Photosub AGM 2022

Date: Sat 15th Jan 2022, 20:00 – 21:30

Location: Zoom Call

Attendees: Martyn/Sue Guess, Keith Lyall, Jo Horrocks, Roger/Wendy Eve, Joss Woolf, Linda Pitkin, Peter Tatton, Martha Tressler, Anthony, Jane Burnett, Anne Andic, Pat Deeley, Mario/Caroline Vitalini, Gill Marsh  

Apologies: Pash Baker, Rob White

Approval of 2021 Minutes

Minutes were approved

Chairmans Report

Well, another difficult year for us all although slightly better than 2020. The pandemic continued during the year interspersed with lock downs and freedom and then the new wave of Omicron.  Travel restrictions continued for most of the year, meaning UK based diving for most diving members and a few lucky ones who managed to get into blue water towards the end of the year. I for one dived more in the UK than I have ever done and thoroughly enjoyable it was. Hopefully all our members have either escaped the dreaded virus or if afflicted not too seriously. 

The Lockdown’s during 2020 and into 2021 have played havoc with our social diaries in our day to day lives and from the perspective of all getting together to meet socially and share stories and discuss our passion of underwater photography. We are not alone and many, many, clubs, and societies have had to adapt, and many are continuing to run successfully through online meetings. BSOUP being a case in point. This is the 2nd online AGM meeting for Photosub. Online meetings take a fair bit of organising and my thanks to all of the Committee for sticking with it and enabling us to at least meet online to have a chat and see some photographs. We were lucky during a brief respite in the Pandemic to have been able to all get together for the first time in nearly 18 months at the beginning of August and in November.

Hopefully at some point this year we will all be able to get together again socially and for some of us to dive together. Speaking for myself I cannot wait to get back in some nice warm blue water and am hopeful that the workshops I run will start again later in the summer. A few of us have been able to meet and dive in the UK, and Maria, Daniel, Keith, Jo, Pash, Rob, Gill and myself were able to join our annual trip to Lundy and a very enjoyable time was had. A few of us also met at Swanage several times and went on a road trip to Porthkerris and all enjoyed what British Diving can offer. I spent some time at St Abbs and dived the Farnes and also with sea birds in cold April water with Alex Mustard and Nur Tucker. I suspect that summer 2022 will bring more of the same and it would be great to dive with other members.

If you count the last AGM, we had 2 online meetings during 2021 and managed two physical meetings. The 2021 Photosub AGM was very different due to the COVID19 lockdown. Using video/Zoom technology a virtual AGM was held from club members various houses. 22 club members attended the meeting held on Saturday 6th February.  After the formal proceedings various collections of images were shown and we attempted quite well to chat and socialise.

We held a further online meeting on the 21st May attended by 18 members. A number of images were shown and my thanks to Mike Davidge, Gill Marsh, Dario Navarro, Jo Horrocks (video) and Roger Eve (video) and also to Gill for her longer presentations on South Georgia and Antarctica including the Falklands, and to Keith for a talk on diving in Bonaire. I showed a few images of castles and Seals of Northumberland.

On the 2nd of August we held the first physical meeting for over 18 months – the annual meal and annual competition. Normally held at the Farnham House hotel and having missed in 2020 we all decided to push the boat out a bit and celebrate and organise a catered BBQ at Sue and my house in Farley Green. It had been impossible to organise anything at the hotel or any other venue due to the restrictions and then non-existent availability. It took a lot of organising and the club committed a lot of funds but happily 29 members finally met together in my garden and under canvass gazebos dodging the incessant rain. There were a few late cry-offs due to potential Covid infections and Anthony and Martha finally arrived despite adversity and a pesky puncture. I believe everyone enjoyed themselves despite the weather and the ambience and food were excellent. Thanks to all who helped but especially Keith and Jo for a huge amount of their time, erecting marquees, the competition and slide show and for coming back the following day to take everything down and help clear up along with Ian and Bev.

