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The GRA Annual Gathering 2016

The autjumble, as usual, proved a useful source of Greeves parts and a wide variety was on offer. Paul Powell, Terry Sewell (TDS) and Villiers Services were all in attendance supplying new as well as used parts. Despite not needing anything, I still managed to spend a fair amount as unfortunately, there were many temptations around from tiny spacers to complete bikes! I'm glad to say, I resisted the complete bikes this year!

In the hall, Pete Smith had the regalia stall up and running and Andy Barnett was gratefully accepting membership renewals. Don Heath set himself up in the corner complete with PC and printer, producing the colour brochures as advertised recently in Leading Link. He also had a range of parts books and service notes for sale. Despite having retired from the committee, both Pete and Don continue to provide these vital services for which we should all be grateful.

Our guest of honour, Bryan 'Badger' Goss arrived together with his very shiny MDS. This was duly positioned at the front of the hall whilst Badger had a look around the autojumble. Dick Faggetter then signed up Badger as a GRA member!

This year, we had a mere 3 machines on display in the hall. These were 2 scrambles and a trials bike. It is understandable with the competition machines due to the meeting clash but where were all the road bikes?!

The hall catering ladies kept a supply of bacon rolls, tea and coffee going and soon it was time for Badger's talk. As Dick had persuaded Badger to come along and had put together a fantastic collection of 'Badger' pictures and articles, so he had the honour of 'interviewing' him! Dick had certainly done his homework on Badger's life story and his questioning had Badger rather wondering what was coming next! It was a fascinating double-act and seemed to go all too quickly. As a thank you, Badger was presented with a framed photograph of himself and friend Jeff Smith, together with a number of other leading riders taken at a Brighton Scramble in 1971.

The AGM then followed and we were very sorry to have to say goodbye to Colin Sparrow and Mike Eady who are both retiring from the Committee. Colin was Chairman for many years and also produced around 75 editions of Leading Link. Mike has been secretary since 1998, the GRA having had only 3 secretaries in all of it's 32 years existence. Both were prented with pictures personally by Don Heath and Colin was presented with a small trophy consisting of a one-eigth scale pair of leading link forks. Mike's award is yet to be presented. Apart from that, I am very glad to say it was all good news. No issues or problems were encountered during the past year, membership numbers are holding up well and the finances are sound.

The conclusion of the AGM saw the clearing away of our displays and even the hall caretaker was joining in the jovial spirits!

As a postcript, Badger rang Dick the following day to say how much he had enjoyed himself and how impressed he was with the GRA. He had not expected things to be as impressive as they were, excellent news so we must be doing something right!

Dick Faggetter Confiscates Badger's MDS
as the Shade of Moorland Blue is Incorrect!