Extracts from the minutes of the 39 th NHBS Annual General Meeting held on Saturday 7 th March 2015

at the Walsall Leather Museum, 54 – 57 Wisemore, WS2 8EQ.

The full minutes will be circulated to the membership with the agenda for the 2016 AGM

Chairman’s Opening Remarks:

In Memoriam: Peter Anthony Lacey 1956 - 2015

In November 2014 Pete Lacey fell ill following a non serious virus infection. He was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome which is an auto-immune reaction where the nervous system is attacked and paralysis follows. He has been in hospital ever since. Pete survived the first onslaught of the condition and was progressing very well until Monday when he suffered a pulmonary embolism and succumbed.

Pete loved the NHBS. He was a great fount of knowledge which he shared freely with others by publishing in our Journal and in conversation at meetings. As you know he was very interested in nosepieces especially of Dorset harness makers. He had great inside knowledge of that craft as his father was a harness maker. Pete produced a display of saddler’s brasses for the competition at Ipsden last year and carried off the first prize.

Outside of the NHBS Pete was very active in other spheres. He was a senior nurse practitioner at Swanage hospital and combined his love of speedway with his medical knowledge by attending trackside at many of the meetings of Poole Pirates Speedway. There is an affectionate tribute to him on their website. (Google “Poole Pirates Speedway”). He loved military vehicles and spent many a weekend restoring his Daimler Dingo Scout car. There is a photo of him here at the top table.

We extend our sympathies to Pete’s family but particularly to Di, his partner.

Those present were invited to stand in silent tribute after which the following message from Di Hanson was delivered by Brian O’Riordan

In the early hours of Tuesday 3rd March Pete sadly and unexpectedly died due to complications from his long struggle to recovery. He has left us all with lasting memories, his quick wit and jokes lifting spirits and his vast knowledge and passion for all his interests and work.

Pete was honoured at the opportunity to become chairman of the National Horse Brass Society and took a keen interest in events even while in his hospital bed. He even dictated a message to be read out at the AGM.

“Ladies and gentlemen,

I apologise to you for my absence today but I am still in my hospital bed, where I have been since early November. But I believe that I am making good progress.

On the brass front, I was approached by a band called ‘Skinny Lister’ last year to help with a design for the cover of their new cd, entitled ‘Down on Deptford Broadway’. Both the cover and the cd itself feature brasses from my collection, with Society brasses strategically placed. I am pleased to say that the Society was credited. Further to this the group are in the process of having their own horse brass made by Ali Garbett, to sell at concerts and festivals.

They already promote brasses as each member of the band wears one on his boots and one member has them on his guitar strap. I have to say, with a vested interest, that I am very pleased with this year’s members’ brass, not the least because it was designed by Di Hanson!

I sincerely hope you enjoy today and hope to see as many as possible of you as soon as I am fit.

Best wishes to one and all,

Pete Lacey”

I wish to thank the members for their support and kind messages which meant so much to Pete and me. And such a lovely tribute to Pete on the NHBS website.

A larger than life person and personality – he will be sorely missed.

With fond regards to you all,


Chairman’s Report:

Some months after the AGM in 2014 George Willett resigned the Chair for personal reasons. Pete stepped into the breach vacating the Secretary’s post. Jim Speed took on that role.

We had successful meeting at Church Stretton in May and at Ipsden in October. A new meeting was held in Over Haddon in Derbyshire in August organised by Dick Bradshaw. Alec Hopkinson had an impressive display of his brasses on show. The Over Haddon meeting will be held again this year on Sunday 16th Aug.

At the Ipsden meeting we had the privilege of being addressed by the Queen’s Head Coachman, Colin Henderson, on the subject of the History of Coaching. The first prize for the display of saddler’s brasses was a newly designed brass donated by Ian Jones and Dick Bradshaw. A nice innovation.

When Pete fell ill in November, the committee carried on and Jim Speed shouldered the additional workload as if he had been in the post for many years instead of a few months. He acted as liaison between Di Hanson and the committee.

I wish to thank the members of the committee for their work during this difficult time.
Brian O’Riordan Chairman (acting) 7th March 2015

General Secretary’s Report:

It has been a very difficult time for the committee recently with changes in the leadership of the Society and the very serious illness of our Acting Chairman Pete Lacey, who as we all know sadly passed away in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Our saviour during this difficult time has been Di Hanson who as well as coping with the traumatic experience of Pete’s illness and hospital visits managed to provide information necessary for me to put in motion arrangements for this 2015 AGM. I am sure our thoughts are with Di and the family in their great sadness.

Following in the footsteps of Pete I intend to make considerable use of communication via the internet. The NHBS committee being drawn from South Somerset to Derbyshire to Massachusetts USA a great deal of effort goes into attending our meetings and I consider sharing information sent via emails prior to our meetings will allow the individual time to formulate opinions and greatly enhance the limited time we are together to the benefit of the Society. It would be helpful if all members of the NHBS where possible registered their email addresses with the Society in order to receive information both quickly and economically which could lead to more interesting items shared.

