2011 Business Meetings

Wrap-up of 2011

It really is fascinating to read the minutes again, some many years after the event! It’s especially intriguing to read the looking-forward entries, and then to compare those with minutes ex post facto, when the proposed events have, or haven’t, actually happened.

It seems, for example, that the Mystery Trip, aka Grab-a-Granny, did in fact venture around Rothbury, Seahouses and Morpeth. In the absent minutes of November, 2011 (which I can’t find), we must have decided to purchase the cherry-picker, which proved very beneficial indeed to consolidate the lights on eight trees. Indeed, the ancient machine was actually reported to be working well!

The book stall at the November Mini-Market had elicited more funds, as had the various trips around the houses with Santa’s sleigh, which was newly reported at this meeting to have been £475. Apparently, after the Mini-Market, Trevor and Prue had offered space in their garage for the book storage, which was noted with grateful thanks from the Village Hall Committee.

Looking ahead, plans for the Burns Night near enough to the 25th January were well consolidated already. As I recall, it was thought that if these plans were not in place before New Year’s Eve, it would be a challenging job to arrange everything thereafter from scratch.

Not only the Burns Night, but Margaret Stonehouse had already organised the first Fair meeting for 2012 in mid-November!

As the time came for Any Other Business, on behalf of all the club, Margaret congratulated Stephanie Atkinson for her recent honour in the Queen’s Birthday List, the MBE, for services rendered to Higher Education.

2011 Business Meetings

The last quarter’s business in 2011

To be honest, I don’t know where the old cherry-picker had ever ended up, after its use over a couple of years in the installation of festive lights in the trees around the square. So this photo of a similar sort of ancient contraption will have to suffice.

The first mention I can find of the investment that the Allendale Lions would make, of an ancient cherry-picker, is in the minutes of our 88th meeting in October, 2011. As usual, the matter was opened, and there it would rest for weeks or even months, until we decided that we’d come to some decision. But Peter Aldcroft was already getting antsy about time constraints, with only another six weeks left before the lights needed to be up.

Meanwhile, along with funding requests that went forward to the next Board Meeting for careful consideration, the date for the Mystery Trip was mooted for the 25th of October, which was suggested to involve coffee at Rothbury, lunch at Seahouses, and a shopping exploration around Morpeth on the way home.

After the Charity Auction’s profits recorded at £2,755, and the purchase of fireworks for Bonfire Night, the charity account balance was £4,338. Peter wondered if we could be aiming for a fund-raising ambition of £100,000, cumulatively, with which we could celebrate our tenth anniversary in a couple of years time.

Meanwhile, plans were afoot for the Carols in the Square event (22nd December), and Fergus Sandison was organising for the Backworth Colliery Band to play again, but the logistics of chairs and the printing of the carol sheet would have to be developed more smoothly this year.

Apparently the books in bread crates stored in the far corner of the committee room at the village hall were taking up rather a lot of space! Perhaps they might be stored in the dry basement, after the Mini-Market event in November?

Finally, business and reports concluded, it was time once again to toast Elsie-Aye, aka Lions Club International.

2011 Business Meetings Fundraising Golf Classics Public Service

Golf Club Classic: Presentation

In what must have been one of his first official acts as the new President of the Allendale Lions Club, Richard Snowdon looks delighted to be presenting a cheque for £600 to Cancer Research UK, along with members of the Lions, and Allendale Golf Club.

It’s good to see such smiles, too, from everybody seated around the table in the lovely clubhouse. Not everyone was named, in the accompanying blurb, but it’s important, I think, to recognise Norman Harris in his golfing gilet, in between John Dobson and Colin Wraith. To Colin’s left, of course, Doug Ness and Peter Aldcroft gave excellent bracketing smiles as well.

According to the Business Meeting Minutes #86 (September, 2011), carefully noted by Secretary Irene Ness, there had been some consternation between the expectations on the Golf Club side and the Lions’ wish to generate funds for the cancer charity. Following discussions with the Golf Club, it was agreed that the proceeds of the Classic should be split 50/50 between the Golf Club and Cancer Research. Apparently, the matter was smoothed over because the proceeds from the bar on the day had exceeded expectations (quel surprise!), so that the photo opportunity and big cheque, when the Lions had topped the donation up, came to a similar amount for each concern. Whew!

I like perusing the minutes, in these circumstances, because with a little effort they reveal something of the social history of a community, how folks adhere and work things out together.

2011 Business Meetings

New officers for 2011

There had been some consternation in the club, over the previous months, as to when appropriate elections might occur, whether the President might have to have been elected as Vice-President before they assumed the leadership role, and when the actual hand-over might happen. In the event, however, it seems from Irene Ness’s minutes that the actual election went ahead without further hiccough, and the new officers were in place before the Fair.

That must have been something of a relief, to outgoing President Carrie Winger, as the duties down at Allendale Bakery & Café were becoming overwhelming. Clearly, the end of her stint was at hand.

