Offa’s Dyke Association
(Charity Commission No 503821)
Notice of 53rd Annual General Meeting
2pm 1st July 2023 – Offa’s Dyke Centre, Knighton
The Annual General Meeting for financial year 2022 was postponed pending registration of the new charity, the Offa’s Dyke Association Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). The Charity Commission has since registered the CIO which is now a legal entity in its own right. There now remains the task of asking members to approve the winding up of the old ODA and to transfer its assets to the new.
As per our constitution a vote on a special resolution needs to be carried by a two-thirds majority of those paid-up members present at a meeting (refer Appendix, extract from ODA constitution). You are, therefore, invited to the final meeting of members of the Offa’s Dyke Association (1969) to consider the following special resolutions:
1. ‘To wind up the affairs of the existing Offa’s Dyke Association charity (Charity Commission No 503821).
2. To transfer its financial, intellectual, property, equipment and any other assets, including library and archive, to the new Offa’s Dyke Association CIO (Charity Commission No 1203068).
Note that only those paid-up individual, joint and life members present in the building are entitled to a vote. Assuming that members approve the resolutions then after the meeting a closure form will be submitted to the Charity Commission to formally remove the old ODA from the Register of Charities.
Background to the resolutions
Please refer to correspondence circulated earlier this year to all members and to ODA journal Borderland issue No 148. Legal advice in December 2022 was that the ODA’s existing status as an unincorporated charity is incompatible, not only with its day-to-day functioning but also with its longer term aims. The creation of a CIO would provide it with a clear, legally sound framework with which to employ staff, enter into contracts and, if its conservation work took it down that line, even to own property i.e. a section of Offa’s Dyke.
The CIO’s new governing document uses the Charity Commission’s template so is fully compliant with charity law. It provides members with new benefits including the facility to attend future AGMs and EGMs via electronic means, also the safety net, should it ever be required, to remove a trustee from office. In the event that the new charity were ever to be wound up than CIO status would afford trustees limited liability.
The new Offa’s Dyke Association respects its heritage and the aspirations of its founders. Its charitable object remains as focused as ever – towards Offa’s Dyke and associated archaeology, thus:
‘To promote for the public benefit, in the border counties region of England and Wales, the conservation, preservation, protection and understanding of Offa’s Dyke and similar or linked sites and structures of archaeological or historical interest’.
Trustees encourage members to attend this historic meeting and recommend approval of the resolutions. The meeting agenda and reports of the Executive Committee will be circulated to members within the next few days.
Chair Offa’s Dyke Association (1969)
Founder Chair, Offa’s Dyke Association CIO
Appendix (extract from ODA constitution)
The Association may at any time be dissolved by a resolution passed by a two-thirds majority of those paid-up members present and voting at a meeting of the Association of which at least twenty-one days’ notice in writing shall have been sent to all members of the Association. Such resolution may give instructions for the disposal of any assets held by or in the name of the Association provided that if any property remains after the satisfaction of all debts and liabilities such property shall not be paid to or distributed among the members of the Association but shall be given or transferred to such other charitable institutions having objects similar to some or all of the objects of the Association as the Association may, with the approval of the Court or Charity Commissioners or other authority having charitable jurisdiction, determine.
Our 2023 season commences on Friday 28th April, initially for weekend opening Friday – Sunday.
The ODA is proud to be associated with Professor Ray’s journey along the full course of Offa’s Dyke. Keith’s research for his forthcoming book, Offa’s Dyke: Encounters and Explanations, will enable locals and visitors alike to understand the monument in its entirety, not just the fifty percent coincident with the National Trail. Tune in to Keith’s progress with his video blogs (offaprof) on Twitter @digitalself4
Keith’s press release
‘Offa’s Dyke, the mighty earthwork built in the eighth century by the most famous of the Kings of Anglo-Saxon Mercia, ran 150 miles from Sedbury Cliffs, on the Severn Estuary near Chepstow, to Gronant Beach, near Prestatyn in North Wales. The Dyke helped create a frontier zone between Mercia in the east and the Welsh kingdoms to the west. Although the Dyke does not follow the line of the modern political boundary, it can be seen as marking a first version of the border between England and Wales. Offa’s legacy remains with us today, over 1200 years later.
Between 15 March and 6 April Professor Keith Ray of Cardiff University will walk the entire route of the Dyke, as closely as possible, from south to north. His route will take in not only the sections which survive as huge landscape features through the Welsh Marches and Gloucestershire, but also lengths lost, hidden or damaged over time, now being identified by current research.
Keith will take not only the national trail, the Offa’s Dyke Path, which follows the Dyke for roughly 50% of its length, but also a series of unfamiliar routes to trace the rest. Although the parts of the Dyke that lie away from the Offa’s Dyke Path are less well-known, they are just as crucial to understanding Offa’s border zone and how it might have worked.
Keith’s walk is part of a project to strengthen understanding of the Dyke in its entirety. He has two objectives:
To follow, as closely as rights of way and developing knowledge permit, the whole course of the Dyke as built – a first for a single walk.
