Annual General meeting of West Dorset Branch of CAMRA
Colliton Club, Dorchester
27th September 2013
1 Apologies for Absence
Alex Bardswell, Jacky Follett
2 Minutes of the last AGM
The minutes of the last AGM were circulated and accepted.
3 Matters Arising
There were no matters arising
4 Election of Officers
The current committee is:
Dave Harris Chairman/Webmaster
Tony Egerton Secretary/Branch Contact/BLO Dorset Brewery
Alastair Tillotson – Treasurer
Andy Patterson Membership Secretary
Richard Gabe – Social Secretary/BLO Palmers
Michel Hooper-Immins Committee/Press Officer/BLO Badger
Kylie Stroud- Committee
Elaine Milton Committee
Jill Diggens Committee/BLO Piddle Brewery
Paul Smith Heart of Wessex sub-branch
Non-committee members with other specific responsibilities:
Adrian Patterson GBG Selection Co-ordinator
Alex Bardswell – Cider Rep/BLO Art Brewery
5 Chairman’s Report - Dave
A great deal happened during the year, a short summary follows:
Volunteers - increasing year-by-year - now over 60 members actively help the branch over the year!! (more than 30 PubLinkers and 40 or more volunteers who regularly help at festivals). Obviously there is some overlap between these two groups, but we also have a further five or six doing other jobs for us. I estimate there are now well over 60 - that is one in every eight members of the Branch are active in its support. Fantastic!!
Giant Dongle now three years old and around 2000 copies X 24 pages per issue. Now being handed on to new editing team. Lets all give applause for Kevin who started it up and ran it successfully enough to gain Regional recogniton!! Thank you to our new editing team of James Bennett and Alex Scrivener who have stepped in to take over. (applause)
Growth in members continues??? (Andy Patterson) ;
Brewery scene still very dynamic: Still getting news of new start ups every three months or so - no sign of it letting up yet.
Festivals Our two main festivals are very much still on the calendar; Dorch will be 26 in February!! This Octoberfest will be the 9th in CAMRA stewardship and we seem to have survived yet another organisational upheaval in Weymouth!
Loaning our stillage and equipment Stillage loan stopped by HQ. National AGM want a way forward which HQ have been tasked with finding. We continue to loan taps for a small fee to cover losses. This seems to be working well.
Programme of trips to breweries, festivals etc! In addition to the "regular" trips arranged by Rich and Tony we've now kept "survey" trips going - and have an extra brewery trip.
Discounts for members at increasing number of pubs
GBG selection process better managed (thanks due to Adrian Patterson). The launch of What Pub this week will only serve to make this area stronger as more members decide to put beer scores in to an easier to use and "mobile friendly" system.
Pub Link scheme (~300 pubs spread over 400 sq miles). Andy Patterson has a team of volunteers who visit pubs to help us keep in touch. We're always on the look-out for members to take on connecting with a few pubs on our behalf - talk with Andy if you want to help us with this.
West Dorset Pub Guide From a request of mine at 2009 AGM for a volunteer, Kevin stepped up to the plate and with help from other volunteer surveyors a very good local pub guide was produced. We have had two print runs, each of 500 copies, and have now sold all but about 20. I had an order for ten last week from Sherborne TIC. So not only have we produced and published, but we've sold and made some money for CAMRA on the way!
Campaigning: Thus far we've put in one application to have a pub (Albert Inn, Wyke Regis) listed as an "Asset of Community Value". Our application was turned down, re-submitted on HQ advice and turned down again.
Chairman's "Wish List": - This coming year I want us to keep improving what we've got:
Giant Dongle advertising management - we will now wait to see how the new editors can share the work out between themselves and may re-visit this topic at a later time..
Support for our Pubs - can we help them through PubLink information, Hidden Gems type activities?
Informal meets in towns "CAMRA plods???" wandering around a few pubs?
"Balancing" distribution of GD's - We still see old issues in pubs a week or so before the next issue is due - this is a lost opportuntity. Getting the appropriate number in each outlet, advert led growth.
More trips for members - we seem to keep filling them up, so keep on expanding them.
Octoberfest volunteers - I have the staffing list with me - we still have one or two vacancies - Friday evening and Saturday sessions mainly.
