And a very happy New Year to all. We seem to be bombarding you with Newsletters but as I said back in the Autumn there is just so much to say!!
So let’s get straight on with it – and first and foremost I want to recognise and thank all those volunteers who are making what we aspire to do a reality.
We have a very much better buoyed and signed harbour than ever before, Information boards at Morston and Blakeney, a comprehensive website and an active social media presence. There are 10 Harbour wardens, there are social events – and we care for the environment in the Harbour – removing wrecks and other hazards.
A couple of years ago we were changing to a Charity and had a hundred or so members. Our budget for the year’s membership fees was £2000. Today the conversion to a charity is complete, membership fees are now donations and by the end of the summer we hope to have close to 500 members.
We ask for a minimum donation of £25 but the average is over £50! People care. We are doing something right!
All this takes a big team (and we are getting frequent offers of more help), and today that looks like this;
Firstly my fellow Trustees – Charlie Ward, Neil Thompson, Tom Harrison and Greg Cooper. Greg comes to us from a background in both big business and charities and will bring some very valuable additional skills. We are very fortunate to have his help.
Then there are the working groups; Our core work – the buoyage, infrastructure and slipway maintenance – is led by Charlie with very many willing helpers – to name a few – me, Martin Law, Tony McKee, Andy Barton, John Walton, James Cowan, Henry Archer and Mr & Mrs Alistair McKinnes.
I’m a Harbour Warden along with Charlie, Jason Bean, Josh Bean, Graham Bean, Steven Bean, Chris Keys, Neil Thompson and Graham Lubbock.
There’s a team that liaises with the National Trust at regular scheduled meetings which is Charlie again, Neil and Tom.
The Membership and Fundraising Team is Joanie McKee, Gill Kay, Tom and Heather Harrison Graham Lubbock and Mary Hunt.
There is an Audit team that supports the Treasurer and Secretary as well as trying to ensure everything to do with Health and Safety, the Charity Commission and insurance is properly handled. That’s Greg Cooper, Nigel Flower and Tom. Greg has agreed to take on the role of Honorary Treasurer, helped by Helen Ward, who has done a brilliant job up to now as Treasurer.
The Honorary Secretary is Tom and Ellie Harrison is the Administrator.
John Walton manages the noticeboard and displays at Morston and Blakeney.
Much of this love that we all have for the Harbour stems from our Heritage and we are very grateful to Sue Gresham, John Wright and Rob Metcalfe for helping to build a picture of our past.
George and David Hewitt have been really helpful in filling in some of the detail behind all the old photos that Peter Fisher and others have shown us.
Rob Metcalfe is also providing his Public Relations skills (the day job!) to support us.
Many of you will know David Diggens who is a consultant to us on Natural History and the Harbour environment (his day job too).
Chris Dugdale of Martin & Acock Accountants looks after accounts, similarly insurance is Neil Walton of Centor Insurance and legal is Peter Sharp and Ann-Marie Davies both of Morgan Lewis & Bockius – that’s to deal with the Fielden legacy and the conversion to a Charity.
And what’s amazing is that all these talented professionals do it for nothing! Like the wonderful drone imagery that Will Darby of Flypod Ariel Imagery produces (and Sam Sykes too). And the Videography that Siemon Scamell-Katz is doing.
Hannah Kelsey will be the new best friend of all our members under 50 as she does the important job of keeping social media up to date (Navigation warnings and the like) and Darryl Britton at WiserWeb had the difficult job of slimming Tom’s fat fingers and got the website functioning like it should do!
John Lintott is our fundraising consultant and I’m sure there are more (that’s the problem when you make a list – someone gets forgotten – sorry to whoever it will be! Because it will be!!)
I’ll save you the arithmetic; that’s more than forty active volunteers!!
We talk about ‘the Love of the Harbour’,
and isn’t that just what this all means?
It’s worth reminding ourselves why we all do it sometimes! Our Charity objectives are; maintain and conserve the Harbour, advise and inform, promote safety and deter crime.
And do you know what that is exactly? It’s what all you wonderful people are doing – and everyone who supports BHA financially with donations and who becomes a member.
If you didn’t do what you do we’d get by, somehow. But we wouldn’t do it anything like as well and the 100’s of thousands of visitors who arrive here wouldn’t find quite the jewel which they do!
And that of course feeds through to supporting the local economy. Which takes me to the opportunities for Corporate Membership which is being introduced this year. Local businesses will be getting information very soon if they haven’t already.
You can hear more about corporate membership at our Open Evening in February – what we do and how we do it.
So give yourselves – all of you – a pat on the back; it’s brilliant, a really unique community effort. That’s all that can be said.
BHA OPEN EVENING
Thursday 23rd February, 7.30 to 8.30pm,
Harbour Room, High Street, Blakeney
Doors open 6.30pm; bar & refreshments before and after
If prospective members are unsure about joining or if prospective or existing members need help in deciding what level of donation to make or how they can volunteer, or if businesses want more information to decide if this is something they can support – please do come along to our Open Evening. There will be an hours’ presentation of our work and our plans. And time to chat before and after. You will be able to see exactly where the money goes and hear first hand from Trustees and existing volunteers.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
While you have got your diary open here are some other dates:
23rd February – Open Evening, Harbour Room, Blakeney. 7.30-8.30pm
28th April – AGM, Blakeney Village Hall
20th May – Auction of Promises, Blakeney Harbour Room
15th July – Charity concert on Blakeney Quay for the Housing Association, Glaven Caring and BHA
13th August – Thank you BBQ, Quay Lane, Morston
While you’re in the mood and contemplating next year here’s a reminder of some of the various race and regatta results
You can remind yourself of the Morston & Blakeney Regatta results which are usefully on the Blakeney Sailing club website; click here to view.
The Cockle Club results featured in the last BHA newsletter, before Christmas.
There is another Cley Regatta planned for 2017. Last year’s Regatta was real fun with races held over a week from the East End of Blakeney Quay to the north end of Cley Quay.
For a new event there was great support with enough entrants to have winners for all the following categories; sailing (26 hours 55 minutes!), quickest paddle, quickest paddle junior, quickest paddle senior, quickest row, quickest rowing team and quickest rowing pairs and best and second best decorated vessels. Cley Parish Council and Simon Read are to be congratulated.
What a rewarding job writing this has been!
Chair of Trustees, Blakeney Harbour Association
Maintaining & Preserving Blakeney Harbour
Sponsors of BHA
Managing Trustee & Navigation