Big changes are coming to Wessex Society

Well, it's been a while since anything has been posted to this blog, but that's about to change. You see, at our meeting on the 7th of October, we decided to disband as an organisation with a formal membership structure. But that does not mean the end of Wessex Society by any means. The Wessex Chronicle will now turn from a hugely expensive print magazine with a tiny circulation to...well, this blog. Contact us if you have an idea for an article or interview that you would like to see published. Our quarterly meetings in Salisbury will change from business meetings, with agendas and minutes, to purely social gatherings. And instead of membership fees, we now have a Patreon page, where people can donate online. The average monthly donation for Patreon pages is $4.44 (£3.34). At the time of writing this, the Society has 244 likes on Facebook. If each of those people donated the average amount, we could have an annual income of nearly £10,000. With that sort of money, we could achieve all sorts of projects that we had to shelve for lack of funds, such as:

  • Paying for contributions to the Chronicle, attracting a higher quality of contributor.
  • Sending out Wessex flags to private businesses, and to district and parish/town councils, as well as county councils and unitary authorities, for them to fly on St Ealdhelm's Day.
  • Publishing our Essential Wessex series of books on Wessex history and landmarks.
  • Publishing our long-gestating Wessex Dialect Dictionary.
  • Sponsoring prizes in the arts for works exhibiting regional distinctiveness.

All these are previously-mooted ideas, thought there may be others we haven't thought of. If you think of anything else, please speak up. But above all, donate! ​The more we can collect in donations, the bigger we can go. So, it's over to you, lovely people.

St Ealdhelm’s Day round-up

Picture

The above images come from Dorset County Council, which was one of several councils to fly the Wessex flag outside its offices again this year. Somerset and Wiltshire councils also agreed to fly the flag, as did Portsmouth and Bristol City Councils, though a trip down to City Hall in Bristol failed to yield any evidence of them actually flying the flag we sent them. South Gloucestershire once again flatly refused, while Swindon asked for a flag, but not until the actual day, meaning that there was no way that we could get a flag to them on time.

Outside local government, Wiltshire Museum also flew the flag, pictured left. We had visited the museum as part of our annual St Ealdhelm's Day walk, which this year was held in Devizes. A full report of the walk will appear in the next issue of the Wessex Chronicle.