WEST DORSET BRANCH OF CAMRA Minutes of Annual General Meeting Venue: Colliton Club 8pm 22nd October 2014
Members attending. A total of 22 members attended. Apologies for absence received from Michel Hooper-Immins, Alex Bardswell, Andy Redding, Wilf Day and Kylie Stroud
Minutes of last AGM. The minutes of 2013 AGM were accepted as a true record.
Matters Arising. There were no matters arising.
Election of Officers. Current officers expressed a wish to continue and the following were elected for a further term: Dave Harris – Chairman Tony Egerton – Secretary & Branch Contact Rich Gabe – Social Secretary Alastair Tillotson – Treasurer Andy Patterson – Membership Secretary Michel Hooper-Immins – Press Officer Russ Ware – Committee Kylie Stroud – Committee Elaine Milton – Committee
In addition the following non-committee officers were elected: Adrian Patterson – GBG Co-ordinator & NBSS Officer Alex Bardswell – Cider Representative Andy Redding – Pubs Officer
Chairmans Report A great deal happened during the year, a short summary follows:
Volunteers – we continued this year to enjoy a high level of member involvement. Taking into account PubLinkers, Festival Volunteers and other non-committee workers e.g.Giant Dongle editors and contributors we have about one in ten members of the Branch actively helping us. Wonderful!!
Giant Dongle now four years old and around 2000 copies X 20 pages per issue. A year after being handed on to our new editing team of James and Alex I’d like to thank them for further improving and developing it for us.
Growth in members continues – Andy Patterson will give details later.
Brewery scene still very dynamic: Still getting news of new starts and closures every months or two – perhaps we are seeing the start of a “leveling off”??. The year has seen Mighty Hop and Art Brew close, and Piddle Brewery has changed hands and is brewing again. A new brewery started up in the old Art Brew Building and is aiming to brew in Cerne Abbas eventually – their first brew won 1st at Octoberfest two weeks ago – Well done to brewer Vic Irvine!!.
Festivals Our two main festivals are very much still on the calendar; Dorchester Beerex will be 27 in February!! This Octoberfest was the 10th in CAMRA stewardship and we had a good time in Weymouth! Still have things to learn with our new hosts. In addition some of us helped at a Summer Festival in Wyke Regis hosted by the Wyke Smugglers – Wykefest rides again!!
Stillage and Insurance Stillage loan stopped by HQ. National AGM want a way forward which HQ have been tasked with finding. Looks like a lengthy and legalese process will be suggested – it will probably not be practical if that is the case. It now seems that we might need stillage “inspected” by a SEMA qualified person after it is constructed each time. I’m trying to find out what the implications are. If you know anyone who constructs/installs racking or shelving systems – please let me know.
Programme of trips to breweries, festivalsetc! In addition to the “regular” trips arranged by Rich and Tony we’ve kept “survey” trips going – this years was the area west of Beaminster where we get too few beer scores.
Discounts for members at increasing number of pubs – we’re going to try to keep you informed of these via Giant Dongle.
GBG selection process – probably our best year yet (thanks due to Adrian Patterson). The launch of What Pub last year has helped in providing some integration between what the public sees and how scores are registered. It also helps us as a Branch to keep information more up-to-date.
Pub Link scheme (~240 pubs spread over 400 sq miles). Andy Patterson manages a team of volunteers who visit pubs to help us keep in touch. There are always changes to this team as peoples commitments change – talk with Andy if you want to help us with this.
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. A planning decision was made by council committee last week to allow the development into five flats.
We have also commented on other “change of use applications” during the year, putting CAMRA’s point of view about viability.
Pub Changes The Royal Oak in Cerne is being sold by the Brewer Hall and Woodhouse. They are following what seems to me to be a very enlightened approach. First they have lifted the tie, second they have in place a known good landlord who knows the pub and the area. This should make for strong trade which will improve the value of the pub when they sell it. Completely the opposite of how the Pub Chains often seem to do it.
Other pubs changing are: Gaggle of Geese – stopped trading and restarted on a part week basis. Brewhouse & KItchen (ex Station Master’s) opened in May bring brewing back into the heart of Dorchester! Chalk and Cheese at Maiden Newton – sudden closure mid-summer – has recently re-opened. Shave Cross Inn, Shave Cross, stopped trading, up for sale. Piddle Inn, Piddletrenthide, stopped trading, up for sale.
Chairman’s “Wish List”: – This coming year I want us to keep improving what we’ve got:
Giant Dongle advertising management. – In order to increase the circulation or the page count we need two things. In both cases we need money – we couldn’t continue to publish without earning profit at festivals. It would be good to get additional advertising so we can grow the magazine – please help us by suggesting businesses which might advertise with us. We also need contributions from members to help fill pages. Thanks to those who already contribute pieces, but we really do need to have a wide selection of contributors.
Support for our Pubs – can we help them through PubLink information, Hidden Gems type activities? Again thought and ideas are wanted.
Informal meets in towns “CAMRA plods???” wandering around a few pubs? I’d like to see a couple of such events led by non-committee members. We’ll help publicise etc.
“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 opportunity. 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 – Rich Gabe and I want to thank all our volunteers working Octoberfest. This year’s festival was possibly the “smoothest running” festival yet. A great deal of this is due to people learning and remembering how things are done year to year – Thanks again for all your hard work!
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!!
Treasurers Report. Alastair presented his annual financial statement which was accepted unanimously.
Social Activities Richs’ report is attached
Beer Scores & GBG Co-ordinators Report. Adrian reported 2204 scores for branch pubs were entered by 112 members. He also explained the process where GBG entries are now submitted electronically. Nominations for next GBG to be submitted before January selection meeting.