This article is from Signpost 48, February 2015
This is my first contribution to Signpost as Chairman of Peak & Northern Footpaths Society, having been elected, along with a new President and Secretary, at the Half-Year General Meeting in November. A new Vice-Chairman was also appointed.
I would like first of all to thank my predecessor Alistair Taylor for his stewardship during his tenure of office. Alistair stepped into the breach at short notice and at a difficult time for the Society and he has steered it through some choppy waters. I am grateful to him for his support and for all his work for the Society.
Great thanks are due, too, to the retiring President, Clarke Rogerson, who has had to step down for family reasons. Clarke has devoted many years of service to the Society, as Vice Chairman, Chairman, President and in other roles. In his years as Chairman he single-handedly produced the Annual Report and strove, with considerable success, to improve the Society’s financial position. As President during the recent difficult times he gave invaluable hands-on support to the Chairman and Trustees. We are pleased that he has agreed to retain his links with the Society as a Vice President.
I welcome the new appointments of David Hurrell as Vice-Chairman and David Brown as Secretary. Both bring many years of service and experience to the Society and will, I am sure, be valuable additions to the Board of Trustees. And I am pleased that David Bratt has returned for a second spell as President.
However, these changes in the officers of the Society do not directly affect the day-to-day work which it carries out in the field and behind the scenes, some of which is highlighted in the following pages of this issue of Signpost. We are hugely indebted to a large number of knowledgeable and dedicated people, who give freely of their time and expertise, in their various ways, often unseen, to help protect the footpaths and rights of way which we value so much.
But, you will not be surprised to learn, we can always do more! Whatever your area of expertise we would welcome any help you feel able to offer, whether as a footpath inspector or helping with the support team at Taylor House. We have several ongoing projects which are aimed at improving the quality of our support systems for the volunteer teams, and anyone with IT expertise will be particularly welcomed.
The Society itself will, I believe, have to face new challenges as cuts to local authority budgets continue to bite and affect the ways in which they deal with footpath and rights of way issues. Your support will be vital in meeting these challenges.
Even if you cannot volunteer, please mark the date of our Annual General Meeting at Stockport on 18 April in your diaries and come along and let us have your views.
Next: In Memoriam - Jack Ogden
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