BICC "End of Term Report"

Following on from the Club's recent AGM where the club's business was dealt with efficiently and to the members satisfaction, the committee thought that we should bring the members up to speed with club matters and so I include below the treasurer's annual report so that the membership are fully aware of the strong financial position the club finds itself in - due in no small measure to the excellent financial stewardship of Jan Deacon, Carol Francis, Russell Bradford and the hard work of many of the committee and marking station officials.
Russell writes:-
"The BICC starts a new year in a healthy financial position with sufficient capital in the bank to enable the club to purchase a brand new transporter. This lorry will cost in the region of £43,000, albeit with further expenditure for racking to accommodate the BICC crates to be completed after purchase. We can offset some of the cost with the proceeds from the sale of one of the big Volvo's plus the smaller Mercedes Sprinter, so we should be looking at an overall outlay of slightly in excess of £50,000, thus using around half of the current capital. The operating costs going forward for this one lorry at least, will be considerably less, both in terms of fuel and ferry charges crossing the Channel to either France or Belgium. That will leave the club with a very viable reserve, and clearly it is prudent to have money on deposit, as the other Volvo Transporter will not last forever.

It was really good to see the membership overwhelmingly support the President's AGM proposal in allowing them to set the annual subscription in the future. Many might well ask why there is a need to increase the subs in 2013 by just £5.00 when there is a substantial amount in the bank, but the increase from £20 to £25 actually represents just a few pennies per day, and a club with well over £100,000 turnover should keep a sensible amount safely to one side, as simply proper financial management and good business practice. Importantly with a significant financial backstop, it allows the committee to maintain probably the most competitive cross Channel birdage charges of any of the major National organisations, which has to be big plus for the membership.

My one and only plea is for subs to come in before the end of March, as last year over a hundred members had to be chased to pay, which causes embarrassment to some, and definitely work that the Secretary and Treasurer would be happy not to have to undertake."
Further to Russell's succinct and highly enlightening economic analysis I have included the thoughts of President John Tyerman and Chairman Albie Deacon.

"The year 2012 has again been a very successful one for the BICC, with some 13,954 birds being sent to our national races and 1,603 birds entered in the Internationals making a grand total of 15,197 birds convoyed by the club. Well done to all our winners as overall it was a difficult racing year for many organisations. As you all know some of our members have excelled in the International races and these outstanding results have given the BICC and our UK pigeons great publicity and recognition worldwide. We are always seeking to move the Club forward and we have had welcome approaches from both Scots and Irish fanciers interested in joining us for International racing. A recent proposition to open the Club radius to include Ireland received favourable support so good luck to any of the Irish fanciers who join and compete with us in 2013.

Equally so we recognise that many of our members are quite happy to race only in the Club's National races, and you will see from the accounts that we derive substantial income from this support. Your Committee have tried to give a balanced race programme that is acceptable and fair to all. As always the wind will dictate where the winners will be, but in 2012 it seems our winners were fairly evenly distributed in all parts of the Country. Always remember it is your Club, so feel free to suggest alternate race-points that you feel we should be considering in the future. We now have a good number of marking stations, but we are conscious that this could always be improved perhaps with one in the Midlands and even further north. It is however always difficult to find fanciers to run these marking stations and often in the past the logistics have not proved cost effective. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the current i/c's and those other fanciers who freely give their time to assist at our current marking venues.

As many of you know the Committee have approved the purchase of a new non HGV, Ford Iveco lorry for 2013 season. This vehicle will have a sleeper cab for the convoyer and be fitted with rain- deflecting net curtains to ensure good ventilation for the pigeons. We will continue to use the current crates and when completed this smaller vehicle will carry around 1850 birds. We have now sold the small Mercedes vehicle and one of the older transporters that has been in use for many years. The £9k raised from the sale of these two vehicles will be offset against the cost of purchasing and racking out the new transporter, which will be in the region of £50k. The exact costings will be notified to members in due course. As members know the money to pay for the new lorry has been gaining good interest in an offshore Transporter account and your Committee consider the purchase of a new vehicle to be a good investment for the future. The other large HGV transporter with sleeper cab will remain in use and this carries around 3400 birds, so with both vehicles we have a capacity to carry around 5200 birds.

