My first mistake was to attend the AGM. The second was to stand still when there was a call for volunteers to step forward and be nominated for Chairman. What I hadn’t realised until too late was that everybody else had taken a step back – and that’s why my name appears at the end of this “Chairman’s Chinwag”!
However, this actually isn’t my first stint as Chairman. Way back, in September 1989,as one of the founder members of SDV&FM, I became caretaker chairman, for the club’s first six months, then the elected chairman for the following two years.
In those early days, the committee consisted of just three members: Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer and we shared the jobs of Programme organiser, Competition sec., Publicity officer and Newsletter editor (the original newsletter consisted of a single A4 sheet printed on both sides). There was no Splash FM in those days, but for publicity, I was interviewed on air by one of the local Hospital Radio DJ’s. Whether any of the listeners joined SDV&FM is doubtful, but we did eventually recruit the DJ. I’m sure many of you will remember him- Ken Tozer.
The club’s first meeting place was the back room of my house and during the first few months, in addition to discussions, screening members’ films (on film as well as video), we also used the room on club nights to produce a movie. The room had been stripped bare of wallpaper in readiness for decorating and the rough appearance was ideal for its use as the scruffy flat in which the action took place. The first club movie, “Night Encounter “,was made on film and went on to win the 1990 Albany Film Competition.
A second movie was in production as soon as filming on Night Encounter was completed, this one was written and directed by Claudine Sartain, an enthusiastic 18 year old Australian girl who was staying in Worthing for a short time before moving back to Oz to work in film and TV. The film, produced on video and entitled “Laughing Stock ” was made on three consecutive Sunday mornings in November 1989, using the exterior of Norman Kinnear’s then home, together with the frontage of his next door neighbour’s house- Frank Lillywhite. Rather surprisingly for each of the three filming Sunday’s we had brilliant sunshine and this was England in November.
Membership increased rapidly and we moved our meetings to a church hall in Sompting. This was an improvement on the back room, but was still not particularly suitable. Luckily, soon after our move to Sompting, a new member by the name of Horace Abbott steered us in the direction of Ferring – and we’ve been here ever since.
Well, here we are again, bang up to date and I know I speak for all the new committee in saying we shall use our best endeavours to keep up the excellent work carried out by everyone over the past years.