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Hon. Secretary’s Report

OFFICERS’ REPORTS

So now the BEC is 51 years old.  The club wound themselves up to the fiftieth celebrations and would appear to have not come down again.  The membership as a whole, have pulled together in true BEC style and the club has enjoyed an exceptionally active year.  Members have been involved in many notable achievements, the Cheddar Risings, Daren Cilau extensions, a very successful club expedition to Austria and the reopening of Wigmore Swallet as a club digging project, to name but a few.

The Belfry improvements are not only finished. but paid for, thanks to the efforts of the treasurer and many kind donations by members new and old.  Phil Romford, Alan Thomas, Nigel Taylor and Butch are also to be thanked for their fund raising efforts.

If anything marred the year it was the unpleasantness of the SSSI problem, this affected all the clubs on Mendip as you may or may not have read in the BB.  The actions taken by the NCC in respect of this matter seriously damaged our relations with the landowners, and as a result a number of caves have been closed. 

The BEC has been active in the efforts to restore the status quo, because of our commitment to supporting the local landowners a committee decision was taken to close St. Cuthbert’s for a period of 2 weeks earlier in the year as a gesture of solidarity. This decision was not taken lightly and I hope members understand why such action had to be taken.

The Committee has adopted a policy of encouraging active caving throughout the club, and giving special support to our younger members.  It was with this in mind that after a long discussion that we decided to replace the now dated ultra-lightweight tackle with an amount of SRT equipment.  This subject will no doubt be enlarged upon by the Tackle Officer in his report.

Efforts are still being made to purchase the Cuthbert's lease but due to our lack of funds at the beginning of the year we have not pushed this matter.

It pleases me this AGM to see the club has returned to its former glory and an election is necessary to decide on next year's committee.  Last year we had the unfortunate position whereby we had insufficient candidates to form a full committee, this was rectified by using the co-option rule in the constitution.  As directed, the committee has drafted proposals for constitutional changes that will allow a committee to be elected from the floor at the AGM, if such an emergency situation should ever arise again.

I personally would like to thank all the present committee for their Herculean efforts throughout the year~ which has made my job as secretary that much easier.  A special thank you, I think, is in order to Jeremy Henley who, unfortunately for the club, is resigning from the post of treasurer. He has made major contributions to the running of the club during his term of office and will be missed in the future.

In conclusion, I would like to say that I have enjoyed carrying out the secretarial duties for the club, and I hope the forth coming year will prove as fruitful as the last. Bob Cork, Hon Sec, Sept 1986