The Motor Caravanners' Club

Avon Group


1           The meeting opened at 10.25 am

Chairman    Trevor Dash
Vice Chairman   Pet Heal
Secretary   Christine Gautier
Rally Officer   Tony Heal

Webmaster   Brian Gautier
Assistant to Rally Officer   Mike Edmonds

2  APOLOGIES    Kay Norman


The Minutes of the meeting held on 4 August 2015 At Bristol Balloon Fiesta, were approved and signed


The Chairman welcomed those present. 

The Avon BANNER used at the National is being refurbished by Gill Willis and ‘AVON’ will be enlarged.  It will be finished and returned in time for the National in 2016.

Trevor has purchased a replacement Group MOBILE PHONE – 07510 320636.  Brian to deal with safe disposal of the old one and Christine to file the guarantee and instructions, and make copies for the phone wallet in the blue box.

It was reported that Ted and Hilary no longer have a motorhome but that hopefully they would become Associate Members.


Membership stands at 304

The Draft Rally Booklet is completed apart from three outstanding details.  Tony reported that Northam prices will not be confirmed until late November/December, he would advise Christine on Monday 26th regarding Castlebrook Inn and he confirmed the dates for Castle Combe.  Once those details have been updated and the hosts for each rally have been inserted then the copy is ready for despatch to the printers.
Copy for the MCC Annual Booklet is required by 30 October and will be despatched once Castlebrook is known.

41 people had sent completed booking forms (24 vans) for the Christmas Dinner.  It was explained that those using the old Christmas Dinner Record Book found it inadequate for the job, time consuming for the users and members,  and there was no way of checking the entries.  The spreadsheet as devised by Christine and Kay enabled easy tracking of the payments and would enable  a detailed booking-in sheet to be prepared for the rally with only the membership card and any birthdays needing to be recorded on the day.

A couple of queries had arisen due to delays in paying in cheques because the Financial Examiner had retained the paying-in books and to an unscheduled hospital admission and recuperation.  (Post meeting note - Christine replied to one enquiry by email and put a note on the MCC Forum.  Brian has put a similar note on the Avon website.)  In 2016, consideration will be given to changing the Booking Form slightly to offer a receipt if a SAE is sent with the booking.

Trevor said he had been asked by the office/CoM, and didn’t know if the Group kept hard copies of all Minutes.  Christine confirmed that these were kept by the secretary.

Trevor suggested to the Secretary that it was necessary to appoint a deputy to cover any holidays as the arrangements made recently were not correct.  Arrangements will be made for future cover.


Kay reported by email that the last statement to hand was dated 29 September and that her best estimate, taking into account deposits (not including Christmas Dinner monies) and outstanding payments was as follows - 

General Account  £1922.33   working total 

Savings Account   £702.82 

Charity Account    £42.81

The total of all accounts stood at  £2667.33

Kay had not yet had the opportunity to set up the arrangement to check balance online.


Mike asked what the arrangements were for hosts having free pitches at the Christmas Dinner rally.  Tony explained that whatever the allowance of free pitches received from Unity was shared between the working hosts on a pro-rata basis depending on how many there were, ie they paid for some of the site fees but not all.

Tony reported he had an appointment with the Entertainments Officer at Unity to clarify our requirements for a dedicated DJ for the night of the forthcoming dinner and about the possibility of live entertainment for 2016, possibly subsidised by the Group.  It was suggested we run the raffle alongside the mulled wine on Saturday afternoon, to free up time in the evening for dancing

AGM weekend.  Perfect Cure required access at 6.30 for their session at the AGM.  Tony/Pet would arrange access to the hall.  Trevor to check whereabouts of Halloween decorations.  Fancy Dress on an ‘if you like’ basis.

Confirmation still needed re Castlebrook Inn and prices for Northam Farm.  Castle Combe dates now confirmed.  Reminder that dates for Gatcombe Farm/The Balloon and Frome had been changed recently.

Trevor reported he had recently seen a band ‘Two’s Company’ with a view to booking them in 2016.  He had arranged that they would visit the New Year rally to see Jitterbug and which music is preferred by Avon members.

It was agreed any marquee costs for Gatcombe would be covered by income from that rally and the Balloon.  No addition will therefore be made to the fees in this respect for Gatcombe.


The Webmaster presented a Balance Sheet showing the income from the Google Advertisements was more than halfway to meeting the cost of outgoings, £288 and £389 respectively since February 2012.  The trend is that income will eventually overtake outgoings.

The Domain registration and Web site hosting fees would be payable in November and February respectively.

