SHRMF Heritage Weekend and AGM 18-19 November 2017 at Hunt House
Duncan Feetham had once again applied persuasion to a number of victims to provide enlightenment and entertainment on matters of interest to SHRMF and RREC members. He had correctly deduced that almost any topic on matters of aviation and motoring could be found to have some connection to Rolls-Royce, as well as being in itself of interest to that audience.
With his background of training in engineering and accountancy, David Towers had chosen to cover the career of W. O. Bentley, from his education, involvement with selling DFP cars before WWI with his brother H. M. Bentley, BR1 and BR2 rotary aero-engines, design of the first Bentley motor-cars, with special reference to their engines and their successes in racing or otherwise. David then went onto the winding up of WO’s company, with some discussion on consequent involvement with Rolls-Royce, followed by his later design activities leading up to his retirement. The talk aroused some comments and additional information from the audience and David added an accountant’s view on the financial health of WO’s endeavours.
Motoring author Jonathan Wood contributed a talk based on his upcoming book on the Triumph Dolomite. This was based on the design of the 1930s Alfa-Romeo straight-eight 8c 2300 and developed by Donald Healey with two other engineers poached from Riley. The Alfa’s two-seater body styling by Touring of Milan was a strong influence on other makers’ sports car bodies. Something of a failure as only three were built, but two survive.
Victor Riley followed with a light-hearted talk on the evolution of the Riley company from weaving equipment to bicycles to cars via motor-bicycles. The bicycle period under his grandfather included adoption of the Sturmey Archer epicyclic gear. Also included was Percy Riley’s early work at age 16 on internal combustion engines, largely concealed from his father who didn’t like noisy and nasty smelling vehicles. The success of the four cylinder ohc engine of the Nine was mentioned, as well as the study by Ivan Evernden of the close-coupled body of the “Monaco” saloon, incorporated later in the Continental Phantom II and Derby Bentley bodies.
The SHRMF AGM was relatively non-controversial, and was preceded by Jane Pedler presenting the Philip Hall award to Ian Neish, who has been responsible for much of detail work in the construction of a replica of the just Pre WWII “Corniche” 14BV. It was followed by a presentation to Chris and Linda Ball of something drinkable in recognition of their efforts around the recovery of stolen items from Hunt House and the conviction of the culprit.
Sunday’s session started with Peter Grieve: the evocative sound of his Merlin rig at the Annual Rally is an effective drowner of the band and the PA system. He deftly covered the main variants of the engine during and following WWII in marine and tank versions, as well as applications in civil aviation and the achievement of economic service intervals. Apart from installations in some distinctive motor cars, some other uses mentioned include testing the resistance of tall building facades to high winds. Around 150 Merlins are still in airworthy state in WWII aircraft such as Spitfire, Hurricane and Mustang.
Malcolm Tucker, ex Club Chairman and also author, did a review of the cars he has owned, by no means all by Rolls-Royce: his interest in RR was triggered by a ride at the age of 12 in a Phantom II limousine run by a car hire company that was part of a car dealer business bought by his father. A good number of the descriptions ended up with “I now regret parting with it.” One he has bought back is a 1934 Humber Vogue, and one he would like to own again, of all the cars he mentioned, is his 1935 3½ litre Gurney Nutting sweep panel pillarless 2dr saloon coupé B186EF.
For the final session, Tom Clarke, well-known author on all matters RR, covered the early writers on the history of Rolls-Royce through to the 1980s. An interesting point was that the company was really only prepared to support publications they had commissioned, although one of the earliest books, “Two Brave Brothers” by H. F. Morriss was commissioned by Lady Llangattock, Rolls’ mother. In post WWII years two books were suppressed for some time. Tom’s view was that the first comprehensive coverage of the cars was “The Rolls-Royce Motor Car” by Anthony Bird and Ian Hallows. As usual, Tom had researched the authors thoroughly and brought out some fascinating details that only he would notice.
A good weekend, with excellent catering and company. Duncan is already in search of speakers for 2018.
