The Montford Motorcycle Afternoon organised by Roy Jones in aid of the Severn Hospice was a great success well done Roy and his helpers for a great afternoon. The weather was cold but it stayed dry during the event motorcycles were displayed in the car park as was the Autojumble with a book stall was in the hall. The afternoon was free to go in refreshments were available for a donation there was a draw with a lot of prizes. Roy made a total of £650.00. He would like to thank those who gave prizes his helpers the bikers who displayed their machines and the public who came to have a look. I hope this becomes an annual event
On the 29th of April Roy Jones has organised a Motor Cycle afternoon at the Montford Parish Hall, Montford, Nr Shrewsbury Sy4 1AD from 2pm till 4pm All proceeds to The Severn Hospice. bring your vintage or Classic motorcycle, If you have auto jumble, motorcycle books for sale you can contact Roy on telephone number 01743
The Relay Rally takes place on 6th of May Shropshire check point is at the Old Wheelwrights tea rooms Little Brampton Craven Arms SY7 0HH from 9am until 3pm. contact Derek on 07904701022 on the day . Steve Jones suggest our members have a run from there to Shobdon check point any interest contact Derek
13th of May The Spring Run 10.30 am from Leebotwood Nr Shrewsbury organised by Godfrey Cookson and Cyril Watson
There was a poor turnout for the Long Mountain Run on Sunday the 15th of April, which started from The Inn-on-the-Green Wentnor. The riders went over the Long Mountain, Stiperstones calling at the Bog Visitor Center for coffee tea and home made cakes, From the Bog they went over the Stiperstones to the Long Mynd through the countryside taking in Clunton to Clun then returning to The Inn-on-the-Green for a carvery. Sadly only the Morgans and the organisers stopped for the carvery. My thanks to Dave Anscombe for advertising our event in the Morgan club magazine and the drivers and passengers eight in total in 3 three wheelers and one four wheeler. Thanks also to the Volunteers who run the Bog Visitor Center for their hospitality.thaks also go to Adrian and his staff at The Inn-on-the-Green for the signing on room the free tea and coffee thanks also go to the riders who turned up on a cold day. My final thanks goes to my long suffering wife who does all the paper work and to my daughter Nikki for her in put
There is a video of it on Youtube which was taken by one of the threewheelers
Message from the President
Update Following the AGM – 8 March 2018
The purpose of this circular is to give you a considered view of events at the AGM and some insight into the next moves under consideration.
I am honoured to be your new President and believe that I can use the experience gained during my career and in a variety of roles within the VMCC to make a real difference. My agenda is simple and it is to improve the benefits for the members of this great Club and for all of us to have as much fun and enjoyment along the way. I joined the Club when I was thirty three years of age. It was the thing to do back then if you had an old motorcycle. I cannot begin to describe how much pleasure being part of this Club has given me and how many great friendships I have made over the years.
The recent membership survey gives us a glimpse of what we might want to become. Please read the report given on pages 18-20 of the March 2018 Journal. The findings indicated that you had substantially different future priorities to those of the Directors. Over the last weeks of February I tried to put information into your hands about the choices you faced so that you could make informed decisions at the AGM. I want to record to my appreciation to the Area Reps. the Section Secretaries and Chairmen, individual members and the staff at Allen House for getting the information out to the members.
Instead of dividing the membership, the resultant discussion has invigorated the members and many who were dis-engaged have re-entered the debate. I have been closely involved with your Area Reps. and they have been excellent in working for the benefit of the Club. In all of this, their role has just increased in importance by a significant margin. In advance of the AGM, we had agreed that there was a need to form ourselves into a Group to support the Directors so expect more of this new development later.
The AGM and the voting process changed the scene dramatically. The Directors leading the current strategy were not successful in being re-appointed and the only other candidate Justin Harvey-James was elected with a healthy majority. Justin has been very clear in his support of the new direction. We thank Rob Reaney and Brian Southam for their significant contributions to the Club. Anyone who volunteers for a position in the VMCC deserves our respect. Brian has been a Director for fifteen years and that is over half a generation of service. Rob has served for two years and been the Chairman for one of them. Rob was very clear in the direction he felt the Club should go and I admired his resolve and determination. I just want to pay tribute, on your behalf, to both Rob and Brian and wish them well for the future.
