the book will generate income for Higham, promote Higham, and add to the knowledge we have about Higham and its uses and users past and present. There will be a book launch event at Higham on Wednesday 3rd June – George and Higham are the hosts.

21st Anniversary Celebration Booklet
Members of the committee produced a 21st Anniversary Celebration Booklet. I came across a quotation extolling the recording of past words and deeds:-
‘Fix on the page ……. what they have done’. To celebrate the Friends of Higham 21 years of supporting Higham we did just that. We sent all members of the Friends a copy of the booklet in July 2014. If you have not got one there are some at reception at Higham – do take one.

The ‘Friends of Higham’ new Logo.
The Friends committee team wanted a new logo which reflected the Friends aim to include, involve, and embrace all Friends. This is now on the front cover of our invitation to people to join the Friends. It will also be on our Newsletter, News Update, and other information material we produce.

Thank you to all members of the Friends of Higham for all you have done and continue to do in support of Higham.

Ann Pilkington
Chairman – Friends of Higham
19th April 2015

Principal’s Report for Friends of Higham Annual General Meeting – Printed here in full

Thank you to all of you Friends who continue to support Higham as we progress in our mission to provide learning experiences for adults in our very special setting.

In 2007 you were kind enough to help Higham’s transition into independence, and this has been key to our survival. We represent a success story of a social enterprise which is funded by the very people who benefit from it. As you know, we focus on being a college, our unique selling point, and a residential centre for learning. Having proved we can do it, we are now in a situation where we hope to strengthen and consolidate our future.

One of the principle features of Higham is the fact that we are located in an historic building with character and all the trappings that that entails……. distinct character, yes, but also rattles, creaks, and occasional leaks. Also, we have examples of maintenance and changes that have been done over the years which, arguably, have not been fully congruent with the neo-gothic style of the Hall. Therefore, it is our intention to embark on a Heritage Project, where we seek to fix some things and to bring some things more in line with the heritage of the building, at the same time making things less prone to damage and, at the same time, safer and more aesthetically appealing.

Items on our list include the beautiful sash windows which adorn the front and immediate sides of the Hall. These deserve specialist maintenance and care in order to help them last another 200 years. Internal shutters, a feature of the decor, but are of no practical use since, at some time, radiators were put on stilts and now block their passage. We hope also to continue the fantastic work already carried out by the Friends in researching the neo-gothic idiom and how it can be reflected in a building of this era.

The incredible work carried out by the Friends team on the second edition of the ‘Story of Higham’ is an illustration of the dedication and fondness many people feel for Higham. Being able to involve more people who are interested in the local history of the area and the building is an opportunity we hope to capitalise on. We intend to establish a formal archive for this purpose, which will involve the time of volunteers.

Volunteer time is something we can use to our advantage, as we can use it as matched time against any funding application. We hope also to tap the voluntary skills of people who are simply interested and able to help with planning, organising, and administering the project.

This is just the early stages – there is no deadline, fortunately, but we want to make sure we do things right. We shall let you know, through the Friends , when we might be needing help as we progress towards our funding bid – which has to be over £100,000, and we expect it to be considerable more. However, we also know that we will have to prove worthy of such an investment. Regardless of any successful bid or otherwise, this also will enable us to focus on these heritage aspects which I feel are integral to Higham as what it is.

Thank you again for your support.

George Cooke
Principal of Higham

2014 IS THE FRIENDS OF HIGHAM 21st ANNIVERSARY YEAR

1000 1000 Rob

Dear Friends

2014 is the Friends of Higham 21st Anniversary Year. The inaugural Annual General Meeting was held on Sunday 11th April 1993. We have chosen the nearest date to that date for our 2014 Annual General Meeting – Sunday the 6th April 2014.

There is much to celebrate this year as we look back over 21 years of the Friends activities in support of Higham. The Friends of Higham is a Registered Charity committed to the objectives of ‘supporting Higham Hall College with special projects and bursaries, and, of course, looking out for the college in any way we can’.

