TREASURER’S REPORT (David Stone)
In May, our auditor, Ray Bliss, informed us that he was moving from Cornwall. It was therefore decided to audit the accounts to the middle of May so that Ray would be here for the audit. This audit shows we have a small shortfall of around £50 in the 10 ½ months covered. However, in addition we spent over £600 in June on our South West League C team’s entry into the National Final, their travel, and travel for members who are playing in the Pachabo. In a normal year this would have meant a shortfall of between £500 and £600. EBU Licences & P2P were our biggest expense, closely followed by South West League Teams travel and hall hire.
This season we will have to pay over 20% more for Ladock Hall hire. Consequently we are seeking an increase in the P2P county levy paid by clubs of one penny per person on club nights, this being collected by the EBU on our behalf.
I anticipate that even with this increase we will have a bigger shortfall in our accounts next year.
TOURNAMENT & ENTRIES SECRETARY’S REPORT (Chris Bickerdike)
Overall attendance was about level year on year. The Swiss Teams played in Penzance attracted only eight teams (11 last year), and if this number dwindles further next month it will be cancelled, and may be dropped from the programme, so please try and support it. The County Teams of Four Championship will again be used as the qualifier for the Knockout Semi-Finals – unfortunately last year, there was no final due to illness.
At the table, highlight was the arrival of Geoff Smith to Cornwall. He started by winning the Bodmin Swiss Pairs, and won a further four county events after Christmas. Truro A won the Teams of Eight and competed in the Garden Cities Regional Final in Bristol.
In the absence of a Tournament & Entries Secretary, Chris Bickerdike again planned and managed the programme, with much help from Jim Barker, Brian Relton and others. A big thanks to them all, and to Linda Dickson who duplimated boards for all events and for home county matches.
Jim Barker made a plea for club directors to come forward to help spread the load of directing at county events. Under the guidance of Liz Perry, we intend to use Bridgemates at all pairs events this coming year.
MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY’S REPORT (Sandra Bickerdike)
The county membership is currently standing at 593 compared with 583 this time last year. For the first time in recent years, the number of new members has outstripped the number who have died or moved on. Please can I remind secretaries to keep their membership lists up-to-date on the EBU database.
WESTERN COUNTIES LEAGUE REPORT (Brian Relton)
A pleasing season overall for Cornwall in the Western League. When combining the results of all three teams together (A+B+C), then Cornwall came a very creditable second overall out of the eight Counties competing. Dorset were the runaway winners with Devon third.
The A Team, after a hesitant start, performed very strongly, finishing third in their League. The B Team, after a very good win in their first match, unfortunately lost all of the remaining six matches - this following their very good results in the previous season.
The C Team, in winning six out of their seven matches, topped their League and thus qualified for the National Final, which was held in Coventry during July this year.
A team of eight represented Cornwall, their opponents being Yorkshire, Hertfordshire and Gloucestershire. Despite playing against much higher ranked players, the team did exceedingly well in winning against both Yorkshire & Hertfordshire (the overall winners in 2017 &2016) but lost to Gloucestershire.
23 different players represented the County during the season. A big thank you to all the players involved for their continued commitment & support to the County. Bodmin will remain our Home venue this season for the third year running & Willand will also continue as the mid-point venue for the match against East Wales.
CORNWALL CONGRESS REPORT (Chris Bickerdike)
The third Congress to be held at the Falcon Hotel in Bude only a fortnight ago was very successful. Although entries were down by 5%, many players took the time to tell me how much they enjoyed the event. This is due to a combination of the hotel and its aspect, the playing area, top class director and scorer, and good organisation. There are still some outstanding bills to be paid, so I cannot present accounts at this stage. I anticipate a small profit, but not as much as last year’s £541.
Several weeks before the Congress I intimated that this would be my last year organising the Congress. The combination of (1) this year’s positive feedback (2) Rob Mabley being happy to continue as Entries Secretary, and (3) two new people living in the Bude area willing to come on board, has caused me to have a re-think, and I will now continue next year. As such, I have confirmed with the hotel the dates of 14-16 September for 2018.