Welcome everyone

I would like to thank everyone that has helped to make this club an enjoyable place to be over the year. We had to cease our activities a bit early due to the Covid 19 Pandemic, but you have shown great fortitude over the last six months, and we have tried to keep people in touch through social media.

Thanks to the efforts of our Observer team, who selflessly put aside time to train new members, we have been able to recommence observer rides and have a large number of passes to record – many at F1rst level! Unfortunately, special events and training days have had to be put on hold until further notice, so apologies to everyone.

Thanks go to the canteen crew led by Leonie, who, every month, serve up delicious food and drinks which makes a big contribution to the club’s coffers and helps to keep membership fees down!

Our welcome team makes sure that everyone gets a smiling face on entry, helps membership admin, organises taster runs and generally makes sure things run smoothly on a Sunday.

Malcolm has taken over organising and leading rideouts. During the current Covid restrictions he has organised restricted rideouts – at least two a month, with the help of additional leaders, which has kept many of us sane! All within the current Covid regulations.

 Alison has done another sterling job this year in organising many outstanding events for our Thursday evenings. Attendance has often been disappointing though, given the work that Alison puts in – let’s hope that when these can be restarted, we can get much higher numbers coming along! They are a great way to meet fellow members.

Paul Roberts has kept us on the straight and narrow financially. We made another small surplus in the year and carry forward a healthy balance. However, this will be needed to maintain club presence and some activities during the difficulties of this current year. Thanks to all those who have paid their membership fees for the current year. We will keep you posted on our position.

You will all have seen our new website. This has been due to the tireless efforts of Erik working with a professional web designer. It is more attractive and easier to use. There will be teething problems so please bear with us. It is now smart phone friendly so save it as a favourite on your phone to keep up to date with upcoming events and news.

We are blessed with a very good committee who make my job a lot easier!

Simon has resigned as both Membership Secretary and Magazine Editor. He has made a huge contribution to the club in both roles, modernising the magazine and helping to expand our membership. Some of you will have seem him at the annual Festival of Transport in our tent talking to all and sundry to spread the word of our club. Membership has been taken over by Richard White, a previous incumbent of the role.

Leonie has taken on the role of Magazine Editor. You will have now received her first edition, and a very fine one it is too! There is another on its way (this one!) with more stories, trip reports etc. Please get trip reports to Leonie so she can get them in the magazine. Anything bike related would be welcome and if you are mechanically minded, maintenance, engineering and bike development articles would be very welcome. Have you got any projects on the go that we can hear about?

Stuart has resigned as Chief Observer. He has brought new ideas and methodologies to our observer team and thoroughly modernised our approach to training. During the 2019/20 year we had a meeting with other local groups, organised by the IAM, and it was obvious from the very start of the meeting how much we have progressed with other groups asking about his methods and how they could improve their training. His role has been taken on by Steve Collins. He also has had this role in the past and will continue Stuart’s work in developing our training systems and further raising its quality and consistency.

Sally has stepped back from her role sending out the WhatsOn updates. This can be an arduous task not helped by the clunky software systems that we have to use! Very many thanks Sally! Alison has taken on this task as it is a natural fit with organising events.

I am sure that you will join me welcoming Trevor Scrace who has agreed to continue as our club President. As one of the founders of our club we are very fortunate to retain him as an active member of our club

There are many members who contribute to our club, helping on club Sundays and at events, whom I have not mentioned. A very big thanks to all who help to make our club what it is!

I have my “normal” selection of random thoughts on what has happened in the 2019/20 year:

We were supported by Groombridge Motorcycles for our Dealer day. They put aside their time and resources to enable us to try out new machines with absolutely no commitment to buy – just a hope! Motorcycle dealerships are always chasing slim profits and must keep gratis events under review. I’ve had several meetings with Clive and Jean Walton at Groombridge’s who want to continue to support our club. We had some joint events and publicity lined up but were frustrated by the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic. As soon as we can restart under the “new normal” we’ll be in touch to revive the, hopefully, mutually beneficial relationship.

Club Sundays have stayed popular with attendances increasing, even on bad weather days. We will restart these as soon as we are able. However, we will need volunteers for the kitchen! Leonie has taken on the responsibility for producing our club magazine and will need to be released from her responsibilities in the kitchen.  We are looking for kitchen “leaders” to share the responsibility of organising kitchen duties on a Sunday. They will be supported by two kitchen volunteers, as in the past. I have two possible “leader” volunteers but require at least two more so that we can share the tasks. It’s a great way to meet more members and you get free breakfast – what’s not to like!

We continued to support SSRP events as a worthwhile cause but, apart from the feel-good factor, we again didn’t seem to get much response in getting new members. We will continue supporting where we think we will get benefit and will also increase our efforts with Firebike on joint events (under the guidance of Pete Higgins).

The full report is in our magazine.

Thanks again to everyone and let’s hope we can get back to normal soon!