AGM 2024 Minutes and Reports




Jenny welcomed everyone who has come to the AGM meeting this evening.  Please make sure that you have signed the attendance sheet.

Apologies:Linda and Chris Gill, Susie and Simon Kelly, Annika & Kevin Lovell, Liz Machell, Pam, Bob and Penny Warner, Ann Reardon, Neville & Veronica, Ann O’Malley, Liz & David Eastham, Elena Hadaway, Ann & Brian Sies, Jackie & Stewart Twiggins.

Number attending:  31

Minutes of the AGM 2023:  These can be found on the Tudor Squares website.

Matters Arising:  None

Chairperson’s report:

Tudor Squares now has 60 members (on paper) but regrettably many dancers have not returned.

Ann Reardon and Grant Thorne kindly led a walk in Hemel starting from Gadebridge Park carpark last year, which was followed by a bring your own picnic on the green near the carpark. Again, we were so lucky with the weather.  Several nonwalkers came to the picnic. This was greatly enjoyed by those attending, it was lovely to see people enjoying the walk and picnic.

We held two Mainstream & Plus dances in 2023.  Both of these covered the cost of running them making a small profit.  We were very lucky to have Brian Hotchkies call for us in August.  It was a Mainstream dance but Brian’s calling is so very challenging that all dancers enjoyed the evening regardless of the level they usually dance at. This dance drew dancers from across the country.  Brian had intended to call in the UK again this year,but sadly he has now been diagnosed as having Acute Myeloid Leukemia so he can’t come.

Very many thanks to our Treasurers Tracy and Collin Hawkins for all their hard work keeping an eye on the Financial Position. I hope that everyone has looked at the financial record for the last year.

We are fortunate to have several excellent callers for our club nights. Debbie Peel calls at Mainstream, Becca Peel calls at Plus, Phil kindly steps in if required.  Simon and Trudy Fielding are our regular callers for A with Kevin Lovell also calling frequently at A (once a month).  Many thanks to all who call for us – without their support the club would not run.

Our reps (Nick at A, Daphne for Plus and Mainstream) work really hard checking that there will be enough dancers each week to run the session.

John Hitchcock at Mainstream and Nick at A can be relied on to collect the payment for the evening.

Terry keeps the website up to date giving details of where and when each section meets. He advertises Tudor Squares Square Dance Club on various platforms.

Just to let you know that Tudor Squares club raised £90 for our Christmas Card Charity – The Rennie Grove Hospice.  Many thanks to you all.

Looking to the future, Ann and Grant again are willing to organise a walk for us over the summer (date to be arranged).  Terry Chapman will be calling an A dance on Saturday 6th July.

I must not forget to thank all the dancers who come to club nights to dance and support the club.  It goes without saying that your participation is crucial – very many thanks to you all.

I am pleased and grateful that everyone, except me, has agreed to remain on the Committee.  The Committee still lacks a Minutes Secretary and would welcome a volunteer to step into this role.

I have enjoyed being the Chairperson of Tudor Squares over the past few years.  Paul Godley has now offered to become Chairperson for Tudor Squares and I am sure all of you will give Paul your full support.

Treasurer’s Report:  Colin gave a general summary of the report and Tracy followed on with a more indepth analysis.  

  • The decision to increase dance fees from £4 to £5 effective from 1 March 2023 raised an additional £1152.
  • The three special dances during the year all made profits totalling £215.
  • There were 123 more dance attendances (Mainstream & Plus) than in 2022 andthis raised extra income of more than £500.
  • The Club gained four additional members raising a further £20.
  • Only Gadebridge hall raised their weekly hire fees.
  • The Plus section are using a less expensive hall resulting in lower overall weekly hall hire costs compared to 2022.
  • Section leaders were more vigilant in cancelling dance sessions where predicted attendance was low, which resulted in fewer sessions running at a loss.
    If all of these factors had not happened last year, the Club would have been looking atthat deficit of £2000 we had predicted.The FutureIt is very difficult to predict what might happen in the coming year. As shown in 2023, we made predictions on all factors staying the same as in 2022. As just explained there were several key differences in 2023 which resulted in a far smaller deficit than we anticipated.Each section needs a minimum number of dancers per session to break even. For mainstream and A it is currently 16. For Plus it is currently 10. If hall costs increase further in 2024, these figures will need to be higher.

    Sadly, what is clear is that the Club funds are going to continue to decline to a greater or lesser degree, unless Tudor Squares are able to attract and maintain new members.

    Tracy Hawkins Colin Hawkins


Section Reports:

A-Section Report:  Nick Bedford

Over the past twelve months, the A-Section has met on twenty-nine occasions.  Clashes with weekend Square Dancing events meant we did not always have enough dancers to make the meetings viable despite having a caller available.  

