Friends of the Charles Parker Archive: AGM 2019

Minutes of AGM held Thursday 16th May 2019 at The Library of Birmingham

The meeting commenced at 3.35p.m.

  1. Present: Mary Kalemkerian; (Chairman), Pam Bishop, Andy Cartwright, Peter Cox, Simon Elmes,   Phil Maguire, Mark Newman; Hon Treasurer, Sara Parker, Ian Parr; Hon Sec.
    Friends;  Patrick Costello, Maureen Davies, Alex Lacey (BCU), Helen Lloyd, Tony Macaluso, Steve May, Siobhan Stevenson (BCU), Fiona Tait,  Chas Whiting, Robert Whitworth
    Apologies Jimmy Ewing, Alan Hall
    Friends;  Joy Ashworth,  Graham Langley, Doc Rowe
  1. Chairman’s Welcome and Opening Remarks

The Chairman welcomed Friends and Trustees introducing each of the Trustees to the meeting.  She thanked the retiring Trustees, Helen Lloyd and Alan Hall, for their service to the Trust and welcomed Tony Macaluso who had agreed to be come a Trustee and she explained that later he would give a presentation on the work of Studs Terkel.  Helen Lloyd was presented with flowers and card as a token of gratitude for her work on behalf of the Trust for more than ten years.

The Chairman said that although the Trust had much to celebrate this year, she and all Trustees were saddened by the loss of one of its greatest supporters with the death of Eileen Whiting.  She explained that there had been an obituary in Actuality.  She expressed her pleasure to welcome Eileen’s husband, Chas, to the meeting.  The Chairman extended her condolences to Chas and his family on behalf of all present.

Secretary’s note:  See recording of part of a discussion about folk music and society at a Park House Convention 16th July 1971. Participants are Rhoma Bowdler, Bob Etheridge, Trevor Fisher, Brian Homer, Charles Parker, Don Perrygrove, Tony Seymour, Mike Turner, Chas and Eileen Whiting. (Archive reference MS4000/5/3/7/1)

The Chairman said this past year saw the continued success of Charles Parker Day and publication of the third issue of Actuality.  She explained that the Annual Report is issued separately from the Trust magazine and is presented at the AGM for Trustees and this meeting, the AGM, for Friends and supporters of the Archive and the Trust.

  1. Review of Annual Report and Trust activities

Secretary’s Note: The Annual Report referred to in these minutes is available here 

3.1  Chairman’s Report   Mary Kalemkerian introduced the latest Annual Report, copies of which were circulated.  She referred to her earlier remarks on the nature of the Report and summarised her own contribution as Chairman before inviting the Treasurer, Secretary and Website Editor to make their reports and respond to any comments.

3.2  Honorary Secretary’s Report  Ian Parr tabled his report and reminded the meeting that a review of circulation lists was on-going and transfer to Mailchimp will be completed soon.

3.3  Financial – Treasurer’s Report  Mark Newman reported that the Trust accounts are stable.  To improve reporting he is planning to change the date of the Trust’s Financial Year so that accounts related to Charles Parker Day – our main income and expenditure stream – are within the same accounting period.

3.4  Social Media etc Report   Pam Bishop explained her report in relation to social media and the Trust website summarising the statistics she and Jimmy Ewing had produced.  She confirmed the Secretary’s reference to the use of Mailchimp.  It will be used in future as the means by which emails are circulated  to everyone associated with the Trust.

  1. Approval of minutes of the Friends AGM held 17th October 2018
    The minutes were approved following a proposal by Phil Maguire, seconded by Andy Cartwright.
  1. Matters arising from the Minutes
    The Secretary informed the meeting there were no matters arising from the minutes other than those itemised on the agenda.
  1. Charles Parker Day and Charles Parker Prize 2019
    The Chairman invited Andy Cartwright to review CP Day 2019 and plans for future years.

6.1  CP Day 2019  Introducing his report Andy Cartwright said that it was generally agreed that the day was a significant success with 109 attendees.  The topics had generally been well received and he had received many positive comments.  He explained that some feedback whilst generally complementary expressed concern at the apparent “mass exodus” of students towards the end of the afternoon.

Clarifying the situation, he explained that it was not only students who left early.  The major problem lay in the train times and his own decision to change the John Axon film to a full showing rather than clips. He also felt that one or two other earlier items tended to be drawn out.  But he felt, and commentators had remarked, that these points aside it was a superb day and a suitable tribute to Charles.

