UPDATE – August 2020

Hello everyone, and hope that you and yours are well.

I am sorry that I have not been in touch recently to update you on what is happening in relation to the club, but this has largely been because both restrictions related to social distancing in general, and to meetings outside households in particular, have been a barrier to many of our normal activities. With the relaxation of some lock-down measures, the committee felt it appropriate to bring you up to date with our recent discussions, whilst at the same time making it clear that, as events during the last week have shown only too clearly, many of the plans I will be talking about must remain provisional because of the uncertain progress of the pandemic.

As you may remember, our original intention was to work toward a restarting of monthly meetings in October this year. We have taken the decision that this timescale is no longer workable, and will plan to restart in April next year with internal speakers, moving to invited external speakers in July. We will of course be very much governed by the availability of the MMI; their timescale and restrictions regarding reopening will be led by the same factors that we are experiencing.

We have decided that all 2019-2020 paid up members will not be asked for the £12 annual subscription for the 2020-2021 club year, although the £1.50 fee for any meeting attended will remain. If any of you are uncertain as to your status, please contact Dave Bourne (dave8712@hotmail.co.uk) for confirmation.

The Facebook Lock Down group has been very successful, but we feel it appropriate to refresh it somewhat, possibly by having monthly themes and/or informal competitions. Members will be asked for their thoughts on this via the Lock Down group page.

The annual exhibition has, as you know, been cancelled, but we are keen to replace it with a form of on-line exhibition, hosted from within the SAPC website, where members can post a limited number of images, together with a short description. The intent is that this will probably be advertised within the local community, both geographic and photographic. Details will be sent out once the format and technical methodology has been finalised.

We have had some thought about restarting field trips, but come to the conclusion that the understandably varying restrictions on travel and on open air meetings make it very difficult to do this in the way we are used to. We do however recognise that small groups may, whilst still abiding by the official advice in place, wish to get out together, and are happy to encourage use of the SAPC Facebook page for individuals to suggest places and times where this could happen. We must, however, make it absolutely clear that this is not at this stage a formal club activity, and therefore all risks must be born by individuals taking part, and no club insurance cover will be in force. Apologies for having to make this plain, but it is simply a consequence of the situation we all find ourselves in.

The AGM clearly cannot take place in its normal format, and we have agreed that the most sensible way forward will be to email all members with a short chairman’s, secretary’s, and treasurer’s report, together with an invitation for members to stand for the committee, and an opportunity for any questions to be answered. Those present at last year’s AGM may remember that I mentioned that the majority of the committee felt that that they would wish to step down at the end of the 2019-2020 club year, but in the present circumstances all have agreed to make themselves available for re-election. This does not of course preclude any member from putting themselves forward should they so wish.

My apologies for the length of this letter, and I recognise that some may be disappointed by the possibly rather cautious timings mentioned within it. We do feel, however, that in these uncertain times it is best to tread carefully, not only because our meetings are for pleasure rather than necessity, but also particularly given that many of us are theoretically at risk of Covid-related complications by virtue of age, pre-existing medical conditions, or both. Notwithstanding that, I do very much look forward to the time when we can all again physically meet up to chew the photographic cud, and with a bit of luck, it may even be possible in advance of the dates mentioned!

Please feel free to contact me at m.h.morse@btinternet.com if you have questions.

Best wishes to all