For the first time in its forty year history the AGM due to be held on the 3rd March had to be postponed because of extreme weather conditions in many parts of the country.  The severe weather dubbed "The Beast from the East" brought bitter cold winds temperatures of minus 5 degrees c for several days and finally on the 2nd March snow which drifted in the high winds and made many roads impassable.  Through the media the police warned not to travel unless absolutely necessary and it was decided in the interest of safety to re-schedule the meeting for 7th April.

The Walsall Leather Museum was again the venue 42nd annual AGM and as usual the day started at 10.30 am with the sale of horse brasses priced from the very expensive to the most reasonable brought along by Stan Benton, Bob Fox, Lynne Robinson and Peter Ferguson, also the latest examples of KB brasses by Ali Garbett (The Heavy Horse Enthusiast).  As usual in recent times the full set of NHBS Membership and Special Brasses were on display in the conference room.

The AGM commenced at 2.00 pm with a welcome from Acting Chairman Brian O'Riordan.  Due to the previous Chairman and Membership Secretary stepping down from office some of the usual reports were not given to make time for important rule changes to be explained and approved.

 This year all four officers positions were open for nominations but in the event only one nomination had been received for the office of Chairman.  The picture far left is Ian Jones being congratulated by Society Treasurer and acting Chairman for the meeting Brian O'Riordan.  No nominations for the offices of General Secretary or Treasurer had been received and it was proposed that Jim Speed and Brian O'Riordan should continue in their respective offices, this was agreed by all present.  It was also agreed that the General Secretary should take on the responsibility of the membership administration for the time being.

Attendance this year was a disappointing 18, ways need to be found to attract Society Members to attend what is not only a short business meeting but an opportunity to buy or sell horse brasses antique and modern also an opportunity to look around the Walsall Leather Museum the spiritual home of the NHBS.

  We often wonder how many NHBS members actually know the committee and how the affairs of the Society are administered, last year’s membership brass competition brought forth 52 votes that is just 15% of the membership and this year only 4 new designs were submitted just 1.1%. You will have noticed from the calling papers for the AGM that last year those present amounted to 20, just under 6% of the membership that figure included 11 officers and committee.

Clearly the majority of our members are content to receive their annual Membership Brass, Journals and Newsletters, and to belong to a credible Society which embraces their hobby of collecting horse brasses. We as a committee however would welcome feedback, ideas or testimonials from our members for the Journal, Newsletter and Website.

The following information has been extracted from the membership report kindly submitted by Mary Fletcher and presented at the AGM 


I am pleased to report another successful and busy year in 2017. We ended the year with 338 members compared with 354 in 2016. This reduction of 16 members is primarily due to old age.

There were 289 UK Members and 49 from Overseas.

The Overseas members were distributed as follows:-

USA 30; Australia 8; Canada 3; Ireland 2; and 1 in each of New Zealand; South Africa; Sweden; Spain; France; & Bermuda.


Over the previous two years we have been hugely successful in selling our Commemorative Brasses, in fact achieving sales in excess of £2000/annum. This year we sold 137 brasses (compared with150 last year) for just over £1800. This has made a vital contribution to keeping the Society’s Award Brass Scheme financially viable. The three biggest sellers were the Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee 43 off, Queens 70th Wedding Anniversary 27 off, and NHBS 40th Anniversary 22 off. I think that the timing and/or lack of advertising were significant factors in the lower sales in 2017.

As usual the next membership brass voting took place leading up to the AGM and the winner of the 2019 was design no 6 on this occasion submitted by yours truly !! (Jim Speed)