A Celebration Booklet is being produced by us that shows in photographs and words the history of the Friends and of the support, special projects, and bursaries that we, the Friends, have given to Higham in the years between 1993 and this year 2014. Researching and producing the booklet has absorbed and delighted us, the Friends committee team, for the story and journey of the Friends that it has revealed is fascinating. A copy of the Celebration Booklet will be given to every member of the Friends of Higham in April.

All members of the Friends are invited to the Annual General Meeting Reception, Lunch, and Meeting as our guests. Do come – we look forward to seeing you.

Best Wishes
Ann Pilkington
Chairman of the Friends of Higham

21st Annual General Meeting to be held on Sunday 6th April 2014

FRIENDS OF HIGHAM 21st ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
TO BE HELD ON SUNDAY 6TH APRIL 2014

The Friends of Higham inaugural Annual General Meeting took place on Sunday the 11th April 1993. This year 2014 we celebrate 21 years of being ‘Friends’ of Higham and of supporting Higham in many ways from 1993 to 2014.

We have had a second thought on how to involve all members in celebrating our 21st year. Recognising that just a small percentage of members are able to attend the Annual General Meeting – mainly because of the distance they must travel – we have decided to produce a Celebration Booklet which shows, through photographs and words, the history of the Friends of Higham and the contributions made to Higham between 1993 and 2014. Every member of the Friends will receive this booklet. Research for it has included reading through some 20 years of AGM and Committee Agendas and Minutes, Annual Balance Sheets, Newsletters, Newspaper cuttings, and umpteen notes and letters. This has been an absorbing project for us, the Friends committee team. The research tells a fascinating story which we look forward to sharing with you all by way of the Celebration Booklet.

The Annual General Meeting will be held on Sunday the 6th April 2014. There will be a reception at 1.00pm, lunch at 1.30pm, the meeting at 2.30pm to 4.00pm, followed by tea and refreshments, all of which you are invited to as our guests.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES – A CHANGE OF TRUSTEES

The first Board of Trustees was formed in 2007 when Higham was in the process of ‘buying itself’ from Cumbria County Council and becoming an independent Educational Trust. The first Trustees were appointed by the Principal at that time (Alex Alexandre) and representatives of Higham staff and of the Friends of Higham too. The Articles of Association stated that Trustees could serve for up to six years and must then stand down. Six years have now elapsed and four Trustees stood down in November 2013 – they were Gareth Kelly (Chairman), John Hudson (Deputy Chairman), David Abbott, and John Wallbank. The Board of Trustees now comprises of five members. Charles Searle has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Margaret Walker, a current trustee, becomes Deputy Chairman. The other Trustees are Heather Scott (Friends Chairman from 2008 to 2012), William Dufton, and Andrew Robinson. Nigel Barker continues as Company Secretary. More on Higham Board of Trustees can be found on Higham website www.highamhall.com

MARKETING AND PROMOTION OF HIGHAM TO A WIDER AUDIENCE

Promotion of Higham to a wider audience by Friends of Higham volunteers to interest groups took place in the autumn and focussed on Tyne & Wear, Northumberland, County Durham, Cleveland, Berwickshire, North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire.

HIGHAM HALL GRADE 2 LISTED BUILDING

Heritage Open Day at Higham which is an event in the annual National Heritage Week took place on Friday 13th September 2013. Quite a number of people visited and members of the Friends of Higham were volunteer guides. When people visit Higham they frequently ask if Higham is a listed building – yes it is and for your interest here is the actual listing of Higham as a Grade 2 Listed Building.