Trevor said he had received moans about the photos on the web site.  When asked to clarify, he said they were messy and out of date.  It was ascertained that it was the collage that was being referred to.  Brian confirmed he had had many compliments on the web site and no-one had complained to him.  They like to see older photos as it brought back memories.  He said he did not have time at present to compile a new collage, and was disinclined to react when most seemed quite happy with it as it was.  If someone was able to supply a new set of photos it would be a fairly easy and less time consuming matter to prepare the actual collage.  The photos would however have to be of a suitable quality to be used on the web site.


This will be discussed during the AGM.  If it is going to be used, Trevor would strip and rebuild the inside to make it more user-friendly.  It was to be noted that the storage facility for the trailer is not now open until 2pm on a Monday.



An invoice has been received for £120.95 for the 2015/2016 insurance.  This will be paid shortly.  The amount is significantly less than recent years due to adjustments to the Assets List and a new provider.



AGM                  Trevor and June

Christmas Dinner      Tony and Pet

Christmas    Hosts to arrive the same day unless notified to the contrary.  Electric hobs, large pans and baskets needed.  Raffle to run alongside Mulled Wine at 3.30pm to free up time in the evening.

New Year  This will be discussed after the AGM.


Domestics – Brian and Christine to arrive Wednesday.  The Group will provide a selection of cheeses, biscuits, wine (red & white), beer/lager and soft drinks, and nibbles free of charge to members on the Friday evening.  This has not been advertised but will be on the Welcome Sheet.  On the basis of 100 people a budget of £300 was agreed.  If there is wine etc left over it can be used for the punch at the Christmas Dinner rally or on a raffle.  

Access for the band, see RALLY OFFICER


After full discussion, the Committee agreed to make the following proposals

E-Cigarettes –  AGM   recommend that the meeting agrees to treat them as cigarettes

Mileage Expenses - AGM recommend that this remains at 35p per mile for travel on behalf of the Group.

Towing the trailer - AGM  recommend that up to two free nights site fees are available, one for each leg of the journey and the mileage allowance to be changed to 20p per mile bearing in mind that the tow vehicle would be going to the venue in any event. 

Dogs in marquees and halls - The Constitution for Groups states pets are not allowed in marquees/halls.  One Group recently changed this and amended their Group Supplement.  This is currently being investigated/remedied by CoM.  If a proposal is made to allow this in Avon Group, the line to take will be that it is not allowed in the Constitution and we do not have the authority within the Group to change it.  The rule already appears in the Rally Booklet, it was felt it would be advisable to repeat it in the Supplement.


Two new snail stamps have been donated by a member.  The Committee on behalf of the Group would like to express their thanks.

Christine has received back the snail she left with Trevor whilst on holiday.

Trevor complained that Christine had not given New Member Triangles to all those eligible at the Balloon Rally.  There were actually two people tasked with that responsibility at that rally, and each reminded the other (First Time Visitor badges were also involved).  It was therefore not one person’s responsibility and with 249 members attending the rally it was not surprising that the odd error had occurred.

Trevor stated the need to have a Group chequebook.  (Post meeting note - Kay would prefer to work with two chequebooks as she found monitoring three less easy to manage.  Christine was happy that the chequebook and paying-in books she held be passed to Trevor and this was done before leaving Hendra.)

Mike requested that consideration be given to writing into the Group Supplement that no more than 3 vouchers can be redeemed by an individual at a rally.  He will raise this under Any Other Business at the AGM.

Pet asked for a statement to be read out at the AGM regarding members having to ask specifically if they wanted an item Minuted, as was done at CoMs meetings.  This was not resolved during the meeting.  It was stated that all items discussed at meetings was included in the Minutes as a matter of course.  Verbatim discussions were not, in accordance with accepted practice, recorded.  Statements would be included.  (Post meeting note  -  it was explained to Christine by a member of CoMs that what suited their style of meeting did not necessarily suit Group meetings and there was no requirement to introduce changes.)
Trevor said he had no access to members’ addresses whilst Christine was away.  She explained that she could have been contacted by phone/text/email and that Pet had an up-to-date copy too and that he had refused having one when the arrangements for who should have what was agreed when this Committee first formed.  It was pointed out that the list he obtained from the office was now out-of-date as Christine and Lynda has recently rationalised the lists.  He can receive an email copy along with Pet each time they are updated if he wishes.
Tony reported that he had been contacted about CoM running an open holiday rally in our area.  He had taken this up with Council and would report back if there was any more information.

14  The meeting closed at 1.20pm

Signature  By email
Name  T. Dash
Date  10 January 2016