Chaired impeccably by Dave Evans, minutes taken diligently by Tony Bell, our Annual General Meeting was dominated by one figure. Unsurprisingly this was the always unassuming Adrian Edwards, whose courageous feat in becoming a Centurion was hailed by Eric Horwill as one of the gutsiest he had ever witnessed. And Eric has competed in and officiated at more long-distance events than probably anyone else in the country. His praise means a lot. Marking this remarkable achievement Adrian collected both the Cliff Royle and AJ Taylor trophies. In addition, he was presented with the priceless Centurions’ certificate. of membership by Eric and Martin Fisher, the present Centurions’ President. Everyone was unanimous in their respect for Adrian’s endeavour. Believe it or not, word has it that he has his sights set on further long-distance challenges. To round matters off Adrian was elected to be the Club’s President for 2022/2023.
In a much-appreciated gesture Sailash Shah on behalf of himself, Adrian and Martin Payne, our trio of competitors at Middlesborough, presented Dave and Pat Evans, alongside Roy Gunnett with bottles of wine in tribute to their unstinting support across a wind-swept and rain-battered 24 hours. The nectar in question was ‘Chateau de Neuf Pape’, described as having ‘a spiced black fruit aroma and a velvety warm palate’. One detects Sailash’s knowledgeable hand in this elegant choice. Bravo!
Elsewhere in the meeting, Dave spoke to his Chairperson’s report, offering his condolences to John Payn for the loss of his dear wife, Flo and to Martin Fisher on the passing of his redoubtable father, whilst Joe Hardy was thanked for his sojourn as President and Roy Gunnett calmed our nerves with his Treasurer’s update. Our books are balanced but the demands of subscriptions to English Athletics and the Northern Area means an increase in our annual subscription to 20 pounds – still a snip.
Tony Malone, backed by Chris Harvey, launched an interesting discussion around the case for a Sunday morning race as one of our club fixtures. In the end, it was agreed that we should consider such an inclusion in 2023/2024, possibly using Woodbank Park as a venue. Flowing out of this debate we touched upon whether nurturing a closer relationship with an athletics club, for example, Stockport Harriers would be to our benefit, increasing our visibility and hopefully attracting new blood.
Thanking folk for their generous comments regarding the club website, I revealed that I wanted to revive the series, wherein individuals shared their memories of how they got into race walking, their favourite races and their best performances. I will be getting in touch with members in the coming months to see if they are happy to be involved.
On a personal and indulgent note, I informed the meeting that the coming year would be my 70th since my first race as a six-year-old in 1953. Thus, all being well, I intend, at the very least, to be on the starting line at the Fred Pearce Relay in July and hope that there will be faces. past and present, in attendance. Watch this space.
As the meeting closed Dave informed the gathering that the Dick Maxwell Xmas 10km race will not be held on the notorious ‘Nightmare’ course. The collective sense of relief was palpable.
Thanks to Roy Gunnett for the photos.
Great to hear the club is still going strong.
Good to hear from you, Russ. Hope things are going well down under.