Friends of the Charles Parker Archive: AGM 2014

Minutes of AGM held Thursday 16th October 2014 at The Library of Birmingham

The meeting commenced at 3.05p.m.

  1. Present: Tim Blackmore (Chairman),  Pam Bishop, Andy Cartwright, Peter Cox,  Jimmy Ewing,  Mary Kalemkerian,  Helen Lloyd, Sara Parker,  Ian Parr,  Fiona Tait

Friends:  Joy Ashworth, Sarah Baylis, Sam Coley, Maureen Davis, Graham Langley, Steve May, Eileen Whiting, Robert Whitworth

Apologies:  Lynette Cawthra (WCML),  Patrick Costello, Philip Cox,  Trevor Fisher,  Alan Hall,  Cathy Mackerras,  Matthew Parker,  Gillian Reynolds,  Rod Stradling,  Jack Warshaw,  Paul Wilson,

Guest:  Michael Kennedy (researching the life of John Axon)

  1. Chairman’s Welcome and Introductory Remarks:
    • The Chairman welcomed Friends and all others present. He introduced our latest Trustee, Jimmy Ewing, explaining that Jimmy was a previous winner of the Charles Parker Prize and had been asked to join the Trustees to provide experience in the use of social media and contemporary culture.

In response to an enquiry the Chairman invited all Trustees to introduce themselves.

The Chairman then introduced Sam Coley from Birmingham City University School of Media who, he said, would give a presentation on his department and its connections with the Trust.

  • The Chairman introduced the latest Annual Report. He explained that in due course Mary Kalemkerian would, as noted in the Report, replace him as Chairman of the Trustees.  However, Mary felt she could not take up the position immediately for health reasons but would do so in the New Year.

He then went on to say he hoped the meeting would agree with him that this year’s Report continued the variety and interest of previous years and he thanked Sara Parker for her efforts.  He said he was delighted that two contributors to the Report, Sarah Baylis and Sam Coley were able to attend to update us on their activities.

  • The Chairman referred to Andy Cartwright’s report on Charles Parker Day and the reports on the Charles Parker prize, including the item by the 2013 winner, Hana Walker-Brown.  He said he felt this year’s Charles Parker Day and its associated concert had been an outstanding success.  Trustees and Library representatives had been involved, led by Andy Cartwright.  Paul Hemmings and Fiona Tait from the Library had ensured the smoothest of organisation and of the Trustees Helen Lloyd and Pam Bishop had assisted, joined by Peter Cox who was responsible for organising the concert.  He felt it had been a very worthwhile day; managed and financed by the Trust for the first time with support from the BBC and from SADiE who provided the editing system for the Charles Parker gold prize and Roberts who supplied DAB radios to all CP Prize-winners.  He was grateful too to the BBC, Smooth Operations and Falling Tree Productions who provide work placements to the winners.
  • He said that he was looking forward to 2015 when Charles Parker Day will be held in Glasgow on Friday 27th He asked the meeting what improvements they would like to see.

Eileen Whiting said that she would want more singing, more unaccompanied singing, to reflect Charles Parker’s taste.

Steve May said in his view there had not been enough focus upon students of whom there were many at the event.  Helen Lloyd agreed and said that one of the lessons learnt from our organisation this year was the need to manage the time more closely.  Sara Parker said that whilst it was necessary to end the event with the highlight of the programme, the Charles Parker Prize, she agreed that more time may need to be allocated and perhaps it would be an improvement if the winning entries were trailed at the start of the topic.

The Chairman said that he understood Steve May’s comment.  The Trustees would address it and it was hoped that Jimmy Ewing would be involved in ensuring the CP Prize winner’s programmes went on the Trust website or were accessible from it.  This was one of the items arising from the Trustees’ earlier meeting.

  1. Approval of minutes of Friends AGM held 17th October 2013

The minutes were approved following a proposal by Helen Lloyd, seconded by Mary Kalemkerian.

