Minutes of the Annual General Meeting 2015

Tuesday 24th November.

The meeting, attended by 67 members, was opened at 7.45pm and chaired by Kris Gromek.  

He began by thanking Hazel Gunning for contributing the raffle prizes which raised £116.00. He then thanked everyone for attending and reminded them that only members were entitled to contribute or vote. He said that Jim Downes had offered to record the minutes of the meeting and asked members to state their name before speaking.  The minutes of the previous AGM, held on Tuesday 25th November 2014 had been emailed to members and circulated this evening. Kris verified that everyone had read them and invited their adoption as a correct record. Maureen Gromek pointed out an error in the spelling of Jack Lennon’s name and was assured that this would be corrected.

Their adoption was proposed by Alex Morrison and seconded by Myra Sawer.

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


Copies of the accounts for the year to 31st October 2015 which had been audited by Jim McGuckien had been circulated. Mary explained the differences in the layout of the accounts from previous years and the value in having both a manual and electronic version of the Club’s transactions. She then took the members through each item of income and expenditure, and the breakdown of the miscellaneous expenditure. Kris invited any questions for Mary and there were none.

 A round of applause was given to Mary.  


Sadie’s work throughout the year has consisted of dealing with routine correspondence and so there was nothing of substance to report.  She stated that currently, the Club had a full membership of 100 and a waiting list of 3.

There were no questions for Sadie and Kris thanked her for her service to the Club.


Michael opened by saying we had had another successful year of walking with no walks cancelled or substantially changed. He mentioned the fact that although the high walkers had done as many hills as in previous years, they had not been as high. He then listed some of the highlights of the year and a few of the less enjoyable moments saying that we learned to take the rough with the smooth. He said that generally, all had been within a 2 hour radius of EK with equality between North and South but with more in the East than West. He confirmed that next year’s walks will be in all directions but that there will only be one trip south of the border, that being to Lindisfarne in May. He stated that more than half of next year’s walks are new in whole or part and that the low walks would be well over 6 miles with the high walks averaging over 8 miles.

Michael then thanked the members of the reccie committee without whom the club could not function. He hoped that more members would consider joining to reduce the demand on the present members of the committee. He gave special mention to Davie Young and Willie Baird saying that both were always willing to fill in when problems arose. He reminded the meeting that Willie has had ill health recently and asked everyone to wish him a speedy recovery. He also conveyed Willie’s thanks to members who had sent get well cards and good wishes.

Michael invited any questions.

1. Susan Armstrong raised the hypothetical question of what would be done in a situation where for example there were only “11” on a high walk and “60” on the low walk. It was pointed out that the maximum number would be 70 but if such a high number wanted to be on one walk, either the group would be split in two with additional leaders/backmarkers or someone would be appointed to take the middle of the group. Michael assured those expressing concern that it would be discussed at the first committee meeting.

This discussion led to the question being asked of when and under what circumstances would a 70 seat bus be used. Kris stated that it was only likely to be used on short distances and only when sufficient numbers warranted it. He conceded that the trip to Jedburgh had been uncomfortable and not a suitable journey for its first use but said he had not heard too many complaints.

There being no further questions, Kris thanked Michael.


Helen began by saying that buses had been full since June and that we would have a full 54 seat bus for the upcoming Christmas walk.

She then reminded everyone that each member was only allowed to sign on one other member and that their name should be put on the supplementary list. It was agreed that when doing this, the member should add their own initials after the name entered.

There then followed questions as to which of the three booking-on sheets should be used under various circumstances and Helen explained and clarified the proper use of each to everyone’s satisfaction.  She also stated that to ensure that she is seen as completely impartial she, as bus convenor, would no longer sign on any other member.

There were no further questions for Helen and a round of applause was given.


Bill reported that we were again using Parks coaches with Arthur as our regular Driver.

He stated that the cost per trip had increased minimally from £335 to £340

In response to concerns about our use of the courier seat on the bus, he had received assurance from Parks that it was in order for a committee member or whoever was in charge of the group to occupy the seat and that the occupant was covered by the company’s insurance.

He informed the meeting that the bus for the return journey to Edinburgh airport had been booked at a cost of £470 (Approx £8.70pp)

There were no questions for Bill and a round of applause was given.