It was at this meeting a year ago that I was informed that my display of member brasses was incomplete and that I was missing a tumbler which was produced as a special in 2004 Thanks to Pete Lacey just three weeks ago this has been put right and is now proudly displayed on my collection of Society brasses which leads me nicely on to mention the 2016 Member brass competition.We thank those who sent designs for consideration and all those who have taken the time and trouble to cast their vote. The response has been good by email and by post the winning brass will be announced later in item fifteen on the agenda.
R .J. Speed General Secretary 7th March 2015

Membership Secretary’s Report

The membership of the Society continues to be vibrant, and is holding up pretty well in the face of losses due to extreme old age, which, with remorseless march of time, is inevitable! Many members actively participate in the Societies multiple activities, and I must say I enjoy the contact with many real characters from across the world.

At the end of 2014 we had a total of 362 members, including 12 Associates. Of these 307 were based in the UK, and 55 were from Overseas. Overseas members were spread between 10 countries as follows USA 29; Australia 13; Canada 2; France 2; Ireland 2 & 1 member in each of New Zealand; South Africa; Belgium; Spain; & Bermuda.

By way of giving you a comparison of numbers over recent years, we had 389 members in 2013, which contrasts with the 362 at the end of December 2014. This represents a net loss of 27, so we continue to not quite attract enough new members to compensate for our losses. So if we could all try to recruit just one new member each then we would be in much better shape for the future!


The excellent article and photographs in last year’s Newsletters detailing which Society brasses are still available resulted in a good number of sales totalling over £500. In particular the Commemorative Noseband sold out, so we had just a few more made (available for purchase here today, so don’t miss out)! The Sheffield Star hanging brass also sold out (but a few Sheffield studs are still available). We do still have for sale however a stock of Member Brasses for the year’s 2001 to 2013, and also for 1992, & 1994. So let me know if you would like to purchase any of these for the bargain price of £5 each. There are also a few commemorative brasses (including some good Royalty brasses) still available. Please note that Mick Mullins also has a good stock of Society Publications for sale!
Mary Fletcher Membership Secretary 7 th March 2015

Election of officers and Committee:

It was stated that due to the sudden death of Peter Lacey the office of Chairman would be held in abeyance until the committee could consider prospective nominations and that in the interim committee meetings would be chaired by senior officers of the Society. The following committee nominations were put forward.

General Secretary – Jim Speed proposed by Brian O’Riordan seconded by Rolf Augustin – vote unanimously carried.

Treasurer – Brian O’Riordan. Membership Secretary – Mary Fletcher.

Rolf Augustin, Stan Benton, Dick Bradshaw, Allan Brewer, Peter Ferguson, Ian Jones, Mick Mullens

All proposed for re-election by David Fletcher seconded by Cyril Gooding – vote unanimously carried .

It was proposed by Jim Speed seconded by Rolf Augustin that David Fletcher should be appointed to the committee.

The vote was unanimously carried by the membership.

To Explain and Approve the Proposed NHBS Rule Changes:

Proposed changes to the society rules had been circulated on the obverse side of the agenda. Changes in Rule 3 for Associate Membership. The Chairman explained that the objective of this change was to remove the partial disenfranchisement of Associate Members from not being allowed to stand for office or propose or second others for office. David Fletcher stated that he supported this change, but suggested it was taken further by allowing Associate Members to be called Members, whilst still keeping their £3 discount for not receiving the annual members brass. He further suggested that no further Associate Members should be recruited.

These changes were discussed at length, and these concluded with the Chairman asking for a vote as to whether the suggestion to eliminate Associate Membership, as suggested by David Fletcher, had the support of members at the AGM and should be taken back for the Committee to consider at their next meeting. This was passed unanimously.

The Chairman then put the original motion to the meeting to change the rule to read: ‘3( c ) Associate Members, who will receive all Society publications but not any commemorative items. In all other respects they have the same voting rights as Full Members’. The clause prohibiting them from standing for office or proposing or seconding others for office appears also in Rule 4 ( c ) and is to be changed in the same way as in Rule 3 ( c ). This motion was then proposed by David Fletcher seconded by Rolf Augustin, and was passed unanimously.

Changes in rule 5 Duties of Officers. The Membership Secretary shall be responsible for collecting all subscriptions, maintaining the list of members and issuing annual membership cards together with the annual member brass. This alteration was proposed by Alec Hopkinson seconded by Megan Randall and carried unanimously.

Changes to rule 9 briefly explained as increases to the overseas membership subscription to take into account higher postage charges and changes in late payment of subscription. The acceptance of the changes to rule 9 Subscriptions was proposed by Stan Benton seconded by Ian Jones and carried by those present.

Rule 10 Membership Resignations to go to the Membership Secretary proposed by Rolf Augustin seconded by Megan Randall and was carried unanimously.

Changes to rule 15 investment of Society funds can now be with banks as well as building societies. The Membership Secretary can now be added as a signatory for cheques and investments. Proposed by Stan Benton seconded by Charlie Bond and carried unanimously.

2016 NHBS Membership Brass:

Total votes cast amounted to 52 and the winner was no 2. The results will be published in the Newsletter.