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AGM Minutes, Wednesday 26th February 2014

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Minutes for CUHWC AGM, 26/02/14

Chair: Mr Andrew Williamson (for Ms Vicky Ward, who was rendered speechless by a bad cold)

Secretary: Ms Eleri Cousins

Also present: Philip Withnall, Tom Leach, Dave Farrow, Simon Williams, Laurent Michaux, Tom Hare, James Hickson, Paul Fox, Rose Pearson, Tom Ashton, Matt Hickford, David Hoyle, Anthony Cooper, Charlotte Zealley, Mark Jackson, Chris Arran, Andy Howell, Jane Patrick, Jade Cuttle, Marcus Taylor, John Ockenden, Greg Chadwick, Valerie Ashton.

1. Apologies for Absence

  • Joe Hobbs
  • Becky Howard
  • Paul Cook

2. Presidential Report – Read by Mr Philip Withnall for Ms Vicky Ward

  • Philip began by correctly noting that the report was ‘a bit long’
  • Philip was also interrupted quite a lot in his reading by various smart-alecks who thought they were clever (including, in the interest of full disclosure, the Secretary…)

Trips run

  • 13 of the normal 14 were run (14 if you count the ‘Scotland’ trip, which was neither official nor, actually, in Scotland – see this year’s High Society for a hilarious but possibly hyperbolic account). Overview of trips (essentially just copied and pasted from the President’s report because the Secretary is lazy).
  • Dolgellau – new bunkhouse or rather bunkbarn. You had to physically go outside to get to kitchen (which was far too small for entire group) or to the bathrooms. Very comfy beds though. Bunkhouse owners accommodating in letting us use their kitchen to cook and they said we didn’t need to clean. We did not manage to fill all (33) places on the trip due to firstly a lack of drivers and secondly a lack of interest. Additionally this was the trip where there was a noticeable lack of walk leaders/transport for walks on the Saturday as all the regulars grouped together to do more exciting things.
  • White Peak – Day trip. 19 involved. Hardly any 'regular' club members involved (9). Freak snowy horrible weather. 1 of the new members has returned since.
  • Cwm Dyli – 20 involved in weekend. Unusual freak snowy weather; crampons and ice axes were actually necessary. An issue in safety regarding this trip - a guy came with trainers and no treads. Additionally the now infamous fire extinguisher incident. This was subsequently dealt with meaning that we can return to this bunkhouse again.
  • Rhydd Dhu – mweeehhh (Secretary’s note: what the President means by this is anyone’s guess. Also, Phil’s phonetic reading was a joy to the ear.)
  • Church Stretton – Day trip. Beautiful weather. 17 involved.
  • Patterdale – 33 involved. Had 10 people camping. Was an issue with transport – picked 2 people up outside Cambridge creating complications for drivers. Alps Trip – organized unofficially. Affected popularity of ‘Scotland trip’
  • Scotland Trip planned for Knoydart involving 7. AW pulled out 2 weeks before hand due to the midge forecast. Ended up being in the Lakes due to weather.
  • Edale – oversubscribed. One group led by DF and PW (to name and shame) were very late back, nearly swapped people round between bus and cars, note flexibility for next year. Got new bus driver called Jock. We like him.
  • Caseg Fraith – Awful, awful weather. All but Mark’s route (he was on his own bagging something) altered their route card. Suprisingly (14/20) new members have returned already or are planning to return for annual dinner. Because the bunkhouse craic was good? Sign up filled up just after 7.30am.
  • High Moss – new BH: the Rucksack Club. Expensive but beautiful. Worth noting that we may be able to camp outside it for free in future years. This is worth investigating. Poor visibility both days. Navigation course run, perhaps a bit too basic. Sign up filled up at 6.55am. DO NOT RUN A TRIP THIS SMALL TO THE LAKES IN MICHAELMAS AGAIN.
  • Brecon Beacons – new bunkhouse. Nice, very keen bunkhouse owners. Beautiful weather. Pan-Y-Fan not that accessible though. Wait quite a few years before return. Chris organised an amazeballs Christmas Dinner.
  • Seathwaite – numbers smaller than usual for the weekend but higher comparatively later in the week. Weather truly shite but everyone enjoyed themselves.
  • Bryn Brethynau – nothing particularly special. Trip has 23 places, waiting list of 8. Issue created as the waiting list contained 3 pairs of people who refused to go without t’other.
  • Langdale – successful me thinks. Tom and I got very confused as to our roles. Mainly (and wonderfully!) organised by JS & DF

  • The 2 new Michaelmas locations deemed good.

