Bristol Austin 7 Club - AGM - Saturday 18 March 2017

 

The AGM was held at The Burrington Inn, Bourne Lane, Burrington Combe, Bristol BS40 7AT

 

Bristol Austin Seven Club Ltd.

 

The Chairman, Dan Cole, opened the meeting by welcoming all those present. Two tellers were appointed: Jane Cole and David Walters

1. Apologies: Apologies for absence were received from Nick & Caroline Beck, David Collins, Colin Danks, Alastair Gill, Richard Gosden, Tony Hartnell, Aileen Hood, Clive Hooper, Eileen Miles, Norman & Marion Whitworth, Barry Rider. [Post-meeting apologies from Jen & Ian Dunford.]

2. Minutes: Minutes of the AGM held on Saturday, 19th March 2016 were published in the April 2016 issue of the Newsletter, and copies were available for those present to view. It was agreed to adopt the minutes without being read out in full at the meeting. Steve Barker proposed, David Walters seconded. 29 votes were recorded in favour, with one abstention.

3. Matters Arising: None.

4. Chairman’s Report

Looking back over the past year or so the club has been quite active with a number of successful events including single day and weekend runs and also the longer events such as the Yorkshire holiday and North Devon run. Our annual rally in 2016 was naturally a smaller event than the Golden Anniversary the year before but went smoothly and was enjoyed by all. A full weekend event is being planned for 2017 when we are returning to the Tyntesfield venue but are planning camping arrangements close by. As I have mentioned via the newsletter we seem to have a relatively small proportion of the club who are active with events and we would like to hear what can be done to improve participation throughout the membership.

Over recent years we have seen low attendance at ‘end of month’ meetings and over the past year or so these meetings have been held on an occasional basis rather than monthly. With all this in mind any suggestions for an alternative venue and / or format from the membership would be very welcome. I very much hope that in the coming months we will be able to re-establish regular central monthly meetings with various planned themes as we have done previously.

At the last few AGMs the notion of small local meetings has been much discussed and, owing to the initiative of club members, regular gatherings in East Bristol and North Wilts are now established. It is great to see the warm and friendly atmosphere prevailing at these meets. The current style of membership lists make it easier for members to get in contact with other members in their area to arrange such gatherings. Perhaps such local meetings can encourage members to use their cars more and lead to more involvement with other events.

At the last AGM the committee undertook to investigate the revision and updating of the Articles of Association for the club and I pleased to say that this work is well under way thanks to a sub-committee who will update us on progress so far during this meeting. We also voted to increase the subs to help cover the cost of increased postage charges and a drop in spares sales. This increase has been applied although the benefits of this do not yet show in the accounts due to the timing of the accounting period.

Although we all enjoy ancient cars we need to keep an eye on the future and attracting new members. The club website was completely redesigned just over two years ago and is steadily evolving. It continues to be the subject of positive comments and it gives our club a very positive online presence. Our club was quite an early adopter of Facebook and this seems to be a good way for members to share photos and stories amongst themselves and the wider online community and this, along with our website helps to make the club visible to people who might be completely new to the scene, which can only be a good thing.

I had not specifically planned to stand as Chair but since the role was vacant for some time and a few people encouraged me I felt quite happy to offer. It seems to me we are very fortunate to be part of such a friendly club that has much to offer in various ways. This and the fact that our Committee members carry out their various roles so well, and do much more besides, was a great encouragement to me. There are currently vacancies on the committee and it is important that these are filled to ensure the future smooth running of the club. I strongly believe Austin Sevens should be fun. In a club like ours it may be that the cars have brought us together as a group but it is the membership enjoying their cars in the company of like-minded enthusiasts that make it sociable and fun. With these thoughts in mind I’d like to thank everyone who has supported the club in different ways over the past year and I look forward to seeing many of you out and about enjoying your cars together over the coming year.

Dan Cole

5. Treasurer’s Report & adoption of accounts for year ending 31st August 2016

In the absence of the Treasurer, the Secretary read out his report, as follows:

The Profit and Loss Account and Balance Sheet for the year ended 31 August 2016 published in the February Newsletter show an overall deficit for the year of £1,872 and a corresponding fall in our reserves to £10,692.

