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2016 AGM Minutes

Note of 39th Annual General Meeting of Spring Grove Morris Men and Kingston Morris

Monday 26th September 2016
St John’s Church, Kingston upon Thames

In attendance were: Colin Messer, Jane Lowe, David Seager, Helena Cooper, Steve Nash, Laurie South, Glenis Ward, John Curwood, Robert Muller, Andy Lear, Frances Stearman, Caroline Edgington and Kathy Turner.

Colin Messer chaired the meeting.
1. Apologies for absence were received from: Ania Sanders, Sue Benson, Gerry McCann, Phil Mundy, Alan Bull, Janet Rees and Ian Kirkpatrick.
2. Items for consideration for AOB were:
  • Collecting and badge selling responsibilities
  • Transfer of money from Kingston Morris to Spring Grove Morris Men to support the 40th anniversary events
3 Minutes of the 38th SGMM/KM AGM were agreed.
4. Matters arising from the minutes
  • Robert said that he had taken no action on the promotional video, but that he might do so this year.
  • David said that he was working through the paperwork on the transfer of funds to a NatWest bank account.
5. The following Reports and Accounts were read:
SGMM Squire’s Report – Colin
KM Squire’s Report – Gerry
SGMM Bagman’s Report - Phil
KM Bag’s Report – Jane
SGMM Foreman’s Report – Colin
KM Practice Coordinator’s Report – Glenis
SGMM/KM Treasurer’s Report and Accounts – David
  • A motion was passed to give £1000 to Homestart as the charitable donation for 2015-16.
Action: David and Robert to arrange donation and publicity
  • A motion was passed to move the end of the financial year to 31st July in order to give time for the accounts to be audited before the AGM which would continue to be held on the last Monday in September – action – David to implement.
6. Election of Officers
The following were elected:
SG Squire – Steve Nash
KM Squire – Robert Muller
SG Deputy Squire – John Curwood
KM Deputy Squire – Sue Benson
SG Bagman – Phil Mundy
KM Bag – Jane Lowe
KM Practice Coordinator – Glenis Ward
SG Foreman – Colin Messer
SG/KM Treasurer – David Seager
Phil Mundy to continue as Assistant Treasurer.

7. Survey results
12 completed surveys were returned.  Sopot was the favourite event, followed by Swanage.  The least popular event was the Docklands workshop, though May Day as a whole had been enjoyed.  Long Ditton Fair and the Angel, Thames Ditton were the next least popular.
More weekends away, a Kingston Day of Dance and more Kingston Morris pub tours without a guest side were requested, along with more riverside and seaside events.  Spring Grove respondents preferred Ravensbourne to Hartley and Thaxted.

Some wanted more charity events, citing the Star and Garter as one they would like to do again.  Others did not want to perform at care homes.   Opinions were similarly divided on minor fairs, with some saying they would like to do fewer and others proposing specific fairs.  

There was a suggestion that we should do a folk festival we had not done before.

The sections of the survey dealing with repertoire and practice structure did not yield any clear conclusions.  [More detail can be found in Colin’s analysis of the survey results which he circulated on 27th September]
Action: Colin to solicit specific suggestions for foreign trips and/or new folk festivals for further consideration and set up a subcommittee to examine those proposals further if that would be helpful.  

8. Publicity and recruitment
The use of the A-board purchased in June for KM was discussed; the problem was finding someone able to take it to events, and that still needs to be determined.  Helena said that she had some display boards similar to those in the church that we could have.

The need to be more outgoing to our audiences was discussed.  Taking the potty round to audience members is a good way to start a conversation that might lead to a new member joining, but not everyone is comfortable doing that; some need to overcome a view that it is like begging. The fact that we are not supposed to say we are collecting for a specific charity was awkward for some.   Role play in practice was suggested, but it was not clear how that might be achieved.  

9. Practice plan for next season
It was suggested that Colin, as foreman, recommends a practice plan to the practice co-ordinator incorporating, where possible, suggestions made in the survey and by those present at the AGM. 
  • We will be revising the SGMM version of William and Nancy and possibly learning a new Bledington stick dance, Black Joker. 
  • Monck’s March is to be improved so that more feel confident to dance it out.
  • The Lass of Richmond Hill will be staying in the repertoire, but We Won’t Go Home will be dropped.  
  • More work to be done on the footwork and hanky movements that differentiate the traditions so the dances look distinctive.
  • All rosetted dancers to be encouraged to call at least one dance.
  • Another dancer to learn to call and lead the Manx sword dance so that it can be performed in Colin’s absence.  
  • Id to lead a session on performance.

10. Events for next season
We aim (subject to receiving invitations, venues being available etc.) to do our usual events:
  • Winterfest
  • Christmas meal on Tuesday 13th December at Merits
  • Our Christmas Ale on the last Monday before Christmas (at the Spring Grove if possible, otherwise at the Willoughby)
  • ESMMM’s Twelfth Night Celebration
  • Seething Wells
  • Kempton Great Engines
  • St George’s Day evening at the George and Dragon – daytime to be kept free for paid event
  • May Day Dawn on Box Hill and breakfast with ESMMM afterwards – daytime to be kept free for paid event
  • Richmond Fair – which will be part of the SGMM’s 40th birthday celebration this year
  • Twickenham Festival
  • Midsummer Morris (SG’s turn this year)
  • ESMMM Day of Dance
  • Woodies
  • Yateley
We already have an invitation to the Memory Café Christmas Party on 14th December. 
Spring Grove will be holding a celebration dinner on 23rd September.
We will also be doing more evening pub stands – dates will be put on the spreadsheets and members will be encouraged to pick a date on which they will arrange to dance at their favourite local pubs.
11. Charity for next season
Several charities were suggested: 
Robert suggested All about Alie, fundraising for MND research in memory of the wife of one of his former students.
Other charities included Me Too (a local Twickenham charity for children with additional needs and their carers and families), Macmillan Cancer Support and the Princess Alice Hospice. 
It was felt that more information was needed in order to choose fairly.
Action: Colin to ask those proposing charities to provide link to charity website, then circulate those links to members and consult them to determine which will be our charity for the coming year.

12. AOB
Collecting and badge selling responsibilities were covered under Publicity and Recruitment.
The transfer of £1000 from KM to SGMM to cover the 40th anniversary celebration was agreed.  
One further matter was raised.  Our pig has been living in a garage for some years.  Andy offered to help restore him.  Those who had danced in the pig said that he was too heavy and unwieldy to be of much use.  Robert suggested that we start afresh, and said that he could recommend a carnival animal maker.  
Action: Andy and Robert to progress side animal reinvigoration or renewal.