Hello and Welcome to the November News Brief.
As this is the last News Brief of 2021 I thought it appropriate to provide you all with a reprise of the Club Year in similar fashion to my report to the AGM held on 20th October 2021. I hope you will find some items of interest and hope it gives a flavour of the AGM to all those members who were unable to attend. I would however like to thank those General Members (3) who turned out on a very wet evening to come along.
I am pleased to say that your Committee was re elected with the exception of Dave Wheeler who decided not to stand due to personal reasons. I wish to thank Dave for all the work that he has done over the past few years to make the Daffodil Run such a success.
In general it has been a year of improving fortunes. Despite the second lockdown thwarting our expectations there has been a number of significant activities both in terms of events and also in the back ground stemming from the stirling efforts of many committee members.
CHAIRMAN’S Report for Southern Counties AGM
I feel that this year its more a case of where to start to recognise the truly amazing amount of work that has been put in by the committee members in many directions:
Communication with members
On the events front we all recognised the difficulties of putting together a sensible schedule for 2021 but we created it on the expectation that things would improve.
The Daffodil Run was moved from April to July but in the end was very successful due to the efforts of Ed Friend and several attending members who helped out to no small extent.
A new event was added in August to visit the beautiful and ancient surroundings of Mitchelham Priory thanks to Nick Varlow but unfortunately the weather did not oblige.
The Orchard Restorations Open Day had to be cancelled but our Summer BBQ courtesy of Piers and Anne Delegh went off without a hitch.
We were very lucky to arrange a fairly short notice an extra evening event with Hardy Engineering at Leatherhead following discussions between Keith Charie and Bill McDonough at the HDC event in Devon. Bill and Michelle readily agreed to hold a Technical Evening to present the inner workings of your gearbox and overdrive as you’ve never seen them before! A limit of twenty participants was quickly reached and very much enjoyed by all.
Finally Ed Friend made a valiant attempt to resurrect the Autumn Leaves scenic drive but unfortunately the take up of members showing interest was so low as to make it not viable. I feel that the immediate problems with fuel supplies in the South East may have played a significant part in this.
During the previous year there had been several discussions about general member satisfaction and reasons for losing some members and perhaps the need to bring new members into the Club. This is often a point of discussion and indeed occurs in the National Executive Five Year Plan. In order to help us understand the situation we decided to set up a Members’ Working Group to assess and propose some actions.
Out of this came the unanimous view that a member survey was required.
With generous help and assistance from Northern Center a Survey was initiated using Survey Monkey and the results analysed. These results have been published on the website and a plan of action has been agreed.
In Summary :
The study demonstrated that members wanted more local events and to be able to know and communicate with other members within their area.
A high percentage wanted a high degree of access to more technical help whether that was maintenance tips, modification assistance or help with restoration.
Whilst nearly all wanted email as the primary channel of communication, and members accepted Revcounter as their main source of information, they wanted a more dynamic and interactive approach.
Website attendance was shown to be wanting but having more informative content would be attractive.
A Detailed Action Plan was created and this can be viewed by following the Survey link below.
The committee will create an implementation plan deciding on which elements of the
action plan should be prioritised.
Inform the membership of that plan.
Notify the members what group they will be allocated. (Please note you can attend
whatever group you desire).
Inform the members the requirements to participate in the Member-to-Member Map
Provide to the members, the progress of the plan.
Arrange a ‘follow up’ survey if deemed appropriate
I would like to thank the members of the working group and especially John Williams for his work with the group.
Over many years there have been many beautiful and in some ways challenging scenic drives produced for club events; some Centre based and some National. Nick Varlow felt very strongly that these should not be lost but should be available to all members, old and new. We agreed that these should be loaded to the Web site but to do this, all of the drives, existing on paper copy, needed to be digitised. Thanks to Nick this has been done and they are available. Unfortunately when Nick started the exercise we realised that the existing Website at that time was incapable of expansion to load the drives which brings me onto the next point.Drives Archive
Our Southern Counties Website had been constructed years ago as more or less a bespoke system. This was making it harder and harder to maintain to the point where our Webmaster, Keith Charie and myself agreed that we were at risk of being unable to recover from a failure.
As a result I decided to purchase a Word Press license and develop a new website capable of continued technical support and expansion as required.
The results are available for everyone to see and we now have a robust solution in place which holds all of the drives that Nick worked on.
I would add that the development took place over a three month period involving Keith Charie, myself and a couple of WordPress developers who offered their services free of charge to the club.
Keith is well versed in the ongoing maintenance of WordPress sites so I believe we have mitigated the risk and provided a suitable communications tool for the immediate future.Web Site
You may remember that in 2020 Steve Everest moved away from Southern Counties and relinquished his role as 10/10ths Editor.
Whilst we advertised the role no members were interested.
However, sad this situation in a population of around 230 members is, it is not an excuse to abandon the vital capability to let members know what is going on.
I thought about this for some time and eventually decided that I would produce some regular updates to members, locally by electronic means but using Revcounter at a National level.
I have learned to use a free communication package called Mail Chimp which facilitates words and pictures in varying format. This enables me to produce a News Brief on a Bi-monthly basis and forms the essence of a Southern Scene article for alternate RevCounter Issues.
I have received a few complementary remarks about both so I will continue in the hope that this satisfies the need.
I would add that we are currently investigating why the News Brief statistics show that all the emails are delivered but only about 80% are opened by the recipient, this in spite of the stirling work done by Geri Barnden to clense the emails and ensure they are correct. Whilst I have asked for feedback regarding the receipt of the News Brief in Southern Scene, as yet I have received only one.
I was advised recently of the following situation from Jeff Snell
‘Chris Harding who some of you may or maynot know suffered a life changing accident at his home in Turners Hill 30th.April this year. As a result he has been hospitalised since and is due shortly to go into long term 24 hours care. It has been a traumatic experience for the family and his partner Sue Hammond and I’m sure we all send our support at this time.
Chris was active in the classic car and tractor scene for a long while and has acquired a lot of workshop equipment and tools. His family have asked me to liaise with the various car clubs he belonged to to invite everyone to a garage sale at his home on the first Saturday afternoon in January 2022. I have prepared an inventory listing some of the items to be sold but there is a lot more and an endless array of hand tools etc. If you wish to attend please email Jeff Snell, firstname.lastname@example.org for address’
Mini Lathe, Booch Grinder 6”, Record No 25 Vice, Booch Guillotine, Compressor Elec, Su Carb, Parts Washer, Axle Smods, Tool chassis metal various, Socket sets various, Racking, Oxy alleyne, Ar tools, Pillar drill rour sanding, Log splitter electric, Pop rivet guns, Hand tools, Laser sight, Angle grinder, Old headlights, Large stilsons, Wooden planes x4, starter motors, Alternators, Batt charger, Bolt croppers, Bottle jacks, Dynamics, 2x engine grand, Elec cement mixer.
To end I thought a reminder of Summer Evenings would be in order as we pass the point where the clocks change and shorter days begin. Healeys in line at the Surrey Noggin. Thank you for taking the time to read this News Brief.
With best wishes to you all Dave Colwell
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