A record turn out this year with about 10% of the section attending and that made for 26-30 people. It was good to see you all there at what was a very enjoyable and lively meeting to plot new courses and directions within the section.
AGM AROCKES Thursday 27th February 2020 at The Moat Wrotham.
Meeting start time : 1930 to 2230.
Committee Attendees: John Third (Chair Person), Jeff Kaby (Secretary), Keith Barker, Adrian Moore (Treasurer) & Paul Newberry.
Apologies: Jack Hodson (Webmaster)
Estimated number of AROCKES members attending – 26
After a good number of meals were consumed at The Moat prior to commencement of proceedings we were offered a historic part the public house that afforded good privacy and oak beamed atmosphere as the backdrop to what was a very good and actively discussed Section AGM.
Chair Person’s welcome and report.
Our Chair Person and much respected John Third had previously announced his intention to stand down to the committee prior to the AGM some month’s previously. As a fitting end of tenure address to the members it was entirely suitable to lament the passing of time and march of technology vehicle and transport wise. John Third felt that it was a must to introduce new thoughts feelings, approaches and attitudes into the section and as such was willing to again offer his invaluable services on The Committee and open up the role of Chair Person to another member.
In a most suitable last address as Chair, John Lamented the dual introduction of electric vehicles combined with the introduction of so called “smart motorways.” Statistics being that by 2019 there have been 38 deaths on smart motorways and the AA has themselves been instructed not to attend the scene of breakdowns unless the Police have completely shut down that particular lane. It was stated that it takes 17 minutes to detect a broken down vehicle on a smart motorway. The statistics quoted were damming in respect of the safety in so much as normal motorways with a hard shoulder had reported up to 2019 186 near misses and since 2019 and the introduction of the so called smart motorway there was a recorded incidence of 1485 near misses on the same network. If you were to combine this with electric vehicles and their peculiarities it did not make for a very positive picture. In short government planning (to do more with less) in the long term combined with electric vehicles was badly thought out and ill conceived. The technology supposed to support the smart motorway concept being insufficient to enable an effective transport motorway network.
John Third recalled sadly departed members over the last twelve months and that their carefully maintained Alfas had as a result outlasted them and hoped that the new owners of these incredible classics would continue the tradition. Sadly departed members this year are Steve Black, Peter Warr and the much loved Colin Alexander who were also mentioned in our section news in the AROC’s (Alfa Romeo Driver) magazine this month.
A number of shows were picked out as personal favourites one being The Rye Show late in August each year – which was as close these days as there was to a village Fete where even jam is on sale as well as working displays of ferrets, heavy horses and canine obedience. Hever was cited as a personal favourite especially last year with an entire Alfa attendance with guesting Abarth club attendance.
John stated he had enjoyed his tenure of Chair Person but was stepping down as he believed that this important position should be rotated for the benefit of the section.
Jeff Kaby cited that there were a lot of events last year that were all very similar and something that he hoped to change this year. The Chris West shows (Classic Music and Motors) and some of our favourite seaside and beach front vistas were not happening in 2020 due to The Chris West team not making enough money out of shows that they could not charge public admission to – were being cancelled. Although Herne Bay local businesses have organised a Herne Bay show this year it is not one that any details have emerged for so far this year.
Leeds Castle – This was to be attended on Saturday this year as opposed to Sunday that AROCKES regularly attend. Apparently Leeds Castle could only accommodate the 25 of the attending Alfas on the Saturday.
The Eastbourne show this year has 25 entrants and judging by last year will be a really good event.
Jeff was happy with the Post Christmas Dinner (accompanied with nods al round from attending members) and the choice of guest speakers in the guise of Dave Smith (Barrister) and Guy Swarbrick (AROC magazine editor) were applauded if not set back a little by the un-announced disco next door.
Discussion was then around a suggestion by attending member Pierre Coussey that all members could supply details of previous history or interests if needed to be called upon for a similar speaking roles at the PCD and Terry Seal suggested making such a list and a bank of interesting speakers was agreed to be a possibility.