  • Excluding Brecons, trips in Michaelmas were all waaay too oversubscribed. Consider running another? High Moss small due to booking faff. Need to book this one earlier.

Trip Statistics

  • 175 different people came on the 13 trips this committee year (compared to 158 last year), 394 places (incl. Langdale)
  • Compared to last time, fewer people came on a lot of trips, no one on 11 (2 last year: AW & PK); 1 person came on 10/13 trips (TAL); no one came on 9/13 trips (1 last year); 5 on 8/13, 6 on 7/13.; 29 people came on 4 or more trips (compared to 32 last year)
  • 64 people to Edale, of whom 46 were new.
  • 12 came back on 1 or more trips since (down from 37% to 26%)


  • 129 members on database (116 last year)
  • 24 non-CU members (18.6%, down from 22%)
  • Of the CU members, only ~32.5% are undergraduates
  • On database, 8 people called Tom – down 2
  • 2 left on course membership
  • Membership @ £15 hasn’t seemed to deter anyone.
    • BMC affiliation costs are increasing for next year! Was £7.25, will be £8.25… Predicted at last year’s AGM that BMC costs may rise!
  • Can we still do more to involve new members to the Club? Big drive to recruit undergrads this year. Reflecting in committee nominations… but not in stats!


  • Since October, we can only hire minibuses if we can find drivers with D1 licences – rare these days
  • Using MPVs and cars instead. This has actually worked out better than expected, and less expensive than expected.


  • Scrambling Course on Patterdale Trip – More than Mountains – for 4 people. Incredibly successful.
  • Navigation Course run on High Moss Trip by More than Mountains for 4 people, considered poor.
  • REC Level 2 first aid, 12 people, only 6 CUHWC members.


  • Only winter conditions on Selside Trip – not really a location that required crampon / ice axe use – though some did use them for practice.
  • Crampon allocation not a problem – but they were used in Alps? (And taken out for use in winter in Scotland, but were not actually required)
  • Still issues with some Club kit going missing – especially headtorches. Need to think about how to resolve this. A couple of ice axes are also still due back from a while ago… (Here the Secretary was ashamed because she still has one from the summer…)


  • Chris Arran as Social Sec has been so wonderfully enthusiastic that we (almost) forgive him for losing Ben the Bear.
  • Lunches have not been as popular as in years past – but the pub still is!
  • In addition to the usual formals, have had some exciting socials, perhaps geared more to younger members (Fire Social, Pub Crawl, Swap with CUMC/CUEX)


  • Finally, we made it through a year with no EGMs! Which of course means the secretary has had minimal minute-writing experience.

3. Accounts

Also presented by Mr Philip Withnall

  • Overall, a rough split between trips that made a profit and trips that made a loss. Net profit of £325 from trips this year.
  • Socials have made a £260 profit
  • Courses broke even, as expected
  • Trip prices were raised to cover increased transport costs, but possibly were raised by too much. Should consider lowering trip costs – though socials should continue to aim to make a profit.
  • We now have insurance excess insurance, to help protect us against another disastrous minibus experience
  • We also now have online banking and club debit cards. The latter will simplify car hire, erasing the faff of club members paying out of pocket and then being reimbursed.

Discussion of the accounts

  • Andrew:
    • What are BMC grants covering?
  • Tom:
    • Club equipment (£100), nothing this year for courses because we got double last year, £100 for admin things like website and freshers' fair flyers.

The accounts were approved unanimously.