On your behalf we would also like to thank our Club sponsors. Brian and Viv Wall of Gem Supplements who supply our corn at reduced prices and who this year have also given £250 towards the purchase of trophies. The House of Arden who have again generously agreed give a Jan Arden young bird, valued at £250 to each of our winners. Also Meridian Animal Health the makers of Orego Stim who will give £500 worth of their product for distribution to the winners of 2nd & 3rd section in each of the first four National races. Well known photographer Chris Sutton is also on board to photograph your winning birds and he will work closely with our Press Officer.
Every successful Club needs a good Secretary and Treasurer, and our grateful thanks must go to Carol for all her hard work and to Russell who has done an excellent job in managing and keeping a close eye on the Club's finances. Many of you have often remarked on the good condition of the birds when returning from our races, and there is no doubt that in Trevor Cracknell we have one of the best Convoyers in the Country. Steve Appleby our Weather Advisor is very conscientious and his accurate forecasting has ensured some excellent races. On the PR side Gareth Watkins is our hard working Press Officer and during the year he has provided first class coverage of all our races, and given excellent publicity to the Club and winning members. We also welcome Chris Sutton on board and are grateful to him as he has offered to ensure your future winners are photographed and will work closely with Gareth to ensure continued good coverage in the fancy press. Overall, the success of the Club is down to good Management and we are indeed fortunate to have an excellent team on the Committee, so our thanks to you all for your support over the year. Lastly as President I would like to thank Jan Deacon whose sterling efforts raised a substantial sum of money from the young bird sale and as many of you know Jan also continues to organise your highly successful Annual Dinner and Presentation at Bournemouth."

Albi Deacon -Chairman
John Tyerman - President.

The club race programme and charges for the 2013 season is produced below.

Race Program 2013

April 27th, Carentan (National) £3.00 per bird
May 11th, Falaise (National) £3.00 per bird
May 25th, Fougeres (National) £3.00 per bird
June 8th, Tours (National) £3.50 per bird
June 14th, Pau International (Friday Lib) £13 per bird
June 28th, Bordeaux/Agen International (Saturday Lib) £6.50 per bird
July 5th, Barcelona International (Friday Lib) £8.00 per bird
July 12th, St Vincent International (Sunday Lib) £8.00 per bird
July 19th, Marseille International (Saturday Lib) £10.00 per bird
July 28th, Le Mans (National) £3.00 per bird
August 2nd, Perpignan International (Friday Lib) £8.00 per bird
August 24th, Guernsey YB's & OH's £3.00 per bird
September 7th, Guernsey YB's & OH's £3.00 per bird

That then is the state of play as of 1st February 2013. A certain amount of criticism has been levelled at the committee in certain areas and in my opinion this has been totally unwarranted. It was obvious from the turn out at the AGM, and from comments received by myself and other committee members that by far the vast majority of the membership, are more than pleased with the progress the club is making. However, if there are any members who have constructive criticism to make than I suggest they contact an official or committee member so that their comments can be taken on board in house. It is your club and we on the committee only want what is best for you and your club.
Finally, a big thank you from me personally to all those unsung heroes and heroines, who work tirelessly behind the scenes on behalf of the BICC membership, none more so than Jan Deacon who, despite not enjoying the best of health recently, has supervised the auction of young birds which raised close on £4,000 for the club and has also organised the Presentation weekend in Bournemouth. What would we do without you Jan - many thanks on behalf of all the members.
If there are any fanciers out there who would like to join possibly the most progressive racing pigeon organisation in the UK at the present time then Membership application forms can be obtained from the secretary
Carol Francis
319 Feltham Hill Road,
Middlesex TW15 1LPTel 01784/420045
Or alternatively from the BICC web site.

Copyright 2013.
Gareth Watkins