A word from the Chairman

Even the most dedicated caver who devotes their life to hiding under rocks will have noticed that this year has been somewhat different. In the run up to lockdown the committee struggled with attempts to set up a way that Godre Pentre could still remain open to small groups. Unfortunately circumstances rapidly changed and since the AGM only maintenance visits have been possible.

In the meantime we have been trying to keep the spirit of the club alive. Thank you to everyone who has taken part in the series of Zoom quizzes. We have had up to about nine teams or so on the busiest occasions with 15 or more households taking part at various times. We hope to continue this in the New Year. The quiz calendar culminated in a virtual Annual Dinner on Saturday 12th December and involved 10 households and over 3 hours of food, drink and mayhem.

I am writing this less than a week before Christmas with Wales in lockdown and large parts of England coming under the new tier 4 restrictions. Although the roll out of vaccines has started it will probably be many months still before we can go back to operating Godre Pentre in the traditional way. If anyone has any ideas for other online or socially distanced events for the coming months please share them.

As members have not received a lot of value from their membership this year the renewal rate for 2021 has been reduced to a nominal £1. I would urge everyone to renew their membershp promptly in the expectation that normal service will eventually be resumed. Don’t forget your membership included the excellent magazine Pelobates! Please send in you contributions for the next edition.

It seems inevitable that the AGM this year will have to be online. I know that some members will not be able to participate in this way. It is therefore essential that any motions and nominations are submitted well in advance so that those who cannot attend have an opportunity to vote in advance. At this point I thought that a review of my words from January’s Pelobates might be relevent. What can we say about the year since the last Pelobates? (See the table below - ed.)

In this context I would ask everyone in the club to consider whether they could stand up to take part in the management of the club – it really isn’t that onerous.

Looking forward to a return to caving (and the pub).

Pelobates January 2020 Pelobates December 2020
AGM 2018 AGM 2020
More Bank Holiday Caving weekends No
Another Devon Caving weekend No
Another Guy Fawkes night No
Another Annual Dinner (32 in attendance compared with 30 the previous year and 26 the year before) Sort of via Zoom
Another AGM (2019) No
Another Mendip weekend No
Another Devon Caving weekend No
Cave Fest No
Another Guy Fawkes night No
Another Annual Dinner (30 booked but only 27 showing up) No
New Year 2019/20 at Godre Pentre No
Same old committee Yes
At the last AGM, the committee was once again elected en masse. Many of the current committee members have served for many years. In some instances they have given up many many hours of their time progressing the club’s interests and dealing with all of the boring non-caving admin. In 2020 it would be good to have some different people interested in getting involved. There is barely a person who would not welcome the chance to stand down for a year or two (or even permanently). If you find the prospect daunting then we would be able to offer ‘apprenticeship’ opportunities whereby you could study under the current ‘Master’ for a year before going solo. Heaven forbid but we might even end up having elections like we used to and you might even end up with a new Chairman! Yes, this definitely still applies!
Eric Downer