Author Topic: New BCA Secretary  (Read 2935 times)

Offline BCA Secretary

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New BCA Secretary
« on: May 20, 2020, 10:07:18 pm »
Hello Everyone
 
I am pleased to announce that effective immediately, Russell Myers is the Secretary of the British Caving Association.
 
Russell came forward shortly after I announced my intention to step down last month and is the only person to express any interest in taking on the Secretary role. He will serve as Acting Secretary until the AGM in October, where he can be elected properly. I will be working with Russell to ensure a smooth handover where my input is needed.
 
We are extremely lucky to have such an enthusiastic and capable volunteer. He has previously served roles in the NCA, the CNCC (chairman from 1988-1998) and the Craven Pothole Club, so his experience stands him in an excellent position. He has my full support.
 
I am saddened that my vision for BCA’s future was so controversial that it generated both personal abuse towards me and so many opposing AGM proposals, some of which were specifically aimed to drive a few of the people with who I worked most closely out of BCA Council. I'm not cut out or thick-skinned enought for this kind of calculated politics; I just wanted to use what I had learned from six years in the CNCC to try to help BCA Council to make the BCA a slicker and more productive and modern-minded organisation that cavers could be proud of.

Clearly my continued involvement was going to result in a messy and embarrasing AGM and further north-south divisions within our national body. I hope Russell can achieve a better balance of modernisation and diplomacy than I could.
 
I wish BCA well, and look forward to catching up with many of you around the caving world once things get a little more back to normal.

Best wishes
Matt Ewles

Offline Badlad

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2020, 11:39:01 pm »
Thanks for all your work on behalf of us all, Matt.  I am sure that the silent majority were right behind your efforts.  Really sorry that it turned out like this.   :(

Offline oldfart

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2020, 08:08:04 am »
Russell, You must be truly bored an a glutton for bullshit.

Offline Ian Ball

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2020, 09:31:14 am »
Thank you both

Offline HardenClimber3

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2020, 09:43:58 am »
Russell, You must be truly bored an a glutton for bullshit.

I don't think he is bored and he has bigger worries than bullshit...
He wants to put something back into caving, and for caving to have a good strong future.

Online Pegasus

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2020, 09:45:44 am »
I'm not cut out or thick-skinned enough for this kind of calculated politics;

Volunteering for BCA shouldn't be only for those with thicker skins.  It should be inclusive, it's 2020 for goodness sake.

Thank you, Matt for the huge amount of hard work you have put it for BCA and for the personal support  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Welcome Russell - decent of you to step up to help at a time when BCA really needs it  :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

Offline CavefestUK

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2020, 10:48:54 am »
Firstly,
Welcome Russel.
I honestly hope with all my heart that Russel has the vision and thick skin needed to keep the BCA heading in the right direction. Its wonderful the he has stepped forward to take on the roll.
Thank you Russel.

Secondly.
Matt.....
Very sorry to see you go as i felt your spirit, and modern outlook towards the BCA and its roll, was what the committee needed from its secretary. Having witnessed the behaviour you speak of, and to see you leave because of it, simply makes me angry and sick.

I dont want to rant about politics as its a subject full of b*** s*** so i will leave that there.

I wish you all the best.

Offline DCA

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2020, 05:55:39 pm »
Derbyshire Caving Association (DCA) would like to thank Matt for his hard work on behalf of cavers everywhere and are saddened by his departure.

We strongly support the direction BCA is moving in and wish Russell luck in his new role as secretary and hope to support BCA in moving forward.
Derbyshire Caving Association

Offline Russell Myers

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2020, 05:44:11 pm »
Ooooops late for the party, I hadn’t realised Matt had started without me! Well, here I am, breaking cover, putting my head above the parapet, out in the open as acting BCA Secretary. It all started about a month or so ago with Matt’s resignation post when I offered to help out, primarily with the admin stuff but ultimately with an eye on the job itself, for which I was rewarded with a job to proof read the new BCA website being developed! It proved quite handy as a rapid learning process about BCA. So there I was, “stalking” the forum to get a feel for the mood of things thinking I had 6 months or so to ease into the job in the run up to the AGM now slated for October, when boom, “a big finger pointed at me out of the sky; you’re it! Acting Secretary BCA”
So, a week into the job and it feels like a lifetime but my intention is to be open and transparent in my work for the BCA and keep in touch with UK cavers', not forgetting the miners and I had better include the scientists (hope I haven’t forgotten anyone) fraternity. That openness will have its boundaries in discretion and good taste so do not expect warts and all; an acquaintance of mine stated “Everything with good grace,” a nice mantra. It has been a steep learning curve so far, in fact, so steep I could do with a fresh set of prusikers but I’m looking forward to it.
As a display of my openness and transparency, copied below is my first message to the BCA Council sent this morning, nothing contentious in it, a reflection of the strange times we live in trying to organise a meeting  and it saves my typing finger on the keyboard explaining how I got here plus I have added a C.V. of my credentials in support of my nomination for the Secretary's position at the bottom:

