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12TH AUGUST 2021

Participants:  Mark Jones (Chairman), Richard Eastwood (secretary), Richard Playdon (treasurer), James Hodgson (President & Membership Secretary), Paul Ransley, Steven Whittingstall and Richard Jackson (Vice-President).
  • Chairman’s opening remarks   
The Chairman, Mark Jones, welcomed and thanked all who had joined the phone conference. He hoped that with the relaxations taking place that the committee might be able to meet in person for the next committee meeting subject to finding a venue.
Mark noted that a memorial service for Michael Davies was to take place on Wednesday 25th August at 2pm, at All Saint’s Church, Burton Dassett.  
  • Apologies
Peter Longfoot (editor), Joe Nourish, Guy Debes, Sean Symons (Vice Chairman)
  1. Minutes of Committee meeting held on 13th May 2021 
The draft minutes, as revised after comments, were accepted as a true record. 
  1. Hands On
Apologies were received from Joe Nourish so the Secretary provided an update on arrangements.
Eleven participants had signed up for the Hands On over the weekend 4th-5th September. Seven of these had no previous steam ploughing experience while four had attended previous Hands On weekends.
Three sets were expected to work over the first weekend. The engines would include the two BB1s of Joe Nourish and Peter Wilson, Brian Knight’s two BB1s, Howard Bolton’s BB1, and Guy & Hal Debes’ single. Two ploughs and a cultivator were to be available.
Three additional participants were to attend the Hands On “Extra” over the weekend 11th-12th September at which two sets of engines were expected.
Name badges and certificates of attendance had been prepared and a menu for the Saturday evening dinner was shortly to be circulated to those expected to attend. 
Joe had advised that one field was already available, coal and water arranged, and toilets ordered. The Chairman and Treasurer asked that Joe keep both toilets be retained for the second weekend.
  • New Web Site
The Stage 1 development of the website by Redditch Connected was discussed. Access had been made available to committee to review the latest version at 4th August and comments had been made by the Treasurer, the Secretary and Joe Nourish and there were numerous issues remaining.  Anne Garrison had also supplied feedback to Steve Whittingstall. Others had difficulty accessing the site and had not yet reviewed what had been done.
Steve commented that the committee had requested a mirror of the current site and that once this was up and running further development could be progressed. He was happy with Redditch Connected’s efforts at this stage and would ensure all comments were addressed.
  • Matters arising from May Meeting
  • The Chairman undertook to speak with John Billard regarding a tribute to Michael Davies for the September newsletter. John was speaking on behalf of the Club at the memorial service.
  • The Chairman had contacted John Billard about a memento in respect of his contribution over many years to the Club and was to share ideas with the committee.
  • The Chairman was preparing some form of recognition for Anne Garrison on her retirement. James Hodgson was planning to have photos taken of Anne receiving the Steam Plough Cup from himself. 
  1. Secretarial Report 
The Secretary, Dick Eastwood, advised that filing of the Confirmation Statement to HMRC was due on the 23rd August for the fee of £13.
He had no feedback on advice that the Club might be the beneficiary of film and photos from the late Trevor Spooner. 
  1. Treasurer’s report
The Treasurer, Richard Playdon, provided a summary of the accounts at the 12th August.
Monies had been reserved for Corporation tax, expenditure for printing two issues of the newsletter,  ongoing running costs, and, to reorganise the website and associated matters. The Club’s insurance and that for the NCMG ploughs had been paid. It was noted that it had been agreed that no biennial lunch was to be held in 2021.
The accounts for the year ended 31 December 2020 would shortly be submitted to HMRC. Richard had sought professional advice on how to report the legacies which was to include these in the accounts and respond if and when questions were raised.
  1. Membership Secretary’s report
The Membership Secretary, James Hodgson, reported that membership was around 336 based on renewals of subscriptions to date. This included 14 in Europe, 8 in the Rest of the World. There had been 9 new members this year and all but two used the Paypal facility. 
