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The GRA Annual Gathering 2015

The jumble is always a good opportunity to pick up those much needed parts and usually at sensible prices as members clear out unwanted items. This year was no exception and soon the carpark became a veritable market place. Established suppliers Nametab Engineering, Cotton Villiers Spares and Villiers Services were all on parade and had a range of new products for sale.

Whilst the jumble was in full swing, Demon Dick the raffle ticket salesman was rushing around refusing to take 'no' for an answer. The snack bar opened for business soon after and bacon rolls were consumed by those who should know better.

The display of bikes gradually assembled, not only more than previous years but more variety. Bikes ranged from a selection of road models including a very purposeful Grumph. On the competition side, trials were well represented and included an interesting contrast. An immaculate TES in catalogue condition could be compared with Alan Nicklin's highly modified version. The latter was extremely interesting but the important point is that all of the mods could have been carried out at the time with no replica parts.

Lloyd Lingbach, the guest speaker just happened to be in England from the US on holiday and was quickly roped in to the event. Lloyd was Nick Nicholson, the US importer's right-hand man. He also road in the 1961 ISDT and almost again in 1965. Lloyd spoke for an hour and outlined the Greeves scene in the 60's together with the events they rode in over there. He proved to be an absolute through and through Greeves enthusiast and still owns a few. It almost seemed a shame to move on to the AGM as I am sure Lloyd could have entertained us with even more tales! He was certainly one of the best speakers we have had.

The AGM followed and saw the retirements of Pete Smith and Don Heath, a sad occasion as both have given many years to the Club. In fact, Pete has been on the committee from the very start, some 32 years service! Colin Sparrow also emphasised his intention to stand down as Leading Link editor. So far, we have not received any interest from any potential successors and the future of the Club magazine is looking rather uncertain. However, we were fortunate in being able to vote on two new committeee members, TFS owner Jack Chalk and Greeves scrambles series rider Kim Morley. With no calamities to report, the talk was mainly about off-road sport participation and generally furthering the Club. Membership is almost at last year's level and we are continuing to recruit new members. Finances were also reported to be in a very satisfactory state, regalia sales going well and the forum running well. On that note the AGM drew to a close and with it, the close of a brilliant day.

A Delighted Lloyd Departs in the GRA Executive Transport
Courtesy of White Van Man Colin Sparrow!