The main visible benefits of universal membership are that all regular players in the club are now receiving free magazines and diaries, but the principal long-term gain should be the EBU’s potential to invest in developing the game.
Your committee has supported the change, and will seek to exploit innovations as they arise, including the possible introduction of downloadable hands and print-outs.
Early difficulties with membership and uploads were quickly sorted out, and the EBU is due to visit Worcestershire this year to look at ideas to increase numbers playing in clubs.
It seems too early to judge whether the EBU will succeed in its aims under P2P, but your committee will continue to monitor progress.
Meanwhile your committee proposes to hold session fees at £1.50 for members until April 2011. From then it would increase to £2, as already charged at many local clubs, in order to maintain reserves and to fund possible development.
Constitution: The club has adopted the standard EBU model constitution giving members full powers over club affairs, and standardising procedures such as complaint resolution with other clubs.
We seek your approval of the new constitution, which can be seen on the club website, on the noticeboard, in the black book and copies of which are available on demand.
Competitions: Few members expressed a wish to enter external competitions. We will not therefore press for representation, but will publicise events via the website and in club announcements. Members should make their own arrangements, but where appropriate the secretary will complete the necessary forms.
Opening and closing: A new system for opening and closing the club has worked reasonably well, and has increased the percentage of members helping.
Directors: Hilary and Michael H. resigned as directors after many years’ service. Colin D. has joined the rota after attending an EBU-subsidised course.
We will end the pairs championship on Friday 10 December, a week before our final meeting of the year.
This means that the pair and slam champions can be announced at the Christmas party on 17 December, when we will play a one-off evening with small prizes.
There are no meetings on Dec 24 or 31.
Membership and attendance
Attendance at the club has fallen from an average of 7.5 tables to 7 from 2008/9 to this year. We will strongly support initiatives such as those at Tewkesbury to teach beginners, and encourage others to join clubs.
The free scheme, led by Hilary and Ann B., is particularly suited to social players, and we urge any members to recommend it to friends.
We will look at introducing bridge pads, giving instant scoring, as has already been done successfully at many county clubs, including Droitwich.
It is helpful that many of our members are gaining experience of the system at Eckington, but we will bring in the pads only if we are confident that users are sufficiently trained in advance.
Highlights of the year
Ø Gill and Wynne achieved 67% - 48th in the world in the June Worldwide Sim Pairs, just beating Chris and Wilf who came 50th. Bredon was the only UK club with two pairs in the top 50.
Ø The club introduced a Good Behaviour Guide to encourage congratulation and discourage criticism.
Ø Jennifer and Liz scored a possible record 74.8% in September.
Ø Pauline and Michael gave a superb North sign to the club, made in oak by craftsman son Adam to mark their Golden Wedding anniversary.
Ø The last night of 2009 produced an amazing 15 slams, helped perhaps by Bernie’s mulled wine.
Ø Congratulations to trophy winners: Chris and Wilf (pairs championship); Wilf (slammer); Jessie and Laurence (Bredon Pairs Cup); Clive (Autumn Individual); Roger, Adam, Laurence and Helen (Teams), Chris and Wilf (Anniversary Cup), and all those ill-deserving losers robbed by cruel misfortune.
Ø Michael Hill became the third Bredon member to have a book published - a remarkable record in a small club. His charming volume of poetry, Recollections, recounts an eventful life as an evacuee and physicist, and is obtainable from him for just £5.95.
I am immensely grateful to my colleagues who have diligently undertaken many tasks, often unseen, to keep the club running efficiently.
Di, who has been a member of the committee since the formation of the club 14 years ago, intends to step down at the AGM. She has served as secretary, offered well-considered advice, and continues to keep us well provided with refreshments and to act as reserve scorer.
I am grateful too to Gayle, who will resign as a secretary at the AGM after five highly efficient years. I am pleased to say that she is willing to remain as a committee member.
Howard has confidently overseen the transition to the new P2P financial arrangements, while Michael continues to burn the oil often past midnight to score our events, and highlight interesting aspects of the current championships.
Laurence organises the directors’ rota and is a fund of knowledge about running events, and Bernie continues with help from Di to treat us to her celebration feasts.
Colin March has kindly agreed to act as club auditor, succeeding Maurice Marshment who did the job as long as anyone remembers.
I believe it is important that the club should achieve a rotation of officials, to refresh ideas, and to prevent potential new committee members feeling that they are taking on interminable commitments.
Although no firm decisions have been made about this, it seems reasonable to ask officials to serve for three to not more than five years, depending on their willingness to remain in post, and members’ willingness to have them!
I am delighted to say that Gill Young has agreed to stand as your new secretary, and urge you to give her your full support.
We would welcome another volunteer to join the club committee, which meets just two or three times a year. Names please to Gayle or Colin, or at the AGM.
Colin Davison, Chairman, July 2010