Everyone was delighted that Richard Snowdon was elected as President for the forthcoming year! Sylvia Milburn graciously accepted the role of Vice-President as well. The rest of the officers, as noted in the copy above of part of the minutes, were re-elected in place.

But the election, though it was held at the beginning of the meeting, was not the entire business of the session, not at all. Along with the regular matters arising, like the final arrangements for the Fair (for which Peter Aldcroft indicated that the Courant had really ‘gone to town’ on the pre-publicity), the Handover/Charter evening (at the Cowshill on 11th June), the prospective activities of the Golf Classic (scheduled for 30th July), the Grab-a-Granny trip, and the Beer and Bands Festival, the Charity Auction (booked for the 24th September), a major point of discussion was the matter of the foundering Village Hall and Recreation Ground.

Apparently the charity was losing user groups, and bookings for functions were also decreasing; hence revenue streams were compromised, and the institution was in danger of becoming insolvent. This was becoming a serious concern to the trustees, and worthy of the Lions Club’s attention. The Lions agreed to enhance their representation on the management committee, and to help where feasible with the ongoing maintenance of the facility.

And then, with the Allendale Fair less than a month away, the toast was raised to LCI.

2011 Business Meetings

Staggering into 2011

Somehow, though it’s difficult to remember quite how, we staggered together into 2011. I do remember that winter as one of the hardest we’d experienced at Allen Mill, running the Allendale Bakery & Café, and we were nearly on the floor. Perhaps that explains why we didn’t make it to the 81st Business Meeting of the Allendale Lions Club.

Graham Girvan kindly stepped in for President Carrie, however, and the recording secretary (perhaps Irene Ness?) later distributed the minutes for the night. I’m intrigued to note that the club had indeed presented the annual Burns Night Supper, eliciting a return to our charitable coffers of £756. So work was still going on amongst the intrepid caterers.

Although there’s a gap in the available minutes before this March ’11 meeting, it seems that our activities were moving onward according to the events schedule we’d established. The Backworth Colliery Brass Band were yet to be paid for their contribution at the annual Carols in the Square, but plans were already afoot to develop the Allendale Fair as normal.

Business conducted at this meeting included a club donation to the New Zealand Earthquake Appeal of £250. We heard from Graham about his anticipated participation with Marc Adams in the Mongolian Rally in July. The Lions sponsored renewed wood chips in the play areas of the Recreation Ground to the tune of £250. Some further charitable contributions were held back until the Allendale Fair had been completed, though we reduced the entertainment budget for that event to £1000 in light of the funding requests which were on deck.

We were still considering the best possible venue for this year’s Charter Evening, and the Cowshill in Weardale was high on the list. But we decided to amalgamate the Charter Evening celebration with the Handover Party into the target date of 11th June.

It seems that this business meeting was not dissimilar from many of those previous, and indeed, many of those coming on in the future. It was, you might say, business as usual, and the monthly toast to Elsie Eye (Lions Club International) closed out the formal meeting, after the regular card draw brought £19 into the club’s organisational account.

2010 Business Meetings Fundraising Lions Social Events Public Service

Welcoming 2010

We’ve already mentioned the completion of the Village Hall bar, in the last entry of 2009 (as re-configured ex post facto in the blog calendar). So the first meeting of 2010 was important for looking ahead, Janus-like, after reflecting on the accomplishments the club had achieved over the past year.

Plans for the annual Burns Night supper seemed to be well in hand, for example, with previous events so well-subscribed that apparently we’d had to turn applications away from neighbouring clubs! We maintained the courtesy, for this year anyway, of inviting Lions clubs from around the region.

Graham Girvan notified the meeting that the Spanish wine-tasting evening two years previously had been such a success that it was thought to be a great idea for this year’s Charter Night, ostensibly to be held sometime close to the actual anniversary of the first Charter Dinner in February. [I remember what actually transpired, on the second occasion, with the chagrinned wine profferers slicing thinner and thinner pieces of cheese in a desperate attempt to accommodate hungry diners, for an egregiously under-catered event!]

I distributed the second version of the handy ‘membership information’ cards I’d designed, with explicit contributions to various organisations shown, as examples of ‘what we do.’ That concept was kiboshed, so it was back to the drawing board for iteration three! I so wish I could dredge up an example of these handy wallet-sized cards, but I cannot find head nor tail of them. Perhaps the whole concept was consigned to the round file.

On the Community Service front, the Christmas lights festooning trees around the square would be switched off before 12th Night, and the new Best Garden plaque, for the Horticultural Society to award, was admired.

Hilary Aldcroft wowed the group with the reveal that some £1,077 had been received during the past season’s Santa’s Sleigh, which had included a rather thrilling Santa in the Snow up at Allenheads, made possible only by the borrowing of Nigel Baynes’ Land Rover. Graham had been a great Santa!

Apparently the Hexham Courant had not published photographs taken in Allendale on the occasion of the Carol in the Square event, nor even the Tar Bar’l parade, so everyone hoped that the next issue might have some further images to delight.

John Dobson, Webmaster, described how he was setting up an email list[serv] so that Lions members could conveniently distribute emails to everyone with just the one address.

