Last year the L&CPU decided to reverse the usual order of the Club and the Individuals’ Annual Competitions. I could not find out precisely why this was done because I could think of two significant disadvantages. Firstly, where were the prints coming from for the exhibition, the folios and the PAGB Inter-Fed Entries? Secondly, how would the vast number of entries usually made for the AIC be handled “mid-stream” rather than at the end of the season?
As it happened the AIC attracted significantly fewer entries, which largely solved problem two, but we were still left with the selection difficulty.
You see, the Club Competition has a fixed entry per club so, even with a good entry response, they were going to have a relatively small number of prints from which the keep back work for the folios etc.
The bottom line is that we have lost about 20 of our 24 prints, including 7 of our 8 monos.
Of course we should be honoured to think that the Crewe work is so good that they wanted to keep so much of it and it is a privilege for members to have work selected.
But we now have the problem of facing the Five Towns without our best mono prints and the Alsager Battle with a reduced choice of entry.
We always lose prints in this way, but switching the competitions has at least tripled the problem. Last year I had to reprint 3 or 4 of the prints for the Five Towns. This year it may be almost the entire entry!