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HRC Committee Meeting minutes

Hanliensian Rambling Club Committee Minutes – Wednesday 10 April 2024 at 7.00pm.    The New Florence 

The Chairman welcomed the new committee to the first meeting following the AGM and thanked the
members for offering their support to the club. He had sent an email to Vanda Szolucha, a former
committee member, thanking her for her input whilst serving on the committee particularly organising the
last two European club holidays. 

APOLOGIES: Brian Purcell, Angela Doudican, Claire Farrell, Wayne Oliver, Pauline Oliver 

MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING: The minutes were read out and accepted as a true record, which were then signed by the Chair.


ACTIONS TAKEN:  On the day of the previous committee meeting held on !7 January, Karl had received late notification regarding the website support. He explained the circumstances briefly to committee and proposed to seek further clarification. Following this, Karl had emailed the updated information to relevant officers and a
decision was made to receive website support through Encapsulate. This offered the best value for the club’s
requirements and continued to use existing personnel. 

CHAIRMAN’S AREAS FOR DISCUSSION: There was a review of AGM.  PJ expressed concern regarding catering at the event and that there was some food left at the end of the evening. HP explained that the cricket club usually offered set packages at specific rates per head. It would be far too expensive to choose this approach for the AGM and so the cricket club provides food based on the numbers attending, at a reduced rate and works to a sum of money.

The proposed changes to the constitution had been accepted at the AGM and HP had drafted the revised
constitution. It was decided that future Committee meeting dates would continue to be on a Wednesday evening.
The Summer Picnic date was set for Sunday 7 July at Oakamoor. Other suggestions were Consall or Biddulph Country Park. RG suggested the venue could be alternated in the future as all these suitable venues. There will be two start times, so as to co-ordinate the length of the walks with meeting for the picnic at approximately 2 o’clock. The B walk will meet at 8.30am in Hanley and the D walk at 10.00am. Karl offered to lead the B walk and Peter the D walk.
The suggested club newsletter was discussed. It should be a report on the year and events. Write-ups were required from holidays and social events for inclusion on the website. This was felt to be a too onerous task for the leader but the leader should be the one to arrange for a member to produce a write-up. Karl will upload the articles on the website.
Kath asked to be kept informed of when people cease to be a club member so she can update the Facebook membership.

RER’S REPORT – Hilary Pickin

This report was to the end of February 2024 since the bank statement for March had not arrived. The opening balance for 2024 was £4262.70 as presented in the accounts at the end of 2023.
Income in January was £50 from new members but payment was incorrect from one party. Expenditure was £52.50 which was the PNFS subscription & Almoner’s float.  
The balance at the bank on 31 January 2023 was £4382.70. Unpresented cheques totalled £122.50.

Income in February was £58 from 3 members and 1 new member. Expenditure was £378.28 which was the Insurance, Website and Treasurer’s float 
The balance at the bank on 29 February 2024 was £3,962.42. Unpresented cheques total was £22.50. 
HP had looked into setting up Online Banking as a way of paying for the website’s monthly costs. Although the forms had been completed and submitted, it was more complicated, due to two signatures being required. Having online access would make things easier since figures at committee meeting would be current. The club does not have a debit card and so currently HP is personally paying Encapsulate monthly and being reimbursed by cheque from HRC. Encapsulate only accept BACs payments or a yearly direct debit set up but no cheque payments. This is a problem they are finding with small groups, such as HRC, since many do not have a debit card to authorise online payments.
The Invoice from Encapsulate is £30. The unit price is £45 and we receive a charity discount of £20 plus VAT at £5.00. VAST have sent a credit note for £91.00 for website services not used. HP contacted them and asked for the sum to be paid direct into the HRC account.


The membership currently stands at 143 which includes 7 HLMs and 8 LMs. New members already appear to be quite active participants.
David and Joan Price
Barbara and Barry Callear
Ruth Webb
Carol Matthews
Bill Walshaw has forwarded 2 membership queries received on the website and HP has responded to both.
They were from people interested in joining a walking club and wanting to know more. It was suggested
that they joined us out on a couple of walks as a trial and that they look on the programme on the website to
see if there was a walk they fancied which suited their level. HP would liaise with the leader and arrange for
them to meet with the group. However, neither responded to the offer. One person had been given the
club’s name in a list of other groups for them to contact.
Membership figures for 2024 will not be accurate until all fees are collected by 1st July and may well be less
than the present 143.
There are 29 members signed up for the coach ramble. Places have been slow to fill and the break-even
number is 36.
Phil has the programme template ready to send out and he will add the Chairman’s picnic date.
There is still no complier for the evening walks which makes it late to be sorted for the programmer could go
out. It was suggested that a RR be sent out highlighting this. MA said she would use one of the evening walk
dates and link it with a pie and pea supper. Phil said he would remove the Thursday walk that followed this
KM commented on the number of unfilled dates for walks on the programme and also cancellations due to
adverse weather and conditions underfoot.