MINUTES OF THE SIXTH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE SIR HENRY ROYCE MEMORIAL FOUNDATION LTD HELD AT THE HUNT HOUSE, PAULERSPURY ON 18 NOVEMBER 2017
Mrs Jane Pedler (JP) – Chairman
Mr Chris Ball (CB)
Mr John Beecroft (JB)
Mr Duncan Feetham (DF)
Mr Allan Fogg (AF)
Mr Clive Green (CG)
Mr Philip Hall (PH)
Mr Ian Hick (IH)
Bill McGawley (WM)
Mr Mark Griffiths (MG) – Company Secretary
Mr Graham Cottrell – Business Manager
Mr Johan Vanden Bergh – Chairman RREC
Mr Charles Tabor – President SHRMF
A number of additional SHRMF guaranteeing members
- The Chairman called the meeting to order at 4.45pm, welcomed those present, and then received apologies from Mrs Brenda Wright, Bob Riding, Dr Cedric Ashley, Stephen Byrne, David Whale, Sarah Hick and Clive Hickman.
- The Chairman gave her report, warning those present that it would differ from that which had already been published in the annual report as it would deal mainly with matters that had occurred since that report had been written. A full text is given at the end of these minutes.
- The minutes of the 2016 AGM were confirmed. They had been published in the Bulletin.
- Adoption of the Financial Statements for the year ending 30 June 2017: the result of the members’ vote on this resolution was
For: 64 Against: 0
The Financial Statements were therefore approved.
- Reappointment of millhall consultants ltd as Independent Examiners: the Chairman explained that the small “m” was not a misprint and that a full audit was not required of smaller companies, thus saving needless expense. Independent Examiners inspected the books and ensured that all was correct and as it should be. The result of the members’ vote on this resolution was as follows:
For: 72 Against: 1
Millhall consultants were therefore reappointed as Independent Examiners.
- The Business Manager gave the result of the election of Directors, and the effective votes cast were:
Chris Ball 67
John Beecroft 57
Ian Hick 60
Cedric Ashley 62
All four candidates were therefore elected.
- There being no other formal business, the meeting was closed at 5.04 pm.
SHRMF AGM 18/11/2017
Welcome to all members and supporters of the Foundation to this, our Annual AGM.
We are pleased to see Johan can den Bergh, Chairman of the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts Club and Richard Fenner, member of the RREC Board. Of course we must not forget Ian Hick, Deputy Chairman of the RREC and Allan Fogg, RREC Board member who are also Trustee Directors of the Foundation
I’m sure you have all read the Chairman’s report in the Annual Accounts so I do not intend to repeat what has already been said there, but to mention some other things which have been happening since.
We now have a full Board of 12 Trustees having filled our final Independent Trustee place earlier this year. Bill Mcgawley OBE has been a loyal supporter of the Foundation for many years and his attendance at lectures and the AGM has not gone unnoticed. He now joins David Whale of the FBHVC (who is leading the Federation delegation of seven to the General Assembly of the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (FIVA) in Bucharest today) and Stephen Byrne of MTC as the Foundation link to the outside world of engineering and training. Bill has been appointed Chairman –of the Prizes and Awards Committee, in succession to Cedric Ashley, and is currently working hard on our Apprentice Award Scheme which is now in its second year, and also with the FBHVC on the Government Trailblazer Apprentice Initiative. I’m sure if any of you have any questions later on he will be pleased to answer them.
We gave our second apprentice award on the Live Stage at the NEC last weekend, to Stewart Parkes of Jonathan Wood. We are grateful to the FBHVC who are our partner in selecting and judging the candidates and arranged this opportunity to showcase the scheme before a much wider audience. Stewart came to our notice as a recommendation from the RRBSA.
Membership numbers are healthy given the current climate of economic uncertainty and we are extremely grateful to all our members and donors. At the current time numbers are 240 voting members which include 156 Life Members. These are people who have signed the Limited Liability Guarantee. RREC donors giving £30 or more number 171 and those giving £29 or less number 590. Total membership is therefore 1001. Some donors giving £30 or more choose not to sign the guarantee so are not full voting members.
