Cheddar Steam Club

The model club for boats and trains


Patrick Emett welcomed members to the 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) for the Cheddar Steam Club.

1. Present & apologies:

Committee Present:

Patrick Emett - Chairman, Norman Andrew - Secretary,  Brian Isaac - Membership Secretary, Val Emery, Kevin Newman, John Chapman, Roger Selway, Jerry Watson, Allan Durward, plus 76 other club members.

Apologies were received from:

Terry White, Kevin D Roberts, John Eyles, Maya Carrington, Paul Edwards, Peter Fox, Denise Moore, Jeremy Moore, John Plummer, Ray Davis, David Nicholson, Brian & Daphne Lawrence, Mike Gay, Bob Luckett, Rachael Woodroofe.

The first item was an apology from the Chairman for the fact that the AGM Agenda had not been circulated 21 days before the meeting as stated in the Constitution. Nevertheless the members agreed to proceed.

2. Minutes of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on 03rd September 2016

The minutes of the last AGM held on 03rd September 2016 were approved by the members present as a true and correct record of the meeting. The Chairman will sign a copy for our records.

3.  Chairman’s report.

3.1 Events:

Following the last AGM held 3rd September 2016 we held a Winter Warmer in October and Val’s Christmas Event in December. In 2017 we started off with the 21st Club Anniversary Weekend in May, a Footy sailing event on the 24th June followed the next day by a Children and Parents Family day. In July we had the customary Cream Teas weekend and in August Val put on her Summer Buffet. All of these events were well attended. Apart from these programmed events members have given good attendance on Wednesdays and Sundays, especially the last Sunday of the month.

As Chairman I offer my grateful thanks to all those ladies and gentlemen who have helped to make the events successful including tent erection, refreshments, raffle, clothing, cleaning, grass cutting, etc.

Thank you for renewing your membership for this year or if you have joined the club for the first time you are very welcome. You have a new combination number that applies to all four locks.

3.2 Accomplishments for 2016-2017:

3.2a The Pavilion:

Some of you will be aware that we found a fundamental problem with the floor of the Pavilion. We had endeavoured to overcome the rising damp condensation rotting the timber floor by increasing the under-floor ventilation but to no avail.

We subsequently took up the whole of the meeting and kitchen area, laid a damp proof membrane, insulation to bring the level up, tongued and grooved moisture resistant chipboard and vinyl. We think this is working well however we may have to carry out the same remedy in the toilets and will check the condition in the spring and action accordingly.

We have again this year received a nil demand for business rate from the council

We will adopt the usual winter protocol of turning off the water and draining down the pipework in severe winter conditions.

3.2c Pond:

The top up system created by David Nicholson and John Boyall has worked well extracting water from Holwell brook which during the summer has generally kept the water level at a satisfactory level. We will consider an upgrade to the system later in this meeting.

3.2d Railway:

We have Roger Selway to thank for his hard work in the refurbishment of the railway track. This work is on-going principally due to the failure of the plastic sleepers having reused the old track when the substrate was replaced.

3.3 Membership and Subscriptions:

The membership remains fairly constant, currently 126. Inevitably we have lost some long time members but with the facilities that we provide we are delighted to welcome new members and I would ask committee and existing members to give them any assistance that they may require.

Subscriptions remain as last year, £30 for single and £35 for a family membership. This will provide income of approximately £4000. This gets supplemented by income from catering and raffles. The camping charge remains at £5 per night.

3.4 Thanks:

On your behalf I would like to thank the Officers and Committee members for their support to me this year; Norman Andrew Secretary, Maya Carrington Treasurer, Brian Isaac Membership Secretary, Jeremy Moore (safety), Jerry Watson, Valerie Emery(catering), Denise Moore(clothing), Kevin Newman(web master), John Chapman, Arthur Needham, Don Hoddinott, Allan Durward, Alan Carney and Roger Selway. All of whom have contributed to the Club in many ways and attended our numerous committee meetings and not forgetting Norman’s hard work in getting us into order on boiler testing.

As Chairman I offer my grateful thanks to all those ladies and gentlemen who have helped to make the running of the club and the events successful including tent erection, refreshments, raffle, clothing, cleaning, grass cutting, extending the car parking area and donations.

Thanks also the other essential people: The trustees of the Club, John Chapman, Jerry Watson, Don Hoddinott and Vic Gray; Phil Cracknell our Newsletter Editor; Robin Owen-Smith who has examined our annual accounts; Rachael Woodroofe our site owner and who continues to support the Club.

Thank you all for attending today and for your help in whatever form you have provided to make this club function so well.

3.5 Message from Val - read by Patrick

 In a month’s time it will be a year that I lost my Husband Tony. I would just like to say a big thank you to all Cheddar Steam Club Members and Committee for your love, kindness and support which you have shown me through this difficult time. It has really helped me to know you have always been there for me.

Thank you again and I love you all.

4. Hon. Secretary's Report.

Norman started by saying that over the last year that there had only been four maybe five written suggestions in the suggestions box and from that he concluded that  overall the membership is happy with the ethos and progression of our club.

He made the point that since becoming a member he has not changed his opinion that this is a very friendly club and that we all enjoy fabulous facilities throughout the year at minimal cost.

A request was made for emergency contact details from any more members who wished to offer them.

It would be useful to have a contact name and telephone number available on site in the event of any unexpected event.

Attention was drawn to the entitlement of any member (and in particular those with steam models) to a copy of our third party liability insurance certificate, often needed when visiting other venues. The secretary currently holds those copies.

Norman gave personal thanks to Kevin Newman who was our secretary last year.

He had been very thorough and had also made a really good start at organising procedures for club recording of steam boiler testing as required by the Northern Association of Model Engineers (NAME) to whom we are affiliated.

