Pennine Soaring Club

AGM and Committee Meeting 13 February 2017, Sea View, Chorley.

Committee Members present: Graham Jones, Brian Stewart, Jim Ashley, Simon Blake, Richard Chadwick, Andy Archer, Carl Fairhurst, John Murphy, Andy Mcloughlin. Apologies received from Phil Wallbank and Tony Colombat.

Brief discussion of proposal to waive membership fees for children of members under the age of 18.

Agreed unanimously.

Brief discussion of proposal to award honorary membership with full voting rights to Lynda Baillie as a loyal supporter of the club.

Agreed unanimously.

End of Business.

AGM Report

Chairman’s review (incorporating Social Sec)

The club has enjoyed a successful year - social nights have centred around Chipping with curry and pizza nights at the Sun. The Penninefest was rained off, but we still had a good turnout and an entertaining and educational talk from Ed Cleasby. The winter club nights have been well-attended, with plenty of new faces on show. Difficulties obtaining suitable venue still exist.

The club continues to function well and seems to be serving the needs of its members. The membership secretary was praised for his work identifying those pilots who are not BHPA members or not paying PSC correct fees. Phil Colbert was thanked for his work on the AirWhere project which should prove to be a great benefit to all members and the wider paragliding community.

Other prominent members include Jack Pimblett who is making amazing progress in the world of Acro; Simon Scott for his achievements as part of the British Paramotor Team; Simon Blake who has a new book out; Simon Baillie for his continued recovery to full fitness; Barney Woodhead for his XC performances and Richard Chadwick for his sterling work over the years as Treasurer.

Looking forward to 2017, highlights should be a proposed Club Coach weekend; development of the AirWhere network; more Club Nights; Penninefest etc. To achieve these aims, the support of the members is essential, and the club will be exploring ways to expand participation beyond the 1/3 of the membership who regularly get involved. Communication with members needs work, but this is a 2-way progress and it is important the people make contact with the club if they want information, coaching etc.

The Pendle webcam is still on course but has run into a siting obstacle.

Treasurer’s report:

Subscription receipts are significantly up, thanks in great part to the Membership Sec’s hard work in chasing up non-payers or those still paying £19; still some way to go to reel them all in, but the list is shrinking. Accounts accepted by the meeting. Richard is stepping down after 6 years in post, and we thank him for his hard work and diligence.

Membership Secretary’s Report

We currently have around 175 members, of whom 36 are still paying only £19 - a list is available so that members can encourage these remaining few to amend their standing order. Problems remain with contacting members when emails, phone calls, text messages and postal letters go unanswered. BHPA checks on current membership status can meet with resistance if requested too frequently. Helmet stickers will continue to be sent out to those requesting them.

Competition Secretary’s Report

Most competitions were washed out by bad weather this year, including all 5 rounds of the BP Cup, and the Advance BCC challenge suffered a similar fate in our area. The LCC and Buttermere Bash were surprisingly successful despite poor forecasts. PSC performance in the National XC League was a little short of previous glory years as the Southern Clubs enjoyed the good conditions down there.

Secretary’s Report

Little outside communication beyond the routine. Main focus was the liaison with NWRAUG over the developments at LBIA. This has led to the creation of a new committee post - Airspace Officer - for which Phil Colbert has volunteered. The Secretary is standing down after 5 years, and thanks all the members for their support. Paul Hester has volunteered to stand for this position.

Safety Officer’s Report (delivered by the Secretary)

There have been no accidents or incidents involving members reported to the Safety Officer this year, although this does not mean that there were no reportable incidents. It is worth noting that one member was involved in an incident (reported correctly to the BHPA) involving a car being written off. It is comforting to note that the process of dealing with the expense of compensating the car owner was dealt with very efficiently by the BHPA insurers - a very good reason to be a member.

The Safety Officer is standing down this year, and the club is very grateful for the important contribution made over the years. Brian Stewart has put himself forward for this post.

Editor’s Report (delivered by the Secretary)

The newsletter has been absent for a few months - initially due to a lack of material, and then as an experiment to judge the reaction of the members. The feeling of the meeting was that the newsletter is an important communication tool, and so will be re-started this year. Members were urged to contribute to this as much as possible. Improvements to the database of members’ addresses should make it possible to ensure that it is delivered effectively.

Chief Coach’s Report

This has been a quiet year on the coaching scene. We have moved to a bi-annual cycle of Pilot Theory lectures to fit more closely with demand. Coaches can now receive their annual endorsement by email, which makes it much easier to remain current. New BHPA resources to support new pilots and their coaches will make the process of progressing from CP much clearer to all. Some discussion centred around the possibility of winter coaching sessions in the village hall, and competition preparation.

Power Officer’s Report

While there are few Power pilots in the club, the Power Sec’s role is to act as a contact point to anyone wishing to fly paramotors or powered hang gliders to go about this the correct way, in safety. The site at Eddisford Bridge is available to all, by contacting the PO. While the pilot fatally injured last year was not a PSC member, he was known to many and our condolences go out to his family and friends. BHPA are investigating, despite his not being a member.

Sub-20 Officer’s Report

There have been no issues involving sub-20 wings this year. Members are encouraged to report any instances of unqualified or non-BHPA persons flying any kind of aircraft on our sites to report those to relevant club officers.

Election of Committee:

All positions were offered to the membership. Apart from those mentioned above volunteering to fill vacancies, no nominations were received. Consequently all posts were filled unopposed and carried unanimously.

Chairman                             Graham Jones
Social Sec                             Graham Jones
Secretary                             Paul Hester
Membership Sec              Jim Ashley
Treasurer                            Jim Ashley (combined post)
Safety Officer                    Brian Stewart
Sites Officer                       Andy Archer
Webmaster                        Carl Fairhurst
Editor                                    Tony Colombat
Competition Sec               Simon Blake
Chief Coach                        John Murphy
Sub-20 Officer                   Andy McLoughlin
Airspace Officer                                Phil Colbert (new post).

Presentation of Awards

The Competition Secretary presided over an entertaining award ceremony in which not only the winners were acknowledged, but also the ‘honourable mentions’ and the ‘nearly theres’.

Best Fun Class                                                                   John Baxby
Best Sports Class                                                              Simon Blake
Best XC from Pennine Site                                           Phil Colbert
PSC League Winner                                                         Phil Colbert       
Grid Challenge                                                                  Simon Baillie
Most Improved Pilot                                                      John Oliver
Club Award                                                                         Jack Pimblett                                                   
Representing the Club                                                                   Simon Scott
William Marshall Trophy                                                Andy Archer
Main Welding Award (Bent Upright)                       Simon Blake
PSC Loop League winner                                              Paul Winterbottom.

A big ‘thank you’ to everyone who attended to make a memorable night. Now let’s go flying . . .