Discussion was then around mixing in drive out events mixed in with the normal shows that AROCKEs attend such as the Bucket and Spade run that Graham attending remembers had attended. Both Graham Duplock and Andy Craker fully endorsed the Bucket and Spade Run that was free of £5 entry donation charge and enjoyable round the many Kent Lanes. The Tulip Rally (or known as the Doug Hodson Memorial Run ) was another firm favourite with attending members. Dave Norman will be organising The Fish & Chip Run to the Pilot Inn at Dungeness and there was the possibility of another Biggin Hill Museum Run organised by Jack Hodson (details to be finalised) John Third also suggested a Tangmere Run that he could organise? (and again details to be finalised)
Sandwich goes Italian was discussed and this year we will be exhibiting in the Guild Hall car park that gives us more space. The famous John Dooley is also rumoured to be making this run health permitting and his stories of daring do are never to be missed.
A point was raised by one of our newest and very keen member John Hufton as to the age of vehicles allowed at shows especially with the title “Classic”… This is a recurring question and the answer from Jeff Kaby the Secretary was a simple “Unless otherwise stated all club vehicles for shows are acceptable and if not it would be communicated to members in the e-mails and face book circulation.” Club car having this status at classic car shows.” For example committee member Paul Newberry has regularly exhibited his 2016 MiTo TCT QV line at various classic car shows around the South East. If the event specifies older “Classic” cars then this will be communicated to the membership via Jeff’s e-mails and or off the face book page.
Another interesting fact was raised by Jeff Kaby along similar lines that show organisers each have their own set of rules, for example the Godmersham Classic show when contacted by Jeff Kaby deemed that admissible cars were any car that belongs to a club and were interesting. Godemersham show organisers deemed all Alfa Romeos as “Interesting!” and were therefore admissible into the show. Sports cars, send photo if in doubt.
I conclusion it was also noted by Jeff Kaby that regular additions of new members from the AROC manager were still being waited for and new members therefore were not being communicated with on section level and were possibly missing out especially in the first year when new “Alfisti” were at their keenest.
Let the secretary know if you enter any event, or if you can no longer attend an event you entered.
Adrian Moore is our respected treasurer and had the pleasure to announce that current funds run at £2,100 and up by £700 from last year due in part from the profits made at Hever, PCD raffle and badge and sticker sales. In the treasurer’s own words the account was in a very healthy state especially since at five years ago there was only £700 in the account.
Adrian Moore did ask that before claiming expenses that a claim should be discussed with Jeff Kaby and himself before the claim is made rather than just making a claim against club accounts.
I have also asked Adrian Moore since the AGM to kindly provide net profit figures for badge and sticker sales which is listed as £194-50 profit and we still have £327-50 worth of stock left which will take a while to sell but will sell. Adrian correctly identified that bulk sales were at saturation point and future sales would be around replacements and new members.
Figures for sale and profit of crystal glasses is not yet available.
Election of Committee.
Chair Person: David Norman was proposed and seconded.
Treasurer: Adrian Moore.
Secretary: Jeff Kaby.
Committee members: Keith Barker, John Third & Paul Newberry.
Webmaster: Jack Hodson.
Hever Castle Event.
The Hever castle input was provide by John Third who explained that AROCKES association with the castle had gone back three years when AROCKES first presented the very successful National Southern Alfa Day. On the back of the success of this event was a second event followed by last year’s themed event that was also immensely successful when we were joined by the Abarth owners Club as guest attendees. These events had developed into a regional event encapsulating Alfa enthusiasts from all over the South East of the U.K. and the expectation was that this would continue and the owner of the castle being an avid Lancia fanatic only supported this.
2020 was all set to be the fourth in the series of events, however, commercialism being as it is, saw the emergence of an ever changing events management team at the castle who were proposing a multi marque classic car show for paying exhibitors and were also very “elusive” in returning e-mails about event organisation. AROCKES felt that the provision of necessary marshalls should therefore fall to the castle events team and not AROCKES (at no cost) It appears that The management team at Hever are inexperienced and have limited experience in what is required for this type of event. Consequently it appears there may be an event at Hever for classic cars but it is unclear when or in what form this will be.
Jeff Kaby in Lieu of John Third soon to be in Australia undertook to try to make contact with Hever Castle events management to clarify the situation especially since Grant Richardson from Surrey AROC section, who is also section co-ordinator for AROC has been asking about attendance at this event.
Hever Castle hosts multiple events including Jousting, wedding events and a spectrum of non Car events and may have changed it’s priorities.
Adrian Moore pointed out that this was a very short sighted approach on the part of Hever events management.
In short we have to look for a signature venue for AROCKES and its national responsibility for events.
Anne Seal suggested the Hop Farm near Tonbridge and Jeff Kaby mentioned that the promotion team associated with the Hop Farm had seen every seasonal event around the county that it had been associated with had seen a rapid deterioration in numbers attending and the quality of the event.
