The AGM of the BICC, probably the UK's most progressive classic organisation, took place at the club's head quarters, the Lion Brewery at Ash on Sunday 27th January.
A committee meeting took place prior to the AGM to finalise 2012 business and it was at this meeting that the matter of cooperation with the BBC in transporting the British pigeons to the Barcelona International race for the 2013 season was raised.
A number of points were raised and a long, amicable and fruitful discussion took place with a number of different opinions expressed.
It would appear that the main stumbling block preventing complete cooperation between the two clubs is the matter of a member of the BBC committee who is an excluded member of the BICC. This fancier was instructed by RPRA Council to apologise for derogatory remarks he had made about the BICC committee. Despite this ruling by the RPRA Council, the fancier concerned has still not carried out Council's directive and until such time as he does he will remain excluded from membership of the BICC thus preventing full cooperation between the two clubs.
However, the committee felt that the membership of both clubs should not suffer because of the intransigence of one member and so it was decided that duplication in the Barcelona race will be allowed so that fanciers with dual membership can duplicate between the two clubs in the Barcelona International race. The BICC will then compile its own result and the BBC will be free to do likewise. It was thought that because of the logistics of collection from the different marking stations and the variation in the crate sizes used by both clubs, that joint transportation to the European marking station in the Barcelona race would be fraught with difficulties and economically unviable and so each club will transport their birds separately. Nevertheless, joint members of BICC and BBC can use their nearest BICC/BBC marking station and duplication can then go ahead once the necessary paperwork has been submitted. The committee then moved on to the subject of drug testing and it was decided that this would be carried out under the supervision of a qualified veterinary surgeon if the need arises.
The matter of the web site was then raised and it was decided that Keith Thomas, who has done a magnificent job in setting up and running the club's web site in 2012, would be asked to carry on with his good work in the coming season. It was also decided that all club news including meeting reports would be placed on the site as soon as possible.
Next on the agenda was the subject of sponsorship and we are pleased to announce, as previously reported, that The House of Aarden have once again generously offered to donate a youngster valued at £250 - £450 from their principal stud cocks, to the winners of each of the club's International races in 2013. On behalf of all the members of the BICC we would like to thank Steve and Lesley Wright for their continued generous support of the UK's only Internationally minded organisation.
Russell Bradford also pointed out to the committee that he had been advised by Meriden Health that they would be pleased to sponsor the club in the first four National races with donations of their products to the 2nd & 3rd prize winners at section level, this sponsorship amounting to around £500 of products. Russell also mentioned that he has been able thus far to generate £1,000 worth of sponsorship through selling advertising space in the BICC's members hand book. This year's book will be of A4 size and will contain members' race sheets within.
That concluded the Committee meeting finalising 2012 business and after a short break chairman Albie Deacon opened the AGM.

In addition to committee members, a number of other club members were present at the start of the AGM, but not as many as might be thought to attend when reading comments raised in certain areas. It is to be assumed therefore that by far the vast majority of the membership is more than happy with the direction the club is taking. Nevertheless, I should point out that any member who has a legitimate point to raise, is free to do so, either by writing/ phoning the secretary and other officials, or alternatively, making the effort to attend a committee meeting where they can air their views face to face as it were with the committee. I can assure members that this is not a secret society and the BICC committee is by far the best group of fanciers that I have had the pleasure to work with in more than 30 years of representing fanciers' interests at club, Federation, National and Union level. There you go, the ball is now in your court so to speak. Let us know your thoughts and we will do our best to take on board your suggestions where practicable. Far from being a "secret society" or clique as some would have you believe, there are 21 members on committee so BICC members have plenty of opportunity to make your views known to officials or committee personnel. You can be assured that we have your and the club's best interests at heart. Carol our secretary then read out a letter of apology for non attendance by Kevin Buddle who had work commitments being "on call" at the time of the meeting and also indicating that he was prepared to stand for re-election to the committee.
