9th Dec 2021
Membership this year stands at 95 compared with 98 last year, 103 in 2019, 99 in 2018 and 97 in 2017. These numbers show how robust our membership is over a very difficult 2 years. We should thank our vivacious new members’ secretary Carol for these encouraging figures.
Climbing and Walking
During much of the pandemic, a distinct advantage (an unfair one!?) has been held by those who live with a partner, and thus can travel together and walk/climb together without transgressing against covid rules/advice. Those who live alone, including the chairman, had to manage alone with bouldering, solo climbing /walking. Of course this has changed more recently, following uncle Boris’s relaxation of the covid rules in the spring.
In the last 6 months we have actually enjoyed a meets programme. Many clubs still restrict outside hut bookings (including the WMC!). As a consequence, our meets have been limited to day meets, camping weekends and TyB. A June camping meet in North Devon was well attended and a great success from the climbing and social viewpoints. A very enjoyable social day was took place in Sedgely scout hut in July. Other successful recent meets include North Pembrokeshire, the August bank holiday barbecue at TyB, the working meet also at TyB, and Lee’s walk, paradoxically organised by Guy and Grant, and an excellent dinner at the Grouse in Derbyshire.
One exceptional individual achievement was John Ridley’s epic solo walk from his home in Sedgely to Tal-y-Braich via all the hills on the way. After 2 weeks, he finally arrived at TyB in time for the working meet.
Coming soon (or not, at the whims of the dreaded cov**):
New year meet at TyB, Scotland in February, April in Morocco (the least likely to take place, … but you never know), Lundy in September.
Our thanks to Guy and Cath for having the patience and optimism to plan all these in a time of such uncertainty.
The climbing wall has been up and running again for a few months, and now gets 10 or 12 members every Tuesday evening starting at about 7 or 7.30 pm on Tuesdays.
Committee meetings have been held for the last 18 months as virtual events using the Zoom software, and so were an EGM and the AGM. Tom Hartland has been the instigator and host for all zoom meetings, and our huge thanks are due to him. Whether/when we return to flesh and blood meetings remains to be decided.
Financial Consequences of the pandemic.
Our biggest source of monetary loss has been the lack of income from the hut. One might expect this to have drastic effects on the hut’s financial position. However, it seems not, because we applied for, and received, a grant from Gwynedd council for £10,000. We must thank uncle Boris for this, as he got the local authorities to offer this financial support for small businesses. Not sure why we counted as a small business! We thought it sensible to spend this money to compensate for covid-related losses, rather than blow it all on beer.
It seems that we should pay £1900 of this as corporation tax, but this liability is still undecided.
To celebrate the club’s 70th anniversary, we published a special magazine, edited by Tom H. This has received rave reviews, and we thank Tom and all his staff of contributors. We also had a special anniversary beer, brewed by a local West Midlands brewery. This is not quite what you might think. They took one of their own beers and stuck WMC Anniversary labels on the bottles. However, I certainly enjoyed it.
No-one knows for certain when, if ever, this will all be completely over. Its certainly 90% over, but the emergence of another mutant of concern is worrying. We should take care to follow medical advice, but continue to enjoy our walking and climbing, and life in general.
I’d like to thank the 2021 committee for their exceptional efforts to bring the club and its activities somewhere closer to normality during this difficult year, and give my best wishes to the 2022 committee. Finally I’d like to wish all members a merry Christmas and better times ahead in the New Year.
Thank you to everyone who managed to attend! Please find the list of your 2022 committee members below:
Chairman: Dave Wilkinson
Secretary: Claire Schwirtz
Treasurer: Mike Hill
New Members' Secretary: Lee Cartwright
Outdoor Meets Secretary: Richard Amor-Wilkes
Indoor Meets Secretary: Cath Gutteridge
Hut Warden: Richard Sealey
Hut Booking Secretary: Mike Gutteridge