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Minutes Of The 1978 Annual General Meeting

The meeting was held at the Belfry on Saturday 7th October 1978 and convened by the Hon. Secretary Tim Large. A quorum being present the meeting was opened at 2.10pm.  The Hon. Secretary asked for nominations for a chairman. Alan Thomas and Colin Dooley were nominated from the floor.  A vote was taken and Alan Thomas was elected.

The chairman then asked for any outstanding ballot papers and members resolutions.  Also nominations for three tellers were requested. Sett, Garth Dell and Angela Dooley were elected.  Roy Bennett proposed a vote of thanks to the constitution sub-committee (Kangy, Mike Palmer and John Turner) for their work.  Seconded by Alan Thomas.  Motion carried.  The chairman said that the A.G.M. was a place to air grievances about the club or 'forever hold thy peace'.  He also pointed out that if anyone was unhappy with any point of the meeting he/she should say so then and have the matter righted immediately if the matter was justified.  It was no good complaining when the meeting had ended.

It was proposed by Dave Irwin and seconded by Martin Grass that the 1977 A.G.M. minutes be taken as read. This was carried without dissent. The chairman asked if there were any matters arising from these minutes, which had been published prior to the meeting.

Dave Irwin then said that the B.B. Editors and Treasurers reports for 1977 had not been adopted. Be proposed that they were now adopted, seconded by Joan Bennett -carried unanimously.

Barrie Wilton said that he would like to see the club formally express thanks to Alfie for his many years of service to the club, particularly as B.B. editor.  Kengy suggested a formal letter of thanks to Alfie.  Barrie Wilton then proposed that a formal vote of thanks be given to Alfie for his services to the club and a letter sent to him to that effect, seconded by King.  Carried unanimously.

Tim Large pointed out that last year there was a problem with outstanding Belfry fees.  Chris Batstone said that there were a few outstanding but the position was considerably better than last year.

Joan Bennett said that as the club auditor she was much happier with the present position although some stronger action should be taken with persistent debtors.  Some discussion took place, the general theme being that something should be done to discourage Belfry debts in future.  Joan Bennett proposed that stronger action be taken against Belfry debtors, at the discretion of the committee in order that these debts are retrieved, seconded by Barrie Wilton - carried unanimously.

Joan Bennett then proposed, seconded by Nigel Taylor that the minutes be adopted.  Carried unanimously.

The Hon. Secretary’s report had been published and was taken as read.  The chairman asked the Hon. Secretary if be had anything further to add. Tim Large said he had no further comment to make.  Dave Irwin proposed, seconded by Tom Temple, that the Hon. Secretary's report be adopted - motion carried.

The Hon. Treasurer’s report was published and available at the meeting.  The chairman asked the Hon. Treasurer if he bad any comments to make. Barrie Wilton said he had nothing to add.  Bob Cross asked why £247 had been spent on spares this year with only a small sales figure.  Barrie explained that much of this figure had been spent on the clubs purchase of caving boots which were in the course of being sold.  Although some boots had been sold, the accounts closed before the money was received. Dave Irwin proposed seconded by Joan Bennett that the Hon. Treasurers report be adopted and a vote of thanks to Barrie for his services to the club.  Carried unanimously.

The Auditors report then followed, being previously published.  Joan Bennett said the books showed a fair account of the club s financial position.  The meeting then adopted the Auditor’s report for the coming year.

The Caving Secretary’s report followed this had been previously published in the B.B.  Nigel Taylor said he held nothing to add.  Tom Temple proposed, seconded by Chris Batstone that the Caving Secretary’s report be adopted.  Carried without dissent.

The Climbing Secretary's report was taken next, being published the B.B.  Dave Irwin said that Russ Jenkins had accepted the fact that climbing was no longer an active part of the clubs activities.  Graham Wilton-Jones said that he thought it a good idea for the club to keep itself informed of climbing information, accommodation, contacts, and the likes, though someone else like the Hon. Caving Secretary would have to relay correspondence back to the club.  Martin Grass said there was still much interest in mountaineering and hill walking and that club membership of the B.M.C. should be maintained.  No vote was necessary.  Nigel Taylor proposed, seconded by Dave Irwin that the Climbing Secretary's report be adopted.  Carried unanimously.

