I am sorry to have to make a contribution which might dampen people’s enthusiasm but I am afraid that this stream is running under a couple of fundamental misunderstandings of what was discussed at the Committee meeting on Saturday.
Firstly, it was not decided at the meeting that the Abbotsholme weekend would host this year’s Annual Gathering. The confusion is no doubt caused because in recent years the Annual Gathering has been held in conjunction with a weekend rider’s event, at either Abbotsholme or Shuttleworth. Notwithstanding this the Annual Gathering has always been a separate event and may be held as such. To emphasise the distinction, the first Abbotsholme weekend in 2007 was held in March and the Annual Gathering at Stanford Hall later in the same year.
Traditionally the Annual Gathering was held on the first Sunday in September and there was a great deal of criticism from the membership when the event was moved, both in respect of the new venue and the new date. The weekend fixed for the Abbotsholme event this year (11th to 13th of August) is earlier than usual and clashes with the height of the summer holidays period. Consequently various members of the Committee (me included) are unable to attend. I anticipate that a lot of members will also have other commitments at the time.
When Kevin reported on Saturday that there had been little uptake for the Abbotsholme weekend the Committee decided that a final date for entries should be set, being the end of this month. Whether or not the event proceeded would depend on the numbers committed to attend by 31 January 2017. I understand that the event will require at least 40 entrants in order to be viable and the Club cannot sanction the event being held unless there is such commitment. However, the Committee decided that the Annual Gathering will be held at a later date and at another venue to be decided having regard to the convenience of the membership. This means most likely that the Annual Gathering will be held at a location in the Midlands and sometime during September.
The second inaccuracy concerns Shuttleworth. The Committee has not decided that Shuttleworth will definitely not go ahead. The Shuttleworth event last year was organised by Richard Martin who is the Club’s only point of contact with Old Warden and who was not in attendance at the meeting on Saturday as he is not a member of the Committee. Without Richard’s input the Committee could not make a decision either way – fundamentally it was not certain that Richard was prepared to arrange another event at Shuttleworth. Accordingly the Committee decided to approach Richard before making any decision as to whether an event proceeds there, as well as the date and the form of any such event.
The Committee have agreed to meet again at the Club AGM in April , details of which will be published in Yowl and posted in the members’ area of this forum imminently. A final decision as to the Club’s events for 2017 will be made at that time. The minutes of the Committee meeting will also be published in the next edition of Yowl.
I feel that one final comment is appropriate. Issues of this sort should not be dealt with in the open forum. The subscription-paying members are the only people with legitimate interest in what events the Club holds and similarly they are the only people who have a right to a report of the workings of the Committee. If anyone would like to continue with this then I would be happy to answer any messages posted to the forum dealing with Club Matters and Announcements. Incidentally the professional advice received from the web-designer engaged to build the new Club website is that all forum traffic will be required to be carried out inside the members area. Perhaps that requirement at least will avoid further similar hitches.
Regards to everyone