Annual General Meeting – 26 Nov 2016


Minutes of the Cotswolds Canal Cruising Club. Held at Fromebridge Mill, Whitminster.

26th November 2016,

Members Present:

Martin & Sue Turner, Ged & Marilyn Layfield, Bob & Lynn Hallam, Richard & Hilary Whitby, Jan Thomas, Geoff & Beryl Smith, Marion & Mike Paisey, Peter & Lesley Taylor, Richard & Sallie Gleed, Jackie & Bob Stammers, Melvyn and Christine Bann, Andrew & Wendy Dyke.

All were welcomed by the Commodore and the meeting commenced at 1403.

Apologies were received from:

  • Roger & Yvonne Olver
  • Bob and Nicola Atkins
  • Mike & Jayne Provost
  • Jan & Ged Bird
  • John and Sheila Brown
  • Polly & Neil Fothergill
  • Sue Campbell
  • Lyn & Roger Mellors
  • Bruce & Margaret Paul
  • Tony Little & Maureen Waghorn
  • Jim and Joyce Hanks
  • Mo & Michael Wood
  • Gordon & Samantha Harrower


The minutes of the AGM held at Fromebridge Mill on 31st October 2015 were approved by those members present. (acceptance proposed by Geoff Smith and seconded by Peter Taylor)

Matters Arising:

There were no matters arising.

Commodore’s Report:

This report was previously published on the website and all members were informed. The Commodore commented on aspects of his report, notably the timing and nature of club cruises. It was his opinion that in order to accommodate those with other commitments later in the season, cruises planned for June & July were likely to attract more participants. He also felt that shorter cruises linked to a longer main cruise was the way to go. Members would then be able to join in and drop out when and where it suited them.

The Commodore stressed that such cruises should contain a social element where members could get together not only as a club but with other cruising organisations where possible. This would enable us to raise our club profile with other organisations and vice versa. This was not a proposition therefore no vote was taken but there was no dissent to the Commodore’s suggestion and much approval was voiced.

The Commodore raised the issue of communications within the club, in particular the use by some members of the Face Book pages. The subject was later covered in the Webmaster’s Report.

A good example encouraging the use of the club email system was described by Martin when he found himself moored nearby to some members displaying the club pennant but who were unaware that they were very close to others potentially missing the opportunity to meet up.

Member Secretary’s Report:

Marilyn summarised her report which had also been published in full on the website. She reported that the club now has 65 paid up members and one Honorary member. One couple, John & Margaret Gwalter have resigned from the club and have retired from boating.

Marilyn reported that electronic payments in respect of subscriptions & renewals were working very well and that Richard will circulate the details of the new bank account when next year’s subscriptions are due. She made the point that it is important (for accounting reasons) that members send their renewals when asked and not before.

Subscriptions will remain unchanged at £5 per head for the 2017 period.

Club and AWCC pennants were made available at the AGM to those wishing to purchase them. Pennants cost £13 each inclusive of P&P.

Marilyn asked that members notify her of any change in details of home address, email address or telephone numbers so that the records held by the club may be updated accordingly.

Bob made reference to the following extract from last year’s AGM:

In future all new members will be welcomed with a membership pack containing the constitution and other relevant information, this will be sent by land mail. All other communications will use the club email system or individual mails as required. Bob made a strong point that the Club’s system was for standard communications and not for use as a place to argue. Photographs should not be placed on the mail system but may be sent to the Webmaster for uploading onto the website. Please, if members receive a personal mail on the system be careful not to press reply to all.

Ged reassured Bob and the AGM that this was in place and that all new members (2016) had received a full “Welcome Pack” from the Member Secretary.

Bob also reported that he had been handing out the 4C’s business card to likely recruits (as were some of our other members). It was suggested that a supply of suitable cards be obtained and distributed to the membership. The present artwork would need amending to show the .club address for the website and email accounts. It was agreed that this would be done.

Cruise Report

Bob gave an account of the South East Cruise which contained many interesting and enjoyable elements but was only attended by one other club boat (in addition to Cormorant II). The cruise included the Avon, south Stratford, GU, Oxford, Wey & Godalming and a tidal run down the Thames to Limehouse. They were also able to partake in a cruise round the Olympic Park and the Lee & Stort.

A detailed report is on the website under “Club Cruises”. Bob made the point that members of the club were to be found at the most southerly, the furthest in the north west and the east during the cruising season.

