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THE SECTION ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AND CHRISTMAS LUNCH
at the Southdowns Country Hotel, Trotton - Sunday 3 December 2006

Over one hundred members, wives and partners arrived from 10.30am to meet and greet each other in the bar/lounge for coffee and mince pies.

At 11.30 the Chairman, Tony Leach, formally opened the AGM by welcoming everybody especially Management Committee member Jane Pedler and her husband Rob. Twenty year badges were presented to Peter Parkinson and Doug James by Jane.

Before reading out Apologies for Absence the Secretary, Ted Meachem, said that just four weeks ago our President's lady, Grace Barrass, had passed away in hospital at the grand old age of ninety-two. He had attended the funeral in Tunbridge Wells with a number of other Club representatives. Also this year other members had passed away, Grace Jupe, Teddy Nash and Frank Ford.

He then read out apologies for absence from Steven & Rachel Fassoms, Tony Parsons, Chris & Sue Godwin, Ian & Anne Scroggins, Michael & Sue Marriage, Mark Tidy, Paul Hoddinott, Bryan Roach, Jim Denne, Colin Barrell, Peggy Sadler, Tommy & Dot Welham, Steve & Jayne Page-Mitchell, Nigel & Gilly Crossley, John & Marilyn Wetherall, Chris & Rosemary Tween, John & Betty Plant, Jack & Dorothy Pennell. Ted also said that Cliff Cummins, who had booked for the lunch, was recovering at home from a heart attack.

The Chairman asked the meeting if it was their wish that he should sign the previously circulated minutes of the Annual General Meeting held 4 December 2005 as being a true record. There was full agreement from the floor and the minutes were duly signed. There were no Matters Arising.

Chairman Tony began his annual report saying that, again, we had completed another very successful year of meetings and rallies, some twenty-three in all not including the South of England and the National. Pretty well all these meetings had been blessed with fine weather. Those of particular note were the well attended Memorial Meeting where David & Jackie Gray had been very kind to us with a marquee and refreshments in their garden following the short service of remembrance for the life of Sir Henry Royce, the third Hog Roast at Staddles, and the jewel in this year's crown, the Mosel Rally. Special thanks to David & Anne Steel for organising the smoothest running event for some time.

Tony said that each Section event was the responsibility of one or two committee members, usually the person who came up with the idea in the first place ran the event. He thanked all the members of the Committee for the time and effort they had put in to make the events happen. In addition he thanked magazine Editor, Dennis Windows, who continued to do a most splendid job, Treasurer, Andrew Honour, also Darren Collins, who had brought in more Magazine advertisers and Dick Lees as STO. He also mentioned Ted, the Secretary, for his continuing work. Lastly Tony thanked all the members for their support.

Secretary Ted started by saying a special thank you to Dennis Windows for setting up our direction signs early that morning on the roads to the hotel. Referring back to the 2005 Channel Islands Rally and our 'Condor Moment', we eventually received a negative answer to our claim. He said that the response to this year's Contribution letter had again been marvellous, to the same date almost exactly the same number of replies and amount. On behalf of the Committee he expressed a big 'thank you' to the members.

Ted reported that the Management Committee had insisted that our Section website should come under the main Club website, ie. on the password protected side of the site. However they had agreed that we could keep the current format and that our webmaster could continue to upload our entries onto the main site, ie. without going through the Hunt House webmaster. It did mean however that members had to register with Hunt House and set up their own password to access the member's side of the Club site. Ted thanked Ian Burt for his continuing excellent work on the Section Website.

Ted said that in connection with the 50th anniversary of the Club next year, Sections have been asked by the MC to produce a short history of their founding, development, area etc for display at the Annual Rally. Research had been carried out at Hunt House and with the President. The September 1967 Bulletin had mentioned Central Southern Section and he asked if anyone could go back further.

The 2007 programme, distributed today, included our own annual rally to the English Lakes in September, the National Rally at Kelmarsh Hall and our Wheels on Road event which would be an out of the ordinary Treasure Hunt. Ted said that some members may have wondered why a number of our Section events had not been included in the Bulletin Events List. The programme, similar to todays, had been sent to the Bulletin Editor for inclusion in the November/December issue. He said that he had been advised earlier in the year, for the first time, that it was Bulletin policy not to include pub meets in the Events lists for two reasons. Firstly that pub meets tend to be in the winter and are designed more for members in a particular Section. Secondly, to list all pub meets would create a very large list which would reduce the space available for other material. Ted said that in his opinion both these reasons were quite spurious on any number of aspects and despite further correspondence the intransigence continues and some of our meetings are not printed.

