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2010 AGM Minutes

33rd Annual General Meeting

of the

Spring Grove Morris Men

and Off-Spring Morris


Monday 4th October at 8:00pm 2010

The Church of St John the Evangelist,

Spring Grove, Kingston


In attendance were: Sue Benson, Tony Bryan, John Curwood, Marian Damen, Chris Damen, Ben Izard, Ian Kirkpatrick, Jenny Holden, Colin Messer, Robert Muller, Steve Nash, David Seager, Glenis Ward, (and arriving fashionably late were)  Pat Dobson, Theresa Ellmers, The Pig, Kate Wood.


The meeting began at 20.08 chaired by SGMM and OSM Squire Robert Muller.


  1. Apologies:

For absence Keith Dunnett, Christine Fawcett, Gerry McCann, and from Kate Wood who gave advance notice that she would be late.


  1. Items for consideration for AOB:



  1. Minutes of the last AGM:

 Agreed without change.


  1. Matters arising from the minutes:

Theresa and Leo have continued to work on the Pig – and he is looking fine.  The officers followed up and, where possible, resolved unaddressed AOB issues.


  1. Reports and Accounts:

Please see the emailed reports for full details, the highlights were as follows:

1.      SGMM & OSM Squire's Report – Robert Muller.

An excellent year though missed the early part due to eczema.  Key points were: hospitalisation of the treasurer, the Ben and John's sticks and the issue of our income.


2.      OSM Secretary's Report – Sue Benson

It is very hard work to get folk to commit to events.  There is a clear preference for weekday evenings over weekends. David Seager asked when was the right time or frequency to update the spreadsheet, Sue replied that weekly when the update was sent out would be right frequency to check the spreadsheet. It took a lot of effort to run the years programme which Sue was not sure she could put in next year, but with Theresa's help thing should be easier.  Sue is happy to coordinate but not to organise and chase everything.  She will delegate more events next year.  It will be much easier with a helper – Theresa is very keen and they are meeting up soon.  See emailed report for full details.


3.      SGMM Bagman's Report – Colin Messer

19 men danced over the year.  Website complete, just needs maintenance.  Traffic up 400%, 35% more invitations, two new member enquiries.


4.      SGMM & OSM Treasurer's Report – Christine Fawcett

Christine was in hospital so the report would be delayed.  David has the passbooks and reported over £2,000 in the accounts.  Approximate figures were: £7-800 – fees, £500 collected, we require £1,000 to keep afloat.


5.      SGMM & OSM Foreman's Report – Colin Messer

There has been an improvement in quality and consistency. The dances are better established. Be bold and take control of the in performance.  Bidford looking good and is a unique feature.  Galleys compare poorly with the surrounding sides, and yet Fieldtown is out tradition of choice.  See emailed report for details.


  1. Survey 2010 Season

Steve summarised the results of the survey. 

- 17 members responded to the survey.

- Everybody wanted a mixture of weekend and weekday events throughout the summer of 2011.

- Members wanted between 4 and 5 events each month except in August and September.

- The average monthly availability largely matched up with the average number of events.

- Off-Spring support was strongest for festivals at Eastbourne at the end of July and Chippenham at the end of May.

- Spring Grove support was strongest for ring meetings at Chipperfield and Thaxted.

- When ranking aspects of Morris, fun for the audience was considered the most important with professional performance and accuracy being next most important.  Variety of dances and vigour were considered least important.

- Fieldtown and Headington were the two most requested traditions for practice over the winter.

- Three-quarters (75%) of members were in favour of introducing a subscription, compared with 60% last year.   40% of members suggested £20 as the most appropriate level for the membership fee and the average suggested was £22.50.

- The Shooting Star Children’s Hospice, Born Too Soon and a stroke charity were the three most nominated charities for 2011.

- 60% of members supported a review of the constitution of both sides with 40% happy to keep the constitutions as they are.

- There were nominations for all posts but nearly all members confirmed Sue as bagperson and Colin as foreman for 2011.

- The great majority of members (86%) wanted to continue with Richmond in 2011 as the venue for the Christmas dinner.

- One member received 60% of the votes for Off-Spring person of the year.


There was a discussion concerning both charities and how money received was disposed.

Sue asked for all money to go to Shooting Star as Ladder to the Moon had received a grant, but the meeting decided that we should abide by the AGM decision in 2009 and split the money.

Chris raised the issues that we should be covering our costs before donating to charity.  Last year's AGM agreed all collected monies should be donated.  Roberts suggested deciding that policy in the charities discussion, Item 12. Steve commented that this was covered by the constitution and should be discussed separately outside the AGM.



  1. Constitutional Changes

-         Term of Office for Squire

Robert proposed his suggested change to OSM's constitution, striking out the two year limit for Squire.

To put the article into context, Steve explained that a dominant leader had found it impossible to accept that he wasn't re-elected which caused a split. The two year limit was to prevent this re-occurring.  Steve suggested that we agree an extraordinary motion to permit and adjust the Constitution later.  This was not agreed.

