2020 Annual General Meeting
We will be unable to hold an AGM this year so we are sending out all the reports by email or post. We have not received any proposals to vote on so our suggestion is that the directors continue to run the club until ‘normal’ service is resumed.
It has been a difficult and unusual year, but once sport was underway there was lots of interest and an increase in membership. Fishing has proved difficult at times with many weeks of low water and also some spells of very heavy rainfall. Nevertheless catches have generally held up well with record bream, chub and barbel being caught, although the barbel are still rare. Some very good grayling and brown trout have been recorded.
Dom Bailey, Martyn Tranter and Scott Curtis have all taken 14inch brown trout and therefore share the Robin Reep Trophy.
The Covid crisis has accelerated some changes in the management structure. The committee has been unable to function in the normal way so the directors, Huw Powell, Nick Gates, Gavin Wells, and myself, have been undertaking much of the work through frequent ‘virtual’ meetings via Skype. This has been supported by regular contact with committee members and key players on the bank teams.
Several long term servants of the club will be standing down this year. Dick Rees has retired from active duty but continues to visit the bank teams regularly, raising morale, giving advice and serving coffee! Dick has been with the club since the 1950s. Dennis Toogood is standing down as coordinator of the Wednesday team after many years of great service to the club and Janet Clarke is retiring from her role as a committee member after years of loyal work.
The club owes them all a great debt of gratitude. The directors have decided to award Life Membership to Dick Rees and Terry Love in recognition of their long service to the association. This will need to be ratified by the membership at a future general meeting.
The poaching problem has been reduced by better bailiffing and improving security at the access points where possible. Members can expect to be asked to prove their membership more often, you can help by wearing your badge and displaying your car sticker. Members will receive a slip with the 2021 padlock codes on renewal next year.
Stocking was reduced by 20% as one delivery was cancelled, but we reverted to our plan once the season opened. It is fortunate that the worst attempts at poaching took place before we did the main stocking.
Following a review of our strategy and assets it was decided to improve the facilities at the ponds; to provide more secure storage and better access. This work is currently under way spearheaded by a team led by Nick Gates, Phil Chant and George Marwood.
We have also replaced the tractor with a 4 wheel drive vehicle which will be easier and more flexible for the bank teams to use. Our aim is to improve access to all the popular areas and to consider heavier work on a case by case basis with the occasional use of contractors if necessary. The fishing returns are making favourable comments about access. The excellent planning, use of Johnny Tirola and the reformed Wednesday team all contributing to the progress.
I am standing down as president and director, but will continue to support the association wherever possible. It has been a real privilege to be a member and officer of this association. I have appreciated the support of members and the sterling work of the committee, bank teams and the current directors.