Ranelagh Harriers Running Club

Annual General Meeting.

3rd July 2018


  • There being a quorum, Steve Rowland, President, called the meeting to order at 20:35.

  • Apologies were received from the following members:

  • Marie Synnott-Wells, Peter Haarer, Rodney Oliver, Simon Hedger, Andy Hayward, Phil Killingley, Angus Cater, Tim Woods, Paul Gregory, Peter Bull, Wally Garrod..
  • 2. MINUTES OF THE 2017 AGM

  • At the request of the President, a Minutes Silence was observed in honour of Wyn Williams, our late former Hon Secretary, who had prepared the Minutes of the 2017 AGM.

    Approval of the 2017 AGM minutes was proposed by Becky Curtis-Hall and seconded by Chris Owens.


    There were no matters arising.


  • Gordon Whitson presented the club annual report.

    Looking back through the events of the 2017/18 season (which I take to run from just after the 2017 Baker Cup in April 2017 until just after the 2018 version) in preparing this report, I came across repeated examples of where the strengths of Ranelagh lie and also of the vulnerabilities that the club needs to address if it is to continue flourishing in a changing social and cultural environment. Because I believe this report should primarily celebrate success rather than focus on shortcomings, I shall begin with the positives.

    Firstly, membership is at or close to an all-time high, so we must be doing something right. We have currently around 338 active and 16 non-competing members registered with England Athletics. The club’s offering to that membership continues to develop.

    Looking first at training and development of runners, it is clear that the Tuesday night training groups are popular with members of all standards. The Osterley Park track sessions on a Thursday have also been well-patronised by a band of hard core and not so hard core runners. Particular mention should be made of the growing numbers and quality in the junior athletes groups on both Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Ladies Beginners course was again successfully completed with the traditional race round Sidmouth Wood in July 2017.

    Participation of members in the mob matches and the club-organised half marathon and 10k road races was high in the 2017/18 season as indeed were the numbers taking part in some of the summer road race series events, confirming that these formats remain popular.

    The highlight of the road race calendar occurred early in the 2017/18 season when in April 2017, Ranelagh scored 1, 2 and 3 (Carl Selya Hammer, Nick Impey and Ted Mockett) in the Thames Towpath 10 miles race and the winning men’s, ladies’ and mob match team trophies in the Wedding Day 7k race in Bushy Park in July 2017. After solid turn outs in most of the events, Ranelagh secured narrow victories in both the women’s and men’s team titles in the Surrey Road League.

    The club’s tradition of participation in eccentric events was heroically maintained by teams competing in and, in the latter case winning, the Green Belt, South Downs Marathon and the London to Cardiff relays.

    The social events programme was well supported throughout the season, demonstrating that this element of the club’s activities remains relevant to the membership. Congratulations are in order for Ranelagh’s retiring joint social secretaries for their organisational skills.

    I turn now to the competitive performances of the 2017/18 cross country season and I make no apology for focusing first on what could easily have been a total disaster for the men in the first Surrey League fixture at Priory Park Reigate as it illustrates one of the club’s strengths. Not for the first time, Ranelagh showed up for this fixture with a team which for various reasons was almost entirely denuded of stars. Our 2017/18 Surrey League campaign could have sunk without trace that afternoon. However, the ever-present stalwarts who don’t usually get a sniff at a top ten scorers’ place were all there, proceeded to run their socks off and ensured that while the club was 8th out of 9 on the day, the points damage was minimised. Not only that, but we also scored 4th out of 9 in the newly inaugurated B team race! Well done to them! The remaining three fixtures followed the traditional improving pattern culminating in a third place in epic cross country conditions at Putney Vale in the final fixture, leaving Ranelagh 5th overall in what has to be one of UK’s most competitive leagues and 3rd B team.

    In contrast, the Ladies avoided a similar false start and began their Surrey League campaign with a solid 4th place finish at Reigate and backed it up with three further robust team efforts which left Ranelagh 6th team at the end of the season. I must also mention that Ranelagh successfully organised the final ladies league fixture, with club officials managing two large league fields and two junior races in quick succession.

