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This year's report should be quite easy all I have to do is go on a tour of last years Christmas card! For information the two people lying down under Roger's 70th birthday banner were me and Angie who fell over on the way home.

But, to recap in no particular order, we carried out our normal duties of bunting, NYE and Christmas lights.

We decimated the Common's stock of fuzz (Shaun) and carried Andy's balloons with pride as we once again led the Torchlight Procession. We drew the annual Weare Gifford Ashes Match and so retained the trophy. Kate and Wills wedding dominated Mayfair afternoon and carnival and once again the dancers performed on Mayfair morning with YMCA.

Very rewarding was XXXXXXX Grandchildren's bedroom makeover so satisfying and a perfect example of what we really are all about. The November bonfire was the best ever with Woodland Vale's guy to top off the bonfire and what about The Revels at Taddiport? This was such a successful day, enjoyed by so many (in particular the box car racing) and hopefully more this year.

The kiddies giveaway is always a highlight in our calendar, as is Steve Y''s Jolly Boys Outing. So, all in all, it has been a very busy time and my thanks to everyone for their contributions in making 2011 such a successful year for The Cavaliers. Finally my personal thanks as usual to the officers who do so much work to keep us on the rails and to you all for making life so much fun. Thank you!

Chairman's Stand Down Speech February 2012

To start with I want to make it very clear that I haven't had any fall outs or rows with anybody. I am not fed up or tired of The Cavaliers and health wise nothing is wrong.

It is purely that I just feel that it is the right time now to stand aside. I am not retiring and, truth be known, will probably be making a lot of noise from the back benches. It has been an absolute and true honour to represent The Cavaliers as Chairman since 2001 after Dave Kelly stood down following The Great Fire of London Bonfire. I have loved almost every minute of it and there have been some notable highs and one or two personal lows. I shall clear the air with those in a moment. Together we saw the coming together of the older and younger generations, so that each appreciated the other's merits and contributions and the amalgamation of the 1st and 2nd Companies into one unit. The Great Torrington Cavaliers. Our book, Built to Burn, was a massive success and I am so glad that it was completed under my watch. Those early stories and our early history will now never be lost. The ladies involvement, albeit still (and rightly so!) behind the scenes has been encouraged and their help and participation in our silliness has to be applauded.

I have a slight concern that some of the regular duties we perform during the year  like our Mayfair involvement, helping with the lights and bunting and Christmas tree etc is sometimes criticised it isn't our job, it's The Council's and I would ask you that we do continue with glad hearts to perform these duties. After all we do it for our Town, not the Council, and at the end of the day we probably do it better and have a laugh at the same time. So that I can stand down with a clear head and conscience, I must mention just two particular contentious issues that have occurred during my term of office. The book funding which was eventually secured through The Town and Alms Land Trustees was a stroke of genius on behalf of Steve Blake and I feel that I let him down by not being more vociferous in my support for him.

He opened a possible funding route for us should it be needed, and was heavily criticised for doing so. I had heard of his efforts during this process and I should have shouted louder in his defence. I shan't forget that and I apologise. Secondly, when two officers stepped down at a previous AGM, I took it upon myself to enquire from two other members who I felt might fill the positions that IF they were nominated, would they be prepared to stand for these vacant positions. This wasn't a cut and dried decision, it was an honest effort to secure continuity and the democratic process would then resolve the election. I fear that this was misinterpreted and resulted in some discontentment. For this I don't apologise as it was done for the benefit of The Cavaliers. Who ever takes over the role of Chairman must look after our unique organisation and its integrity with a passion and I now pledge my total and wholehearted support for who ever that may be. Finally, I thank every one of you every Cavalier and your partners for your help, support and most of all your friendship, which I will treasure for all time. You are the very best mates anyone could ever wish for and I drink to your health and the continued success of The Great Torrington Cavaliers.

Chris 01.03.12

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