Higham was first listed as a Grade 2 Listed Building on the 5th September 1986. The listing applies to ‘Higham Hall and the Curtain Wall to Rear’. The list entry summary description is as follows:
‘House now a Residential Adult Education Centre. House built in 1828 for T. A. Hoskins.
Calciferous sandstone ashlar with string courses, battlemented parapets and stepped angle buttresses. It has a graduated green-slate roof with ashlar chimney stacks. There are 2 storeys, 11 bays in Gothic style. Central 3 bays C19 double doors in pointed surround within contemporary battlemented stone porch, the central battlement having shield of Hoskins arms. Flanking 2A1/2 storey towers have octagonal angle turrets, with pyramidal roofs at front and battlemented parapets to rear, each with blind cross vents. Sash windows, those on ground floor with pointed head glazing bars under hood-moulds, under sash windows with interesting glazing bars in pointed heads. Rear extensions enclose courtyard with angle turrets and mock battlemented curtain wall. Various C19 2 light-stone-mullioned windows and C20 windows. Interior has Gothic panelled doors and ceilings with heraldic shields. Staircase has Gothic balusters and carved tread ends; niches for statues.’
The Grad 2 listing of 1986 also includes the ‘Garden Terrace in front of Higham Hall’ and lists it as follows:
‘Garden Terrace, Mid C19, Calciferous sand-stone ashlar. Low wall with a series of square panelled piers, under ball finials; open balustrades under moulded copings. Serpentine shaped stone seats at each end with blind balusters.’

THE ‘STORY OF HIGHAM’ BOOK

‘The Story of Higham’ book written by Alan Hankinson (first Chairman of the Friends of Higham) and first published in 1990 is to be updated. The original farmhouse was built in the mid 17th century, had rebuilds to it over time and became an adult residential college in the mid 20th century. It reflects the changes in social history over nearly four centuries.
This project to be completed this year as part of celebrating 21 years of the Friends of Higham is now well underway. A Friends of Higham volunteer team is researching, adding new text and photographs, and organising the re-printing of the book ‘The Story of Higham’. It will be on sale at Higham by the end of 2014.
As part of our research we are asking you to help us by letting us have anything of interest that could be included in the book. Please contact Sally Alexandre at sallyalexandre@hotmail.com or write to Sally at Higham Hall, or phone 01900 822020. Thank you.

CATALOGUE OF ARTS AND CRAFTS ITEMS AT HIGHAM

People who come to Higham often ask about the paintings, textile wall hangings, and studio ceramics, that they see there. During the last 20 years and back beyond that, items have been donated, purchased, and tutors commissioned to create arts and crafts items for Higham to provide interesting art and craft works around the college. A catalogue of the arts and crafts items at Higham is now being produced by a team of Friends of Higham volunteers for the use of course participants and other visitors. The catalogue will be available by the end of this year.

HIGHAM GARDENS

Garden Benches at Higham
Friends of Higham have now donated five garden benches to Higham. Thank you very much to members of the Friends who have generously contributed. Two of the garden benches are now in situ in the gardens and a further three will be in place by the beginning of April this year.
Bee Hives
Higham Gardens now has two hives of honey bees, tended by a member of Cumbria Beekeepers. The hives are in the wooded area of the gardens on the slope to the left of the driveway to Higham. The honey bees have a clear flight path over the northern part of the field at the front of Higham Hall. We expect the bees to tuck up for the cooler weather and not be much in evidence until the spring when they will have a ready supply of flowering plants to give their attention to.
Volunteer Gardeners needed at Higham
Gardening volunteers are welcomed and much needed by Higham – please contact Higham on 017687 76276.

A NOTE FROM THE PRINCIPAL

With the support of our ‘Friends’, humans can spend time amongst like-minded people in a rather special place. You have made all the difference over 21 years: enabling us to be faithful to our raison d’etre. You have provided many benefits for all who come for true lifelong learning and the joy, stimulation and difference that it brings. Your membership and current projects of benches, catalogues, books and volunteering are embodiments of a positive, pro-active support that spurs us on!
On behalf of our 27 Staff, our many Tutors and students, and this wonderful historic building and grounds, I thank you for your continuing commitment and congratulate you for your celebratory year of 2014.

