SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE NOW DUE - £30
Please speak to Richard if you would like Bank details for direct transfer, or give a cheque or cash to a committee member.
Table money remains at £4 for members, but £6 for guests
See 'Future Events' (Top Right Hand Side of Home Page) to see forthcoming EBU Tournaments.
Access My EBU at www.ebu.co.uk
Crowborough Bridge Club – Minutes of Annual General Meeting, 25th June 2018
Present: Linda Reed (chair), Richard Penticost (treasurer), Adele Holder (secretary), Carol Forster (committee), Steve Dennison (committee) and 17 other members.
Apologies for absence: Moira Taylor, Chris Bayley, Marion Newman, Daisy Collick
Minutes of 2017 AGM: approved unanimously
Treasurer’s Report: Copies of the accounts were circulated. Richard Penticost expressed his thanks to David Ball for auditing the accounts and creating such an excellent presentation; to Moira Taylor for so ably looking after all membership matters, and also to all those who collect table money on a regular basis, notably Steve Dennison, Diane Rowcliffe and Marion Newman. Contrary to earlier expectations a small profit of £346 had been made during the last year. Table money had dropped a little; although Thursdays were up, both Mondays and Fridays were down. Expenditure, apart from the room rent, had been much the same as the previous year. Room rent is currently £18/hour and will go up in January to £19/hour. In the summer months the smaller room, MR2, can be used for Fridays which gives a saving. The Committee had proposed to increase table money to £3.50/session and this was unanimously supported. Nick Levine felt that possibly Fridays should pay more in order to cover the costs of the room. Fran Fisher felt that £4 would not be out of the way for table money per session; Chris Sandford agreed and suggested that the increase for all sessions should be put up to £4/session and this was put to the vote and overwhelmingly approved, with the consequence that Nick withdrew his £5 suggestion.
Chairman’s Report: this had been circulated some weeks ago. Linda pointed out that membership has reduced from 101 to 89 this year, and that this decline could continue given the age of the majority of our members. If the development of the Mead House car park proceeds, thus removing most of the convenient parking for the Community Centre, it is likely that many of the older/more infirm members would find it difficult to attend. The Committee had been considering alternative venues during the past year, such as various church halls, but none had proved suitable. There remained sports clubs to be considered and it was felt that these should be investigated in the coming year.
Marion Cowie suggested that many of the clubs using the Community Centre were on Facebook, but the Bridge Club was not; it was agreed that it would be a good idea to put it on.
Election of Commitee: two members, Chris Bayley and Carol Forster had served their 3 years on the committee. Chris was happy to stand for re-election, Carol wished to retire. Fran Fisher had been nominated to serve. Both Chris and Fran were elected unanimously.
AOB: two members had requested a slightly earlier start time for evening sessions. It was agreed that a questionnaire should be sent to all members asking for their views for both Mondays and Fridays, and also asking if any members who do not currently attend evening sessions would do so if they started earlier.
AGM – Crowborough Bridge Club – Agenda
Monday 25 June 2018 – 6.30pm
1. Apologies for Absence
2. Approval of Minutes AGM 2017
3. Treasurer’s report and adoption of the statement of account
4. Chairperson’s report
5. Confirmation of election of Committee members – we have 2 vacancies, and 2 nominations – Chris Bailey and Fran Fisher
6. Issues for members votes
Rather than close down either Monday or Friday sessions the Committee is recommending an increase to table money from £3 to £3.50
For members unable to attend the AGM there are proxy voting forms available. Please complete and give to a member of the Committee by Friday 22nd June.
Dealing and Producing the Hands to View on the Computer written by Adele Holder.
Unlike many other clubs, we can't deal the cards at the Community Centre and produce the "hands" for viewing immediately. We have inquired about dealing at the Community Centre and this is not a possibility.
The system goes like this:
The cards are dealt at dealer's homes using their own computers, again unlike other clubs who can deal at their own premises.
This entails handling very heavy cases containg cards in their plastic wallets.
The "dealers" deal about two weeks in advance.
They bring the cases of cards into the club and store them in the cages.
Producing The Hands
Many other clubs are able to also do this on their premises because they do the dealing there.
