Report from Chair 2022 and AGM 21st April 2022

Report from Chair 2022 and AGM 21st April 2022

Chairs report for AGM 2022


I would like to present to you all my report on CTC Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders since our previous AGM which was held on Zoom on the 18th March 2021.


It’s a great relief to be reading this to you all in person again.  Unfortunately for you, you cannot pretend you have lost connection or switch off your video, you have no escape!


Our group rides.


At the time of our last AGM, our rides at been suspended for the second time since the 5th January and it was not until the 12th March that we understood we would be able to cycle again.  We were restricted to groups of 9 and as an organised cycling club in Level 4, we could not transit outside our local authority area although for some inexplicable reason, informal groups were allowed to ride outside the local authority area.


Finally on 18th May as we went into Level 2, we were allowed to cycle outside the city again, but still adhering to the covid rules.  On 19th July 2021 we were allowed to ride in groups of 15 from different households and at that point there was no further need for me to keep the covid records for contact tracing.


By this time, I had completed 102 records for each of our rides and was not ever contacted by the tracers.


On the 9th August, the restriction on numbers were lifted beyond 15 and it was down to the leaders to decide how many they were comfortable with on a ride.  We were and still are acutely aware of the conflicting pressures put on ride leaders to manage large groups and the pressure for members to monitor their emails to secure a place.


As per our usual practice, winter halls were arranged on Wednesdays and cafes on Sundays but on 15th December we were restricted to 3 household indoors, so the use of halls was suspended and cafes were booked in tables of 3 households.  


We were finally able to get back into halls and cafes as normal on 24th January.


We should be very proud that we kept our rides programme going and welcomed many new members during this time and most of all, we retained the bonds of mutual support and friendship throughout. 


We are not a cycling group if we do not have group rides, and we do not have group rides unless we have ride leaders, so once again I would like to express my continued gratitude to all our excellent ride leaders.  I would like to say a particular thank you to those relatively new members who have come forward and volunteered (with only a small amount of arm twisting) to lead rides. I would also like to acknowledge the support of the mentors who give of their time and experience to encourage and advise new leaders.  An invaluable contribution. Above all, they have provided great fun days out for our members so thank you to all leaders and mentors.

Our Rides Convenors.


In August 2021, I was delighted to announce that Clare McDonald and Rhona Emerson had agreed to take on the role of rides conveners for Wednesday rides and Cathy Riley stepped up to do the Sunday Rides.  Alastair Sim who has organised Tuesday evening rides marvellously for many years has kindly agreed to continue in this role and we are delighted that he has also volunteered to come onto the committee to represent the Tuesday evening riders.


Anyone who has led a ride this winter to a hall, cannot have failed to be impressed by the fantastic organisation not only of the halls but also of the money for the halls fees which unsurprisingly has risen since pre covid. Clare, we cannot thank you enough.


Rhona has been extremely successful in putting together the rides programme but is also now able to put them up onto the website and she also, has volunteered to serve on the committee.


Leading Sunday rides has its own set of challenges, including booking a suitable café in the winter.  Cathy has done terrific job advising new leaders, and has stepped into the breach herself at short notice. She very much deserves her Audrey Fyfe award.


So, I think we should definitely say a big thank you to our outstanding rides conveners.


Borders Brakeaway -Review of 2021

I would like now to present the review of 2021 from Nigel Cliffe of our Borders Brakeaway subgroup.

“2021 began with Covid restrictions still in place, though rides were permitted subject to complying with various rules.   So, the 2021 ride season began on March 20th with a figure-of-8 route from Harestanes (near Ancrum) of 31 miles.  The figure-of-8 allowed people to join for only part of the ride.  As it happened, we had nice weather and everybody stayed for both halves of the ride.  The figure-of-8 approach worked well, and was used on some other rides during the year.

A total of ten rides were held through the summer with six different starting places across the Borders area.  The last full ride of the year being in October with a 50 mile route from Kelso.  Some of our group also joined the riders from Berwick Cyclists on their two rides starting from Berwick in Northumberland.   A group Christmas lunch was held in December at Walkerburn (near Innerleithen).   

2021’s rides were mostly arranged at fairly short notice.  This had the advantage of playing to the weather; only one was affected by bad weather, the remainder all had sunny weather and not too much wind.   The good weather also meant that most rides in 2021 had picnic lunches outside, either carried by riders from the start, or bought from a local shop near the lunch stop.  Eating outside helped with ensuring we stayed away from Covid risks. “

Friends no longer with us.


