St.Albans and District Model Engineering Society

April 2023 Club Night Report

Due to circumstances all coming together the March evening had to be abandoned, it’s only happened once before but neither the Chairman nor Treasurer could attend.  The expected auction had Peter as auctioneer not keen on coming out in the deteriorating weather conditions, which would have been a risk to all anyway and yours truly was basking in the sun 11,000 miles away.  A sensible decision was made to stay home and watch telly!  Yours truly informed the Centre that we were not going to use the hall that evening despite the 11 hour time difference.

The March auction was therefore postponed until the April evening, but first we had the AGM.  The bell was rung amid all the clutter of auction items, some sort of order prevailed and the Chairman gave us a review of the past 12 months, which had us all getting back to the new normal after Covid.  The Newsletter had kept the club together during the pandemic and we came through in a healthy state, having had a very well attended exhibition in September.

Chairman handed over to myself for the last rites…. sorry, election of committee members.  I said that all members of the committee were prepared for another 2 years of managing the club.  For myself I had
decided 9 months ago that it was time for me to stand down, the club needed some new blood in the Secretary's job. Having given much previous time and thought to finding my replacement, there he was right under my nose, so to speak.  I asked Guy Keen if he would be willing to take on the task and he agreed.

So the last part of the AGM was to allow the membership to make the final decision and there was a unanimous vote for Guy. I shook hands with our new Secretary and wished him well and took a seat next to Noel the club member with the longest service record.  It was a small weight off my shoulders and I know the club will thrive anew with Guy as Secretary.

So the business of the evening got under way with Guy doing his first stint as auctioneer.  Matthew assisted in distribution of auction lots, Mike Grossmith was doing the numbers ably assisted by Clive's wife Irene.  One has to say that Irene was noticed to frown whenever Clive made a bid!  While most of us will sneak back home afterwards with our ‘must haves’ from the auction trying to get past the matriarch of the house, by openly bidding Clive was showing heroism beyond the call of duty for which he should be commended.

Matthew did well right from the start with a glider almost as big as himself for a £2 sum.  Guy was always knowledgeable about the various engineering items and took advice in other areas.  I found myself
bidding even though I had sworn to sit on my hands. It is infectious and I think I can say we all enjoyed the evening with some laughs thrown in as well.  When it came to tea break a peep outside revealed another group, and far from being a religious community they turned out to be a jazz club and one of their number admitted coming to our last exhibition.

I had arranged for some cake, kindly supplied by Malcolm, to go with the tea and it was excellent cake as well.  I had another go at getting one of our ex-members to layout some cash and re-join the society but he keeps humming and hawing.  I can't have him ejected as he is a speaker at the July club evening, but he knows I have him in my sights!

We all came back in for the final part of the auction, not everything was sold but the final figure raised for club funds was a nice substantial sum of £466.   A good initiation for Guy and we might just call on him again.
I shall still be doing my best to have a speaker for club evenings and a look at the club website shows the rest of the year has been sorted out.

Our Chairman rounded off the evening and said some kind words about my departure from the Secretary's job and then it was time to pay up and clear up.  There was lots to do and thanks go out as always to the more able members to stack the chairs and flatten the tables, and of course supply the tea and coffee.  No idea what time we finished but I was chauffeured home at about the usual time by our Treasurer.