Minutes of Committee Meeting on 10 October 2017

The Ramblers Oxfordshire Area
Bicester and Kidlington Group
Minutes of the Group Meeting held on the 10th October 2017
At 7.15pm at The Littlebury Hotel, Bicester 
PRESENT Mary Gough (MG) Chairperson
Steve Atkins (SA) Joint Secretary
Barry Whitehead (BW) Treasurer
Margaret Barker (MB) Walking Environment
Mike Sargeant (MS) Blitz and Klean Representative
Richard Savory (RS) Walk’s coordinator
Pam Wheeler(PW)
APOLOGIES:  Christine Tulloch(CT), Margaret Atkins (MA), Anne McRae (AM) and Andrew Thomas (AT).
1. MINUTES OF LAST MEETING dated 4th July 2017:  Proposed by RS and Seconded by PW, were agreed to be a true record.
• Festival of Winter Walks. MG said that it was now too late to participate in this year’s festival. However we should think about it for next year and perhaps add a Halloween Walk, which could be a figure of eight walk, which would accommodate those who only wanted to do a short walk as well as those who liked a longer walk. 
• Review of the Welcome Letter. In the absence of AM, this item would be held over to the next meeting.
• Visit to Bath Xmas Market. RS said that there was a clash of dates which prevented this going ahead and it was held over a limited period of time. It was suggested that we also look at Birmingham next year as an alternative to Bath.
• September Area Meeting. MG said that Countryfile was the main topic of conversation and there was nothing to report.
• MG.  Reported that the Walkleaders Guide had been updated and would be sent out shortly. 
• MG. ITV is in the process of making a “Walks” Programme and she had suggested to them a couple of walks in our area that they might like to include.
• MG. A Grandparents/Grandchildren Walk has been proposed, we should watch out for this in the near future.
• MG. Has received many invitations to take part in walks in various areas/countries. Too many to consider.
4. CHAIRPERSON’S REPORT: (Copy sent to all committee members)
• MG. Ran through the main points from the report.  See Appendix 1.  
• The Short Walks Around Bicester Book has all but sold out now. It will need some amendments before it can be republished again, paid from the proceeds from the sales. It is thought that two of the walks have been altered in some way by footpath diversions. We may need to augment the sales money from the Group Fund, due to the increased cost of the reprint.
5. MEMBERSHIP REPORT: In the absence of AM, MG said that numbers were holding up at 189, with 6 pending payment. 
6. TREASURER’S REPORT: BW. Circulated his report, which is the one he will present at the AGM. We now have £782 in the bank, which leaves us about £300 to spend after the AGM. (not yet paid for the AGM). 
7. FOOTPATH OFFICER’S REPORT: CT informed MG – nothing to report at this time.
8. WALKING ENVIRONMENT (COUNTRYSIDE): MB  - nothing to report at this time.
9. BLITZ AND KLEAN: MS. Said that he was looking at work required on footpaths at Hardwick and Gosford. He said Colin Hull, from Cherwell Council was overseeing a walks programme from the new Kingsmere Sports Centre as part of the Health Walks Scheme. Meeting to be held on 25th January 2018 at 10am, for Walk Leaders.  Walks will be as long or short as required.
10. WALKS COORDINATOR’S REPORT: RS. Reported 51 walks being conducted in the winter period, mostly leisurely, amounting to 8 ½ walks per month.  This figure is down on previous years. 
• Quiz Evening. 20th October 2017. MG said that due to lack of support, only 10 people have signed up, she had no option but to cancel the quiz. Agreed by all.
• Christmas Lights Walk. 5th Dec 17. MG said the maximum attendance of 30 had been reached, with 6 on the reserve list. If more wish to sign up she said she might be able to provide a second walk on another day.
• Cotswold Outdoor Evening, 24th October 2017 (6.30 to 7.30pm). MG said she was still receiving requests to attend.
12. PUBLICITY:  MG. Nothing to report from Andrew.
13. WEBSITE. MS confirmed he was able to post material onto the website.
14. Area Council Meeting: MG. 
• Advised that there would be a 1st Aid Course for Walk Leaders on Sat 10th February 2018 at Kidlington and she would send out an email to advertise this. 
• Countryfile Discussion. MG felt that the stall was over manned and dowdy looking. Some of those manning it had a poor grasp of the Ramblers activities. Nevertheless it was deemed a success and may be repeated next year.
• West Oxford reported that they had done a successful ramble with their MP. MS said that our current Bicester Mayor, Les Sibley, was a regular walker and very keen to walk with our group. MG said she would consider inviting him to a walk next year.
15. AGM Saturday 11th November 2017 at Begbroke: MG. Keys will be collected at 9.30am. Alisha is providing the Asian food probably “finger buffet” style. Plates/bowls required. RS is leading the walk at 10am, Andrew Dobbs will be doing the Wine Presentation. Coffee/tea, with milk and sugar will be arranged by MB for after the presentation.
16. Growing Healthy Bicester: MG. Blue (Trail) lines have appeared on the paths around Bicester. Nothing further to Report.
17. Book Launch. MG. Covered previously in the Chairperson’s report.
18. Area Picnic 2018. MG. To be held at Kirtlington next  year.
19. Weekend Away Day 2018. (Selworthy, Near Exmoor). MG. Booking is for 17 but only have 15 at present. We need 2 more. RS said he liked the Wye Valley linear walk and asked if we could repeat this for Selworthy.  MG agreed this was a good idea and would look into it. May need to take a visit to the hotel to take a look around there in person.
20. Any Other Business.  MG handed over a box file of Group archive documents received from Colin Morgan, to SA for safe keeping. Anything no longer required or of any use can be disposed of.
21. DATE OF NEXT MEETING:    Tuesday 9th January 2018 at 7.15pm at the Littlebury Hotel, Bicester. (MS agreed to book the venue). Dates for the rest of 2018 will be discussed at this meeting).
Mary thanked everyone for attending and for their contributions and closed the meeting at 8.45pm.     
Appendix 1.  Chairperson’s  report.       
Chair Report
We have enjoyed a good summer with a variety of walks, which have been well supported. Some of the highlights were Barry’s historic Oxford walk, Mary W’s blackberry picking walk and our Steam and Cream walk, which ended with Cream Tea on the Chinnor & Princess Risborough Steam Railway. 
Margaret has started a picnic lunch club after short walks, when after lunch, they do some geocaching.  It is very popular.
We have gained two new walk leaders for the next programme. Our membership has stayed static.
A group of us went to the Wye Valley for a long weekend.  We stayed at Lindors Hotel, which was in a lovely setting. The group went on two led walks.  One from English Bicknell to Monmouth. The highlight was Symonds Yat Rock, which provided the finest view along the Wye Valley. The second walk was a circular walk from Tintern via Cleddon Falls. It highlighted what remains of the once thriving iron and wireworks industry in the area.
“Short Walks around Bicester” is still selling well.  Cole’s bookshop has asked for more copies.  On 16 October, we have a coach outing to Salisbury. There is a quiz evening on 20 October. We also have our annual open evening at Cotswold Outdoor Store in Bicester, when we will be able to shop with 20% discount.
We look forward to our AGM in November when one of our members will provide an Asian Food Lunch.  This will be followed by a talk on home made wine with tasting.  
In December we have our ever-popular Christmas Lights Walk in London’s West End. We already have 30 people booked for evening meal.