This year saw the retirement of a number of key Officers and committee members who had served the interests of the BB Society for many years.
Chairman Gordon Wright stood down along with Vice Chairman Ian Edwards. Likewise the Hon Secretary Bryan Holden retired after 16 years in the role. Treasurer Steve Lawes, a more recent appointment, stood down due to ill health. Committee member Ray 'Badger' Walker also stood down.
All have pledged their continuted help and support to the society and their successors. Bryan Holden will continue as as editor of Sky Gypsy the society's annual magazine.
The following 'BB' Society members were elected
Chairman - Mark Seddon
Vice Chairman & BB Merchandise - Chris Coles
Hon Secretary & Committee Member - David Osbourne
Hon Treasurer & Committee Member - Bryce Hanlon
Membership Secretary & Committee Member - Colin Mason
Events Co-Ordinator & Committee Member - Martin Izzard
Website Editor & Committee Member - Sandra Jennings
Schools Liaison Officer & Committee Member - Daphne Rusby
This year saw the largest attendance at The Society's AGM. A delicious lunch was had at The Vane Arms and the speaker in the afternoon was John Lewis-Stempel who gave us a fascinating and informative talk.
Fostering Fellowship enters its seventh year and includes two exciting new events. Please 'Events' page for details.
The BB Archive
The BB Archive is now housed at Lamport Hall in the village where 'BB' was born Lamport. Details of access will be available soon. Member Janice Morris is in sole charge as the Society Archivist and is working with staff at Lamport Hall to record the mass of material gathered over the years. Janice already does a similar role with both the Wellingborough History Society and the HE Bates Society so her experience is invaluable.
The archive remains the property of the BB Society. Members wishing to donate items to the archive must contact Janice direct.
Please contact the secretary of the 'BB' Society for access.
Rugby School Art Bursary
Congratulations to Evelyn Bulmer, winner of the 2016 BB Rugby School Art Bursary Memorial Prize. Evelyn will be presented with a cheque for £150 and an illuminated certificateat the schools’ Speech Day on 28th June.
The Art Bursary is sponsored by the BB Society in commemoration of the life and works of BB, Art Master at Rugby School prior to his embarking on a solo career as a writer and artist.
Evelyn also receives a year’s honorary membership of the BB Society.
The Bill Humphreys Arts Award
Donations made by family and friends attending Bill Humphreys’ Memorial Service in 2015 amounted to £991.64. Bill’s family then contacted the BB Society and expressed a wish that this money should be used to perpetuate the memory of both Bill and BB and their contribution to wildlife and conservation.
It was agreed to donate the sum of £200 to the Dorset Wildlife Trust of which Bill was a Vice President, and to use the remainder of £791.64 to institute an arts award open to members of the BB Society.
Bryan Holden has been given the task of putting forward design proposals and a competition format for consideration by the Committee and the Membership.
BB Creative Arts Award
Every year the BB Society holds a Creative Arts Award competition open to Northamptonshire primary schools.
The award is so important to the BB Society in its mission to engage youngsters, and to encourage in them a love of nature and to carry on BB’s artistic and conservation legacy.
Our thanks to Daphne Rusby who organises the Award on behalf of the Society and enthuses all the teachers and pupils to take part.
The subject for this year’s Creative Arts Award is Foxes and is based on BB’s Wild Lone Trail. Good luck to all those taking up paintbrushes and craft materials to get creative with nature.
‘The Life & Works of BB’ Exhibition
To celebrate the 70th year of BB’s classic children’s tale, Brendon Chase, the BB Society staged a week-long exhibition of BB’s writings, paintings and memorabilia at Lamport Hall in Northamptonshire (30th June – 6th July, 2014).
Lamport Hall, once the stately home of the illustrious Isham family, is situated opposite All Hallows Church, in the village of Lamport where BB was born and lived his childhood years.
As a youngster, he was a frequent visitor to events at the Hall and no doubt aware of the hundreds of ceramic gnomes which populated the massive rockery erected by the eccentric Lord Charles Isham.
It is believed that it was the Lamport gnomes which inspired the writing of BB’s Carnegie prize-winning story The Little Grey Men in 1942.
Staged in the Halls’ former coach house, the exhibition featured more than 200 of BB’s original paintings, drypoints and scraperboard illustrations, many of which were on public display for the first time.
First edition, signed copies of all of BB’s books complete with dust-jackets were also displayed, along with many personal artefacts including BB’s artist’s palette, scraperboard tools, fishing rod, pipes and walking stick, and an archive of his Shooting Times articles.
A 40 page full-colour brochure is available from the BB Society Merchandising Officer featuring a complete exposition of BB Life & Works. Available to members and non-members alike at £7.50 per copy including post and packaging. A not to be missed collector’s item!
Please see 'Society Merchandise' page.
Reprinted MONTY WOODPIG Books and Posters.
The BB Society has published reprints of two of 'BB's early books.
Monty Woodpig's Caravan
Monty Woodpig and His Bubblebuzz Car
These paperback editions are available to members only.
Please see Society Merchandise Page
BB on Countryfile!!
Make sure you watch the Countryfile programme first shown on BBC1 on Monday 25th August 2014.
Presenter Helen Skelton was finding out about BB and his connection to Lamport Hall and Northamptonshire.
Watch it if you can.
Both Bryan Holden & Badger Walker are interviewed.