NORTH WEST MOTORCYCLE ACTION GROUP AGM
DUKE OF YORK PUBLIC HOUSE
Tony Cox (Coxy) welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked those for coming in the inclement weather.
02. Election of AGM Chair
Steve Blay (Blayz) was elected unanimously.
Arthur/Heather Fenton/Don Glover
04. Minutes of previous AGM
Minutes were accepted as a true record of the previous AGM (2013) .There was no 2014 AGM.
05. Reps report
Manchester – Jimmy Torrance
Apart from attending a number of local events, the group has been fairly quiet.
Salford - Blayz
This is a relatively new group. Has took some time to set up as Blayz was the chairman for Mid-Life Crisis MCC but then decided to change his focus to preserving biking and the biker lifestyle. The success of the ‘Armadillo’ protest demo convinced him and Salford MAG is now the sole focus.
After the demo, a meeting was held with (the elusive) Salford council. Unfortunately, this wasn’t as fruitful as hoped as the council are unwilling to make any major policy changes at the moment. This is due to the pending issue of the whole of GM possibly devolving from Westminster and becoming an autonomous district.
The group was originally formed at Henley’s Bar but now has its permanent HQ at the Duke of York pub. The group have exclusive access to the whole of the first floor and have undertaken some large scale refurbishments. It is a credit to the dedication and enthusiasm of its members.
Blackpool – Dave Smart (Smartie)
Smartie took over from the previous rep (Phil) in Sep 2014. The wheel turns full circle as it was myself, my wife, Phil and 3 others who first founded Blackpool MAG in 1990.
Smartie commented on the previous year’s rally. It was a copy of the 2013 MAG 40TH Birthday Bash rally with a marquee and a (bigger) professional PA. However, whilst the rally was a commented on success from the punters point of view it was a financial disaster due to the lack of attendees.
There was also a HellFire Halloween/Bonfire rock night which was its usual success.
Once again, the bike show in Stanley Park was a big success in every area. Good weather, good attendance, good cash flow J.
With the above in mind, the bike show is a winning formula so that will stay as it is. However, we are having a complete change with the rally and have got a new site (Fleetwood) with much improved facilities. This will greatly reduce our overheads and physical organisation.
Blackpool are also hoping to target a group who have are part of a Facebook organisation – NWUK Motorcycles and Bikers. They have members all over the NW and here in Blackpool there appear to be a large number of younger/learner riders.
Red Rose – Bill Green
Bill said that Red Rose continue to be involved in as many local events as possible.
One of the highlights was their organising of the 12th Fred Hill Run. Despite it being a foggy, freezing Feb Sunday, 37 people turned up for the run at the Sir Charles Napier pub in Blackburn. After a short trip to Bolton cathedral, Bishop Martin read a few words and then Bill made a speech about the importance of Fred Hill’s campaign and protest. There was then a short ride round the foggy, snowy outskirts of Blackburn and then back to the pub for much needed food and hot drinks. Kudos to all who came.
NW Report – Coxy
Feb – Mcr Central Bike show – 12 new members. On the back of the success of attracting new members at shows, a PayPal chip/pin machine has been acquired which makes payments considerably easier.
11th Fred Hill Run – a very wet affair!
Mar – Event City Bike show – 4 new members.
Apr – Wirral Egg Run
MAG AGC at Blackpool – an organisational challenge but was very successful. Cost the NW region £500.
May – MAG stand at the Assassin’s bike show.
MAG stand at the NABD rally. Poor weather but the stand did a good trade in selling second-hand bike gear.
Riders are voters demo – Good but poor turnout. Attended by Lembit Opik and there was some good local publicity.
June – Blackpool rally.
July – Blackpool bike show.
Aug – Lee Rigby tribute ride. Well attended by both bike and scooter riders. Same day as the MAG National demo.
Sep – MAG stand at the Jesters rally.
MAG aided in the marshalling of the Hercules Run.
Oct – Morecambe Silverdale rally. Dave Morris, local MP, went to support as there is a lot of local opposition to the rally.
Diesel Spill presentation at O’Reilly’s transport in Heysham. Attended by Lembit & Coxy with some good publicity. Diesel spillage is a big (potentially lethal) issue for bikers. The firm have promised to promote the anti-spillage campaign with stickers and speaking to other firms.
Salford ‘Armadillo’ demo – Very well attended. Good feedback from GMP who do not like them and want to get involved in any other safety issues raised.
Blackpool – HellFire rock night.
Nov – Ring of Red tribute ride. A ride round the M60 of bikers all wearing ride in support of Remembrance Day. Unofficial figures of 580+ bikes.
Meeting with Hatters HOG Chapter – HOG chapters are tied to the local dealer. No dealer-no chapter. There is a question mark over whether they will exist in the near future.
Rick’s auto-jumble – 2 new members.
Jan - Mcr Central Bike show. Good attendance at the MAG stand with 12 new members but the show overall was poor. John Leech, local MP came down to support. Thanks to Salford MAG for help in manning.
Feb – 12th Fred Hill run.