The Post-AGM Directors meeting’s sole purpose was to appoint a Chairman as is standard practice. I invited Peter Miller to attend to provide advice on the Articles and Bye-laws. We needed three Directors in post following the AGM. Any less number and we would have been inquorate. The net result of the meeting is that Justin Harvey-James is the Chairman, and the other Directors are Jim Lee, David Sellars and John Donaldson. John offered to stay on for a period to provide continuity and I am indebted to him. I was pleased to see the Directors working for the benefit of the Club so that we could continue to operate without becoming inquorate and having to go through the process of another AGM.
There now appears to be a sense of unity of purpose among the membership which we need to build on going forward. We now have an opportunity to create an environment where the Club can flourish and I am confident that those members who have the skills we seek will now feel comfortable in coming forward to help us.
Our new Board of Directors is somewhat diminished in number but can continue to operate as per normal. I am consulting with the Directors and the Area Representatives about how we can support the Directors at this time. My ingoing negotiating position is that the Directors could benefit from a respected senior member of the Club who has the necessary skills, experience and gravitas to be co-opted as a Director to strengthen the Board. As per usual, I have been taking advice from key members and have a candidate in mind. Once we get through that consultative process my belief is that between the Directors and the Area Reps. we will have the skills we need to keep going with normal activity and the capability to plan for the future.
There is no doubt that we need to bring in new Directors as that is what the members voted for at the AGM. However, there is no immediate imperative to fill vacancies. A number of members have already volunteered to get involved or have expressed interest in helping the Club and in the new environment more will surely follow. The Club needs members with a successful track record and bringing with them skills in subjects like business planning, strategic development, finance, marketing , legislation, human resources and other skills. We want to afford the membership and the Sections the chance to consider the issues and encourage volunteers to put their names forward. Then the Management Committee will be able, in consultation with the members, to identify those individuals who are best suited to help us as Directors and in many other ways as we seek to reinvigorate the Club.
The planning for all these developments started well in advance of the AGM. You can rest assured that the Directors and your Area Representatives are working together to make the transition to the new team as smoothly and quickly as possible.
Dr. Alastair Alexander, President, 8 March 2018.
VMCC Membership Survey Report March 2018
Alastair Alexander, President-Elect and Area Rep. for Scotland
A survey was carried out in late 2017- early 2018 of the VMCC membership. A survey questionnaire was sent out to every Club member using the centre pages of the December 2017 Journal as well as appearing on the Club’s website. A total of 1074 questionnaires was returned with 965 being posted to Allen House and 109 being completed on-line. The purpose was to establish your reasons for being a member, your views on how well the Club met your needs and any changes or improvements you considered the Club could bring in. The findings were essential to the Management Committee, and to you as individual members, to help guide and shape the development and delivery of future plans. A survey return of over 1000 responses from a population size of just over 14000 is believed to give results that are around 97% accurate. In view of this, the results provide a reliable indication of the opinions of the VMCC membership as a whole.
1 Membership Profile
1.1 The membership is 98% male and 2% female. The membership is heavily skewed towards the older age groups with 45 % being older than 71 years of age, 27 % between 65-70, 11 % between 61-64, 13 % between 51-60, 3% between 41-50 and 1% between 31-40. There are no members under the age of 30 years.
1.2 Ninety percent of members indicated that they were active riders.
1.3 There was a healthy interest in all of the age classes of machine. The Early Classic (1951-70) is of interest to 70% of members followed by the Pre-war Class (1931-50) with 59%. The figures for the other classes were as follows : Vintage (1915-30) 40%, Late Classic (1971-93) 35% and Veteran (pre-1915) 16% of members.
1.4 The Survey asked for information on the country of origin of the motorcycles of interest to the member. British motorcycles topped the responses with 82 % of members , followed by Japanese 31 % , German 31 % , Italian 28%, American 9% , French 6 % and other countries of origin 6% of the members.
2 Reasons for Being a Member
2.1 Top of the list of reasons was the VMCC’s Journal with 80% indicating it as important to them along with 35% valuing the free adverts benefit. The camaraderie of the Club (68%), being a part of VMCC Section life (61%) and organised runs (63%) all underlined the importance of the social side of vintage motorcycling within the Club.
2.2 Information services of one sort or another were also strong reasons for being in the Club with the Calendar of Events and the Annual Calendar (39%) , machine dating (33%), Library services (29%), and the machine history and dating service (29%) featuring in responses. The Club’s video library was recorded as important by 5% of respondents.
