MINUTES OF THE STOKE/NEWCASTLE GROUP COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 14th JULY 2016 AT BUCKNALL BOWLING CLUB
Present: D. Adair, A. Bell, H. & M Caton, A. & R. Clamp, D. Fowler, J. Hammond, S. Merry, T. Radcliffe, B. Wood, L. & D. Wynne, Stephen Merry (group member)
Apologies: I. Bradley
1.Minutes of Previous Meeting
Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as a true record.
Item 9 – Report from Membership/Publicity - B. Wood queried why the stall at Trentham had been cancelled. This was due to a misunderstanding. Brian and Alan Bell volunteered to man the stall. H. Caton will make enquiries at Trentham and forward to B. Wood. D. Adair suggested that our title – “ramblers” is out dated and gives the wrong impression. Stephen Merry suggested we put an “add on/strapline” to this eg “caring for the countryside”. This idea will be taken to Area Meeting. A. Bell had an enquiry from a prospective new member with a dog – can we afford to be too fussy bearing in mind falling membership. It was re-iterated that this must be at the leader’s discretion.
Item 2 – matters arising – Memorial plaque. H. Caton has contacted Bagnall Parish Council regarding the placement of this. He reported that the existing bench had become something of a shrine and the parish council were unhappy about another memorial. However the plaque will be placed on the footpath which they can do nothing about. Additionally Staffs CC have given their blessing.
3.Blog/On-line Publicity Meeting Feedback (Stephen Merry)
The test blog is in operation, Chris Vaughan (area administrator) and Charlie Bigley are in discussion to get space on the RA website to house the blog. If it sat on an external site we would have to pay for this. If we want to add a strapline to our title - e.g. “caring for the countryside” – this could be part of the site. D. Fowler asked who would be involved with posting blogs. We would want a minimum of 6 so that people would only need to contribute once a month and this way the entries would change every week. There were 20 people at the meeting and 7 people are working on the trial version. The Blog is about celebrating what we’ve done. The Web site looks forward to future events/walks.
Mailing lists – Charlie and Chris are trying to set up e mail lists with generic titles (e.g. all members, all committee members.) These lists would not detail everyone’s name and there would have to be a “sign up” to such groups but it is an effective way of communication. A proposal for these issues should be ready from the steering group by October. Stephen will assist Anne to input all the information in September.
4.Grading of Walks(Anne Clamp)
Anne produced an amended template for discussion. It was agreed, following a vote, that the mileage of all walks together with a letter indicating Leisurely, Moderate or Strenuous will be included in the programme and on walksfinder. T. Radcliffe advised that for the full day walks the start point as well as the meeting point would now be included in the programme/walksfinder.
5.Group Meetings 2017
19 January, 23 March, 25 May, 6 July, 5 October.
6.Group AGM 2016
To be held on 22 September. Richard asked if all officers were willing to stand again. D. Fowler advised the meeting that he is stepping down as is Richard. We need to circulate the news in Step Out and on walks to try and find replacements. M. Caton is stepping down as minutes secretary. Alan Bell is willing to stand for another year as footpath officer but is very disillusioned with lack of support. L. Wynne feels that the evening walks are not viable – all agreed. All other officers are willing to stand for another year. I. Bradley will be asked if he is willing to remain as membership/publicity.
7.Area AGM 2016 and last Area Council Meeting
Sunday 27 November at Gentleshaw Village Hall, hosted by Chase and District RA. Step Out – Richard has to do an annual report for inclusion. He will mention “Eggheads” and committee members who are standing down.
Area Council Meeting – no one able to attend.
8. Christmas Ramble/Lunch Update(Doreen Adair)
Doreen has telephoned the Rose and Crown at Stanley and we are OK with our booking. The Christmas menu should be out some time next week which she will get via email in time for inclusion in the programme. She and Mavis Heath will lead the walk.
9. Boxing Day Plus Event
D. Fowler offered to contact Paul Lockey to see if he is willing to organise this event and to consider coming onto the committee. However S & S Merry offered to organise the event, on Wednesday 28 December. All agreed to accept their kind offer.
10.Keswick Weekend Update (Susan Merry)
Susan reported the meal is booked for Saturday (about 30) and all the walks are organised.
11.Tenby Holiday Feedback (Richard Clamp)
The holiday was successful, the good weather helped and the hotel was good. John Hammond advised that the hotel is now owned by Alpha Travel.
12.Reports from Officers
Secretary – Everything reported under previous agenda items.
Treasurer – Balance £864.01. The deadline for budget presentation is next week. The default payment without a budget is £418.52. John asked if he should present a budget for £800.00. A unanimous vote agreed he should.
Membership/Publicity – A. Clamp reporting – as at 1st June membership 332 including 2 new members. £11-00 worth of Tesco vouchers can be used towards membership fee. New recruitment leaflets have been received.
Countryside – Moneystone Quarry - the appeal is due in December. Another application has gone in with modifications to the height of the hub and the lodges.
Footpath – Secateur walk went well. Next one is in September. Other footpath work still being undertaken.
Programme Secretaries –
Mid week – D.Adair – good attendance numbers vary.
Half days – S. Merry – well attended walks, new walks template work in progress.
Full Days – T.Ratcliffe – averaging 16 out, he has made a start on the winter programme template.
Evenings – L. Wynne – see item 6 AGM.
Social/skittle Evening – A. Clamp – Unfortunately the landlord had moved from the pub and taken the skittle alley. However 15 people attended the evening and refreshments were provided (£40 bill for buffet) Brian Wood was thanked for his continuing efforts organising the social evenings.
Programme Co-ordinator/Webmaster – Anne reported there is a walkabout festival on the RA website, 3 – 11 September. When she updates the walksfinder our walks will be included in this campaign. D. Fowler reported that Pathwatch has been completed and the results will be presented in November. B. Wood thanked Alan Bell for all his efforts in this respect. He has been the only member to take part in this exercise.
13. Any Other Business
(1) Brian Wood thanked all those who had attended Tracy Love’s funeral recently. He will put on a memorial walk for her in due course. He then asked for money towards buffets on his social evenings. Motion was proposed and carried for £20 a time. He queried if we were on a web site called “meet up.” Stephen Merry advised that this costs £40 per year. (2) Anne clarified a query from Dave Martin regarding a search engine Stoke/Newcastle RA were not on. She has investigated and had us put on to it.
Meeting closed at 9.38 pm
Susan & Stephen Merry (Joint Secretaries)