While on the subject of donations it would be much appreciated if as many donors as possible were to take out Annual Standing Orders for their donation which would save us having to wait for the RREC to hand over the monies given by members as part of their subscriptions. There is frequently a long delay between the payment of the donation/subscription and the Foundation receiving the monies from the Club which means we are perceived to be late in acknowledging the donation causing understandable irritation to the donors. Because we do not have a subscription year in the same way as the Club (for tax and legal reasons I will not bore you with) sending our “reminders” becomes difficult – a Standing Order solves this.
The Foundation have only two long suffering and patient staff – Graham Cottrell and Karen Bowen- Jones, and we are very grateful to them for their hard work over the year. Our Business Manager, Graham has decided to retire for the second time and move on to pastures new so we are currently advertising for a new full time Business Manager to start sometime in the New Year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Graham for all he has done for us in the five years he has been working for the Foundation.
We also fund half of Amii Errington, the Archivist who has now been with us for a full year. I am sure you will all have seen the fruit of her considerable labours and what you see is only the half of it. A small group of Trustees and helpers, led by Amii, are currently engaged in creating an electronic catalogue of the Hunt House contents, a major task as I’m sure you will all appreciate. I am hopeful that by next year I will be able to report it as completed and on line but don’t want to count any hatching chickens!
I wish to thank all the Trustees for their efforts during the year. It has not always been plain sailing but I think we are still friends and determined to move the Foundation on to even greater things and enhanced public awareness. I must also thank Charles, our President. He was a Trustee himself for many years and has now stepped back to spend more time on his business and personal affairs. However the Foundation still benefits from his input, wisdom, experience and generosity.
And finally a piece of news which may have already filtered down to some of you:
The Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation is pleased to announce that, following a long and exhaustive investigation by Chris Ball (Trustee/Director of SHRMF) in conjunction with the Northamptonshire Police, numerous irreplaceable artefacts owned by the Foundation have been returned to the Hunt House. The perpetrator of the thefts, who was a longstanding member of the Rolls Royce Enthusiasts’ Club, pleaded guilty at Northants Crown Court on 13 November 2017 and was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years and curfewed for 3 months between the hours of 10 pm and 8 am. Although this case is now concluded the search continues for the balance of the items that were appropriated illegally from the Hunt House.
Any breach of the sentence or curfew the Judge warned, he will go straight to prison. So finally after nearly a year we got the result we deserve, all due frankly to Chris’s hard work and tenacity at considerable personal expense. I think should formally record our thanks to him for his hard work, and to Linda for the support I know she gave and gives to him.
That completes the Chairman’s Report for this AGM.
The Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation is delighted to welcome members of the public to their Birthday Party and Hog Roast to be held at The Hunt House, Paulerspury on Sunday 17th September 2017 from 11.00 am.
All proceeds will be in support of The Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation.
There will be a Hog roast, food and drink. There is plenty of on-site parking.
You will be able to book rides in Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars in return for donations to the Foundation, as well as be able to visit the Museum and see historic engines, artefacts and memorabilia from the fascinating career of Sir Henry Royce.
Email Business Manager at [email protected] to book your place.
Some Dates for your Diary 2018
Wednesday March 14th – Spring Lecture by Rod Dean – the Spitfire and Seafire. Buy Tickets here.
Saturday April 7th and Sunday 8th – Club Conference and AGM.
Wednesday May 16th – Board Meeting and Lecture (Rod Dean)
Thursday June 21st to Sunday 24th – RREC Rally
Sunday September 16th – Hunt House Open Day
Thursday October 4th – Board Meeting and Lecture (Alastair Lawson)
Saturday November 17th and Sunday 18th – Sir Henry Royce Heritage Weekend and AGM.
Historic Weekend 2016 – November 19 and 20th
The Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation is delighted to invite you to it’s open weekend in September, Saturday and Sunday 17th-18th.
10.00 am to 4.00 pm – The Hunt House, High Street, Paulerspury. NN12 7NA
Royce Lecture 8th March 2016
Director of Bentley Motor Sports
Brian Gush joined Bentley in 2000 and created the motorsport department alongside his Chassis and Powertrain road car responsibilities. The beautiful Speed 8 prototype went on to win Le Mans in 2003.
