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Hon. Secretary’s Report

Officers’ Reports

The A.G.M. cometh, once again another year has slipped by.  The Club has again been active throughout the year both caving wise and in the other activities in which cavers indulge.  Membership is still rising slowly and it was nice to see that only a few members did not continue their membership this year.

Last year’s meeting requested that action should be taken to secure a lease on the land surrounding the Cuthbert’s entrance.  Work still carries on here, many letters have passed twixt ourselves, Cluttons (Agents for Inveresk) and the appointed "Inveresk" solicitor.  The progress so far has been; a lease being offered at a nominal rent (£100 per annum) covering a rather larger piece of land than we originally asked for provided that we were prepared to pay the legal costs incurred by the mill in setting up such a lease.  We agreed to pay no more than £150 plus VAT and the ball was returned to their court, and we await their reply.

Whilst on the subject of Cuthbert’s, Dave Irwin has been hard at work on the Cuthbert's Report, and has attended meetings of the Committee to update the Club on progress. With the help of Barry Wilton and a small team of publication producing specialists, he hopes to have it at the printers by Easter next year.

Wind is and always will be a problem at the Belfry, but never so much as one night earlier in the year when a cool Mendip breeze removed a large proportion of the tackle store roof (mainly above the M.R.O. section).  The M.R.O. were evacuated to the library and the tackle to the showers. Obviously the M.R.O. section had to be repaired with great haste if the service was to remain operational in its usual efficient form.  The following agreement was made with the M.R.O.; that the Club would bear the cost of materials to renew the roof and would do the work in their own time.  If the M.R.O. required the job to be done in less time the Club had no objections to them paying a builder to complete the work. The M.R.O. instantly agreed to stand any labour costs and the job was done in double quick time.  It is now for the A.G.M. to decide if they want to collect such monies from the M.R O.

After the above, the M.R.O. realised that they have no formal standing in relation to the rescue store, and asked the club if it would be possible to resolve this.  The Committee saw no reason why this should not be done and has submitted a proposal to the A.G.M. giving guide lines on how they feel this should be done.

The tackle store was built for the Club by "Alfie" and Jill Tuck.  The saddest news of the year was that of Jill's death.  She was well known and liked by the older members and, not long before she died, she went on a trip to the Risca lead mines which her husband Norman and a number of the younger members, who all enjoyed meeting her.  She always had the club's interests at heart and in her will she bequeathed us £1000. The Committee decided to spend this on upgrading the library and dedicating it to Jill.  A tree will also be planted on the Belfry site in her memory.  Norman has now taken up Jill’s membership of the club.

On a brighter note the Club organised the Wessex Challenge this year and again won it.  A substantial sum of money was raised by this event and credit must be given to Andy Sparrow and his helpers for organising the event and to Dany and Brian Workman for the catering.

A sad loss to the Club will be that of its long standing auditor, Joan Bennett is resigning from the position this year after many years invaluable service to the Club.  I am sure she has all our thanks for doing such a great Job for so long.

The Committee will also suffer the loss of three or its number who have worked very hard in the Club's interest.  Brian Workman has been Membership, Sec. for a number of years and has put the Club into the age of the computer with his attempt to regulate the membership lists. Mark Lumley, the committee room will be a quieter place without him.  He has been Caving Sec. for 2 years and the emphasis has definitely been on "caving".  Tony Jarratt leaves the Hut Warden's position so he may get to grips with the new Jill Tuck memorial library.

There is no election this year as three people have left the Committee and two have been nominated, therefore these people are automatically elected.  I have again enjoyed the year's work but. I will tender my resignation now in readiness for the 1988 A.G.M. as I feel that holding a post for more than three years you may become a little fed up and not do the job as well as when you are first elected. Bob Cork, Hon. Sec.