Annual Review

A legendary epic with heroic characters performing impossible deeds.

- Ben

There has been no let-up in the quantity and quality of new material that appears every week. November was the top month due to Eric's World Record material coinciding with the launch of the new Motorbike section. If I have another month as busy as that I'll need to take on a lad.

We continued to receive high quality rally reports from stalwarts Ted Trett and Les Hobbs with consistent contributions from Dave Cooper and Heather MacGregor. The site has also received interesting reports from new contributor Hayley Easthope. All contributors can be traced through the index on the Bibliography page.

Les Hobbs salvaged 8mm film from his friends Roy and Mary Dudgon and had it transferred to video. Excerpts have been posted onto YouTube so that they can be played through Now we can all see the delivery of Roy's Steib sidecar, share the adventure of the Dudgons' European Capers and see if you can spot anyone at a 1960s Dragon Rally. Other snippets have been sent to YouTube that aren't available via They include footage of an ancient sidecar grass track event that has received the most views of any material I have placed on YouTube.

Eric Tindall offered archive material for the Guinness World Record early in the year but it took me until the winter to get round to collecting it and putting it on to mark a milestone event in the club history. has benefited from subtle appearance and technical improvements through the year.

The "New" menu underneath the main menu on the left is a bit more useful by remembering when you last visited If - heaven forbid - there is nothing new since then it becomes a "Recent" list.

Out of respect for our many non-English speaking visitors there are buttons on the left that make use of Google's translating skills. Go on, press the GB plate!

In 2008 we passed the 1,500 rally badge mark when Heather MacGregor completed the Shakespeare Club Play rallies' badge set. That works out at biking and boozing every weekend for 30 years. Luvly!

Sometimes things have backfired so thanks for your patience with problem pages and especially for reporting errors quickly for me to make corrections thus minimising cat-kicking and kitten drowning when I fly into a rage.

Not too many errors this year so this kitten stays safe and warm!

In the middle of the year the website also busted the record for monthly visitors proving that what we may consider a minority interest strikes a chord with an awful lot of people.

In case you thought the News updates are bad, I translate my cardigan dribbling into a Blog. It proves once and for all that I should be kept in a dark, soundproof room under heavy sedation (alcoholic of course).

Past members have not been slumbering in their cribs. Steve White led a team of enthusiasts who operated the Kegworth National Rally control and bear in mind that Wally Bradshaw organises the event and uses past members such as Helen and Mick Ayriss, Dave Cockerton and Terry Reynolds as travelling marshals.

Peter Wright and Eric Tindall are just two who have returned to motorcycling this year and we are also seeing more old friends getting onto the InterWeb and even signing up with Skype.

I like to think that we actually helped the living club when they invited us to join them playing the Fosse Riders at skittles, though our contribution was probably the ruin of the team - apart from Warwick Pople who used his bowling green skills to take top score.

There were no reunions for their own sake but we did enjoy meeting friends from the Kettering and District on their annual White Lion meeting. Don't forget that everyone they met on skittles nights, camping trips and rallies are also welcome. And vice versa with our meetings to welcome home friends such as Alan Jarvis who we shared a few jars with at the Gate Hangs Well in November.

Looking ahead to 2009 I could set low targets and fail to meet them. We should pass the 200,000 visitor mark sometime about May if we keep on track. At about the same time the number of pages should hit 1000. If you can't find what you are looking for in that pile it won't be through lack of search and navigation options!

Less easy to predict is if we will receive 10,000 visitors in the space of one month - we haven't beaten 9,000 yet.

I'd also like to think that this time next year we will have over 200 past members in contact but further progress in the search is painfully slow. It now depends more on them finding us - which is why I place such importance on improving search rankings with the likes of Google. It is also important for you to keep a sharp eye out for old friends (eg on an old Christmas card list!) and to put the grapevine to good use.

In occasional searches through our attic junk I have turned up more albums and boxes of slides so there is prospect for your further embarrassment at our youthful fashions. There is a large collection of Kettering and District MCC memorabilia from Derek and Mavis Tompkins that will light up some dusty corners of your memory. I'll also be calling in those promises for Megaphones, photographs, journal entries and stories that you rashly promised of events we took part in that now seem like a legendary epic with heroic characters performing impossible deeds.

So down your glass to past years ... and open another barrel for tomorrow! Happy New Year.