In September 2012, the Continental GT3 race car was unveiled. At that point, it was still a concept car. Since then, a team of Bentley engineers has been working behind closed doors, making the concept a reality. The result is a racing Bentley GT3 – the first Bentley racer for a decade.
During this lecture Mr Gush will describe the work and achievements of turning the Bentley Continental GT into a successful competition car.
Royce Lecture 19th May 2016
De Lorean Cars – The Inside Story
Barrie has more than fifty years experience in the worldwide automobile industry as a direct employee, interim manager or consultant with Jaguar Cars, British Leyland Truck & Bus, Reliant Motor Company, DeLorean Motor Cars Limited, Lotus, Lamborghini, Land Rover, Timor Putra Nasional, the UK Department of Trade & Industry, Indonesia’s Ministry of Industry, and the European Union. From 2005-2007 he worked to save the MG brand and to reintroduce a smart roadster, firstly as the MG Midget and later the AC Ace. Now he provides occasional assistance to vehicle and component manufacturers and distributors. Author of the 2015 book John Z, the DeLorean and Me … tales from an insider, memoirs of his time with DeLorean Motor Cars as director of purchasing, later director of product development and supply, and CEO during the 1982-3 receivership, Barrie will be telling the story of a business that went from birth to burial in four and a half years but could have been a success. His authoritative book on his experiences will be available after the lecture. A second book, covering his other 44+ years in the auto industry, is scheduled for release in late 2017.
Lecture starts at 6.45pm with refreshments from 6.15pm and Dinner at 8.00pm
Lecture (including canapés and wine) – £15.00 each – buy tickets
Lecture and 2 course dinner – £35.00 each – buy tickets
Booking by phone to SHRMF office (01327 811048) Mon-Fri 10am – 2pm
Or email to [email protected]
Please book by 16th May 2016
We are delighted to announce an open day for the village of Paulerspury on September 20th 2015.
Royce Lecture 6th October 2016
Bluebirds – A Brief History
Don is the grandson of Sir Malcolm Campbell MBE and the nephew of Donald Campbell CBE, who between them broke over 20 World Land and Water Speed records in their various Bluebirds.
Don has continued the family tradition in a small way, breaking the World record for a steam powered car, the UK record for an Electric car and the Guiness World record for a ride on Lawn mower.
The talk will start with the early career of Sir Malcolm, then Donald Campbell, and finish with a little look at his own records.
Lecture starts at 6.45 pm with refreshments from 6.15 pm and Dinner at 8.00pm.
Lecture (including canapés and wine) – £15.00 each – buy tickets
Booking by phone to SHRMF office (01327 811048) Mon-Fri 10am – 2pm
Or email to [email protected]
Please book by 3rd October 2016
Photos of previous events
Heritage Weekend November 18-19 2017 and AGM
Foundation News September – October 2014
Welcome to Foundation News in its new format! A pipe dream of several for some time, today sees FN change from being an “insert” to being an integral part of this prestigious publication. We hope you like it (we’re sure that some of you won’t!) and we invite you to tell us what you think by email to [email protected] or by writing to us at The Hunt House, Main Street, Paulerspury, Northants NN12 7NA.
What we must do before we continue is to thank the RREC for making the space available to us and for demonstrating once again (as if proof were needed) that the two organisations are united in support of each other, but individual in outlook.
In this edition we have three items. The main offering is by Jane Pedler, Deputy Chairman of the Board of SHRMF, and attempts to clarify once and for all the origins of the Foundation, its role and relevance at The Hunt House, and its ambitions for the future: next is a brief and light hearted look at the Foundation presence at the Annual Rally: finally there is a short announcement about the forthcoming AGM in November and the vacancies to be filled then on the Board.
