October News Brief.

I am pleased to report that quite a lot of things have been going on around the Centre but first some news of immediate future events.

Autumn LeavesI think most of you will be aware that that historically, we have run a planned drive in October under the description of Autumn Leaves. I am very happy to confirm that this year we will again run this event. Ed Friend has put together a delightful planned drive which he describes as follows:

Our “Autumn Leaves” Drive-Out-Day – Sunday 10th October 2021 
This is a very good proven run through picturesque rural Kent on good driving roads, with no motorways or big towns on the route. For others there are many places of historic interest to visit in this region. 

For the enthusiast, this drive can be 150 miles long, but it is very simple to reduce it by 100 miles, or more. The route starts at Bessels Green and passes through Biddenden, Tenterden, Iden, Winchelsea, Rye, Lydd, Appledore, Headcorn and ends at Brands Hatch.

Lovely as they are, to avoid irritating other road users, we want to avoid wagon-trains of Austin Healeys, so whenever possible, ideally please observe a max. limit of 2 or 3 cars, driving together.

Plentiful lunch/coffee stops are en route and as you find & like them. A set lunch had been considered, but a pre-payment and pre-order was demanded, but firmly rejected.  If the day dawns fine, it may be a good plan to take a picnic, or just take pot-luck on the road. Some recommended towns/villages for stops are:- Goudhurst, Biddenden, Tenderden and particularly Rye, which has many tasty places for a meal or snacks.

We have agreed that we will need a minimum of twelve cars to make this event viable so if you would like to join the drive, please let Ed Friend know by COP on 6th October so that a decision can be made. Please e-mail :-

Ed Friend on eff@northdowns.org  or call on  020 8293 9111 between 10am – 8pm
You will need to provide ED with your name, e-mail, Tel number, car reg., and mobile number. 

 Southern Counties AGM 20th October
Our AGM will be held in October and I am pleased to say that it will be  a real meeting with the option of virtual attendance for those who would like to attend but are unable to be there for whatever reason. The details are as follows:

SOUTHERN COUNTIES NOTICE OF AGM The Southern Counties AGM will be held at 8pm. on
Wednesday 20th October 2021
at the Bent Arms, Lindfield, RH16 2HP. There will also be a facility for members to join the meeting using the internet.
Your Committee Invites the membership join and participate in the AGM which will elect the committee for the coming year and provide the opportunity to discuss future plans for the centre
It is essential that any member wishing to join the meeting either physically or virtually should contact Jonathan Woodrow by email at jonathan@woodrow.eu.com for details at least 0ne Week in advance of the meeting date
 We would love to see you so give it some thought and come along if you can.

 Recent Events

Michelham Priory
On the 8th August there was a very successful visit to Michelham Priory near Hailsham. The event organised by Nick Varlow attracted a large attendance but the enjoyment was a little subdued due to the poor weather conditions. Nick said afterwards, ‘ Richard Long and John Williams were a massive help in getting the gazebo up and importantly, organising the parking to get the cars in month/year order. It’s a pity the weather was so rubbish as we were inclined not to ponder the subtle differences between the years. But there was a lot of bonding in the cafe and under the gazebo with a number of new faces too!’ So who says Healey drivers don’t have fun. Many thanks to all involved.

Hardy Engineering
Through the good offices of Keith Charie, a visit was arranged on evening of 7th September, to Hardy Engineering Gearbox and Transmission Specialists in Leatherhead. Even though the visit was arranged at fairly short notice we had an excellent attendance of approximately 20 members. We split into three groups, with each group able to see in detail the stripping, operation and function of the internals in an Austin Healey Gearbox and Overdrive. The demonstrations were ably handled by Bill McDonough, Neil Hardy and their team whilst Michelle and her team of helpers provided excellent hospitality with ample supplies of tea, coffee and biscuits. In chatting to Michelle after the event she said ‘Yes it was a great evening and a pleasure to see you all. Hopefully it gives an idea of what we do and how it is done! I asked one chap if he had learned anything during the evening and he replied ‘yes, I have learned to bring my gearbox to you”.
We suggested that this should be a charitable event with the proceeds going to a Charity of choice by Hardy Engineering. I am pleased to say that the evening raised £155 for Cancer Research UK. So a big thankyou to Hardy Engineering and all who attended and supported the event.
Gearbox strip and inspectNeil demonstrates machining of partsSouthern Counties Survey ProgressAs those of you who regularly visit the Web Site will have seen the output from the Survey has been published for some weeks. This not only includes the detailed presentation of the results from Survey Monkey but also the Working Groups first pass assessment of those results. Overall this gives us a clearer view of how you, the membership views the performance of the Centre and as a result, what your management committee can do to address such shortcomings as may appear and to analyse the data for ways to enhance the membership experience.
As with any large group of members of an organisation, all members will have an expectation of what they will receive as a result of that membership and I believe that this survey has identified a number of common themes which hopefully we can use to enhance the experience of all members irrespective of their individual expectations.
The working group has produced a detailed report which includes several specific areas covering the following themes: Geography, Communications, Information Flow, Local Events, Technical Liaison and Website. The next step will be review and discuss in committee to set priorities and develop agreed implementation plans, including timescales which of necessity will depend entirely on voluntary effort and potentially, the availability of suitable technical solutions.

With best wishes to you all

Dave Colwell
Director and Chairman

 SurveyCopyright © 2021 Austin healey Club Southern Counties, All rights reserved.

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