    Ranelagh’s 15 race winning streak in mob matches came to an abrupt halt against Thames on 4th November at Putney Vale. Thames, in their 150th season and chastened by three successive defeats, pulled out all the stops and despite Ranelagh fielding a large mob our hosts secured a clear win. Ranelagh, however, then managed narrow victories over SLH and Orion and a huge win over a weak Blackheath team at home on 17th February. This last race also featured the club championships which was won in a course record by Ben Anderson. The club fared less well in the mini mob match versus Stragglers, contested within the Bushy Park parkrun on 24th June 2017, where despite fielding 70 runners, we were outnumbered 2 to 1 and slaughtered – more a yellow peril than a blue wave.

    Three of the five club annual handicap races were contested in extreme weather conditions. Those competitors and officials that took part in both the Coad in July (won by James Whistler) and the Thomas in September (won by Phil Roberts) were rewarded with two biblical drenchings. The 10 mile Clutton on 17 March 2018 was run on a freezing day was completed by just 14 hardy souls headed by Janet Turnes. In contrast, the Page Cup in September was won by Andy Woodhouse in clement conditions and junior Tor Heron Brett was a clear winner of the Baker in the 4th fastest time on a balmy spring day.

    Ranelagh had mixed fortunes in the County Championships. In the Surrey Road Relays on 2nd September at Wimbledon Park, we won the W45 and came 2nd team in the M60 categories. Then, to our complete surprise, the men won the team races in both the M40 and M60 categories in the Surrey Masters Cross Country in Richmond Park on 21 October. The standout performance in the County Cross Championships was the dominant winning performance of the U17 Girls in the Middx Championships, a race won by Freya Thomson (who also beat all the U20s for good measure), followed by Izzy Atkins in 4th, Alice Patterson in 6th with Emily Coulson in 11th position. The Senior Men managed 8th team in the Surrey Champs at a freezing Denbies with Nick Impey leading home a squad of Ranelagh brass monkeys in 26th position.

    With an increasingly congested fixtures list, Ranelagh struggles to put out competitive teams in a number of the traditional championship races. However, we usually are represented. In the South of the Thames 5 mile team race, Fanny Vein led the 4th placed ladies team home in an individual 12th position, unwittingly becoming Ladies Club Champion in the process. We fielded teams in the men’s and ladies’ London championships on 18 November 2017 with ladies finishing 4th team, one place lower than in 2016. We had a good turnout in the National Championships at Parliament Hill on 24th February, with the men finishing an improved 24th team out of 162 and the ladies 21st out of 112 teams.

    Among noteworthy individual performances, I highlight Gill Sanders who represented South Africa in the recent Commonwealth Games Triathlon, Chris Owens who came 2nd in the M65 World Age Group Triathlon Championships in Rotterdam in September 2017 and Nichola Jackson who in August 2017 represented the UK in the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championship in Italy, and became the first Ranelagh athlete (first or second claim) to be airlifted to hospital by Helicopter, after breaking her wrist in a fall. Finally, Phil Aiken has been elected as a Vice President of Surrey County AAA.

    So much for the successes of the season, what of the challenges? These are not new. First, to be really competitive at both senior men’s and ladies’ levels as befits a club of our stature, we need three or four more talented runners for both teams. Hopefully, the junior development programme will feed through some good runners into the senior ranks over time. But can we do more and do we want to do more to attract already developed talent?

    Secondly, despite the record membership levels, the Club struggles to fill a number of volunteer officer posts. Look at the websites of other clubs and our official bodies and you will see the same picture of vacant positions, so Ranelagh is not alone in facing what seems to be a cultural issue of our times. This issues also extends to identifying race officials and marshals in sufficient quantity.

    Thirdly, we are seeing a reduction in entries for the open Half Marathon and 10k races which, by all accounts, are well organised by Ranelagh. While the falloff may be primarily due to a proliferation of races in the area, there is an impact on club income from reduced revenues from these races.

