April 1980 Newsletter Highlights
Brian Tudor is still the secretary and the headquarters is on The Quay in Looe.
This news letter started more optimistically as many previous ones as in 1979 the shark number out of Looe had increased to 344 from 119 the previous year. Two members had broken World and British records so 1979 was hoped to be evidence of the turning point.
Sharking boats still hadn’t returned to the sport and it looked like the fleet size would remain the same this coming season and Brian observes that, “in view of galloping inflation, there will have to be an increase in prices to cover costs”.
The response to the increased subscriptions was reported to be encouraging and the clubs objective was to be able to be able not to increase these for another two years.
The Committee had been discussing Associate Membership and due to the number of small sharks being weighed in order to join as an associate member they had decided to discontinue this membership option.
The previous hope that the Caunter Room would underpin the club financially was now being hampered by the introduction of VAT during 1979.
The previous years Annual Dinner had been a success and had been oversubscribe. More ground had been broken, this being the first time the event had been entertained by a disco which its reported was “favourably received”. Ticket price had however increased from £7.50 the previous year to a forecast price of £9 for the coming event.
In the last newsletter it had been reported that Bill Elliot had donated a trophy in memory of George Brooks. Bill had no also passed away and Mrs Elliot had awarded the Brookes-Elliot Cup in their memory. This award was to be for the best shark caught by a member residing in Buckinghamshire.
Over the last few months two 400lbs plus Porbeagles had been caught in nets off Looe which was heralded as proof of larger sharks now being available.
In the previous newsletter Brian had asked members if there was any interest in an SACGB organised overseas trip but interest was so low this idea was removed from the table.
The club tagging expert, John Stevens had now taken an appointment in Australia so tagging information available to the club was about the cease or at least become very scarce. It was reported that as the club lost one member to Australia , Dusty Miller and his wife Peggy had returned to Looe and in between decorating at the new home in Hannafore they were becoming regulars in the Caunter Room.
Annual General Meeting:
The President, Mr Miller commented that it had been nice to see so many people at the previous AGM so it was disappointing that this one was so poorly attended. Next up was the Chairmans report and Mr Kingerlee stood up.
He explained that he was unprepared, as the Chairman, Mr Toms, who had been at the meeting had just said to Mr Kingerlee, “My boat is sinking, you had better do it” and left.
He supported Mr Millers view on the low turnout for the AGM but on a positive said he was encouraged by the number of people who had returned their postal votes. He described the previous year in terms of shark numbers as disastrous which in his view was down to the colder water. He supported this view by referring to a conversation with the clubs marine biologist who had confirmed that Blue sharks are able to tell variations in water temperature to a fraction of a degree.
He went on to observe that by the same time the previous year 31 sharks had been caught whereas over the same period this year only 11 had been caught. He pointed out that this would significantly reduce new member numbers but that the club should maintain standards and not allow membership with smaller sharks as in his opinion this would “deprive future generations”.
He pointed to better news with Porbeagles, a number of good ones being caught off Padstow last year and the trend had continued into the current year. They had also been caught off the Shetlands last year and confirmed that there was now a weighmaster and members in Shetlands.
Accounts – the club was in a good financial position. Subscriptions were £100 down but good progress was being made with returning lapsed members. One American lapsed member had now returned to the club after an absence of 18 years. It was also reported that members were now paying their arrears. In spite of the VAT challenges, the Caunter Room continued to be a financial “golden goose” for the club.
Postal votes – The vote to increase subscriptions to £5 for full members was carried 84 for, 17 against and the on to increase Social Membership was carried 95 for and 4 against. The Social Membership proposition could now be progressed to the Magistrates for their consideration.
Caunter Room Lease Renewal – Brian Tudor explained that in March 1981 the lease for the Caunter Room would lapse. The Landlords were happy to renew the lease but there would be an increase in rent. This was not the issue though. The issue which needed attention was that in 1975 the club had taken out a 5 year loan which at the time it had been hoped would be fully repaid within 3 ½ to 4 years. In the interim the Government had introduced VAT which had reduced the clubs ability to repay the loan. The forecast was that by the end of the lease there would be £300 outstanding on the loan which may mean it would be repaid 6 months late. The Caunter Room turnover was also reducing which was in line with the experiences of all hostelries and shops in Looe.
British and World Records
12lbs line class – 109lbs Porbeagle, Mr I Bunney
30lbs line class – 196lbs Porbeagle, Dr. C S Reaves