Website updated 6th December 2020
Brent’s report has comprehensively recorded the events, and non-events, of the last twelve months and many thanks to him for that and for his continuing efforts as our secretary. It’s easy to forget that the year started quite normally, with no sign whatsoever of what lay over the horizon; it seems such a long time since we were able to gather together at Shefford. The year has been made all the worse by the sad loss of our good friends: Ron, Dave and Tony.
As I write this, Bob has not yet been able to compile the financial report, largely because of the logistical difficulties presented by the constraints on meeting with others. I am, however, confident that we are in good shape financially. The lack of any raffle income since March has been balanced by not having to pay for the hall.
A wet afternoon at the end of April gave me the idea of trying to produce a proper newsletter, rather than the simple occasional emails that had gone before as some particular news arose. It proved to be quite fun and seemed to be well-received. Thanks to the wonderful contributions of many of our members the newsletter thrived, and the number of issues is now in the twenties. Other than the monthly Section Notes in the Journal, which are a month old by the time they’re published, this is one of our only means of communication until we are to resume club nights proper. It looks like we’re going to be in this boat until, at least, Spring so I hope there are still many more stories to be told. Please keep them coming.
Will has been doing a fantastic job of providing the other regular communication through his virtual club nights and many thanks for that. I hope he has a bank of ideas to keep us entertained for the next few months, but I’m sure he would appreciate any ideas or suggestions.
I am very conscious that, apart from the Section Notes, our communications have relied on the internet and that not all members have access. I can only apologize but there is no obvious solution to this problem.
Don and I have been keeping the Midweek Runs going but subject to the limitations imposed by Boris and his advisors, mainly that we have been restricted to six riders. As it turned out, this hasn’t resulted in many, if any, potential riders being turned away. The usual Winter Midweek Lunches we should be enjoying now are, of course, out of the question at the moment.
The Navigation Event was devised to give some incentive to everyone to get out, Covid risk-free, on their bike on their own or in small groups of their friends. Feedback has been very positive including riders from neighbouring sections who took the opportunity to explore our small but interesting county. It is intended to produce a new list of destinations for 2021, regardless of the Covid situation and our ability to reinstate the usual group runs.
Finally, I’d like to offer my thanks to everyone who has helped us get through this rather tricky year: the committee, the newsletter contributors, the midweek and Navigation Event riders and, of course, the whole Section membership who make this all worthwhile.
I normally stand up and read these scribblings to anyone that has decided to drop into Shefford for the annual pint and a slide-show that we grandly title the AGM. This year I’m afraid that you’re going to have to read this load of old tosh for yourself!
Right, so what’s happened over the last twelve months? Well, we had a good AGM last November. All was deemed to be okay within the section and members seemed happy to let us ten, the committee, continue to bumble along in our own inimitable style. The consensus seemed to be ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it’. Much the same approach I take to looking after my old bike, if it started today without me ‘fixing’ it, then it probably will tomorrow too.
The Xmas bash and auction saw another convivial evening with a load of old tat, sorry, classic motorcycle spares and memorabilia, being auctioned and a lot of great food being eaten thanks to the outstanding efforts of Martin and his hench-men and women.
Boxing Day saw a good turnout of riders and machines at the Musgrave Arms in Shillington, organised as usual by Will. This is a lovely antidote to the commercial shindig that Christmas has now turned into. A crisp ride-out, a cuppa and then a chat with like-minded souls certainly helps to keep the spirits up during the dark months.
January club-night was an interesting one as Bob Smith moved on to Part 2 of the Cotton story, great stuff.
Robin Braithwaite gave us an absorbing talk in February. His tale of the Braithwaite motorcycle was fascinating, talk about keeping it in the family, history and motorcycling rolled into one.
March was the Inter-Section Quiz. Will had really pulled out all the stops for this one. The questions were even harder yet, strangely, even more interesting than ever. A close fought scrap saw the Anglian section victorious. However, it was a close-run thing, the Beds boys were hard on their tail.
During all of this Richard sorted the very popular mid-week lunches, good attendance showed they were much enjoyed. Well done Richard.
Next came the Covid malarkey and just about everything on the events calendar was cancelled or at least postponed.
Not quite the end though. Through the doughty efforts of Bryan the Beds Newsletter was born. This mighty organ has been delivered relentlessly throughout the duration of the virus era. Issue 21 hit the news-stands, or at least our screens, only last week. I started to write a list of all of those that have contributed but it is far too long for me to type. I’m sure that Bryan will go into more detail in his report, however I think that we should all raise a glass to him for the enormous amount of time and energy he has put into this glorious campaign of communication, very well done indeed.
Meanwhile, Will was beavering away at his excellent club-night presentations. The April virtual club-night on ‘Getting Started’ was very apt. He then moved on to tell the full story of being a motor-cyclist, Getting Moving, Stopping, Falling Off, Weather, Breakdown and then, inevitably, The Puncture. Really terrific stuff, you could hear Will’s voice in your head as you watched each presentation, brilliant.
Don and Bryan re-launched the mid-week runs with full social-distancing etc, I haven’t been able to attend myself so I’ll leave that one to Bryan to speak more on. I do know that Don never rests on his laurels and that the amount of work he puts into the runs is enormous and excellent.
Never one to sit on his laurels Bryan then organised a Navigation Challenge. I’m looking forward to doing that one in the future myself.
Sadly we have lost some of our best people in this last year. Among them were genial Ron Macbeth, our long-term quiz-scorer and off-road maestro, Dave Watts, Section fund-raiser extraordinaire, committee member and all round good-bloke and Tony Dickason, lovely section member and enthusiastic full time-attendee at just about everything we ever did. We knew them well. They were much more than just pals, they were made of the right stuff and we are all the richer for having ridden with them.
I’d like to thank the committee: Bryan, as listed above he is involved in everything and still finds time to knock out the Section Notes. Chris for the epic committee room and Shuttleworth support, Martin for his kitchen expertise and hard work. Nigel, he is our archivist, projectionist, picture collator and he even drags his son Sam along to give us I.T. support. Will for his super quiz questions and, as above, his virtual club-nights. Don for his wonderful mid-week runs and Bob our financial guru for keeping the books straight. Also very well done to Malcolm and Brian our raffle guys, great work done every month. Norm for his mid-week expertise and if I’ve forgotten anyone else, sorry, your efforts are appreciated.
Finally I’d like to say thank you to all of the section members reading this. Without you guys turning up every month the section wouldn’t exist.
Keep safe friends, better times ahead I’m sure.
All the best,
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