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November 3 2021, AGM News

The annual jamboree that is the SFD AGM took place on Saturday afternoon in Ruishton Village Hall. Numbers were lower than usual reflecting, perhaps, the lack of amateur drama activity over the past twelve months.

SFD Chair Sam Allen began by saying that it’s been a very strange year with no real activity for SFD apart from Original Playwriting Competition and even that had only a couple of entries. Although there was no County Drama Festival as such, Ilminster Entertainments Society and Bleadon Players produced plays which Philip de Glanville and Ron Roberts judged, with IES’ play going forward to represent Somerset in the All England Festival.

During the year, the Committee mostly met by Zoom to provide a ‘watching brief’. We said farewell to Lyn Lockyer, Angie and Ian Hurdman. Brenda Shrewsbury has moved out of the area and will relinquish her role as soon as a replacement is found.

Looking forward, Sam suggested that what we need now, as things begin to take off, is an injection of fresh blood, and so we are looking for:

  • a Co-ordinator for the Original Playwriting competition
  • a Membership Secretary (so that Margaret can concentrate on being Treasurer)
  • a Moderator and Co-ordinator for the David Beach competition (for the next 12 months, we
  • are amalgamating Youth and Senior under the steady hands of Dendy Harris (Moderator) and Di Dean (Co-ordinator))
  • an Online Manager

We are all very aware that the modern world communicates through the internet. Currently, our main contact with members (and non-members) is on Facebook. But we need to do more. So we want to update and rejuvenate our website, maximise our presence online through Facebook and look at other platforms to help us reach a wider – and younger – audience. Our existing structure is geared towards a previous time. Sam said, “We are proposing to combine the Webmaster and Spotlight Manager into a single role to co-ordinate all our online activities and improve our reach.”

We also reconsidered the role of the Area Representatives. They were intended as a link between the SFD committee and our members but, with modern communications, direct contact is easy and swift, and there is really no need for the role any more. So as we reconfigure the make up of the committee, we will also be asking the AGM to approve the termination of this role. Sam has also given notice that he will resign at the end of the forthcoming year to open the way for new blood as Chair of what he called “this fantastic organisation.”

On a final sad note, we heard recently that former Treasurer, Nigel Strawbridge has passed away.

Sam proffered a final ‘thank you’ to all the committee for their continued dedication in the strangest year the SFD has ever known.

Our treasurer, Ann Brolly (known as Margaret for official business), was not able to attend the AGM but she confirmed that the finances are in good health. A copy of the financial report was circulated at the meeting.


The meeting then moved on to the election of officers. It was agreed that for the next twelve months the committee will be:

Chairman – Sam Allen

Vice-Chair – Di Dean

Secretary – Pam Hillier

Online Manager – vacant

Treasurer – Margaret Brolly

Membership Secretary – Margaret Brolly

Phoebe Rees Coordinator – Philip de Glanville

David Beach Coordinator – vacant

David Beach Youth Coordinator – Di Dean

Cinderella Trophy Competition – Pam Price

Original Playwriting Competition – Brenda Shrewsbury

County Drama Festival – Philip de Glanville

It was also agreed that subscriptions for the Year commencing 1 October 2021 will remain the same at £10.00 for individuals, £15.00 for joint membership and £25.00 for Societies. Entry to all competitions should remain the same.

As there had been so little activity during the past year, no awards were made.

Before and after the formal proceedings, discussion took place about our future activities. There was general agreement that the SFD should offer to run all its competitions from now on, coupled with concern that there may be insufficient entries to make a competition viable. It was agreed that all competitions would proceed on what the chairman called a ‘suck it and see’ basis. The SFD is now going to get the message out there: We are open and ready for business!

The SFD Committee

SFD Chair Sam Allen

SFD Vice Chair Di Dean (right) with Ian Hurdman at a David Beach Award Ceremony. Di is also Coordinator of the David Beach Competition

SFD Secretary Pam Hillier

SFD Treasurer and Membership Secretary Ann Brolly

Philip de Glanville, who is is Phoebe Rees Co-ordinator and County Drama Festival Coordinator

Cinderella Trophy Competition Coordinator Pam Price

Original Playwriting Competition coordinator Brenda Shrewsbury