Wakefield MAG August 2009 Newsletter

Dear Wakefield MAG member,

Welcome to the Wakefield MAG e-newsletter. If you can’t attend our Wednesday meetings regularly, it’s the next best thing to keep you up to date with what we are up to.


1) Treasure Hunt Report
2) VJMC Show Report
3) Yorkshire MAG AGM
4) Membership Fee Rise
5) Yorkshire MAG Events Debrief
6) MAG Seeks Compensation For Theft Victims
7) MAG supports MPs quiz into new test fiasco
8) Yorkshire Pudding Rally
9) Forthcoming Events (August and Beyond)

1) Treasure Hunt Report

There was another solid turnout for this years Wakefield MAG Treasure Hunt on Sunday 12th July, which as always, had it’s meet and start point at Thornes Park. In total, 16 people turned up at the meet and divided them selves up into 5 teams, people from our very own Wakefield MAG branch, Ossett MAG (A.K.A. Mick Culpan), Huddersfield MAG, and a few other MAG & non MAG members too. Luckily for everyone, the weather held out well and it was a lovely sunny day.

The Treasure Hunt this year had a railway based theme and had 15 questions spread over 9 locations and whilst some teams steamed through the questions there was a low commotion over a few naughty trucks that lagged behind (Ed: Groan ...)

One of the locations was the Denby Dale Viaduct where we had our most controversial question, it was… How many arches are in the viaduct; to which we had the answer as 22, though all the teams that came back had 21 as their answer. Stewards inquiry called for !!!! Luckily, as all the answers were the same it didn’t reflect on the overall outcome.

The winners of this years Wakefield MAG Treasure Hunt were Matt and Pat, our good friends from the VJMC, with 14 out of 15 answers correct. Lorna, Mo and Jason came a close second also scoring 14 out of 15 but losing out due to the tie break question. All other teams tied in third place which is rather fitting as it means we have no losers. Unfortunately, we couldn't award the trophies on the day, but not to worry, we'll present these as soon as we have them back from the trophy shop.

Overall the day was a complete success, all participants not only enjoyed the Treasure Hunt, prepared by Father and Son team, Brian and Alan Jaques, but they also got to enjoy nice weather and more importantly, they enjoyed a jolly good excuse for a most pleasant ride out.

The locations, railway related questions and answers for this year's Treasure Hunt were:

How many letters are on the station platform for the miniature railway written in yellow?

There is a scrap steam railway crane once owned by Taylor and Hubbard LTD. What load must it not exceed at a 16ft radius?
7 tonnes

Also in the scrap heap is a red NCB engine, what is the number on the side of it?

How high is Blackpool Tower?

To tie this location into the railway theme of our quiz ... How many rails are there on each of the twin gates behind you?
7 on each (total 14)

What is showing on the destination board of the diesel multiple unit at the station?
Clayton West

There is a blue Rapier crane somewhere at this location, where was it made?
Ipswich, England

The stone arch to the right of the station car park is bridge no. PEH 43, but what is the mileage?
9 miles 25 chains

If you were to catch the 9:42 train today what time could I expect to be in Barnsley?

How many arches are in the Denby Dale Viaduct?
22 (Ed: Although subject to a Stewards inquiry !!!)

Who are the first two car park spaces reserved for?
BRS MEN (although British Rail signal men accepted)

What is the number on the side of the blue diesel engine at the Elsecar Heritage Centre Station?
14 901

The Pugneys Lakeside Station is open between what times on a normal day?

What is the name of the other station at the Pugneys miniature railway?
Central Station

What is the time shown on the clock face out side the front of the station?

2) VJMC Show Report

For the fourth consecutive year, Wakefield MAG hosted the Yorkshire MAG stand at the hugely popular VJMC Japanese Bike Show, held on Sunday 26th July at Lotherton Hall . As in previous years, the MAG stand was located right next to the VJMC stand, and in front of the bike show itself, so we couldn't have asked for a better spot. The MAG stand looked very professional and we had a good selection of leaflets, literature, Road Magazines & products for sale. Lots of people visited the stand, showed a lot of interest in MAG & took literature. Those that didn't visit the stand, were actively persued by Mick, armed with Road magazines, branch posters and MAG literature.

We helped our good friends in the VJMC marshal the show this year and provided 12 marshals over the course of the day, manning the entrance, exit and show gates, together with our own stand. A huge thank you to all our volunteer marshals, and it was certainly appreciated by the VJMC, who gave us complimentary T Shirts.

The show attracted hundred's of quality bikes, making the judges job pretty much impossible. A large number of different show categories were up for grabs with some very nice trophies to be won. We recognised one of the winning bikes, as it won best in show at our Wakefield Hospice May Day Gala Bike Show last year.

The prize giving was brought forward to 2:30 in the afternoon, and once finished, the showground cleared out pretty quickly, meaning our last hours worth of planned marshalling shifts, weren't actually needed.