George Cooke, Principal

GREETINGS FROM THE CHAIRMAN

1000 903 Rob

Dear Friends

In the last Newsletter I said that previous Newsletters have focused on themes celebrating Higham’s achievements since becoming an educational trust, of it being a centre of excellence for lifelong learning, and on the Friends of Higham organisation. The theme of this Newsletter is news and a focus on the role that members of the Friends of Higham have as volunteers at Higham and at Higham events elsewhere.

The new projects on page 3 all involve volunteers , as do the Higham events on page 4, and the promotion of Higham to a wider audience on page 1, all of whom generously give their time and skills to support Higham.

As Chairman of the Friends, as I said in the October 2012 Newsletter, I have an aim for the Friends of Higham which is that in addition to raising funds through members annual subscriptions for the benefit of Higham, I would like us to access the resource we have in our members knowledge, skills, and time, for the benefit of Higham too. The Friends committee have already begun work on activities and new projects described in this Newsletter which we hope will also involve you, our members, more and more. May I thank you for all that you do on behalf of the Friends of Higham.

At our Annual General Meeting in March this year those of you at the AGM elected the Officers and Members of the Committee for the 12 months from 17th March 2013 to 6th April 2014.
Ann Pilkington (Chairman), Mary Bradbury (Deputy Chairman), Rob Ives (Secretary), were re-elected to their present roles. David Spicer was elected Treasurer. Committee members Shirley MacWhirter, Maxine Berry, Jean Geater, Angie Winter, Sue Waring, were re-elected to their present roles and David Bowen was elected to the committee. It is a pleasure and privilege to represent you all and we assure you of our commitment to work for the benefit of the Friends of Higham and that of Higham Hall College.

Best wishes
Ann Pilkington
Chairman

FRIENDS OF HIGHAM ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING IN MARCH 2013

The Friends of Higham AGM took place on the 17th March, an early spring day which was a winter snow day, 30 people attended. A reception and lunch were enjoyed by all.
The Agenda included the Chairman’s Report, Treasurer Report, introduction of George Cooke, Higham’s new Principal, to the Friends of Higham, and election of the Officers and Members of the Committee.
A question on Higham Bonds was raised in any other business. An update on the Bonds was given to the AGM. Bonds were originally ‘sold’ by Higham, in its bid to buy Higham from Cumbria Council, to provide evidence that it would have future income as Bonds could be redeemed against courses or donated to Higham. All Bonds money is held in an account and cannot be used by Higham for any purpose. Bond Holders who still hold Bonds are asked to redeem their Bonds against a course fee or donate their Bonds to Higham. This action will be of value and best use to Higham.
The Minutes of the AGM will be sent to all members prior to the next AGM or you can ask that they be emailed to you now if you wish, requests to ann@annpilkington.co.uk

MARKETING AND PROMOTION OF HIGHAM TO A WIDER AUDIENCE

Promotion of Higham to a wider audience by 35 Friends of Higham volunteers to 64 interest groups took place recently. This activity will take place again in the autumn to additional interest groups.

HIGHAM GARDENS

National Garden Scheme Open Day at Higham in May 2013
Higham’s first NGS Day was held on the 26th May . Friends of Higham volunteers and Higham staff helped at this event. The Gardens were visited by 160 people on a lovely sunny day. Garden tours were led by Higham gardens team and refreshments were provided by Higham catering staff. Entrance fees were donated to MacMillan Cancer Fund by NGS organisation.

Volunteer Gardeners needed at Higham
Gardening volunteers are needed by Higham – please contact Higham on 017687 76276.

Garden Benches needed at Higham
Garden Benches are needed by Higham who have chosen the clean simple design they wish to have to compliment the natural landscape gardens. The benches will be made by a local craftsman from Green Oak, be 5 ft long, and cost £280.00 each. Members of the Friends of Higham are invited to either sponsor a bench or contribute to them. Donations will be greatly appreciated. Cheques should be made payable to Friends of Higham and posted to: Chairman of the Friends of Higham, P O Box 75, Driffield, East Yorkshire, YO25 5XJ. Donations will be acknowledged and a receipt sent to you.