The SHRMF – Past, Present and Future
The Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation was formed in 1977 and was the brainchild of our late President, Eric Barrass, and intended to deal with the vast amount of archives then coming out of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars at Crewe following the move into receivership. It was being stored in lofts, spare rooms and barns thanks to the generosity of Club members, and it was felt a central location was desirable. As an add on the premises could also be used to provide the RREC with a much needed headquarters as it was then being run from Eric’s dining room table! His vision was set out in full in an excellent article in the Club Bulletin of January 1977 by the then Chairman, John Schroder. At the time the prime purpose was stated as follows “We cannot properly administer the invaluable collection of material we have taken over from the Company, and generally described as the Archives. This alone is a monumental undertaking with all the storage, indexing and research involved. The Maurice Booth Memorial Library, many documents, drawings, photographs, records of many kinds and an immense amount of technical material must be properly and permanently housed”. The entire text is reproduced in Bulletin 325 as part of Clive Green’s article about the Archives.
In a later statement Eric expanded further on his vision:
- Why has the Foundation been established?
- a) Rolls-Royce Motors Limited have made over to the Club the “Archives” which consist of the Royce Papers going back to before 1914, some 35,000 chassis cards for pre and post war cars, together with thousands of drawings and photographs etc. They have also promised large quantities of other valuable material. The Company acknowledges that is would not itself be able to make the best use of this material but that the necessary knowledge and enthusiasm can be found in and through the Club.
Having been entrusted with this substantial amount of material, the Club had effectively three choices. First it could store the material, in which case it would be more or less unavailable and therefore useless. Secondly it could house and make available the material at its own cost. This would almost certainly necessitate an increase in the subscription over and above the one already proposed and which is dealt with below. Thirdly steps could be taken to form a separate organisation to look after the Archives, to provide a permanent home for them and to see that the best use is made of them In view of the tax advantages of charitable status, the reasons why this new organisation should be a charity are self –evident.
- b) The Club is now twenty years old and has grown from a handful in 1957 to over 3,000 members at the present. With this increase the amount of paperwork has escalated enormously and the task of coping with it is spread amongst the Club’s secretariat and is run from a number of private homes. These offer widely different degrees of facility, and the system inevitably proves inefficient and slow, quite apart from imposing a heavy burden on a few dedicated members of the Club. The Club already owns a certain amount of office equipment and it has been apparent for some time that it would need to find a central home for its administration. The purchase of the Hunt House at Paulerspury by the Foundation will enable the Club to carry on its administration there on the most cost effective basis. Such accommodation will of course have to be paid for by the Club, but in turn the Club will be released from the major burden of having to house the archives.
- c) The least tangible of the reasons for setting up the Foundation is perhaps the most important. The growth of the Club has already been mentioned and in addition there are flourishing Clubs in America and Australia not to mention independent enthusiasts all over the world even behind the Iron Curtain. The “home” Club, like all the others, is based on the works of Frederick Henry Royce, a man whose contribution to engineering and to his country has been immense, but perhaps never fully recognised. Many of his ideas were never brought to fruition, and it is hoped that by making available the Archives for instance in the field of aero-engineering, the value of his work and of the standards which he sought to achieve, will be more fully appreciated and developed by today’s engineers and students. This is the vision which lies behind the establishment of the Foundation.
The Foundation is a charitable organisation which has been set up by certain members of the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club. It takes the form of a Trust and will be under the control of the trustees, all of whom are members of the Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club, and an Advisory Committee. The Committee is drawn from the Club, from the Rolls-Royce Owners Club Inc., the Rolls-Royce Owners Club of Australia and from the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. Additional members can be co-opted by the Committee.
