On a raw November evening while WW 2 was drawing to a close a dozen music lovers met informally in the rooms of the Conservative Association and decided to establish a Gramophone Society.
On November 28th 1944 the first formal meeting was held and the following officers were elected. Mr H Tunnicliffe (Chairman); Miss D Lovelock (v/ Chairman ); Mr JW Moore (Treasurer) and Mr E N Bailey (Secretary). Committee members were, Mrs E.N. Bailey, Mr Baldwin; Mr F.M. Nind; Miss O. Matthews; Mrs L.W. Mercer and Mr R. Stiles an annual subscription of 2/6p was agreed.
The first recital was presented on December 8th in the Conservative Association rooms, jointly, by Mr E Chadwick and Mr Hulme — 44 members attended.
Over the years the membership grew with one recital attracting an audience of 60. In common with many similar organisations membership has dwindled of recent times and for the last 5 years has stabilised at about 26, with average attendances of 18.
A variety of venues have been used during the Society’s history and we are now based in a room at the rear of the Walton Community Centre site.
Our current officers are; Diana Hill (President / Chairman); Bill Cornes (v/Chairman); Mike Eccles (Treasurer) and Geoff Owen (Secretary) Michael Harding is Programme Secretary and the committee members are; Sheila Howells, Annie Russell, Stan Russell and Janet Stewart.
Programmes are presented by our own members and visitors from neighbouring societies in Newcastle RMS, Stafford RMS, Walton (Stafford) RMC and Stoke RMS. Each presentation (recital) comprises short pieces of music, mainly, but not exclusively, classical linked with dialogue about the composer, performer or some event which led to the item being selected.
On 19th December 2014 the 70th anniversary of the Society was celebrated by 26 members with a delicious finger buffet provided by The Secret Kitchen of Stone followed by a selection of short pieces of recorded music that had been chosen by members. The selection included music conducted by Leonard Slatkin who was born in the year our society was founded and other music from that year.
Our President / Chairman, Diana Hill, in closing the meeting recalled that when she joined The Society in1978 some of the founders were still active members. She was sure that they would have been delighted with the way that the current members had celebrated the 70th anniversary of their enterprise.