This year’s AGM was held on Saturday 18th June and hosted by DGS committee member, Sir Geoffrey Dalton and his wife Jane at their home in Hampshire. Our Chairman Michael Dalton reports on this event.

It was five years ago, back in 2006, that Geoffrey and Jane hosted our AGM on a glorious summer’s day. Sadly the beautiful weather was not repeated but this in no way diminished the warmth of the welcome given to us by our hosts, and all those attending were able to participate in a most enjoyable and stimulating day.

Arrangements had been made for the formal Annual General Meeting to take place at Napier Hall in Horndean, a short distance from Geoffrey and Jane’s home, Farm Cottage in Catherington. So we gathered there and, following a cup of coffee, commenced the meeting at 11.30 am. A particular welcome was given to Malcolm Brown from New Zealand and his sons, Alastair and Warwick. Malcolm is descended from Lancashire Daltons. I was able to report on another successful year for the Society. The DGS finances continue to be in good order and all the present officers and committee were re-elected, together with the appointment of co-opted committee member Mike Dalton of Norfolk, as a full member of the committee. Reports were received from the General Secretary, the overseas secretaries and the editors of "Daltons in History" and the DGS Journal. There will be a full record in the minutes of the AGM which are currently in preparation, and these will be published both here on the website and in the Journal.

Malcolm Brown from New Zealand (sitting) with his sons, Warwick and Alastair

Following the formal meeting, the assembled company moved to Farm Cottage, where an excellent buffet lunch awaited us. Thanks to Jane for arranging this with assistance from Sheila and Kate, not forgetting Geoffrey who prepared the delicious homemade soup!

Maureen Collins with Rosemary and Martin Griffiths, who gave a talk about the Church Lawford Daltons

After lunch it was the turn of Martin Griffiths to entertain us with his fascinating talk about the Church Lawford Daltons. Church Lawford is a small village in Warwickshire, not far from Rugby. Martin’s Dalton ancestors have been traced back to as early as 1485 when they were church wardens and poor law administrators in the village. In the 18th and early 19th centuries the family were clock and watch makers and Martin spent some time explaining this, showing us very interesting photographs of the beautiful grandfather clocks, church clocks and pocket watches that they made. In the 19th century, family members turned their hands to other trades and professions, and various branches of the family travelled abroad and took up residence in America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Martin has had considerable contact with his overseas cousins and together they have constructed very full records of the family and how they are all related. Much of the detail of this has appeared in articles written by Martin for the DGS Journal (see Vols 48 (Jun 08), 52 (Jun 10) and 53 (Dec 10) for further details. All present were most impressed with the work that Martin had undertaken to assemble his Dalton family history and we much enjoyed hearing the story at first hand. Many thanks to Martin for preparing and delivering this talk.

New committee member, Mike Dalton from Norfolk with his wife, Kate

Following the talk there was plenty of time for informal conversation and discussion and various exhibits were on display. In the evening, arrangements had been made for an informal supper at a local pub, and fifteen of us enjoyed a meal together at the Red Lion at Horndean.

Thanks are due to Geoffrey and Jane for making all the arrangements for the day and looking after us all so well. If there was one disappointment, it was that we were not able to enjoy their delightful garden to the full – when I ventured out for a walk around, I was soon driven in by a very heavy shower of rain!