Extracts from the minutes

The Society has minutes and balance sheets from when it began in 1922, up until 1938, when it is assumed that the Society was suspended because of the 2nd World War. The records give a glimpse of another world.

November 1922 A group of Botley leading lights met and agreed to form Botley Choral Society, with a very stable committee for some years:
  • Lady Jenkyns presiding
  • Dr Pern as chairman
  • Mrs Pern/Mrs Aslett as secretary
  • Miss Ogle as vice-president
  • Mr PS Harding was the Conductor
  • Mrs Salwey was accompanist and treasurer, and took over as secretary in 1927.
It was agreed to meet at 7.30, on Wednesday evenings, starting on Nov 8th 1922. The Rules of the Society were:
  • That each member provide his own music.
  • That the subscription be one shilling.
  • That the age of joining should not be less than 15 years for men and boys and not less than 14 years for ladies and girls.
  • In the event of soloists being required they should be chosen by the conductor only.
  • The Conductor shall choose the choir for any musical Festival or Competition.
  • That the Committee shall consist of the Chairman, Conductor and Secretary and four others, one of whom shall represent Curdridge, and the other Hedge End. (This last role added in 1925)
1922/3 Concert sales - 144 tickets
Proceeds from tickets and programme sales - £9 11s 6d
They had a good year, with Cash in Hand of - £13 1s 11d
1923 The AGM chose secular rather than sacred music. There was cost for transport of the piano; presumably the halls they were playing in were not too well provided.
1925 First entered the Winchester Festival. This was a series of Competitions, for men's, women's and joint voice. Not long after, they began to have some first places. Photos can be seen in the photo gallery.
1926 Practices started on a Monday, possibly additional ones for one section of the choir. Mrs Lewry chaired the AGM.
1927 Costs included £2 for a Charabanc, not specifying whether this was for a social as it looks like they had 3 dances that year, or for transport to the Winchester Music Festival, where they moved up to Division IV. There was a letter from the secretary of Portchester Choral Society, congratulating them and asking for advice!
1928 Dear to our present conductor's heart, they made £2 16s 4d on a whist drive!
1929 After 7 years of a stable committee, it was proposed and seconded that committee officers should sit for a limit of 3 years, then resign, though they could be re-elected if there were insufficient volunteers.
1930 Separate practices for Sopranos, Contraltos and Men, in the school, rectory and Dr Pern's house.
1931/2 Concern was expressed about attendance at practices, and a resolution passed that membership did not include the right to sing at the Competitions; only if the conductor and committee were satisfied of sufficient attendance. The Messiah was performed by the Choral Society at Botley and Curdridge.
1932 Mr Cubitt became accompanist, but shared the job with 2 others, as rehearsals were often split for the different b-choir rehearsals.
1933 The total choir subscription to the Winchester festival was £2 2s 0d. Curiously, a proposal that they raise money by a concert was defeated - does this mean they were only doing the Festival? Or that they expect to lose from concerts? Or an extra concert? We don't have a concert list for that far back.
1933 - 1935 Harder years for the society, a deficit of £2 - -
1936 Practices were in the Legion Hall. It was planned to have a concert with orchestra a month before the festival.

The record is last signed 28th September 1938, by the time of the next AGM, war would have been declared.