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Committee Meeting minutes and Reports
These minutes are privileged and this information is for the personal use of members only.  They should not be copied outside of the membership or published.
Participants:  Mark Jones (Chairman), Sean Symons (Vice Chairman), Richard Eastwood (secretary), Richard Playdon (treasurer), James Hodgson (President & Membership Secretary), Paul Ransley, Joe Nourish, and Guy Debes.
1. Chairman’s opening remarks   
The Chairman, Mark Jones, thanked all who had joined the phone conference, and, the secretary for preparing the paperwork for the business of the Committee. He reflected on the impact that corona virus  restrictions had placed on activities over the past year, and, their bearing on what the Club could and would do in 2021.    
2. Apologies
Peter Longfoot (editor), Richard Jackson (Vice President), John Billard (Vice President)
3. Minutes of Committee meeting held on 16th November 2020
The draft minutes, as revised after comments, were accepted as a true record.
4. Matters arising
John Fowler Exhibition at MERL
John Billard informed the Chairman by email that he was advising MERL on their proposed John Fowler exhibition due in the Spring. 
Recognition of 50 years + Membership
The President had written to advise those long serving members who were not already Honorary Life Members that they had been awarded honorary life membership.
2021 Calendar
A calendar had been prepared and the link to download this had been emailed in December to those who had registered their email addresses.
Replacement Materials for Engines & Tackle by Mike Goodman:
The editor advised by email that there had been no progress with the Materials book, which he explained mainly listed the different metals used in engine construction and giving the reasons why these materials were used and why they were suitable for the application they were used in. A request had been made that this be circulated to committee and the Chairman undertook to contact Peter and discuss.
5. Secretarial Report
The Secretary, Dick Eastwood, advised that a reminder to file the Company Tax Return had been received and was now with the Treasurer.
He noted with sadness the death of Vice President, Mike Beeby, on 21st December. At his funeral on 14th January, at Rempstone parish church, John Billard spoke on behalf of the Club, the NTET and the steam movement in general. Robert Crawford, former member and host of several visits by the Club to Frithville also passed away on 1st February.
6. Treasurer’s report
The Treasurer, Richard Playdon, provided a summary of the accounts and forecast expenditure for 2021, and, reported that Club finances were healthy.
He noted that the Expenditure Account and Balance sheet for the year ended 31 December 2020 showed a surplus for the year and that Corporation Tax liability was estimated at £26.
Allowances for expenditure for printing four issues of the newsletter, club insurance, insurance for the two ploughs on loan from NCMG, ongoing running costs, and, to reorganise the website and associated matters had been made.
No discussion took place on long-term investment options for designated funds.
7. Membership Secretary’s report
The Membership Secretary, James Hodgson, reported on subscription renewals to date – 269 for UK, 13 for Europe and 6 for the rest of World. James asked that a reminder to renew be put in the March newsletter.
Several committee members offered to contact members who had not paid when the June mailing list had been prepared. A request was made to circulate the results of this additional effort.
8. Records Update
Dick Eastwood proposed to begin preparations for a full revision of the Engine and Implement List by inviting members to participate in verifying records and reporting new items and changes. This would go in the June newsletter. The publication would be issue No.10 and it was intended this be printed in 2022.
9. Editor’s report
The editor, Peter Longfoot, sent apologies for his absence from the meeting. He had advised committee by email that there was more than sufficient material for the March Steam Plough Times. He was preparing for inserts covering the Directors’ report, the financial accounts and plans for the AGM, and, any relevant reports.  
10. Web site, Communications etc.
The President, James Hodgson, referred to notes circulated to committee on 21st January prior on a specification of requirements for the provider of the Club’s web facilities on Anne Garrison’s retirement. This was intended to form the basis of an invitation to a number of potential providers who had been identified.
He proposed to issue this invitation to four candidates – subject to committee’s agreement – and gather proposals, costs and timescale. Approval to proceed was given. The Chairman was happy to arrange a dedicated meeting for the purpose of making a decision once proposals had been compared.  
A role description for someone to take on responsibility for liaising with the new web provider and working with Committee to promote the Club by keeping the site up to date and relevant – had been published in the December newsletter. An existing member, familiar with web sites and interactive media, had come forward and had been participating in discussions with Anne Garrison, John Billard and James.
With regard to the current web site, John Billard had reported by email that the number of ‘hits’ on the web site for the past four months was October 2001, November 1767, December 2015 and January 1841. The News, History of Steam Ploughing, Models, and AntiVirus pages were most viewed in January. He and Anne were continuing to update the site and to send out e mail communications.
John Billard had advised the Chairman by email of a very useful NTET ‘webinar’ which had taken place on 9th February on the subject of future supplies of coal for use in the heritage sector, and its availability following planned legislation.  The Chairman read out John’s comments and after discussion it was agreed that the Club’s concerns should be referred to the Heritage Fuels Alliance and copied to the NTET and FHBVC. The Chairman undertook to prepare a letter.  
The committee discussed how best to proceed with regard to holding an Annual General Meeting in anticipation of restrictions likely to remain in place in April. As it was unlikely that a physical meeting would be possible consideration was given to some form a video conference that the members could participate in. After discussion on technological aspects, it was decided this was not the preferred option.  The committee concluded that the AGM should be conducted by phone/video (for those with the facility) by the  Directors, Committee and Vice-Presidents alone. The agenda items would be tabled, and, the wishes of the members observed.  
With regard to the latter point, a proforma would be sent to every member requesting approval of the Directors’ Report and Financial Accounts for the year ended 31st December 2020, a ‘show of hands’ for the election of the President (who took office in 2020), and, the re-election of officers and members of the committee – inclusive of nominations of new candidates – for the coming year. In addition, an invitation to submit questions, provide views on any matter, and share ideas for the future would be included.
The Directors’ Report, Financial Accounts and proforma would be included inside the March issue of Steam Plough Times with a request for the completed proforma to be returned by the 31 March. This would allow time for consolidating members’ replies in advance of the AGM.
The date for the Annual General Meeting was set for the evening of Thursday 8 April starting at 7:30 pm.
Joe Nourish confirmed his willingness to host a Hands On weekend at his farm – if Covid restrictions and the weather permitted – and proposed the 1st weekend in September. Four engines plus a cultivator and plough were readily available and another two engines could be called on if there were sufficient participants.
Joe would arrange facilities and make available a camp site for attendees. It was hoped that other accommodation would be available in the area by this time.
It was agreed that the event should be self-financing and that the cost to participants be set at £195. The event was to be advertised in the March newsletter seeking commitment by participants for a deposit of £50 (returnable – or credited towards a future event – should it have to be postponed until 2022)
The secretary agreed to draft a notice for the newsletter and email system.
14. BIENNIAL LUNCH     No discussion due to time constraints
15. STEAM PLOUGH TROPHY    No discussion due to time constraints
16. MEMBERSHIP & PROMOTION OF THE CLUB No discussion due to time constraints
  • Joe Nourish wondered if committee members could arrange a gathering local to them for the benefit of the members? He suggested the Club might put in a small cash amount to help with organisation and setup. The Chairman was enthusiastic, as were Guy Debes and Sean Symons, who thought they may be able to arrange something themselves or encourage other engine owners to help.
  • The Secretary advised that he was in contact with Guy Baxter at MERL who had agreed to allow him to transcribe a document held by the museum entitled “First World War survey of steam ploughing equipment in the UK” which would be of benefit to both parties.
18. DATE & TIME OF NEXT MEETING  No date was set.
19. The meeting commenced at 19:15 hrs and was adjourned at 21.00 hrs.
Dick Eastwood, Secretary, 18th February 2021