Website updated 18th February 2019
Annual General meeting of the Bedfordshire Section of the VMCC.
Our super-efficient, where-would-we-be-without-him, Secretary Brent has given a comprehensive run-down of everything we got up over the last year so I'll try to avoid repeating too much of that. In my opinion, things are looking good: we have a full committee, something HQ can't boast, and thanks to that committee we have a full programme for next year with the usual tried-and-tested mix of talks, rides, food and quiz. We're all happy to stand again if you're happy to have us back. We'll get a report from Bob in a moment but hopefully there's no financial disaster looming.
I say this every year but we're always open to suggestions and new ideas and there'll be a chance to make those, or generally air your views, at the close of the official business. We'd particularly like some new run organisers — but I say that every year, generally to no avail. It's not difficult and we can offer all the support needed to get going.
This year we finally got an email distribution list together which has proved handy for getting information out between meetings. There are, however, only 33 names on that list, including mine, so I'm sure there must be others who could be added; please let me know.
A hot topic of debate within the committee this year has been the parking problem at the Memorial Hall. We've looked at other possible venues but haven't found anywhere else suitable yet, so we've decided to stick with here for now. The biggest worry was Concours Night but, with a bit of marshalling people onto the grass, that worked out fine.
Next month is, of course, the auction. If we don't need the funds to keep the section afloat, the proceeds go to charity. The local Air Ambulance is favourite but we'd be happy to listen to other suggestions. Last year we were going to give half towards the Memorial Hall building project but, after they bumped us in favour of the Police Commissioner, that went instead to help finance the purchase of a Suzuki DR200 for a health worker in Lethoso through the brilliant Riders for Health scheme. I am personally very grateful for that.
To finish off I'd like to offer my thanks to everyone who makes this section work so very well: the committee and in particular Brent the Secretary, the various helpers and, very importantly, yourselves for coming along and making it all worthwhile and very enjoyable.
Bryan Marsh, November 2018
It's great to see so many people here tonight, also to see you all at our club-nights through-out the year, and out and about on all of our runs and get-togethers.
Now, I'll very briefly run through what's happened in the last year:
December — Our Auction raised a good wad of cash that was put half towards the Air Ambulance and half towards the Riders for Health Charity. You may remember that the Air Ambulance was Hoppy's favourite charity and we wanted to maintain that link with him.
Regarding the auction, PLEASE bring anything in you don't need and we'll auction it off next month. If you are bringing anything in next month, please bring it along early so that we can get the various lots sorted out before the auction starts.
January we had a brilliant talk held in the church in Shefford thanks to Dave Watts sorting us out a venue at short notice. 'Royal Enfield prototypes' was an inspiring talk by Gordon and Don. We even had one of Gordon's bikes inside the church, surely a first!
February saw Jim Turner giving a great story on EMC, again very well received.
Bryan gave us the story of the original Albert Brown run, excellent and very well researched stuff as usual from Bryan.
Other talks this year included one by John Young. This was an incredible story of him riding for twenty hours a day on a 50 year old Trident across the USA, mind boggling stuff!
Next up was Will Curry with Now that is a Good Idea! I was disappointed to have to miss this due to my very bossy wife booking an anniversary dinner on the same date. Selfish woman, I told her we can celebrate our anniversary any time! Anyway I've been told it was a cracking talk and well received too.
As well as all of this stuff we had the Intersection quiz, interesting yet mind-boggling questions from Will and incredibly good answers from the teams, terrific work from super judges Rod and Ron marking the papers for yet another year.
We also had the usual fish and chips night, concours night, ride a bike to Shefford night and of course we've also had Nigel's brilliant slide shows, all great stuff. Nigel also researched and bought us a new projector as the old one bit the dust, so we're well equipped for tonight's show and into the future.
If you are into riding your old bike then you had the chance to do that with the Section fifteen times in the last twelve months. These events have included Will's Boxing Day mince pie and coffee get-together, great to get out on a bike after Christmas, Roger's Arthur King Memorial Run, really, really good, Roger and his family set the bar very high and have a massive attendance of quality old bikes that you probably won't see anywhere else except the Pioneer Run and Banbury. Top stuff. The Spring Run, we had a great run out and lunch, well done John for originating this and to Don for organising yet another top run.
