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1986 AGM Minutes

Minutes of Annual General Meeting
Spring Grove Morris Men
6th October 1986
1. Apologies: Maurice Speak
2. Minutes of 1985 AGM: Accepted after minor corrections as a true record and signed.
3. Matters Arising: None.
4. Squire's Report:  The year for Spring Grove was only good in parts but dancing standards have improved and we put on a generally fair show.  Claremont and Maritime Morris were very successful.  The Ring meeting at Huddersfield was enjoyed but it was a below average event.  Datchet was different and successful for Squire who had to negotiate music and dancers to fit in with our four.
    As we dance a number of traditions they tended to look very similar as we dance them.  The Fieldtown instructional which Squire and Bagman attended, showed ways of dancing with more distinction and grace.
    At Sidmouth, attended by four of us, Adderbury notation was acquired and thus the tradition could be expanded. (The Bagman is going to a Headington Instructional and more could come from that)  Duns Tew, made up in Sidmouth, could be danced by us in 1987.
    From workshops and dancers met there is much talk about TEAM.  We dance as individuals but if we could consider those about us when dancing we could become more of a team.
    It is not pleasing to record late arrivals at gigs, landlords not knowing we are coming, pubs not postered and casual arrival at practices.  The response to requested practice before White Rose Ring meeting was very poor.
    New members were welcomed and encouraged.
    1987 is Spring Grove's 10th Anniversary and we should start talking about it later at this AGM.
Comments: It was asked if another evening or weekend practice would help. It was thought not as family commitments were cited for the late starting of practice and this would apply again.
5. Treasurer's Report: (or comments of the accounts)
    The profit of £607.50 was thought good but it was wondered how it came about.  Treasurer thought paid gigs and the pound coin were part of it.
    Payments in at £318 is because we pay our hosts and then collect from our men for these events.
    In response to a question about donations the treasurer picked out some organisations to whom we had donated money.
    Squire and Bagman's were for telephone and postage and low because they often did not record that they had spent.
    It was asked how we were to spend it.  It seemed that it would be easier for us to get to Ring Meetings or Days of Dance and we could now make a special effort towards our 10th Anniversary in 1987.
    A dividend was unlikely!!
    The ladies' night never took place - more in A.O.B.
6. Bagman's Report: Tour arrangers should be responsible for contacting landlords and getting posters put up.
    He thought there should be some form of drive for more members and perhaps a press officer (Graham's discourse got him the job with Squire, Bagman and Foreman's assistance)
    He also wondered what non-dancers should do while our side or other sides dancing with us were performing.
7. Foreman's Report: He hoped men would try and get to practice as early as possible.  If men listened to what was being said at practice it would assist toward Spring Grove becoming a team.
    He felt that dancing was fair and that getting on and off was improving.
    As an answer to Bagman's question about non-dancers he thought that they should rest, get beer in, make sure that they knew who was in the next dance, watch for breaking sticks, replacing them if necessary, and keep out of the audience's view.  Some of these jobs are a fool's.  Also hooligans have to be dealt with.  He wondered, if our strength kept up, if we should have a fool.
8. The Repertoire: Stephen put in some ideas on dances he calls fun audience dances.  These he felt were, Shepherds Hey, Old Taylor, Flowers of Edinburgh, Jockey to the Fair, Valentines, Upton Stick, Not for Joe, Balance the Straw, as audience dances and Queens Delight, Blue Bells, Vandals, Beaux of London City (Badby) Seven Saxons and Ring O' Bells.  Boring dances for him were Highland Mary, Step and Fetch Her, 29th May, Black Joke and Step Back.
    He wondered if Maurice could teach North West or if we could do Oddington or Sweet Jenny Jones.  He also gave Luis a gift for letting us on his boat.
    The squire thought that that men should be fluent in the mainstream of dances before getting on to these 'fun' dances.
    Jim thought this should be as soon as possible and that the experiences men needed new dances to keep interest alive.
    Squire noted with sorrow, that Monk's March, Queen's Delight and Dearest Dickie were usually danced badly, as mass dances after a feast.
    The Foreman thought there were too many traditions and perhaps we should cut some out
    It was thought that Seven Saxons could be re-introduced.
    The Bagman felt that we should not consider Duns Tew and expand the traditions that we have.
    Gus's thoughts were towards Fieldtown and Adderbury and Headington with a selection of various other dances.  Bampton he found excruciating.
    Foreman thought that North West needed special attention to do it properly and that it was probably not for Spring Grove.
    Lichfield could be extended but it was difficult.  Foreman thought that it should be danced properly or not at all.  Others felt Vandals was worth doing even if we did no other Lichfield.
    The Bagman had a list of twenty-three dances some of which were new and others needed revision.  Foreman thought that this list should be cut to three!
    Further discussion led to Gloryshears (Fieldtown), Sweet Jenny Jones (Adderbury) and Monk's March (Sherborne) being top three for new dancers.  These were followed by The Rose (Fieldtown) Jenny Lind (Bampton) and Barefoot Quaker (Lichfield).
9. Practice Programme:  The 'fun' dances would feature regularly.  All dances would be planned for in detail and all would be revised from early March. (Seven Saxons regularly mentioned for revival).  Dancing of jigs can be done occasionally on Thursdays or at Gus's House.  This could include beginners stepping.  A register of dances practiced should be kept.
10. Costume: Hats. There were two styles currently being used.  Gus felt strongly that hats should be good or not worn at all.  They should be decorated with artificial flowers and/or badges but the real flower decoration as applied by Stephen should also be encouraged.
11. Programme:  June 20th 1987 is Folk Day.  Ashford Folk Dancers are planning as event in Kingston.  Spring Grove will be invited.  Pubs for 1987 as 1986 and adjusted to suit.
    10th Anniversary Barn Dance for wives and children in September with a Dance Out during the day.  Brockham Bonfire and a Halloween event also thought about.  There would be an EFDSS event in Crawley early in 1987.
    Day of Dance in May.  Fourteen sides already invited and one had accepted.  Two tours could be attempted.  Boat trip considered for the Black Hole.  Timing for the day will need detailed discussion as will feast.  A committee of Squire, Bagman, Gus and Stephen will do all this.
    Ring Meeting: We would apply to go to Exeter.  Stephen's cousin has a field which could be used for camping.
12. Feast Party Piece: A dance or other item should be thought about, i.e. Nellie the Elephant for Crawley!?  We can only rely on Gus for singing.
13. A.O.B.:  The Tape ends as Bagman says he has a couple of points.  Squire and Bagman are unable to recall what he said.  It is thought that Foreman was going to try to organise some event to take wives to.