Chairperson’s 2014 report

Well, for me “the party’s over”.  I’ve spent more than half my life serving on the ULEMLA committee, and nearly that long as your Chairperson, and that’s more than any of us ever expected.  At the end of today’s AGM, I become an ‘ordinary member’ of ULEMLA, and will be happy to let someone else take over the reins.  I thank my committee colleagues for all their support over the years, and wish my successor good fortune in the years to come.


Omitting the January meeting and sending out News Letters by e-mail have both reduced ULEMLA’s costs.  If you do not yet receive News Letters by e-mail only, but are willing to do so, please write your e-mail address (clearly, for Lesley) on the slip below, and let us know that you are happy to receive all ULEMLA News Letters via e-mail and thereby save ULEMLA more money in the 2014 – 2015 year.


Looking back at the 2013 to 2014 year, you will remember that we were fortunate to hear Professor John Mullan (UCL) solving ‘crucial puzzles’ in Jane Austen in October.  Jane & Robert Carr of the Quince Tree Press spoke in November on the life and work of J L Carr, writer of “A Month in the Country”.  Our own President, Emeritus Professor Warren Chernaik gave the fifth T F Evans Memorial Lecture, on Mark Twain, in December before our convivial Christmas party.  In February, Emeritus Professor Mike Irwin (Kent) gave the 27th Charles Peake Memorial Lecture, Fitting Words to Music, and the April talk on the Vauxhall Gardens in the 18th Century was given by Michael Symes, formerly of Birkbeck and an old friend of ULEMLA.  The May trip was to Oxford, where Margaret Bulleyment gave a talk on writers and characters associated with ‘town and gown’ in that city.


On your AGM Agenda sheet, you will see that we have arranged the autumn term talks.  Most of the year’s talks will take place as usual at Birkbeck but, as our usual Christmas party venue is being refurbished, the venue for this year’s December talk and party will be announced in the ULEMLA September News Letter.  Once speakers and topics for the spring and summer terms’ talks have been confirmed, they will appear on our website(*) and in ULEMLA’s News Letters.


Just before this year’s AGM, we’ll welcome the LSE’s Dr Angus Wrenn who will give his talk on Ford Madox Ford and “The Good Soldier”.  On your ‘Agenda’ sheet, you will find dates of meetings and the contact details of your proposed committee.  Below is a membership renewal slip.  We look forward to seeing you – and your friends – in Room 415 of Birkbeck’s main building from 11th October.


Ruth Webb                                                                                                    

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