Annual General meeting of West Dorset Branch of CAMRA
Colliton Club, Dorchester
7th September 2012
28 members attended, plus Wessex Regional Director John Buckley
1 Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from John Bennett, John Penny, Ralph Nubeebuckus, Peter Hicks, Leslie & Diane Senior, Brian & Marjory Tait, Headley Ward, Dave Bowman, Dave & Steve Randall, Paul Smith (HOW)
2 Minutes of the last AGM
The minutes of the last AGM were circulated and accepted.
3 Matters Arising
There were no matters arising
4 Election of Officers
The current committee is:
Dave Harris Chairman/Webmaster
Tony Egerton Secretary/Branch Contact/BLO Dorset Brewery
Alastair Tillotson – Treasurer
Andy Patterson Membership Secretary
Richard Gabe – Social Secretary/BLO Palmers
Michel Hooper-Immins Committee/Press Officer/BLO Badger
Kelvin Nicholson- Committee
Phil Livsey Committee
Jill Diggens Committee/BLO Piddle Brewery
Paul Smith Heart of Wessex sub-branch
Non-committee members with other specific responsibilities:
Adrian Patterson GBG Selection Co-ordinator
Alex Bardswell – Cider Rep/BLO Art Brewery
The members of the existing committee were all willing to continue with the exception of Phil Livsey who wished to resign due to work pressures. Russell Ware was proposed and elected. The remaining committee were re-elected. Carried
5 Chairman’s Report - Dave
A great deal happened during the year, a short summary follows:
Volunteers - increasing year-by-year - now over 50 members actively help the branch over the year!! (more than 25 PubLinkers and about 30 or more who regularly help at festivals) with a further five or six doing other jobs for us. So thanks to all our volunteers.
Giant Dongle now two years old and 2000 copies X 24 pages per issue.
Growth in membership - More of this from Andy Patterson later.
West Dorset Pub Guide - Reprint nearly sold out - now sold over 900 copies and made some money for CAMRA!! Pub guide info on-line on the web site
Brewery scene - still very dynamic: £5m investment by H&W; Sunny Republic newly set up in the east; two micros currently starting in Weymouth at the Boot and the Dolphin
Our three festivals are very much still on the calendar; Dorchester will be 25 in Feb!! This Octoberfest will be the 8th in CAMRA stewardship! Wykefest in July was cancelled at the last minute due to bad weather.
Loaning our stillage and equipment - this year we've supported around a dozen local festivals by loaning our stillage, taps etc
Expanded programme of trips to breweries, festivals etc! In addition to the "regular" trips arranged by Rich and Tony we've added three more so far this year - two for pub surveys and one brewery invitation.
Discounts for members at increasing number of pubs
GBG selection process better managed (thanks due to Adrian Patterson). Thanks also to those who submit beer scores - this is important so we get a year round view of beer quality.
Pub Link scheme (300 pubs spread over 400 sq miles). Andy Patterson has a team of volunteers who visit pubs to help us keep in touch. Talk with Andy if you want to help us with this.
Pubs Re-opened and new Real Ale outlets: Coach & Horses,Winterbourne Abbas; Bottle Inn, Marshwood; Riviera Hotel, Bowleaze Weymouth
New "Wish List": - This coming year I want us to work on consolidating what we've got:
One item carried forward from last year: Giant Dongle advertising management - we need someone to support our newsletter efforts and be a focus for the adverts.
Support for our Pubs - can we help them through PubLink information, Hidden Gems type activities?
Informal meets in towns "CAMRA plods???" wandering around a few pubs?
"Balancing" distribution of GD's - getting the appropriate number in each outlet, advert led growth.
More trips for members - we seem to keep filling them up, so keep on expanding them.
Octoberfest volunteers - I have the staffing list with me - we still have one or two vacancies - Friday evening and Saturday sessions mainly.
And finally - nominations for next round Pub of The Year and GBG are now open - let your committee know which pubs you think should be considered!!
6 Treasurer’s Report - Alastair
The treasurer circulated his report for examination by the membership and was accepted
7 Membership Secretary’s Report - Andy
In my Membership Secretary’s report last year, I announced that membership over the year had increased from 338 to 412 – an increase of 20%. I also suggested that we might hit 500 members within the next 12 to 18 months. I am delighted to announce that over the last year membership has increased from 412 to 500, again an increase of 20%. Once again, this represents an all-time high for this Branch’s membership.
Please do not think that I will give you 600 members next year, we now need to move our efforts away from blanket recruitment into a more focussed approach. We have many members in Dorchester, Weymouth, Portland and Bridport and, in fact, a recent Branch Meeting in Bridport saw 25 attendees of which the majority were local to Bridport. We do not have enough members in Lyme Regis, Beaminster and Sherborne and I hope to address this over the coming months – it will be aided by forthcoming Branch Meetings in Sherborne and Beaminster and agreement for a CAMRA membership presence at the Three Brewers Beer Festival in Lyme Regis in March.