Norman pointed out that for many years we have been doing all of the steam testing properly but the paperwork and club recording of that had been less than thorough. This is one of the responsibilities of the secretary.

It had become clear that one potential reason for this was the lack of availability of pens. ! Norman has made a rack of biros to help with that.


Kevin has been our webmaster for a year and has achieved a brilliant website which has drawn attention and invitations from other clubs

5. Treasurer's Report.

Our outgoing treasurer Maya Carrington has given her apologies because she is unavailable and Robin Owen Smith our Auditor has kindly offered to report our finances. Copies had been distributed to the meeting. Our current balance is approximately £7000. The annual site rent remains at £100 due the generosity of Rachael Woodroofe. The grass cutting has recently had to increase from £85 to £90 per cut. Clothing is a nonprofit service.

A question was asked to explain the reduction in membership fees for 2017 and the answer was that many members had paid early last year and  not so this year. In fact the actual membership income has remained much the same.

6. Membership Secretary's Report.

Brian Isaac explained that we now stand at 127. Many have left because of distance or health reasons, but have been replaced by others.

7. Election of Committee.

Patrick stood down as Chairman. However he is prepared to stand again and was applauded and duly elected.

Norman apologised for giving an incorrect closure date of 01st September for nominations and pointed out that written nominations should be given no later than 21 days before the AGM. In reality this was not a problem this year.

Members who had stood down had already been  thanked for their work and contributions........Arthur Needham, Don Hoddinott and Maya Carrington.

Patrick as the new Chairman went through the nominations with a vote for each and the new Committee elected comprises of:

Patrick Emett Chairman

Norman Andrew Hon. Secretary

Michael Marshall Hon. Treasurer

Brian Isaac Membership Secretary

Jeremy Moore Health & Safety

Valerie Emery Catering manager

Denise Moore Clothing manager

Jerry Watson Head boiler tester

Roger Selway

Allan Durward

John Chapman

Alan Carney

Alan Diamond

a. Appointment of Webmaster.

Kevin Newman

b. Appointment of Hon Auditor.

Robin Owen Smith

c.  Appointment of the Newsletter Editor.

Phil Cracknell

8. Confirmation of Trustees.

The trustees for this year are:

Jerry Watson

John Chapman

Vic Gray

9. Boiler testing Amendment to rule 8.

The Hon Secretary (Norman) is responsible for keeping records of all steam boiler testing.

Lengthy discussions including some disagreements have been had during committee meetings and have been minuted.

He explained in some detail the rationale behind the amendment which after significant research and some legal advice means that the annual steam test can no longer be done as self certification by the owner, but should be carried out with a club boiler inspector.

This was the case for many years before the 2015 rules were published.

Norman stressed that the procedures needed to be simple and straightforward and that the very last thing he or the committee wanted , was cause members to withdraw from their operation of steam models.


Guidance documents have been produced and were offered to members. They are also on the website for reference. Would any individuals please ask Norman for any clarification regarding the status of their own models.

John Chapman who had previously done a lot of work on behalf of the club to simplify and introduce self certification, made the point that the situation is very unclear Nationally and because an accident has never happened, no one is sure how it would all work out.

Norman completely agreed and some further points were made by others in the meeting.

Patrick summarised by saying that as Chairman he was not prepared to have our club, our individual members, and our trustees, put at any risk by having procedures which were any less than the best we can collectively do.

The next three items are included to "test the water" and gain some idea as to what the wider membership wish. No hard decisions need to be made.

10. Proposal to extend the area of the Pavilion deck. (Pete Evans)

The area is getting congested and the proposal is to extend by one metre towards the pond and out to the west by two metres. Similar construction. Approximate cost £700 - (£1000 if the canopy is extended)  Some observations were voiced including widening for better disabled access. The meeting approved that the proposal should be taken forward at committee.

11. Proposal to enlarge the railway steam up area deck, part cover and disabled access. (Roger Selway)

Again congestion. The proposal is to move the fence back about two metres, disabled ramp either end, Canopy over the central two sections, (not over the tracks) Estimated cost £1300. There were some concerns expressed about a roof which might  provide cover for trespassers of an evening. The existing structure was designed and built three years ago. A member offered that the congestion is being caused by furniture which has arrived and the preparation area designed behind the fence is not being used. There was lively discussion. The Chairman decided that a simple vote of yes or no was inappropriate and that a "third way" might be found. A clear request was made that railway users in particular (and all members who use the site) actively made written responses to the suggestion box or the secretary.

Patrick pointed out that discussions of three years ago rejected the additions of enclosed or roofed areas because of risks involved with wind damage and trespassers.

The meeting did agree that physical access for all was important.

12. Proposal to supplement the pond water top up system. (Patrick Emett)

The idea to reinforce the water supply by increasing its capacity by adding further solar panels and other kit at an estimate of £580 was supported by the meeting to move forward.

13. Any other business (AOB)

Richard Stanley acknowledged that John Chapman had been a boiler tester for 30 years and  proposed that he should receive some recognition. A year's free membership rapidly became honorary membership and was applauded.

Reassurance was requested, and given, that the car park would be extended.

A request was made that members use the correct male or female toilets.(unless they were disabled)

A request was made that the launching area be kept free of "parked" boats. The access was getting very worn and could do with maintenance.

A comment was made in thanks of the huge amount of work carried out by Patrick "behind the scenes" and would members consider giving him support rather than problems.

Finally a past chairman, Gordon Libbey, offered a big thank you on behalf of the members for all the work done to produce a superb club.

The AGM closed at 15:25.

Norman Andrew (Hon Sec) 04/09/2017