Minutes of Committee Meeting, 10.30am, Sunday, 4th. July 2010  “The Woodlands”.

1.  Present:-

Malcolm Hughes, Ray Ward, Reg Bolton, Denise Baum-Pick, Judith Davison, Simon Richardson, Peter Fielding, Tony Allen.

2.    Apologies:- 

David Cheshire, Nigel Wright.

3.    Minutes of previous Meeting, 14th. March 2010:-   

Accepted as a true record. Proposed RW, seconded JD.

4.    Matters arising:-  None.

5.    Ratification of minutes of EGM, 2nd. May 2010:-

Two matters arose: voting numbers at item 2, “Ratification of the Interim Committee” and item 4.(3) “Financial Report”. Voting recorded 28 for, 1 against. This should be 25 for,1 against. Other than that, minutes accepted as a true record, proposed D.B-P, seconded PF. No other matters arising.

6.    Correspondence:-

Speakers book; Kath Hughes approached all known speakers asking whether they wished to be featured in the book.  Not all responded but this will be dealt with at item 12.

EBA have requested details of FOBBS, membership, training, shows etc.  Alan Tolley, Phoenix Group in email to MH stated that the proposals put forward at the AGM were not legal because they were not submitted to the committee 21 days prior to the meeting and that Paul Eslinger was a nice person.  MH has responded that there were no other alternatives as Paul, whilst well-intentioned, had failed to carry out his duties of office and had jeopardized FOBBS position in respect of returns and reports to Company House. There has been no response to MH reply as yet.

RB stated that there had been a personal attack in relation to him to the effect that the date of the EGM clashing with the Wessex show was deliberate on his part to ensure that there was no representation at the EGM from southern societies.  RB has offered to go to a meeting with them to explain the full circumstances and answer any of their questions.  He had no response to this offer.  Basically only Paul Eslinger knew the date of the Wessex show prior to, and failed to publish it.

PF expressed the view that we must try to bring these people back within the Federation. This was agreed by all.  There is a problem in the fact that there is no committee for this group and AT is the only contact for them.  RW said that he will try to meet up with them in the near future.  RB advised to leave it for the time being; the group are enthusiasts who meet on an ad hock basis. RB will reply.

Gerwyn Reynolds contacted MH to the effect that he would have liked a personal “thank you” from RB for help at Chelsea as opposed to a general thanks to all helpers.  He also suggested a National Show to be put on by FOBBS.  RB explained that he was not aware on a personal level as to who all the helpers were, so he would not know who to thank.  It had always been perfectly acceptable in the past to give a general “thank you” to all involved.

7.    Clarification of rolls:- 

These had already been identified and posted on the website.  TA had run off a copy and this was passed around and agreed by all.

8.    Reports:-

(a) Financial report. 
RG explained that he had had difficulty in balancing the books.  He had assumed that all cheques issued would by now have been cashed but this was not the case.  This is purely a matter of records as he only had limited documentation from which to prepare the accounts.  All monies were present and accounted for.  RB submitted accounts to date.  Total Funds currently stood at £8,465.24. FOBBS financial year ends 3.9.2010.  Accounts will be fully prepared for the hand over to DB-P.

Accounts submitted agreed as a true record to date, proposed JD seconded TA.  MH thanked RB for all his effort in preparing the accounts. This was agreed by all.

(b) Companies House:-
All matters in relation to Companies House are now in order.

(c)  U.K. Show report:-

RHS Shows: RB said Chelsea went well. This years stand was, in his opinion, the best we had produced.  We were awarded a Gold for the third consecutive year. We were also judged asthe best amateur stand in the show.  There was nothing awarded for this, but we are put forward to be judged against stands at other events.  We should make some profit from the Gold award and allowance given for the stand etc.  Cardiff went well but some were disappointed with only achieving a silver gilt award

  • Major shows involving New Talent:  2010 New Talent heat was arranged to take place at the Wessex show.  There were 4 contestants.

    The “Best of British” 2011 could be considered a possible venue. RW stated that Sussex is putting on a show August 2011- New Talent UK final could be held at that event prior to the EBA event in November in Rattingen, Germany.
  • Regional Shows: Midland, South Staffs, Ambion, Swindon and District, Essex and the Wessex societies have all put on successful shows.
  • BTA events: Coventry, Sheffield.  It was discussed that in recent years there has been few traders taking part in these events and the local societies are being asked to participate to make up the numbers and fill the space.
  • Other Shows: Congratulations to Ambion who exhibited at “Gardeners World Live” and were awarded best Amateur stand in show.

(d) FNBC:
Status of the collection trees will be dealt with when FOBBS constitution is revised.

(e) European Bonsai Association:
RB, M and KH, went to Zurich. A good exhibition but it was felt a mistake to put the traders outside; this made it appear as though they were not part of the event.        

Future Shows: 2011 Düsseldorf,  2012 Slovenia.  Initial proposals for 2013 (France) and 2014 (Poland).

(f) WBFF:
The board is meeting in China in October, MH and RB are sending their apologies as this is only an informal (interim) meeting.  A formal meeting is to take place in Japan in November 2011.  Both will be attending this meeting.  A discussion took place as to the possibility of M and Kath H organising a trip to coincide with this meeting. Thought is being given to this idea as this stage.

