16 Dec Massey Shaw 2021 review & AGM summary
We recently held our 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) and we were pleased to welcome over 16 subscribers to look back over 2021 and forward into 2022!
Opening the meeting our Chair, Lord Ambrose Greenway, provided an overview of the year, highlighting how difficult the pandemic had been for the society, limiting the activities we could complete and the visitors we could host. This naturally had a large impact on our ability to raise funds and continue working on the engines to bring them back to working order.
“It was heartening to see Massey Shaw pumping again for our Family Open Day in August, even on one engine. But I must say a huge thank you to the Board and the volunteers for their hard work throughout the year and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.”
CEO, David Rogers continued to echo Lord Greenways thanks to the attendees of the meeting and volunteers for their continued time and financial support during the pandemic.
“The key to this had been the support from the partnerships that had been made with a number of organisations and individuals who had provided the necessary encouragement, financial assistance and belief in what the organisation was wishing to achieve.
The culmination of this effort was demonstrated over the weekend in August when we held our Open days supported by the LFB Museum team, Friends of the Island History Trust, Docklands Scout Project, Canal & River Trust, and Fire Cadets. The theme for the weekend was volunteering and showcased the efforts of the Isle of Dogs community during the Blitz and the work carried out during the present pandemic.”
The family open day saw over 500 people attend and lots of local interest about Massey Shaw and its extensive history. Although visitor numbers were down, we have kept a regular social media presence, sharing images and creating video content in our ‘Crew Space Stories’ series on YouTube, with thanks to Tom Rogers for maintaining this.
David also thanked the numerous organisations and individuals who have supported the Charity financially during the pandemic.
“I would like to take this opportunity to mention two people who have made generous donations throughout the year. Mr David Pike has continued to give his royalties from his books to the Society along with Mr Peter Cowland, Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Firefighters and a Freemason whose fellow Lodge members have donated many thousands of pounds towards our engine rebuild. Thank you to both of these gentlemen for their support.”
Our finance Director, Bill Scott, provided the financial summary report for the year and echoed the impact lower visitor numbers have had on our finances and as always our insurance cost is difficult to cover each year. The impact shows a loss of circa £1400 on last year’s finances.
“My main concern is having sufficient funds to cover our insurance bill which is over £4,000 per year, so we welcome fundraising ideas from our supporters to help cover this and allow us to continue holding events and tours on board. I would also like to extend my thanks to Mr David Pike, Peter Cowland and David Rogers for their generous donations.”
Membership & communications report
Tom Rogers provided a summary of our member subscribers, outlining a total of 30 subscribers of which 50% are ‘Life members’ and therefore do not contribute financially each year. Life membership is no longer available, however this means the income from subscriptions is £250 per year.
“A key goal for 2022 will be to increase our number of subscribers to provide a stable, regular income stream that can fund our projects and on-going costs. We have a strong and growing following on social media, with over 1200 ‘fans’ on Facebook and 300 users on our email list, so we are keen to promote the benefits of subscribing and support Massey financially.”
Education & museum accreditation
During the pandemic, sharing the vast history and importance of Massey Shaw has been vital in keeping us in the minds of our stakeholders. Lockdowns also allowed us to create some new resources such as a timeline of all London Fireboats, word searches, recipes and more for parents and schools to utilize. We also explored using video to share key details about Massey Shaw and artefacts from our archives in our “Crew Space Stories” series on YouTube.
We are keen to share more stories from our supporters about their experiences of Massey Shaw and stories from the past. Mr Rogers/Ms E Mann had been working throughout the past year on reviewing and amending the various documents needed to meet the Arts Council museum accreditation process. It is hoped that this work will be completed and submitted by the spring of 2022. To allow wider access to those with mobility issues or other disabilities which limits visitors physically getting on board Massey, we have installed 4 remote access CCTV cameras which we can access from a tablet or mobile phone. This system allows us to show visitors who can’t get on board the Engine room, Deck space and crew space to still allow them to see the inner depths of the vessel. This was funded by a Tesco scheme and we welcome any further grants schemes to apply for additional funding.
Finally, Lord Greenway closed the meeting and wished all of our supporters and volunteers a very Merry Christmas and hoped to see a welcome return, in person, in 2022!