Minutes of the Annual General Meeting 2013

Tuesday 26th November

The meeting which was attended by 60 members was opened at 7:50pm and chaired by Kris Gromek. He began by thanking everyone for coming and reminded them that only Members were entitled to contribute or vote. He then said that Jim Downes had offered to record the minutes of the meeting.

The minutes of the previous AGM held on 20th November 2012 had been emailed to members and circulated at the meeting. Kris verified that everyone had read them and invited their adoption as a correct record.

Their adoption was proposed by Alex Morrison and seconded by Margaret McGregor.                  

Kris then outlined the Agenda, saying that there would be time for questions after each report.

TREASURER’S REPORT – John Jardine                                                                              

Copies of the accounts for the year to 31st October2013 which had been audited by Jim McGuckien had been circulated. John took the members through each item of Income and Expenditure, adding explanations where required. A round of applause was given to John. Kris invited any questions for John. There were none.

SECRETARY’S Report – Sadie Dickson

Sadie’s work throughout the year had consisted of dealing with routine correspondence and so there was nothing of substance to report. She did however inform the meeting of a resignation by reading out a letter from Nora Rankin. She also stated that currently, the Club had a membership of 97. There were no questions for Sadie.  


Michael began by saying that, with the exception of a change to one of our walks and the shortening of the Grey Mares Tail walk, we had successfully undertaken all the favourite walks chosen by the members to celebrate our 20th anniversary. He reported that the reccie group had remained fairly stable at 16 with new members replacing ones who had left. He thanked Angela, Helen and Carl for joining last year and for their important contribution. He emphasised the importance of doing reccies to help ensure the safety and enjoyment aspect of our walks and hoped others might consider joining the reccie group.

He stated that during the year, we had done 23 regular walks with the Christmas walk still to come and additionally we had completed 4 walks in Majorca and 3 on our weekend in Preston. He had calculated that cumulatively the High walkers had covered 3,177 miles and climbed some 63 miles with the Low walkers doing 3,820 miles and climbing 38 miles. The explanation for the Low walkers covering more ground than the High walkers was down to the fact that more members were now doing the Low walks. The total distance walked by all of us was 6,997 miles.

He noted that there had been suggestions that some of the Low walks had been too short.  He explained that while we aimed for a distance of 5-7 miles, it was not always possible to achieve this for one reason or another. He did hope he would achieve the 5-7 mile target for each Low walk this coming year pointing out that we should aim at ensuring the quality of the walk whatever it’s distance with scenery, points of interest, rivers, waterfalls, lochs, hills, glens, wildlife etc. all contributing to the quality of the walk.

He went on to say that this year’s walks had taken all this into consideration including an attempt to match the walks to the seasons to avoid long bus journeys in the winter months and keeping the further away walks for the summer – like the lost valley in Glencoe and the Arbroath cliffs.   

Michael then informed the meeting that we will undertake further navigation training with our lottery funding and will continue GPS training for leaders. He concluded by reminded leaders that it is they who set the pace of a walk but that they must bear in mind that it has to suit all. People walk at different speeds naturally, so when in a group, compromise is always going to be required.  A round of applause was given at the conclusion of Michael’s report.

Kris invited any questions for Michael. There were none.


Jan had nothing to report and there were no questions for her.


Bill reminded the meeting of our visit to Abbotsford House when we were unable to have the guided tour we had arranged. He had written to complain and he read out the reply he had received which included an apology and a refund of £187.50 (50% of our payment). Bill then informed the members that last year Parks had supplied our busses at a cost of £320 per trip. He had acquired 3 quotes for this year with Parks again being the best with a total annual price of £9090 which worked out at a slightly increased £330 per trip. The other quotes were MCT at £12,075 and Golden Eagle at £9,482. At £330 per trip, we require 36.6 people on board to break even compared to 35.5 last year. Bill received a round of applause. There were no questions.


Kris began saying members should feel free to interrupt at any time to ask questions. He continued by thanking members of both committees for all their work, saying that the club could not function without it. He emphasised that his thanks were genuine and not routine. He then thanked those non committee members who had helped in any way.  He then offered thanks to our driver Arthur saying that we were going to increase his tip.

MembershipKris confirmed that the cost of membership would remain at £12 and reported that membership was standing at 97.

Buses – Kris stated that on average there were 44 folk per bus and that as this was 3 less than last year.

GPS – These are still not being used as often as they could be. While we will continue with training, Kris said that at the moment, leaders were keeping a GPS for a month at a time to help to get to know it.

Mobile Phones – Kris informed the members that we still had 3 mobiles, one for each walk and one for the bus driver.

Number of Walks – Kris reported that a total of 999 members had participated making an average of 43 per walk. When visitors were included, the total becomes 1012 walkers, an average of 44. He stated that these figures weren’t totally accurate since they didn’t include the most recent walk or the Low walk done on Arran. (He had not had the list of walkers returned to him). He hoped we could increase this average during the coming year. Kris then informed the meeting that he, Michael Martin, Bob Sawers, Marilyn Sangster, Stella Goligher and Alex Morrison had all completed 18 walks in the past year making them the joint 4th.  Having done 20 walks put Willie Baird in 3rd place. Nancy Fisher was 2nd with 21 walks and for the 3rd successive year, Davie Young was on his own having done all 23 walks.

Cost of Bus – Kris informed the meeting that the bus price would remain at £9 for members and £10 for visitors.

Highlights – Kris took the members through some of the Year’s highlights:-

 December – Our Christmas walk – The Milton Circle  - 5.5miles.-  Morning break at Liz McGregor’s Coffee Shop.- Snow and ice underfoot.- Dinner in the Black Bull Hotel and our Santa donations to charity.

January – All the walks were those voted for by our members as the best of the previous 20 years.