    Fourthly, over the summer the club intends to carry out work on a new entrance to the clubhouse from the public footpath from the Petersham Road. The Club Committee believes that, once completed, this work will lead to a more cordial relationship with our neighbours.

  • This concludes the review of the 2017/18 season.

    Approval proposed by Steve Rowland and seconded by Alan Hedger.



  • Chris Read presented the Treasurer’s Report. He presented Audited Accounts for 2017/18.


    The overall result changed from a surplus of approximately 2,636 in 2016/17 to a deficit of 3,532 in 2017/18, a net deterioration of 6,168.

    We incurred a charge of 3,287 obtaining a replacement cost valuation of the our trophies. Race profits were 1,900 less than in the previous year due to reduced number of entries for the Half Marathon, while costs were only marginally below 2016, a reflection of their fixed cost nature. Donations were also 1,000 less than prior year.

    There was an increase in England Athletics affiliation fees from !3 to 14, an additional cost of 300. There is a further increase to 15 w.e.f. from April 2018.

    Subscriptions were 1,000 more than previous year despite rates remaining unchanged.


    The balance sheet remains healthy despite the deficit for the year with 134,000 cash in bank at yearend. The medium term objective should be to at least break even.


    We are planning to make changes to the fencing around the club house, including installing an additional gate to make the footpath the main entrance to the club.

    Ally Catz has made a claim against the club of potentially 6,451.60.This relates to unsold kit purchased by Ally Catz.

    It is too early to accurately assess the likely costs relating to either item and the accounts do not contain any provision for the such costs.

    In March and April 2018, the club incurred costs of 5,855 approximately in relation to the upgrade of the club house gas supply. This will increase future depreciation charges.

    The Club is indebted to many members who give their time free of charge and in particular I would like to thank John Herriott and Deepa Sharma for serving as Assistant Treasurers and for Anna Reichwald who recently agreed to serve as Honorary Auditor.

    Approval proposed by Michele Gibson and seconded by Wiebke Kortum.


  • All the officers who wished to stand again were re-elected.

    A proposal to elect Rebecca Curtis Hall President in place of Steve Rowland who is standing down was made by Alan Hedger and seconded by Sonia Rowland, whereupon Rebecca assumed the chair.

    A proposal to confirm the co-opting appointment of Gordon Whitson as Hon Secretary in December 2017 was made by Steve Rowland and seconded by Sonia Rowland.

    The election of Rebecca Northmore as Ladies Captain was proposed by Marianne Malam and seconded by Ann Childs.

    The election of Rick Jenner as Fixtures Secretary was proposed by Marianne Malam and seconded by Alan Hedger.

    Michele Gibson speaking on her own behalf and that of Andy Hayward indicated that they were prepared to continue as joint Social Secretaries on the understanding that they would be assisted by Lexi Slaughter and Dee Muldair.

    The election of Anna Reichwald as Honorary Auditor was proposed by Rebecca Northmore and seconded by Gordon Whitson.

    The non-elected roles and vacancies were noted.


  • Proposed changes to Clause 4.3 Annual Subscriptions:

  • Category Present Proposed

    Junior 10 20

    Student 10 20

  • Senior 40 50

    Senior (unwaged) 10 15

    Retired and over 60 20 25

  • Country 10 10

    Associate 25 25 one-off fee

    Non-running 10 10

    Second Claim 20 20

    Clause 4.4 Reduced Subscriptions

    For avoidance of doubt it is noted that approval of proposed changes to clause 4.3 will result in a household/family membership increasing from 70 to 90.

    Approval was proposed by Gordon Whitson, seconded by Chris Read and carried unanimously.


    Gordon Whitson put to the meeting a motion proposed by Wally Garrod that Carol Barnshaw by elected as a Life Member of Ranelagh Harriers in recognition of long and tireless service to the Club. The motion was seconded by Chris Read and carried unanimously.


    None. The meeting was closed at 21:32.