The Secretary gave his thanks to the Committee members (and to all the unsung heroes) saying that the organisation of Section events was very much a team effort led by the BW's of the day. Ted asked for members to let him know of any issues they would like raised at the Club Conference in March and also if there were any questions from the floor. There were none.

Treasurer Andrew Honour said that the Section finances were in very good order and ran through the previously circulated Annual Account. He gave thanks to John Tudor for examining the accounts. Adoption of the accounts was proposed by Maurice Pitchford and seconded by Peter Parkinson. Accepted unanimously. Reappointment of the Examiner was proposed and seconded by John Bray. Accepted unanimously.

The Chairman said that all the existing Committee were standing for re-election and read out the names, Simon Buck, Darren Collins, David Gray, Andrew Honour, Tony Leach, Dick Lees, Ted Meachem, Maurice Pitchford, David Steel and Dennis Windows. In the absence of any further nominations, it was proposed that all the present members be elected en bloc. Proposed by Ralph Taylor and seconded by Ray Thatcher. Accepted unanimously.

The Programme for 2007 had been distributed to the meeting and the Secretary asked if there were any questions. Tony Leach gave an outline of the English Lakes Rally and invited members to complete the available entry forms.

Under AOB Bernie Batchelor asked about a Guinness Book of Records attempt and Jane Pedler replied explaining the complexities. The Secretary pointed out that we were on record with the Chester event. Peter Parkinson asked if it was not time to change the Club name and/or merge with the BDC, Jane replied that the subject had been considered extensively and there were possibly insurmountable trade mark problems. She also said that we had a very good working relationship with the BDC. Derek Johnson commended this year's Normandy Rally, Maurice Pitchford replied that a follow up was being planned for 2008. Peter Parkinson queried the dates for the Section Rally and the Walton Hall event, the Secretary replied, this was intentional so that anyone on the Section Rally could go to Walton Hall on there way home (and save fuel). From the floor Martin Coomber queried the reference on the 2007 Programme to the Treasurer Hunt, the Secretary replied that it was hoped that Andrew Honour would be secreted in the Sussex countryside and that at least fifty Club cars would try to find him! Tony closed the meeting at 12.30pm.

Jane Pedler addressed the meeting, firstly mentioning the recent passing of Club stalwart Gordon Connelly. She thanked the Section for their compliance on the website question. She said that there would be a ballooning event over the Kelmarsh National Rally weekend, a BBQ on the Friday night, hopefully one hundred Silver Ghosts on display on the Saturday and a big surprise for the Sunday. There would be further improvements to the judging system next year. She implored members to return the 'interest' form for the Walton Hall weekend event which would host a variety of special attractions. Jane said that two Hunt House staff members, Helen Saxby and Sophie Scales, were leaving by Christmas and replacements were being sought. From the floor Chess Ferrier asked a question on the Walton Hall event, Simon Buck asked how the Data Protection Act impinged on Club activities, Peter Princep asked the whereabouts of AX 201.

Tony thanked Jane for attending and speaking at our AGM and then gave details of the lunch arrangements.

At a short meeting after the lunch, the new Committee elected Tony Leach as Chairman, Ted Meachem as Secretary and Andrew Honour as Treasurer.

Ted Meachem - Section Secretary


Members' cars in the car park.   Members' cars.
Members' cars in the car park of the Southdowns Hotel.
Dennis & Ann Windows at the AGM   Elaine & Bill Cottell. Ken Johnston.
Dennis & Ann Windows at the AGM.   Elaine & Bill Cottell. Ken Johnston (with baloon).
Anne Steel, Jean Taylor, Sheila Hurrell.   Barbara & Peter Waller.   Mo Reeve, Paul Lewis, Sandy Tudor.
Anne Steel, Jean Taylor, Sheila Hurrell.   Barbara & Peter Waller (foreground).   Mo Reeve, Paul Lewis, Sandy Tudor.
John & Ann Bray.   Ron Tuck, Chess Ferrier and Ray Thatcher.   Diana & Peter Cameron.
John & Ann Bray.   Ron Tuck, Chess Ferrier and Ray Thatcher.   Diana & Peter Cameron.
Ken & Marlene Johnston.   Patricia Denton and Jennifer Burt.   Peter Seamer and Leif Wangel.
Ken & Marlene Johnston.   Patricia Denton and Jennifer Burt.   Peter Seamer and Leif Wangel.
Photos:Ian Burt