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A message from your Chairman

September 2020
Who would have thought that 2020 would be so difficult and unusual when we were holding our AGM almost a year ago. Covid 19 has affected us all without exception, of course, some much more than others. So many things have happened that have affected our club, it has been hard to keep track of it all. Not forgetting the things that didn’t happen, such as our events and of course our celebration of the club’s 50th year. Maybe next year?

At our AGM last year, the existing committee was voted in as one. At that time dear Mick Abrahams was suffering from bowel cancer but continued on as our treasurer with his usual enthusiasm. Sadly, as time went by, Mick became progressively more unwell. He spent some time in hospital and in the Heart of Kent Hospice. During that time Mick was visited regularly by us (the Committee) as well as his friends who were members of other clubs, such as Concord Club. Mick was still doing his work as treasurer and involved with the committee right up until the week before he passed away on the 5th of May.

Mick’s wife Berta asked me to do the eulogy at his funeral. This, of course, was a great honour for me. John Veasey and I both attended Mick’s funeral which was difficult for us all, especially as the Covid 19 restrictions meant that only ten people were allowed to attend.

The committee promised Mick that we would do our best to help Berta in whatever way we could, including the disposal of Mick’s modelling equipment and car. Therefore, we have spent quite a lot of time trying to get the best prices for his gear whilst selling it in a timely manner and I’m happy to say that we have been quite successful in this. There are now only a few items left for us to sell and we intend to have a sale of his remaining equipment at the field on the Saturday 12th September. Please come along and support us if you can, but don’t forget to bring along gloves and a face mask, as you will not be allowed to handle Items without them.

With the sad death of Mick we were left without a treasurer, fortunately, Bill was able to maintain the accounts and continues to do so. In order to reduce the burden on Bill we have co-opted Dave Wray onto the Committee to deal with the website and other issues. His official title is “technical secretary”. To further relieve the pressure on Bill we have also co-opted Gordon Loomes to the role of treasurer. However, the practical element of this has been delayed because both Bill and Gordon have been shielding. 

Activity at the field was not allowed during most of March, April and May, but now we are allowed to fly as long as we continue to be sensible and are able to maintain social distancing and hygiene. We have applied some restrictions on what we are allowed to fly and the number of flyers at any one time.  Also, limited caravan camping is allowed at the field as long as the same restrictions are maintained. These will continue until further notice. So please try to remember to comply with the restrictions for the safety of all of us.

During the year our grass cutting team of Alan Banks and Alan Cooper have both retired and we would all, I am sure, want to thank them again for their hard work in the past. We now have a new field manager; his name is Lee. His full-time job is as a golf course groundskeeper, so he knows what he is doing. However, Lee will need time to get to grips with the work but is doing well. You will note that we now have a field with stripes! Lee has arranged for the lane to be cut back (weather permitting) on the 16th September, so we will regain the full width of the road again. As a result of this the lane will be closed on that date, please keep an eye on our website for confirmation of this. This process will be repeated in the Spring of next year, along with the application of a selective weed killer being applied to the field.

A number of us camped at the field last weekend and as the weather was unsuitable for flying, a few of us replaced the old worn-out sheeting with new, we also made a few other minor improvements.
I’d like to think that the shelter now being in such good condition will enable some of you who haven’t been flying this year to come along and enjoy the flying and meet in the safety of the shelter.

At this time of year, we would normally be thinking of arranging our autumn pre-AGM and our AGM, but given the Covid 19 restrictions imposed upon us, it is currently unlikely that we will be able to hold these meetings in the way we would normally. We have taken advice from the BMFA who suggest we postpone the meeting until next year on a date to be confirmed. We have no alternative but to do this and I am pleased to say that the existing committee is happy to continue in their positions until further notice.

That just leaves one thing to mention and that is your annual subscription to the club.
It is intended that the subscription cost will remain the same as last year and this needs to be paid by the 31st of November as usual.
We are waiting on confirmation of how much the BMFA fees are likely to be and will do our best to keep you informed, to enable you to pay via the club. 

That’s all for now and it’s probably enough. (What a year)!

Please stay safe whilst enjoying your modelling.  
A message from your Chairman 3

Bob Ryan, Chairman.