THE LEEDS ASSOCIATION OF ENGINEERS
Minutes of the Council Meeting held at 7.30pm on Thursday 2nd November 2023 at The Cornerhouse Club Leeds LS17 6QE.
1. Attendance. J.Aldersley in the chair with G.Roper, S.Stacey, B.Yates, A. Rogers, M. Murray, J.Bentley, A.Kibler & G.Toulson.
2. Apologies for absence. I. Blakeley, J. Burton, I. Scholes, R. Town and H. Soutar.
3. Minutes of the Previous Meeting, dated 5th October 2023 were, approved & signed.
4. Matters Arising. None.
5. Treasurers Report. Mr.Kibler said there were no transactions to report in the last month. He said the annual accounts were prepared ready to be checked. There had been a loss of £135.74 which, although a loss, was much better than the previous year. Mr.Kibler proposed his sister, who was experienced in accounts, be chosen to check the figures. This would greatly ease the burden of transportation of the paperwork as experienced previously. Council approved this change of checking procedure and Mr.Kibler will implement this.
The balance of accounts was reported but not published here.
6. Correspondence. Mr.Toulson had received an email via the website mail system from ‘Michael Penfold’ complaining that there had been no progress with the Water Speed Record attempt. He bemoaned that the association had helped to sponsor the team. Mr.Toulson contacted membership secretary Mr.Murray to see if Mr.Penfold was a member. This was found not to be so. An irregular email address connected to Mr.Penfold had raised suspicion and it was determined that the email was not valid and would be disregarded. Mr.Aldersley had been in contact with council member Harry Soutar who had been recipient of the last student award. He asked Mr.Aldersley if the winners shield should be returned and if the scheme was to be continued. Mr.Aldersley advised that the student award scheme would continue and that a nomination would be made in the near future. Mr.Aldersley said he had been in touch with Richard Isaac of Northern Rail with regards to a possible visit and he will follow this up.
7. Membership. Nothing to report.
8. Current Programme. Mr.Toulson read out the full programme of forthcoming events and said that all slots had been filled, although as we had not had an event in October he said and additional event might make up for having missed one. Mr.Yates asked if we should consider changing the day of our events from the last Thursday of the month to another day. Mr.Kibler said we had occasionally changed the day to suit speakers or to accommodate visits. Mr.Toulson said the last Thursday of the month was a long standing tradition etched in the mind of most members. Mr.Murray asked Mr.Roper if he had any further news about the steam powered bike. Mr.Roper reported that for additional top speed to break the world record it had been determined that a larger boiler was required and this was currently work in progress. Mr.Yates said that if boiler testing was required then the sister of our president may be able to assist with this matter. Mr. Bentley stated that all pressure vessels require testing and certification.
9. Next Session. Mr.Aldersley said he had been in contact with LAE member Vas (in Australia). Vas had offered to give an online talk to members perhaps using ‘Zoom’ as we had done previously during the coronavirus lockdown. Mr. Aldersley said that our president had been pursuing a visit to Carnaud Metal Box and hoped this could be held during the following session of events.
10. Website. Mr.Toulson said the website was in order and that he had uploaded all of the current session of events, although some pages required further detail. He advised that there will be some invoices due in the New Year to cover hosting and maintaining of our domain name. Mr.Aldersley said he will be asking young members Cameron and Isaac to offer similar articles about themselves for posting on the website, as Martins had done recently. There was a brief discussion about these new young members joining the council, although there were some restrictions due to commitments related to their studies.
11. Golf. Mr.Stacey reported that he had paid £100.00 deposit to Cobble Hall Golf Club for the Annual Golf Tournament to be held on 4th July 2024. He has changed the dinner format to a two course meal, saving twenty minutes and making for an earlier finish in the evening. He will be producing the golf notice, with full details of the day, in March of next year. Mr.Stacey opened the discussion on who could win the Braime Trophy as this had been raised earlier. He advised that it had been agreed previously that employees of our corporate members were eligible to win the LAE silverware, including the Braime and Charles Brass Trophies. No guests would be eligible to win these special prizes. Mr.Roper questioned whether this was a disincentive to non-member players. Mr.Toulson said it might encourage new members of the association and Mr.Stacey confirmed this had been the case. Mr.Kibler confirmed that this was correct and we had gained some new members. Mr.Murray commented that these were special trophies purely for our members. Mr.Stacey added that there were other prestigious prizes awarded and that M.A.Ford had jointly sponsored a prize with Alan Braime, with both being strong supporters of the tournament. Mr.Stacey said that he would not wish to lose the support of corporate members who brought along many players each year and that he hoped we could keep the same situation in the future. Council agreed to continuation of the current system whereby all employees of corporate members are eligible to win the association’s silverware. Mr.Yates asked if the silverware was insured. Mr.Stacey said the Braime Trophy was currently in the display cabinet of M.A.Ford.
12. Annual Dinner. Mr.Kibler advised that the had booked the 6th April 2024 for the dinner to be held at Headingley Golf Club. He questioned whether we should stay with Headingley Golf Club or book an alternative venue as they had increased the cost to £30.00 per head. Mr. Kibler commented that he was not happy with the quality and quantity of the food at the last dinner. Items that were agreed to be in the menu when we made the booking originally were replaced with alternatives and the Beef Bourguignon main course had been of poor quality. The quantities of food were lower. As an example, previously there had been two Thai Fishcakes for one of the starters whereas at the last dinner only one was offered. Mr.Kibler had been made aware of and suggested Drighlington Golf Club as a possible alternative venue to hold the dinner. He said he will investigate this further. Mr.Aldersley suggested his college may be a suitable alternative and he offered to investigate. Mr.Murray reminded council that the college catering department had previously hosted an event for the association and it had been well received. Mr.Murray asked Mr.Kibler if he might possibly discuss the complaints about the food with the chef at Headingley Golf Club. Mr.Kibler said he would first investigate alternative venues before doing so.
13. Church Service. Mr.Murray asked if we should be inviting a member of Leeds Minster staff to our annual dinner in order to keep up our association with the church. Council agreed to an invitation and this would be discussed later. It had been difficult making contact at the church as there had been a number of changes of staff in recent years. Mr.Yates said we could mention our contributions to the church and in particular the plaque that we had presented along with the embroidered prayer kneelers that were supplied years earlier.
14. Meeting at Morley. Mr.Aldersley confirmed that the Weight Watchers Group no longer held their meetings at our Morley venue to clash with out evening lectures. We can therefore return to our usual 7.15 pm start to meetings. There was a discussion about the association purchasing a laptop computer for use during lecture presentations as it was difficult to rely on members bringing laptops along. Mr.Kibler suggested purchasing a laptop computer with Windows 11 to the latest possible specification for under £500.00 and he used an Acer computer as an example. Council voted in favour of the purchase. Mr.Kibler said that Mr.Scholes had offered a used laptop but it was not thought to be up to current specification and therefore not suitable for our requirements.
Any other Business. Mr.Yates said he would be resigning from the council as he felt that he cannot contribute further. He expressed regret in his observed changes in the association over the years and in particular the change in ethos in the group. Mr.Murray said that the engineering industry had changed dramatically in the last few decades and those changes in the association were to be expected.
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