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2006 AGM Minutes

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of Spring Grove Morris Men and Off-Spring Morris held on Monday 2nd October 2006 in the Spring Grove pub
Present: Steve Nash, Robert Muller, Alan Bull, Keith Dunnett, John Marshall, Dave Seager, Colin Messer, Christine Fawcett and Robin Aitken

Apologies: Martin Milner, Gerry McCann and Ian Kirkpatrick (unavoidably detained in Manchester on account of his youngest daughter, Anne, giving birth to his 7th grandchild)

Robin as Bagman chaired the meeting, which commenced at 8:55 pm. He explained that neither key holder for St John’s church (Ian & Gerry) was able to be present and that the key could not be made available in time, hence the necessity for the change of venue. It was unanimously agreed that the Spring Grove was more that adequate as a substitute location for the AGMs.

1. Previous AGM Minutes. The minutes of last year’s meeting were considered and no comments or alterations were required.

2. Reports & Accounts. Robin presented the current year Activity Reports and Accounts for both Spring Grove Morris Men and for Off-Spring Morris. There had been a full and very enjoyable programme for the year 2005/6 culminating in an excellent Day of Dance with Yateley MM.

The financial position of both sides remained solid and adequately reflects the activity levels of the sides. It was noted that Steve had paid £22.50 street collection to the nominated charity for the year The Alzheimer’s Society. This would be included in the Off-Spring Accounts. It was also noted that a provision for £170.00 had been made in the accounts of Spring Grove Morris Men reflecting the order placed and work already done by Branded UK who are in process of producing the new SGMM embroidered baldric rosette badges. Four pairs of badges had been ordered. Some sewing work on the grosgrain ribbon rosettes would also be required. The expenditure for this would be brought into the 2006/2007 accounts.

3. Election of Officers. Robin indicated that in view of the possibility that he may be moving away from the London area at some point in the future, it may be appropriate to seek / invite interest for a new Bagman / Treasurer. Steve suggested that it would probably be appropriate to identify someone who could be trained ahead of any future change. The meeting agreed unanimously to seek the views of Martin in this regard. Ian would remain in post for a further year.

4. Appointment of Volunteers. No volunteers were forthcoming for the specific responsibilities of Recruitment & Publicity and Equipment & “Wares”. Steve would maintain an interest as an enquiry contact although it was noted that most enquiries now came via the two websites and respective e-mail. It was agreed that this contact route would be maintained and strengthened and there was a unanimous vote of thanks to Keith for his efforts on the Off-Spring website. Keith indicated that a check on the latest abc / mid / png versions of the dance repertoire now held on the website might be useful. The possibility of producing a low cost business card with appropriate contact details as a “handout” for the public at gigs would also be reviewed. Christine agreed to seek new “sticks” (ash, yew or holly), which need to be stripped of bark and finished smooth then dried, Colin was happy to store them until required. Alan and Robin retain the stocks of baldric material & bells and waistcoat cloth, ribbon and woven badges respectively.

5. Repertoire for 2006/2007. There was much discussion around the issues of providing sufficient diversity in the dance repertoire and ensuring that sufficient opportunity was provided for dancers to learn them to an acceptable standard and level of confidence. It was felt that the music was unlikely to be a constraint on the intended repertoire. In view of specific comments received from Martin and Gerry (as musicians wishing to learn the dance) it was agreed that they would remain dancing Adderbury & Bidford respectively and were interested to learn some of the “fun dances” (see below). Keith indicated that he was happy to concentrate on a few of the Adderbury and the Litchfield dances (numbers permitting) for the moment.

Specific “Crowd Pleaser” fun dances would be worked on. As many as possible would be encouraged to learn these dances to maximise gig flexibility: - Postman’s Knock (Adderbury (in D)), Upton Stick (Upton), Jockey to the Fair (Brackley), Vandals & Ring O’Bells (Litchfield) when numbers allow, The Valentine, Shepherd’s Hey “Signposts” (long), Shepherd’s Hey (corner, standard tune) and Balance the Straw (Fieldtown dances) should provide adequate challenge. Steve would retain his role as Training Foreman with Colin providing additional critique with regard to an improved consistency of dance styles. Further encouragement to have a try at calling the dances would be offered more generally. Techniques such as the use of video feedback might be utilised without causing major upset or criticism of individuals.

It was also suggested that a more unusual show dance such as The Seven Saxons (after Ducklington) could possibly be revived.

6. Programme 2006 /2007. The draft programme generally evolves during December / January and is firmed in February / March. Much rests on the specific dates of the key fee paying gigs and the plans of other sides (e.g. TVMM) for the coming year.

Keith mentioned that he intended to provide update access for the Squire / Bagman to maintain the Off-Spring website Programme 2007 web-page.

Two key events were proposed for 2007. The biennial riverside SGMM “Midsummer Morris” with guest sides, which would be by way of marking the 30th Anniversary of the side (proposed for Wednesday 20th June 2007) and the joint 500th Anniversary Boat Trip with TVMM date to be negotiated with them. The aim would be to celebrate the 1507 entry relating to “Ye Morris Dance” in the church warden’s records of Kingston Parish Church. This is one of the earliest written records of the Morris in the UK.

There was also a suggestion to have a separate celebration with mixed sides such as Rampant Rooster.

The landlord of the Spring Grove (Paul) had reminded several members of the group that he was keen to have a Christmas Gig in the pub again this year. Monday evening 18th December 2006 was proposed as a suitable date.

7. Any other business. There was a general feeling that a group social event of some kind to include wives / partners would be appropriate next year. Last autumn 2005 several members and respective wives / partners had attended the Morris Offspring performance at the Purcell Room South Bank which had been fun and a very interesting insight into a modern theatrical development of the dance. The Squire would seek views and organise an appropriate date and venue.

8. Date of the next AGM. Would be advised in due course but likely to be Monday 8th October 2007. Venue would be St John’s Church at 8:30pm unless otherwise decided in due course.

The meeting closed at 10:15pm.