Catalogue of Arts and Crafts items at Higham

People who come to Higham often ask about the paintings, textile wall hangings, and studio ceramics, that they see there. What are they, who are the creators of them, and why are they at Higham?
During the last 20 years and back beyond that, items have been donated, purchased, and tutors commissioned to make something for Higham
Items donated have come from course participants, tutors, and from those who love Higham. Providing interesting and challenging art and craft works around the college has exactly the same purpose as Higham courses. The link between the work displayed and the courses available has become increasingly important in reinforcing the value of art and crafts as a sustaining part of life.
A catalogue of the arts and crafts items at Higham is to be produced by a team of Friends of Higham volunteers for the use of course participants and other visitors. This new project will begin in July.

Library and Books at Higham

The library and books at Higham are to be reviewed, re-catalogued, and the books to be re-positioned to make them more easily accessible. This new project, which begins this summer, is to be carried out by a team of Friends of Higham volunteers led by George Cooke, Principal of Higham.
It is interesting to note that there is a brass plaque on the bookshelves in the library which states ‘These bookshelves and the creation of this room was made possible through a generous donation from the Friends of Higham in September 1993’, the first donation made to Higham by the Friends of Higham in their inaugural year 1993.

The Story of Higham book

‘The Story of Higham’ book written by Alan Hankinson and first published in 1990 is to be updated. The original farmhouse was built in the mid 17th century, had rebuilds to it over time and became an adult residential college in the mid 20th century. It reflects the changes in social history over nearly four centuries.
This, the third of new projects for the next twelve months, is to begin shortly. A Friends of Higham volunteer team will carry out research, add new text and photographs, and organise the re-printing of the book ‘The Story of Higham’. It will be on sale at Higham mid 2014.

HIGHAM’S FORTHCOMING EVENTS DURING JULY TO SEPTEMBER

Higham will have a display stand at West Cumbria Country Fair and Game Show at Armathwaite on the 13th and 14th July, from 10.00am to 4.00pm on both days. Friends of Higham volunteers will ‘man’ the stand and Higham tutors will demonstrate their crafts skills throughout both days such as woodcarving, watercolours, cartooning, textiles, soft furnishings, art, and boat building.

Open Air Theatre in the gardens at Higham. The Festival Players Theatre Company will perform ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ on Saturday 27th July at 3.00pm. Bring your own seating. Open from 1.30pm for picnics. Please contact Higham for tickets on 017687 76276.

Heritage Open Day at Higham is part of the National Heritage week and will be held on Friday the 13th September from 10.00am to 4.00pm. Higham invite all to visit Higham on this day – free admission. Members of the Friends of Higham volunteers will be guides on the day along with Higham staff. Garden tours will be led by Higham’s garden team. Refreshments will be available.

FRIENDS OF HIGHAM 21st ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION AGM EVENT 6th APRIL 2014

The Friends of Higham inaugural meeting took place on the 11th April 1993. In 2014 we celebrate 21 years of being ‘Friends’ of Higham and supporting Higham in many ways during the last 21 years. We plan to celebrate our anniversary through doing more of what we have always done by donating the outcomes of the three new projects and garden benches to Higham.
Our Celebration AGM event will include a display and leaflet recounting what the ‘Friends’ have achieved in their 21 years. We hope to have some tutor talks and demonstrations. More details of the celebration event in October 2013 Newsletter.

A NOTE FROM THE PRINCIPAL

Being a part of this wonderful place where like-minded people come is such a privilege.
When other people believe in what you do and share their talents and time in order to help you achieve what you’re trying to do that it makes it even more special. The support from Friends of Higham gives to the Higham Hall an immense strength and basis on which we can develop our future lifelong learning commitment.
Thank you for supporting us and particularly for sharing Higham with others and helping us to introduce them to our wonderful setting with its vibrant and exciting community.
My first half year with you has been a real pleasure and I am so grateful for all the enthusiasm and friendship you have provided thus far.

Best wishes
George Cooke, Principal