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The Grimsby and District Quiz League
Supported by Wilkin Chapman Solicitors

Grimsby and District Quiz League

Chairman's Report to the 35thAnnual General Meeting on Monday 13th June 2011 at the R.A.F.A. Club, Cleethorpes, commencing at 7.30 p.m.

Once again, your caring, sharing Web Mistress didn't want
those of you who weren't there [cough] Magic Robots [cough]
to miss our Honoured Chairman's Pearls of Wisdom. 8-)


For many of us Grimsby and District Quiz League has become an enduring part of our lives. The array of competitions and formats provides challenge and trophies. Sadly for some there is more challenge and less in the way of trophies. Despite success in the early years of the league, I have to admit that recent years have delivered a discreet number of trophies – well, in truth no trophies. So when the snow appeared at the end of last year it brought with it hope. Hope that other teams would be weakened, hope that competitors in those competitions which provide for my annual and ritual humiliation might not be able to get through. Hope that this would be the year when I would be crowned champion of something.. well in fact anything! I have to report that I was not totally disappointed as you will hear and although the snow did cause some cancellation of games and probably some reduction in entries to competitions it did not prevent another full and successful range of quiz activity, including another new competition. Before I turn to the last year’s playing season there is one matter I have to report to the AGM.In December 2010, I joined quiz colleagues to represent the League at the funeral of one of the League’s most colourful characters. I have very fond memories of Geoff Swanney going back to his games for a team called Humber Pipe Club. He was eccentric even then and walked out of one game……even though he was the question master! With a strong academic bent and irrepressible sense of humour he came to be one of the most successful and memorable members in GDQL. He was always a big supporter of our competitions and indeed donated a trophy to the League.Geoff will be greatly missed by all his former team mates and on behalf of the Committee I wish to record our thanks for all Geoff gave to quiz in Grimsby, and offer our condolences to those close to Geoff. He will remain in our memories.


The League

The League held steady with 18 teams, the same as last year, though this represents a pattern of slight reduction over past years. We organised again into 3 divisions each of 6 teams. All teams played the other in its division twice. The trophy winners were: Div 1: Winners Surplus Rowdies Runners Up :Nemesis Both as last year Div 2: Winners Imps Div 3: Winners Minders The wooden spoon, awarded for effort without success was earned this year by Somnambulists, though it does appear to be one trophy that Two Wits have a realistic chance of winning in the future.

Team Handicap Knockout – Malcolm Green Trophy

There were 18 entries to the Team Knockout this year from 20 last season. The first round was again played in January and by the time it reached finals night on 9th May 2011 Surplus Rowdies and Pond Life were left to fight it out on questions by Two Wits. A closely fought contest saw Surplus Rowdies come away victorious.

Individual Knockout – Graham Fielding Trophy

The 1st November saw the first games for this competition Entries to the individual Knockout open fell from15 to 13 this year having fallen from 14, to 13, to 12 over the previous 3 years. It was Pete Sinclair (again) and Pete Daniel who reached the Individual Knockout final. On questions by Tree Singleton the contestants scored 9 and 12 respectively, making Pete this year’s Individual Champion.

Individual Knockout Shield – Gwyneth Welham Trophy

On the 9th November 2010 it was the turn of the Individual Shield.There were 10 entries for the Individual Knockout Shield or Harry’s game as some call it, and Harry Buck once again carried the entire burden of question setting for this competition. This was down from 12 entries last year and 14 the year before. The final saw Graham Jackson (again) this time competing with Rod Mitchell. In an exciting final full time resulted in a score of 13 each. Extra time gave another draw of 3 all, but the tie break gave Rod victory. Well done both and thanks Harry for great questions.

Pairs Handicap – Dennis Hook Trophy

The entry to the Pairs Handicap fell from 16 pairs 2 years ago to 14 last year and to twelve during 2010/11. The first games were scheduled for 31st January. By the time we reached the final Dennis Brown and Pete Gardner (again) were up against Andy Alcock and Pete Sinclair (again). The questions provided by myself delivered another exciting finish with a 31 points each draw. Once again we turned to the tie breaks and again it proved to be Andy and Pete’s night . Well done all.

Table Quiz

The table quiz format remains popular. However, the usual pre Christmas evening fell victim to the heavy snows of December. It was re-arranged to 19th April which became the night for the award of trophies as well as Easter eggs. The questions were provided by Nemesis, and resulted in wins for Swats, Imps and Time Out for divisions 1, 2, and 3 respectively.

Summer Quiz

I have to thank Mick Cavanagh for his successful initiative with a summer quiz. This was very much a personal initiative by Mick and its success has led to a repeat run this year. It was popular with teams and has run for several weeks here at the R.A.F.A. Club.

Well done Mick and thank you.


Presentation Night was held slightly later this year due to the late fall of Easter. It was 9th May when we assembled again at the Birds Eye Club. The finals of the team knockout, the Individual Shield, the Individual Knockout and the Pairs Handicap were all played on the night. The evening was very informal and we once again enjoyed a substantial buffet. Our thanks to the Birds Eye Club catering contacts. Once again the buffet was with the compliments of the League.

Our guest of honour was long time friend of the league Dave Shearsmith and his wife Yvonne. Dave gave us a resume of times gone by since GDQL has been in existence as well as giving us a few risqué jokes. Dave presented our trophies (yes we are getting close to the magic moment!) and on behalf of the league Sheila presented him and Yvonne with gifts of thanks.Our thanks to Dave.