2.3 The insurance scheme was important to 21% of the members and the retail operation returned 23%. Big events which were led by a Section such as Stanford Hall and the West Kent International were seen as benefits by 31 % and those organised by Allen House like The Banbury and the Festival of 1000 Bikes by 26 % of members . British Historic Racing, grass track, sprint and other racing activities were seen as a benefit by 13 % of members.
2.4 The VMCC having a strong voice on current and future transport regulations affecting old motorcycles was seen as a very important reason (54%) for members to be in the Club. The final benefits were technical support 24 % , retail services 23 % and the training days 8% of the membership.
3 The Importance of the Sections
3.1 A two thirds majority (62 %) indicated that they attended Sections with a third (36 % ) who did not attend.
3.2 Members who indicated that they did not attend Sections were then asked questions regarding why they did not attend. Three hundred and ninety members replied to this question and the following results are percentages based on this total. Logistics emerged as a big issue with too far to travel scoring 29 %, insufficient number of members in my area 5 % and cost of travel 4 %.
3.3 Lack of information on Section activities was a problem for 6 %, uncertainty about who to contact 11%, the location of a Section 6 % and my local Section is not active 1 %. Twenty two per cent felt that their needs were met by another Club and worryingly 19 % felt unwelcome when they did attend a Section.
3.4 Twenty percent were not interested in Sections and 6 % did not attend for other unspecified reasons.
3.5 The same group of members were asked what the VMCC could do to encourage them to join in Section activity. It is of great concern that 33 % wanted to be sure of a friendly welcome at Section events. Improved promotion using the internet was raised by 20%, a need for circulation of Section calendars by 16% and better information on Section events by 17%. Good entertainment eg. speakers and demonstrations scored 22% and technical support 17%.
3.6 The VMCC becoming more engaged in developing good relationships with one marque and regional classic Clubs would encourage 13% of this group of members to attend Sections. Some members wanted a new Section established in their area 15% whilst 3% wanted their Section to become more active.
4 Challenges Facing The Club
4.1 Age was seen as the biggest challenge and at both ends of the spectrum. 74% of members saw getting younger motorcyclists to join as the top priority and the advancing age of the membership accounted for 52%. A related challenge was that the skills of the members were being lost (68%) as the older members dwindled in number.
4.2 The cost of motorcycling was influencing the membership with 39% concerned with the rising value of machines, 33% about the cost of gaining a licence, and 31% with the cost of insurance. The present state of the economy was seen as impacting on our motorcycling activities (11%) to a lesser extent. The need to be active on influencing transport regulations was highly rated at 64%.
4.3 Over half of the members (54%) saw it as a challenge to keep all of the age classes of machine active which was closely related to their concerns on the loss of the memberships’ skills as mentioned above (68%). The state of the Club’s finances was a concern for 59% and a need for a clear business plan was identified by 50% of the members.
4.4 Finally, the rise in the use of modern machines (post 1993) on runs was recorded by 26% and competition from other clubs by 23%. Modernising the Club through the internet returned 36% of the members.
5 How to Improve the VMCC Benefits to You as a Member ?
5.1 There were four key themes to the responses to this question and these were legislation, promotion, retail and new activities.
5.2 A strong voice on transport legislation was the top response with 56% of members illustrating concerns about changes affecting the use of older motorcycles.
5.3 Promoting the Club through the national media recorded 41%, greater use of the internet for promotion 41%, Club stands at regional shows 39% and at national shows 33%, improved management communication 34% and more coverage of regional activities was returned by 19% of members. Forging links with other clubs returned 37% of members.
5.4 Retail services were of interest to the membership with 21% expressing an interest in the Club becoming active in selling members’ motorcycles, 19% for the sale of members’ spares and 13% wanted the range of retail items to be improved.
5.5 There was interest in new activities with runs for older bikes 37% and special interest groups on the internet 14%. Technical training workshops appealed to 34% and 21% requested more training days. Nineteen percent saw the loan of Club machines as a benefit. Five percent of the members thought no change was needed.
6 Allen House
6.1 Over three quarters of the members (76%) had not visited Allen House compared to 24% who had visited. The members were then asked if they planned to visit Allen House and the replies were yes 14%, no 52% and don’t know 34%.