Kris began by saying that members should feel free to interrupt at any time to ask questions. He continued by thanking members of both committees for all their work as the club could simply not run without it.  He stated that this was a genuine thanks and not a routine one. He also thanked non committee members who helped in any way. In particular he thanked those who submitted ideas for walks singling out Bob. He paid complement to Arthur our driver and suggested a gift for him. This would be discussed at upcoming committee meeting prior to the Christmas walk.

Membership - The cost of membership has stayed at £12 this year. The membership is as the Secretary stated (100) with a small waiting list (3)

Kris stated that to become a member, the person had to complete one walk as a visitor and have attempted at least one other by signing on for it.

Buses - We averaged 48 passengers per bus (this was 43 last year) which is a great improvement.

GPS – Despite training, they are still not being used enough on reccies but we will continue to encourage more use.

Mobile phones – We still have three phones (and a spare) which is one for each walk and one for the driver. Jim Downes reminded the keeper of the phones that if not used for a lengthy period, the service provider is likely to disconnect the phone with the loss of any cash balance. A close watch should be kept of the balance on each phone to ensure that this does not happen.

Number of walks - Kris reported that a total of 1065 members had participated in 22 walks making an average of 48 per walk. The high walkers covered 2920.4 miles with a height of 32.4 miles with the low walkers covering 4316.3 miles and a height of 47 miles.   He also gave the average stats for individuals on each, saying each high walker had covered 191.8 miles and had climbed 11,790 feet with a low walker covering 147.3 miles and 7,906 feet of height. He then reported that Davie Young and Rose McDermott had each completed 20 walks but that Jim and Beatrice Downes had not only done all 22 walks but had also completed all walks on both the Madeira holiday and the weekend away. A round of applause ensued.

Cost of bus – Kris stated that the cost of the bus, this year, would remain at £10 and that we would continue our policy that leaders and backmarkers will travel free on the days they are on duty. He stressed that to be eligible for this they must 1. Do the reccie, 2. Attend the booking-on and 3. Do the walk.

Highlights of the year –

     December – our Christmas walk – A different Christmas walk based at the Pitlochry Festival Theatre. Coffee and scones and the raffle before a walk round Loch Faskally and a return to the theatre for a light lunch and a performance of “Miracle on 34th Street”

      May – Our Annual holiday to Madeira. Organised by Bill.  4 walking days with both high and low walks. Kris also commented that the “all inclusive” hotel was exceptional.

     June – Kerrera Island south of Oban. Speed boat across instead of usual ferry which was being serviced.

     July – Lake District, Grisedale Valley and Hartsop Circle, south of Ullswater.

     August – Sail to Rothesay on Isle of Bute with BBQ at Ettrick Bay with thanks to cafe owners for use of their property.

     September - Weekend in the Peak District, staying at the Aston Hall Hotel outside Sheffield. On way down on Friday a stop at Temple Sowerby for coffee and scones at the local hotel before a lovely riverside walk. On Saturday we did a canal walk to Cromford with the high walkers climbing up Black Rock. On Sunday we visited the Crich Tramway Village.

     Fotki Photo Web Site – The photos are now being sent to 107 members and friends. Last year it was 104.  

     Web Site – This is now up and running. Please use it. Maps and details of next walk among available information.

     Kris then invited any questions. There were none.


A) The meeting was given the option of electing each committee member individually or of electing those who wished to be re-elected, en block.  The following were re-elected en block:-

Kris Gromek, Bill Stanton, Michael Martin, Mary T Gallagher, Jim Downes, Helen Greig, Hazel Gunning, Angela McGroarty.

 As Sadie Dickson had resigned after many years as both secretary and membership convenor, there was one vacancy.

Elected was – Elaine Rennie

Proposed by - Helen Greig                                                  Seconded by - Maureen Gromek

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

Hazel Armstrong, Cathy MacPherson, Kris Gromek,  Hazel Gunning, Carl Saez, Jack Lennon, Helen Greig, Angela McGroarty, Michael Martin, Jim Downes, Beatrice Downes, Davie Young, Bob Sawers, Mary Gallagher, Alex Morrison, Susan Dowds, Kathy McCann,  Theresa Brady, Lesley McTaggart, Stella Goligher (b), Anne Delargy, Dorothy Church, Ian McDonald(b)

(b)= request to be backmarker only

(Subject to improved health, Willie Baird may continue.)