The software we use is a Bridge Dealing Program which produces a pbn (the hands) - this is used by the dealing machine to actually sort the cards into hands for each board.
The dealer (Chris Sandford, Chris Bailey and Stephen Dennison) then e-mails the pbn (hands) to me and I upload them onto my computer.
The pbn (hands) is not an openable file which means that I can only see the hands after the event and once I put them on the website.
After the event has finished I have to get home, turn on my computer, log in to the Bridgewebs website and then upload the pbn (hands) to the Bridgewebs system.
The hands then appear for the event.
I do this as early as possible the next morning.
This system has worked very well considering the difficulties we have with, for example the laptop updating itself (we are not able to stop it) just before an event!!!
Chris Sandford is the only person who has the time to deal Thursday's hands too.
Important Information for Club Members 30/1/2018
Your Committee has been very active in recent months, and it has become important to bring matters to Members’ attention.
The current difference between income and outgoings predicted for the year 2017/2018 is a deficit of £700+. While the Club is healthy financially we are eating into our reserves, and will do so more as the Community Centre rent increases year on year.
Despite Committee efforts Friday numbers have not improved except for the Team Event on the last Friday of the month. Monday numbers are dropping significantly, and this is not anticipated to change. While Thursday numbers pay their way, the surplus cannot subsidise both Friday and Monday, and we will continue to eat into our reserves. The situation is not sustainable.
As is increasingly common to bridge clubs across the country, the Club faces a sustained move from playing during the evenings to playing during the day.
The Committee has researched possible alternatives
If we are to take up TW’s offer then there are pros and cons:-
Our working members play on a Friday and may not choose to move either to TW or to a Monday
A significant number of our Monday players are octogenarians, and as they leave they are not being replaced by new members in the same numbers.
The intention is to discuss this at the AGM on Monday 25th June and decide upon a course of action. It will be the most important decision that the Club has had to make for a very long time. ALL members need to be involved in the outcome, and their views expressed. The Committee wishes to stress the importance of the meeting and hopes that ALL members will try to attend. We are making the information available now so that members will have a chance to give the matter due consideration, to pass their views to a Committee member and so that proxy voting forms can be prepared nearer the time.
Crowborough Bridge Club - Annual General Meeting – 10th July 2017
Present: Committee (Linda Reed, Richard Penticost, Adele Holder, Moira Taylor, Carol Forster) and 18 other members.
Apologies for absence: Joy Byford, Daisy Collick, Sue Haslam, Marion Newman, Barbara Emberson, Sydney Moss, Adam Hardy, Joan Webber, Chris Bailey
Approval of the Minutes of the 2016 AGM: approved without further comment.
Linda had circulated this to all members in advance in order to shorten proceedings. She suggested that, as it was anticipated that Item 7 would take up some considerable time, it would not be necessary to go over it again. All were in agreement and no queries or comments were raised.
A cash statement of Account for the year to 31st May 2017 was circulated.
In summary, a profit of over £1800 had been made in the past year; subscriptions remained about the same as the previous year, as did membership, but table money was up; unexpectedly expenditure had gone down by about £600.
The rent for the hall will go up to £18.00/hour in 2018 and to £19.00/hour in 2019.
The committee recommended maintaining subscriptions and table money at the same level as the current year, and hope they can also be maintained at this level for the following year.
Richard thanked David Ball for auditing the accounts, Moira for collecting and dealing with subscriptions, and all those who collected table money.
It was proposed that the Accounts be approved and this was passed without dissent.
Election of Committee
Richard Penticost and Adele Holder had served their 3 years, but were prepared to stand for re-election. There was one vacancy on the Committee and Steve Dennison had been nominated. All three were re-elected/elected unopposed.
Issues for Members Votes
The Committee would like the ability to implement the following two proposals, and proxy vote forms had been issued for those unable to be present to voice their opinions:-
a) Use of a timer: the recommendation that the Director could at his/her discretion use a timer was approved unanimously
b) Cutting for Position: the recommendation that the Director could at his/her discretion cut for position was approved by the majority, with 9 members opposed to the idea.
