The thoughts of Chairman Bruce

Most months, Bruce's commentary on gigs past, gigs to come and other KJC matters is circulated via e-mail to members and other interested parties.

November  2023


7.30pm,25-10-2023 AT  KENDAL RUGBY CLUB

Present: Bruce Carnaffin (Chair), four committee members. Also present were ten others. Two apologIes.

1. Purpose of meeting -To cease the operation of Kendal Jazz Club.

The Chairperson  opened the meeting at 7.05pm by apologising for the lack of any formal minutes, from  the last Committee meeting of 30 August 2023  but read out a summary of the proceedings:

What lies ahead?

A long discussion took place on how to revive our fortunes, beginning with BC stating his intention to resign unless attendances can be improved – he felt that the sizeable workload he has to bear to attract only 30 or fewer customers is just not worthwhile, and the Committee members(who also give up a lot of their time) were in general agreement.

We only have bands booked until the end of this year, so that would be the first opportunity to resign, but he was persuaded that he might delay until the end of the financial year in March 2024 to see whether the changes listed below effect any improvement.

These initiatives are:

A) Circulate our members with a questionnaire asking them their feelings about a move to a
lunchtime gig, possibly with food as well as a bar - ideally in the Rugby Club. BC will approach the
Rugby Club to check out this possibility, and consult with them on which day they would prefer (if any!).

B) From January, consider the possibility of booking a house trio (one Committee member has kindly suggested he could form same) at a lowish cost, featuring a different star guest each month. By late March, we should have enough information to make an informed decision on the future viability of Kendal Jazz Club. 

However,everyone present commented that the decision might be made for us well before then if funds run out.

By calling this Meeting, it is obvious that this last paragraph has come true, or nearly so.

The Chairperson also admitted that we have no record of the constitution of the Club, which may or may
not have been established as a members' club. He revealed that a  previous search for the constitution had been  made in 2012, without success.

A “ potted history” of the Club, taken from our website, was handed out, and an email from the a previous Chairperson was read out to give more information about earlier years .

2. Current financial position

Two bar charts, compiled by the Treasurer were handed out and appear below as appendices.

Running from 2011 to 2023, these clearly showed a steady decline in both attendances and funds, starting in
2017/18 and then, worsening during and after the Covid pandemic. An attendance of 48 people for or
final gig in October helped to avoid funds sinking into the red, but with a final bank balance of £146.89
the Committee decided to wind operations up at this point. All bands already booked have already
been informally advised, and this will now be confirmed in writing.

3. Disposition of money and assets.

Discussion took place on the disposition of the money, and by a show of hands plus proxy votes
from two absentees it was agreed that the website organiser of JazzNorthWest should benefit. The other assets of the lighting rig and two microphones are to be sold, and the proceeds added to the £146.89 cash.

Our mailing list of members and supporters was discussed, and it was agreed that the list should be
circulated and asked whether we might retain their details for future use by any other local jazz
organisations, in line with GDPR requirements. Bruce and another Committe member will action this.

4. Possible jazz activities in the area.

The Committee has expressed a joint wish to step down, but an absentee member has expressed his willingness to possibly take on some promotion of jazz in Kendal in a different format, but would require assistance from others because of his frequent absences from the UK.

From the floor, It was  suggested wether KJC might consider 4 events a year as per a similiar concept in North Lancashire  but the Committee showed little enthusiasm for this. And the possibility was raised of organising occasional concerts at Carnforth Railway Station. But it was felt that this would be best dealt with by an agreement between the café owners, the organiser and the bands involved.

5. Chairman’s closing comments.

Media and jazz musician contacts would be informed by Committee members in due course.

Some discussion took place about the storage of Club records. Bruce has extensive -but not complete- paper and computer records, and another Committee member has stored even more on password-protected Google Drive. Bruce has also kept copies of his Blogs, and it was  suggested that  the National Jazz Archive be  contacted to ask whether they might be interested in the Club  data collection.

Bruce agreed to do so, and  concluded by thanking all present for attending the Meeting, and the Committee members  for all their hard work over the years. In return he was thanked from the floor for all his efforts in promoting jazz in the Kendal area.

The meeting closed at 8.05pm.