The charitable status of the Foundation has been accepted by the Charity Commission and it confers very considerable tax benefits on the Foundation. In this way the trustees will be able to recover tax on the Foundation’s income, and other gifts to the Foundation will not normally attract any tax liability at all. There is the additional fact that many people are prepared to make gifts to a charity but not to a private club
Over the years the regulations concerning charities have been updated and in many cases tightened up. For instance when it came to renewing the Hunt House Lease in 2009 the sort of friendly, mutually beneficial agreement that had existed between Club and Foundation was no longer possible. Such agreements had to be totally transparent and the Trustees had to be shown to be acting in the best interests of the charity and getting a proper commercial return on their assets. This led to the infamous Section 25 notice which was a legal requirement! What some of you may not be aware of is that the Foundation’s solicitors actually served the wrong kind of Section 25 which is what led to all the trouble! (they were sacked!!). Once the mistake was realised the Trustees offered to withdraw the notice but by then it was too late! Several years of negotiation followed during which time it was decided to incorporate the Foundation as a Limited Company. This is perfectly acceptable and in fact is now recommended Charity Commission policy. It has one major benefit. Under the terms of the old trust if it was felt that Trustees had not acted in the best interest of the charity, and their actions had resulted in a severe financial loss, then their personal assets could be sequestered to cover the supposed deficit. This obviously prevented many highly respected and suitable candidates from coming forward. As Trustee Directors of an incorporated body they are still duty bound to act in the best interests of the charity, but their personal wealth is not at risk. So now we have a capable body of 11 elected Directors, the matter of the Lease and the constitution of the Foundation is all solved and we are ready for the 21st Century. As our current Chairman, Bob Riding has been heard to remark frequently “we are where we are”
What of the present? Things have now moved on. In the last 10 years or so there have been several new Charities Acts, all of them tightening up on the various regulations. Unfortunately over time matters had got blurred and many charities had been set up purely to make use of the various tax exemptions, and many showed little “public benefit”. This was brought home not too long ago when many of our well known public schools started to open their swimming pools, theatres and sports facilities to local communities in order to be seen to fulfil this “public benefit”.
The Foundation exists in the eyes of the Charity Commission to further education and act for the public good and this is the aspect of its work that needs to be emphasised, although it does not preclude the Foundation from supporting the Club as they have in the past (or for that matter the Club from supporting the Foundation!) the Archives being a case in point. The Foundation can support the archives as part of its charitable work but there needs to be an obvious “wider public benefit” and the Foundation has to be seen to be getting some return for any contribution made.
The new Lease was signed at the Annual Rally in June 2012 and the Club and the Foundation are now working in harmony to develop and improve the Hunt House and its contents for the benefit of everyone. The facilities are to be updated, displays modernised and improved, and more use made of the premises for selected outside bodies which will bring in much needed income. With the departure of AX 201 to new pastures it is hoped to have a “rolling” display of Concours cars, together with a new cabinet housing the Club trophies. It is also intended that better use will be made of the American Room and it is hoped to be able to expand and improve the toilet provisions.
The Foundation’s Prizes and Awards have been revised and realigned over the past few years and are now beginning to be more relevant in the modern engineering world. This brings us more acclaim and although small we are now regarded as an important player in the sector. The two Ministry of Defence apprentices from Gosport who spoke at the Foundation presentation in the Seminar Tent on the Friday of the Annual made it clear how highly regarded these awards are. To further the science of engineering and make certain there is a steady flow of suitably trained apprentices into the industry is a vital part of our charitable purpose. There is an obvious benefit here to RREC members in a supply of well trained and experienced people to service and restore their precious motor cars.
And the future? We hope to increase our Prizes and Awards and are a partner in the FBHVC’s “Skills Programme” detailed below:
“FBHVC Launches Europe’s First Apprenticeship in Historic Vehicle Restoration”
The UK is to get an OFQUAL accredited apprenticeship programme in historic vehicle restoration. This means that through the initiative of the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs, the skills gap which had previously been identified by FBHVC research (carried out in conjunction with the University of Brighton Business School) will be filled by a whole new generation of craftsmen and craftswomen who will replace many of the specialist technicians now approaching retirement.
FBHVC have been working with the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) to develop this new apprenticeship in vehicle restoration”.
The improvement and updating of the Hunt House and its facilities must continue for the benefit of all, and the Archive project still has a long way to go. All this needs your support. Two members of the “Board” are standing down this year and we need to find new, dynamic, forward thinking people with proven skills to replace them. The challenges are not over yet but hopefully we are moving ahead.
In conclusion to those Club members who support the Foundation and its works, many thanks. To those who do not please consider a donation to help what is, after all, the Club’s Charity. Any amount is gratefully received but if you give more than £20 per year and sign the limited liability guarantee you become a voting member and can take part in the decision making of the charity by voting at the AGM, standing as a Director, and taking a more active part in the running and future development of the organisation. If you are a UK tax payer and sign a Gift Aid form then the Foundation can claim back the appropriate amount of tax from HM Government; an added bonus!.
