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SECTION ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING AND CHRISTMAS LUNCH, CHICHESTER PARK HOTEL
Sunday 1 December 2013

Well over one hundred members arrived to be greeted by coffee/tea and hot mince pies.

The formal meeting started at 11.30am and after welcoming everybody Acting Chairman Tony Leach asked the Club Chairman, Trevor Baldwin, to present long service badges: Forty year to John Bray; Thirty year to Peter Parkinson and to Alan Tiley; Twenty year to Adrienne Grew, Tony Leach, David & Christine Heater.

The Secretary then read out a long list of 'Apologies for Absence' from members unable to attend including Committee member Peter Allchurch who had popped over to Kenya and Bill Bradford who had popped over to Melbourne (both on family visits).

Tony then made an announcement and asked for a few moments of silence in memory of Section Chairman David Gray, who had sadly lost his battle with cancer and had been 'Promoted to Glory' on 22 November last. Chris Tween then asked the meeting to join with him in celebrating David's life with a round of applause.

The Acting Chairman said that the minutes of the 2012 AGM had been previously circulated and asked if it was the meeting's wish that he should sign these as being a true record. The meeting agreed and the minutes were duly signed. There were no matters arising.

Tony reported briefly on some of the events and commented on several items which he felt David would have mentioned. He thanked all the committee for their support in running the events and thanked the members for their support in attending the events.

Secretary Ted began his report with an explanation of the name codes on the alphabetical listing of members' lunch menu choices that would be shown on the dining tables. He gave out the generous total of 2014 Section contributions to date which included the additional sum of 65 pence. This was kindly donated by one member on hearing that the recent CSS London to Brighton Meet had shown a disastrous financial loss of 65p. At this point Tony confirmed that the new letters after the Secretary's name, NGE, stood for 'not good enough'. Ted promised to try to do better in future.

He also announced that during the year the Section had been able to make a total of over £1,300 in charitable donations and that the recently purchased Section Sail Flags had met with approval. He thanked and congratulated our webmaster, Ian Burt, on maintaining 'probably the best Section Website'.

There was one new candidate standing for election to the Committee, Ben Grew, who had also agreed to take on the role of Magazine Editor.

The draft programme for 2014 had been distributed to the meeting (along with an interest flyer for the Normandy Weekend) and he mentioned the South of England Rally at Wellington College, the proposed Normandy Weekend, the Mary Rose joint event with Great Western and Wessex Sections and the Section Annual Rally to the West Country. He thanked the BW's and the other 'unsung heroes' for their input, and asked for any topics that members would like discussed at next year's Conference.

Treasurer Tony Leach confirmed that the published Section draft accounts had been examined and approved by Nigel Bulpitt and signed copies were available. He said that the figures showed a loss and trusted that the notes to the 2012/2013 figures explained same. The overall finances were healthy and Contributions for 2013 had been a record again. Risking the wrath of the meeting the Secretary repeated one of the reasons for the excess of expenditure over income. There were no Section funds on deposit accounts (because of the poor interest rates) but our investment in pre increase postage stamps was in effect a 38% return on first class purchases and a 32% return on the second class purchases (we have enough postage stamps in stock for all the 2014 mailings).

Peter Parkinson suggested that the Committee should try to build up the bank balance in the New Year. Andrew Honour proposed that the accounts be adopted and Chris Tween seconded the motion. Carried nem con. The re-appointment of the Examiner, Nigel Bulpitt, was proposed by Gary Wragg and seconded by Simon Buck. Carried nem con.

Chris Tween was presented with a 'thank you' (in the traditional RREC carrier bag) for his services as Magazine Editor over the past four years.

Peter Allchurch, Robin Brailey, Darren Collins, John Forrest, Tony Leach, Ted Meachem, Maurice Pitchford, Ray Thatcher and Chris Tween had signified their willingness to stand for re-election to the Committee. Additionally, Ben Grew had been nominated and agreed to stand for election. In the absence of any other nominations the Acting Chairman asked if all those standing could be elected en bloc. Proposed by John Bray, seconded by Kate Meachem. Carried nem con.

The draft programme for 2014 had been distributed to the meeting. Maurice Pitchford gave some details of the Normandy Weekend. Chris Tween gave some details of the West Country Rally adding that there were now only a few rooms available.

After closing the formal meeting at 12.18pm the Acting Chairman asked Trevor Baldwin to say a few words.

Trevor said that he was confident that the Club was moving forward and gave a review of the Hunt House staffing levels (saving monies on salaries) which saw Julian Spencer's position changed and Jaclyn Smith appointed General Manager.

The continued investment in digitising the motor car records saved space and meant that (to the benefit of the SHRMF as well) there would be no immediate need to move away from the Hunt House.

2014 would be the last year the annual Rally would be held at Rockingham Castle. The Vanden Plas Owners' Club had been invited to attend in 2014 and he was hoping to hire the BBMF (at some expense). On Club finances Trevor said that the accounts (due out with the Jan/Feb Bulletin) would probably show a loss of some £15,000 due to the high costs of solicitors for legal advice.

The attendance at the NEC was a great success with one of our member's motor car winning 'Best in Show'. The Club would be supporting the French Section at the Paris Retromobile Show and a Continental Rally is being planned in Holland.

The Hunt House workshops were being reorganised to cater for the Seminars and the Club key cutting service was proving very successful. A new up to date telephone system was being installed and Trevor requested that more members pay their annual subscriptions by Direct Debit.

Tony thanked Trevor for his update on Club affairs and asked if there were any questions from the floor.

Question: Bernie Batchelor asked whereabouts of the next Annual Rally venue?
Reply: Numerous sites had been surveyed by the Annual Rally team and TM was also investigating one (Folkestone Racecourse).

Question: Simon Buck asked how the recipient for the 'best' Section trophy was chosen.
Reply: TB suggested that members should write in to THH.

Question: Paul Hoddinott asked the position on the BEC Ltd?
Reply: The company had been offered to the Club as a Trust but this was not acceptable to the Club.

The Secretary asked members to vacate the room to allow the staff to set up the dining tables for 118 diners and for them to collect their Menu choice cards, printed by the hotel, from the Reception hall.

The newly elected committee posed for a magazine photograph. After drinks in the bar, members sat down to the usual traditional Christmas lunch. Many members congratulated committee members on an all-round splendid day.

Ted Meachem - Section Secretary

At a short meeting of the new committee Chris Tween was elected Chairman, Ted Meachem was re-elected Secretary and Tony Leach was re-elected Treasurer. Darren Collins agreed to continue as STO and Ben Grew was in place as Magazine Editor.


The AGM.
Over one hundred members attended the AGM.
A tradional Chrismas Lunch.
A traditional Chrismas Lunch was served to 118 members.
Photos: Ian Burt