All in all, a great show, it was good to help out the VJMC, who are MAG affiliate members, it certainly raised MAG's profile and we all had a good laugh in the process. A result in anyone's book.

3) Yorkshire MAG AGM

The date and venue have been set for this years Yorkshire MAG Annual General Meeting, which is Saturday October 17th, starting at 1pm, at the Milnsbridge Bowling Club (Liberal Club), 54 George Street, Milnsbridge, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD3 4JD. This years AGM is being hosted by Huddersfield Central MAG.

Region AGM's are held annually to keep members informed of the region’s hard work, to give members a voice, to allow elections to take place and so members can be sure we are running the region well.  There will be a national MAG speaker to discuss current campaigns and this will be a useful opportunity to find out how matters are progressing.  It will also give you a chance to have your say and what you think should happen next.  The following regional committee roles are open for election:

If anyone is interested in a regional role, contact:  yorkshireregionalrep@hotmail.co.uk or 0870 774 3549.

Following the Yorkshire AGM will be the Twelfty Party, Huddersfield Central MAG's annual bash at the Gas Club in Huddersfield. Live Band: 3 Daze Lost, DJ & Raffle.

4) Membership Fee Rise

After lengthy deliberation MAG has decided to raise subscription rates from £20 to £25 for single membership. The decision has been arrived at reluctantly and reflects a recognition of the unrealistically low level of the current membership subscription fee, in relation to MAG’s present agenda and ambitions. The need for the rise has been further necessitated by the loss of funding from a major event (Stormin the Castle) that had to be cancelled last year due to foul weather.

Furthermore, MAG is engaged in an expansion of its political programmes, taking on more issues where injustice is identified or opportunities for enhancing the convenience of motorcycling appear.

Greatly encouraged by the fruit of long campaigning on the bus lane access issue for example, MAG is trying to win over those remaining London councils who bar motorcycles from streets not managed by Transport For London.  Issues like this and the recent fiasco over the new bike test arrangements serve to illuminate the need for a highly professional and well staffed body to represent motorcycling.

MAG Chairman Paul Turner stressed the inevitability of the subscription rise.  

"With the huge shortfall in income in 2007 we have been unable to replace our Campaigns Manager David Short who left last year. The manpower shortage has put huge and unsustainable strain on our General Manager Nich Brown. Nich has made fantastic progress in maximising efficiency at MAG’s Rugby office while also fulfilling the political brief but this situation can not go on indefinitely. It is unfortunate timing given the economic situation but we believe that MAG members will recognise the simple reality of the situation. We floated the idea of raising the subscription at MAG’s Annual Group Conference and overwhelmingly the meeting endorsed the notion of a rise of this magnitude."  

The new fee will not be introduced until 1st November so prospective members can save themselves a fiver if they join now. This is the first rise in the MAG membership subscription since 2002, and will restore the cost of membership in real terms to where it was in the year 2000. Indeed, had the fee raised over the years by the rate of inflation, it should have been £26 by now.

At £25, the annual membership fee still represents terrific value, and it's still cheaper than the BMF !!!

5) Yorkshire MAG Events Debrief

At the Farmyard Party Marshals briefing way back in May at Squires, it was agreed we should have an informal Yorkshire MAG events de-brief and get together in August. The date and venue are now set, and the debrief will be held on Saturday 22nd August at Breighton Ferry at Breighton near Selby. A buffet will be provided on the afternoon and there will be an evening disco, with camping (with a toilet and shower block, for the use of), should anyone wish to stay over.

The debrief will start at 1:30pm, to mainly cover the FYP, with the other MAP events discussed, but in lesser detail. It's also a good (and quite rare) opportunity to have a few beers (or soft drinks if you are driving/riding) together, in some nice surroundings.

All are welcome to come and put your thoughts in. If you can let me know if you plan to attend by 17th August, as we need rough numbers for the Buffet to be sorted. If you can only make the night, please still turn up as it's all free (except your beer and evening meal).

If you cant make it due to other commitments but you would like something discussing, please drop me an email and we will put it on the agenda.

6) MAG Seeks Compensation For Theft Victims

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) is pressing for the  victims of motorcycle theft to be eligible for financial compensation.  MAG consider it outrageous that those who have already suffered the inconvenience and emotional stress of having their bikes stolen should then be billed before they can get their property back. Many victims of theft are horrified to receive substantial bills for the recovery and storage of their bikes.

MAG understands that the police and the recovery agencies that are often employed to provide these services all have to make ends meet but there remains something deeply offensive about a system that delivers a double whammy of injury to victims.

MAG recognises that in many cases the excesses on motorcycle policies renders it impractical for owners to claim against their insurers.

The elegant solution in MAG’s view is for the state to pay the recovery and storage charges and recover that cost from the criminals.

