Mechanics' Institution Trust

A large audience faces the presenter.

Annual General Meeting 2023

Thank you to all members, volunteers, residents and partners who attended our Annual General Meeting 2023.

It was a jam-packed day filled with tours, exhibitions and presentations. And we were pleased that so many could join us to share progress on the important work that is taking place at the Mechanics’ Institution Trust.

If you missed our Annual General Meeting 2023 we have summarised updates and changes within the Trust below:

The day kicked off at about 11:00am. Bob Wright showed our supporters around the Cricketers Arms. This sparked much interest in the project and highlighted the tremendous efforts of the project team so far. 

The formal meeting commenced at 12:00pm. The board delivered the previous minutes, the financial reports and Trust accounts, the Chairman’s report and other business.

Changes to the board of Trustees:

David Thackray (chair) has retired from the position of Chair of the Mechanics’ Institution Trust. David’s leadership and strategy has guided the Trust to a very strong position. We’ll all miss him. Thank you, David for all of your hard work, guidance and dedication over the years.

Katie Knowles (Secretary and Railway Village Museum Curator) has formally stepped down from her position as trustee, as she moves on to the next stage in her career. Katie has been an integral part of the Trust for a number of years. She’s worked tirelessly to maintain and develop the Railway Village Museum. The Trust wishes you all the best in your new career chapter, Katie. And thank you for all that you have helped the trust to achieve

We formally voted Aaron Marchant, in as trustee after months of supporting the board in a co-opted trustee and advisory capacity. Aaron has a background in history and politics. He’s supported the development of the trust archive and is helping the trust to review its policies.

Bob Wright has been elected as Chair of the Mechanics’ Institution Trust in the interim, while the Trust seeks to appoint a new chair. Bob has been acting as Vice Chair for some time and has been instrumental in the development of the Trust.

Following the formal meeting, there were a number of presentations:

Mechanics’ Modelling Club

Dr. Michael Smith has, among many other contributions to the trust, established a Modelling Club at the Central Community Centre. The club runs weekly so that children between 10 and 16 can learn the use of wood tools, painting, electronics and connecting radio controls.  

Michael awarded two members of the club, Zaine and Austin, with a certificate presented by the club’s sponsors. 

The Mechanics’ Institution Trust would like to give special thanks to:
 The Battery Shop Swindon and Beesleys Tools for their large contributions of funding. Also the supply of tools and materials which are crucial for keeping the club running. Thank you Michael for your expertise and dedication to the project.

Heritage Action Zone

Karen Phimister (Heritage Action Zone Project Officer) shared a number of updates on all the fantastic projects within the Heritage Action Zone. 

Ian Hamson (Graphic Designer and Museum Volunteer) led a presentation on the new branding for the Trust. We look forward to rolling it out in the new year.

Helen George presented her Poppy Appeal and thanked all contributors, as well as those who helped to build the exhibition of poppies and a number of other projects. Helen presented Fr. Toby Boutle of S. Marks and S. Saviours church with a wreath for use during Remembrance Services. 

A display of poppies donated to the Trust for Remembrance Sunday.  - Annual General Meeting 2023
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