Extracts from Trustees’ Reports
These are brief summaries from yearly reports of the Trust’s activities.
The award of £1,000 advertised in February 2007 attracted five applications. It was awarded to Professor Joe Sanders, for his work on the impact of the Alexander Technique on mental processing and its implications for professional musicians and conservatoire students.
Anna McCallion was the Trust’s representative at the International Congress of the Alexander Technique in Lugano, August 2008. She staffed the Trust’s stall where books, DVDs and CDs with which the Trust had been associated were on sale, and the Trust paid for her expenses. The audio CD of Stephanie Smith’s interview with Chris Stevens was among the items on sale at the Congress. Also, a fund-raising raffle was held which generated £492 for the Trust.
During the year the Trust had repeatedly to deal with copyright infringements of the FM Alexander film footage from 1949-50. The film footage appeared on various file-sharing websites. Without knowing who is posting the footage it is difficult to stop it.
The Trustees devoted a large part of a meeting to “blue sky thinking” regarding the future of the Trust. There were plenty of suggestions and ideas but given the current financial restrictions, the Trust is unfortunately limited in its activities. However, it was agreed that new patrons and additional trustees were needed.
The Trust’s governing Deed was amended on 25th September 2007 to provide that the number of Trustees should in future be no less than five nor more than eleven. Trust funds stood at £13,017.
This year the Trust decided to support the production of an audio CD of Stephanie Smith’s interview with Chris Stevens. The Trust also supported David Reed Media’s production of a CD, with an accompanying booklet, of talks given by Cliff Lewis on the Technique in 1983. Sadly, the impasse over the copyright permission to the “talking books” (Marjory Barlow’s reading of Alexander’s four seminal works) has not been resolved.
The Trust circulated an advertisement with the issue of STATNews in February 2007 inviting applications for an award of £1,000 towards projects falling within the Trust’s objectives.
Marjory Barlow died on 5th December 2006. Sheila MacDermot, Secretary of the Trust, resigned for reasons of health on 2nd November 2006. Both had been Trustees since 3rd June 1998 and will be sorely missed. Edward Hathaway took over as Secretary, with David Harrowes assuming the office of Treasurer. Jean M. O. Fischer joined the Trust, being STAT Council’s representative.
Trust funds stood at £14,283.
The 7th International Congress of the Alexander Technique, held in Oxford in August 2004, donated part of the proceeds – £9,387 – to the Trust. The Trust received other donations during the year, including a legacy of £1,004 from the estate of the late Sylvia Tapp.
The Trust recognises that the International Congresses play an important part in bringing together teachers and pupils and in disseminating knowledge about the Technique. The Trust awarded £2,500 to Michael Frederick towards the restoration and transfer to DVD of archival videotape material from the very first International Congress in New York in 1986. A second award, of £5,800, provided seed money for the 8th International Congress of the Alexander Technique to be held in Lugano, Switzerland, in 2008.
An award of £750 was made to Hella Linkmeyer towards the production costs of a DVD. The film is a video diary of a teaching term at Walter Carrington’s teacher training course. £500 was awarded to Dr Tim Cacciatore towards the cost of producing two research papers (concerned with muscle tone and ‘sit-to-stand’ effect in Alexander teachers as compared with that in non-teachers). Both these projects are ongoing.
In Such A Way Productions, Australia, has provided the Trust with 233 copies of the Head Leads video in DVD format and Mouritz will sell these on behalf of the Trust.
To the Trustees’ great regret, final copyright clearance concerning F M Alexander’s books as a talking book has not been received from the Alexander estate. Negotations continue.
All rights to the 1949-1950 film footage of FM Alexander with commentary by Walter Carrington were assigned to the Trust by Mr Carrington in May 2005. Mouritz is supervising the transfer of the material to DVD format and the Trust will permit the use of it in return for a donation, the amount of which has yet to be decided.
Air Vice Marshal David Clark CBE died 21st March 2006. He was one of the founders of the Trust and acted as its Chairman for many years until illness dictated his retirement in 2005. His contribution towards the work of the Trust was immeasurable, and he will be much missed.
Lady Mary Walker, who acted as Chairman after David Clark’s resignation, continues to act in that capacity. Peter Ribeaux, a senior teacher of the Alexander Technique, became a Trustee in July 2005.
A large auction in aid of the Trust was held at the International Congress in Oxford in August 2004. It raised £2,330 from items donated for the purpose by members of the Alexander community. Members of the Trust also staffed a stall advertising the Trust. Here they sold the DVD version of the Rafael Joudry video (referred to below) which brought in £210.
Several years ago the Trust assisted In Such A Way Productions, Australia, financially in the production in Australia of an introductory video to the Technique, known as The Head Leads, edited by Rafael Joudry. By way of repayment Ms Joudry recently offered to supply 233 copies of the video in DVD format which the Trust would be able to sell. It is proposed that the remainder will be sold through the Mouritz publishing company.
