AIVC Conference Weekends
NATIONAL CONFERENCE WEEKENDS SINCE 1960
In the early days of the Association of Inter-Varsity Clubs, each member club of the Association hosted the Annual Conference in turn with the host club's chairman in the "chair". The first three conferences (1960-62) involved just three clubs, London, Manchester and Birmingham. At the third meeting in Manchester in 1962, a fourth club had appeared but for some reason was not formally accepted into the Association until the following year.
This fourth club was North Staffs which hosted the next Conference in 1963 at which itself along with four other clubs, Liverpool (now called Merseyside), Nottingham, Oxford and Reading (now called Thames Valley) were admitted into the Association.
In these early days it seemed the host club picked up the bill since one item discussed was reimbursement of expenses to the host club. The first Association Secretary was elected at this meeting - which in certain ways was the "birth" of the Association as we know it today.
At this meeting a "fund" was proposed and the levy discussed. During this year "AIVC News" [Newslines] appeared. The next meeting at Oxford (1964) agreed on a levy of 6d [old pence]. The practice of hosting the Annual Conference by rotation seemed to have continued at least until 1970 when Liverpool hosted for the second time.
Year Venue (Club)
1 1960 London
2 1961 Birmingham
3 1962 Manchester
4 1963 North Staffs
5 1964 Oxford
6 1965 Nottingham
7 1966 London
8 1967 Liverpool
9 1968 Reading
10 1969 Leeds
11 1970 Liverpool
12 1971 Birmingham
13 1972 Sheffield
14 1973 Bristol
15 1974 Newcastle
16 1975 Nottingham
17 1976 Bournemouth
18 1977 London
19 1978 Birmingham
20 1979 Blackpool (Fylde IVC)
21 1980 Hull
22 1981 Hertford (Herts IVC)
23 1982 Manchester
24 1983 Cambridge
25 1984 Leicester
26 1985 Nottingham
27 1986 Reading (Thames Valley IVC)
28 1987 Winchester (Southampton IVC)
29 1988 Glasgow
30 1989 Liverpool (Merseyside IVC)
31 1990 Chichester (W. Sussex IVC)
32 1991 Durham
33 1992 St Albans (Herts IVC)
34 1993 Norwich
35 1994 Manchester
36 1995 Cardiff
37 1996 Cambridge (Golden Anniversary Conference)
38 1997 Nottingham
39 1998 Lancaster (Nth Lancs IVC)
40 1999 Leeds
41 2000 Bristol
42 2001 Winchester (Southampton IVC)
43 2002 Blackpool (Fylde IVC)
44 2003 Egham (West Surrey IVC)
45 2004 Bournemouth IVC
46 2005 Eaglescliffe (Tees Valley IVC)
47 2006 Nottingham (IVC Diamond Anniversary)
48 2007 Peterborough
49 2008 Norwich (Norfolk & Norwich IVC)
50 2009 Derby (Derby Focus - 50th AIVC Conference)
51 2010 Bristol IVC (Clevedon, North Somerset)
52 2011 ?
53 2012 ?
Note that Nottingham organised Conference in 1965, 1975, 1985, 1997 and 2006. This makes them the only club to have hosted Conference five times. But we should be fair about it. Many clubs, even quite large ones, have never hosted. No need to mention any names. They themselves know who they are!
There is no reason why any club cannot host Conference. A club can get all the help they need from the AIVC Committee. Certainly it's a lot of responsibility, but in terms of workload, it's much less involved than an ordinary AIVC Weekend. With the Conference, you pay the venue to do all the work. You give instructions and they must produce the goods! Not at all like an ordinary weekend when a club may must enlist the the assistance of 20-30 or more members to do it all for nothing!
A club can make a Conference work with only a small handful of helpers. In recent years the practice has been to employ a professional secretary to take the minutes. So even that task is taken care of. Colin Jackson [C.J. to his friends] said he was a "one man band" and it worked quite well.
One of the smallest clubs ever to organise Conference was Fylde with only 66 members in 1979. I remember it well! Fylde must have been quite a young club at the time - just out of short trousers or even younger! There was a reception attended by the Deputy Mayor of Blackpool, a ceilidh in a German Beer Keller and to round off a splendid Saturday night - a ride back to the seafront hotel in an illuminated tram.
So any volunteers for 2010 and beyond?
From an article by Walter Fung (Manchester IVC) in Newslines - September 1993
Adapted by Bob Clifford (Basingstoke & North Hants IVC) - March 2002