4. Andy Gibson Training Fund

Also presented by Philip Withnall. By this time those present were (pretending to be) sick of Philip’s dulcet tones.

  • There was a meeting at Langdale with the AGTF committee.
  • Processing grants currently slow because they don’t have online banking, but they are looking into this.
  • Lent 2012
    • Navigation Course (6 CUHWC members). AGTF committee criticized that non-students were getting grants. £10pp (total course=£120)
    • Scrambling Course (4 CUHWC Members) £150/£320
    • JJ & PW, REC Level 2 First Aid, £20pp
    • PBK – ML Course, £150/£365
  • Easter 2012
    • None
  • Michaelmas 2012
    • Navigation Course , 6 CUHWC members, £65/£125 awarded.
  • Lent 2013
    • REC 2 first aid course.
  • The committee is keen for more applications. There is currently a fair amount in the fund and they are considering raising the upper boundary for funding.

5. Motion, proposed by Ms Vicky Ward, seconded by Mr Andrew Williamson

To remove article 23 from the Club’s Constitution and replace it with: “When the office of Senior Treasurer becomes vacant, the Executive Committee shall appoint someone who is of MA standing and a resident member of the Senate or otherwise a person approved by the Junior Proctor. The Senior Treasurer shall not be required to be a member of the Club. The Senior Treasurer may be removed from office by ordinary resolution at a General Meeting.


The Senior Treasurer noted this would make our lives easier, and there was no reason not to approve it.

Vote to approve the measure


6. Motion, proposed by Ms Vicky Ward, seconded by Mr Andrew Williamson

To remove article 48 from the Club’s Constitution and replace it with: “Where a General Meeting has passed a resolution to wind up the Club in accordance with article forty-seven, the Club's assets, after payment of any debts or other liabilities, shall be transferred to such Registered Society of the University of Cambridge as the General Meeting shall by ordinary resolution direct, and in default of such direction to the University of Cambridge. This motion shall be valid regardless of any failure to comply with article thirty-seven or thirty-eight in respect of it.”

Discussion of the motion

  • Vicky:
    • The background to this is a request from the proctors for this change.
  • Paul:
    • Well, essentially, the university gives us money and would quite like to have it back again if we fold.

It was also noted by some present that the background to this is general paranoia about what university clubs do with university funds. While it is “highly unlikely that the hillwalking club will become a terrorist cell”, such general fears might be the source of the pressure.

  • Philip:
    • If that is the case, they aren’t going to forget about it if we don’t pass the motion.
  • Simon:
    • Do they have the right? This is ultimately unfair.
  • Senior Treasurer:
    • Given the pressure, it is prudent to do something, and this seems to cover the issue quite sensibly.

Vote to approve the motion:

Passed with no votes to disapprove but with 8 abstentions.

7. Motion, proposed by Ms Vicky Ward, seconded by Mr Andrew Williamson

To add article 50 to the Club’s Constitution: ““The Andy Gibson Training Fund exists independently of the Club and holds its assets subject only to its own Rules. Such assets shall not be treated as assets of the Club for any purpose, including on any dissolution of the Club.”

Discussion of the motion

Senior Treasurer: Seems quite correct. Perhaps doesn’t need a constitutional amendment, but certainly no harm in clarifying.

Vote to approve the motion


8. Questions to the Committee

  • Matt Hickford:
    • Dr Hickson, will you remain Senior Treasurer?
  • Senior Treasurer:
    • I am happy to remain at your disposal if I am wanted.

It was agreed by all present that he remains wanted.

  • Mark Jackson:
    • How important are undergrads on the committee?
  • Chris:
    • They help create a welcoming environment for freshers.
  • Vicky:
    • Definitely help keenness
  • Simon:
    • Definitely important that PhDs aren’t the only face. At the Freshers' Fair, the grads were noticeably less welcoming to freshers. I certainly was.
  • Eleri (smug):
    • I was very welcoming. This might be a personality rather than an age issue, Simon.