Although only marginally worse than the previous year this was a disappointing result. As the increase in subscriptions approved at last year's AGM only took effect in November 2016, a return to surplus was unlikely but given that the previous year included major one-off costs a significant year on year improvement was anticipated.

A schedule detailing the major items of income and expenditure for 2016 together with the equivalent figures for the previous year was printed on the reverse of the AGM agenda. The key points were that :

  • • subscriptions were unchanged at £25 with an average membership of 325.

  • • the imposition of VAT on postage of printed matter increased newsletter costs by £585 but general administration costs were reduced by £276.

  • • the club's core operating costs ie. newsletter & admin, total £10,310 or £31.68 per member.

  • • spares shed sales fell by 30% and the surplus on trading was down by £1099. Given a 20% fall in the previous year this represents a significant drop in the cash generated to fund new purchases of spares and to offset the club's running costs.

  • • the cost of printing the Zenith Carburetter booklet has been taken as a one-off charge in 2016 - all sales income in subsequent years will effectively be profit.

  • • the cost of providing members with a copy of the A7CA Magazine Index compiled by Ron Hayhurst has similarly been absorbed in the 2016 accounts.

The overall cost of running the club during the year, after netting off all sources of income, was £10,008 or £30.75 per member. Whilst we have raised subscriptions to £30, achieving our stated aim of maintaining a break-even position remains challenging. I must emphasise just how important the income generated through sales of regalia and particularly spares is to the club's financial well being and urge you all to make full use of the unique facility that we have.

Clive Hooper

 

There followed a discussion on how the club might reduce costs. Not automatically distributing the Association magazine was suggested. We now offer members the opportunity to opt out of receiving the Grey Mag, but June Price reported that only seven members have done so. It was suggested that it might be better to ask members to opt in, rather than opt out. June mentioned that costs could be saved if members would remember to sign their cheques when sending in renewal forms. It was noted that the Cornwall club do this. It was suggested that an extra charge could be made for the Grey Mag. It was agreed that we should talk to other clubs about this. It will be discussed in Committee and reported back to members in the newsletter.

John Fitch proposed that the accounts presented by Clive for the financial year ending 31st August 2016 be adopted, and Neville Knight seconded. This was supported by a unanimous vote from the meeting.

6. Registrar / Membership Secretary’s Report

Total membership as at this AGM is 312. This membership year saw the increased subscription fee introduced with the renewals that were due in October last year and it is encouraging to note that of those members who were due to renew - 94% either renewed or resigned. The resignations numbered 11 in total, with many of them citing old age and regretfully selling their Austin 7s.

This year the published membership list is to be sent out a month later than last year and will be with the next Newsletter mailing in April.

Background work that has been undertaken over the past 12 months relates to some of the earlier membership master lists which were on floppy discs and not very reader friendly! I would like to thank Ron Hayhurst for his work in making this information more accessible for me to use.

Some of my other activity is handling the BA7C publications and regalia and this gives me the opportunity to say that I have supplies here should anyone wish to make any purchases and/or take any of the free items.

If there are any queries I am happy to answer them.

June Price

7. Spares Secretary’s Report

Turnover at the Spares Shed is down considerably, partly due to the continuing sales by Richard Edmonds auctioneers. There are some 25-30 members who attend the open days very regularly, so there are over 250 members who don’t turn up. It would make a vast difference if they did so. The number of spares available has also gone down considerably - the latest acquisitions are from two members who have sold their cars. Many members are putting spares on eBay.

I would like to thank Ron Hayhurst and Ian Moorcraft who, although no longer committee members, attend every month and also Ian and Jen for hosting the spares shed.

Tony Cryer

8. Events Co-ordinator’s Report

In the absence of the Events Co-ordinator, the Secretary read out his report as follows:

I apologise to you all for not attending this year. I was looking forward to driving to the meeting in my Ruby until I realised that I had “double booked” myself. Unfortunately for the AGM, I had spent money on my other booking.

