Hartington Hall Winter Meet A Huge Success (JanP)
This year our Annual Dinner and AGM was held for the first time at a "dry" venue where there was no access to water so no opportunity for sailing. As over 30 people stayed Saturday night it seems that members were not deterred from booking what turned out to be a thoroughly enjoyable weekend in the Peak District. The Hall itself is a magnificent 17th century manor house with log fires, oak panelling and a room where Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed. Owned by the Bateman family for centuries it was sold to the Youth Hostel Association in 1948. It was the first Youth Hostel in the country to have central heating and electricity and it was recently refurbished with the help of a grant from the National Heritage Lottery Fund. We enjoyed accommodation of a very high standard with beautiful paintings, furnishings and interesting finishing touches.
We also saw members from southern parts who may not have ventured further north at this time of year; Pauline and JeremyT, from London, stayed for a long weekend. Many of us took the opportunity to go walking in the area or to visit local attractions. Organised activities were kept to a minimum, starting at 2.00 pm on Saturday with a lively discussion about revising the participation statement for the membership form, followed by the AGM at 4.30, before an excellent dinner at the nearby Charles Cotton Hotel. Indeed, our meal was so good and the room so comfortable that we stayed on, needing no more entertainment for the evening. Lynne's flower arrangements were much appreciated especially by the ladies who took them home afterwards.
After a leisurely breakfast on Sunday there was time for a walk round Hartington village with the church bells ringing in the background before meeting again to plan the calendar for the coming year. The Chairman also took the opportunity to present trophies to the 2009 race winners: SteveR and DaveS. The Ranking Trophy was presented, after hasty discussion and agreement, to SteveR. However, subsequent analysis showed that this was a mistake and in fact DaveM has won this coveted trophy. The Bernard O'Connor Trophy, from which the logo on the front of Gossip was taken, was awarded to Solway Dory (much to their surprise and pleasure), for their contribution to canoe sailing through their new website.
Many thanks were given to Lynne and JohnS for their hard work (and headaches I suspect) in organising such a successful Winter Meet. So strong was the feeling that all those present decided that we would book again for next year.
Promoting Canoe Sailing - A New Approach (DaveS)
The OCSG now has a page on Facebook. A few members who are computer aware have already found it and have started to interact with each other. What is this and why should you bother with it? Facebook is a site on the Internet where friends can keep in touch with each other, tell each other what they are doing, invite other people to do something together, share information and photos etc. In a way it is an instant Gossip where any member can write something, ask a question or post an answer. It can be a simple one line or a full-blown article.
To join Facebook, you can find it by using Google. To register you have to give it your e-mail address. I was wary at first thinking I would get lots of spam but it is secure and I have not heard of anyone yet who has had any trouble. Once you have registered you can search for Open Canoe Sailing Group and join in. It will be easy to find again if you bookmark the page and Facebook should 'remember' you. One of the benefits of this instant messaging could be that you could find other people in your area to go sailing with. The weather forecast could be fine, you could post that you are sailing on a particular lake on a certain day and ask if anyone else would be interested in joining you. These could become local meets, organised at the last minute, perhaps just day sailing so that we do not have to organise camping and we could be guaranteed good weather by looking at the forecast the day before.
If you have a technical question on how best to rig your canoe, instead of putting it forward to be printed in Gossip and hoping for an answer in a month or so you could get an answer in minutes; maybe 10 answers.