“Good Morning Council Member,
You should by now have received Matt Ewles' final message to you relinquishing his position as BCA Secretary and informing you of myself stepping into the Acting role by agreement with the Chair and Treasurer for the interim period up to the AGM.
About a month or so ago after reading Matt's resignation post, I realised the Association may have problems recruiting a replacement and found myself in a position to step forward and offer to help. Initially, this was with thoughts of picking up on the "donkey work", the admin of a Secretary's role but subsequently with the intention of running for the position at this year's AGM. I have received a nomination and second from my Club, the Craven Pothole Club, Chair and Secretary, Paul McWhinney and John Helm respectively which has been submitted to the outgoing Secretary together with a "CV " of my credentials which I attach for your perusal.
Clearly, I am in at the "deep end" but look forward to your support and forbearance whilst I come to terms with the requirements of the position. Matt has briefed me on the essentials and I have an action plan to work from. One priority is to organise a meeting of the Council possibly in June/July which will be "virtual" on a conferencing platform to be decided yet. My own Club have been meeting regularly  in a virtual pub and also convened committee meetings on Zoom. It has worked well with up to 20 of us on occasion although how we manage a larger number will be an interesting test.  I would suggest that for the Council meeting, we agree to refrain from imbibing our favourite tipple as I've noticed our meetings get more verbose as the evening goes on, probably because I'm the main culprit and we do need to finish! I'll keep you informed of developments but any suggestions of how we may facilitate this are more than welcome as I guess it will be a first.
Finally, I would welcome any comments, observations or advice in general, you may wish to give me; the one about being mad has been done!
I'm looking forward to working with you
Kind Regards
Russell Myers
Acting Secretary”


The last paragraph is particularly relevant as I extend that invitation to everyone.
Yours caving forever,
Russell

C.V. for Russell Myers in support of my application for the position of Secretary to the British Caving Association

First and fore most I must state that I am a dyed in the wool caver having discovered caving at 16 years old on a trip down Bar Pot into Gaping Gill with the Craven Pothole Club. Memories of that trip have stayed with me ever since and triggered a lifelong love for adventure and caving in particular. I joined the Craven Pothole Club shortly after that first trip and have remained a member ever since.
During this time, I have caved in most regions of the UK and occasionally ventured further afield to Ireland and the Continent and would consider myself a competent experienced, caver albeit finding that these days, the caves appear to be shrinking. In addition to caving, I have also rock climbed and mountaineered in both the UK and abroad and have an abiding love for the Isle of Skye and Scottish mountains in general.
I have lived my life on the basis of putting more back in than I take out of whatever activity that may be including work and play. I was elected to the Craven Pothole Club Committee in 1974, served in various positions until 2002 including Assistant Secretary, Secretary, Chairman and was honoured to be elected President in 2012. These roles invariably involved administrative duties and over the course of time, I have developed working computer skills to augment them.
I cannot remember the dates but I acted as CPC representative to the Council of Northern Caving Clubs and served as its Chairman during the 1990s. I also represented the CNCC at the NCA for a number of years prior to it evolving in to the BCA
I am widowed, retired from full time work and have worked in local government and latterly the private sector as a health and safety consultant. I find myself time rich and pleased to be able to offer my skills to the BCA as Secretary for the organisation.
Russell Myers
13th April 2020


JFK: Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

Online Ian P

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2020, 08:45:20 pm »
Russell, thanks for “picking up the batten”

Matt, Thanks again for all you have done and sorry you could not continue.

For what it’s worth, in my opinion you have run your leg on the “batten relay race” in a world record time, and I’m sure your hand over was slick and professional. This gives the next runner a great advantage to achieve a great result.

I’m sure Russell will run with a different style but I’m sure he will not waste the lead you have given him.