Chris Damen seconded Robert's suggestion.  Passed by majority agreement.

Chris Damen proposed that a subcommittee review and propose amendments to both Off-Springs and Spring Grove's constitution seconded SB, agreed unopposed.

Steve suggested the officers, i.e. Robert, Colin, Sue and David and himself form the constitution sub-committee.


-         Membership fees

Moved to after evection of officers


  1. Election of Officers


OSM Squire: Robert Muller (continued in office)

            proposed: Marian Damen

            seconded: Colin Messer

Steve impressed on the side that the next squire should be a women.  Sue deplored positive discrimination and thought the best person for the job should be selected, this was echoed by others.


SGMM Squire: Steve Nash

            proposed: David

            seconded: Robert


OSM Deputy Squire: No-one was prepared to stand so this post was not filled.


SGMM Deputy Squire: Tony Bryan

            Proposed: Colin Messer

            Seconded: David Seager


SGMM & OSM Foreman: Colin Messer (continued in office)

            proposed: Sue Benson

            seconded: Steve Nash


Assistant Foreman: David Seager

            proposed: Colin Messer

            seconded: Sue Benson


SGMM Bagman: Colin Messer

            proposed: Steve Nash

            seconded: Robert Muller


OSM Secretary: Sue Benson

No proposer / seconder noted at the time or on the tape


OSM Assistant Secretary: Theresa Ellmers

            proposed: Sue Benson

            seconded: Chris Damen


SGMM & OSM Treasurer: David Seager

            proposed: Ian Kirkpatrick

seconded: John Curwood


Marian Damen asked about signatories for cheques etc., Robert agreed to look at signatories required with David.


8a Subs

Steve proposed that Spring Grove pay subs, seconded by Robert: carried by a majority.

Robert proposed that Off-Spring have a membership fee, no seconder: carried by a majority.

Robert summarised the views that had been expressed on the email system.

Steve asked for volunteers to present a mechanism for applying concessions to the subscription.  Kate and Theresa agreed.  Chris again asked that our position regarding donations to charity are resolved at the same time, but this is too be addressed by the constitution sub-committee.  The Squires, Bagman and Secretary will meet to agree the concessions proposal.


9   Ratification of Off-Spring Kit

Colin had detailed a kit list.  Buttoned single cuffed shirts to be added after which the kit as described was agreed unanimously.


10 Practice Plan for Season 2011 - Colin

After accepting guidance on requested dances, the focus remains on Fieldtown, there will be a reduced vigour Headington jig and a new fun figure with an interesting formation, Skirmish.


Steve requested that Spring Grove, and Off-Spring if they so choose, work on two show dances: Fieldtown Signposts plus a stick are practised to a higher standard – Colin chose Bidford Young Collins.  Off-Spring agreed to work on the same dances.


11.                   Charity for 2011

Colin sought clarity on the distribution of money received.  Steve said that this agenda item was to decide which charity or charities we would support this year.  Robert agreed that it would have to be agreed later. Steve proposed that we share between a stroke charity and Born to Soon.  Supporting the stroke charity is subject to Christine's approval.


12. Events for 2011

Sue discussed the number of events and how had we waited to get 9 members we would have done a lot less.  Colin asked for everyone to be available on May Day.  Steve noted that we always seem happy to dance on a Monday evening, it is dancing at the weekend that it is hard to get people for.  Steve suggested five events each month for May, June and July, two weekend events and three weekday evenings each month.  Sue agreed this would be ideal but it would still depend on enough members signing up in advance.  She welcomed the sub as it might ease the pressure to take on fee paying events.

Marian suggested practicing at Twickenham Yacht Club on Eel Pie Island.  Sue said that a properly costed proposal should be submitted.


13. Social Media Strategy

Colin requested help in understanding and producing a strategy.  Theresa gave a brief overview of how Facebook worked and offered to inform Colin further.


14. Archive Sharing

Glenis: Kingston Council is offering to store clubs archives of documents and pictures, there is no fee.  Are we interested?  There was general agreement that we would store archive material with Kingston Council.


15. Hanworth Start-up

Slow going, no activity yet.  The height of the ceiling in the available hall is too low.  No useful interest at the church.  Marian mentioned the possibility of a BAA Grant.


16.          Sticks

Ben and John will be gathering sticks.  Agreed colours for sticks are green and yellow to match baldrics.  Robert explained that of the ideas for the new side only Alan's use of the three Kingston salmon had stood the test of time.  The use of red and the waistcoats had been Robert's idea and had now gone. 


17.                   AOB

There were no items to be discussed.


The Meeting ended at 10:16 and we left in good order for the Spring Grove Public House to share a quiet pint.


Colin Messer




03-Nov-2010   V1       Initial draft

08-Nov-2010   V2       Applied Sue’s update