The Bent Cup was again awarded this year. It went to Sue Mitchell in recognition of an entire quiz league career of bucking the trend and adding her own brand of web mistress humour. Thanks Sue.
Can everyone hear O.K.? Feel free to come closer as we cover this next bit if you wish!

The Norrie Lyons Trophy for most sporting team was won this year by …..Two Wits.and the Renee Burnett Cup for best question setters went to Quizlings.

I must record here our indebtedness to those who regularly produce a professional finals night. Sheila and Tree, Andrew Harry and Mark, and Geoff all contribute to the night. Their individual efforts make these evenings the success they are. I must also thank Dave and Yvonne Shearsmith, not just as guests but also for maintaining our stock of trophies so professionally.


It was decided not to run the secondary schools quiz this year. Changes at our host school and uncertainty about sponsorship funding caused the schools team to pause this year. No doubt we will review the position again for the season ahead.


The committee had a strength of 11 this year. The members have been:


Malcolm Towle



Andrew Hunter



Tree Singleton



Sheila Mercer


Scores/League tables

Prue Whincup


Minutes Sec

Joanne Robinson



Harry Buck



Geoff North


Executives without portfolio

Mark Robinson
Frank Singleton
Mick Cavanagh


There were 7 committee meetings during the year, one being cancelled due to snow. Joanne Robinson supported the committee with minutes though she was not always at meetings, this being delegated to Mark. I am pleased to say she has agreed to continue in this role if re-elected. Of the other members six members attended all 7 meetings, three attended 6, and one attended 5. This is an overall attendance level of 93%, which is remarkable and the same as last year despite the poor weather conditions.

We have once again run a high number of events and all have run smoothly. This reflects the dedication and proficiency of the small team who make up your committee, together with a number of close associates.Andrew continued as your Vice Chair. He keeps us on the right track with fixtures and IT and a regular briefing on Mastermind entry dates and the British Quiz Grand Prix scene. We are grateful for all his help.

Sheila keeps our accounts and our archives. She has also assumed the role of floral provider to the league, and presentation whisky connoisseur. She continues to play enforcer if we have to lean on any teams to pay up.. Thanks Sheila for everything you do. Rest assured we know what’s behind your sofa!

Tree is the League Secretary, and manages the heavy day to day workload of GDQL correspondence, our venue links, and any re-arranged games which keep the league running smoothly. This is a crucial post without which the league would not function. Tree has been at the helm for some years and performs this role superbly. Sincere thanks to you Tree.

Tree is the League Secretary, and manages the heavy day to day workload of GDQL correspondence, our venue links, and any re-arranged games which keep the league running smoothly. This is a crucial post without which the league would not function. Tree has been at the helm for some years and performs this role superbly. Sincere thanks to you Tree. Prue holds a wide portfolio which covers scorekeeping, league tables, and when we run the schools quiz she pulls together all the questions. None of these jobs gets any easier as the years pass and I must thank Prue for the continuing hard work she does for the league. Thanks Prue.

Not only does Harry deliver a total competition, he also marshals the press to our cause. His charm, devil may care style and personal beauty have allowed him to build good relationships with the press and league members will have noticed the substantial regular coverage that GDQL now gets from The (Cleethorpes) Chronicle. He also has his own page on the website. Thanks Harry

Geoff looks after the management of league equipment. The fact that we no longer seem to lurch from one concern to another over equipment is a testament to the quiet but efficient way in which Geoff deals with it. Thanks Geoff.

I call Mark and Frank executives without portfolio, but both provide solid input to all our meetings, competitions and debates. They do questions for our many competitions and it is most often they who step in when there is a need for extra help on a fixture or competition. Mark is our substitute minutes secretary and has of course been the force by which we have received significant sponsorship from solicitors Wilkin Chapman over many years. A deep thank you to both Mark and Frank, and to Jo Robinson for providing admin support to the league as well as allowing Mark out,

Our website continues to grow. Thanks are due (again) to Rod and Sue Mitchell who have built and operate a great professional website for the league. For anyone who has not yet seen it you can get to it at is an increasingly important part of our publicity and organisation and I want to thank Sue and Rod for giving up their time and lending us their expertise. Thanks both.

Mick Cavanagh was elected to Committee in 2009 and continues to make a robust contribution to committee meetings. His hard work in question setting, for table quizzes and indeed for the Summer Quiz which has been such an innovation and success is a significant and much appreciated. Many thanks to you Mick.

You will have realised from the description of all the activities undertaken that running the league is more complex than some might think. Anyone who has joined us on the committee over the years will I am sure agree. Members of the committee give their time and skills freely, and it is at this one time each year when I have chance to offer them our thanks for their remarkable contribution without which GDQL would not survive. Thank you all.


Just as last year we used the Bridge Club on Mondays, and the RAFA on Monday, Tuesdays and occasional Thursdays. We continue to have a good relationship with all venues and once again I would thank everyone for their part in maintaining positive relationships with them. As mentioned elsewhere we have increasingly used the Birds Eye Club for our larger gatherings and it has proved a good location for quiz activity. Again I offer our thanks.


So for those of you who are regularly picking up the pots, congratulations but spare a thought for those of us plodding away in the shadows. Just as Two Wits won one of those trophies which come more for taking part than achieving, there is always hope. It may be your turn this year. Just remember even when it snows there is hope.

Thanks again for your support over the past year I wish you good luck in the 2011/2012 quiz season.

Malcolm Towle
Grimsby and District Quiz League