Does anyone know anything about Annual Juggling Convention Ltd? It was the company that the cheques (remember them?) were made payable to for the BJCs in 1993, 1994 & 1995. This was a bit before my time in the community.
The company was created 1992-11-09 & dissolved 1998-12-01 according to Companies house (can't deep link so company number is 02763385). When I first saw the dissolution date I thought it might've been related to the 1997 festival making a financial loss, but it turns out the company was not used for that event.
With the regular clamour for a persistent company to run the BJC through I think it's interesting that it has already been done for a limited time & wondered if there is any story behind it.
If you Google the company number you can find out a lot more (there are various services that give you more free info than Companies House, I often use these to check out if my company's clients are real or chancers or both): https://companycheck.co.uk/company/02763385/THE-ANNUAL-JUGGLING-CONVENTION-LIMITED/companies-house-data . I recognise a few of these names: Ken (Pretentious) Farquhar who is Norwich-based, Winston of the Curious Eyebrows (was Manchester) and Will Chamberlain who went on to run Belfast Community Circus. You can also see that the company itself was incorporated in 1970 which may seem odd but it may be a 'shelf' company created specifically to be used (and renamed) in the future via an incorporation service (or it could just be a date record issue, 1st Jan 1970 being zero in some date numbering systems). This seems to agree with the timings of the BJCs in 1994 (Manchester) and 1995 (Norwich). You could ask them if you ever meet them (Ken has been known to drop into Bungay occasionally) but I'd guess someone created a company for a BJC and passed it on to the next organisers for a couple of years before whoever organised the next one decided they wanted their own, for whatever reason.
AFAIK the rationale for *not* having a continued company structure is that if BJC X makes a massive loss then it can go bankrupt without passing on the debt to BJC X+1. Not great for any suppliers of course, but then that's between them and the organisers of BJC X, and it's nothing to do with the organisers of BJC X+1 assuming they're a completely different bunch of people. Having never been foolish/brave enough to organise a BJC I don't really know!
That argument for not having a company seems reasonable, but why not keep a company until it makes a loss? Having a company that you need to shut down after 5 years sounds better than having to create a company every year. But then again, I don't have a clue how these things work in the UK.
In the Netherlands we've had our own foundation company since 20 years now, and that seems to work fine...
In the case of the French Juggling Convention losing money one year and going bankrupt, the following year had problems setting up a new company with the same product and many of the same people. Their problem was that the convention returned to the same city regularly (Toulouse) and it was hard for them to pretend the new convention company had nothing to do with the previous one that lost money.
For the BJC and EJC where a new team, country or city is in charge each year it's less of a problem setting up a short term company. If a BJC company operates nationally for years and many different cities, it's hard to pretend that a new company set up to do the same thing after the old one lost money isn't the same thing.
...& as the history builds up over time keeping up the 'pretense' is only going to get harder. There are now 3 sites that the BJC has visited more than once. However, I'm not sure whether a history of short term companies is a bad thing these days, or has ever been a bad thing for that matter. The BJC is certainly not unique in this practice, the film industry for example seems to set up new companies on a per film basis too. Where I work we often have fun trying to match the sometimes cryptic company name to a film currently in production.
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