Towards the end of last year, four dancers new to Tudor Squares completed the basics of the A1 program.  To allow those dancers to progress further, the format of the A-Section evenings was altered to a mixture of A1 and A2 tips.  As well as allowing the new A1 dancers to get some valuable practice, it provides some useful revision for the A2 dancers in the section.  The approach seems to be working quite well as were managing to get two full squares for the A1 tips on many occasions.

The caller rota for 2024 will allow the section to meet on up to thirty-two Fridays during the year.  As in 2023, some meetings may have to be cancelled due to low dancer numbers or event clashes.  The people who run the hall at Gadebridge have been particularly accommodating with regard to meeting cancellations.  As far as Im aware, the club has not been charged even when late cancellations have become necessary.

I understand that our newer A1 dancers are planning to continue on to the A2 program, either with Kevin Lovell at All-Square-At-Zero or Paul Bristow at The Arrows.  If this is the case, I hope it will be possible to gradually introduce A2 moves into the otherwise A1 tips on a Friday evening.

Paul Godley has arranged a double-session A1/A2 dance with Terry Chapman in July.  The tickets are now sold out, which is great news, and a waiting list has been set up.

Plus Report:  Daphne Smith

The room used at Highfield Community Centre is just large enough for one square of dancers. There are 19 dancers listed as being members of the PLUS section of Tudor Squares.  We do need at least 10 dancers in an evening to pay the caller and be able to run the evening.  However, we have had trouble getting at least 10 dancers so several Plus evenings have had to be cancelled recently.

The administrator of the hall has now warned that she might have to let others have the room if we continue to cancel our Monday evenings.  It would be a worrying situation if Tudor Squares were to lose its Plus section, leaving a gap between Mainstream and A.  It would be helpful if more dancers that supported the level of dancing that got them to the level they now dance at.  Some dancers do, so thank you to them.

Mainstream Report:  Daphne Smith

It costs £80 to run a Mainstream evening so we need to have a minimum number of 16 dancers to balance the books. There are 22 members, many of these attend every week.  There are often two squares of dancers which is an improvement from last year when there was usually just one square.  Sometimes due to weather conditions or ill health there are less than the required number.  We must have a minimum of 12 dancers to proceed to run the evening, although this low number means that there is a loss of £20.

Mainstream is a friendly, sociable group that all those who attend enjoy. Ideally, we would recruit new members to learn to square dance and to keep this group going.

PRO: Terry Thirlwell

The Tudor Squares Web site is the Primary source of what Square Dancing sessions and local activities are currently planned.

Emails are the best method of distributing important news about the Club and providing members with details of forthcoming events such as local dances, changes in meeting dates or venues etc.

We can send e-mails to a selection of members, either by group e.g. Mainstream, Plus or Advanced or General distribution.

One of the main routes for any advertising of an event is via the BAASDC web site pages Tudor Squares Events and Flyers are sent for distributing via their web site and the Lets Square Dance Magazine.

In order to attract new dancers, we have tried recruiting by advertising a “Spring Hoedown” evening on a Thursday Evening, but sadly it did not attract any new dancers.  However, we will continue to advertise to attract new dancers to the regular Mainstream Thursday evenings.

We also have a Tudor Squares Facebook Page which mirrors some of the information contained in the main Tudor Squares Web site and also provides details of forthcoming Events.

Facebook is also where we advertise any local events and regular Dance sessions, to other Facebook Groups such as “Hemel online”, “Square Dancing in the UK”, “Hemel What’s On” and “Dacorum Noticeboard” etc.

There are a number of Publications such as Local Directory that are delivered to Villages and Towns in the Dacorum areas, and have spaces for local Groups to advertise.  I am currently researching the costs of using a local directory advertising for Tudor Squares.

Election of Officers:

Chairperson: ​​​Paul Godley

Vicechair: ​​ ​​Paul Mackness

Secretary:  ​​​​Lynn Bedford

Public Relations Officer:Linda Tomkinson

Callers’ Representative:Debbie Peel

Webmaster:​​​Terry Thirlwell

All the above were voted for unanimously.

Following his election as the new Chairperson, Paul Godley made a short speech thanking Jenny for all the work she has done on behalf of Tudor Squares.  This was echoed by Nick, who mentioned how Jenny had steered the club through the difficulties caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic.  Returning to dancing was only undertaken once all restrictions had been lifted and it was deemed safe to do so with caution.  

Daphne then presented Jenny with a card, a bunch of flowers and a gardening token as a mark of appreciation from all the club members.  

Paul also mentioned the importance of letting the Section Leaders know in plenty of time whether dancers plan to attend on a particular evening.  Cancelling meetings at the last-minute results in the club being charged for the hire of the hall, regardless of the meeting actually taking place!  To this end a number of WhatsApp Groups have been set up.  This will make it easier for those who use WhatsApp to communicate information to other members of the Section and to the Section Leader.  Those who do not use WhatsApp can still communicate by e-mail or text messages.

Annual Subscription and Fees:  No increases in Annual Subscription or Weekly Fees.

Any Other Business:  None.

Meeting closed at 20:45.