The Commodore gave an account of the Midlands and River Avon cruises and the gathering of boats and visiting members at the Avon Festival. (Full report on the website). This cruise, which in planning was to be of a couple of weeks duration, evolved into around 6 weeks with members dropping in and out during different phases.

Two cruising plans were outlined for next season:

  1. Bob outlined plans to cruise the length of the Gloucester & Sharpness and to visit its environs, to include prime moorings for the Tall Ships festival, walks, museums and visits to points of interest with the possibility of one or more coach trips and perhaps a presentation and guided visit to the Purton hulks There will be a good deal of socialising. Detailed plans will be published on the website in due course but it was stressed by the Commodore that in order to secure the prime moorings, early notice of intent will be required. The cruise is planned to last 7 – 8 days commencing 27th May 2017. A lot of interest was shown and some 7-8 members said that they would like to take part.
  1. Martin outlined plans to cruise (also in June/July) to a rendezvous at Shardlow and then to cruise to Nottingham, Lincoln and Chesterfield where provisional arrangements have been made to be entertained by the Chesterfield Canal Society and a possible run up the Erewash canal.


Treasurer’s Report

The accounts were submitted by Richard Whitby (Treasurer), copies of which were distributed to the members present and which have been published on the website.

Sue Turner proposed that the Treasurer’s report be accepted; this was seconded by Ged  Layfield and the accounts were approved by the AGM.

The Commodore and Bob Hallam offered thanks on behalf of all the members to Richard for the care and work involved in setting up the new bank account and in preparing the accounts

Webmaster’s Report:

Ged summarised his report which has been published on the website. The members were again encouraged to make better use of the Members’ area with pictures and stories on their own pages.

Ged reported that our web hosting and mail server had been changed this year and that our official address is now and the group email was now this should have no effect on member use of the facility. This change has been introduced to reduce hosting costs. If the old address is inadvertently used, a pointer is in place to redirect such mail.

Touching on Martin’s earlier reference to the Face Book group, Ged emphasised that only some members used FB and information posted there would fail to reach the wider membership. Bob reminded users that this point was discussed at length at the last AGM where it was made very clear that the official means of communication between the club and its members is by group email and the website.

There is nothing to stop members having private communication with others using FB but it would be useful if members were posting their canal whereabouts, to send a brief email to the group which would perhaps enable others nearby to meet up if they so wished.

The issue of photographs was again raised. Ged asked that pictures be sent to him with a note outlining who, what, when and where were the subjects of such pictures which can then be posted on the website. Pictures of unnamed groups of people can be meaningless to those members who don’t know them whereas a brief identification would help to ensure that the personalities are, or become known to those who haven’t yet met.

It was suggested by Geoff Smith that Dropbox be used to share photographs. This sounds like a good idea and will be further examined.


All committee members retired from their posts.

There were no volunteers and the previous committee  members were re- elected,  en-bloc proposed by Wendy Dyke, seconded Geoff Smith , the vote was unanimous .

The Commodore pointed out that the serving committee members would need to be replaced next year and asked members to consider themselves for election. The duties are not onerous and they can easily be transferred to newly elected members.


Ged proposed that the AGM consider holding an on-line AGM in future to ensure that those unable to attend due to commitments, distance to travel, sickness or other reasons, are not excluded from the process.

The Commodore made the point that until 2 weeks ago the Secretary was uncertain that enough members would attend to hold a valid AGM.

Andrew Dyke outlined how such an AGM could easily be run over a period of several weeks

There was general support for holding an on-line AGM. The proposal was seconded by Martin Turner and a vote was taken. The proposal was approved by the majority, there being 3 abstentions.

Wendy Dyke suggested that a club social gathering could replace the present arrangement, possibly at an hotel where those travelling some distance could stay over and others could gather there to get together without the formalities and sometimes lengthy business part of the AGM. The suggestion was well received.

Jan reported that our Honorary member David Beamont was still coming to terms with his bereavement and that since Wendy (our founding Commodore) passed away he has had no contact from the club. She asked that the Secretary send a card to him from the membership. It was agreed that this would be appropriate. Ged reported that he had (as Webmaster) no email address for David to enable him to receive posts. All previous posts had been addressed to Wendy’s account. This omission was corrected and David will be included in the group mail in future.


There being no other business, the AGM was closed by the Commodore at 1625.

After a short interval, the Commodore gave a short presentation about the proposed Chesterfield Canal cruise for 2017.

Jan gave an informative presentation about the Cotswolds Boatmobility project.

Ged Layfield
Club secretary