Easter date for re-opening of Social Club

The Reading Room Social Club will be closed until Easter 2022, when it is hoped the Covid wave will have abated and the better spring weather will allow members to meet outdoors. Friday 28 April 2022 is suggested as a re-opening date when the BBQ season is also expected to start.

Burgh Reading Room Social Club Committee AGM
Friday 17 December 2021


  1. Apologies for absence
  2. Minutes of AGM 15.11.19
  3. Chairman’s Report
  4. Treasurer’s Report
  5. Election of committee
  6. Election of auditor
  7. Suggestions of any events or opening in early 2022
  8. Plans for BBQ season
  9. Membership subs
  10. Any other business

The meeting followed the Management Committee AGM, which had commenced at 7.00 pm.

Present:  Steve Bristow,  Michael  Cooper, Rakesh Dholiwar, Mike Gaffaney,  Jeremy Hickling, Maria Hickling, Judith Holloway, Frances Howard,  Chris Roberts, Richard Roberts, Yvonne Stewart,  Rosemary Topping

  1. Apologies:
    Wilhelmina Ball, Dorothy Clark, David Hagan-Palmer, Gill Harley, Sarah Hinchcliffe, Joyce Rochester, Ray Topping, Kerys Witton
  1. Minutes of AGM 15.11.19
    They were accepted as a true copy of the meeting.
  1. Chairman’s Report

Richard thanked everyone for coming.
A quick recap of the Social Club’s activities over the last two years: Our winter season started brightly enough in December 2019, with an offering of Clarke’s pies on December 6th, some festive snacks on December 20th and a very well-attended New Year Party on January 3rd. We then had a planned  four-week closure for the remainder of January for building works. We had the always-popular Bingo with Fish and Chips in early February, and two other food nights – Lasagne by Kerys and Sarah, and Curry night by Rakesh and Frances before the first Covid lockdown forced the closure of the Club from March 16th onwards.

Although legally we could have opened in the summer of 2020, there were onerous regulations in place for the covid-safe operation of a hospitality business and it was decided by the Committee that it was impractical to do so. Further government lockdowns followed in the autumn and winter.

We were unable to hold an in-person AGM at the end of 2020, and decided to extend the period between AGMs to two years, and to report two years activities and accounts at this meeting. The Committee also decided to extend the current memberships for an additional 12 months.

Following the lifting of most government restrictions in July 2021, the Committee approved the re-opening of the Social Club for drinks only on Friday nights from August 5th.

I would like to thank everyone who attended the Club in late summer and early autumn of this year. However, the number of members attending remained in single figures and once dark evenings came, attendances declined further. An offering of Fish and Chips on October 8th brought in twenty members, but no volunteers could be found to organise further food nights. Numbers of members attending dwindled further and there were nights in October when Ray was here by himself. A decision to close the Club until further notice was announced on November 18th.

(We will be discussing future plans for the Social Club at Agenda item 7)

I would like to thank the chefs and bingo-callers who contributed to our events over the winter-before last. I would also like to thank Ray for manning the bar especially this summer, Rosemary for keeping it supplied and Maria for looking after the money.

Kerys and Dorothy will be retiring from the Social Club Committee today. I would like to thank them both for many years of service. Both of them were contributing to events at the Reading Room long before I came to the village twelve years ago. Dorothy was the Club treasurer until 2018; I have been unable to discover when she first took on the role of treasurer, as the file only goes back to 2004, and she was already treasurer at this time.

  1. Treasurer’s Report

Maria said that her report covered the last two years accounts.

Luckily we did have some functions and Friday night social club in the latter part of 2019, with the remainder of the barbecues, winter food, a New Year’s Party and a bingo evening in early 2020 before lockdown.  Therefore the year 2019/20 did not suffer such a big impact as 2020/21.

Unfortunately there is not much to report for 20/21 as we were not able to open during much of this period.  We have tried to resume our Friday night social club this autumn but unfortunately this did not attract many people an so with the current covid situation the decision has been to close again until spring 2022 when we hope the situation will be better.  With no social club and no functions, we have not charged for renewal of memberships.

We have also seen a decrease in bank interest over the last year.
Even with the current situation, the social club does have a healthy balance in hand.

The figures as at 31 August 2021 in the bank are:
Instant access:  £10,633.85
Business current:  £8,699.99
Total: £19,333.84

The accounts were accepted by the meeting.

  1. Election of committee

With Dorothy and Kerys resigning from the committee, that leaves us with vacancies.  Steve Bristow agreed to join the committee.
The committee now stands as:

Chair:  Richard Roberts
Vice-chair:  Gavin Watson
Treasurer:  Maria Hickling
Secretary:  Chris Roberts
Committee members:  Steve Bristow, Michael Cooper, Yvonne Stewart, Ray Topping

The meeting agreed to re-elect the current committee.

  1. Election of auditor
    It was proposed to continue to use Michael Wallis to audit the accounts;  all were in favour.
  2. Suggestions of any events or opening in early 2022
    It was agreed to close the Social Club until Easter 2022, in the hope that the covid wave will have abated and the better spring weather will allow us to meet outdoors.  Friday 28 April 2022 was suggested as a re-opening date.
  3. Plans for barbecue season
    Richard pointed out that although our regular Friday night barbecues at the Reading Room have been popular, they do need volunteers to run them.
  4. Membership subs
    It was agreed that membership subscriptions will roll over again to September 2022.  Any new members before that time will be allowed free membership until September 2022.
  5. Any other business
    If the Social Club is to continue, we do need to reach out to new people in the village. Possible ideas:

– offer free first burger and drink to everyone
– leaflet to publicise barbecue nights
– questionnaire/leaflet/publicity to encourage people to say what they would like to see offered by the Social Club
– different food possibilities
– activities for children

The meeting closed at 7.47 pm.

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