The 2022 Cookham Society AGM was held on Thursday 3rd March at the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
Ahead of the business of the meeting, we were treated to a fascinating talk by Dr Gabor Thomas. He is the director of highly successful and exciting archaeological excavations into the lost Anglo-Saxon Queen Cynethryth's monastery in the Paddock Field next door to Holy Trinity Church, Cookham. He described the historical context of Anglo-Saxon Cookham, how the site was discovered and what has been found there so far.
Dr Thomas told us "Despite its documented royal associations, barely anything is known about what life was like at this monastery, or others on this stretch of the Thames, due to a lack of archaeological evidence. The items that have been uncovered will allow us to piece together a detailed impression of how the monks and nuns who lived here ate, worked and dressed. This will shed new light on how Anglo-Saxon monasteries were organised and what life was like in them."
Future digs are planned and this may turn out to be one of the most important excavations of its kind in the country, adding further to Cookham's historical charms - but hopefully not our traffic problems!
After Dr.Thomas's talk two presentations were made by our president Tom Denniford.
The first was for the Design Award won by Mr and Mrs Stonell who own Tars Platt, Cookham Dean Common. For further details see the Design Award page.
The second was a Lifetime Membership Award to Dr. Shez Courtenay-Smith for her work with The Society. Shez and was the principal mover behind the creation of the Village Design Statement for Cookham.
The actual AGM Agenda was smoothly covered by our Chairman Bill Perry with previous minutes, accounts, election of existing Officers, Committee and President all accepted for the coming year. Any other business produced a lively discussion on the topics of the BLP, traffic problems and proposals for Cookham's future contributions to mitigate climate change.
Minutes of the meeting will be published in due course.
It took roughly 4 years to take the VDS from a suggestion in the ill-fated Cookham Plan to its adoption by the Royal Borough in May 2013 as a Supplementary Planning Document. This included the holding of public workshops; the analysis of some 500 completed questionnaires; in depth consultations with community groups; organising professional surveys of all the streets in the parish; informal consultations on the draft document; continuous and almost endless discussions with the Borough’s planning officers; and a formal public consultation prior to adoption. Truly a Herculean task.