Pierre Coussy suggested other castle events and the committee acknowledged that this was a possibility if any member had contacts and could forward for investigation.
This year the National Southern Alfa Day is being organised by the AROC Thames Valley Section and in two/three years time it will be our turn (Kent and East Sussex Section) so a suitable venue befitting the National status was required and suggestions included Chatham Dock Yard (Which in itself is an important national monument dating back over 600 years) which has more than ample space for a national car show and more historic attractions than a two day visit would take to visit.
Events suggested by the Committee for 2020 (Please view in conjunction with the events list e-mailed to all section members at https://www.arockes.org.uk/events-list/ )
Edenbridge – was a decent show and a multi marque event with the local town and shops embracing the event and decorating the town and shops accordingly. There was a drive through the town accompanied by multiple fly passes of an historic Spitfire fighter plane.
However this year it is on the same day as Tenterden Lions and the Aylesford Priory show (Kent’s Classic Car Show) which most will be opting for this year (Please show report at https://www.arockes.org.uk/kents-classic-car-show-aylesford-priory-8th-sept-2019/ )
Jeff Kaby re-iterated that any member is free to attend any show but please to let him know so that he can contact the organisers Re availability of space.
Brands Hatch Festival Italia – Fully booked within a few hours of free AROC show car tickets being made available. Luckily the AROCKES face book page and Jeff had kept a fairly close eye on what the MSV (Owners of Brands Hatch) website was doing and was able to inform AROCKES members by e-mails and Facebook as to the availability of show tickets and so ensuring maximum AROCKES attendance.
AROCKES Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/groups/632704330571841/ and only Alfa Romeo Owners Club members (from whatever continent) with a current membership number are allowed access.
Brands Hatch Historic Masters – There are still a few spaces left for this in May and members should go to the MSV website (show vehicles) to book a free entry and show space to the event. This event incorporates racing from the 1990’s F1 original cars and is spectacular!
Dover Transport Museum – a good small show with an incredible transport museum. Contact Jeff Kaby if going and an application can be supplied by him, or can be downloaded off the Facebook page, or by going to the Dover Transport Museum web site at https://dovertransportmuseum.org.uk/index.html
Sandwich goes Italian – So far 13 members are going to this event and a resume of last year’s event can be found at – https://www.arockes.org.uk/sandwich-goes-italian-25th-aug-2019/ except this year we will be parked in front of the guildhall where there is more space.
It was then proposed that unused tickets for Brands Hatch could be circulated amongst the members that wanted to attend but it was explained that although in the past this was possible… it could not be done as MSV controlled the electronic tickets and not the section. Attempts to book would have to be made through MSV themselves.
Godmersham Classic Car show – A new show to AROCKES in the grounds of a stately mansion… well worth trying and entry form available for downloading from our Face book page and already sent out on e-mail.
Bucket and spade run – Both attending members Graham Duplock and Andy Craker have attended this event and gave very positive reviews. Well worth attending and entry forms available for download from this address https://a6d50591-91e6-46de-885b-a51e9bcaf231.filesusr.com/ugd/efdbad_308d6a07acb04b63b430c81375a255ce.pdf and already sent out by e-mail.
Capel Manor Classic car show – Andy Craker suggested this show as a good one and information can be found at https://www.capelmanorgardens.co.uk/events/classic-and-vintage-car-show-2020.html
David Norman will be organising the Fish and Chip run to the Pilot Inn at Dungeness which does amazing Cod & Chips so watch out for e-mails and announcements on the Facebook page and e-mails from Jeff for this one as it will be popular and an early start to get a pre-ordered table booking for 1200 after which the car park is always full for this popular venue eaterie.
Ten Pin Bowling – date already suggested and 4 people interested so far, to be decided by members, but more interest needed. Wrotham Classic car show – had two attendees last year from Giovanni D’Avanzo and Paul Newberry and if the weather is favourable (rarely) is a good show with lots of steam engines view last year’s article here at https://www.arockes.org.uk/40th-wrotham-steam-transport-rally-30th-june-2019/
Any Other business.
General discussion on various events and current topics closed the Discussion and departure by outgoing Chair Person John Third.
Jeff Kaby Cup was awarded to Jeff Kaby as the unsung Hero behind the running of the section and the meeting was concluded at 2230 after a very lively and well attended meeting. Thank you to all that attended and made this section what it is!