We were all shocked and saddened by the sudden death of our friend Peter Valente on the 2nd May 2021.  His family and I were very moved by the display of enormous respect shown when 30 + rode behind his cortege to the crematorium.


More recently we lost Brain Curtis on 11th November. Those who attended his service or read his obituary will have been so impressed not only by his achievements but also his character.  A ride in his honour is planned on Wednesday June 1st from Fisherrow harbour in Musselburgh to North Berwick where we have hired the hall at lunchtime so we can welcome old friends who may wish to come along.


We have had other members who have not been well or injured and we are delighted when they keep in touch so we can wish them a speedy recovery to be back on their bikes soon.


Social Activities


In July, we had a super ride and gathering in Vogrie Country Park to celebrate Jimmy Noon’s 90th birthday. It was great see new and old friends gathering and Jimmy looked to be having a lovely time.


Thank you, Stuart Nichol for organising a delicious curry night at Kismet in October for the Tuesday evening riders.


We were able to have our Sunday soup, cheese and mince pie ride in early December, but the Pot luck lunch had to be cancelled when the halls were suspended.


Our annual Christmas Lunch on 11th December was another great success with some precautions in place and we do need to say thank you and commiserate with Liz Sutherland, who after the effort of the organisation was unable to attend as she had a nasty cold.  Liz has organised our Christmas lunch for many years, and now fully deserves a rest.  We will be looking for a new organiser for this year. The lunch is already booked for Saturday 10th December.


Training opportunities


We have also offered members a number of training or educational opportunities in the last year.  Ben Bate hosted a very instructive zoom meeting with PC Sonja Kaiser – Ferris in February 2021 on bike security.


In October we had an informal session on ride leading attended by 12 participants, many of whom have now or will shortly be taking up the challenge of leading a ride.

Ben led another training session in December at Summerhall on navigation and the use of Satnavs which again was very well attended and greatly appreciated. 


Most recently, Ian Miller organised a First Aid training course which was educational and entertaining.  Those participants now have a certificate!

So, I would like to say a big thank you to Ben and Ian for all this organisation on our behalf.  I am also pleased to say that Ian has volunteered to come onto the committee and he hopes to be involved in other opportunities for training in the future.


The committee.


Throughout the year the committee has meet on Zoom and more recently in person. We can also communicate quickly on WhatsApp.  The committee meetings are always very productive and we often have quite a long agenda.  I have been very grateful to everyone for their willingness to participate, respond, discuss and come to a conclusion.


After our last AGM Alistair Crichton stepped down as a committee member in March.  Now we have to say thank you to two other members who will step down at this meeting.


Firstly, we need to say thank you to Alison Johnston our esteemed Treasurer. Having joined the CTC in February 2014, Alison was appointed to the committee as treasurer in November 2014. Over the years as well as being a committee member and treasurer Alison has helped keep the website updated on a weekly basis. A current health issue means Alison is standing down this year though she is still hopeful that she can attend some rides with the group. 


We are very sorry to lose Alison from the committee as she had been a very reliable and meticulous treasurer with very exacting standards.  Basically, she completely took care of the money, and no one else really had to give it much thought.  Every year she produces the accounts for our fiercely demanding auditor Philip Rankin (thank you again Philip) and has always completed Cycling Uk’s annual returns promptly.


In general committee discussions she is always sensible, straightforward and pragmatic.

She has also been very efficient at uploading the rides on the website, sometimes at short notice.

This is work that goes on behind the scenes and often goes unrecognised.


We are very reassured that Andrew Derrington has volunteered for the role of treasurer and fully expect he will continue the accounts with meticulous precision!


Fiona Owen has been on the committee since 2016 as Welfare officer. Her role was to investigate and possibly resolve any issues that might arise either between members or for a particular member.

She hoped that any member would feel able to approach her in her capacity as welfare officer in the knowledge that matters would be dealt with in confidence and with impartiality.

She supported members who might benefit from the care which belonging to the strong fellowship found in our group. She could be relied upon to find the right words in some sensitive occasions. 


Fiona often took her role above and beyond and was so very kind and considerate to those who were not well or injured, often sending messages or cards. 

Fiona has more pressing childcare duties to perform and so feels she will not have the time to continue in this role. In fact, this role will now be superseded by Cycling UK’s requirement for a Safeguarding Officer which is a slightly different brief. We have an admirable volunteer for this role in Maryrose Brennan and we hope to formally admit her and the other volunteers to the committee shortly.


I would like to say that both Fiona and Alison have been a great support to me personally as well as to the club. Please can we express our appreciation to their years of service?


