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2020 October Newsletter

Welcome to the October edition of the Newton Abbot & Totnes Fencing club newsletter.

We are all living in strange and unusual times at the moment, so with this in mind, I thought it would be a good plan to have the AGM in this month’s newsletter, please feel free to add comments to me via our Facebook page or text me direct on 07599 834694. Each fencing club/organisation is doing it differently, e.g. BVF are not having an AGM, Devon fencing are having it delivered via Zoom and I thought this vehicle is as good as ever.

Agenda for AGM;

Comments from the Char:

-Well half of our last year was ‘normal’ and the other half ‘was vacant’ & not pretty either to put in politely. Well, what I’m going to discuss is the 6 months from our last year September 2019 to March 2020.

-We have put a new policy in about the use of fencing gear (due to in part to the Covid Virus and secondly to encourage members to purchase their own) which basically means that you can use the clubs gear on fencing nights at the normal fencing nights at a cost of £2 per month for Seniors and £1.50 month For the future, our plan is that a fencer can use club gear for the first 12 months, after which they must acquire their own by buying new, or to purchase the club gear they have been using. We suggest the price could be for the value we put upon it in the annual stocktake and discount by whatever they have paid by way of the extra sub charge. So quite an attractive deal.

-When we do get back to fencing on club nights (at the time of print, this has not happened yet), we will have to abide by the Covid 19 Policy, which is quite simple: – don’t attend club nights if you have a temperature, the fencers attending club night must have their temperature read before, entry and exit via 2 different routes, hand gel available and 2 metre social distancing.

-At the time of printing membership subs will be the same, provided that the venues do not increase their charge.

-We are very, very lucky to have such excellent coaches as Jan, John, Jim, Nick Andy and Lynne Bornemizsa but my vision for next year would be to have more coaches (I am very keen to become a coach and welcome others to join me!)

-Listed below is our committee and as you can see, there are vacancies and I would encourage members to ‘bravely go where no man has gone before’ and put your name down for a position. It doesn’t take all of your time and the more committee officers we have the easier the workload is.


Election of Officers

            Life President                                        John Evers 

           Club Coach & Co-founder                   Jan Lacey (Provost of British Fencing)

Chair & Webmaster & Covid officer             Bill Berkley                 

            Hon Secretary & Treasurer                 Jim Pilkington

            Hon Treasurer                                       Jim Pilkington

            Club Captain                                          Vacant

            Armourers                                              Vacant

            Junior Representative                         James White

            Equipment sec.                                     Dave Atkins

            Welfare Officer                                      Vacant

            DCFU Rep                                             Josh Letten


Comments from our Hon Secretary’s

Up until Covid-19 interrupting our normal sessions, the year had progressed much as normal with each of the sessions loosing and gaining members, but overall there has been a slight drop in membership. This is nothing unusual – it goes up or down each year,

Thought and action has been taken in keeping the club in align with the ever-increasing demands of British Fencing for us to have BF registered coaches and a welfare officer and to which now, has been added a covid-19 officer.

The club has given some financial support towards obtaining the necessary certification of our coaches but a sobering thought here, is that of our 6 active coaches, all but one, are in the 70-year-old region or older! Towards the certification of coaches Bill Berkley has kindly helped by running a first aid course. We did have a second one planned for April until Covid happened.

Running monthly competitions is part of the club’s usual routine and of these epees has proved the best supported. Our open competitions have still attracted viable numbers and are a usual addition to our income.

In view of Covid -19, we have had to give new thought to the provision of gear for members who do not have their own. It is in final planning stage and when we start again, each member who needs gear, will have a set provided for which they are responsible and once confident of their wish to take up our sport, may purchase from the club. An added benefit of this scheme is for the younger fencer to be able to exchange their gear for larger sizes as they grow.

Furthermore, I firmly propose that epeeists should wear breeches at all times and not as of now, just for competitions. This is again to bring us into order with BF regs. The club does have a fair stock with which to equip members.

Overall the state of our gear has greatly improved over the last few years and the cost of doing so is reflected in the annual accounts.

These have been prepared for the 12 months up until the end of June 2020 and costed in are a refund of subs to members who have kindly left their standing orders in operation. For the year, having taken account of possible refunds, we have a deficit in our cash account of £930. This is balanced by an increase in the value of our equipment. Some of this increase in value comes from £519 that we have spent on renewals and some from gear that has been donated to the club.

I am making no proposals to change the club subs for the year 2020-21.

Jim Pilkington 7.10.20

2020 Accounts



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