Minutes of the NEAT AGM 2011

AGM – held on 5.5.11, Nailsea Fire Station, Pound Lane at 1900


1 - Present: P Barclay (presiding), DA Sowdon, T Targett, D Hodgson, B Irwin, R Lees, T Smith, M Johnson, E Lewis, B Brooks, R
Kefford, P Thorogood, T Bowen, M Bowen, M Lord.

2 - Apologies: P Scott, R Ivens

3 – Minutes of the AGM held 22 April 2010 – were approved by the meeting and signed by the Chairman

4 - Chairman’s Report: Dave Sowdon reported that during the past twelve months NEAT has not undertaken much in the way of
archaeological fieldwork, but we have diversified slightly. We have not had the services of Vince Russett during the year, as a result of his pressure of work, but we have had the assistance of YCCCART and the HLF equipment for survey work on the potential Roman site at Wraxall. Because of the weather in July/August there was very little time to get on the field and only a limited amount of survey work could be done. However, the YCCCART magnetometer survey backed up the resistance survey of 2009 and we hope to complete the survey when this years’ crop is cut. Hopefully, if all parties agree, we might be able to dig test pits to confirm the geophys findings. YCCCART will shortly be undertaking a survey of the old Wraxall Roman villa site, which will enable the exact site to be pinpointed and any further remains traced.

Richard Ivens has led a group surveying the standing buildings at Backwell Park and hopes to undertake a few trial digs in the autumn in order to establish the footprint of the demolished farmhouse, and maybe establish a date for the site.

Phil Barclay has continued leading the hedge survey, working from public rights of way and his results have been well accepted by North Somerset and by the survey co-ordinators. On the subject of North Somerset, their Historic Environment Record is now online and can be consulted freely.

NEAT’s newest venture is the establishment of a geology group under the Team’s environmental umbrella. I had an email in the winter from Richard Kefford who was interested in establishing a geo-trail for Nailsea and asked if NEAT would be interested. Several NEAT members subsequently joined Richard on local walks and the group will be working on a series of trails to complement the Nailsea
Round footpath walk.

After the 2010 AGM we were given a talk about Banwell Bone Caves which prompted a visit by NEAT last August. Following the success of that visit we intend to have another excursion in August, the date and venue to be decided. Thanks to Peter Scott for arranging both the talk and the visit.
Last year, Nailsea Town Council moved out of Church House and we lost our normal meeting room. Fortunately, this room (at Nailsea Fire Station) was available for community use at no charge, and we have met here since last May. Most meetings have involved illustrated talks varying from a farm history, to cider making in Backwell, to the geology of the Nailsea area.

The profile of NEAT within Nailsea was raised slightly when I was invited to give a short talk at the Nailsea Town Meeting in April. The subject, which seemed to be well received, was the Listed Buildings of Nailsea. Hopefully, a few more people will now know about NEAT as a result.

As you will hear from the Treasurer, as a result of Nailsea Town Council funding review we have lost the grant that we have been given over the last few years. However, the Council have told us that if we need funds for a particular project an application may be favourable received.

Last year I suggested that we link up with the Nailsea Horticultural Society with a few to having a finds session where local gardeners could bring artefacts found in their gardens for identification. I have spoken to the Chairman of the Horticulture Society and hope that we can carry out an identification session at the next Flower Show.

Finally, thanks to all NEAT members for making it an interesting group to be involved with, and particular thanks to Mike Lord who is standing down from the Committee.

5 - Treasurer’s Report:
Dave Hodgson presented the Accounts and a budget for the coming year. The main expenditure continues to be
insurance and DH was investigating alternatives to the present policy. He wondered whether it would be sufficient for NEAT members to sign an indemnity against personal injury while undertaking NEAT fieldwork; it would still be necessary to have Public Liability cover. DH was currently dealing with brokers in Portishead and was awaiting a reply to various insurance queries; he would report to the next Committee meeting. Terry Smith said that NEWT were insured through Zurich but with greater PL cover; he asked how the local footpath groups were covered.

DAS wondered whether there might be the possibility of cover through CANS which could possibly give a reduced premium.

Cllr Rod Lees explained the Town Council re-assessment of grants to local bodies and suggested that groups such as NEAT should be self-funding after 5 years or so, but that grants for capital items would be welcomed by the Council.

Terry Smith asked whether NEAT had considered applying for charity status. DAS replied that we had not so far but that it might be worth investigating.

In view of the lack of TC grant for 2011/12 the following proposal was made –

It is proposed to increase the subscription from £5 to £10 for the year 2011/12 with effect from the date of the AGM. This is to cover the loss of the Town Council grant and any contingencies that may arise.

Proposed: Dave Sowdon; Seconded: Dave Hodgson

This was CARRIED with 11 members in favour.

6 - Election of Officers.

The following nominations for the year 2011/12:-


                                    Nominee                   Proposed                 Seconded

Chairman                  Dave Sowdon            Richard Ivens           Betty Brooks

Vice Chair                 Phil Barclay              Dave Sowdon           Tony Targett

Hon Secretary           Tony Targett              Dave Sowdon           Dave Hodgson

Hon Treasurer            Dave Hodgson        Tony Targett                Dave Sowdon


Committee Members: Richard Ivens, Eileen Lewis, Betty Brooks, Brian Irwin 

The re-election of the Committee en-bloc proposed: Dave Sowdon; Seconded: Tony Targett.

Carried unanimously

Proposal to co-opt Peter Scott:              Dave Sowdon           Tony Targett 

Carried unanimously

7 – AOB: None


The AGM closed at 2000.


AGM followed by a talk by Dr Martin Papworth of the National Trust on NT archaeology in the West Country.