9.    Regional developments:-

DC has put together a map showing FoBBS societies in the UK.   There are areas not covered by regional reps.  PF put forward that we must encourage societies to become involved and the reps need to make contact. RW (South/East) has started visiting local societies.  He reported that all feedback so far has been very positive and the ones he has had contact with so far were not averse to the idea of putting on joint shows.  He hopes to have visited all societies in the south/East by the end of next year.

JD, RW, PF and DC to liaise and discuss the organisation of joint shows.  Although the shows would be put on by local societies, FOBBS could award Certificates of Merit for ‘Best Tree in Show’ at these events.

RB said that Awards of Merit could be awarded to any tree that the FOBBS reps considered worthy.  RB has a supply of certificates for FOBBS and EBA.

TA asked whether there were any notes on judging to ensure a judging standard followed by all.   MH said there are guidelines used by FOBBS and EBA.  Copies to be given to all committee members.

MH suggested a National Show that would feature trees selected from regional shows.  It was agreed that this was something that could promote enthusiasm in societies to participate.

10.  New Talent:-

a) Organisation:
PF is dealing with this.  RB said that he has all the details and paperwork which he will pass on. RB explained that to run a heat of the competition, the host society must be a member of FOBBS.  All entrants must be totally amateur and must not be deriving any financial income from bonsai.   There must be a minimum of 3, maximum 5 participants. FOBBS will provide judges and trees.  Tree can be purchased by participants after event.  Winner must be prepared to continue to the final stages. UK Final - August, 2011 at the Sussex Show.  We already have one finalist.

The winner will go to the EBA Final at Rattingen, September 2011.  £200 expenses will be available after event on submission of receipts.  TA suggested that anyone entering the competition should sign a form of contract agreeing to continue to the final if successful in his/her heat.

b) Offers of venues:
Best of British, April 2011, Midland Bonsai show, June?  Need to send details to societies.  We also need a northern venue. Wirral, Teesside?

c) Sourcing Trees:
Historically RB has obtained some very good quality trees for on average £25 each and has always been able to recoup the outlay.  It was agreed that Holland would be the best place to obtain quality trees at reasonable cost.

11.  Future events involving FOBBS (incl. “Best of British):-

MH proposed that we make a bid to host an EBA event in 2015.  It could be incorporated with the “Best of British” and become a National Show.  M & KH to look at possible venues.  MH also suggested we could try to get the Japanese involved.  It was agreed that we should consider this.  RB said he was involved in the rewriting of EBA rules for shows.   

3.00pm PF had to leave meeting

12.  Speakers Book:-

MH and Kath had prepared sample speakers book which contains 16 speakers in total. MH said the book can be produced in its present form at a relatively small cost.  It would be given to societies as part of membership but not put on the website as this would make it freely available to all.  RB was concerned that there was no disclaimer stating that it was nothing more than details of persons who were prepared to give a talk/demonstration to societies and in no way indicates that FOBBS were endorsing the speakers.

It was agreed that the book was fine but the disclaimer should be included.

13.  Website:-  

Website hits have now increased to 3,000 per month.  All agreed that the new website is very good. to date the services provided by NW has cost £500.00.  NW will continue to manage site and charge for work carried out.  His costs are well below his normal rates and represent extremely good value to FOBBS.

JD said she had used a “Face book” site in conjunction with Midland Bonsai Society website in order to publish additional photographs.  She explained that after the MBS show she had a number of photographs which were easy to upload into “Face Book” and give a link to the website.  Consideration could be given to this.

14.  Revision of Constitution:-

RB, MH and TA will arrange to meet and discuss. MH said that this must be resolved; a draft could be submitted for consideration by member societies well before the AGM.

15.  Any other business:- 

Bonsai Focus is going well but a couple of issues have been missed.  SR will put the missing information on the website.

  • JD, Midland Bonsai Society have been invited to display trees at a garden centre in Lichfield who were putting on a Japanese themed weekend event
  • MH, he had been discussing bonsai with Lindsay Bebb, Secretary to World Bonsai and Australian Federation who explained that due to the distances involved for speakers and demonstrator to visit Australian societies, the Australian Federation gave assistance by helping with the travel costs so that some of the smaller societies can have the opportunity to have good quality speakers/demonstrators.  MH explained that some of our speakers are also in the situation where their travelling expenses exceed the cost of the talk.  As a result  some of our smaller societies cannot afford speakers.  It was suggested by MH that FOBBS should consider this, giving financial assistance toward speaker travelling expenses to assist the smaller societies to have visiting speakers.  It was proposed by RB that a limit on the total money available from funds must be set each year as, it could become expensive.  MH explained that any application for financial assistance from any society to arrange a speaker would have to be made and approved in advance.  Money would not be paid until after the event on submission of receipts.  A cap on the total amount available to be set each year.
  • TA suggested that FOBBS could also arrange a venue, well known speaker/demonstrator, sell tickets and potentially make a profit
  • MH and Kath have offered to run training programs for potential speakers/demonstrators.  It would culminate with students preparing and presenting 2 talks/demonstrations and successful candidates would be given a certificate and could be entered in the speaker’s book.  To be discussed further at the next meeting.

16.  Date of next meeting:-

Constitution meeting:  MH, RB and TA, 10.30am Sunday, 1st. August, venue, “The Woodlands”.

Committee meeting:  10.30am Saturday, 11th. September  venue, “The Woodlands”.

4.40pm. Meeting concluded.