Public Meeting and Reunion to Celebrate 10 years of the Group

Next year sees the 10th anniversary of the foundation of the Group, and to celebrate this fact we are arranging a public meeting to coincide with the Annual General Meeting. The meeting will serve several purposes:

  • It will be an opportunity for some press coverage which might bring new members
  • It will be a social occasion for existing and new members to meet
  • It will include the AGM
  • It will attract potential members
  • It will attract those who could contribute data about branches of the families, even if their connections were remote and did not lead them to join the Group immediately
  • It will be an opportunity to send a mailshot to all the Lin(d)fields listed in the electoral rolls and phone books, which will bring some new members from people who were too distant to travel to the meeting.

The meeting will be held on 1st June 2002 at the Old School at Storrington, which we have used for the two last AGMs. The building has two main rooms, one of which will be used by the caterers to set up for lunch, whilst the larger room will contain the displays and meeting areas for the various family branches. The Storrington and District Museum is also located in the same building and is intending to set up an exhibition about prominent local families of which the Linfields are one.

A buffet lunch will be available. This will be optional, and visitors will be welcome to drop by for an hour or less without taking lunch. We will however need to know the numbers in advance for catering purposes. There will be a reply form in the mailshot, with a request for payment in advance for those wanting lunch. Tea, coffee and cold drinks will be available throughout the day. Lunch will cost £6.50 per head, and every visitor will be offered a free glass of wine or soft drink on arrival, whether or not they are having lunch.

The displays will be organised on the basis of the various branches. Each display area will need a host or hostess, preferably from the branch concerned, who will welcome visitors, introduce them to their distant cousins and answer their questions. We hope that members of the Group will volunteer to help in this way for all or part of the day.

We have been planning for some time to send a further mailshot to attract new members, and we will combine this with an invitation to the meeting. This will include a letter introducing the Group and inviting the recipient and family to attend, a membership form for those who cannot attend but might want to join, and a data request form on which the recipient can fill in known details of his/her own Lin(d)field connections, either to bring to the meeting or to send in to us.

At the entrance, we will need one or possibly two people to welcome visitors, give them their drink and take down details of their interest in the families or the Group. The process of collecting data from them will start here, with the initial checking of the data request from the mailshot, if they have one, or the noting of their Lin(d)field connection. We will probably issue colour coded badges for the various branches so that the hosts on the displays, and other visitors, can spot their cousins.

In order to maintain a single definitive version of the database, we will only have one person entering data at one time, with the data being copied to the other machines at intervals during the day. We expect to have at least 4 computers linked together on a network.

Having captured any additional information from a visitor, we will then want to be able to produce printed copies of their family information for them to take away. This will include ancestor listings, Register format descendant listings, or drop line charts. We will have facilities for binding any printed material that we produce. The printouts will be placed in envelopes which the visitor will fill in at the time of ordering, and these will be left in a rack for collection. Those remaining uncollected at the end of the day will then simply be posted. We will also have back issues of Longshot and other publications for sale. Finally, we will have a desk at which members could renew, and new members be persuaded to join.

We hope also to have the facility available to copy any original documents that visitors may bring. If anyone has a suitable desktop photocopier they could bring, please let me know. We will also have cameras and a scanner to photograph documents, people and the event generally.

We need people to commit to carrying out the various tasks in the coming 15 months and on the day. Please let me know if you would be willing to help. We might be able to offer transport to members who will otherwise have trouble reaching the venue, and would also like to hear from members who can help in this way.

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