6.2 The next question was restricted to those members who had visited Allen House (261 members). When asked why they had visited Allen House 62% visited the Library, 27% met a staff member, 23% had no specific reason, 23% pursued a machine dating application, 21% bought from the retail shop, 20% attended a meeting and 4% collected a Club motorcycle.
7 Encouraging Donations to the VMCC
7.1 Members were asked if they thought that the VMCC should encourage gifts and donations. Fifty seven percent were in favour and 20% did not agree, with 22% returning Don’t Know.
7.2 The next question was confined to those members who agreed that the Club should encourage gifts, legacies and donations (616 members). They were asked how the Club should use such new funding resource.
7.3 The top response was to support recruitment 64% and closely linked to that response was more advertising and PR 33%.
7.4 Retail services were a theme with 42% wanting a valuation service for members’ machines, 26% interested in a service to sell members’ motorcycles, 16% to develop a retail shop and 13% to improve the retail items offered.
7.5 Forty two percent would like to see investment in the Library and 37% wanted investment in training programmes.
7.6 The responses for using donations to invest in the redevelopment of Allen House were 23% which was marginally ahead of 22% to move to a new headquarters.
8 The New A4 Format for the Journal
8.1 The members were asked for their opinion of the new A4 Journal. It appears to have been very well received with members responses of yes 87%, no 7% and don’t know 6%.
8.2 When asked about the nature of the Journal content the members would like to see the top three suggestions being restoration technique features 73%, greater technical content 72% and reports on transport legislation 66%. A need to appeal to younger riders was evident with a desire for more recent classic features 34% and generally more youthful content 33%.
8.3 Some new content changes could be introduced with profiles of businesses 38%, more travel features 22% and more international reports 13%.
8.4 Greater coverage of reports on Areas and Sections 21%, contrasting with 24% wanting less by way of Section Notes. There was interest in seeing more advertising by the trade 31% and by the members23%.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT ?
Please feel free to discuss the findings of this survey with your fellow members and at Section meetings. We need and want your reactions and as much feedback as possible. Speak to your Section Secretaries, your Area Rep., the Directors and the President. Once we have feedback from the consultation with the members we should be in a good position to look at the options for taking the Club forward. At all stages we will keep you fully informed of developments.
The President will give a presentation of the survey findings at the AGM on 4 March 2018.
It is with great sadness that I have to announce that club member Dennis Millington passed away on Monday, 29th January 2018. Dennis was a valued and long-standing member of the club and will be greatly missed.
Details of the funeral are as follows:
Holy Trinity Church, Minsterley
on Monday, 12th February 2018 at 1.30pm
followed by interment in Minsterely Cemetery.
Family flowers only please.
Donations, if desired, to Kidney Research UK.
The Proxy Voting Form for the 2018 AGM of VMCC Ltd has been distributed but Members have not yet been informed of the details of the candidates for election and may be unaware of the merits and aspirations of those putting themselves forward. Much of the information to make an informed decision is available on the VMCC Forum, but this is not widely accessed by the Membership and needs wider circulation. We would be grateful if you would bring the contents of this circular to the attention of your Section Members
The current Board of Directors, under the chairmanship of Rob Reaney, are intent on changing the VMCC from being an enthusiasts club, with modest business activities, to become a classic bike sales organisation with a club attached. Rob Reaney is a second hand bike dealer and during his term of office has continually pushed the Club to move in this direction. To this end he has twice attempted to rush into the purchase of new Club premises, which would have provided space for showrooms and bike storage. On both occasions he did so without informing the Membership, without proper surveys being carried out and without the production of a business case or financial risk assessment. Fortunately both purchases were prevented at the last minute, as otherwise the Club could now be facing a financial millstone.
If re-elected Rob has announced his intention of acquiring new Club premises in the spring. The questionnaire, distributed with the December Journal made no mention of this intention and did not seek Members’ views. Rob appears to have his own agenda and is intent on moving the Club towards the buying and selling of bikes whatever the wishes of the membership. This is a high risk strategy and could seriously damage the viability of the Club. That this is the case was aptly illustrated in December when Rob purchased for the Club a number of bikes and sidecars to be sold on the eBay auction site over the Christmas period. Clearly Rob was expecting to achieve a quick profit and to demonstrate the potential value to the Club of such a business venture. However, the plan backfired and has become a fiasco. Rather than make money, the Club will be lucky to break even. If the full costs of acquiring the bikes, transportation, storage, insurance, auction preparation, auction commission, etc are properly allocated we will have made a thumping loss and that is before adding a contingency to cover misrepresentation.
