MINUTES OF THE STOKE/NEWCASTLE GROUP
COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 19th JANUARY 2017
AT BUCKNALL BOWLING CLUB
Present: D. & T. Adair, A. Bell, C. Bigley, I. Bradley, M.& H. Caton, A.& R. Clamp, D. Fowler, J.
Hammond, J. & J. Jervis (group members) S. & S. Merry, K. Twigge, B. Wood, L. & D. Wynne.
Apologies: D. Poole.
1. Minutes of Previous Meeting: These were accepted as a true record.
2. Matters Arising:
(a) Group events: Dave M. has offered a Stoke/ Newcastle coach ramble in July to either Malham or Whernside in the Yorkshire Dales and also to lead a holiday based in Ifracombe. The committee were supportive of these ventures and suggested 13/7/17 for the coach ramble (when Biddulph members should be available to fill any vacancies) and 2018 for the holiday. Tony A. agreed to contact Dave regarding these matters to confirm dates and to ascertain what help he requires.
(b) There has been no contact from Harry S. to Charlie B. regarding blog contribution on the subject of HS2.
(c) Group business cards: Commercial production of business cards has not been pursued because Ramblers may supply them free of charge. Jan B. has a contact at Central Office who has a design for a business card. She is willing to explore this further and report back.
3. Walks Programme Initiatives:
(a) Shorter walks: Anne C advised that the new walks grading system shows the mileage of all walks. She proposes to lead two 4 mile walks on Wednesdays. Since some existing and potential new members would welcome a shorter walk on Sundays too, it was agreed that S. Merry would advise leaders of the opportunity to lead shorter walks and via the website. Furthermore, A. Clamp agreed to include a similar announcement in the forthcoming hard copy walks
(b) Festival of winter walks: It was agreed that this had had minimal impact of group recruitment and this was attributed to the short notice provided. S. Merry agreed to contact Email Ramblers HQ to request longer notice for subsequent events.
4. Venues, Dates & Booking Arrangements for future Meetings:
(a) It was agreed that the group AGM will take place on Wednesday 27 September 2017 at the White Star PH, Stoke.
(b) The 23/3/17 group committee meeting will be at Bucknall Bowling Club, but the subsequent meetings will be on Wednesdays 24/5/17, 5/7/17 and 18/10/17 at the White Star PH, Stoke.
Alan B. kindly agreed to book the White Star PH for the relevant events.
5. Area Council Meetings Representation: This was agreed as:
- 30/3/17: Tony A. and Dave F
- 13/7/17: Susan and Stephen M.
- 12/10/17: Doreen and Tony A.
6. Reports from Officers and Representatives:
- The Weekends Away Group meeting on 10/11/16 at the Holy Inadequate PH, Etruria was attended by 16 members. The group reached a consensus view that a weekend in Ilkley, West Yorkshire 23-25/9/17 would provide the necessary diversity of accommodation, eating places, walking routes and activities for non-walkers, but participants are advised to book their rooms early because of the popularity of this destination. To date Alan B, Howard C, Jan&Charlie and Susan&Stephen have agreed to lead walks. Furthermore, Linda B and Doreen P have volunteered to organise a group meal on Saturday night for those that wish to attend. While the weekend is viable as it stands, an additional leader is being sought so that a choice of walks can be offered on both Saturday and Sunday. A further meeting will discuss possible routes, schedule the days on which the walks will take place and agree the wording to be placed in the forthcoming Stoke/Newcastle summer programme is planned for 2/3/17 at 19.30. The rear room at the Holy Inadequate PH, Eturia has been booked for this event.
- A letter of condolence has been sent on behalf of the group following the death of a long standing member and more than 20 group members attended the subsequent service of thanksgiving.
- A self-catering cottage on the Lyn Peninsula has been recommended for group holidays. The cost is c. £190pp for Mon-Fri. See http://www.edgeofwaleswalk.co.uk/selfcateringaccomm.html for further details.
