The 2007 AGM, held on 29th February in the function room of the Farningham Hotel and attended by well over a hundred members and nearly two hundred of their guests was a great success. It was unfortunate that the organising committee had failed to realise that the hotel was a Temperance establishment with no alcohol licence but thanks should still go to the Warlock brewery of Eynesford for providing the drinks, we must all make an effort to get through the 900 gallons of ale brewed specially for the event and which the committee unfortunately bought on a 'no return' basis.
Nature has not looked kindly on the activities of the EFDSS over the past year:
- The annual white water rafting event from the Ford at Eynesford (thanks again to Gareth Sockie for allowing his Cortina to be placed at the start point and we hope he has managed to dry out the interior, next year we will ensure that the boot and windows remain firmly closed.) to the lawns of the Lion Hotel where a mass of guests waited for the contestants to arrive, was not as successful as it might have been. Apologies are due to the proprietors of that fine establishment for our taking over the whole of the premises when the cloudburst hit and we hope the water damage to the curtains and carpets was easily repaired. In our defence it is most unusual for such heavy rain to occur that late in July, maybe if it had occurred a couple of days earlier there would have been sufficient water for the main event to have taken place but this is the fifth year running that the event has had to be cancelled for lack of water, maybe the committee could look at moving the event from it's traditional end of July Bank Holiday spot to a wetter part of the year?
- The attempt at the longest running bungee jump world record was more successful; it was unfortunate that the PR committee had published the wrong date in all of the literature. Sorry to those members of the Press who turned out only to find Farningham Bridge empty of all the paraphernalia required for bungee jumping, had they been there the previous day it would have been a very different matter. It was also unfortunate that British Rail refused permission to use the viaduct at Eynesford, negotiations are continuing about the possibility of using the viaduct at Horton Kirby next year and the committee are examining the possibility of using the M25 bridge near to the Chequers at Darenth for a future event. However, congratulations must go to Matt Finch for his amazing feat of 50 successive jumps from the bridge and we hope the fractures to his legs won't cause permanent disability. Due to the lack of Press presence we are unable to bring any pictures of the event, Matt says, and I agree with him, that it is unreasonable to expect him to not only do the jumping but to take photographs at the same time.
- Due to the on-going disagreement with British Rail we were unable to go ahead with the proposed base jump from the viaduct in Eynesford. Our solicitors are currently negotiating with BR over the costs incurred by them for policing the area in order to prevent the jump taking place. To be honest I consider their reaction to be a little over the top; since when has it been necessary to use 5 armed officers, two dog handlers, 10 traffic police, three panda cars as well as 25 assorted uniformed and plain clothed officers just to attend our pre-jump meeting?
- The open air barn dance in the car park of The Pied Bull was, eventually, a complete success. Thanks to Skinners Rats for the music and to the Wadard, Hartley and Bishop Gundulf's Morris sides for the dancing. The secretary will be speaking to the landlord about the double booking with the South London chapter of the Hells Angels however, once they had been danced down to (and through) the river and order had been restored, all went pretty well; indeed some of those Angel's might make Morris men one day, once they've improved their drinking skills.
- The Christmas speed-skating event at Lullingstone Lake was cancelled due to the unseasonally warm weather
- Heavy snow and freezing conditions prevented the attempted ascent of Farningham Hill in January however the ironing boards did make good toboggan substitutes. We have come to an agreement with the highway authorities over the replacement of the signs on the roundabout at the foot of the hill.
Further reports will appear here just as soon as the secretary receives those reports from members who participated in them.
The February AGM will be held, once again, at the Farningham Hotel but, due to unforeseen circumstances, is postponed; a future date will be posted here as soon as the committee have organised it.
A big thank you comes from the Farningham Lifeboat Crew for all our efforts. They have been most understanding at our inability to actually provide any funding this year.
Regards and an exciting 2008 to you all.
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