Bryan also organised yet another excellent Summer Saunter, very well done Bryan. We also had an excellent Autumn Gold Run from Will and Don. Great route map and then a huge lunch back at Shuttleworth. Also the Albert Brown Run which was well supported, thanks for all that come on that. I really enjoy that day, book early for 2019!
We also had another fantastic series of six mid-week runs from Don and his band of helpers. These are great days out, if you want a ride out in the mid-week with a good bunch of friendly blokes then get yourself along. Cracking stuff Don.
Roger King continued yet again with his mid-week lunches. The food and company are great here. Roger has done these for a long time and before that he used to organise all of the mid-week rides as well. He's going to hand the lunches over to Richard Chamberlain now but I think that it would be very appropriate if we now take a pause to thank Roger for all of his hard work, dedication and commitment to this Section. Thank you very much Roger (applause).
We had our ride out to the Velo Club in May; great to see another club in action, thanks to Reg Cross and friends for the hospitality.
This year we had an appearance at the Shuttleworth Steam fair. Thanks to Dave, Nigel, Brian, Malcolm and all of the others that attended. They gave out lots of leaflets to people thinking of joining the VMCC and we had a good attendance of bikes from club members. Great idea I think.
The Shuttleworth Breakfast Meets have been a very good idea from Chris. People just turn up at their own speed and have a cuppa and a chin wag watching the planes take off.
I'd now like to thank our committee for all that they do for the club:
Bryan, our Chairman. He works hard at every club-night, organises major runs, works behind the scenes, creates great journal notes and does lots of other work for us too.
Dave is our fantastic fundraiser Raffle Man; he literally pays for the roof over our heads every single month. The raffle pays for the hire of the hall, the food and drink laid on for Quiz Night and the Xmas bash, the subsidised fish and chips and it also pays any other expenses that the Section faces. So when you see Dave with the raffle tin, dig deep and if you can buy two tickets. Dave and his wife Jennifer also organise the food collection to help Martin with the catering and that's a big help.
On this same subject I'd also like to thank Malcolm and Chris, They step in and organise the raffle when Dave takes the occasional break. Thanks Malcolm, thanks Chris.
Speaking of Chris, he provides the committee night venue and he and his wife Heather are kept busy serving up excellent tea and cake like the clappers. As I mentioned, Chris came up with the Shuttleworth Breakfast meets idea and he always attends.
Then we come to Will. He publicises all of our activities through the website and he spends ages researching some of those really thought-provoking questions that have us scratching our heads at the quiz night.
It's time to thank Martin and his helpers for all of the hard work they do in that kitchen over there. Knocking out food and drink for us all to enjoy. Well done Martin.
Next there's Nigel, our projectionist, P.A. and archive specialist. Not only does Nigel drag all of this stuff in every month he also fills his house and garage with it all. He drags his wife Fay in to become a dinner lady for us, helping with dispensing food and also has his son working the computer for us during projector nights. Great stuff Nige.
Don, he organises all of the excellent mid-week runs and, difficult as it sounds, continues to create brand new not used before routes. That takes some doing! Nice one Don.
John is our long term committee member. For years he organised the Spring Run, he helps with the quiz and he never misses a committee meeting.
Bob, he keeps our books up to date and in the black. He sorts out the cheque book and, amazingly, he makes sure that we've still got a few quid tucked aside. Very useful for when things, like the projector, go pop.
Finally, a bit of a change this year. I'd like to present the Hoppy award not to one person but to two. In the background at the club we have lots of people helping out with things here and there. These are the unsung heroes of the club. Two of our longest serving and most loyal members are the two R's, Rod and Ron. As well as everything else they've done for us over the years they've also been marking the quiz for as long as anyone can remember. They stay behind the curtain during the quiz and refuse to come out to be thanked but this year they've got no choice. Ron and Rod, come on down! (Applause)
10th November 2017 to 8th November 2018
Note: Fish & Chip evening, Hall Hire, John Young talk & flowers paid for from raffle takings
Balance for year: -£27.00
Cash in hand: £204.00
Cash in bank: £1026.94
Comments, suggestions and articles for inclusion to: Will Curry ()