The Bagpipe Society

AGM 2011

The meeting opened at 17:03

  1. Apologies: Jon Swayne

  2. Minutes of previous meeting: The minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

Matters Arising:

Website — discussed later under Publicity

Student Pipes — Nothing happened (no info from David Faulkner); it was agreed to drop the action.

Pig Plate — Judy Rockliff did contact Don Ward who, after six months(!), did send the requested picture. It was agreed to continue the action (Judy to publish the picture in Chanter, or on the web site, and solicit suggestions for what kind of activity to do with it).

AOB — Don Ward reported that there was a “secret item” of any other business, which would be revealed in due course.

  1. Officers’ Reports:

Treasurer and Membership Secretary (M. Ross)

See previous article.

Chairman (D. Ward)

As you can see from the accounts, we have money available to fund worthwhile projects in keeping with the society’s objectives (broadly, the furtherance of piping). The conditions haven’t changed: each project must come with a volunteer prepared to put in the effort to make it work.

As noted in the latest (summer 2011) Chanter, we have made a substantial donation to the North American based Van Jackman Fund whose objectives are “to encourage people, especially young people, to take up the pipes and become proficient players so that piping may offer a lifetime’s source of enjoyment and pleasure”.

It’s probably worthwhile to remind members that the society is prepared to support bagpipe related events put on by members. We prefer to underwrite rather than make an outright grant but will consider either. Proposals, with a budget, to the treasurer please, preferably via email. Allow at least a month for the committee to get off its collective backside and make a decision. We usually ask successful applicants to mention the support of the society in the program, so apply well in advance of your printing deadline.

Newsletter/Chanter editor (J. Tose)

John is still the editor and is happy to carry on (general applause). Please send contributions to Chanter; they don’t have to be polished, the editor will clean it up. Costs of postage are kept down by limiting each issue to 44 pages including covers.

Blowout Organisers (I. Clabburn, R. Bramley)

Ian Clabburn said that we made a loss last year of about £400. Rob Bramley said that, compared with last year the ticket sales were very much better: the main reason being that Ruth has taken it over [post meeting note: Ruth will continue to administrate the ticket sales, but will not join the committee, preferring to stay in the background]. Ticket sales were very slow at the start but numbers have picked up just before the event but the attendance is slightly down from last year. PLEASE BOOK EARLY. The possibility of booking tickets through the web site was raised: it was felt that sales might increase because of the immediate nature of seeing the event and booking a place all in one go, rather than writing a cheque and sending it to Ruth.

The question of which date to go for next year was raised — the current weekend or revert to our traditional date of one week earlier. As far as future dates for the blowout were concerned, Ian has finally won the battle with the dog show (!) by booking several years ahead. The next Blowout will be Blowout number 20 (there were previous gatherings, but not under the “Blowout” title) so perhaps we should do something special. The likely date is the 2nd weekend in June (at the end of school half-term). We will stick with the two-day format — three days is nice, but the extra expense is not covered by any extra revenue.

Society Shop

The new web site will sell Bagpipe Society merchandise. Ian is hoping that sales will expand. We do not plan to sell T-shirts with the new logo on it, but the new web site will have a link to the supplier (and we will get a small kickback on each sale that comes through the society’s link).

Publicity (A Letcher)

Andy drew the meeting’s attention to the proposed “International Bagpipe Day” that he has written about in the summer edition of Chanter. We now need to make it happen. The basic idea is to get the message to the press that there are more than just Highland bagpipes, or Northumbrian smallpipes. The proposed date (of 2nd Saturday in March) was discussed. Dominic Allen felt that a weekday might be more “school friendly” and a later date might be better when it was warmer. After discussion it was agreed to stick with the original date — we can always do school events in the preceding week and it was felt that any later time risks clashing with other events.

Tom Hughes said that if anybody was considering doing something in schools, he would be happy to discuss his own experiences (which are also in the latest Chanter). Andy wondered if a standard flyer for schools could be prepared. Tom said that he could provide one and we could perhaps put it on the website.

Web site (A Letcher, J Wass)

Version 1 of the new web site is ready to go. It is not yet attached to the domain name but that will happen as soon as we decide to make it live. [The meeting decided that ’now’ was a good time to make it live. Joe Wass needs to contact Richard Reader to enable the transfer of the domain name].

Anybody in the world will be able to register and advertise as a maker. Access is free. We have a disclaimer in place on the makers page, and it was thought that a general disclaimer might also be a good idea. Andy hopes that people will be happy with it (those who have seen a draft site reported that they thought it was already pretty good) and wants feedback from people about the new site.

Discussion about control of content on the site raised the fear that, without active management, the ability for anybody to post items (about anything at all) on the site would dilute the material about bagpipes to near, or total, invisibility. Two possibilities were raised ‘Pre-moderation’ and Post-moderation’. We decided that ‘Post-moderation was best, but several people will need to keep a fairly close eye on posted items and delete irrelevant and/or offensive content.

Don Ward proposed that we have a Bagpipe Society Members forum that is

readable by the general public, but to contribute, you had to be a paid up member. Don felt that it might provide an incentive for people to join the society. Joe said that it would be possible (in Version 2 of the site) but that he’d have to liaise with Mike Ross for the membership information.

After some more discussion it was proposed that the “technical brains” behind the new site (Joe Wass) be invited onto the committee. Joe accepted. The new site is hosted on one of Joe’s web server machines.

It was pointed out (actually in AOB, but it makes more sense to record it here) that in our enthusiasm for the new site we must not disenfranchise or lose sight of those members who didn’t have computers.

  1. Election of Officers:

The existing committee members are prepared to stand again in 2011/12. Other volunteers are always welcome.

The committee was re-elected. It now consists of

R Bramley - Blowout Ticketing and Admin

I Clabburn - Blowout Organiser

T Hughes - Without PortFolio

A Letcher - Publicity

J Rockliff - Without Portfolio

M Ross - Treasurer and Membership Secretary

J Tose - Chanter Editor

D Ward - Chairman

J Wass - Webmaster

  1. AOB:

Caen Stone. Gerry and Mary O’Brien brought our attention to the fact that, for £300, we could sponsor a carving on Canterbury Cathedral that would immortalise the society. There was general approval for the idea. Rob Bramley thought that £300 wouldn’t actually buy a lot of carving and that perhaps we would need to spend more, maybe significantly more. It was agreed that if the carving would cost significantly more, we would need some more discussion. The O’Briens agreed to find out more details and to publish them in Chanter. Maybe we could also discuss the proposal on the website, when the members forum is up and running. Colin Hill suggested we might solicit donations to the cause from members.

The “secret item” of any other business was revealed to be a birthday cake — with a bagpipe on it, of course — for Julian Goodacre. Everyone sang the usual HB2U, almost in the same key.

The meeting closed at 17:43.