Present: Ray Castle [Chairman]

Barry Wiggins [Treasurer]

Gordon Jones [Membership Sec]

Brian Wilson [N/L Editor]

John Smith

Anne Hope

Tony Mancell

Carole Robertson [Secretary]

Apologies: John Stanley

Rick Paslawski

Iain Hewitt

Dave Compton

Richard Williams

Ray and Ann Yule


Ray Castle opened the meeting and thanked everyone for attending [39 present].

Review and approve last years minutes

Harry Green proposed acceptance and Joan Suckling seconded these minutes. There were no matters arising.

Chairman's Report

Ray started by saying that it was rewarding to see so many at this meeting and this reflected on the general well being of the club. Our membership currently stands at 375 and we are always delighted to welcome new members, some as new retirees and others transferring between clubs due to changes in personal circumstances. This year has been no exception and we have lost active supporters, who were remembered at our meeting today. Our thanks to Gordon Jones for his efforts in ensuring we maintain a clean and accurate membership list.

This past year welcomed two new members to the Committee, plus a new Chairman following on from the many years of super service from Jean Eysenck. In addition to the planning and organising of the many events that we held during the year we have taken the opportunity to look at the overall organisation of the Club and the roles and responsibilities of the Committee members and Club Officers. The Club constitution has been updated, is posted on the web site and available for your review. Carole Robertson will post a copy of this constitution to Joan Suckling as requested.

Ray was happy to report that a considerable saving has been made by reducing the number of Newsletters posted to members and this is due to the effort put in by Gordon Jones, we now only post 32 copies. Brian Wilson has gradually changed and improved the Newsletter to make it more user friendly.

A great deal of effort in planning and organising trips and events is expended by the Committee and our programme is showing changes reflected in an increased popularity for events which include lunch and national and overseas short breaks. We are trying to spread the events around the geographic area, which stretches from Gloucester, Nottingham, Leicestershire and Wales. We plan to introduce more ad hoc events, based on pub lunches and accessing local amenities to try and give everyone at least one local event in the year. Later this year we have a slot for a Christmas market trip and this may be our first overseas trip by air.

In closing Ray stressed that the Committee are in place on behalf of the membership. Hopefully we get it right, the members were invited to let us know if this is not the case. Ray thanked the Committee for their support and good work. A big thank you was made for the efforts and professionalism shown by John Smith who organises our overseas trips. Finally Ray thanked our members who make it all worth while and looks forward to another active and successful year.

Treasurer's Report

A copy of Barry W's report is attached to these minutes. Our total grant for the year was confirmed at £12,200 an increase of £400 on 2003. Harry Cohen proposed acceptance of this Treasurer's Report and was seconded by Harry Green. One or two points arose whilst Barry ran through these figures and confirmed that due to an overspend of some £11 for one day Nat West Bank were trying to make a bank charge of £30. Barry will take this up with the Bank at some time in the near future.

Barry was disappointed that we had to cancel the Pub Quiz at the Leamington Spa Rugby Club in February and this will be noted when planning for 2006. Harry Cohen asked if the subsidy could be increased for the Christmas luncheon and Barry replied by saying that this was the last event of the year and always depended on funds. However, the general feeling from the meeting was that £12.50 per head contribution from each member was not expensive.

Election of Officers

It was with regret that we announced Iain Hewitt had resigned from the Committee and Ray proposed a vote of thanks to Iain for all the hard work over some twelve years on the Committee. This was warmly applauded by everyone present and was officially seconded by Jean Eysenck.

The present Committee were prepared to stand again and this was proposed by Harry Cohen and seconded by Jean Eysenck. Terry King expressed a wish to join the Committee and was proposed by Rosie Wiggins and seconded by Ken Hope.


Joan Sucking expressed regret that an obituary did not appear in the Newsletter for Bert Simpson. Ray countered this concern by pointing out that the Role of our Newsletter Editor would change if we as a Committee were made responsible for this information. The next of kin must be considered very carefully in these cases and a number of members ie. Brian Wilson, Dave Dagley, Ken Hope, John Smith, Harry Green, Terry King contributed to this debate. The result of this discussion was that with the permission of the next of kin a short "statement of fact" will appear in our Newsletter. As depressing as it may appear the majority of our membership do wish to be kept informed. This will undoubtedly be discussed at the next Committee meeting and a policy statement issued.

Jean Eysenck raised the question of the Christmas luncheon at the Woodman, Princethorpe, saying that the carvery style was not what she had come to expect and did not attend for this reason. Discussion followed with contributions from Tony Mancell, Anne Hope, Dave Dagley, and Joan Suckling. Whilst we had not had a happy experience at the Ardencote for the past two years a change was due. Good quality food was thought to be the most important factor and whilst we were cosy at the Woodman [due to the exceptional response of 117] the food was thought to be excellent. These comments will be borne in mind when reserving our venue for 2005.

At this point Ken Hope proposed a vote of thanks for our Chairman Ray Castle and the membership responded accordingly.

Ray then introduced our guest speaker, Barbara Clarke, Chair of South Hants Club.

Barbara's name was known to many in the room, particularly the company car owners; consequently a very relaxed and informative presentation followed. Confirming that the South Hants Club has some 1600 members, though many now live abroad and do not attend the events, this gives them a very comfortable cushion on subsidies. Seven form their Committee and they meet at each other's houses, as North Harbour security is such that they could not meet in the office. Some 35 events were organised last year, seven of these being theatre trips.

Barbara did warn us to be aware of personal insurance cover on coach trips and this will be discussed at our next meeting. Barbara went on to say that it is not always easy to create a programme that is suitable for all members as in some cases there is a 30 year age gap. However, a number of her tips sound very interesting ie. City and Village Tours and the speaker on "Steam Railways", which would prove to be a must for the Midlands

Club. Carole Robertson and Shirley Gail as secretaries are to exchange Email addresses and hopefully exchange event ideas.

Their subsidy is used differently to ours and £11 per person per event seems to be the norm. Hardcopy receipts for bookings are provided if the member provides a SAE when making the initial booking. The net address for South Hants is Another idea is to provide a mobile phone number for the event organiser and the number made available to all participants. This for reporting late arrival etc. We may like to think of this ourselves.

Ray Castle asked if they surveyed their membership and Barbara was able to confirm that they did but like us the response was not overwhelming.

This presentation was warmly received by the audience and Ray thanked both Barbara and Shirley for making the long journey to Warwick. T

The meeting closed at 1.00 and the majority made their way to the Falcon Inn at Hatton on the A4177 [updated] for a buffet luncheon.

Next AGM to be called March 2006.