AGM “Annual General Meeting”

HELD ON 11th MARCH 2016


1. Welcome from the Chair

The Chair, Bev Perkins, welcomed everyone to the meeting, including the Mayor, the Mayoress and Mac.

2. Review of the year 2015/16

BP spoke to the annual report. The Wildlife Garden had been opened with the help of a lot of volunteers; the bookshop and bric-a-brac were staffed entirely by volunteers; the table tennis table was proving very popular; CCTV cameras had been installed; coffee mornings continued to flourish and the events had been successful. Unfortunately, the toilet had been closed because it had not been possible to keep it sufficiently clean.

Bev thanked a number of people for their help:

LeafTeggie for her fundraising
LeafDavid for his planting
LeafPeter for being membership secretary
LeafMichael for putting new photos of the park onto Facebook
LeafJosephine for her help with press releases
LeafNordine Benhamari for agreeing to take over the website
LeafVolunteers for their help, eg in planting

The planned bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund had been postponed because of staffing problems.
It would now be submitted in June. Ramsgate TC, Kent Police, TDC, Cllr Tony Ovenden and Ageless Thanet had all made donations.

The coming year would continue to be a busy one. The Trim Trail would be installed, with financial support from Tesco; events were planned as usual including the May Fayre and Sundays on the Bandstand in July and August; Your St Lawrence would be a 2 week Sharing Heritage event in September.

BP thanked the Committee. She welcomed new members Robert and Sally Holden and Mary McDonald and thanked Sue Martin who was stepping down from the Committee.


The members asked whether the Friends could do a family subscription. It was agreed that this would be set up: £6 for an individual and £10 for a family.

3. Financial position

Pat Scutt spoke to the annual accounts, which looked healthy. However, some of the funds were ring-fenced. A question was asked about the Miscellaneous line in the Income and Expenditure. PS explained this included consultancy fees for HLF bid; anti-vandal paint for the containers; submission to RTC Events and various other expenses.

4. Election of Management Committee Members

AGREED THAT the current management committee members be re-appointed as members of the management committee of Friends of Ellington Park for a further year:

LeafBev Perkins
LeafAlan Linfoot
LeafDiane Reilly
LeafPat Scutt

And THAT Sally Holden, Robert Holden and Mary McDonald be appointed to the Management Committee for a year.

Proposed by Gwen Kay, seconded by Diane Belsey; unanimously supported.

Nordine Benhamari indicated an interest in standing for the Committee.

The meeting closed at 20.00

A presentation about The Mayor’s insignia followed

350 Year Old Secret Unearthed

350 Year Old Secret Unearthed as Sinkhole reveals Sparkling Wine Cellar

People were amazed to find that a giant sinkhole had appeared in Ellington Park this morning, unveiling the long-lost wine cellar of Sir Adam Sparkling, who infamously murdered his wife, Katherine, and her six dogs in 1652.

Sinkhole Cellar Entrance

For centuries, children have grown up with the grisly tale of Lady Katherine’s murder at the hands of her violent husband. But a lesser known story relates to Sir Adam’s secret wine cellar.

In the weeks leading up to the murder, the law was already catching up with Sir Adam, who was wanted for tax evasion.  With the Revenue hot on his heels, it is speculated that he sealed up his cellar containing several hundred gallons of undeclared wine imported from the Continent.  Until now its whereabouts has been shrouded in mystery.

Wine Bottles


Missy the Dog has been thanked for making this morning’s historic find.  Her owner reported her digging in the area moments before the ground opened up.  As soon as he saw what Missy had uncovered, he contacted the Friends of Ellington Park.

Friends’ Chairperson Beverley Perkins said:

We are absolutely delighted that Missy made this incredible discovery.  Some of us have already been down there and sampled the wine.  Despite the stuff being over 350 years old, I am reliably informed that the wines are of excellent quality.

Dr Juan D’Aprillo, of the European Society of Ancient Wine Cellars, said that this was a relatively rare event:

It occasionally happens that subterranean cellars are discovered, but I’ve never come across one as well preserved as this.  It’s perfect.

Friends of Ellington Park members will each be receiving a bottle of the 1652 vintage, Beverley confirmed:

We have consulted our legal eagles and can declare that it’s ‘finders keepers’.
So many people have already come for their free bottle that we don’t expect there to be any left by midday today, so get yours now.