Events

I am grateful to the organisers of our club events, as we should all be. I saw the events role as one of co-ordination of the events and not doing the organisation. There has been a significant drop in attendances in the monthly meetings that were held at the Bull so they have been abandoned for the moment. However, local informal gatherings do seem to becoming successful. It would be nice to see a few more of these taking place, but I think that this is down to members contacting one another to try these out.

I took on the events role, reluctantly, at the AGM last year because no one else seemed to be prepared to take it on. I definitely do not want to continue.

Valuations

I have issued valuations on about 65 Austin Sevens for Club members. I estimate the value based on reports of auctions that are reported in the Automobile magazine and by asking people who have bought Sevens what they paid, providing that they don’t mind telling me. Generally the older cars are more expensive and tourers fetch more than saloons. Very smart cars sell well in auctions but very original cars can reach high values especially if they are early models. But like all auctions high bids occur when two bidders are prepared to pay a lot.

Austin Seven Clubs Association Meetings

I have attended meetings on behalf of our Club when Tony Hartnell has been unable to go.

I generally send your committee some notes on the key points that come up at the meetings.

Austin Seven Clubs Association Archive

I have attended most of the meetings, and given a little help, to the team that are organising the digital copying of much of the archive material that has been collected over the years. The results are absolutely fantastic. Look at ‘archive’ on the A7CA web site and there are the handbooks and parts lists that would be applicable, or very nearly applicable to your Austin Seven. Also recently included are sales brochures. The publication of this data has prompted individual collectors to donate their collections to the Association or loan items to copy.

There is an Archive Open Day at Lubbenham on 2nd April, 10am to 4pm. At this open day there is likely to be surplus items on sale.

Nick Beck

9. Webmaster’s Report

In the absence of the Webmaster, the Secretary read out his report as follows: Please accept my apologies for not being able to attend the AGM this year. Doing so would have provided the opportunity for me to chat with you about all things to do with the website, its role and how we try to achieve the most engaging presentation of the Club through the website.

The website is designed not only for the useful reference of our members but also to attract non members who we hope will be encouraged to ultimately become members. Presently the website is receiving quite consistently over 20,000 hits per month. Rarely do we receive any direct “feedback” but on occasions we do. For example we were contacted by the editor of a magazine published by the Norwegian Volvo PV Club as a result of his finding images of Tapley Meters within our “technical” pages. We were able to supply him with some images which were included in his final magazine article.

Each year, during February, I add to the “technical” pages the “technical articles” that were published in our newsletter during the previous year.

A fresh batch of large, engaging background images have been added to the website with grateful thanks to Clare Danks and Terry Griffin for these images.

Dedicated email addresses have been set up for the various dedicated positions within our Club. In most cases, but not all, emails sent to these dedicated email addresses are forwarded to the private email address of the person in the Club who currently holds that position. This, among other facilities within the website, helps to give the Club a more professional appearance.

Please do contact me by email or phone me to chat about anything to do with the website. Your ideas, comments, criticisms and questions. Wishing you all fun with your Sevens during the coming year.

Alastair Gill

10. Trophy Presentations:

Dan Cole presented the club trophies.

Driver of the Year (for the member who has made the best use of his/her A7 in the previous year)

Awarded to Chris Blakey, who drove his A7 to Paris for a Six Nations rugby match, using motorways, including the notorious Paris périphérique in the rush hour.

Donald Doughty (for the member who has done the most for the Club over the previous year)

Awarded to Sally Barker for taking on the Secretaryship in addition to her work on the newsletter.

Endeavour (for a younger member who has done something notable with his/her A7 for the club or the A7 movement)

Awarded to Richard Gosden for setting up his monthly North Wilts lunchtime meet, and sticking to it in spite of initial lack of interest. The meet now has regular attendees.

Tickler (in memory of Ken Warren, awarded for the most useful or amusing article in the newsletter in the previous year - chosen by the Newsletter Editor)

Awarded to Tim Reynolds for his article on Zenith Carburettors, which has been borrowed by the Association magazine and numerous other club newsletters.

