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A Phoenix arises from the Ashes! (Info from 1st August 2002)
August 2002

A Phoenix arises from the Ashes!
We are re-born as
"The London - Russia Society"

We are delighted to inform all members of the Britain-Russia & British East-West Centres that an ad hoc Committee has been formed to renew the Membership and Meetings Sections of the Centres, but henceforth to be known as "The London-Russia Society". You can email us: [see contact page]

The Background
Founded by the UK Government in 1959 as the GB-USSR Association and subsequently re-named, The Britain-Russia & British East-West Centres were a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) in receipt of a generous annual grant. The Centres had a permanent paid Director with research staff, and occupied impressive premises in Grosvenor Place.

A hefty increase in rent led to relocation to Nine Elms, whilst the phased withdrawal of government funding unfortunately precipitated resignations, redundancies, a steep rise in membership subscriptions, and the closure of the membership section.

However, several members at the EGM resolved that we should re-form, but we are not using the previous name, because it is being retained by the research project section. Therefore we are a separate legal entity.
Now all committee members are unpaid. We received none of the remaining funds of the Britain-Russia Centre, so financially we start from scratch! We do however enjoy the lowest possible cost structure, and we have two priceless assets - enthusiasm and drive!

The Ad Hoc Committee Home Telephone Numbers / E-mail
Chairman
Secretary
Treasurer
Membership
Journal Daniel Salbstein
Charles Stewart
Anna Bennigsen
Ute Chatterjee
Mel Dadswell 01903 210611 (and Fax)
[see contact page]
36 Warwick Avenue, Maida Vale. London W9 2PT
07866 849599
01626 852 807 (and Fax)


Other members willing to serve may be co-opted in due course. All the above members will be subject to election at the first AGM to be held in the autumn of 2003. As soon as the Constitution has been adopted on October 7th the Society will seek to become a registered charity. We need volunteers with the ability to raise funds from sponsors, to publicise the Society in the press, through advertising and marketing. We need volunteers to liase with the Foreign Office, the Russian Embassy, the Universities and the Russian community. We need volunteers who can print posters, who can help with catering for occasional parties with Russian food. We need book reviewers. We need our members to bring in new members. We are not a passive Society.

"Ask not what your Society can do for you.
Ask what you can do for your Society!"

Our Aim
Our aim is to hold a minimum of twelve topical, interesting and informative lecture meetings in the first year, at least one in each calendar month except August 2003.
We aim to invite leading specialists. Normally receptions will start at 6.1 5p.m. and the talks at either 6.45 p.m. or 7.00 p.m. to be followed by questions and discussion. Talks may cover also all the republics of the former USSR, many now members of the CIS. There will be three sessions per year (September-December, January-April, and May-July), and we aim to have at least one lecture per session in Russian.

The Journal
We shall communicate with all paid up members three times a year, advising them of the meetings in the following session. The journal will be despatched at the same time. Mel Dadswell, the Editor,needs at least ten volunteers prepared to write a review of at least one new book every four months. The books will be sent free of charge from the publisher to the reviewer, who will be allowed to keep the book, unless the reviewer is willing to augment our Society's funds by offering the book for auction at one of our meetings (with a reserve price) or having it sold to a University Library. Mel also wants articles and reminiscences.

Venue
It has been decided to hold the first five meetings at THE CARDINAL INN, 23 FRANCIS STREET, LONDON SW1P 1DN, in the first floor atmospheric function room. where there is a private bar. The Cardinal Inn stands in the shadow of the bell tower of the Roman Catholic Westminster Cathedral. Francis Street is conveniently central, close to both the Victoria and St James Park tube stations, and to buses from Victoria Street. There are parking meters in the area, and there is a Car Park in nearby Rochester Row.

SEATING CAPACITY IS LIMITED
ALWAYS BOOK EARLY TO SECURE YOUR PLACE
WE STRONGLY SUGGEST YOU BOOK BY RETURN OF POST

We are also exploring the possibility of holding meetings at larger venues.
Key considerations are ambience, seating capacity, availability, accessibility and cost. In the event of heavy demand, and only if the venue can be switched, you will be notified.