Eric’s original announcement ended by saying “All your enthusiasm and effort will be needed to make the Foundation the world’s centre for the study and perpetuation of the classic qualities of endeavour and the search for perfection exemplified by that modest genius, Henry Royce, Mechanic. The heritage of that great man, his illustrious colleagues and successors is our great and proud responsibility!” That statement holds good to the present day; and beyond.
Deputy Chairman – The Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation.
The Foundation at RREC Rally, Rockingham – 20th to 22nd June 2014
Unbroken summery weather and a wealth of interesting exhibits combined to guarantee the overall resounding success of RREC’s last Rally at Rockingham and it is good to report that this achievement was mirrored by the performance of SHRMF. Not only did we have the most attractive display for many years in our tent, but we also improved our “turnover” of recent years by one hundred per cent. We were fortunate to be positioned in close proximity to some very attractive exhibits, not least the Rolls-Royce Armoured Car, and this helped greatly in increasing our footfall.
Friday started with a bang and almost before the kettle had boiled we had sold over £400 worth of books and recruited a new member. This set the tone for the day: three former members subscribing through their annual payment to the Club “topped up” their donations to the new level set by the Board in 2012 and two new Life members were signed up. At noon there was the Foundation Presentation in the Seminar tent next door to our own. John Lowe, aided by two apprentices from the MOD Apprentice School in Gosport, explained the importance of the work done by the Foundation in encouraging young engineers and Andy and Craig spoke eloquently of the inspiration they had derived in designing, making and submitting work for the Sir Henry Royce Medal. Our thanks are due to the MOD Apprentice School for loaning us both the Artefacts and the young men.
Jane Pedler followed with a concise explanation of the new collaboration between Club and Foundation over the award of the Pursuit of Excellence Trophy and Graham Cottrell brought up the rear with some comments on work carried out on The Hunt House during the previous year and the rationale and reasoning behind our membership campaign.
Saturday was noisy: Peter Grieve, who had given such an interesting talk at the Heritage weekend last November, arrived with his Merlin engine, and from 11.00 onwards the day was punctuated by several “firings” of this magnificent beast. Each one was met with prolonged applause from the delighted spectators, while in the peaceful periods in between these storms we were serenaded from the Refreshment tent by a traditional jazz band. Business carried on in our tent apace: more books were sold and seven new members were enrolled, five of them from Continental Europe. All said how important it was to be able to access through the Hunt House Archives the drawings needed for spare parts to keep their cars running.
Sunday was judgement day: people with clip boards moved purposefully among the ranks of gleaming cars and made decisions that would make or break the owners’ day, the Merlin ”fired” again, but only twice, and the jazz band played. In the tent the redoubtable Gerard Le Clerc, President of the Club’s Romande section, introduced one new Life member and two annual, and then demonstrated his belief in the Foundation by upgrading his own position to that of Life member. The afternoon saw Linda Scott and Graham Cottrell judge the most elegant car in show and this was followed by the final parade and presentation of trophies. The highlight for many, however, was the aerial display of the Spitfire and Hurricane and all the memories and emotions it invoked, and afterwards it was time to pack up the display, return to The Hunt House and build on the memory of a very successful show.
Fresh Blood Required
Election of new Board Members
Foundation AGM 22nd November 2014
Now that you have read Jane Pedler’s article and understand in more detail why the Foundation was formed, what it does and where it’s going, why not consider contributing to its future by playing a part in its organisation and governance?
Foundation Chairman Bob Riding has made no bones about the fact that fresh blood is needed on the board of directors and the current Board established last September at a brain storming session that expertise was required in the important areas of Marketing, Publicity and Archive Management, and a fresh approach and enthusiasm would benefit the issues of Membership, Lectures and Events at The Hunt House.
Each year three of the nine elected directors stand down and either offer themselves for re-election or withdraw from service. This November there will be two vacancies to be filled, so please consider whether you might not have the qualifications and impetus to fill one of them. There are two routes open: for existing members of the Foundation all that is required is a proposer and seconder who are also members, while, if you belong to the Club only, you need to be nominated by the Board of RREC and should contact Duncan Feetham, the Chairman, to forward your request.