The Major Disaster Award was not presented this year, as the Committee was not aware of any major disasters amongst members. [But later awarded at the following Committee Meeting to Peter Likeman.]

Chris, Richard and Tim were absent so their trophies will be delivered to them.

11. Election of Officers

The existing committee members temporarily (and figuratively) stood down while Sally, wearing her Secretary hat, chaired the election part of the AGM.

Dan Cole having been co-opted as Chairman in 2016, was required to stand for election to this post. Steve Barker proposed, Rosemary Knight seconded and Dan was unanimously voted in as Chairman.

The members present agreed that the entire committee should be voted for en bloc. Hilary Fitch proposed, Eric Miles seconded and the committee as set out below was unanimously voted in.

  • Chairman - Dan Cole
  • Vice Chairman - Louise Randall
  • Membership Secretary/Registrar - June Price
  • Treasurer - Clive Hooper
  • Spares Secretary - Tony Cryer
  • Newsletter Editor - Sally Barker
  • Webmaster - Alastair Gill
  • Video & Social Media - Louise Randall
  • A7CA Rep - Nick Beck
  • FBHVC Rep - Steve Barker
  • Committee Member - Colin Danks
  • Committee Member - Richard Gosden

(It is noted that the Events Co-ordinator, Nick Beck is standing down, as (8) above, and A7CA Rep Tony Hartnell is standing down due to ill health. The Committee thanks them for their sterling work. Sally Barker will continue to act as Secretary on a temporary basis.)

Eric Miles requested that a vote of thanks to the Committee be recorded. He said that their work has ensured that the club is one of the best known in the Association. Eric requested that members should be more amenable to joining the Committee, especially to assist with spares. He asked the members present to show their appreciation and there was a round of applause.

12. Any other business

(a) Articles of Association Louise Randall informed the members that work is ongoing in revising and simplifying the Club’s Articles of Association. Sally had a copy of the working document if any member present wished to inspect it. It is hoped to have a completed document in the next couple of months when we will need to have the revised Articles checked by a lawyer. It was requested that if any member is, or knows of, a lawyer specialising in company law, that the committee be informed. When all the necessary checks have been made, an Extraordinary General Meeting will be called for the members to approve the final document. Dan thanked the Sub-committee (Louise Randall, Clive Hooper, Steve Barker, Sally Barker) for their work and re-iterated the request for a contact with a lawyer.

(b) 2017 Rally. It was noted that the rally is booked to be held at Tyntesfield on 25th June. We will not be in the same field as last year, as the new General Manager of Tyntesfield has decreed that fields on the estate must only be used for agricultural purposes. We have been offered the overflow car park (which is grassed) which will be more than spacious enough for our needs. There is a possibility of camping on an area at the back of the car park - this will be looked at by the committee. Jim Spence asked if we could not take part in Tyntesfield’s own classic car day, and park in front of the house. Tony Cryer replied that this would not be practical, as that area is not large enough for all our vehicles to be grouped together and numbered for judging.

Dan Cole noted that it is hoped to make a weekend of it, with camping either at Tyntesfield, or a campsite close by. David Walters commented that he supports the venue, but would only be interested in camping if the area is next to where the cars will be parked.

Dan repeated his request for volunteers for the posts of Events Co-ordinator and Secretary. He thanked everyone who had attended and closed the meeting at 12.20 pm.

Next A.G.M.: Saturday 17th March 2018. Date and Venue to be confirmed.

Present at the AGM (who signed the attendance sheet) were:

  • Stella Wilson
  • David Walters
  • Dotty & Paul Verney
  • John Tindle
  • Jim Spence
  • Louise Randall
  • Cathy & Bob Randall
  • David & June Price
  • Ron Perry
  • Mark Nutbean
  • Eric Miles
  • Neville & Rosemary Knight
  • Bob Jones
  • Pat & Ron Hayhurst
  • Bill Harte
  • Alan Grant
  • Hilary & John Fitch
  • Tony Cryer
  • Stuart Creasey
  • Linda Crabb
  • Dan & Jane Cole
  • Sally & Steve Barker

The AGM and meal was followed by a Run :

2016 Rally image 1