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2005 Minutes - Teachers Meeting

Public Schools Fencing Championships

Teachers' meeting 16.03.05

Present: Brian Howes (Chair); Kate Smith (Secretary & Kingston Grammar); Abigail Ball (Elizabeth College); Jonathan Barker (Eton); Peter Barrett (Alleyn's); Nick Chapman (Bromsgrove); Norman Golding (Millfield); Martyn Gulliver (Warwick); Clare Halsted (UCS); Mark Harrison (Bradfield); Karen Kuhlney (Wycombe Abbey); Maggie Lloyd-Jones (Hymers); Jon Milner (Wimbledon High); Mark Nelson-Griffiths (John Lyon, Emanuel); Peter Northam (Cheltenham Ladies); John Roebuck (RGSHW); David Sach (Brentwood); Jonathan Seath (RBAI); Stu Scorgie (Clifton); Mavis Thornton (Arnold); Trevor Woolliams (RGSHW)

1. The minutes of the meeting of 26 th February 2004 were approved.

2.  Arising on the minutes of the previous meeting.

•  Entry numbers had risen again to a total of 1527, although the number of schools entering had fallen.

•  The decision to cut 20% after first and second rounds was accepted.

•  There is now a complete set of trophies for the 18 individual events, the latest of which is the Mathew Rowson salver for Girls' 12-14 Epée, donated by Paul Romang.

•  The chairman requested to the group that all trophies should be returned promptly and engraved. It was agreed to add a penalty notice to the form that winners and/or their teachers sign on receipt of their trophies, in order to prevent trophies being returned late.

•  The Christie trophy had been examined with a view to refurbishment and deemed to be beyond repair. It will be replaced.

•  Arrangements for 2005.

No proposals for new venues had been received other than those put forward by members of the committee for Stoke Mandeville and Bath . As one of the major complaints about the present venue, the condition of the floor, was due to be tackled before this year's championships, it was decided to remain at Crystal Palace .

In response to the wishes of the previous meeting, an appeal for help with organization and running of the championships was made. This resulted in an offer from Mavis Thornton to assist with entries. The successful implementation of the online entry system had meant this assistance had not been required.

•  As agreed, Leon Paul's logo now appeared on paperwork.

•  It was noted, with appreciation, that the value of prizes from Leon Paul was £1400.

3. Other matters arising.

  1. Venue. A number of issues remain with the current venue, heat being the major one. During the current championships, a number of people had requested opening the doors, but CP were refusing this on grounds of security.

• ii. In the longer term, the Chairman advised the group that the LDA had plans to develop the site, and that dealing with the issues of heat and humidity formed part of their planned improvements.

• iii. This raised a further query about locked fire doors, and other Health & Safety issues. The chairman advised that Greenwich would be taking over the running of the centre for a period of 4.5 years, from 1 st . October, and that these issues will be taken up with them. Also to be raised were the unmarked passageways and the collapse of a small section of the resurfaced floor in the North Balcony.

• iv. The group thanked the referees and teachers for their contribution. More non-school referees had been recruited than ever before. Mike Thornton was now in charge of referees. Since some schools still failed to produce referees, it was suggested that a charge of £50 per day be imposed on such schools (per 10 fencers) in lieu of a referee, acknowledging that not all schools are able to find suitable persons to referee.

• v. It was noted that a number of persons were helping themselves to food that were not eligible, and proposed that in future, passes should be issued daily to all active referees and helpers.

• vi. It was suggested that we appoint our own floor manager to keep an eye on safety in the hall. David Sach volunteered for this post, and having the approval of the meeting, would take on this role immediately.

• vii. Online entry system feedback. The meeting agreed that the online system had been very successful, and that this had been achieved in a remarkably short space of time. One immediate benefit had been a dramatic reduction in the workload (particularly for Rodney Francis). The half-anticipated reduction in entry numbers had not occurred. Further refinements were suggested:

•  That information be left online after the closing date, albeit in read-only format.

•  That check-in times be listed when available.

•  That dates be included at point of making entries to avoid errors.

•  That the period for making entries be extended.

•  That there be a place to include accompanying adults' names.

•  That it be noted that only accompanied children could stay in the hostel.

•  Mark Nelson-Griffiths proposed a special vote of thanks to Jon Milner from the masters in charge, for his work on the website.

He also proposed a vote of thanks for the on-site team, including Keith Smith, Rodney Francis, Brian Howes, Mike Thornton, Kate Smith and Nick Chapman.

• ix. It was agreed that unless an alternative venue came to light in the near future, that we should remain at Crystal Palace for 2006. The third week in March was generally favoured, though a number of schools would prefer a week earlier.

The meeting closed at 5.15pm.


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