Rhossili on the Gower Peninsula provided an absolutely stunning location for the BMC’s AGM and festival weekend. Over 70 BMC members and officials enjoyed a sunny weekend of climbing and walking activities around Worm’s Head, and attended the AGM.
The weekend kick-started with some excellent presentations by representatives of the South Wales Mountaineering Club. Chris Wyatt gave an entertaining introduction to the local landscape, complete with poetry and a slideshow. Outgoing BMC Vice President Pat Littlejohn later said this was an excellent reminder to us of our primary role as mountaineers – to protect the rock.
Simon Rawlinson from Dynamic Rock indoor climbing centre in Swansea gave an inspiring talk about their successful approach to youth development in South Wales. It was great to see several young climbers in attendance.
On Saturday morning, whilst a BMC National Council meeting was being held, there was a chance for others to get out and enjoy the sunshine. Many climbers headed to the area between Fall Bay and Mewslade to tackle some routes. Meanwhile National Trust warden Sarah Stevens led a group of 15 on a walk to the Worm’s Head, accessible only at low tide.
In the afternoon, the AGM took place at the Worm’s Head Hotel and it must have been a contender for “Best view from an AGM” award. The AGM ran very smoothly and all the agenda items were passed in favour. Pat Littlejohn retired as Vice President and Scott Titt was voted in as a new Vice President. See Scott’s profile on the BMC Community Site.
Download the minutes of the 2010 AGM
The National Council’s recommendation that subscription rates for 2011 will remain unchanged at the levels set for 2010 was voted in (638 for, 4 against; 2 abstentions). President Rab Carrington commented that the balance of individual and club subscription is now seen as about right.
Following the AGM, the BMC was delighted to welcome Morgan Parry, the newly appointed Chair of the Countryside Council for Wales, to the National Open Forum discussion. It was encouraging to hear him say the BMC was thought of as “exemplary” in its approach to using and protecting the countryside. Most of the questions during the Forum were access-related, ranging from the car parking situation at Snowdon, to crag clean-ups and the UIAA’s separation of conservation and access committees.
Download a summary of the National Open Forum
The coastal setting was an appropriate backdrop for this year’s AGM, given the BMC’s ongoing campaign in Wales for improved coastal access. The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) is currently implementing an All Wales Coastal Path rather than the BMC’s favoured option of a wider margin of land for open-air recreation. Bill Renshaw, Chair of the BMC’s Access and Conservation Group coined the phrase “vaguely coast-ish path” suggesting that the coastal path isn’t actually that near the coast in numerous areas. It was encouraging to hear Morgan Parry say he was sympathetic to the idea of a coastal margin.
All in all, it was a relaxed and informal weekend enjoyed by BMC members and their families. The BMC is grateful to the South Wales Mountaineering Club for all their help in making the weekend a success. Next year the AGM is set to return to Plas y Brenin, in north Wales on 16 April 2011.
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