Chairman's Report 2003 - 2004

It is not my intention to catalogue all the past year's events - we have both a Website and a Newsletter which provide ample information for members, both before and after the event.

At the beginning of the year we asked members to complete a questionnaire and indicate what they wanted from the Club. Perhaps unsurprisingly this produced nothing radical. Clearly the Club holidays remain fundamental to the Club and there appears to be a desire for more varied and social activity.

As a consequence of the responses, the range of the Club's activities is being extended, albeit gradually. There have been more summer events, for example, and in winter we are making an attempt at weekend ski trips using the cheap flights now available. It is pleasing to note that overall more members are participating in Club events, although the mix is certainly changing, with some events or activities gaining ground and other loosing support. For the second year running, numbers at Ski Keep Fit decreased noticeably. Hopefully we can reverse that trend. Other activities, Club holidays and the May Bank holiday walk for example, go from strength to strength.

It is clear also that one of the significant benefits that the Club provides is to act as a catalyst for individuals coming together and organising their own activities, be it ski trips or otherwise. That has to be worthwhile in itself. And hopefully members will use the Club and its facilities increasingly for that purpose.

That the Club continues to be effective is down to all those members who plan and then organise our activities, and then write about them. In their different ways all those individuals put in a lot of hard work and give up much valuable time. Without them there would be no summer or winter programme, simply no Club. I am not going to name names, there are too many of them and we all know who they are. I simply wish to record our sincere thanks to them for their invaluable assistance.

Special thanks must also go to members of the committee for their support over the past year. In particular, they endured many long and painful meetings late last year and early this year as the Club's insurers and skiing regulatory bodies, put us through all sorts of hoops, treating us as if we ran a major ski training facility. One result has been an increased burden on those who run events, for which I am sorry, but we have tried to minimise that burden as far as we reasonably could. Another result was the loss of the ski tows and with them the possibility of local skiing. Local skiing was the original reason for the Club coming into existence.

And then of course, without much notice, the committee had to find a new Friday night venue. This proved amazingly difficult. I hope you will find this one acceptable. At least the beer is cheaper.

Finally, I hope that others will come forward to join the committee, to input their views and make their contribution. Even, perhaps especially, the person whose sole response to the questionnaire was to suggest that the entire committee resign.

Barry Lewis, Chairman, 1st October 2004