Tuesday, 24 March 2020

From the Archives - Part 15, 2006 - the Venue, Stupid; it's Always About the Venue!

So here we are, at the end of the long journey through the Club's archives from its formation in 1975 until history seemingly stopped in 2006. But even before I start the final review, there is a problem. The Agenda for the AGM on May 4, 2006 was efficiently prepared by our long serving Secretary Bernard Rogers, Esq, but for reasons known only to himself, the date of the meeting notification is given as September 13, 2006. Unless there was a strange time slip in Kenilworth that year, it seems as though we have chanced upon a rare example of administrative incompetence by the great (in every sense!) man. But maybe not so rare, as the meeting notification doesn't actually say where it is to be held. A mere detail, no doubt, in the greater scheme of things.

But somehow the KCC membership divined where the venue was and we at least have a record of the AGM itself, which is the main thing. So let's give the Secretary credit where its due instead of harping on about his errors and omissions.

Oh hang on, I've come across another problem! We learn that Geoff King, Nick Waterman, Steve Payne and Paul Lam had sent apologies for their absence, but there is no record of who actually turned up. Really, I think that Bernard's reputation as Mr Efficiency needs an urgent re-examination. Just too many mistakes. Very shoddy work. (And still they re-elected him!)

John Skinner is in the chair and welcomes Tony Pickering, Carl's dad, to the club. The club's impressive roster of 6 teams had fared less impressively as follows:-

A team - 6/8 in Division 1
B team - 5/7 in Division 2
C team - 7/7 in Division 2
D team - 5/8 in Division 3
E team - 3/9 in Division 4
F team - 6/9 in Division 4

On the cup front we had suffered a wipe out, reaching no finals, but individually we had more to shout about with a family double triumph. Tony had won the League U-100 event and Carl had won the Open. And cue the drum roll - Carl had also come 1st = in the British Rapidplay. (I would like more details of this ultra-impressive sounding performance before hailing it as the greatest KCC achievement of all time!)

The Secretary reminded the members that they needed to join the British Legion Club as well. Disappointingly it is not minuted if the members then reminded the Secretary that he needs to put the correct date on his messages; name the meeting venue; and record the AGM attendees.

For what seems like the umpteenth year in a row, the Treasurer (Geoff King) is absent (and conveys his intention to stand down), but the accounts are presented and approved anyway. But the financial information is apparently too sensitive to be recorded for posterity. However, we do know that subscriptions need to rise, and a figure of £12.50 was tabled. This was agreed, but only by 8-4. Really chaps - what were the 4 of you thinking??

And now we move on to the interesting stuff. (Not before time I hear the malcontents shouting!)

Carl has a proposal for the meeting - that we change our match night to a Wednesday, while continuing with Thursday evening club nights, which seemingly have to alternate between upstairs and downstairs at the Legion. This would enable us to have a regular Club tournament and increase the number of members.

Apparently there was some disquiet about the venue (nothing ever changes!):-

Paul M felt the upstairs venue was good.
Bruce thought it was a very good venue upstairs, but not downstairs.
Geoff King did not like the fact that room availability was not consistent, and that the heating was not always turned on.
Rod preferred one evening to be played each week.
Roy generally approved of the venue, but emphasised the heating issue.

Nigel Morris then proposed a return to KSSC, which was seconded by Tony (but which one - King or Pickering? Another black mark for the Secretary!) This was overwhelmingly shot down by 11-2.

Paul M then proposed that in summer we play at the KSSC, seconded by Rob Olley. This went down in flames by 12-2. (Strange that those who wanted to play all year round at the KSSC, seemingly didn't want to play there in the summer!!)

So finally Carl's proposal was put to the meeting, and this passed by 8-5. Sorted? Apparently not, as ex-Chairman Rod then proposed that Club and match nights should both be on a Thursday, even though he must have known he was on very shaky procedural ground! Amazingly, the meeting then allowed this proposal to go forwards, but it was defeated by 8-4, so Carl had well and truly won the day.

John and Bernard were re-elected as Chairman and Secretary, while Tony Pickering took up the role of Competitions Secretary. But who is this being elected as Treasurer …. yes, its the one and only Roy Watson. Roy and money and accounting and record keeping  ….  what could possibly go wrong?

There are issues for the club to face for the forthcoming season. Paul and Mark Lam would both be unavailable, while Nick and Rod could not make Wednesdays, and Nigel could only play in home games. Apparently this left us with 16 active players, and by a vote of 8-1 it was agreed to reduce the number of teams from 6 to 4. Even so, this apparently required seven match captains:-

A Team & Open KO Cup - Carl
B Team - Paul M
C Team - Chris
D team - Frank Holmes

U-625 Cup - Phil
Under 100 A - Mike Whatson
Under 100 B - Tony King

A double round robin (graded) Club tournament would be held in the winter, with a summer tournament also to be organised by the new Competition Secretary.

Under AOB, Chris advises that he will organise a croquet night (how come the current Social Secretary, of all people, hasn't proposed such an event?), while John thanks the Secretary for assistance in organising the Chairman's Night. (Be nice to have one of those again, wouldn't it? I wonder who the Chairman is these days?)

And at 9.20pm the meeting closed, and KCC went into a period of seclusion from which it would not emerge until 2014. Some people know the secrets of those years, I'm sure, but having taken an omerta-like vow they are not telling, and nothing has been committed to print. Or has it? Go on folks, search those old folders; look in the back of the filing cabinet; check down the back of the settee. The records must be there somewhere. (Except for 2013, when I know there were no minutes taken to document the end of the Watson years!)

Who knows, this could be the Greatest Story (N)Ever Told!



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