Lynne (the Secretary who was also about to step down) took the chair for the meeting and read out Linda's report as follows.
Despite a very late start to the season last year, following the incredibly wet winter and spring, we had a good year and made up for the late start by playing well into November.
As you will hear from Paul, we continue to have a healthy bank balance which is in large part due to the very successful bi-monthly U3A sessions which we hosted. I know everyone who has helped with this has enjoyed it as much as the U3A members and we look forward to continuing with this in the coming season. We also hosted a wonderfully sunny day with our friends from Weston-super-Mare who gave us a very enjoyable day of friendly competition and we all enjoyed a ploughman’s lunch. Two evening sessions with Itchenor Sailing Club and a group of local businessmen together with our annual event for PGS at Goodwood also added to the bank balance.
We struggled a bit with our League matches as they all fell very early in the season following the late start caused by the rain, but enjoyed the challenge. We came 14th out of 18. I wrote to SECF asking if League fixtures could be issued earlier in the year and it as seems other clubs had also requested this, the necessary changes have been made. As a result, this year we will be able to arrange League fixtures before committing to friendlies and should be able to spread them out over the season and get in a bit more practice before facing our competition. Unfortunately the Centenary Cup fell on a weekend when many of you were unavailable to play but Littlehampton were very understanding and lent us John Crosier who, together with Pat Harden from SCCC, helped us to 6th place. Club tournaments and friendlies were enjoyed by all, including some of our newer members who are growing in confidence as a result. Hopefully we will be able to field some strong teams this year and regain our position in both the League and the Centenary Cup.
Winners of the various Club tournaments will be presented with their trophies at the end of the meeting today.
We’ve welcomed several new members and are optimistic that more of the U3A group will take the plunge and become members this year.
Duncan Hector’s 3 year lawn improvement programme which commenced at the end of the 2015, has started to show results and our new greenskeeper, Rupert, has worked hard to keep the lawns looking good and playing well for as long as possible. Who knows, eventually we may be able to play all year round! The new shed has allowed us to make more space in the club hut and made it easier to access the equipment in the lawnmower shed. Unfortunately, there was a break-in recently but nothing was taken (as far as we can tell) and Colin has now added new bolts and filled the gap between the shed and hedge although this may need further work at the spring maintenance days. We had a very large bill for major repairs to the big mower which is now in good order and won’t need servicing again until the end of this season. The various fundraising events mentioned early pretty much covered the cost of these repairs.
The Croquet Academy at Southwick now has it’s programme for this year available to book online and I would encourage you to have a look at the courses on offer which are a terrific way of improving your skills
Lynne will take you through the nominations for Chair and Secretary in due course. I have nominated Peter Raper as Chair and Joyce Parkin as Secretary which I hope you’ll confirm. I’d like to thank everyone for your support over the past 3 years with particular thanks to Lynne who has done so much, not just as Secretary but also as Club Coach and Handicapper - two roles which she will continue to fulfil.
Finally, I’d like to suggest that the new committee consider amending the constitution to include a clause which requires all committee members to be re-elected on a regular basis with a view to encouraging more of you to take a turn. I’ve enjoyed my 3 years but don’t think it should be a job for life!!
I look forward to seeing you on the lawns very soon.