  1. Items arising from 2013 Friends Annual Meeting
  • Rod Stradling was unable to attend the meeting, however Pam Bishop reported that CDs of Cecilia Costello had been available at the CP Day event and could be obtained from Rod, see for full details and information on how to purchase them.
  • Sarah Baylis spoke of her work with the Archive and referred to her article in the current Annual Report on the recordings she had listened to from the Archive associated with “The Travelling People”.

She described her involvement in Heritage and Community Engagement arising from her family background and her teaching and research work on nomadic peoples and her recent radio programme for RTE on the writer Jim Phelan (Secretary’s note:  I currently hold a CD copy of the programme which I will lodge with the Archive).

She had spent two days, she said, reviewing 97 CDs of recorded material from the Archive and had been overwhelmed with the extent of it and impressed with Charles Parker’s early adoption of the issues demonstrated in his 1956 production of Juanita Berlin’s radio programme, “Stallion Eternity”.

She explained it was her concern to ensure that traveller communities should own their own history and explain it to the public at large so that barriers could be broken down.  She saw the Radio Ballads, “The Travelling People” in particular as a template.

She went on to describe work progressing towards obtaining Lottery Heritage Funding for development of community relations associated with the Rural Media Company, see .

The Chairman thanked Sarah for her contribution and said how pleased he was to see the Archive being applied exactly in the way it had been envisaged when the Trust had been created.

  • There were no additional items arising from the previous AGM.
  1. Sam Coley of Birmingham Media School:

Sam Coley introduced himself; he is Degree Leader Radio at Birmingham School of Media, Birmingham City University and his involvement with the Trust originates from his contacts with Helen Lloyd and the Trust Secretary, Ian Parr, the latter in connection with the recording equipment donated to the Trust by Brian Vaughton referred to in the current Annual Report and the previous one.

Sam described the new facilities at the Parkside Building by Millenium Point where there are 7 digital studios.  He described the work of his students and the enthusiasm the facilities have generated leading to a prize at the New York Radio Programmes Festival.

He described the limitations of current student networks and the need for increased networking amongst students studying radio.

In relation to the Charles Parker Archive he played clips of an interview conducted by Diane Kemp with Ian Campbell not long before his death.

He concluded with describing the video interview he and his colleague Vanessa Jackson made of Brian Vaughton describing his work with Charles Parker and Philip Donnellan which he referred to in his article for the Trust Annual Report.

(Secretary’s note!  There is a BBC BBC Midlands “Inside Out” report by Mary Rhodes. See )

Peter Cox referred to Nina Garthwaite’s “In the Dark”  project and wondered how that might fit into some of Sam Coley’s ideas for extending student networking and Sara Parker referred, in this context, to the Student Radio Association.  Jimmy Ewing said he thought student radio was not currently geared to media students working in radio and that networking might be better accomplished with social media.

The Chairman, bringing the debate to a conclusion said that the Trustees’ current thinking was around the value of SoundCloud.  He wondered if the Trust might take on developments in this field and invited Sam Coley to attend the Trustees’ next meeting in March 2015:

Action;  Secretary

  1. Date, timing and location of next Friends AGM

Drawing the meeting to a close the Chairman expressed his thanks to everyone for a stimulating meeting and he looked forward to seeing everyone at Charles Parker Day in Glasgow on 27th March next year.

The date and timing of the AGM was discussed.  It was agreed it be held at The Library of Birmingham the precise date to be determined by the Secretary and approved by Trustees.

It was agreed it would be better if the meeting was held later in the day.  The Secretary proposed a 6.00p.m. start and conclusion at about 7.30.  This was agreed and the Secretary said he would take the appropriate action:

Action;  Secretary

Secretary’s note!    I propose The Friends’ AGM will start at 6.00p.m. and will end at 7.30p.m. The proposed date will be Thursday 15th October 2015 and the Trustees’ AGM will commence at 3.00p.m. and conclude no later than 5.30p.m. 

The Chairman declared the meeting closed at 4.40p.m.

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