It was time to take a drinks break, to share in the card draw which raised £19 for the General Account, and then, with no further business, to toast Elsie Eye.

Err, that’s the Lions Club Internation, LCI, in case anyone hadn’t remembered.

2009 Business Meetings Fundraising

Business Meeting

Since there appears to be only the one set of minutes extant from 2009, it makes sense to feature them in the blog!

The most salient bit of information, I think, at this meeting was the report from Ann Potter that she alone, running for the Alzheimer’s Society in the Great North Run, had raised over £1000 pounds! Such a brilliant effort! We were all so proud for her.

Meanwhile, money in the Lions’ Charitable Account was getting relatively tight. Doug Ness, Treasurer, reported that there was some £3,671 available (mind that this was after the Beer and Bands Festival a couple months earlier, and the annual Charity Auction in September!), of which we needed to ring-fence £2000 towards next year’s May Fair. Meanwhile, there were four funding requests awaiting the Lions’ Board Meeting to develop proposals.

Fund-raising efforts over the next few months would be concentrated on Bonfire Night (which typically managed just about to break even), the growing Book Stall to be staffed at the Mini-Market in the village hall, and the Santa’s Sleigh twirls throughout the region with the elves shaking collection tins.

It seemed possible that we needed to re-consider where our best efforts on behalf of the community might be positioned, but with the Bonfire Night only days away, it would be all hands to the deck as new volunteer food preparers and servers were brought in.

And Santa’s Sleigh would be occupying our efforts after the Book Stall shifting had taken place, so there was lots to be getting on with. Just that nagging reckoning that we weren’t bringing in much revenue for distribution to good causes, lately, and what could we be doing about that?

John Dobson reported, with a nod to publicising what the Lions have been doing, that he had taken over the website and would be giving a demonstration of it at our next meeting. And the reports on the pub walk to Haltwhistle, which seems like a rather long trek, suggested that a good time had been had by all who participated.

Apparently there was a break in the meeting proceedings then, as members refilled their glasses from the bar, and there must have been a kind of conversational buzz thereafter because no further business matters were discussed.

Finally the regular toast to LCI (Lions Club International) was raised, and the next meeting, the first Monday of December, would likely see a de-brief on the Bonfire Night activities.

2008 Business Meetings General Administration

Catching up with Business

With so many images in Nigel Baynes’ archive folders, it’s been easy to amble through the years without looking too closely at the minutes. But the images for 2008 have dwindled, and succeeding years look to be getting just a little sparser, so it must be time to fall back on the regular monthly meetings to re-kindle those memories.

I remember chatting with Dave Stott at the Household Waste Recycling Centre, so it was great to welcome him as a prospective new member at our October 2008 meeting.

Correspondence and Grant Requests: At this meeting, we agreed to send £500 to the Morpeth Flood Appeal, as well as to support local groups Allen-Dale-Archers, the Haydon Bridge Christmas Trees Appeal, Awesome Productions for sound gear, and Pebbles Art and Music Event (MyLoop).

On Community Service, the report was effusive in thanks to Margaret Stonehouse (Steptoe) and Stephanie Atkinson (Prof Gloucester) for their unstinting help with the previous week’s Charity Auction, which raised some £3000 for good causes. Additionally, a Golden Oldies Summer Trip provided a good time for all who came. Glynn Galley had secured the Backworth Colliery Band for the first time to help out with our annual Carols in the Square, and plans were afoot for Bonfire Night.

More Fund-raising (Hilary Aldcroft suggested a more streamlined and higher revenue generating gambit on the Santa’s Sleigh twirls; the Book Stall under Prue Newman’s supervision will feature at the November Mini-Market in Allendale Village Hall) was discussed. Incidentally, this coming festive season would feature Graham Girvan as the Santa, an announcement that was apparently met with rapturous applause!

On the Fun & Games front, apparently there had been a Pub Walk to Blanchland in horrendous weather, but the walkers reported good spirits (and not only those in the destination!). A reprise of the Wasdale Weekend was mooted for summer of ’09, and the Kite Festival upcoming soon was hanging in the balance of the weather reports.

There had been a lot of Publicity about the Lions lately in the Courant, Pete Aldcroft reported, as well as in Spotlight, the regional Lions newsletter.

In Any Other Business, Larry (that’s me) mentioned the new Christmas Party scheme developed as a fund-raiser for the Village Hall, aimed at groups. I imagine the hope was that the Lions might consider holding their annual Christmas Dinner event and support the hall at the same time.

Prue’s conscientious attention to the Spectacle Receptacle and the glasses re-distribution scheme was applauded.

Finally, the question was raised: should we share our meetings around at the various venues that have a meeting room? We agreed that we enjoyed having a regular base for our monthly business confabs, but that others, as for example at the Crown in Catton to discuss the Carol Singing logistics, would ideally be held at other places.

I’m sorry I do not know who the Recording Secretary was for this month/year (does anyone recognise the minutes style?), but doubtless we drained the dregs of our glasses in a final toast to LCI.