Steven Whittingstall referred to the GDSF “Steam Fair FM” radio broadcasts that were to go ahead over the Bank Holiday weekend despite the cancellation of the fair itself. James undertook to speak of his long association with the event on behalf of the Club.
  1. Records Update
The Secretary advised that he had received reports back from two members with information and photos and status reports in regard to the advertised intention to reprint the Engine & Implement List in 2022.
He reported that he had recently received a commemorative Folder celebrating the life and 70th birthday, in 1910, of Richard Toepffer who worked for John Fowler and was a party to establishing the Magdeburg Branch in Germany and promoting steam cultivation in Europe. It was mostly in German but was well illustrated – photos of Fowler Directors etc., plus Toepffer’s residence and properties plus some of Egyptian monuments when he was looking after 100 ploughing engines. He was seeking more information from two members based in Germany.
  1. Editor’s report
The editor, Peter Longfoot, sent apologies for his absence from the meeting and the Secretary delivered his report. Peter intended to attend the Hands On and take some photographs and prepare a report for the September Steam Plough Times which might therefore be delayed so that it could be included.
He requested the usual reports from the officers in good time and asked for any material that might be of interest to the members.

12. Web site, Communications & Payments.
In the previous meeting the Chairman referred to the Mailchimp email system and taking this over from John Billard. Steven Whittingstall said that he was familiar with the system and its merits and was happy to manage this on behalf of the Club. Mark requested Steven to investigate whether the Mailchimp facility would be a sole or joint account arrangement as he and Dick and maybe others might want to use it. Steven reported that it was registered to one user only – himself. James proposed to send future emails and copy these to Mark and Dick.
  • 2022 AGM venue and Date
Discussion took place with respect to the venue and date for the 2022 AGM. The Secretary was asked to circulate the list of potential venues last discussed.
The Secretary reported that it appeared the Club had not been a paid-up member since the outgoing NTET membership secretary failed to update payment details by the Club. This was now resolved and undelivered back issues of ‘Steaming’ had now been received.
The Chairman apologised again for not yet having written to the Heritage Fuels Alliance to voice the Club’s concerns and show our support for the Alliance’s efforts. He undertook to do this promptly and circulate to committee for approval.
  • The Secretary summarised the arrangements for the Vintage Tractor Insurance Policy on the three items on loan from the Leeds Museums and Galleries, namely Fowler Motor Cable PE 17621, McLaren Motor Windlass 1962, and, Fowler FD3 Caterpillar 4500695.  The policy was in the name of Steam Plough Club but for the past five years the cost had been shared by the two custodians – Peter Longfoot and Guy Debes – and the Secretary. 
The Secretary requested the committee consider the Club taking responsibility for the annual premium (£145) as it presently did with the Nottingham City Museums & Galleries loan of the two ploughs.  He advised that the policy had just been renewed for the period August 2021 to August 2022 by Peter, Guy and himself.
After discussion it was agreed that the Club would take over payment of the Policy with immediate effect and that the Treasurer would reimburse the sum expended.
The status and location of the three LMG items was briefly discussed and it was noted that the Fowler FD3 Caterpillar remained at Armley Mills as its collection had been frustrated by covid restrictions on travel and entry, availability of transport, and, concerns over a long-term place for its safe keeping. The Chairman thought he might be able to get help with transportation and storage. This to be discussed further.
  • Paul Ransley raised for discussion the possibility of organising a Hands On event specifically for youngsters, e.g. from the Steam Apprentice Club, to encourage younger participants. Age restrictions, insurance cover  and permitted involvement by young person and Steam Apprentices were discussed. The subject was to be tabled in the planned November meeting.
It was proposed that the next meeting be held face-to-face on Saturday, 13th November. The President and Secretary were to explore the availability of venues (Kidderminster Railway Museum and Didcot) and report back.
The meeting commenced at 19:35 hrs and was adjourned at 21.35hrs.
Dick Eastwood, Secretary, 16th September 2021