Welcome to the Ross & District Walking Group.


AGM Minutes 20th March 2013


Minutes of the 29th Annual General Meeting held at the Larruperz Centre, Ross-on-Wye, at 7.15pm on Wednesday March 20th 2013

1. Apologies: Julia Murphy, Eileen Lyon, Marjorie Searl, Deanne Fishbourne, Tony & Marlies Hunt, Judith Stares, Alex Boswell, Barry Sleet, Virginia Jensen, Margaret & Roger Williams, Alison & Andrew Chalmers, Jan & David Mander, Sylvia Greer, Katrina Stephens, Ann Titmus, John Davies, Jean Spencer, Pat Woodward, Gill Blows.
Tony & Marlies passed on their thanks for members’ support during Marlies’ illness.

2. Minutes of 28th AGM: These were accepted, approved and signed.

3.Chairman’s Report:
After welcoming so many members to the 29th AGM, Gill thanked everyone who contributed to the year’s walks. Despite the bad weather this winter, the Group had managed to operate a pretty full programme.  Members had been generous hosts on occasions too, providing soup, cakes, tea and coffee to weary walkers. Gill encouraged everyone to keep on proposing and leading walks and provided some leaflets for  inspiration. She also paid tribute to the committee members and officers for their commitment and work, specifically …..
Rosemary Sutton for organising a very enjoyable social afternoon, featuring an illustrated presentation by Marian Phillips on her epic walk to Compostella de Santiago, with tea and refreshments.
Michael Abrahams is responsible for producing and maintaining the members’ photo gallery and has proposed that we produce a 30th Anniversary Calendar for 2014, using photos taken on our walks. Mike & Esther also organised the successful “New Year’s Walk” with lunch at the Pengethley Hotel.
Elaine George took on Allison Chalmers’ research for our walking weekend in Dunster and managed the event expertly with husband, Rob. Elaine & Rob also led a very successful “Round the Houses” in December, calling at hosts Roger & Margaret Williams, Grethe Cleaton, and Jean and John Spencer en route. Many thanks to all concerned.
Walks Co-ordinator, Jon Powell collates all our walks information into the easily understood, co-ordinated programme that we all appreciate. He also organised a Christmas Party for members at Penyard House, which we aim to repeat again this year.

Membership Secretary and Treasurer, Harry Britten Austin works tirelessly to keep us informed and solvent. He is also full of ideas to keep members active, including canoeing, sailing and cycling events.
Secretary, Martin Hudson for organising meetings and taking minutes. He is also organising this year’s Walking Week-end on the Isle of Wight and has volunteered to give a talk on Walking in Montenegro at the Autumn Social.

Tribute to Robin Bailey:  Gill thanked Robin, who retired as President, on behalf of the membership. She said he had been a pillar of good sense, kindness, calm and tact. She said she had benefitted considerably from his timely advice and support.

4. Treasurer’s Report
See the attached Statement of Accounts for year 1st March 2012 to 28th February 2013. Harry pointed out two major changes from previous years – a substantial reduction in subscriptions, as we gave ourselves a free membership year, and the funds tied up in stock ie sweatshirts and poloshirts. As a consequence we have gone from a surplus of £550.43 in 2011/12 to a deficit of £510.48 this year. As we are holding stock worth £309, though, our real deficit for the year is really just over £200.

Turning to the Accounts for Anniversary Dinners and Walking Week-ends, it can be seen that last year’s Anniversary Dinner broke even and the Walking Week-end at Dunster yielded a small underspend of £36 which has been absorbed into the general fund. We are holding a £910 balance for this year’s Anniversary Dinner at Pengethley, pending final settlement. The Committee decided to fund the gratuity for the dinner from general funds as will be indicated in next year’s accounts. Finally there is a small balance of £25 in the account for this year’s week-end at Warner’s on the Isle of Wight, following payment of deposits for 42 places.

Financial Summary: Taking out money held for the Dinner and Walking Week-end and adding in the value of stock, Harry reported that our general funds and assets stand at £2,862.06, which is down £201.48 from last year. Not bad considering that existing members paid no subs last year!
Proposal 1: It was proposed and agreed that the Treasurer’s Report be
Proposal 2: It was proposed and agreed that subscriptions be charged at the unchanged rate of £18 joint, £10 single and £5 social for the year ending 30th April 2014 and fell due at the AGM.
Proposal 3: A vote of thanks was proposed and supported for Gill James as the independent examiner of accounts, who also agreed to fulfil  the function for the 2013/14 financial year.

5. Membership Secretary’s Report
We currently have 123 members  (58 single or life, 64 joint and one social). Since the last AGM we have lost 3 members and gained 14.

6. Walks Co-ordinator’s Report
There were 100 walks submitted, which is 11 more than last year. 10 were grade 1, 16 were grade 2, 73 were grade 3, and just one was grade 4. Due to inclement weather and conditions underfoot only 86 of the walks actually took place.
Jon requested that any cancelled walks be re-scheduled as soon as possible to help fill in the two-monthly programme. He requested that walk leaders contact him to arrange this as soon as possible please.
Jon thanked members that had led walks and repeated Gill’s encouragement to others to start leading. Finally he thanked Harry for his assistance with printing and distribution.

7. Walking Statistics
Gill James presented these, pointing out that they applied to the period from the last AGM until the end of February 2013. In future, they will run from March 1st to February 28th.
133 different walkers participated during the period, including members, triallists and visitors. 552 miles have been covered by a total of 1,454 walkers.
80 people have participated in less than 25% of the programme. Whilst 5 have completed more than 50% of walks, Esther & Michael Abrahams have done 58% (50 walks); Mary Richards has done 66% (57 walks); and Marje Searl has done 76% (78 walks).
58 members have led or co-led walks, with 10 members leading 6 or more. Gill Moxham and Allison Chalmers have each led 10 walks; Gill James has led 11 and Chris James 12.
Well done to them all. Small gifts were presented.

8. Election of Officers and Committee Members
The existing committee members were all still within their term of tenure and willing to continue in office. Their re-appointment was unanimously approved.
Robin Bailey thanked Gill Moxham for her earlier words and said he was grateful to have had the opportunity to be President. He proposed John Pullen as the next President, stating that John had been a long-term supporter of the Group, had served on the committee, and was still an active member. Jean Harrison seconded this nomination and John was unanimously elected.

9. Any Other Business
* Chris James asked members to use grade 4 in walk descriptions when the degree of difficulty merits it. Rough and rocky terrain and long, steep slopes would be good indicators.
* Joan Mason asked whether a quantification of climb and descent should be added to walk descriptions. Gill Moxham said that the committee would consider this.
* Members were advised that Group funds are available to pay for parking at churches and/or pubs, when considered appropriate and no food/drink is being purchased. £10 can be paid and reclaimed from Harry.
* Support was sought and expressed for a 30th Anniversary Calendar next year. Harry, Michael and Robin are to choose members’ photos to include.
* Harry reminded members that there are still RWG sweatshirts available in all sizes for £15 and that the Ross Walking Festival is on the last week-end in September.
* Richard Hales said he has copies of the early walking programmes of the Group if anyone is interested in seeing them.


…..And Finally
The evening ended with a greatly appreciated entertainment session from DICK BRICE, performing his own brand of songs, poems and ditties, many based on his home area in the Forest of Dean. Great Fun!


Martin Hudson
RWG Secretary
31st March 2013

















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