Report on Annual General Meeting held 20th May 2019

Shap Local History Society gathered for their Annual Meeting in Shap Memorial Hall. Chairman Jean Jackson welcomed everyone. She began by saying that the Society would be 20 years old in 2021. She then reported on the events of the past year, the many interesting meetings, outings and the exhibition, and The Society saw boost in visitor numbers last year when the exhibition featured Mardale, and this year’s railway exhibition has had a promising start. Mrs Jackson reported on progress with a new book about Shap currently being written. Finally she said that the society runs with a very small committee of four, and cautioned that it could very easily become inquorate. She ended by thanking the officers; secretary Liz Amos, vice chairman Jean Scott-Smith and committee member Ken Noble for their support.

The financial report submitted by Liz Amos, this showed the Society to be in a healthy financial position.

Jean Scott-Smith gave a report and update on the Shap Memorial Trust, she also submitted the accounts that showed a moderate increase. This year will be 25 years since the memorial was erected, and it is hoped that there will be a vintage vehicle run in September.

The following were elected: Chairman, Jean Jackson, Vice Chairman and Programme secretary, Jean Scott-Smith, Secretary Liz Amos, nominated Treasurer Liz Amos, assistant treasurer, Ken Noble. There were no nominations for committee, but the Society is empowered to co-opt new committee. Committee meetings are open to all members, so that they can have some input.

Following the business meeting, Mrs Scott-Smith introduced Terry Moore who gave talk on Milestones, mileposts and fingerposts of Cumbria. Terry restores these examples of roadside heritage as a hobby, and last year he restored three in Shap parish.

He began by saying that his interest has been sparked by old maps that showed locations of milestones and mileposts, later ones including the inscription. His first restorations were in his own parish near Brampton. The Milestone Society is a UK wide organisation that holds records of all milestones and posts, and Terry found their information and advice vital in his work. Google maps will not only locate the markers but give a grid reference.

The images showed milestones and mileposts in a wide variety of styles and materials, from stone with an engraved inscription or with cast plaques to wholly cast iron in various shapes.   The ones at Shap were described, the stone at the Greyhound Hotel is one of the oldest in the county, and the cast ones were made at Gatebeck near Kendal in 1825 for the Heron Syke Turnpike Trust that ran through the county of Westmorland. Some of the old finger posts have the county name down the column, several survive from Cumberland but few from Westmorland, some had roundels at the top naming the location whilst others have ball tops or crowns.   Mr Moore was thanked by Mrs Jackson.

This was the last indoor meeting until September. The next event will be a visit to Brougham Castle on Monday 24th June for a guided tour led by Joseph Jackson; another visit is planned for 22nd July to Reagill. Places are available for these visits, there is an entrance fee at Brougham, free for English Heritage members. Numbers are limited and booking is essential; anyone wishing to attend should contact Mrs Scott-Smith on 01931 716386.