Membership Subscriptions
At its peak the GB-USSR Association had 1400 members with branches around the UK. Later that figure declined to around 1000. After membership subscriptions were steeply increased membership fell to some 350.

We aim for a large, active and enthusiastic membership.
We aim to recruit new members from amongst University undergraduates, graduates, postgraduates and academics. However, we shall welcome all new members who will abide by the Constitution of the Society, a copy of which can be made available to all paid up members. Like its predecessors the Society is dedicated to Anglo Russian dialogue in a spirit of friendship, frankness and objectivity, and the spread of knowledge, understanding and cultural exchanges. Bring some friends as guests and persuade them to become members! There is also a large community of Russians in London, possibly around 100,000 people.

We aim to keep membership subscriptions and the charges for meetings as low and as affordable as possible, and as a long term policy - in order to generate a vigorous revival in membership numbers.

Membership will normally be £20 per annum to cover all administrative expenses and the cost of three journals per year, to reach you in mid December, mid April and mid August of each year.

It will take a little time to get a decent journal up and running, so the membership subscription for the first year (September 1st 2002 until August 31St 2003) will be a mere £15.

If you can donate more, please do so! Under no circumstances shall we be wasting any money. Two members already have donated £100 each!

The cost of attending each meeting will be £5. Guests normally would pay £7, but for the first five meetings they can come for £5 per meeting, to encourage them to become members. Bona fide students under 25 will receive special concessions, but no journal, which instead will be sent to their College Library.

The Autumn Session
We now enclose the booking form for the first five meetings. Make out one cheque covering both your membership (£15, or more if you can add a donation!) and for the meetings (£5 FOR EACH MEETING, BUT ONLY £4 PER MEETING PROVIDED THAT YOU BOOK FOR AT LEAST FOUR OF THE FIVE MEETINGS).

MAKE YOUR CHEQUE PAYABLE TO
"THE LONDON-RUSSIA SOCIETY".

Post your membership and meetings form, and your cheque to:
The Hon Treasurer of the London-Russia Society
36 Warwick Avenue, Maida Vale, London W9 2PT

DON'T DELAY! DO IT TODAY!

Bringing you the very best speakers on the most varied and exciting topics, and determined to keep the cost to you as low as possible, your Committee is working with total dedication.

NOW SHOW US THAT YOU CAN RESPOND AS ENTHUSIASTICALLY!
COMPLETE & POST YOUR MEMBERSHIP FORM TO-DAY PLEASE!

And take advantage of the generous 20% discount by booking for at least four, and hopefully all five meetings! Working together, imaginatively and energetically, we are set to restore The London-Russia Society to its former glory.

I now look forward to welcoming you all. Thank you for your co-operation and support.
Yours sincerely

Daniel Salbstein
Chairman

The London-Russia Society's email address are at:
London-Russia Society Contact Page

P.S. Give us your ideas on speakers, topics, events, venues etc.
If you wish you can write to me: Daniel Salbstein c/o J.Salbstein, Brougham Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 2NX. Phone & Fax is 01903 210611. Best time is between 8a.m. and 10a.m. and between 7p.m. and 10p.m. Email: [see contact page]

IMPORTANT NOTICE OF AN EGM

An EGM will take place at 5.45 p.m. on Monday October 7th, just before the reception and talk by Dr Catherine Cooke. This EGM will deal only with two matters
(1) Adoption of the Constitution so that The London-Russia Society may then apply for charitable status. A copy of the Constitution is enclosed.
(2) The award of Honorary Life Membership to both John C Q Roberts and lain Elliott in recognition of their long and outstanding contribution to the GB-USSR Association and the Britain-Russia & British East-West Centres.
Please note that all four successive Directors of the Centres are joining The London-Russia Society. They are: John C Q Roberts, lain Elliott, Felicity Cave and Godfrey Cromwell.

IF THEY ARE ALL JOINING, SO SHOULD YOU!
The message is loud and clear.
WE ARE BACK - IN A BIG, EXCITING WAY!

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Registered Charity Number 1148802, Company Number 8143145