30 people have signed up to the self-drive trip to Llandudno in October. The dates are 14th – 18th October.
MA said she’s quite pleased with the response.
A date is to be for arranged for a social get together, probably at Werrington Village Hall in September. Costs
etc need to be discussed. MA has organised that Dave Joynson and her sons will provide music and people
could bring their own refreshments.
The Pie and Pea supper will be arranged by MA for the end of an evening walk. (see above)
MA suggested the setting up of a Social WhatsApp Group and for a RR to be sent out. This would keep the
organising of social events separate from the WhatsApp walk groups.
A discussion on club holidays followed.
IB noted that the Llandudno holiday was poorly supported by A/B walkers. It was pointed out that some
have work commitments.
The Whitby coach holiday was discussed, noting that additional costs were included for excursions. A/B
walkers would probably not want to join these even though the trips could be beneficial. Also, travelling took
up two days out of the holiday. A self-drive gives more flexibility and ensures 3 days of walking. Whitby was
seen as more of a social holiday.
IB said the Rhayader holiday was on hold. YHA holidays had lapsed following Covid.
Chamonix is a trekking holiday and is supported by A/B walkers.
RG and KL said it was inconclusive as to which members supported what type of holiday. Possibly selecting a
venue and allowing members to organise their own accommodation is the way forward.
BW suggested getting a nucleus of people first who were definitely interested in an area and then offering
this out to the wider membership.
PJ had been limited by the weather for taking his mannequin out. It was suggested that this was an
outdated approach now for attracting publicity. KM said digital advertising aimed at a wider community.
PJ was hoping for an article to be placed in the forth coming Brown Edge Parish Magazine. He had
contacted the Sentinel, Radio Stoke and Signal Radio with a mention for his walk but didn’t know if it was
mentioned on air.
29 members are booked on the trip to Whitby. The arrangements for the pick-up points for the holiday to
Whitby have been sorted. Recommendations for any walks in the area are welcomed.

KL was to contact Danni to see if we could find out how many hits the website had. The committee
discussed where the website sat when people searched the web. It was 5th when searching within S-O-T.
KL explained how using Encapsulate would support the website. KL and BW had received additional training
from Danni, when with VAST, at no cost. As part of the Encapsulate package we will receive 10 hours support
throughout the year, on an as and when basis.
IB requested that the previous walks programme was not removed so that visitors could see where the club
had been walking. BW said he could access old programmes but they are not available for members to view.
They could be included as a separate page on the website.
facilities were there to access a past programme
Club communication was good through the use of WhatsApp/RR/Website. RRs were questioned, particularly
the onerous task for BW. BW said he was okay at present, there were no blips but he felt it needs discussing
in the future. KL covers for BW when he’s away.

KM stated she was disappointed that her discussion slot was going to be curtailed and rushed and it was
agreed that this would be considered for future meetings.
FACEBOOK – Stoke -on -Trent Walking Group
KM said 4 new club members have joined the Facebook group, increasing the membership from 44 to 48.
In addition to this there had been 6 requests from non-club members to join the group since January. All had
been declined with the following message: “Membership of our Facebook group is confined to club members only so I have regrettably declined your request. We are a walking club which provides walks for
all abilities along with social activities and holidays. If you are interested in joining us on a walk please see our website or message us via our Facebook page Stoke on Trent HRC Walks. Thank you for your interest.”

Facebook Page – Stoke on Trent HRC Walks
KM had recently posted some action photographs of our badminton group. There had been 12 new views of
the page in the last 28 days.
Followers have remained static at 38 although Kath had increased this to 41 by inviting some of her Facebook
friends to like the page. She is considering asking club members to do the same to try and increase our
followers and raise the profile of the club on social media.
WhatsApp rules
It is noticeable that there are instances when the WhatsApp is not being used as intended i.e. for walks.
Kath proposes to introduce a set of rules/guidance for the general use on HRC WhatsApp groups:
• Always keep to the purpose of the group which is to communicate about walks and other club
matters. Don’t share messages about other topics.
• Avoid one-on-one conversations in the group. Send a private message instead, including expressing
thanks to an individual.
• Before posting a message please consider is this relevant and on topic?
Do not post SPAM i.e. jokes, videos and adverts. WHATSAPP SOCIAL GROUP
IB said that messages should not be posted in unsociable hours is after 9pm in an evening. This was felt to
restrict an important message being sent and it is possible to mute notifications.
The rules will be put on the website for reference. PO will also update the C/D WhatsApp for the rules.
MA requested that an HRC WhatsApp group be set up for Social Activities.
I recently arranged for some of us to attend The Rep. to see Sister Act. Although an email had gone out, it
was only when I put a reminder on the WhatsApp groups that I had responses. I would like to have a social
activities WhatsApp group to make communication more accessible. Thoughts please.
Activity had involved organising the venue and catering for the AGM, collating apologies and numbers of
those attending. HP prepared the AGM paperwork for printing at Keele and posting out to members and took
the minutes from the AGM.
Minutes were taken at the last committee meeting and sent out to the committee as well as collating items
for the current agenda.
HP asked if we propose to upload the minutes to the website as mentioned at the AGM.
It was noted that that the percentage of votes at the AGM had not reached the appropriate number of two
thirds of the Members present for the proposed change in the club’s name.
KL had pointed out areas within the constitution where there were limitations on voting for changes to be
KL made suggestions for moving the bank account to make easier access to online banking and also the
possibility of an interest account. HP to investigate.
It was agreed to look at planning times within the next agenda and HP suggested changing the agenda to suit
priority areas.
Future action is required on the picnic and leaders. (IB & PB)
Membership Cards will be prepared for the 2025 AGM.
The meeting closed at 9.00pm.
Wednesday 17th July 2024

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