March – A walk at Rhegged was the first of two visits to the Lake District.

April – This saw our annual “very high” walk – Ben Venue.

May – Forty eight travelled to Mallorca where we stayed in the Bahia Pollensa Hotel. We did 4 walks in total. Two were local and two involved coach trips which took us to Lluc monastery & Port de Soller. We also had a day trip taking in wine tasting and a barbecue.

 June – Our Annual barbecue. We sailed across Loch Lomond to Rowardennan and walked to Cashel Forest for our BBQ before continuing the walk to Balmaha on a lovely sunny day.

 August – This month saw our visit to Abbotsford House after our walk at Moffat and our 2nd sail which was across the Firth of Clyde to Arran for our island walk. We also had our weekend away during August. We visited the Yorkshire Dales staying in the 4 star Best Western Hotel in Leyland. On the Friday, we had stopped at Dalemain House for coffee before taking a short walk to Pooley Bridge. There we boarded the steamer to sail down Ullswater to Glenridding where the coach picked us up to take us to our hotel. On Saturday we walked at Malham and on Sunday took a river walk “in the steps of J R Tolkien” before stopping off at Gretna Gateway Outlet Village on the way home.

 September – We had our second visit to the Lake District, the High group walking up Cat Bells and the low walkers around Brandelhow on a fine sunny day. September also saw our 20th Anniversary Ceilidh. Thanks were given to Helen Greig for organising the whole event including a 3 course meal by Legends and dancing to the Scott Harvey Ceilidh Band. The event was attended by several invited ex-members and everyone present was given a commemorative pen.

 October – A group of members and friends undertook the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage in Northern Spain.

(At this point, Kris invited Michael Martin who was one of the pilgrims, to recite a poem he had written to describe the journey. Michael received a warm round of applause)     

 Fotki Photo Web Site – Kris reported that he now sends our photos to 79 members and 22 friends and relatives. He invited any additional recipients.

 Grants – Kris reported that we had applied for a Council Grant of £995 and had received £250. We had also applied for Lottery Funding of £2,839 and had received £750

Kris then invited any questions. There were none.


   a) Committee The meeting was given the option of electing each committee member individually, or since 7 of the 9 existing members had a desire to serve another year, they could be re-elected en block. The latter was agreed unanimously and the following were re-elected:-

Kris Gromek, Bill Stanton, Michael Martin, Jim Downes, Hazel Gunning, Sadie Dickson & Helen Grieg.

Kris had informed the meeting that Jan Palmer and John Jardine were leaving the committee and asked for the nominations of anyone wishing to join the committee. Jan had served the Club for 18 years as Bus Convenor and John had been Treasurer for the past 13 years.  Jan intends remaining a member but John intimated his desire to leave the Club altogether due to his walking difficulty. Both were sincerely thanked for their service and warmly applauded. Mary Gallagher accepted her nomination by Hazel Gunning and her proposal was seconded by Patricia McGhee. Mary was duly elected. Angela McGroarty was proposed by Michael Martin and seconded by Betty Stanton. By accepting her nomination, Angela was duly elected.  

b) Reccie Committee

The following members put themselves forward to serve on the Reccie Committee:-

Willie Baird,  Michael Martin,  Hazel Armstrong, Kris Gromek, Rose Martin, Susan Dowds,  Hazel Gunning, Carl Saez,  Beatrice Downes ,Jim Downes, Angela McGroarty, Theresa Brady, Helen Greig, Alex Morrison, Mary Gallagher, Bob Sawer and Elaine Rennie.

As it was thought that the following member was likely to wish to remain on the committee, Davie Young was added to make a total of 18 reccie committee members. (Davie will be consulted to verify)


Kris outlined the following:-

1. The Christmas walk on 7th December will be a short 5.8 mile walk with games and “appropriate but inexpensive prizes”. The total cost for the bus, morning coffee and 3 course Christmas dinner is £30 per person but after Club and Council subsidies, the cost to members will be £15. The walk however had been oversubscribed and as the meal venue could only accommodate 54; several members who had wished to attend were regretfully informed that they were unable to do so. Jan had noted their names and would contact them should there be any cancellations.  The menu for the Christmas dinner was on display at the sign-on and those going were required to make their meal selections at that time. It was also agreed that as last year, each member on the walk would make a donation to charity instead of buying a gift for ourselves. It was agreed that the sum collected would be sent to the Philippines Disaster Fund.

2. Next year’s walks have been finalised and lists made available at the meeting. Members had been asked for suggestions and a few had been put forward. All have been used.

3. Next year’s holiday to Mayrhofen in Austria will be from 17th to 24th May. A total of 54 will be going. The holiday is fully booked and will cost £579. We are flying from Edinburgh with FlyBe. All have paid their deposit and balance is due by 25th March 2014.

4. Our weekend away has still to be formalised but a trip to Mull is being considered.

5. Our walk on the last section of the St Andrews Pilgrim Path on 7th June may include a guided tour of the St Andrews Cathedral.

6. Our walk on 21st June will incorporate a sail to Millport and our annual BBQ

7. Our very high walk this year will be Ben Vrackie on 16th August.


a) Helen Grieg suggested increasing the minimum walks required to retain membership from 4 to 6. Alex Morrison was willing to second such a proposal and after general discussion the matter was put to a vote. By a substantial majority the status quo was carried.

b) Beatrice Downes suggested that as some low walkers say they are finding even some low walks difficult, the club consider a third walk to accommodate those who may otherwise decide to leave the club. Potential difficulties in reconnoitring a third walk were voiced but after discussion it was agreed that the matter would be debated at the first reccie meeting.

There being no further business, Kris thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting at 9:10 pm with a reminder that the new committee would meet in Hazel Gunning’s house on Sunday 2nd December at 7:00pm.