Keele Hall Courtyard, � Stephen Clifford, August 2011

LATEST NEWS

AGM Proposals agreed

All proposals on the AGM Agenda were approved by correspondence, with only supportive comments received. The Minutes are available to download, and see below..

From the Chairman 13th August 2020: AGM

Dear All,

I hope you are all well and safe in the current climate. There are a few things to cover in this email to members but I will try and be brief and start with the most important information.

Postponement of sub-collection for 2020/21

Given the SCR's main aim is to facilitate staff socialising, COVID-19 has essentially meant we have had to pause all of our usual activities which are built on this premise. So, there has been no Friday bar, no rambles, no brewery trips and no wine or whisky tastings since March, to name but a few. As a committee, we felt uncomfortable asking the members to pay for something that is not in place. Therefore, we have decided to postpone sub collection for the coming academic year.

Clearly, the situation is changeable and if we can return to some level of function we will and we are currently exploring this. We will review sub-collection in January and, if there is any indication of return to normality, may initiate a sub-collection. However, any subs that may be charged will be at a reduced rate and in line with the period of inactivity we will have gone through. I will keep you updated throughout the year.

Those non-staff members who pay by standing order in October are invited if they wish to amend the date of their next payment until either January or next year - please do not cancel!

AGM

It has also been decided by the committee that the AGM will be held virtually via document sharing. This is to avoid people having to congregate in Keele Hall and the pitfalls of online video platforms. To this end, an agenda and various reports are attached or accessible from links in the text of the agenda. As mentioned in the agenda, any objections or comments can be directed to myself for consideration prior to the 25th August.

Chairperson's report

Clearly, it has been a strange year and very difficult for some of us. The Staff Common Room is unlikely to be at the top of many people's priorities and indeed, given COVID-19, our activities have entirely paused. Or, almost entirely... a stalwart group of SCR Friday Night Bar goers did manage to arrange a fair number of online, Friday night drinking sessions. These were actually an incredibly welcome relief to the week's isolation!

Before COVID, we had some really successful events. It started with a very busy and by all accounts, lively, summer party on the lawns of Keele Hall. Bottlecraft came and wowed us with their beer selection, Jim Gillespie did not disappoint with his whisky and this was dutifully dispatched at Burns night. Burns night again was great, with some really entertaining performances (the always excellent Tam O'Shanter) and a lovely speech by Angela Jackson. I think our last event was Pierre Hourlier's Claret tasting on 5th March 2020. We did choose our own label red here. However, in the circumstances, this has not yet been ordered.

We are in a pretty good position financially due to Friday night openings which did run for 2/3 of the normal year's program, and are keen to use this position to reinvest in members. We are still planning to update the bar and, once we can return, this will hopefully be an excellent space for people to meet. If we have learned anything over the past couple of months, it is that technology has not quite found a way to replicate the pub.

Obviously, SCR activities for the time being are going to be reduced. For the moment we are advised that walk in lunches will not be possible until at least the University's next Category of precautions is reached, and Keele Hall will not re-open for seated meals until October at the earliest. I would say though that we are here as a community and if anyone needs assistance or company then reaching out to the membership could be a good way to find it. We will be ready to initiate our activities as soon as we can and hopefully we can maintain the SCR as a place for staff to meet, drink and relax.

I wish everyone all the best and look forward to resuming activities in the future.

Kind regards

Chris (SCR Chairperson)

Precautions during Covid 19 outbreak

The SCR committee has decided that it is in everyone's best interest that the SCR bar does not open on Friday nights for the foreseeable future, at least until the Covid-19 situation has become more resolved. We will send an announcement when the bar reopens for evening service.

The bar closed for lunchtime service after Keele Hall catering ceased to operate for now on Wednesday 18 March. Other catering outlets remain open on campus. We will also announce here the resumption of lunchtime service in due course.

See you all the other side - take care!

SCR Office

The SCR office is situated on the floor immediately above the Bar (Keele Hall Room 74). A PC has been installed with network access to the SCR's University financial systems, and to the database of room bookings. If a member of the Committee is in at lunchtime, this office will be available for use. The internal telephone number is 33954 (01782-733954), with Voicemail facility available, since the office is staffed only when officers are in Keele Hall.

Note that SCR members receive a 10% discount on lunches served in in the SCR Bar & UCR (in collaboration with Keele Hall Catering) when using a Keelecard. This is in place of the standard staff card discount of 5%.

Next Events

Please feel free to send us any ideas you have for social events for the SCR. In particular we would like to see more family events that include children. Specific events are co-ordinated by different Committee members, but please contact the Social Secretary, with suggestions. See also Dates for your Diary

Chess Competition 2018/20

The SCR is organizing another chess competition, for the very prestigious cup which may be seen behind the bar. If you would like to enter, then please send an email to Chris Wain. It is not necessary to be a player of a very high standard, or even an SCR member! The competition which began in 2015 has now (2018!) been declared closed. Play in the current competition is suspended until we can again access the SCR.

The draw can be downloaded here.

Chris Wain

The draw and results of the 2013/14 Chess Championship of the SCR, concluded in early 2015, appears here.

Winner 2014: John Staniforth - congratulations to our new Champion. (This competition took until 2015 to complete, through no fault of the finalists.)

Staff Catering in Keele Hall

As you may be aware the SCR Committee worked with Catering in Keele Hall to look at ways in which they can deliver their lunchtime food offer.

We are delighted that, as part of the agreement, existing SCR services and facilities were safeguarded with a 10% discount on all the meals for our members, on use of a Keele card to pay for the meal. Cards can currently be charged with money in Chancellor's Building, or online. A sample menu is attached, and under our Constitution temporary membership is available for others when buying from this range.

We hope you'll agree that this is an ideal location for staff and SCR members to meet for lunch with colleagues and friends, and that it is also a great opportunity to raise awareness of the SCR itself. Food is served in both the Bar and the Common Room.

Facebook Page

The SCR has its own Facebook Page - members with facebook accounts are invited to 'like' this at www.facebook.com/KeeleSCR

SCR Golf Tournament for the Rolo Cup

If you would like to play next year (2019/20), even if you are new to the competition, please let me know your handicap. If there is anyone else that you would like to invite to play, even if they are not employed by the University, please give me their details also. I hope to revive the competition in the coming year.

Regards, Chris Adams, Chairman

Burns Night 2012

See the Piping of the Haggis here. Photos from 2013 may be seen on Facebook.

Favourite Rambles of the Senior Common Room

The SCR was delighted to announce the publication of a booklet by John Winchester, who led our rambles for so long, in which he describes and details the routes of 18 of his favourite rambles, within 60 miles of Keele. The SCR has acquired copies of this handy A5/pocket sized booklet, which are available for sale at £3 each. Copies may be purchased in the SCR Bar in Keele Hall, during opening hours, or will be sent out in the internal mail by request, on receipt of cheques payable to "SCR". (Please email to ask for postage rates if you need us to post a copy using Royal Mail.)

As well as a written description and a map for each of the walks, John has also provided an introduction describing the area covered, and a handy section on the geological background and scenery to be experienced.

As he says, the descriptions were correct at the time of writing (2008), and small changes in availability of pubs and footpaths may subsequently occur. Users should of course take this into account.

SCR Committee