The Tackle Master’s report then followed having been published in the B.B.  Graham Wilton-Jones said that more tackle had gone missing and he was in a dilemma as to who could have done it and what to do about it.  Nigel Taylor expressed concern over finding tackle spread around Mendip for long periods of time which had not been booked out.  Jok Orr suggested a deposit system for taking tackle out to encourage people to return it.  John Turner suggested more restricted access keys only being available from a few selected people.  Dave Turner disagreed with the last speaker, as it would penalise the bone-fide member who caved regularly, particularly during mid-week when the select few could be difficult to contact.  Pete Franklin endorsed the idea of a more restricted access to the tackle.  Chris Batstone suggested exploring tighter control on the booking out system.  Colin Dooley asked whether this meeting could give a directive to the new committee to control the tackle more efficiently.  Jok Orr said people should be made more responsible for tackle by paying a deposit.  John Turner and Nigel Taylor both suggested better control over tackle particularly the reserve store which often finds its way into the regular store and subsequently goes missing.  Tom Temple proposed, seconded by Annie Wilton-Jones that the committee be directed to control the tackle more efficiently but at the same time maintain reasonable access.  Carried unanimously.

Bob Cross proposed, seconded by John Dukes that the Tackle Masters report be adopted.  Carried unanimously.

The B. B. Editors report was taken next, already having been published in the B.B.  Dave Irwin had no further comments to make.  John Dukes raised the question of improving printing methods if financially possible.  Dave Irwin replied that the club had so far relied on privately owned machines and perhaps the club should consider purchasing its own.  Sett said he knows of a nearly new machine (gestetner) going for around £15.  The meeting agreed to purchase such a machine.  Pete Franklin said he also knew of a printing machine and would investigate the possibility of buying it.

Colin Dooley said that the B.B. had not progressed and the position was no different from the previous year.  He reiterated the need for the club to have its own printing facilities, also the need for more material from the members in order to improve the B. B. and this was down to individual members.  John Dukes proposed, seconded by Tom Temple that the B.B. Editors report be adopted. Carried unanimously.

Dave Irwin said of the Librarians report that the club had a collection of rare and valuable books. These should be locked away and only be available on application to the librarian.  Nigel Taylor suggested storing these books in a fireproof box even if the club had to purchase one.  Chris Batstone proposed, seconded by John Dukes that the Librarians report be adopted. Carried unanimously.

Hut Engineer’s report which had been previously printed in the B.B. was next taken.  Bob Cross said he had nothing to add.  Nigel Taylor referred to a letter in the B.B. regarding half completed work.  He suggested that people such as these either come and do some work or keep their mouth shut. The chairman endorsed this comment. Dave Irwin proposed, seconded by Wally Wilkinson that the Hut Engineer report be adopted.  Carried unanimously.

Graham Wilton-Jones had nothing further to add to his previously published Publication Officers report.  Dave Irwin proposed, seconded, by Annie Wilton-Jones that the report be adopted. Carried unanimously.

A report on the Ian Dear Memorial Fund was not available as Mike Palmer was not present.  Dave Irwin said that there had been one application from Nick Thorne who had been allowed £40 towards an Austrian trip.  A report on this should soon appear in the B.B.

Tim Large said that Les Peters, Bob Bagshaw and Roy Bennett were prepared to stand as Trustees.  Alan Thomas and Roy Bennett were nominated by the committee.  Sett was nominated by Nigel Taylor and seconded by Tom Temple.  A vote was, called for by the chairman; Les Peters, Bob Bagshaw, Roy Bennett and Alan Thomas were elected.

The committee results were received from the tellers by the chairman.  Those elected were :- Tim Large, Dave Irwin, Sue Tucker, Chris Batstone, Graham Wilton-Jones, Martin Grass, Nigel Taylor, Bob Cross and John Dukes.

The following committee members were given the following posts:-

Hon. Secretary: - Tim Large

Hon. Treasurer: - Sue Tucker

Caving Secretary: - Martin Grass

Tackle Master: - John Dukes

Hut Warden: - Chris Batstone

Hut Engineer: - Nigel Taylor

B.B. Editor: - Dave Irwin

The ballot papers were then burned on the Belfry fire.  Martin Bishop then proposed that Bob Cross take on the duties of liaison with the climbing and mountaineering world in order to maintain useful contacts the meeting agreed.

The meeting then adopted the Hon. Auditors report and elected Joan Bennett as Hon. Auditor for 1979.


The chairman then read a letter from Garth Dell regarding an incident which happened at the Belfry and resulted in his membership being cancelled.  He appealed to the club for reinstatement of his membership. Dave Irwin replied on behalf of the committee explaining the position.  Much discussion ensued.  Eventually two motions emerged.  Firstly by Pete Franklin, seconded by Dave Irwin that the suspension be cut to six months.  Carried unanimously.  Secondly Tom Temple, seconded by Wally Wilkinson that his membership be reinstated immediately.  Voting 17 for - 12 against motion carried.

This motion was carried after prolonged and serious discussion and by no means sets a precedent. It was proposed by Jok Orr, seconded by Val Wilkinson that the original committee action regarding Garth Dell should be fully endorsed by the meeting.  Carried with a large majority.

There being no other business the meeting closed at4.20pm.