Our first meeting of the new season was our AGM and minutes from that meeting will be available elsewhere.

The meeting began with the invitation for members to renew their membership. Renewal forms had been prepared for every member and given the recent changes to data protection (GDPR) they were all invited to sign their acceptance of our use of their email/telephone contact details. If any member chose not to do so we would not be able to communicate with them other than via the website. Members signed their forms, paid their dues and booked their places on the forthcoming Autumn Outings.

Our guest speaker had no links with football – that was a break in tradition! Sue Hickson-Marsey introduced herself as a “Storm Tossed Lady” and shared her fascinating story. She was the first woman to become a Humber Pilot. Starting as a deck hand, the first female crew member, she eventually became coxswain of the Pilot Launch working on one of the most difficult rivers in the world. The launch takes Humber Pilots to incoming ships before they navigate their way up the river and collects them on their return – in any weather condition. Transferring from launch to ship is one of the most hazardous tasks and with 30,000 ship movements in the Humber every year they have their work cut out. Originally based at Spurn Point they are now operating out of Grimsby – 3 launches working round the clock. Sue had seen adverts for deckhands and over 1000 people enquired but she was successful. Her appointment caused plenty of media interest but she coped!

Her first real challenge was sea-sickness! She was too proud to walk away after all the publicity and tried every possible remedy including ‘old wives legends’. One piece of advice was to eat Bread & Jam before going on board – when she later asked for a reason why she was told, “simple, it tastes just as good when it comes back!” Twenty three years later she has the experience that no one can challenge but still receives anxious glances from skippers when they are asked to hand control over to her!Sue is a legend at the Humber Pilots but her story goes further. When Hornsea lost their lifeboat there were many anxious concerns in the resort. Any incident off the shore would see a lifeboat coming out of Bridlington or Withernsea and a crucial delay of up to 30 minutes. That could be too late to rescue a child drifting out on an inflatable. They needed their own Rescue Inflatable and a volunteer crew ready to launch into action. £20k was raised locally and the Hornsea Inshore Rescue had come into being – with Sue becoming one of the volunteer crew. Their first call out was to rescue not a child but some 60 year old ladies who had drifted out on their inflatable! Later they were able to save a very grateful & cheerful man and bring him safely back to shore – only for his wife to storm up and give him what for! He turned to Sue and said “you should have left me out there!”Sue was a fantastic speaker and the HIR benefits from her energy and enthusiasm. They have no central funding, nothing from the RNLI and must raise all the costs themselves. The Senior Tigers are making a special Summer Outing on Thursday, 23rd August, when Sue will show us round the HQ in Hornsea, share the story and see that we are fed with local fish ‘n chips.

Other business from our August meeting: David, our Chair, informed the members present that the football club had once again offered to provide a free buffet luncheon prior to our September meeting. This is wonderful news for us and very much appreciated. It means that we need to come a little earlier for the meeting on September 6th. The doors will open at 12.30 and the buffet will start at 1.00 pm.

Sue Kemp was invited to speak in memory of a former member, Graham Newdick. Graham, who died in December 2016, had been a stalwart of the Tigers, regular away match attender, a Senior Tiger and the man behind the wonderful Withernsea Official Supporters Club. There were so many memories of players visiting WOSC meetings over the years thanks to Graham. The WOSC had now closed and their closing funds, £630, were given in his memory to a local kids football club and a plaque placed in the changing rooms at Patrington AFC.

Rob Wilson gave an update on the Photo Gallery Site. Unfortunately the projector failed and Rob was unable to show members where they were up to. He mentioned that there were now between 700/800 photos from matches in the 1950/60’s to look up. The current emphasis is on providing team photos. 162 have recently been added and they have an interactive opportunity for members. Altogether there are some 3200 faces that need identifying so when someone scrolls over the pictures each face will give the opportunity for people to identify the player. Rob, as Moderator, would receive contributions and make suitable amendments.

Tony Conway provided an update on the Memorabilia Gallery. It was clearly a bigger task than originally anticipated! Hundreds of scans have been made and some of those taken earlier this year will need to be done again to ensure they can be used. One exciting plan is to scan every match day programme – every page, not just the cover! To help with the task they are still looking for additional help and have made approaches to the local university/colleges.

Our Walking Football Club went on tour to Majorca earlier this summer and they were successful, returning home with Joint Winner’s Trophy. They now play in the Airco Arena on Mondays and Thursday mornings. New members will be welcome, either morning, Mondays at 10.00 am and Thursdays at 1-00pm.

Barbara mentioned that there were still places available for the trips to Hornsea, Hartlepool, Burton on Trent & Bradford.

Barbara had also been invited to attend a meeting in London to discuss Safe Standing in football stadiums. She took her seat round the table and glanced at her name plate – correct name, just that they had added the Hull FC logo!!! She also spoke up for those who can’t stand up and can’t see when those in front stand up regardless. This was appreciated and representatives from both Chelsea & Spurs agreed to take her comments back to their clubs.

Gerry Ashton had donated £100 for the Senior Tigers to provide a trophy for their Player of the Season. Pat Betts had agreed to run this and members would be invited each month to make their suggestion for the Player of the Month. These would accumulate through the season and the eventual winner would hopefully be revealed at our end of season Luncheon.