Thanks again to both of you.

Ian

Offline Russell Myers

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2020, 10:00:15 pm »
In the interests of fair play, I forwarded a copy of my original post on here to the rag down south which turns out to be part edited by a guy up here who sent me a very pleasant reply with a request for a photo of my good self so I've dug one out and thought I would frighten you lot first. I'm not so sure it's a good idea as I get a feeling that my theory about caves shrinking may be because of something else but what the hell, here goes, in for a penny in for a pound - me in best bib and tucker at the CPC Annual Dinner 2019. 
JFK: Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

Offline Ian Ball

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2020, 11:40:10 pm »
Hope you enjoy the duties Mr Myers, good luck

Offline Russell Myers

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2020, 12:03:48 am »
Honeymoon period today, hard graft starts tomorrow.
JFK: Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

Offline badger

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2020, 10:07:51 am »
I can confirm caves are defiantly shrinking. i know this to be true cause inside my body I am an athlete. I also know I am under height for my weight ;D :lol:

Offline Russell Myers

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2020, 08:06:03 pm »
Deux faux pas (practicing my Franglais) in my post, one I've been pulled up about, the other I spotted myself, apologies to anyone offended https://ukcaving.com/board/Smileys/ukbCustomSmall/spank.gif. I should have referred to community and not fraternity to read "caving community". Old habits and all that.
The other was an odd one referring to the "rag down south"; now I thought "rag" in this context was in common usage when referring to a newspaper and derives from the times when worn cloth, waste/off cuts of cloth were added to paper presumably to add a bit of strength to the final paper product. By association with this process, the slang word for  newspapers became "rag". Apparently "rag" down south means something derogatory for which I apologise to any offended.
Anyone enlighten me as to why it is considered derogatory and at which point in the country the sleight begins or ends?
Good start to my journalistic career chair.gif 
JFK: Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

Offline JohnMCooper

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2020, 09:29:16 pm »
rag is in the OED as a derogatory word for newspaper so it's fine as far as I'm concerned.

Offline Ian Ball

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2020, 09:29:42 pm »
You must really be time rich to apologise for that!

Offline Russell Myers

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2020, 09:42:44 pm »
Sticking to my principles "Everything with grace"
JFK: Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

Offline mrodoc

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #18 on: May 25, 2020, 10:50:08 am »
I think is the first time I have actually seen the CV of anybody in BCA so Russell Myers is to be commended for that.  Also posting his photo means we know what he looks like and can meet and speak to him at events if we should so wish.   The problem we have at present is that there isn't a national printed magazine representing BCA so getting CV's out to the wider audience is practically impossible except through social media which not everybody uses. The BSAC has SCUBA magazine (currently online because of the pandemic) and this acts a mouthpiece for the national club.  i don't think the situation will change as diving magazines rely on adventising expensive holidays and equipment and cavers are notoriously tight fisted (my friend Pete only bought an oversuit ten years ago, has a cheap chinese mining lamp because his Nife cell finally gave out and grumbles that caving should be a cheap sport).

Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #19 on: May 25, 2020, 06:08:05 pm »
Right. I am telling Pete that you have been slagging him off. It's a funny thing with BCA. In 55 years caving I have had no connection, knowledge or even interest in it. It's like having to belong to something just so that you have some sort of insurance. ( would not my own personal PL insurance suffice? ). I lob out the money each year because its tied up in my club subs. To be honest what I call caving politics bores the pants off me. I just have no time for any of it. We sort things out locally and just go caving. I could never be bothered to read stuff from BCA unless it had a direct caving interest. Certainly I would never vote for anything involving BCA. Please don't read this wrong. This is not a criticism of BCA or what it does. To me it just seems things would be much the same whether it ceased to exist at all. I guess this is all my fault and I only mention it at all because I wonder how many other cavers feel the same. I doubt that whatever the BCA says or does would make me feel any different. This is my personal view so please don't get the idea I don't like BCA. It's just that to me it has no relevance whatsoever and really that's my problem. Reaching out ( as they say ) to somebody like me might be rather difficult.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2020, 06:31:54 pm by The Old Ruminator »

Offline 2xw

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2020, 07:15:27 pm »
You may "sort things out locally" but bear in mind the CSCC doesn't magic it's money out of some dig somewhere.

You can see your membership fee at work every time you see a nice shiny CSCC padlock, or go through the entrances to Hunters Lodge or Loxton.