The Committee are concerned regarding the drop in attendance on Fridays, and the consequent “loss” of income. The club currently needs a minimum of 8 tables to break even. On Fridays, apart from the monthly Team Evenings, this number is never achieved. The problem is compounded by Monday numbers also dropping.
There was discussion as to the reasons –
It was pointed out that Friday numbers appear to be dropping at all bridge clubs; the problem is not specific to Crowborough.
Many members felt that all possible should be done to retain Fridays –
Historically Fridays (when they were the busiest night) supported the other playing sessions. In general it was felt that at the moment there was not a cash problem and Fridays should be maintained as they are, with everyone doing all possible to try to increase the numbers.
The questionnaire sent out earlier in the year revealed that there was support for an annual event; the Committee will look into possible options for an event towards the end of March 2018. They will revert to the membership in the Autumn with their proposals.
It had been decided that these would be presented at the appropriate sessions.
Winners: Annual Master Points, Mondays: Adele Holder
Annual Master Points, Thursdays: Ian Carruthers
Annual Master Points, Fridays: Chris Bailey
Dixon Cup: Jean Smallwood
Trevor Cup: Sylvia Hall, Richard Penticost, Ian and Margaret Carruthers
Monday 10 July 2017
Members are asked to vote whether they support the Committee’s recommendation that the Director may use a timer at their discretion, or if requested to by the Committee.
Members are asked to vote whether they support the Committee’s recommendation that the Director may cut for position at their discretion, or if requested to by the Committee.
7. Discussion of options for Friday evening
8. Presentation of Cups
Thank you to all our members who completed the questionnaire. We had 47 replies, which means that virtually every one of our active members have contributed. As usual with questionnaires not every person answered every section. Since some of the answers came from members who attend more than one session in a week, there may appear to be more answers than completed papers ! The Committee has had a chance to discuss the results and any decisions possible have been annotated in red.
Aware of Slow play
Affected by slow play
Slow play is clearly an issue. The use of a timer is subject to an AGM vote on 10 July.
I would support an annual event
Yes – non members come too
Yes – members only
I would support a dinner after an annual event
Only if the venue were changed
The Committee will do some research on using the Community Center, Barnsgate and Caterers to establish some idea of the costs of various options to put to members for their preferred choice. Feedback will be made as soon as possible.
I don’t normally play in the evenings, but I would do so if someone gave me a lift
Could the 2 people who indicated they would welcome a lift please identify themselves to a member of the Committee so that we can sort out anyone living locally to them who they might contact for a lift.
I would be happy to give someone a lift to an evening session
Once we know who would like a lift we will ask for volunteers living near them.
On the AGM agenda
We will ask the CC if there is any way they can identify more spaces on bridge sessions
Nick Levine and Sylvia Hall are asked to keep this in mind when they look at teams
This will be discussed with the dealers
Directors are asked to remind members before each session that discussion of hands should only occur when all boards have been played
The use of a timer is due for an AGM vote. Action to deal with slow play will depend on the result.
2017 Linda Reed Chairperson’s report
TO COMPLETE THE SURVEY AFTER READING THE REPORT, USE THE NUMBERED ITEMS TO ANSWER THE SURVEY AND SEND THE ANSWERS TO firstname.lastname@example.org
Firstly I must echo Nick Levine’s comments from his report last year. So many of our members help out voluntarily and freely without pay either setting up, directing, scoring, catering, collecting table money, tidying away…..It means the burden is shared, and many, many thanks to all those who contribute.
I started out my first year as chairperson with only one clear issue – that of Friday numbers, and how we could improve them sufficiently that Friday remained viable. The introduction of a Team’s Event on the last Friday of the month has proved very successful – no doubt partly due to the cake ! But numbers on the other Fridays have been very low despite the reintroduction of hosts, and we still face a decision as to whether we stop Friday evenings except for the Teams Event.
Numbers on a Thursday remain vibrant, and we have had a steady influx of new members via the Thursday sessions, although few are then also attending an evening session. It is now rare for a Thursday afternoon to host fewer than 9 tables, and we have twice hit 12 in the last year and a record recently of 13 tables. Since we need at least 8 tables to cover our costs this means there is some surplus towards our costs for evening sessions.