And finally - nominations for next round Pub of The Year and GBG are now open - let your committee know which pubs you think should be considered!!
6 Treasurer’s Report - Alastair
The treasurer circulated his report for examination by the membership and was accepted. Proposed Michel Hooper-Immins, Seconded Russ Ware
7 Membership Secretary’s Report - Andy
Recruitment at Festivals now being offset by leavers and movers out of area. Net growth expected to slow as a result. Don't expect a rapid rise to 600 members in the coming year, but may get close.
Publinkers - need to consolidate system and recruit to fill a few gaps. Confident that this is acheivable.
8 Wessex Region Report - Tony
Tony and Michel - Reported on current topics, not many of which affected the branch.
9 Social Activities - Rich
Since the last AGM the West Dorset CAMRA social calendar has seen a variety of events and visits.
Due to doing a lot of night and weekend work last summer and into the autumn months the social calendar was sparse. However after Octoberfest a large group of us visited our sister branches beer festival in Poole. Next up was the CAMRA Xmas meal at the Blue Raddle; unfortunately due to staff illness and a sprinkling of snow combined with a panicking landlord it was postponed.
February saw Dorchester Beerex one of the best social events with campaigning and charity all rolled into one. I would like to thank all of the staff that worked at the event; next year’s dates are 7th+8th of February a staff call will go out around December.
Back to the CAMRA meal which had now almost turned into the CAMRA Valentine’s Day meal, a good attendance of happy diners.
March saw us visit Dorset breweries over two days; the Friday took us to Town Mill, Mighty Hop and Palmers; whereas Saturday saw us at Sixpenny and Dorset Piddle. It’s very easy to overlook local breweries and forget what good ales they brew.
April saw us make our annual pilgrimage to Tuckers Maltings beer festival on a bus that didn’t break down. My thanks to Tony for organising the fellow travellers and pickup points. My raffle made CAMRA £161.00. I'd like to thank all who partook and especially the brewers, shops and pubs that donated prizes.
Also in late April the Beerex committee plus invited CAMRA individuals visited Small Pauls garage brewery to award him Beer of the Festival at Beerex.
May saw a group of us take the train to London to visit a combination of Beer pubs and Heritage pubs starting in Borough Market and finishing at the former National CAMRA POTY the Harp, Covent Garden, the Itinery was down to Andy Patterson. A good day was had by all and opens up avenues for the future.
Late June on a Fridays eve and we repeated last year’s social with a campaigning beer scoring edge to Lyme Regis, a full bus and interesting scores. My thanks to Adrian for compiling the scoring pub matrix.
Next up was Bridport Food and Drink festival where many of us happened to meet in the beer tent via public transport.
A smaller than normal group of us visited the GBBF on the Friday in August which brings us to September where we were invited to RCH and Twisted Oak brewery as part of the North Somerset Food and Drink week. This year has seen a bumper of events and long may they continue.
10 Beer Score/GBG Co-coordinator’s Report - Adrian
For the 12 months up to 31 August 2013, 3393 beer scores from West Dorset pubs have been submitted and entered into the database by 111 different CAMRA members. That’s a 73% increase in beer scores on the same period last year (and a 13% increase in scorers).
WhatPub has been launched to the public, and 99% of our branch pubs currently have their full details. Special thanks to Tony for his hard work in achieving this.
The two Good Beer Guide selection meetings in January and February took place at the Lugger in Chickerell and the George in Bridport and were well attended by members.
Our normal allocation of 30 Good Beer Guide pubs was increased to 31 in place of one of East Dorset CAMRA’s entries.
This leaves us with only two reserves: the Red Lion in Weymouth and the Baker’s Arms in Dorchester.
Please remember to submit nominations for the 2015 GBG before the January branch meeting.
a) Alex Bardswell had asked for a meeting to review our GBG selection process - Adrian said one will be held in mid-October.
b) Rich Gabe asked that pseudonyms were not used in Dongle. Topic was discussed in the meeting. After discussion it was defeated in a vote by 15-8.
C) Alex Bardswell wanted all publicity for festivals to say Beer & Cider Festival, not just Beer. This was noted.
The meeting closed at 9.15pm