Treasurer – Currently the group balance is £394-00 pending receipt of the group subsidy from Ramblers of £400. Incomings have been: £30 from HF advert, £70 from walking partnership, £7-50 profit from Christmas raffle. Out goings have been £60 for George Shufflebotham buffet at the Boat Inn. John H. is currently in dialogue with Central Office’s accountant due to the unusual level of turnover in our account caused by the Tenby holiday. The documentation provided is deemed insufficient. John will contact the coach company and hotel for copy receipts.
It was agreed that a £100 donation received in memory of a group member needs to be ring-fenced so it can be used specifically to support a single group event.
Membership/Publicity – Group membership on 1/1/2017 was 325 which compares with 338 on 1/1/16. Three new members have joined since the last meeting
Since the last meeting I have some enquiries which have not yet lead to membership. We have no current publicity days planned, but Howard and Maggie C. have left promotional material at pubs and other venues.
Group Footpath Coordinator –
- In response to an Email enquiry Ramblers central office reported that they have liaised comprehensively with HS2 Ltd staff and, based on how their concerns have been previously addressed, they expect most paths in our area to be treated well. Indeed, some will be enhanced by the diversions and bridges. A new Bill is to be drafted and, once it is published, Ramblers will petition Parliament if they are not satisfied with the treatment of any paths.
- Support provided by the Ramblers for footpath work is currently under consideration. This might take the form of high-viz vests, plaques to denote completed work and grant funding for tools as outlined at http://www.ramblers.org.uk/great-britain/resources/volunteer-resources/path-maintenance-team-toolkit/how-do-we-support-path-maintenance-teams.aspx?parentID=C35033872C5648E0A79AE2C09FCB7FEC.
Countryside Officer– Boltons factory site at Frghall is now being used for M.O.D. parts storage.
Social Secretary - Ideas would be welcome concerning another pub night for the forthcoming summer programme.
7. Reports from Other Meetings:
(a) An Area AGM report is available at http://www.stokeandnewcastleramblers.org.uk/blogs.html.
(b) The Area Council October minutes were received.
(c) Alan B and Howard C. attended the Ramblers Area Council meeting on 12/1/17. The main topics discussed were:-
1. Central Office have asked Staffordshire Area to host a regional member volunteer day. It was agreed by all that the best location would be in Stafford or Stoke-on-Trent and that our help would be given if Central Office did the initial organising of such an event.
2. This year's Ramblers Area AGM will take place on Saturday 25th November at Bilston. The day may change in future years as voting at the last AGM was 12 in favour of Saturday, 60 in favour of staying with Sunday with all other members abstaining.
3. Membership is currently 2442 for Staffordshire which is 6 less than October 2015. It has been reported that Mid Staffs Group have problems with membership and their walking programme. More will be reported on this issue at the next Area meeting on 30th March.
8. Any Other Business:
(a) George Shufflebotham’s map collection and some of his books have been received by Anne C. together with a card from her thanking us for all our work in creating a memorial for George. Anne and Tony A. agreed to discuss how these might be combined with the group’s existing map collection so as to make them more widely available to members.
(b) Tony A. has received an email from Graham Evans concerning proposed Harry Scott appreciation walks in the summer. He will ascertain if there is a specific date for these to take place. Alan B. suggested this could be a secateur walk.
(c) Alan B. reported that a footpath on the Trentham golf course has been successfully claimed, but is not easily passable. He, Tony A. and Howard C will check what renovations are needed.
(d) Stephen M. suggested the group adopt a logo to make our website and stationary more distinctive. Marion B. has agreed to produce quality copy for us if we provide ideas. Stephen will Email group members requesting ideas and present these to the next meeting.
9. Time, Date and Venue of next meeting: 19.30 on 23/3/17 at Bucknall Bowling Club, Werrington.
The meeting closed at 8.55 pm