Good turnout for AGM

Good turnout for AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the Northern Centre took place on Remembrance Sunday at the Villa Hotel, Levens where there was a good attendance of centre officials and many of the award winners of centre championships were present.

The Centre Chairman  Angus Jenkinson opened the meeting and said:

Let me welcome everyone to this afternoon’s Annual General Meeting of the Northern Centre.

I’m happy to report in my first year as Chairman that the Centre is thriving in all respects. Despite some reductions in income over the past couple of  years, as Sheila reports, the Centre remains very strong financially due to careful management in the past, and as our sport returns to normal following the pandemic, I am confident that the strength of the centre will continue. I’m particularly indebted to the efforts of Maxine Hayhurst, the Centre Secretary and Sheila Murphy the Centre Treasurer and to Keith Quinn our President and also to Mike Rapley.

Whilst the number of active competitors in all forms of bike sport remains relatively small in comparison to other Centres, the Northern Centre is very strong, particularly on the trials side.

I was very pleased to learn that Stephen Dixon is once again the Centre Trials Champion for the 17th time and that his son Jack is the Green course champion. I know that each year Steve has been champion, Jack has also been, the D, C, B, A and Green class champion which is a proud boast for the Dixons. In addition, I also wish to congratulate the other trial champions who will be receiving their awards later this afternoon.

Last year’s champion Tom Swindlehurst has also been successful, deciding not to contest the Centre Championship in full, preferring to ride the ACU trial Expert Championship in which he finished seventh. The Bootle Club organised a round of Trial GB at Po House which proved to be a brilliant event and I understand that Bootle have been asked to apply for a round in 2024 at the same venue.

The Centre was very well represented in the Scottish Six Days and also the Pre 65 trial with 21 regular Northern Centre riders taking part in the Six Days and a further 8 who rode the Pre 65 and of course Nigel Birkett was honoured for his 50th consecutive ride in the Scottish.

Both the Manx Two Day and the Classic Manx Two Day are major gatherings for riders from our area and in the main trial our riders took four of the top five places, Tom Swin won the trial outright, Will Brockbank was third, Owen Gilchrist fourth and best first time rider, whilst Wilf Shuttleworth was fifth and best under 21. A really fine set of results and it was Karl Ratcliffe who was third in the Classic Clubman Twinshock class at his first attempt.

In the famous time and observation Scott Trial just a few weeks ago, Tom and Wilf finished in excellent positions of 45th and 47th with Wilf faster on time but he lost more than Tom on observation. About the same time, Chris Myers was declared the winner of the hotly contested Rockshock series Clubman Britshock class in the three-way tie following the cancellation of the final round in Wales due to the ground conditions.

Despite having an excellent motocross venue at Dean Moor, support for motocross meetings in Cumbria is not as strong as it could be, but meetings continue to be held and to those who do both organise and ride in these events, the Centre acknowledges your efforts and the Centre’s class winners are recognised here this afternoon.

There are no road race events held in the Centre but we do have a top class racer from Cumbria in Milnthorpe’s Bradley Perie who finished in 18th place in this year’s British Superbike Championship. It was his first year in the series and after a slow start, Brad had some good placings through the second half of the season and is hoping for progression next year in what is arguably the toughest national race series in the world. And now with Ben Birchall living in Cumbria the Centre recognises Ben and his brother Tom as the fastest sidecar crew around the Isle of Man TT course, having broken the 120 mph barrier this year on their way to their 14th win. Ten times a TT sidecar winner, Rob Fisher is also a Cumbrian resident and regular observer for the Bootle Club.

All told, I think the Northern Centre is thriving with excellent clubs and officials who put on some first-class events and long may they continue.

Thank you for supporting today’s AGM and thank you to everyone, who in any way, is supporting Northern Centre events.

This was followed by the financial report by Sheila Murphy the Centre Treasurer and which referred to a loss for the past year before the  re-election of Centre Officials and prior to the awards presentation Mike Rapley, the Centre’s delegate to the ACU National Council meetings, gave a synopsis of the meeting that had taken place at Rugby the previous day of which a full account will soon be provided for the Northern Centre board to digest.

The award presentations were made by the Chairman with the pictures appearing in the gallery now.