06. Treasurers report – Coxy (temporary)
Details of the current financial position were attached to the previous AGM minutes.
Overall the position is good considering the hiccough of the Blackpool rally and having to fund the 2014 AGC.
07. Election of NW regional officers.
Regional Rep – Coxy : Unopposed.
Secretary – Smartie : Proposed – Blayz ; Seconded – Coxy ; Voted - unanimously.
Treasurer – Bill : Proposed – Mike ; Seconded – Floyd ; Voted - unanimously.
Political Officer – Bill : Unopposed.
Affiliated Clubs Officer – Blayz : Proposed – Floyd ; Seconded – Steve ; Voted - unanimously.
08. Address from Oliver (NC Observer)
Oliver thanked Blayz and Salford MAG for their hospitality.
He then said that despite ongoing issues, MAG is a far better place now than it was 12 months ago. The future is looking bright and a big thank you from all at Central for everybody’s hard work and commitment.
09. Future MAG events
Salford MAG Fundraiser 06/03 – Duke of York. Deathwish rock group ; raffle prizes ; football card. All proceeds to MAG.
Event City Bike show 28-29/03 – Manchester. Coxy setting the MAG stand up but will need some help in manning. Getting as big as the NEC bike show. Andrew Greenwood (organiser) wants to get more involved in the political side of things.
MAG AGC 11/04 – Somerset. Blayz encouraged as many people to go. Said the Blackpool showed how some of the MAG machine works.
NABD Rally 8-10/05. There will be a MAG stand there. Bad weather has plagued it over the last few years but attend if possible.
Blackpool rally 26-28/06 – Fleetwood. New venue, new look.
Blackpool bike show 05/07 – Blackpool. Usual venue in Stanley Park. Confirmed band to date – Kudos.
Hellfire rock night Date tbc – Blackpool.
General Election in May. Coxy encouraged anybody to try to engage with their local politician on their attitude to biking.
Blayz said they will targeting their local MP asap after the election.
Jimmy commented on how effective bikers in the USA & Russia are at influencing political/local decisions. We should hold the same power.
Jimmy encouraged everybody to stand as a local councillor. Involves no effort on anybody’s part as they are unlikely to be elected. What it does do is put motorcycling on every ballot paper. Contact him if interested.
Blayz mentioned about bikes in bus lanes. More councils are allowing this but due to the possible GM devolvement there is a reluctance at the moment to change anything. What is needed is pressure group in each of the non-compliant areas.
The Armadillo/cycle lane issue has gone quiet at the moment but the confusion over Pendlebury roundabout has now been cleared up.
Coxy mentioned that Victoria Embankment in London is to be 50% dedicated to cyclists. The current 3 traffic lanes reduced to one with traffic light ‘gating’ being used (as in the Olympics) to aid the flow. This will mean bikes (incl emergency service ones) will be unable to filter. Local firms and taxi companies are far from happy with the proposals.
Andy (Goldwing Owners Club Affiliate Officer) produced a MAG affiliate club welcome pack and sang its praises. Oliver said that there was a new pack in the pipeline. However, a GOC member has tabled a motion for their AGM to not affiliate to MAG again. This would be a sad loss of a few thousand affiliate members if passed.
Blayz raised a concern about MAG Central’s laxness in updating members personal (especially address) details when contacted. Coxy responded by asking all queries to be addressed to him in the first instance.
Brian Wadsworth (NABD rep) raised the issue of the narrowing of lanes on the M60 during the extensive alterations. Cat’s eyes have been removed and poorly tarmacked over. This leaves raised, slippery bumps which are hazardous in the wet on a bike.
Jimmy asked that any safety concerns to be emailed to him and he will pass them on to the GM safety officer.
Sam raised the question of getting MAGs name out to bike training schools. Informing all new riders about us and a possible discount. Coxy said we should all be pro-active in getting our name out to any organisation we think is relevant.
All dealers/trainers should promote riders rights because without riders, they have no future income. Coxy mentioned the Wheels to Work initiative set up down south which encourages young people to use PTWs to go to work by giving them discounts on vehicles and gear. Gavin proposed a MAG starter pack for all new riders.
Oliver made a request for marshals for MAGs big three rallies – Into the Valley/Farmyard Party/Yorkshire Pudding. Whilst you would be working it did give you free entry.
Points/comments raised in no particular time or importance order.
If anybody has any old bike gear (luggage, clothing etc.) that they can donate, please do so. All proceeds to MAG.
Bob asked if somebody could present the Warrington Wheels trophy.
Bill mentioned that the Preston Harley dealers – Bowker – do have a Red Rose HOG Chapter.
Sam mentioned about rally/event t-shirt sizes. It would appear that there are very few that cater for the fuller size and could more consideration be given to this when ordering.
Gavin mentioned that it was worth looking at Bikesure insurance as you would get a discount if a MAG member.
Blayz mentioned that there are plans afoot for Salford MAG to stage a rally in 2016. This would be held at Barton airfield in the hangar! There is a pub on site and would likely be the weekend after the air show. Watch this space.
12. Meeting closed
Blayz closed the meeting at 15.45