The annual competition was held and 126 images in 4 categories were screened. These had been prejudged by our guest Simon Rogerson who attended along with his wife Anna. The Len Deeley Trophy this year was awarded to Roger and Wendy Eve for their continued support and help to Photosub.

The Photosub Open Competition 2021 was held on the 20th of November at Keith and Jo’s house in Cranleigh attended by 20 members. We welcomed back Linda Pitkin whom it was lovely to see after Brian’s sad passing (more later) and, Nur Tucker our newest member who judged the competition. Thanks to Jo and Keith for hosting and for organising the meal and to Keith for the competition organisation and slide show.

In concluding my report for the year, I must mention the sad passing of 2 members in 2021. Brian Pitkin who hadn’t been very well for a while died on the 31st of August and Ken Sullivan on the 23rd of August after a short illness. Both obituaries are on the club’s website but needless to say they were great friends of Photosub and many of the members and will be sadly missed. Our condolences go to Linda and their families and friends.

My thanks go out to all who participated during the last year under difficult circumstances, for attending meetings, entering competitions and for taking some great photographs. My special thanks as always go to your committee for their hard work behind the scenes, Roger for his work as secretary and for keeping all the members informed, for Martha for her advice and work on the club’s finances and for Keith for keeping the competitions going during Lockdown, and social distancing. A thankless task sometimes chasing members for entries and then sorting them out and putting slide show presentations together. Most of all my thanks to all of you for being members and supporting Photosub.

This is my final report as Chairman. I have enjoyed the last 3 years despite the difficult circumstances, and I now welcome and thank Joss for taking up the baton. I am sure she will make an excellent Chairman and bring her organisational skills, enthusiasm and smiles to all that we do.

Martyn Guess (outgoing Chair)

Keith thanked Martyn and Sue for their support for Photosub over the past 3 years.

Treasurers Report 

  • We had a subscription holiday in 2021 for those who had paid 2020 subs so had minimal subscription income in the year.
  • Our annual dinner and annual BBQ are normally cost neutral but this year we decided to devote part of our reserves to subsidise the cost of an outdoor catered BBQ, the first in-person event we were about to hold in over 18 months.
  • As a result, we show a deficit of £994 for the year with a closing cash balance of £413. 
  • We agreed to reintroduce subs for 2022 at the same level as 2020 – £15 for diving members and £8 for non-diving members. This is expected to be sufficient to cover normal recurring costs.

Treasurer’s report was approved.

Election of Officers

As Martyn has completed his statutory three years he stood down. Joss Wolfe had agreed to take on the Chair. The remaining officers were willing to be re-elected and as no others came forward the meeting unanimously agreed to the following:

  • Chair: Joss Woolf has agreed to replace Martyn Guess
  • Treasurer: Martha Tressler
  • Hon Secretary: Roger Eve
  • Comp Secretary & Webmaster: Keith Lyall
  • Committee Member: Bert Lee

Photosub Bank Account

HSBC withdrew our free bank account late last year and the alternative offered would have cost £60 per year plus transaction charges, a significant amount for us. It was decided to close the HSBC account and use a personal bank account available with no fees. An email will be sent to all members with further details about the new banking arrangements.

Calendar (2022)

  • Annual Dinner: Sat March 19th 2022
  • May: Joss Woolf
  • August (BBQ): Martha/Anthony
  • November: Pat Deeley

These dates are subject to Covid 19 restrictions.

Show and Tell

A number of members presented images and videos:

  • Peter Tatton: Video of guillemots
  • Joss Woolf: Images from 2021 Red Sea trip
  • Martyn Guess: Images from UK diving (Lundy, Swanage & Porthkerris)
  • Keith Lyall: Images from UK diving (Lundy, Swanage & Porthkerris)
  • Jo Horrocks: Landscape images from West Wittering, Worthing and Brighton

Any Other Business

The meeting thanked Martyn for chairing Photosub so professionally through some very difficult times.

Meeting closed at 21:30