A new leaflet about the Technique and the Trust was produced during the year by the firm Blueprint. A substantial stock of the leaflet is available for inclusion with the Trust’s next fund-raising appeal. It was deemed that the Trust’s website in its original form was somewhat amateurish and out of kilter with the slicker, more modern websites now being produced on behalf of charities. The trustees therefore commissioned Lancasters, a firm of professional website designers, to re-design the site to accord with the new leaflet. The result is very satisfactory.
Although the F. M. Alexander “talking books” are now ready for marketing, through Mouritz, final copyright clearance has not been received from the representatives of the Alexander estate. Negotiations continue.
David Edis ceased to be a Trustee in June 2004, having moved to Ireland. He had served as a Trustee since December 1998 and his contribution was invaluable. The Trustees welcomed David Harrowes as a Trustee in October 2004.
A highlight of the year was the holding of an auction in aid of the Trust at the STAT Conference held in Edinburgh during July 2003. A total of £1,649 was raised from items donated for the purpose by members of the Alexander community. The auction was conducted with great skill by Lee Warren.
The finishing touches were put to the readings by Marjory Barlow of Alexander’s four books, and Trevor Allan Davies was paid the balance of his fees and thanked for his hard work on the project. The decision taken to publish the works in MP3 format will soon be implemented, with Jean Fischer of Mouritz, the publishers, having agreed to take on the task.
It was decied to modernise the Trust’s website and to bring it into accord with a new brochure about the Trust shortly to be launched.
The Trustees welcomed Anna McCallion as a guest and advisor at several of their meetings during the year. Her contributions to the proceedings have been most valuable and much appreciated.
Some minor refinements became necessary to the CD Roms of the readings by Marjory Barlow of F M Alexander’s four seminal books. This work was finally completed during the year under review. The Trustees are in discussion with a firm of publishers with a view to publishing and marketing the four discs in MP3 format in the near future.
With much regret the Trustees accepted the resignation in September 2002 of Sue Scott (now Sue Holladay) who has become the Chair of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique. She gave sterling service to the Trust during her seven year period of office. The Trustees are actively seeking out suitable candidates willing to serve as trustee with a view not only to increasing their number but also bringing in fresh talent and ideas.
A major project during the year was the production and distribution, free with the January issue of STATNews (the newsletter of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique), of a CD Rom containing amongst other things, a full length workshop by Elisabeth Walker, filmed at the Freiburg Conference in 1999, and an extract from Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual read by Marjory Barlow.
Feedback was encouraging, and it was decided to go ahead with the transfer of the readings to CD format. With the invaluable assistance of Trevor Allan Davies and David Reed, F M Alexander’s seminal four books, read by Marjory Barlow, were transferred to CD Rom as MP3 files which allows one CD to contain a complete book. The Trustees are considering how best to market or otherwise distribute this resource.
The only awards made £265 each to Carolyn Nicholls and Stephanie Smith to defray their registration fees for MA research projects at the University of East London. Their subjects were, respectively, ‘Common Language’ (an analysis of the common ground shared by teachers of the Alexander Technique with those of other disciplines) and ‘Training Teachers of the Alexander Technique’ (a comprehensive record of training procedures with recommendations for training programmes). The Trustees felt that both these projects deserved encouragement.
During the year Jean Clark, a senior teacher and well-known figure in the Alexander community, agreed to become a Trustee. Sadly, however, the Trustees accepted the resignation of Harriet Evans, who had served as a Trustee since June 1998 and whose helpful contribution was very much appreciated.
The Trust’s millennium appeal attracted donations totalling £4,040.50 of which £2,497 was made under the new Gift Aid scheme. The Trust’s website has received a satisfactory number of hits and is considered important for future fundraising and the profile of the Trust.
The Trustees considered several projects this year but, unfortunately, none of them materialised beyond the planning stage.
The Trust established its first website. The Trust awarded £500 to Dr Chloe Stallibrass of the University of Westminster towards the cost of a randomised controlled trial into the effects of a course of lessons in the Alexander Technique on the management of disability by people with Parkinson’s disease.
The Trust supported STATBooks with £1,000 towards the production of 100 copies of F M Alexander’s Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual as a talking book (on cassette tapes) read by Marjory Barlow.
The production by David Reed Media of a video of highlights of the 1999 International Congress, in Freiburg, was also funded.
Sales of Fiona Robb’s book Not to Do were sufficiently buoyant to enable Miss Robb to donate to the Trust £3,500. Towards the end of the year initiated a millennium appeal for funds for further projects, including the production on cassette tape or CD of FM’s three other books, all of which have been read by Marjory Barlow.
Eddie Hathaway, a retired solicitor, became a trustee and the Trust’s new Treasurer in September 1999.
Funds raised and donations received totalled £1,149 and interest earned was £591.
Innovative plans were put in place to support several projects, including a “talking books” version of F. M. Alexander’s four books. An award of £5,000 was paid to Fiona Robb to assist with the production of Not to Do, an exceptional account of the teachings of Margaret Goldie, to be published in 1999.
Four new Trustees were appointed, three of them early in the year.
The Alexander Trust Appeal Progress Report – 1994 by David Clark (PDF).Download