Mary Kalemkerian summarising comments made to her expressed her thanks to Andy and all others involved for a wonderful and fulfilling day that was a sell-out for the first time in the history of the event.  In reply Andy said he recognised that a 5p.m. finish had been too optimistic and was too late given the travel limitations.  His intention is that 2020 CP Day will conclude at 4.30.

He added that in the course of preparation for the event and a radio programme he has made, he came across 64 CDs in the Archive of the Parker Family.

6.2  CP Prize 2019  Simon Elmes responding to an invitation from the Chairman to report on this year’s awards expressed what he believed was an increased emphasis on creativity.  He was gratified that nine institutions were represented and four of the top five winners were from different ones and seven from the long-list of ten.  Explaining that the requirements for the Prize for 2019 had changed and now included a full 12 to 15 minutes of recording he was also pleased that the number of entrants had been maintained.  This he felt had made the demands on students greater, but with full BBC sponsorship was a necessary development.

Radio 4, Simon explained, were giving a full early afternoon programme slot to the top five winners, transmission dates are 29 July to 2 August.  Radio 4 Extra would also be highlighting runners-up and past winners.  He said he was hopeful that the BBC would support the Prize in a similar manner in 2020.

6.3  CP Day 2020  Andy Cartwright said that CP Day would be Friday 3rd April 2020 and be held in Birmingham, ideally at the Library of Birmingham Studio Theatre as in 2014.  But we would be unable to meet the current requirements of the Library in relation to costs.  He is awaiting a response from Corinna Rayner on this.  The fall-back position remains the invitation from BCU for them to host the event and he expressed his gratitude at their forbearance.

He went on to say that in terms of content, he was aware that it would be 40 years since Charles’ death.  He was looking into the programme for the Day and would report in detail to Trustees in October.

  1. Actuality magazine

The Chairman said that the team of Sara Parker, Phil Maguire and Peter Cox had produced our third issue.  She acknowledged the work by Phil Maguire and Supple Studio Ltd., for their combined efforts making the publication available for CP Day and particularly thanked Peter Cox for his editorial and production of the articles on Charles’ life and career.

For Issue 4 Peter will put together a timetable for the Trustee’s October meeting in discussion with potential contributors.  As previous issues, hard copies will be available to all attending CP Day.  The circulation of further hard copies to be made (as the current year) with Friends at the 2020 AGM.  All issues of the magazine can be viewed at

  1. Studs Terkel Archive – Tony Macaluso
    The Chairman asked Tony Macaluso to describe his background and involvement with the Studs Terkel Archive.

Secretary’s note:  For details of Chapel FM and Tony Macaluso’s involvement  see  Wikipedia has an excellent article on Studs Terkel which augments Tony’s presentation and the notes on The Chapel FM website.

Tony explained that he is currently Co-Director of Chapel FM and came to the UK for family reasons following his work with the Studs Terkel Archive in Chicago.

Studs Terkel was a major figure in documentary production in the USA making around 5600 radio programmes, mostly with an oral history content.  He died in 2008.  Much of his tape archive is with The Library of Congress and is currently being digitised with the aim of increasing access to the Archive.  Studs Terkel travelled to the UK on several occasions and made recordings with Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger from 1962 onwards.

Secretary’s note:  Ewan and Peggy and Charles Parker’s work is represented in both Library of Congress and The Smithsonian in Washington DC.  Longer versions of the Radio Ballads, copies of which are in the CP Archive, reside at The Smithsonian.

Studs Terkel’s work continues to be interpreted and developed principally by Eve Ewing, poet, academic and broadcaster in Chicago.

Following questioning and discussion, the Chairman thanked Tony for his informative presentation concluding that there was much the Trust could learn from Tony’s experience and she was delighted he had accepted the Trustees request to join us.

  1. Date, timing and location of next Friends AGM

Drawing the meeting to a close the Chairman expressed her thanks to everyone for a stimulating meeting.

She said that subject to agreement with the meeting it was proposed the 2020 AGM be held at The Library of Birmingham of Thursday 21st May 2020 commencing 3.30 until 4.45p.m.  This was agreed.

Secretary’s note:  The Heritage Learning Room – the usual room – has been booked and confirmed.

There being no other business the Chairman thanked Trustees for their contributions and declared the meeting closed at 4.50p.m.

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