I am pleased to say that Sandy Paterson our secretary, Ben Bate our registration officer are both willing to continue in their roles, for which I am immensely grateful.  Ben’s regular monthly email to new members results in a regular flow of new people wishing to receive our notification and he keeps our “In Case of Emergency List” regularly updated and send out to leaders. Sandy is a conscientious and thorough secretary. The rest of the committee are always deeply impressed by his succinct, diplomatic and articulate minutes which capture the breath and essence of our discussion.   Again, this work goes on behind the scenes and I would like you recognise, and show your appreciation now.


The Future


We have had a number of members who have come forward to volunteer on the committee and we will shortly be admitting them formally.  So, I am very confident about the future of our club which has more members than ever. It is never too late to volunteer for the committee or any other role in which you can provide service. Particularly ride leading, but organising the Christmas Party is also an option!


Now we need to be aware of the potential new career of our very own poster boy, Ben who has published an excellent expose of our group complete with photos from our expert resident photographer Sandy. This was published in the online CycleClips on 15th April and if you haven’t already read it, please check it out now!


Just a few highlights to mention in the forthcoming months.  June is busy. On the first of June we have Brian’s Memorial Ride, 7-10 is our away trip to Aberlour.  We have the Trivets 100 miler on 19th June- more thanks to Ben, Bill Coppock and Andrew Derrington -the organising team.  It is the 75th Anniversary of the Albert Watson Bothy on the 26th June and we hope to organise a car assisted ride, so that newer members get a chance to visit and admire the bothy.


In July we have been invited to help Fife and Kinross CTC celebrate their centenary year with a joint ride with CTC Tayside. It’s a ride “Round the Tay” and I will get the full details out as soon as I have them.


So, we have lots to look forward to in the coming months.

Thank you. 







6.30PM THURSDAY 21st April 2022

Liddell Suite, Eric Liddell Centre EH10 4DP




Janet welcomed everyone to the meeting.




Janet Ironside (Chair)

Ben Bate (Registration Officer)

Sandy Paterson (Secretary)

Fiona Owen (Welfare Officer)


Ian Miller

Rhona Emerson

Heather Porteous

Bob Fowler

Cathy Riley

Hilary Maxfield

Anna Paton

Stephen Brown

Jan Ure

Clare McDonald

Jackie Jones

Stuart Knowles

Derek Hyde

Mike Hewitt

Craig Waters

Liz Sutherland

Robert Virtue

Archie Burns

Maryrose Brennan

Stewart Nichol

Bill Crook

Donald Urquhart

Gordon Robertson

Senga Bate

Andrew Derrington

Rosanne Murphy

Sue Robertson

Charles Wallis

Karen Bruce




Kristine Munsterhjelm

Alison Johnston (Treasurer)

Alastair Sim

Keith Griffiths

Duncan Ross

Doug Mackie

Joan Aitken

Alastair Morrison

Goff Cantley

Philip Rankin

Ian Robertson

John Manchip




The minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting on 18th February 2021 were accepted as an accurate record of that meeting.






There were no matters arising from the previous AGM






The Chair, Janet Ironside, presented her report to the AGM. It was a great relief to be reading it in person once again – the previous AGM having been on Zoom. The main items are summarised as follows:




           Janet described how the group rides had continued over the past year

           despite the labyrinthine restrictions dictated by the pandemic and how

           this had been achieved. Many new members were welcomed during this

           period. Janet expressed her gratitude to all the excellent ride leaders and

           and mentors, and particularly those relatively new members who had

           volunteered to become leaders.






           A great deal of work goes on behind the scenes in organising a successful

           Rides programme and particular thanks was expressed to Clare

           McDonald and Rhona Emerson for taking on organising the

          Wednesday programme with such enthusiasm and aplomb. Similarly

          Cathy Riley has masterminded the Sunday programme and Alastair Sim

          continues to organise an excellent Tuesday evening summer programme.





         Janet presented a review of 2021 from Nigel Cliffe of our Borders

         Breakaway subgroup. The group arranged about 10 or 11 rides

         throughout the year starting from 6 different starting places across

         the Borders area and had a group Christmas lunch in Walkerburn.





       We lost 2 of our most longstanding and stalwart members last year – Peter

       Valente and Brian Curtis.  Their contribution to the club over years has

       been enormous. A ride in honour of Brian has been arranged on July 1st.