Since its inception 12 months ago, Pub Link has been a resounding success with 24 out of the 28 areas covered (the vacant areas strangely being in Lyme Regis, Beaminster and Sherborne). Over the last year it has contributed to a significant increase in beer scores which help the decision on Good Beer Guide entries as well as greater visibility of what’s happening in our pubs across our half of the county.
Finally, I’d like to thank all the Branch Members who have helped the recruitment over the last year as well as the Pub Link volunteers who do a fine job out there at the sharp end.
8 Wessex Region Report - Tony
Tony usually attends the quarterly Wessex Region meetings on behalf of the branch ably assisted by Michel and Alex but he stressed any member can attend as observer if desired. and, with a NE members attending each meeting it is your way of getting your opinion known to the CAMRA hierarchy.: The meetings are not nearly as dull as one imagines as they now follow a very social format and are usually held in tandem with some event, beer festival, pub crawl etc.
We continue to maintain our branch campaigning goals of:
Increase Membership and Activate ‘Sleeping’ Members - Growth self evident from Membership Secretary’s report; Publinkers are mainly non-committee members
Support Local Pubs - Pub-linkers, Hidden gem pamphlets, WhatPub on-line guide all support this aim
Support Local Beers & Ciders - The localAle project is expanding and we have a dedicated committee member to oversee this. We also ensure that every beer festival we promote or organise features ALL of the current Dorset breweries and cider producers
All minutes of Wessex regional Meetings can be found on the Wessex Region website. Any subject members care to raise please contact Tony via the branch website.
9 Social Activities - Rich
Once again all of our branch socials are well attended and supported. Since last time we have visited DBC brewery at Crossways. Both Sophie and Giles gave us a brief history of the origins of the brewery and its future with the new plant. We were provided with a buffet and an unexpected gift pack of two beers and glass. A great way to un-wind after Octoberfest was a Saturday lunch visit to Poole Beer festival where we took over a large area of the tent. Anyone want to join us this year?
Next up was the November trip that I drove to Flack Manor and Botley brewery. Unfortunately Botley had to let us down at the last minute on the Wednesday beforehand; so an afternoon visit to Upham brewery was arranged at very short-notice after Flack Manor.
Christmas saw a well attended Thursday evening Xmas meal in the Blue Raddle , Dorchester, once again the landlord got both ales I requested in for the night.
I would like to thank all of the volunteers who worked at Dorchester Beerex in February. The response was so great I had to organise split shifts. This worked extremely well as no West Dorset CAMRA members were turned away and everybody had decent breaks and time to drink.
March saw our annual away weekend, this year we went to the South-East Home counties and took in the following breweries. Ascot Ales, Windsor and Eton, Rebellion, Hogs Back and Loddon, with a couple of pubs in the mix for lunch and staying at the Bird in Hand , near Maidenhead made an enjoyable weekend. I would like to thank Phil Livsey for doing the Saturday driving so I could drink.
April and we made our annual trek to Tuckers Maltings with a bus near as full - bar a couple of seats for raffle prizes. This year the raffle was slightly down however with £115 raised and more prize's given. This is a joint venture with Tony Egerton organising the bus and myself co-coordinating the raffle.
June saw a social that had a serious campaigning side to it. We were lacking information from Lyme Regis on the quality of the beers in the pubs that could be considered for the Good Beer Guide. The result was a pleasant Friday evening visiting as many pubs in Lyme as possible with each person randomly given two they had to visit then using the CAMRA National Beer Scoring System marking the said pubs. I would like to thank Adrian Patterson for generating the random mix of pubs.
As a result of working a lot of night-shifts and weekends plus moving house this summer the planed socials have gone quiet, however a few of us went to the Great British and I know Bridport Food and Drink were well attended. I’m still hoping to visit the newer micros in our branch plus organise a Friday night in Wareham with East Dorset.
Rich was thanked for the hard work he has put in throughout the year in producing an enjoyable and varied programme.
10 Beer Score/GBG Co-coordinator’s Report - Adrian
For the year to date, 1231 beer scores have been submitted and entered into the database by 78 different CAMRA members, an increase of 18% on last year. This includes 240 additional beer scores by 26 members since July branch meeting
The data base now includes all Pub Link details, Giant Dongle distribution information and pub location.
Two Good Beer Guide selection meetings took place in January (Tom Browns) and February (Fox & Hounds, Cattistock) and were well attended. Our normal allocation of 30 pubs was increased this year to 31 and subsequently to 32 as East Dorset branch could not use their full allocation. This left us with only two reserves – Greyhound, Bridport and Royal Oak, Dorchester
Please can members remember to submit GBG pub nominations for the 2014 Guide before the January meeting.
As Cider Rep Alex reported that there were now 14 cider producers in Dorset and the drink is proving ever more popular at our festivals.
The meeting closed at 9.05pm