At the last of the season’s archery meetings, on the 1st of October, prizes were won by Miss Brown, the Rev. J. Simpson, Miss Glennie and Mr. Gipps.
The Mechanics’ Institution At the quarterly meeting held on the 11th of February, it was shown that the number of members was 180 – an increase of 8 during the quarter. There was, however, a balance of £6.15s.6d due to the treasurer, and £16.12s.6d outstanding liabilities. The report stated that the committee, with the assistance of friends, were making an effort to raise by subscription £100 for liquidating a deficiency caused by an insufficient income, and for paying off a portion of the mortgage on the property, on the understanding that the Institution be made self-supporting in the future. The committee had added, by purchase, 33 volumes to the library and Mr. Hampden had given 10 volumes.
At the next (adjourned) quarterly meeting on the 20th of May, it was shown that there was a further falling off of members, with a treasurer’s balance of £6.3s.11d against the Institution and other liabilities amounting to £18.5s.
At the quarterly meeting on the 12th of August, the report showed a further decline of members to 120, being a decrease of 18 from the previous quarter, of whom eight gave it as their reason for withdrawing, the raising of the quarterly subscription from 2/- to 2/6 per quarter. Much the greater number of declensions, however, took place before the fee of membership was raised. The treasurer’s balance against the Institution £10.17s.6d and the outstanding liabilities were £16.10s.
The position of the Institution at the quarterly meeting on the 18th of November was still of a discouraging character, although signs were not wanting of a coming turn of the tide. The members had further declined to 109 with quarterly tickets, whilst the life-members remained at 35. The Treasurer wanted £12.11s.11d to balance the current a/c and £15 to pay off the other liabilities. A French class was in operation under the superintendence of T.B. Brett and R.F. Davis, and a drawing class, under the superintendence of Mr. Filmer. Alfred Burton, Esq. was re-elected President, T. B. Brett re-elected Treasurerr, S Putland jun and R. F. Davis re-elected Secretaries; and the following gentlemen as Vice-Presidents: Rev. W.W. Hume, G.H.M. Wagner, Esq., J. Rock jun, Esq., Rev. J.A. Hatchard, H. Selmes, Esq., and Messrs. Putland, Stoneman, Hatchmann and Hayden.
During the year Mr. Dawes gave a concert, which financially benefited the institution to the amount of 12s; Mr. Butler gave two excellent lectures on astronomy, which realised a small profit; the Rev. H. Piggott gave a lecture on “High Miller” and another on “Milton” which did not quite meet the expenses; Mr. Carpenter gave an entertainment entitled “The Road, the River and the Rail”, the receipts of which were £3.4s, and the expenses not stated; Mr. Grossmuth gave an entertainment, for which £5.17s was taken and £5.19s 6 -