ESAS was founded in the Autumn of 2000 by Marcus Croft, Lester and Rosemary Selmes,
Doug Hastings and Andy Lawes.
Marcus and Lester, as new committee members of their existing Society, found themselves unable to have any influence on the rest of the committee to make any changes which would make the Society more open and friendly. Following many discussions on the attitudes of that Society, which four of us belonged to, we decided to form our own Society which was more welcoming to visitors and new-comers with little, or no, knowledge.
Marcus was already friendly with Andy Lawes and felt that Andy's experience with other societies would stand us in good stead and Marcus also felt that Andy had the same kind of drive and enthusiasm that we shared.
We had our first meeting with partners and interested friends and at that meeting we decided on the name of the society, the ethos of what we wanted the society to be about (which is on the website home page unchanged) and the formation of the first core committee of Andy Lawes Chair, Doug Hastings, Vice-Chair & Marcus Croft, Secretary.
Our next step was to register the Society. At subsequent meetings, following much discussion on venues, Andy managed to organise for us to meet at St. Mary's school in Bexhill, where he worked. Meetings to be held on the first Thursday of each month. Obviously, there was some local advertising and word of mouth to try and bolster the membership but effectively, the first meetings were pretty much committee, family and friends.
From small beginnings, ESAS has evolved into the busy, friendly society that it is today with a very active Outreach and a great range of speakers.