9. Elections

President – Tom Leach standing

  • Controversially, Tom is running because he loves the club and wants to keep moving it forward.
  • Mark wanted to know where we’re going. The answer, again controversially, was the Lakes and Snowdonia. Also the Dales.
  • Marcus wanted to know if we can camp more. The answer was yes, if we can still all fit in the bunkhouse because Tom (VERY controversially) likes the club’s social side.
Results of the election:
  • 27 for Tom, 1 RON. Tom duly elected.

Meets – Laurent Michaux and Philip Withnall standing

  • Laurent loves the club and loves getting away from Cambridge. He’s also very organized.
  • Philip wants to ruin something else now besides the accounts. Also, he knows the drivers and loves the pub.
  • Tom Ashton: How would you deal with driver shortage? Laurent hoped to find another minibus company, also he might be driving himself soon. Philip said he would keep on the drivers’ good side. Simon then pointed out that, actually, we don’t have a driver shortage.
Results of the election:
  • 6 for Laurent, 21 for Philip, 1 RON. Philip duly elected.

Social Secretary: Marcus Taylor and Jade Cuttle running together

  • Marcus spoke for both, saying they’ve loved Chris’ events, looked to do more swaps, but the fate of lunches was uncertain.
  • Andrew asked what would happen if they fell out. Marcus said there would be twice as many social events. Raucous laughter ensued.
Results of the election:
  • 26 for Jade and Marcus, 2 abstentions. Jade and Marcus duly elected.

Safety: Andy Howell and Rose Pearson running together

  • Rose spoke eloquently about the importance of both safety and equipment, especially when it came to helping new, inexperienced members get to know the outdoors. She loves the openness and friendliness of CUHWC, and hopes to help continue that.
  • Andy has extensive experience, including being on the OUMC committee. (Shocked gasps from the audience; the Secretary kept a low profile as she is currently a paid-up member of the OUMC…)
  • Rose will mostly fulfill safety, Andy equipment because his core skill is carrying awkward things on a bike. If both are present, Rose will be ‘Head Safety.’
  • Tom Hare: The usual question about someone in trainers. Rose answered sensibly that it depends on weather conditions. Otherwise, say no to their plan and offer alternatives.
  • Philip: What new equipment would you buy? After a report by Tom on the current equipment, waterproofs were agreed to be a priority.
  • Vicky: Biscuits? (Note: all questions and remarks by Vicky were made via note to Andrew. Andrew couldn’t read the notes more often than you might expect…) Rose: Secondary to safety. Hisses from the assembled company.
  • Chris: What if someone wants to do an E6? Rose: We’re a walking club. If your primary goal is climbing, then you are taking a space from someone else – we’d like to encourage inclusiveness in club activities as much as possible.
  • Philip: Where do you stand on cafetieres as safety equipment? Andy: Well, I think coffee-making can be quite dangerous.
  • Vicky: What do you do if there’s no one to lead newcomers? Rose: Doing that is the responsibility of the committee in general, but definitely the safety officers’ in particular.
Results of the election:
  • 27 for Rose and Andy, 1 RON. Rose and Andy duly elected

Junior Treasurer: John Ockenden standing

  • John: CUHWC good for combatting depression, wants to give back by being on committee.
  • Laurent: Will you be at the pub? John: Yes.
  • Philip: Can you count? John: I think so. John then proceeded to delight and awe Philip by promising to continue to use gnucash.
  • 26 for John, 2 abstentions

Membership: Laurent Michaux, David Hoyle and Charlotte Zealley standing.

  • David: Friendly, reliable, competent. Maybe introduce online joining system, discount in fresher’s week.
  • Charlotte: Undergrad friendly face, has other admin experience.
  • Laurent: Friendly, welcoming both during and throughout year, good with admin, had done recruitment for other societies.
Results of the election:
  • 12 for Laurent, 12 for Charlotte, 3 for David, 1 abstention. Deciding vote cast by the President, Laurent duly elected.

10. Any Other Business

  • Dave Farrow: Thanks to the outgoing committee. A round of applause.

We then proceeded to rapidly finish the Cava left over from the last club lunch.