To complete field studies for a new book, Offa’s Dyke: Encounters and Explanations. This will be the first field and walking guide to help people explore the whole Dyke, including the long sections where the route differs from the line of the Offa’s Dyke Path.
At the same time, the walk is intended to make people aware of the vital, ongoing efforts of the Offa’s Dyke Association, in studying the Dyke, monitoring its condition, and promoting its conservation.
Professor Keith Ray was awarded an MBE for his services to archaeology in Herefordshire. He has researched and written about Offa’s Dyke and the Early Medieval frontier for 20 years. Today, Keith is Honorary Professor of Archaeology in the School of History, Archaeology and Religion at Cardiff University.
For further information, please contact:
Terry Morgan (firstname.lastname@example.org Tel. 07876 446666)
The stamping station boxes for the 2023 Passport season will be on site in time for Easter.
Sales of the Passport support our Conservation Fund for Offa’s Dyke. It is also a way for you to record your achievement of having walked the National Trail and some significant stretches of Britain’s longest ancient monument. You can collect all the stamps in one fell swoop or walk the Trail in stages over several years collecting your stamps over a period of time..
Why is the Passport seasonal, between May and October?
If you have walked Hadrian’s Wall Path then you might be aware of the seasonal Passport on that Trail. The idea is to encourage long distance walkers to consider walking the route during what are normally the drier months of the year – between May and October. This is because archaeological earthworks are more vulnerable to the wear and tear of walkers’ feet between November and April when soils are saturated with water. Saturated soils have a much lower carrying capacity than soils in moisture deficit.
The Offa’s Dyke Passport operates in exactly the same way as Hadrian’s Wall Path and the aim is the same, to protect the sensitive fragile archaeology of the Scheduled Monument. That the Trail is aligned for much of its course on sections of upstanding Dyke, often on the crest, is a legacy of the 1960s when the Trail’s route was designed. With hindsight that decision was a mistake and the 2018 condition survey of the Dyke revealed that erosion from walkers accounts for 20% of damage to the monument. Until the route is re-aligned off the earthwork the Passport will continue to be seasonal.
The good news is that the new Offa’s Dyke Conservation Officer is now in post. Funded by Cadw and Historic England the project to turn back the decades of ‘benign neglect’ of Offa’s Dyke will run for several years as the threats to the integrity of the monument are tackled field-by-field. The Offa’s Dyke Association is a member of the Conservation Officer’s steering group, the other members being Cadw, Historic England and Shropshire County Council.
In the meantime we are asking walkers to actively engage in the effort to help conserve it for future generations.
You can buy your Passport in advance of your holiday from our online shop for £5 + p&p.
They are also available from Chepstow TIC, Redbrook Village Store & Post Office and Hay-on-Wye TIC.
We have produced a downloadable pdf guide to locating the stamping stations. If you have any suggestions for improving it please contact email@example.com
The stamping stations are as follows, from north to south:
Nova Sports Centre Prestatyn (at reception); Oriel Bodfari Gallery; Llandegla community shop; Carreg y Big Oswestry Equestrian Centre (on fence opposite north bound stile); Beacon Ring hillfort; Mellingon Lodge gates; Offa’s Dyke Centre, Knighton; Hergest Croft Gardens (on metal fence inside customer path entrance from Ridgebourne Road; Hay-on-Wye TIC; Llangattock Lingoed Church (Trail sign post next to gate); Redbrook village store; Chepstow TIC (on outside wall under glass canopy).
Proceeds from sale of the Passport support the ODA’s Conservation Fund. The more Passports that we sell the more conservation projects to promote the long term conservation and welfare of the monument that we will be able to support.
When you have completed walking the Trail then you can buy your souvenir blue and gold enamel badge, together with personalised certificate of achievement, from our online shop.
Walking companies interested in selling the passports to their customers should contact the ODA by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope that you enjoy your walk!
Message to our accommodation & services advertisers for the 2023 season
Invitations to re-new your website and pdf ‘Where to Stay’ guide advertisement for 2023 were emailed to you last week. Please check your inbox (or spam) to see your individual invoice. If you wish your advert to remain live then please note that payment should be made within 28 days of receipt of your email.
If you have accommodation on Offa’s Dyke or Glyndwr’s Way and don’t already advertise with us then now is a great time to get your advertisement ready for 2023 – please get in touch to discuss by emailing email@example.com
This link takes you to the accommodation pages. https://offasdyke.org.uk/where-to-stay/accommodation-on-offas-dyke/
Chair Offa’s Dyke Association
About us – The Offa’s Dyke Association
- We were founded in 1969
- We are a membership-based charity (No 503821) the friends’ group for both Offa’s Dyke Path National Trail and Offa’s Dyke the ancient monument
- Our aims are the public’s understanding and enjoyment of the Dyke, the Trail and the Welsh border
- We are actively involved with projects that promote the conservation of the Dyke
- We operate our own Conservation Fund which supports conservation projects along the Dyke
- By advertising with us you will be helping us to deliver our charitable aims