The CSCC put a lot of effort into those access agreements and conservation works so you can "just go caving" without ever having to think about it.

It may bore your pants off (it's bores the people on council too!) and it may not publicise what it does very well, but to claim the BCA isn't relevant to your caving is somewhat strange.

I know if I divide my yearly fee by the amount of bolts and gates I've used it works out pretty good value for money.


Online The Old Ruminator

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2020, 07:23:35 pm »
Some gates and locks are paid for by a conservation fee when a trip goes down the cave. In our digs we supply our own such things. I don't want to generate even more argument here I am just putting my own perception which as has been suggested might be totally erroneous.

Perhaps its a case of " What have the Romans done for us " for those that remember the film.

Offline Russell Myers

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2020, 08:06:42 pm »
I think is the first time I have actually seen the CV of anybody in BCA so Russell Myers is to be commended for that.  Also posting his photo means we know what he looks like and can meet and speak to him at events if we should so wish.   The problem we have at present is that there isn't a national printed magazine representing BCA so getting CV's out to the wider audience is practically impossible except through social media which not everybody uses. The BSAC has SCUBA magazine (currently online because of the pandemic) and this acts a mouthpiece for the national club.  i don't think the situation will change as diving magazines rely on adventising expensive holidays and equipment and cavers are notoriously tight fisted (my friend Pete only bought an oversuit ten years ago, has a cheap chinese mining lamp because his Nife cell finally gave out and grumbles that caving should be a cheap sport).
Thanks for the kind words Modroc; I was wondering what mark I may leave in my first 100 days in office, putting my identity and cv out there, looks like I've achieved it already in a week! What next?
« Last Edit: May 25, 2020, 10:28:20 pm by PeteHall, Reason: Formatting fixed »
JFK: Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

Offline Russell Myers

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2020, 08:31:20 pm »
Right. I am telling Pete that you have been slagging him off. It's a funny thing with BCA. In 55 years caving I have had no connection, knowledge or even interest in it. It's like having to belong to something just so that you have some sort of insurance. ( would not my own personal PL insurance suffice? ). I lob out the money each year because its tied up in my club subs. To be honest what I call caving politics bores the pants off me. I just have no time for any of it. We sort things out locally and just go caving. I could never be bothered to read stuff from BCA unless it had a direct caving interest. Certainly I would never vote for anything involving BCA. Please don't read this wrong. This is not a criticism of BCA or what it does. To me it just seems things would be much the same whether it ceased to exist at all. I guess this is all my fault and I only mention it at all because I wonder how many other cavers feel the same. I doubt that whatever the BCA says or does would make me feel any different. This is my personal view so please don't get the idea I don't like BCA. It's just that to me it has no relevance whatsoever and really that's my problem. Reaching out ( as they say ) to somebody like me might be rather difficult.

I was in that mindset not long ago Old Ruminator but had a kind of "epiphany" that I could do some good in the caving world (I've been reading too much Tolkien); It has been a fascinating transition and revealed hitherto un-thought off deeds from my perspective. For instance, I don't know if you have difficulty recruiting new blood into your caving group; anybody under 50 is welcomed into the CPC with open arms; BCA has a youth development set up potentially producing our future young blood. Anyway, I've got a reach long enough to lift a pint off a bar, how far away are you and I'll come over and buy you a pint and chew the fat.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2020, 10:29:13 pm by PeteHall, Reason: Formatting fixed »
JFK: Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

Offline Russell Myers

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Re: New BCA Secretary
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2020, 08:40:50 pm »
You may "sort things out locally" but bear in mind the CSCC doesn't magic it's money out of some dig somewhere.

You can see your membership fee at work every time you see a nice shiny CSCC padlock, or go through the entrances to Hunters Lodge or Loxton.

The CSCC put a lot of effort into those access agreements and conservation works so you can "just go caving" without ever having to think about it.

It may bore your pants off (it's bores the people on council too!) and it may not publicise what it does very well, but to claim the BCA isn't relevant to your caving is somewhat strange.

I know if I divide my yearly fee by the amount of bolts and gates I've used it works out pretty good value for money.

Good points 2xw, how many folk know there is the thick end of £300k in the kitty and some of it potentially available for worthwhile projects?
« Last Edit: May 25, 2020, 10:30:39 pm by PeteHall, Reason: Formatting fixed »
JFK: Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.

 

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