NW Report October-November 2011

4th October:- Marquee Hire, Garstang, Lancs.

I delivered/picked up the two B’MAG marquees for a friends wedding resulting in £100 to the fighting fund.

8th October:- MAG NC Meeting Warwick

I attended the NC meeting at MAG HQ. Minutes of meeting will be available on MAG UK web-site. http://www.mag-uk.org

10th October:- Illuminations Ride Thru Lights-Afghan Heroes

NW MAG members were asked to road marshal this ride. Terrible weather resulted in very poor attendance. Hopefully tie up with them next year to arrange a summer run along the promenade

15th October:- Stormin Marshalls Party, Tan Hill

This was a social occasion to celebrate Greg and Liz’s birthdays, and a good excuse for a get together with the STC team in the highest Inn in England.

17th October:- Andy Toppings Funeral

Andy was a longstanding MAG member and close friend. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer earlier this year and it did not take long before we lost him. NW MAG marshalled the funeral cortège which brought Preston to a standstill as many hundreds of bikers turned out to pay their respects. A much loved husband, father and friend to many, Andy will be remembered as the fun loving prankster we all came to love. The Blackpool MAG Rally next year will be paying special tribute to Andy who, as far as I can remember, never missed this annual event

25th October North Manchester Alliance Meeting, Bury

This was the second meeting I have attended of the NW coalition, which consists of MC & MCCs, groups and various bike related organisations. It is early days but the initiative seems to be working well. It is getting us all talking and working with each other to avoid conflicting events and encourages various clubs to support each others events and ventures.

29th October: - Blackpool Halloween Freaky Fun on the Fylde

It was a fantastic night, the best one yet. £300 profit for MAG’s fighting fund. Used own PA which saved money on main group and also saved on DJ costs

14th November:- MAG Presentation to CAT MCC, Leyland.

I was asked if I could attend the AGM of CAT MCC (Cruisers & Trikes) to give a MAG presentation on where we are and what we are presently campaigning for. It was a well attended AGM with 30-40 members there. I was given warm welcome, and my presentation went well with plenty of questions being asked, most of which I could answer! CAT MCC is a MAG affiliated club and many of the members have now shown an interest in upgrading to full membership once I explained the discount scheme. My contact at CAT MCC is going to follow this up and pass the number to me once all the forms are filled in.

15th November: - Launch of Morecambe & Lancaster MAG

An enthusiastic group turned out on a wet and windy night to herald the launch of Morecambe & Lancaster MAG. It has been many years since we have had a local group functioning in the North of the region and so the efforts made by Dave Howard and his merry band of helpers will be greatly appreciated. The group plan to meet on the first and third Tuesdays of the month upstairs at the George Hotel, Torrisholme at 7.30pm. Thanks to Paul Turner for turning out for the event.

19th November Birthday Party for members daughter

I had a go at DJ’ing this event with the equipment we have been gathering for NW MAG events. It was a very enjoyable night which resulted in another light unit being donated to the NW MAG equipment assets. Already have a couple of bookings for next year and it will all generate money for MAG.

22nd November RSBS Meeting Leyland House, Leyland

We received a talk from Chief Inspector Debbie Howard Lancashire Roads Policing Unit. She reported that there had been recent increases of 40% KSI recorded incidents w.r.t. motorcyclists in the region. As a consequence, she informed us that there are to be three areas targeted by Lancashire Police;


Young riders/drivers


Old riders/drivers


It was pointed out at the meeting by myself, and Dave Barton, the BMF rep, that it should not just be the case of targeting the victims in these circumstances, but to look at the cause of this increase which we suspect could be lack of concentration by drivers of other vehicles, possibly due to the increasing trend of texting whilst driving, which seems to be very hard to police.

It was reported that there had been 18,000 prosecutions in the GM area for using a mobile whilst driving, but most cases relate to talking on the phone, whereas it is extremely difficult to catch people texting whilst driving. There were no such figures available for Lancashire of any of the other NW counties.

There is a meeting to be held at 1.30 pm 17th January with NW Roads Safety Council. Invitations have been sent to all of the regions county councils, engineering departments, road safety representatives etc. I have volunteered Paddy to present the “Get a Grip” campaign and am waiting for conformation of the event location and expected attendees.

27th November NW AGM, Blackburn

This year’s AGM was quite a well attended and brought no real surprises as I was voted back in as Regional Rep, with Bill Green retaining the position of NW Political Officer. Phil McGladdery stepped forward to become NW Secretary, and Gillian Beautyman took up the position of NW Treasurer. Paul Turner was the NC observer. Once again the AGM prompted some interesting debate. Minutes can be found on the NW web-site at www.north-west-region.mag-uk.org

29th November North Manchester Alliance Meeting, Bury

There was a presentation from Steve Hulme, Practice Manager at Orbis Solicitors, “Bikers fighting for Biker accident rights” about how to claim after an accident. Steve had been down at the NEC and was very interested in the “Get a Grip Campaign” and so I said I would get him some more information.

            It was suggested at the meeting that we should consider funding a candidate for Police commissioner in the Greater Manchester Area. The elections are to take place in November 2012 and there is a £5K deposit required for each candidate. It was suggested that the funds could be raised by NW clubs and if the candidate received 2-5% of the vote (exact figure has not been decided yet), the deposit would be refunded. It has been seen an opportunity to get a biker friendly Police commissioner in place in Greater Manchester which presently has an unfriendly relationship with bikers at the present time.

Other news from around the region

We now have five active local groups in the region which is excellent, although Manchester is struggling and needs a local rep as “Grum” is only standing in for now. I am still trying to get a group active around the Liverpool & West Lancashire area and have has a few promising conversations with members from that area at the CAT MCC presentation and at the AGM.

 I am still heavily involved with the Blackpool MAG group as it is my local group but we do now have an excellent local rep in charge, Phil McGladdery, who has taken a lot of pressure off myself, allowing me to concentrate on more regional issues.

On a personnel note, after 14yrs of college, university, professional reviews and interviews, I have finally been elected as a member of IMechE. Basically means that I am now a chartered engineer, and registered with the Engineering Council of the UK. My name should also appear in tomorrow’s (Dec 8th) edition of the Telegraph and the Scotsman. Just thought it may be of interest and could be used to promote the MAG’s National Committees assets? (and I wanted an excuse to boast)


See you all at the weekend,

Tony Cox
NW Regional Rep & CEng