The Directors are the agents of the Membership and jointly responsible for the management of the Club’s business. The expectation is that they will do so having regard to the wishes of the Membership. The Chairman is chosen by the Directors from amongst their number to chair their meetings, but is not given autocratic power to run the Club. Regrettably our current Chairman, Rob Reaney, believes he has the right to make dictatorial decisions without consulting his fellow Directors, let alone the Membership. It was his decision, and his decision alone, to purchase the bikes to be auctioned on eBay over Christmas; he had no mandate to make that decision.
The Wessex Veteran and Vintage Section, supported by the Dorset Section, put forward resolutions to be tabled at the AGM. These were aimed towards introducing better business practices and greater transparency in the management of the Club. Specifically they would have prevented the Directors spending more than £50,000 of capital expenditure without consulting the Membership; such restrictions are common in the business world and essential in the club environment. These properly presented resolutions were rejected by the Directors on the grounds that they would restrict their freedom to make decisions. The proper course of action would have been to allow the resolutions to go forward and to argue the case for their rejection before allowing the Membership to decide at the AGM. When taken to task they argued it was their right to decide which resolutions would go forward, which it is not, before falling back on the Companies Act to legitimise the rejection. Companies Act formally requires a 5% support before a resolution can be accepted, but does allow for an agreed lesser level of support. In past years resolutions put forward with a majority support from a Section were accepted, the current Board now reject this.
The requirement for 5% support for the submission of a resolution is acceptable in the corporate world with a few large shareholders; it is not acceptable in the Club environment where 5% represents over 700 signatures. The clause formally stating that Sections should be allowed to submit resolutions to the AGM was inadvertently omitted from the revised Bye-laws. The Directors are aware of this and decided not to amend the Bye-laws to reinsert it, which they can easily do. They preferred not to allow membership interference in their autocratic management of the Club.
Under Rob Reaney’s chairmanship the management of the Club is in shambles. He is desperate to spend the Joyce Cobbing legacy and is rushing to buy a new headquarters building to fulfil his ambition for the Club to buy and sell bikes, whilst neglecting his responsibilities to the Club. The General Manager has been involved in futile searches for new headquarters buildings and has not been fully available to do the job for which he is paid; namely the efficient management of Headquarters and the promotion of the Club aimed at increasing membership numbers. The financial management over the past year has been a disgrace and the profit or loss figures have varied by the day, or should that be hour. Does anyone believe the final figures? The strategic business plan for the next 3 years, required, according to Bye-law 3.5, should have been produced and agreed by the Directors before the end of the last financial year. They should have been available three months ago for review by the Membership. They do not exist as Rob does not want to be bothered with financial planning provided he is free to spend the Club’s money.
The future of the Club is being dictated by a handful of people without consultation with the Membership and whose business skills are entirely lacking. These people represent a major liability for the future survival of the VMCC. If you wish to prevent this happening you should cast your vote against Rob Reaney and, his right-hand man, Vice-chairman Brian Southam in the Election of Directors, Items 14.2 and 14.3 of the AGM Proxy form.
November Club meeting was a talk, accompanied with slides by Mike Watkins on “Remembering the swinging 60’s”. It was a thoroughly interesting talk, which covered nearly everything that happened in the 60’s with participation by members, most of which could name pop groups/singers plus their number one songs, fashion designers, fashion styles (e.g. bell bottoms etc), politicians, cars etc. Mike had also added a section on motorcycles of that era, even asking were they Mods or Rockers. I think you can guess what the reply was!! Our first meeting in 2018 is on 31st January at 2pm, when the Midland Air Ambulance will be giving us a talk on the work they do, we will also be presenting them with the monies which we raised for their cause last year. We wish all members and friends “A Happy New Year”.
I am very sorry to report that former treasurer of the Shropshire Section Ron Maund has passed away very suddenly aged 81. Ron was also the founder/organiser of The Winstanstow Classic Motorcycle Show, which he started and organised for many years. His funeral is at 12 noon at Holy Trinity Church, Winstanstow with interment in the churchyard. My Sincere condolences to the family.
Also Bill Duggan has passed away aged 90 his funeral is on Thursday the 9th of November at 1pm. The service is at Clungunford St Cuthbert’s Church followed by interment at Leinwardine cemetery afterwards. My Sincere condolences to the family.