The minutes of the previous AGM were read out and passed as a true record and the balance sheet was accepted without question as the club made a profit during the year.
There were 83 resignations, a large number due to fanciers leaving the sport plus sadly, a number of fanciers passing on. It was agreed that Carol should dispose of any unwanted documents and so the meeting closed 2012 business and the Chairman then moved on to election of officers and declared all posts vacant.
It was proposed from the floor that all officers and committee members be re elected "en bloc". However the feeling was that each position should be voted on separately and so it was that John Tyerman was re elected unopposed as President for his second term in office. The Vice presidents were then elected, so John Wills and Mike Bunney will be joined by the newly elected Mike Armitage.
Life Vice presidents are Guy Barrett, Rose Wills, C & J Bennett, Albie and Jan Deacon, Joe Szarvas.
The position of Chairman then cam up for consideration and Albie Deacon was re elected in a straight vote with Mike Mitchell who will carry on as Vice Chairman. Albie will also continue as Transport manager and i/c of the club's trophies.
Once again John Gladwin will represent the club at RPRA Council. The club's accountant will be Mike Thomas and with the exception of Andy Berry and Jim Peters the committee will remain the same as in 2012 with the addition of John Chipperfield. On a personal note it was sad to see Jim Peters stand down voluntarily as committee member but as Jim said "I'm 75 years old now and it's time I took a back seat". Jim was given a vote of thanks for his tireless support of the BICC over the years.
Yours truly will remain as Press officer as will Russell Bradford as Treasurer, Carol Francis in the secretary's post and John Tyerman as Race Controller.
There then followed the result of the voting on the Notices of Motion and this was as follows:-
More than 1,100 voting forms had been sent out and 153 were returned.
NOM 1 - Holmes & Sealy 65 for/ 77 against with 11 abstensions. Proposition fails.
NOM 2 - GG & C Cooper - 122 for / 27 against 4 abstensions - Proposition accepted.
NOM 3 GG & C Cooper - 101 for / 41 against 11 abstensions. Proposition accepted.
NOM 4 Mr & Mrs Bradford- 122 for/ 18 against 13 abstensions proposition accepted.
NOM5 J Tyerman - 125 for / 25 against 3 abstensions. Proposition accepted.
NOM 6 J Tyerman - 123 for / 21 against 9 abstensions. Proposition accepted.
NOM 7 -Committee - 146 for / 4 against 3 abstensions. Proposition accepted.
NOM8 - Committee - 110 for / 33 against 10 abstensions. Proposition accepted.
NOM 9 - G Preece & Son 84 for / 61 against 8 abstensions. Proposition accepted. This means that the BICC radius is open to all fanciers in mainland UK and ALL of Ireland thus offering the opportunity of International competition to our Irish friends.
That completed the business of the AGM and there then followed a brief committee meeting to discuss the logistics of accommodating the Irish pigeons. The cost of providing International race results to competing members was also brought up and it was later decided that any fanciers from Ireland who wish to join the BICC must also become members of the RPRA if they are not already members.
The new transporter will be ready by early March and it is as a result of good management of the finances generated by the members over a number of years that the club is able to purchase this vehicle. Hopefully it will take us forward with the prospect of encouraging an expanding membership in the years to come. It was also decided to discontinue the maintenance contract on the race programme software.
I think I have covered all points raised in the three meetings which took a mere 95 minutes to complete.
It was then time to make the second 150 mile journey of the day - this time home to South Wales. It was good to see that Ray Strawbridge's knee held up well only 6 weeks after undergoing a complete knee reconstruction, as he made the 300 mile, 5 hour drive with little reaction. They breed 'em tough down here in "God's Country".
Anyone interested in joining the BICC can obtain membership forms from the Secretary;
Carol Francis,
319 Feltham Hill Road,
Ashford ,
TW15 1LP
Copyright 2013.
Gareth Watkins