AGM minutes

Crake Valley Croquet Club

Minutes of 2023 AGM held 28 February 2024 at 10:30am in the Clubhouse

Roger Coates, Colin Dykes, Paul Galley, Louise McElarney, Pat Munro, Peter Thompson, Sheila Thompson, Doreen Sharps

Welcome/Chairman’s Report

Simon Robins began his report stating that the Club had enjoyed a busy and successful year. Despite the restructuring that resulted from the financial sustainability plan agreed in 2022, the number of members had stayed buoyant ending the season at 56 members with Crake Valley affiliation.

As was customary on these occasions, Simon then took time to remember those no longer with us, most recently Pauline Turner whose passing in December had been a shock to us all. Our thoughts are with her family and friends, and her warm and friendly presence on the lawns will be sadly missed.

Simon went on to emphasise the importance of volunteers to the Club adding that we had been fortunate during the season to have many who were willing to help with all the necessary maintenance tasks. On behalf of the Club, he thanked all those who had given their services during the year. Simon did add a cautionary note emphasising that volunteers should not be taken for granted and encouraged new volunteers to gain experience in tasks currently being done by others so that the workload could be spread.

As the lawns were the major asset of the Club, considerable effort and funding had been devoted to maintaining and improving the quality of the lawns which were acknowledged to be some of the best in NW croquet clubs. Evidence for this was the fact that Crake Valley had again hosted seven tournaments through the season. At one of these, the Advance AC Cavendish Clock Tournament, Rick Harding had completed a sextuple peel, a feat never previously achieved at the Club, and one which Rick acknowledged was possible only on a high-quality lawn.

The Chair reported that our teams had done well in the NW Fed Leagues with Crake Lakes retaining the Advanced B-level AC trophy, again beating Bowdon in the play-off Final. Crake Valley finished second in the Handicap GC League and our team finished mid-table in the Handicap AC League. The Level Play GC league had been disrupted by splitting the League so that Crake played only 2 matches.

The internal competitions had generally been successful, with Paul Galley creating a first for the Club in winning both the Block and Knock-out handicap GC competitions, while David Cornes took the handicap AC trophy for the second year running. A planned Alternate Stroke handicap AC competition could not be arranged, but it is intended to try again in 2024 in a continuing policy of encouraging members to try association croquet.

There had also been many individual successes by our full members during the season. Congratulations to Paul Galley who won the Millennium Advantage Golf and to David and Sandra Cornes who did well at the GC National Eights held in Budleigh Salterton. A special mention was given to David Cornes who represented England in the GC Over 50’s World Championships held in Australia. As a memento of the occasion, the Committee had been pleased to accept his offer of a commemorative shirt which now hangs on the clubhouse wall. Also, in November, David had accepted an invitation to sit on the Croquet England Handicap Committee. Simon congratulated David on these achievements over the year which had helped to raise the profile nationally of Crake Valley Croquet Club.

The Chair ended by thanking members of the Committee for their work during the year, particularly Gill Uglow who had taken on the post of Secretary despite the very long commute.

Treasurer’s Report

In the absence of the Treasurer, the Chairman handed out the Summary Financial Accounts prepared by Roger Coates and went through the results with those present.
The report was accepted, proposed by Helen Allcock and seconded by Liz Mallinson.

A proposal that the Committee recommendation of raising all categories of member subscriptions by a small inflationary increase of £5 was accepted unanimously. Thus, 2024 subscription fees will be:

Full: £125           Country: £85        Far Country: £65

Election of Committee Members

Sheila Edmondson (Committee) Colin Dykes (Committee) and Simon Robins (Chair) were not standing for re-election.

There were no nominations for the Committee which, for the 2024 season will comprise:

Graham Jowett              Chairman
Roger Coates                 Treasurer
Gill Uglow                         Secretary
Sheila Thompson        Visitors Secretary / Safeguarding Officer
David Cornes                 Tournaments Manager
Sandra Cornes              Golf Captain

Any Other Business

Gratitude was expressed to Campbell Morrison who had created the program for the new lawn booking system that the club has just adopted.
David Cornes presented a Year Planner which represents an illustration of the layout and usefulness of the new system. He demonstrated how it could be used to reserve lawns for different reasons such as roll up, individual booking, tournaments, or maintenance etc.

Instructions on how to use the system will be sent out to members shortly and its usage would be monitored in the coming year.

The meeting closed at 11:05am