Annual General Meeting of West Dorset Branch of CAMRA

Held at 

The Boardroom, Palmer’s Brewery, Bridport on 11th November 2003

1 Apologies for Absence

30 members attended the meeting. Apologies were received from: David Edwards, Nick Holland, Alex Moran, Doug Airey, Trevor Vacher-Dean, Vanessa Hartigan, John Sprague, Tony & Tessa Smith

2 Minutes of last AGM

It was pointed out that the discussion on the ‘Financial Compact’ was missing from the minutes. The Secretary apologised for this omission and undertook to issue an addendum. (This he circulated on 21st Nov 03). Otherwise the minutes were accepted as an accurate account of proceedings.

3 Matters Arising

For the benefit of members who were not present at the 2002 meeting, the Secretary gave a précis of the background to the Financial Compact.

4 Election of Officers

The following officers were returned:

Richard Bates Chairman

Tony Egerton Secretary/Membership/Pubs Officer

Alex Bardswell Campaigns/Press Officer/Cider Rep

Alastair Tillotson. Treasurer

Richard Gabe Social Secretary

Peter Hammond Tasting Panel Chairman

Allan Swannell Committee

Frank Younghusband Committee

David Harris Committee

Peter Smith Sub-branch Chair (elected by Heart of Wessex sub-branch)

5 Chairman’s Report

The Chairman reported that the year held good and bad points:

Amongst the good were another very successful Dorchester Beerex, a promising inaugural Bridport festival and continuing support to the Weymouth Octoberfest. The policy of holding meetings in a different venue each month was bringing more members out, but it was still the main body of active members usually involved. A consensus that the meetings should move to the second Tuesday (instead of Wednesday) was accepted. The Chairman appealed for a greater attendance from membership at these meetings. Overall the branch was in a healthy state but, like all branches, we need more active members

The bad points included closure of Hardy brewery and the temporary suspension of our newsletter, due to work pressures. The brewery closure was sudden, but possibly not unforeseen following events at EP over the past three years. Michel Hooper-Immins, the BLO for Hardy, gave the meeting a synopsis of events leading to the closure. Hopefully the newsletter will be reinstated soon and the Chairman appealed for more input from members.

During the year it had been decided to give the branch a more outward presence and to this end we have now produced our own West Dorset logo and publicity banners. We are selling branch clothing, complete with the logo, at subsidised prices and encourage all to inspect the samples available at the meeting.

The new edition of the local guide will be launched at the Dorchester Beerex and membership is encouraged to pass any last minute details to the Secretary as soon as possible.

He concluded by thanking Cleeves Palmer, Adrian, Jacky and Darren for their hospitality and work in arranging the meeting

6 Treasurer’s Report

The Treasurer circulated his report for examination by the membership. He explained the ‘compact’ had now been signed but to date HQ had not asked for returns of monies. He also commented on the extra expenditure this year of the clothing subsidy and banner costs.

7 Wessex Region Report

As Branch Regional Representative, the Secretary appraised the meeting of current concerns within CAMRA. 

We still need a Liaison Officer for Goldfinch Brewery, preferably from our own branch. Volunteers please contact Secretary.

Michel Hooper-Immins, as BLO for Hardy, asked why he had not received any Regional meeting minutes. The Secretary replied that he should get them as right and promised to take the matter up with the Regional secretary.

The Secretary invited any member, especially branch committee members, to join him at any of the quarterly meetings throughout the region and reminded the meeting that West Dorset will be hosting the August 2004 meeting, which is provisionally planned for the Boot in Weymouth.

8 Sub-Branch Report

Nothing was received from Heart of Wessex. However the Treasurer reports that apart from the initial funding of £200 in 1997 the sub-branch has been self-sufficient. The Secretary added that Doug Airey will be standing down as Chairman due to family reasons. Peter Smith will be his successor.

9 Social Activities

The Social Secretary is planning brewery trips to Branscombe, Otter and Stonehenge breweries in the coming year. The Social account used to fund these activities stands at approximately £300.

The Secretary added that the Maltings trip next year is earlier than usual (3rd April) and would all those interested contact him before the New Year.

10 GBG/Pub of the Year Selection Process

The committee had decided to use the CAMRA POY model marking procedure for next years branch POY. Nominations were required now and between now and February members would be invited to visit the nominated pubs and complete a judging form. It has also been decided to announce the winner at the Dorchester Beer festival to gain maximum publicity. (for the pub and the Campaign).

11 Any Other Business

The Secretary said that due to the direct debit scheme introduced by Head Office GBG sales to members from the branch had sharply declined in the past two years. As we do not wish to be left with unsold copies the branch will be reducing its order next year. Any member wishing to purchase their GBG from the Branch must ensure that the Secretary is aware of this.

The Branch is still without its own website and volunteers are sought for ‘Webmaster’.

Members were requested to lobby their local licensees to see if they would stock the new local guide. Area sellers were also required.

Diary dates for next year

Dorchester Beerex 6th/7th February

Maltings 3rd April

GBBF 3rd – 7th August

Regional Meeting 14th August


Octoberfest 7th – 9th October