Minute of Dalbeattie Museum Trust AGM held on the 16th April 2023 in Dalbeattie Day Centre at 2pm.

Present: Ian Strachan, Erica Johnson, Bill Dryden, Eric McCowan, Jack Wallace,

Janet Carter, Agnes Dow, Ronnie Murray, Tommy Henderson, Shona Reid, Ian Wilson, Billy Glendinning, Peter Dowden, Rupinder Dulay, David Crosbie, Rosemary McLaughlan, Bob McLaughlan, Peter Hunt.

Apologies: Tommy Elsden.

The Chairman welcomed those present and in the absence of a serving Secretary, he read the minutes of the last AGM

Chairman’s Report

The Chairman gave a resume of the previous year's activities pointing out that this was the first open season following the Covid lockdown restrictions of 2020 and 2021.

Visitor numbers were lower than in previous years and we were down approximately 25% compared to the average of the previous 3 years. This was perhaps due to lingering concerns over Covid and also the cost of living crisis affecting travelling costs.

Despite the reduction in numbers, there had been quite a bit of activity in the Museum, including visits from pupils from CD High School and 60 exchange students being hosted by Dalbeattie High School. 

Volunteers from the Museum were present at a tree planting for the Queen’s Jubilee, and also attended Dalbeattie High School to present the History Cup.

The Museum also had visits from Lochrutton WRI, and a PhD student from Liverpool University researching Newall monuments.

Erica Johnson hosted Christopher Ward who had written ‘The Band Played on’ (about a violinist aboard the Titanic) together with the Japanese translator of the book and conducted a Zoom call with a Japanese TV production company, again about the Titanic.

Several donations had been received throughout the year, the most significant being a collection of Newall Family artefacts from America and articles of Armour bequeathed by Alistair Penman, all of which are now on display.

The Chairman also advised that We had applied for and received a grant from the Bert and Ruth Dunn Charity, details of which would be given by the Treasurer.

In closing the Chairman thanked the regular volunteers who have maintained and refurbished the Museum during the Winter shutdown.

Treasurer’s Report

Copies of the Balance Sheet were available to any members who wished to view the report in full.

The treasurer highlighted the fact the income over the year was less than half that of the expenditure. £3405.05 had been received in donations and Bank Account Interest but expenditure had been £7315.03. Over £1800 of the expenditure was because of the shipping costs for the Newall Artefacts and over £1100 had been gone to BT, although some of this amount was in dispute and so may be credited to our account this year. Apart from Insurance, fire checks and the Stairlift maintenance our most expensive item was for the rental of the Storage Unit.

The grant received for the Dunn Trust mentioned by the Chairman was received after the year end and would therefore be included in the 2023 accounts, however it was being used to pay for the new carpet, paint, minor repairs, and new storage heaters.

The Treasurer intimated that she would be looking into applying for a further grant to update the computer system in the Museum i.e., a new laptop and printer/scanner.

With regards to our electricity the treasurer advised that we were on a fixed tariff until 2025.

At present the year end for our accounts is October. Since the Museum closes for the winter in October this meant that some accounts from October fell into November which made things difficult. Because of this the Treasurer asked those present for permission to have the year-end changed to November. This would have to be authorised by OSCR. This was agreed.

Election of Trustees and Office Bearers

Current Trustees who were willing to continue in the role where as follows:

Tommy Henderson, Ian Strachan, Erica Johnson. Ronnie Murray, Eric McCowan, Bob McLaughlan, Rosemary McLaughlan, and Jack Wallace.

New Trustees Elected: Ian Wilson, Chris McIntyre, Janet Carter.

New Volunteers: Peter Dowden, Peter Hunt, Rupinder Dulay.

Office Bearers – Chairman Ian Strachan, Treasurer Erica Johnson, Secretary Janet Carter.

Changes made 2022/2023 and moving forward 2023/2024

The Chairman highlighted what refurbishments had been carried out over the winter and asked for opinions from those present. Everyone agreed that what had been done was a vast improvement.

The Treasurer brought up the question of whether or not we needed to be able to offer donations by card payment. After some discussion it was agreed that volunteers should keep a note of how many people asked to donate by card, so that we could look at the possibility in the future.

It was also suggested that BACS details be made available for any groups visiting the Museum eg.WRI groups.
There have always been 2 boxes plus the milk churn for facilitating donations. During the refurbishments this had been reduced to 1 box on the front counter. The reasoning behind this was questioned by a few volunteers and after a lengthy discussion it was agreed that the milk churn should be returned to its position on the stairs. A discussion also followed about how often and by whom the box/churn should be emptied. It was agreed that only the Treasurer should empty any collection items.

As mentioned in the Treasurer’s report the Storage Unit carried a cost of £50 per month. This was needed as there was insufficient room in the museum to display all the items that had been received. Bill Dryden suggested that perhaps some of the items could be put out on loan to other Museums. The Treasurer intimated that the Birchvale Theatre would consider displaying Ruth Dunn’s wedding dress which was currently in a box in the museum. A decision needs to be made about what is kept in storage and what we can get rid of. Whatever is decided we will still need some form of external storage and the current unit is considered to be very reasonable.


Eince Easter is at the end of March in 2024 it was agreed that the Museum would open on the 25th March 2024.

The AGM date was set for 3rd March 2024.

It was suggested and agreed that the trustees should meet on a more regular basis. The Secretary would email the trustees with a calendar of dates for these meetings.

Mrs. Shona Reid suggested that since the Rotary had donated the last laptop, which was 25 years ago, they may look at an application from us favorably. It was also suggested that we should apply to the Initiative and the Heughan Trust for funding.

The meeting was closed at 3.15pm