Stafford Bridge Club: EBU Affiliated
Captain's Report 2012
Captain’s report: AGM 13th May 2012

Mr President, before I comment on the club itself, I would just like to thank all those who have given their time freely to support the club. Without their help this club would have failed a long time ago. I do not intend to mention them by name, but thanks especially to those on the committee and those who help elsewhere with all our bridge sessions and teaching.

It is through the work of the teaching that our membership has increased.

 And thanks to our competitions secretary Mike for all his work with club competitions and our social events.

The club finances have been carefully managed by Michael Seavers (who as you know is unable to be here today) but my especial thanks to Ann & Paul for all their help in completing the corporation tax and to Paul for his work in helping Michael prepare and submit our accounts. And of course to Cliff Tayar for all his help with approving our accounts. Thank you Cliff

One notable success was with the competition, “Children in Need” for which our club raised £196; Geoff Davies & Robin Adey were the winning pair of our heat and worldwide over 19,000 players competed in 535 heats. Our balance sheet is healthy and we are able to keep our club subscriptions at £12.50 and table money at £2.50. Membership should have been renewed not later than 30th April and your committee agreed that any member paying later would still be charged at £12.50 i.e no concessions for “half year” members. Only new members who join part way through the year would – for that year only – receive some proportionate discount. In order for the club to complete its submission to the County and to notify the EBU of those previous members who are not renewing their subscription it is important that we do receive subs from all those outstanding who wish to remain as members.

Our dinner yesterday evening again remained at £16.00 per head and we had 48 attending – which is a little short of our record 53 in 2008.

Your committee wishes that the club remains affiliated to the EBU.

Now some new items to report.

  1. Our club dinner took place last night at a new venue, Baswich Church Hall. Previously this event was held in Brocton Village Hall and although the room was most acceptable the car park was not sufficient for our requirements. Last night’s dinner went extremely well and was, I believe enjoyed, by all 48 of us who attended. Your new committee will discuss next year’s event.
  2. New members: During the year 30 new members have joined (unfortunately not all have renewed for this coming year) and already we do have six new members signed up for 2012/13. Overall our membership is expected to remain around 120 with the new members comprising 20 most of whom have joined via Doug’s teaching sessions and the persuasive powers of Ann.
  3. New constitution: We held an EGM on 4th March which approved new titles for some of the committee. I will comment on these later.
  4. New competitions. The format of some competitions has changed, the Cooke Trophy is open to all sessions and the top four were Pam Ewan, Mike Sherriff, Olive Morgan and Pat Andrews. The Bryan Baker now uses randomized pairings as a social event and Vic Bulley with Michael Metcalf after a close photo finish came first with just 0.02% over 2nd place (John Whiteman & Pat Andrews). The summer cup format has been improved as well as that of the Dash. Mike has also created a new “Over 65s” club, with Pam Ewan, Mike Sherriff, Barrie Woodward, Philip Pymm, Michael Seavers, Deirdre Newsome, Janet Woodward, Shirley Elphick, Olive Morgan & Malcolm Roberts all over 70%. Well done to them.
  5. Friday Forum: Another new introduction which has seen two successful sessions and the third morning is on Friday 8th June.
  6. Now a request for some new directors and scorers which should then provide more cover and become less onerous on the current members who direct and score. To that end I propose to offer training for those who would like to consider taking on some of these roles. Could I draw your attention to the new notices on the board.
  7. Other social events included the President’s cup when once again the Captain’s team came second. The Arthur Bloxham trophy was held on Wednesday afternoon 2nd November and the winners were Antony Moore & Malcolm Roberts.
  8. We again had nine teams competing for the Shelley trophy and the winning Shelley team, led by Ann Sleightholme included Pauline Goggin, Barrie Woodward, Philip Pymm, John & Ann Whiteman and Pat Martin. And it was a pleasure to welcome two new members Bill Chester and Alan Westwood in the Metcalf team.
  9. The summer cup played as a teams event over four months was won by Pat Andrews, Ivor Clarke, Shirley Elphick, Deirdre Newsome & Joan Bradshaw. This event resumes on Thursday 14th June.
  10. The Dash Trophy – again as a handicap pairs - was won by Derrick Balsom & Glyn Pugh.
  11. We held just one evening for qualification for the Bearn Final, and four of our pairs took part in the County final on Sunday 1st April with Peter Collier & Dave Rowley finishing a very credible 7th.
  12. The individual this year was attended by only 13 players and was won by Mike Sherriff.
  13. Tuesday evenings continue to offer a stand-by partner and I am grateful to the four members who offer themselves to this service; but we still require a stand-by for the 4th Tuesday. Furthermore the club card clearly states that anyone who requires a partner on Tuesday evenings must arrive not later than7.00pm. This was a point raised at the AGM last year. Mike Sherriff is also willing to receive phone calls from any member seeking a partner.
  14. American suppers: Shirley undertook to manage the arrangements for the American Suppers, which have been quite successful, and as for last year we have agreed not to run these on Saturday evenings during June, July & August. Our final American supper before the summer recess will be on Saturday 26th May.
  15. All club members are now of course EBU members and we have seen promotions to Local master for 10 members; 14 at Club Master; 9 Area Masters and 5 District Masters.
  16. County successes: Geoff Davies & Robin Adey were in the winning team for the league county Division 1 and also won the County Men’s pairs. And on the same evening Shirley Elphick & Deirdre Newsome came a commendable 3rd in the Ladies’ pairs, with Ann Sleightholme & Pat Martin 4th.
  17. One other point to make is that the committee is considering organizing a bridge holiday. This is still in its early days of planning and it might take the form of a few days away in a hotel – with us running informal bridge sessions and to be simply a relaxing few days in a suitable UK location. Spouses of course will be most welcome. Perhaps at this stage I could have just a show of hands to test those who might be interested.

The committee continues to comprise 4 committee members together with our webmaster (a valuable member). I am most grateful to the support of those on the committee and to the four now seeking re-election. I am really pleased that they wish to remain for a further year. Those seeking election to the committee are members who wish to serve in an “official” capacity, whilst others may prefer to help the club on a more informal ad hoc basis. We are grateful for all their help. And as I said earlier I also propose to help train others to play a more active role as TDs, scorers and assisting with the duplimating of boards.

At the EGM, on Sunday 4th March, it was agreed that some titles be changed and so I propose that we consider these for election. Also it was not made clear at the EGM (for which I apologize) that 4 committee members would also be elected, and so before we as a collective committee stand down we should formally approve these positions and ask for any other nominations later in the agenda. But just for clarification permit me to outline these proposals. It has been the view of your committee that the title “Captain” could be replaced by “Chairman”. This role will then be of a more general, overall responsibility, for the running and supervision of all aspects of the club. Then new titles are also proposed for that of “Club Captain” who will manage all the bridge sessions; that of “House Manager” to ensure the club room etc is well maintained. And as the club now offers more emphasis on some of our social bridge events it is our intention to put forward for election a Social Events Organizer.

Thank you.

David Drinkwater

Captain, 13th May 2012