MINUTES OF THE STOKE/NEWCASTLE GROUP
COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 14th JANUARY 2016
AT BUCKNALL BOWLING CLUB
Present: D. Adair, A. Bell, H. Caton (Chairman), M. Caton, A. & R. Clamp, J. Hammond, T. Radcliffe, S. Merry, B. Wood
Apologies: I. Bradley, D. Fowler, D. & L. Wynne
1. Minutes of Previous Meeting
Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as a true record.
2. Matters Arising
3. Moneystone Leisure Park
Anne reported on D. Fowler’s behalf that the proposed development had been defeated by a majority of 9 – 1 at a meeting of Staffs Moorland DC at Leek. This result was due to the hard work of action groups including the R.A. However an appeal can be lodged.
4. Area AGM 2015 Report
Held on 29 November with D. Fowler, H. & M. Caton, A. & R. Clamp attending. A proposal by M. Cashmore was made that future AGMs be held on a Saturday so as not to interfere with walking programmes and to allow members to travel by bus. The committee all agreed with this suggestion and will feedback to Area.
5. Area Council Report (7/1/16)
D. Fowler, A. Bell, H. Caton attended. Proposed new governance discussed, changes are afoot. Harry Scott was applauded for all his footpath work. Alan has been working with David Wright of Stone group checking footpaths. A. Clamp reported that minutes and documents for the Area meeting had not been sent to R. Clamp and expressed concern that as the Group secretary he had been excluded. Richard and D. Fowler to progress this concern. Area does not seem interested in taking up the issue of walking groups’ non affiliation to the R.A.
6. Area Representation
Meetings this year 31 March, 7 July and 6 October. Other members encouraged to attend to see how Area works and to spread the load of representation. HS2 was not mentioned at the January meeting.
7. Group AGM 2016 Venue/Date
A. Clamp proposed Thursday 22nd September as the date for the next AGM, to be held at the Bucknall Bowling Club. Motion unanimously carried.
8. Memorial for George Shufflebotham
A. Bell has been to various places, including Timpsons regarding a plaque. A. Clamp also had some information from Stoke Engraving. Alan visited Pauline Shufflebotham who would like the plaque on a stile in Berryhill fields. Once we know which stile Paul Pearce of Stoke CC Burslem (who is in charge of footpaths) will be contacted for permission.
9. Programme Insert (Top Tips)
The committee received a copy of the top tips which resulted from the exercise after the AGM undertaken by Stephen Merry. All the committee were in favour of these being included in future programmes.
10. Weekends Away Update
Susan Merry proposes to hold a further meeting for key players (walk leaders etc) on 3rd March at the Holy Inadequate pub so that details are ready for the next programme. Full day walks will be led by Charlie and Jan Bigley, Paul Scutchings and Brian Lewis. Half day walks by S. & S. Merry, A. Bell and D. Wynne. The meal on Saturday night will be at the Skiddaw Hotel at a cost of approximately £19-00 for 2 courses and coffee. Doreen Poole and Linda Bourne have organised this event and M. Caton has volunteered to collect monies.
11. Rucksack ID Key Fobs
A. Clamp reported that the group has purchased 75 key fobs from Biddulph group for £30. We will sell them at 50pence each and will be distributed via committee members and walk leaders.
12. 2016 Christmas Meal
Doreen Adair visited the Rose & Crown at Stanley with another group, was impressed and afterwards approached the landlady to see if 4 December was available for our Christmas meal. It will cost approximately £15 for a 2 course meal plus coffee and can hold up to 50. Committee all agreed to the venue and date which Doreen will organise along with Mavis Heath.
13. Reports from Officers
Secretary – Nothing to report.
Treasurer – Christmas lunch – very well-attended with good food. Ramblers Holiday Partnership had sent complimentary tickets for the travel show in London and Manchester. No one wished to take them up. John is still waiting for the first instalment of the group subsidy (£375). He has received £120 from the walking partnership, £5 profit from the Christmas raffle. The balance stands at £1,161-35 but this includes deposits for the Tenby holiday.
Membership/Publicity – A. Clamp reported for I. Bradley that membership in December stood at 338 with 11 payments pending. H. Caton reported a successful day in Newcastle on 18th December with a stand to promote the R.A. He and I. Bradley, A. Bell and D. & L. Wynne handed out lots of leaflets and answered the public’s questions. Another stall is planned on 20th February and on 19th November he has a free stall at Kidsgrove Victorian Fair. Area Membership stands at 2433.
Countryside – Nothing to report.
Footpath – A. Bell proposes to put the “secateurs walks” on again but on a Saturday, perhaps followed by a pub lunch. He would like to do 3 per year and asked that members let him know of footpaths that need pruning. George Shufflebotham’s memorial walk will be scheduled for the winter programme once the plaque is up.
Programme Secretaries –Full day T. Ratcliffe reported business as usual but new faces were needed. Half days – S. Merry reported a good range of walks with average attendance of 15-20 and the summer programme pretty well filled. Mid week – D. Adair had nothing new to report, the programme is well-supported. Other walks – A. Clamp confirmed the Apedale trip and walk had been a success with £100 raised, £75 for the cost of the visit with a £25 donation to the centre. Coach ramble bookings are now being taken and D. Martin has expressed concern that the numbers will not fill the coach. She confirmed he will not be contributing anything to the programme after the Tenby holiday. She and Richard propose to organise a walk followed by a tour of Middleport pottery on the mid week programme, 20th October, and a social evening at the Crown at Silverdale on 13th July.
Programme Co-ordinator/Webmaster – The templates are out for the walking programme. There are only 6 walks on the evening walks template. Anything for inclusion in the next programme should be with Anne by early/mid March. She reported that on 5th January she had uploaded the new software for the web site. She would like everyone to visit the site to take a look. (Lynda Berrington had advised Anne that the new walkers out last Sunday had all found the walk on the web site.) Stephen Merry has expressed interest in helping with the web site in the future.
14. Any Other Business
(1) M. Caton gave her apologies for the meeting in March and asked for a volunteer to take the minutes which she will happily type up on her return. Susan Merry kindly offered.
(2) H. Caton reported that the thanksgiving service for Rhona Lindup is on Tuesday 19th January at 2.00pm at Maer church.
(3) S. Merry reported that concerns have been raised about the walks on the forthcoming holiday in Tenby. She had a copy of the programme from a previous holiday organised by the Biddulph group but we have, as yet, received no details from D. Martin. It was suggested by D. Adair that the committee send a letter to him asking about the walks format, final balance etc. R. Clamp to write a letter to him from the committee.
(4) A. Clamp has been in touch with Peter Matthews regarding Step Out. He prefers only to include group news in the annual report. However he has heard that we propose to form an “Eggheads” team and would like to include something in Step Out. Susan advised that a DVD will have to be filmed – in Glasgow – although expenses will be paid. The team name is to be “The Wise Walkers.”
(5) B. Wood had a questionnaire on the future of country parks which needs to be submitted by 24th January. It is a very important issue but has not been well- publicised.
(6) Brian thanked all who made the Real Ale Trail Day such a success.
Meeting closed at 9.15 pm