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THE SECTION ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AND CHRISTMAS LUNCH, CHICHESTER PARK HOTEL
Sunday 6 December 2009

Once again the General Manager of the hotel, Dean, had ensured that the AGM meeting room was completely set up and the additional preparations were completed before the 'early birds' started to arrive. A steady stream of members arrived to enjoy coffee and mince pies and to meet and greet each other. At 11.30am highly valued members of the Section were still driving into the car park. Some delayed by the closure of the A27 east of Fontwell and some delayed by the closure of Midhurst High Street.

Chairman Tony Leach formally welcomed everyone at 11.37am with a special welcome for Management Committee member Malcolm Tucker. On Tony's request Malcolm presented Twenty Year badges to Ralph & Jean Taylor and to John & Lyn Gough.

Secretary Ted Meachem read out apologies for absence from Tony Parsons, Paul Lee, Anthony Lewis, Graham Bennett, Paul Hoddinott, Richard & Margaret English, Pat Cuzner, Ian & Corrinne Niblett, Lief & Diane Wangel, Michael & Merle Morgan, Bryan Roach, Mike Petter, Doug & Dorothy Groves, Dorothy Pennell, Jayne & Steve Page-Mitchell, Mae Underwood & Paul Capper, Michael Barnes, Gary Wragg, Jane & Rob Pedler. Additionally Bob & Mo Standbridge, Peter & Wendy Robinson had had to cancel at the last moment.

The minutes of the AGM held 7 December 2008 were approved and signed by the Chairman. There were no Matters Arising.

Chairman Tony began his report by saying that, like most years, it would be brief and he was, incidentally, in his tenth year as Chairman. He continued by mentioning events held during the year, the various lunch meets, the Bradfield South of England Rally, the best event of the year (weather-wise) at John Young's house and the Secretary's At Home Day. Tony congratulated David and Anne Steel on their efforts and organisation of the Norfolk Rally despite the hotel's problems. He went on to say that we had had another successful year and would like to thank all the Committee for their work and made special mention of Andrew Honour, Ted Meachem, Maurice Pitchford and Darren Collins. At this point retiring Editor Maurice (and his little helper, Maurice's words not mine!) were thanked and presented with a small token of our appreciation. Tony went on to say that Chris Tween had volunteered to be the new Magazine Editor and asked for copy to be sent on to him. Finally he thanked John Tudor for his term of Committee service and also thanked the whole membership for supporting the events and making the Section what it was - successful and solvent!

Secretary Ted started by saying that perhaps he could follow in Tony's footsteps in that he was elected to the Committee xxxx years ago in this very room and also when Malcolm was the Management Committee representative that year as well, "hello again Malcolm". Ted went on to say that, once again, it had been a very busy year for the Section and following the Committee's policy we had been able to raise quite a lot of money for various charities. He also said a big 'thank you' to Daisy May and Basil, who were the prime movers in our various raffle ticket sales, and asked members to show their appreciation to them (who were better known as Jean & Ralph Taylor!). He also thanked Ian Burt, once again, for maintaining 'probably the best' Club Section website. Response to the Contribution letter this year had again been marvellous. Ted said that he had attended the Secretary's Meeting at Hunt House this year which had been very worthwhile.

Referring to the, distributed, 2010 programme Ted made special mention of the Annual Rally at its new venue (Rockingham Castle), the South of England Rally at its new venue (Cranleigh School) and the Section Annual Rally also at a new venue (Southern Ireland). He thanked all the BW's for their event organisation and also asked to be advised of any subjects members would like raised at the 2010 Club Conference in April. In conclusion he said that attendance at this AGM had been a record and asked if there were any questions from the floor.

Treasurer Andrew Honour presented the Section's annual accounts which showed a healthy financial situation. There were year on year increases in members Contributions and also in advertising income (which covered increased magazine costs). From the floor, Peter Parkinson asked why the 'Donations' figure was so much higher than last year and Andrew explained that this included the £1,500.00 donated to St Wilfrid's Hospice, on top of other smaller donations. Adoption of the accounts was proposed by Peter Waller and seconded by Peter Parkinson. Accepted unanimously. Appointment of the Examiner was proposed by Dennis Windows and seconded by John Bray. Accepted unanimously.

The Chairman said that all the existing members of the Committee, except John Tudor, had signified their willingness to stand for re-election and in addition Chris Tween had been nominated to stand for election. In the absence of any further nominations it was suggested that the existing members (all of whom were named) and Chris Tween be elected en bloc. The motion was proposed by Ray Thatcher and seconded by Tony Smith. Accepted unanimously.

In addition to the distributed flyer/booking form Tony Leach gave a brief rundown on the proposed 2010 rally to Southern Ireland and Maurice Pitchford gave some information on the proposed Normandy Rally in May next year.

The Chairman asked if there was any other business. John Gough asked if 'dog friendly' events could be highlighted (in the Magazine/flyers). Clive White asked for further details on the Normandy Rally. Maurice Pitchford replied that members should make their own arrangements for crossing the Channel and that the likely cost was in the order of 1,000 euros per couple.

Tony formally introduced MC representative Malcolm Tucker and invited him to say a few words. Malcolm enquired how many years it was since his last visit (18 years) and said that he was very pleased to attend again and that judging by the attendance numbers and other indicators Central Southern was obviously running very well. He reported that the Hunt House Seminars were running very well and there were plans to take them abroad. Club shop sales were increasing. Trade stand attendance at the Annual Rally was down possibly due to the high cost of insurance and that a new concept was being tried, that of inviting another car club to attend (Aston Martin in 2010). The Club Year Book was about to be launched which would generate approximately £50,000.00 income for the Club (£35,000.00 last year). It had been agreed that the Bulletin and the Advertiser would remain in the same, separate formats. Our representative on the FBHVC had just stood down and so a new representative was required. Our Club was maintaining a happy working relationship with both Rolls-Royce and Bentley Motors. Malcolm encouraged members who had not done so to visit the Hunt House. In 2011 there would be a Spirit of Ecstasy celebration in the form of a moving exhibition (calling in at Goodwood). The MC were working to negotiate 'a good lease' (for the RREC) which covered dilapidations as well as rental levels (Dilapidations had been estimated at £350,000.00). Malcolm then asked if there were any questions from the floor.

  • Peter Waller asked if there were any plans to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012 - Yes, possibly with the Queen reviewing Club motor cars displayed in the Long Walk from AX 201.
  • Simon Buck hoped a representative to the FBHVC would be appointed soon.
  • Clifton Spencer asked "who owns what at Hunt House?". Ownership of some items not known.

Tony thanked Malcolm for attending and speaking at our AGM and then gave details of the lunch arrangements. The meeting closed at 12.35pm and members adjourned to the bar to allow the dining tables and chairs to be laid out.

A traditional Christmas lunch was enjoyed by one hundred and fifteen members complimented by crackers, rocket balloons and a present for each of the ladies.

At a short meeting after the lunch at 3.35pm, the new Committee re-elected Tony Leach as Chairman, Ted Meachem as Secretary and Andrew Honour as Treasurer. Darren Collins agreed to continue as STO, Chris Tween confirmed that he would be Magazine Editor. Meeting closed 3.40pm.

Ted Meachem - Section Secretary


Annual General Meeting at the Chichester Park Hotel
The Section Annual General Meeting at the Chichester Park Hotel.
Malcolm Tucker presented twenty year badges to Ralph and Jean Taylor   Malcolm Tucker presented twenty year badges to John and Lyn Gough
Malcolm Tucker presented twenty year badges to Ralph and Jean Taylor and John and Lyn Gough. Photos: Ian Burt