It is not perhaps surprising, given that a substantial proportion of our members are in their 80s, that ill health should have become a major challenge this year. In addition some of our longest serving members have moved away. This has affected Monday numbers considerably. From a heyday at the church hall of 13 or 14 tables, we now rarely manage more than 8. As numbers have dwindled it has become more obvious that there is a rigidity in the way pairs sit, and slow play has become an issue. In an effort to increase variety the committee intended to try a period of cutting for position. This has continued without opposition on a Thursday afternoon. It has led to an increase of confidence with the bridgemates, encouraged people to mix which has improved sociability, and allowed a greater variety of opponents. It has been left to a vote at the AGM in order to be able to establish a mandate to continue. A timer has been introduced for a trial period, and voting for its usage at any session will also take place. It is not proposed that either should occur at every session, but that it should be available at the Director’s discretion or at the request of the Committee.
We now have Captains for our league and friendly matches, and it is with pleasure that I can report an increase in the number of members prepared to play. Thanks go to Nick and Sylvia for their efforts.
Our IT systems continue to pose challenges, and members have faced frustration when they have hit glitches. This is an ongoing problem and thanks go to Chris Bailey and latterly Chris Sandford for trying to sort it all out for us.
There was no annual event this year. The Golf Club venue hasn’t worked well with the accommodation on the afternoon session, and the dinner has become less well supported. We need to consider whether it should be reinstated, with or without the dinner, and if so whether the venue should change.
In order to be sure where the major issues for members occur, a questionnaire is attached. And in order to ensure that the majority of our members views are respected a proxy voting form is included for members who will not be able to attend the AGM on the 10th July. The Committee hopes that all members will take the opportunity to express their wishes. Linda Reed
2017 Questionnaire – Crowborough Bridge Club USE THE NUMBERED ITEMS TO ANSWER THE SURVEY AND SEND THE ANSWERS TO email@example.com
Please tick where appropriate and return to the box which will be in all sessions by 16th June
1. I play on
2. I am affected by slow play
3. I am aware of slow play on
4. I would support an annual event
5. I would support a dinner after an annual event
6. I don’t normally play in the evenings, but I would do so if someone gave me a lift
7. I would be happy to give someone a lift to an evening session
8. I would like the following items included as AOB at the AGM on the 10th July
a) I support the Committee’s recommendation that the Director may use a timer at their discretion or if requested by the Committee.
b) I support the Committee’s recommendation that the Director may cut for position at their discretion or if requested by the Committee
Proxy Voting form
Membership Number: -…………………………………
I am unable to attend the Crowborough Bridge Club on Monday 10th July.
I appoint………………………………………………………………………………… to vote as my proxy
Friday Evening Bridge
Hosting on a Friday
This is now in place, but look at the home page for any changes
We held a team event of four event (The Trevor Cup) at the end of April . Many members commented on how enjoyable it was. As a result, the Committee has decided to hold team events on the 5th Fridays in any month when they occur.
For information about how to use the dealing machine, scoring and use of Bridgemates.
You will find the manual at the bottom of the Information Section.
Our thanks go to Chris Bailey for taking the time and effort in producing the Manual.
Evening Session Start Time
Thank you to the many members who gave their views on whether they would favour a 7.15pm start.
Out of 65 members who were able to be contacted:
32 voted yes and 33 did not say yes
32 responders favoured a 7.15pm start
20 responders were against a 7.15 pm start
13 responders were happy with either time and
6 of these expressed concern for those who work.
In light of the above, the committee has decided that it would not be appropriate to change to on earlier start time
Members are asked to arrive at 7.15 with 7.25 being the very latest so that movement decisions can be made in good time for a prompt 7.30 start.
The Committee also considered the related matter of LATE FINISHING.
Most of the recent evening sessions have ended by 10.30pm, perhaps because of the greater awareness, perhaps because we are collectively more capable with bridge mates or perhaps directors are aiming to call movement after 20 minutes for 3 boards. We are aware that members do not like to be nagged, though the observation "you should be on your third board now" does seem to be helpful.
on behalf of the committee