I should like to extend my thanks to all of the members for electing me as President for the ensuing year. It is an enormous honour to be able to serve as your President, and you can be assured that I shall do my utmost to maintain the traditions of our wonderful Club, whilst attempting to emulate the standards set my predecessors.

In particular, I should like to take this opportunity to thank, on behalf of the Club, the Immediate Past President, Peter Lewis. Peter led and represented the Club superbly throughout his year, and I know that we all enjoyed his affable and jovial manner, and very much appreciate the way in which he so efficiently and thoroughly conducted the affairs of the Club and the role of President. He is an extremely hard act to follow!

I am absolutely delighted that Tim Leaman was elected to the role of Vice President. He is a long-standing friend and does so much for the Club behind the scenes: his appointment and elevation to front of stage is richly deserved and I very much look forward to working closely with him this year.

At the recent AGM, I had the opportunity to announce some forthcoming attractions for the year ahead. The highlight will undoubtedly be the Summer Ball, which will be held at Chester Racecourse on Saturday 2nd June. Invitations to this prestigious event will be issued imminently with the Club Directory, and I strongly urge you to respond with your remittance at the very earliest opportunity, as I expect that tickets will be in high demand. Much work has already been undertaken in the organisation of this event, and I should like to extend my thanks to Alex Horne and his Ball Committee, who have already planned what promises to be a superb evening.

On Friday 20th October, we shall be holding a Trafalgar Day Luncheon, which promises to be informative, entertaining and colourful! Again, the invitation to this event will be issued shortly by e shot.

I am delighted that the Family Christmas Carol Service will again be held this year at St John the Baptist’s Church on Tuesday 19th December. The inaugural event, the inspiration of Peter Lewis, was held last year and was a huge success. It would be wonderful to see as many of you there with your families as possible, to enjoy the service and the carols, followed by some suitable festivities (including mulled wine) back at the Club. I am very grateful to James Goddard and Phil Hunt, who have kindly agreed to re-form the City Club Choir, this year with ladies also invited to participate. This is open to anybody who would like to participate, and again, details will follow in due course.

Sunday 22nd July will see the return of the much coveted River Barbeque, and I am indebted to Jim and Michelle Halligan for the kind loan of their magnificent river garden for this event.

Finally, I should again like to thank Alex Horne and Tim Leaman for their tireless work in the production of the Third Edition of the City Club History. They have produced a wonderful publication, which brings the Club History right up to date, and thanks to the generosity of the Life Members under the leadership of David Pickering, copies are available for only £5. Please purchase your copy from Andrew or Mike.

Since the AGM I have been genuinely taken aback by the warmth and support given by members of the Club, their friendship and generosity epitomises what being a member of the Club stands for which I will endeavour to protect and nurture throughout my year.

Nick Spall