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2007 AGM Minutes

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of Spring Grove Morris Men and Off-Spring Morris held on Monday 8th October 2007 in St John's Church

Present: Ian Kirkpatrick, Robin Aitkin, Colin Messer, Alan Bull, Dave Seager, Keith Dunnett, John Curwood, Martin Milner, Sue Benson, Lindsey Ingham, (and arriving fashionably late were) Christine Fawcett, Robert Muller and Steve Nash

Apologies: Gerry McCann and Jenny Holden

The meeting began at 20:33 and was chaired by the Squire, Ian Kirkpatrick.

1. Previous AGM Minutes.

Corrections: Martin and Gerry noted that they were musicians "prepared to dance" and not "wishing to learn the dance"

Matters arising:
· Chris successfully sourced some sticks
· The attempt to encourage more people to call dances had failed
· There had been some progress learning Signposts
· The plan to have a family social had not come to fruition
· Badges (roundel on baldrics and waistcoat) - have been set-up and can be rolled off as required now.
· Martin mentioned that he requires gold braid to finish his waistcoat - Robin to check supplies and provide.

2. Reports & Accounts.

Ian presented the current year Activity Reports for both Spring Grove Morris Men and Off-Spring Morris.

Squires Report:
· We've had a cracking year
· Danced 25 occasions
· We are here to entertain and enjoy ourselves
· Standard of dance had significantly improved
· No one likes criticism, it's not personal, so if comes across as personal - it's not.
· Thanks to Steve for nominating me in my absence, and for supporting me (Steve has been 30 years in the team)
· Orchestra / Band standard and diversity the envy of many a side. Works very well indeed. Thanks to all.
· Thanks to Robin for 6 years as Bagman
· We maintained numbers - thanks to Sue our unofficial recruiter - lost Sue2, gained Kate, Anna, and Jenny.

High spots:

· Yateley last year – we fielded a very powerful side and had a wonderful evening's entertainment
· Box Hill (25th consecutive appearance) excellent turnout and an equally excellent breakfast courtesy of Alan, and the sloe gin (from Robin?).
· Roger and Jim joined us for another strong side for out 30th Celebration. Sue remarked that she was pleased to have come along and to have played, and that it was a very good evening.
· The day with Thames Valley Morris Men in Croydon was tight on numbers but immensely enjoyable.
· Yateley this year - started with 12 in the team and ended with just a side on the day – never-the-less it was still an excellent atmosphere.
· Monday night pub tours worked quit well, particularly enjoyed Tidewell Cottages.

As an interesting note during the year we had 11 enquires for Off-Spring, and 24 for Spring Grove so there is still a market for the men's team; that considered we need to recruit men.

The last two or three events in September were poorly attended, this may have been due to "event exhaustion" or just that our dancing season usually finishes in August.

We aim for 7 + 2 spares for each event to allow for injuries and drop-outs; going forward the management team need to decide how to commit to events. If 7 + 2 is not sustainable to get a dancing side out should it be 7 + 3 or 7 + 4, and if so would we ever have enough?

The Wimbledon debacle was very embarrassing for those who arranged it and who put their head above the parapet both for Greensleeves and us. The team noted that there was some confusion about the event that contributed to the poor showing.

Keith volunteered to develop an application for members to update their commitments, and the Bagman agreed to consider if that would be useful.

Bagman's Report

And jolly good it was. Robin talked through the report and highlighted that:
- Most of the funds flow through Off-Spring, and
- There has been pressure from St John's to increase our contribution; we increased by £50 to £200 this year. Expect continued pressure to increase
[Editor: we meet approximately 30 times a year in St John's so we payed £6.67 per session.]

3. Election of officers
Robert Muller was elected Squire of Spring Grove Morris Men.
Christine Fawcett was elected Squire of Off-Spring Morris at which point Ian stood down as chair and Chris ran the meeting to the end.
Martin Milner agreed to take on the Bagman's responsibilities.

4. Volunteers
Sue Benson agreed to design some publicity and Keith to get it printed.
There was a brief discussion about equipment and wares during which Dave Seager agreed to look into buying leather badges for the side to sell.

5. Programme
Robin underlined the importance of attendance at the paid events.

The importance of the Website in attracting interest was recognised and thanks given to Keith for his efforts. In response Keith said he had a number of enhancements in mind.

7. Repertoire
Keith noted that Bampton and Headington had some rather nice tunes and nice dances, and suggested that we should focus on these two traditions and move away from the old tunes.

Colin proposed the repertoire for the practice season to be for less experienced to focus on Bampton, more experienced to focus on Fieldtown, and the old lags to learn a new dance, probably a Shooting variant.

Colin was happy to receive input on favoured tunes to help guide his choice of dances.

Martin remarked that walking on and off was scruffy and that let down the performance. He also proposed that we practice with bells - it was agreed by the meeting to trial bells at practice.

8. OAB
The Pig is a wonderful character, we need a volunteer. Robin suggested that one or more attend a beast and character instructional, the Fed doesn't host these, but the Ring does and they are open to all.

On the same vein, Musician Instructionals are available from the Ring and are also open to all.

We had a card from Stephen Goddard thanking us for our contribution to Godalming Heritage day

It was noted that Dave Seager is the unofficial Archivist for the Side. Steve pointed out that the Archive had not been added to for the last five years.

Steve proposed that we have a Christmas Dinner; Christine agreed to look into it.

The meeting closed in good order and retired to the Spring Grove.