       These included a gathering in Vogrie Country Park to celebrate Jimmy

       Noon’s 90th birthday, a curry night for Tuesday evening riders and soup and

       mince pie ride in December. The Christmas lunch was a great success and

       special thanks to Liz Sutherland for organising this for many







      Ben Bate hosted a very instructive zoom meeting on bike security with PC

      Sonja Kaiser -Ferris.

      The session on use of navigation and Satnavs led by Ben was much


      Ian Miller organised an educational course on First Aid.






       Janet expressed her thanks to the committee members for their work

       during the year.

       Alastair Crichton stepped down from the committee in March.

       Alison Johnston and Fiona Owen are also stepping down and their

       meticulous and conscientious work as Treasurer and Welfare Officer

       was acknowledged by the chair.

       Ben Bate and Sandy Paterson will continue in their roles.






       New committee members will be admitted.

       Highlights for next year include: the Brian Curtis Memorial Ride,

       an away trip to Aberlour, the Tri-Vets 100 miler and a car assisted visit

       to the Albert Watson Bothy.







The audited Treasurer’s Report had been submitted by Alison Johnston.

There were no questions regarding the report.






Philip Rankin was thanked for his services as auditor for many years.

Alison Johnson has volunteered to serve as the auditor.






The following agreed to re-election to the Committee:


  • Janet Ironside, Chair
  • Ben Bate, Registration officer
  • Sandy Paterson, Secretary



           The following were elected to the Committee:


  • Andrew Derrington, Treasurer

Proposer Rhona Emerson

Seconder Bob Fowler


  • Maryrose Brennan, Safeguarding Officer

Proposer Cathy Riley

Seconder Liz Sutherland


  • Alastair Sim, Tuesday Riders

Proposer Charles Wallis

Seconder Anna Paton


  • Ian Miller, Training Role

Proposer Bill Crook

Seconder Derek Hyde


  • Rhona Emerson, Member and Wednesday Convenor

Proposer Clare McDonald

Seconder Jan Ure



             The following volunteered to join the Committee:



  • Bill Crook, Member

Proposer Gordon Robertson

Seconder Maryrose Brennan




  1. AOCB





Ben Bate, Andrew Derrington and Bill Coppock are organising the Tri-Vets 100mile ride on June 19th.

Ben asked for 2 or 3 volunteers who will not be riding to: see folk off – from Eskbank Station, be available on the phone to record finishing times and field any calls for assistance.

So far there have been 23 entries.





In response to Steve Brown’s question about new club jerseys Ben noted that Endura could supply these and detailed the pricing structure. Short sleeve, long sleeve, jackets and gilets could be available. Endura could redesign aspects of the items on request. It was proposed that an email go out to canvas interest in new jerseys.




Steve Brown asked about the definition of Safeguarding. Having done an online course on this in connection with being the new Safeguarding Officer Maryrose Brennan briefly outlined the nature of the role. Some of the facets of it may not be relevant as we do not have minors in the membership.




Janet noted that the current business cards were out of date and proposed getting updated ones.




Rosanne Murphy has volunteered to be Christmas Lunch organiser.




Rhona Emerson proposed formal recognition of the Chair’s outstanding efforts in keeping the club active and enjoyable in a difficult year. This was embraced by the attending membership.









Janet introduced and welcomed Matt Ewart to the meeting.

Matt had been a Lothians DA rider in the 1960s while in Edinburgh as a post graduate student. He was proposing to show a film of a ride from that time but unfortunately due to a technical issue the film could not be shown.

Matt went on to reminisce about cycling with the club at that time and elaborated with various interesting and colourful anecdotes about his fellow riders from that era.








Martin is a friend and colleague of the late Brian Curtis who had been a leader for CTC Cycle Holidays for many years. Following the demise of CTC Cycle Holidays due to a change in business model and other administrative issues both had been instrumental in the evolution of Bikexplore – a new cycle holiday company in which Martin has become an enthusiastic leader.

Bikexplore differs from other cycle holiday companies in that the leaders always ride with the group – rather than in a support van, leaders are not paid employees, there is a very high rate of customer return and satisfaction and it tends to be cheaper.

Martin outlined the process of becoming a leader in the company by having a mentor on a trip then planning, trialling and then leading one’s own UK trip and then perhaps one abroad. Often 2 nights are spent at one destination.

Martin fielded a number of questions from the floor relating to average speed (perhaps 12 mph), destinations, milage, flexibility on rides (very flexible and able to accommodate a broad range of abilities and aspirations).




The Chair thanked Matt and Martin for their informative and interesting presentations.







The date of the next AGM is to be decided.