The date of the first meeting was confirmed as 19th January 2016, in St Leonards Church Hall after booking on.    

 Before continuing with the agenda, leaders and backmarkers were sought for the first two walks of the New Year. It was agreed that the order of the first two walks be reversed and so the first walk (Falls of Clyde) on 9th January will be led and back marked by – High – Susan Dowds and Hazel Armstrong, Low – Theresa Brady and Jack Lennon.

The second walk (Braco) on 23rd January – High – Mary T Gallagher and Hazel Gunning, Low – Michael Martin and Dorothy Church.       



1) 5th December – The Christmas Walk. Everyone to wear at least a Santa hat. The walk will be within 35miles of EK and we will be on the normal 54 seat bus.

2) Next Year Walks – 11 new walks, 11 previous walks with lots of work for the Reccie Committee and as we rarely do an old walk within 2 or 3 years all the walks will have to be reccied. Once again thanks to everyone who suggested walks for next year. You will notice that most of the suggested walks have been used. A couple were not used as they were deemed to be too close to when last done.

3) Proposed change to constitution – minimum walks required increased from 4 to 6. There was much discussion and explanation as to why this was being proposed. The matter was settled by a show of hands and by a clear majority, the proposal was carried. It was agreed that any member in the hall signing on unsuccessfully would receive a “credit” towards their minimum requirement.

4) Proposed change to Regulations. Lower membership. The reasons for making this proposal were explained and it was also pointed out that membership numbers were a matter to be decided by the committee and not necessarily by an AGM. The committee’s proposal was that the number of members at 5th December (The date current members had until their membership expired if not renewed), plus those on the waiting list would be the new maximum. This assumes it will be no greater than 100. The membership would close at this number and would remain so for the next year unless the committee had reason to make a change before then.


  5) Reminder that at booking on, each person must put their name down on the sheet personally. Committee members are automatically       booked on for all walks and should let the bus convenor know if they do not wish to be booked on.  

6) Annual walking holiday is to Dubrovnik in Croatia. We have a full quota. Walks are not as easy to establish for this holiday, and Kris has enlisted Bob Sawer’s help.

7) Kris announced he had changed his working days and will be attending booking on nights with slide shows and route maps.

8) Medical cards. Possibility of issuing each member with a card on which they will write their own personal medical and emergency details. Said card to be carried on walks, possibly in personal first aid kit. Committee will discuss details and inform.

9) Barbecue – No decision yet. – Arran on 9th July possible.

10) Committee to decide on Lottery and council grant applications.

11) Weekend Away – still to be decided.  Possible 17thSept.

12) One sail this year - to Arran

13) 2nd Island – walking to Lindisfarne over the sands.


1. Carl Saez proposed that the time of leaving on walks should be changed from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.  Bob Sawer spoke in support of Carl’s proposal.

After much debate and various suggestions for alternatives including a variable start time, it was concluded that only a fixed time of 8 or 9am was feasible. On a show of hands, there was a large majority for the existing 8am start.

2. Susan Dowds raised the issue of the length of social stops suggesting that some were too long.  Various arguments were put forward with no agreement reached on any fixed length of time. Kris stated that he would normally consult with Arthur at the end of a walk as to the journey time home and this together with a desirable time to be back in EK helped determine the length of the social stop. It was obvious that distance from home and lengths of walks were two of the factors taken into consideration. The committee will discuss further.

3. Susan Dowds asked if the minutes of Committee meeting could be made available. It was agreed that Kris would have a copy (Edited if necessary to protect any sensitive information) of the latest meeting for perusal by any member who requested it. This would be available on walks and at booking on nights.

4. Hazel Armstrong asked if we were members of the Ramblers Association and if so were we not entitled to monthly magazines etc. The meeting was informed that we are members and require to be to acquire insurance. We will make enquiries and report.

There being no further business, Kris thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting at 9:34 pm with a reminder that the first committee meeting of the new Committee will be Sunday 29th November at Hazel Gunning’s house at 7.00pm.