7) MAG supports MPs quiz into new test fiasco

The House of Commons Transport Select Committee is to hold an official inquiry in to the Driving Standards Agency's handling of the new motorcycle riding test that has resulted in widespread reports of injured riders and inadequate test facilities.

MAG welcomed the announcement that MPs have heeded its calls for an inquiry, which comes after more than a year of campaigning for the DSA to make sure the test is safe and accessible for all riders.

The new test was required to satisfy a directive from the European Union to check riders' ability to swerve and brake.  After successfully campaigning for the new test to be delayed by six months to allow DSA extra time to get it right, MAG has regularly warned DSA that the new test arrangements were still not fit for purpose.  The new test was finally introduced in April 2009, and from the first day resulted in a series of rider casualties.

Decisions by DSA to introduce the test in ways not mandated by the EU have been questioned by MAG and other groups representing the motorcycling community.

Consequently, there are too few test centres and many test candidates are now required to travel long distances to take the test. Concerns have also been raised about the safety of riders taking the off-road test, particularly the 'swerve and stop' test and especially in wet weather.

The Transport Committee inquiry will question whether DSA interpreted the EU Second Driving Licence Directive correctly, whether the new test is safe and whether there enough motorcycle test centres where they need to be.

MAG is gathering further evidence before submitting its findings to the Select Committee and invites anyone affected by or concerned about the new test to contact the organisation's General Secretary Nich Brown.

A huge thanks to all Wakefield MAG members who wrote to their MP asking them to support a re-evaluation of the test regime for motorcyclists, particularly the controversial swerve manoeuvre. Democracy does work ..... sometimes !!!

Dont forget to sign the on-line petition if you haven't already: petitions.number10.gov.uk/stopswerve (posted by Lucy Millard, following her accident during the swerve manoeuvre on her test in wet weather conditions)

As requested in the above MAG press release, let Nich Brown (01788 570066  /  nich.brown@mag-uk.org) know of any concerns you have with the new test, or myself and i'll pass them on. I would certainly like to see the motorcycle and car test fees, and the durations of the respective tests to be in balance.

Watch this space for more news.

8) Yorkshire Pudding Rally

Not long now to the one and only Yorkshire Pudding Rally !!!

There is to be a wedding at this year's YPR, with the proceedings conducted by Wakefield MAG's very own Padre, the Rev Neal Owen. MAG members Gary & Christine will be getting married at 12:00 on the Saturday in the main arena on the pudding site. The nuptuals are to be filmed by Yorkshire TV for Calendar, the Barnsley Chronicle & Sheffield Star newspapers are to send photographers, 100% Biker & BSH magazines are looking to cover the event, as is The Road, MAG's member magazine. Christine is looking for a decent trike with a comfy back seat to whisk her to the altar, as their own trike has died the death. The happy couple are also looking for additional bikes to add to the family and guests bikes, to form an aisle of bikes right up to the altar. So, if you are around on the Saturday at 12:00 and would like to add your bike to the aisle of bikes, it would help to make Gary & Christine's day, and you may even get your bike on the telly.

Still on the subject of the YPR, Wakefield MAG members are taking an active part in the event set-up and take-down this year, in addition to marshalling the event itself over the weekend. We will be helping to load the truck with all the MAP gear on the Wednesday, bringing this over to Hesley Wood Scout Camp, then a full days set-up on the Thursday, prior to the event opening it's gates to an eager rally audience on the Friday. We will then be helping to take-down and pack everything back up again on Sunday afternoon and all day Monday.

Many hands make light work as they say, so if anyone would like to help on the Thursday set-up and Sunday / Monday take-down, your assistance would be very welcome indeed. Let me know if you'd like to help and i'll give you further details.

9) Forthcoming Events (August and Beyond)

Friday 7th - Sunday 9th August - Yorkshire Pudding Rally

See above. The one and only YPR, held at Hesley Wood Scout Camp, Chapeltown (Nr M1 J35). Pre Book only and the event has now sold out so if you haven't got a ticket yet, e-Bay may be your only remaining source !!!

Thursday 13th August - Wakefield MAG Evening Run to Halifax MAG

Meet 06:30pm (leaving at 07:00pm) at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, off Thornes Road, Wakefield

Saturday 22nd August - Yorkshire MAG Events Debrief

See Above

Sunday 23rd August - Wakefield MAG Branch Run to Whitby

Meet 9:30am (leaving at 10:00am) at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, off Thornes Road, Wakefield

Tuesday 1st September - Wakefield MAG Evening Run to Leeds MAG

Meet 07:00pm (leaving at 07:30pm) at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, off Thornes Road, Wakefield

Friday 4th - Sunday 6th September - Halifax MAG Headless in Halifax 3 Rally

Causeway Foot Inn, Causeway Foot, Ogden,Halifax, (A629). Tickets £5. Email: percussion_plus@hotmail.com / Phone: 01422 437019

Friday 4th - Sunday 6th September - Stormin' The Castle 2009

Stormin' The Castle is returning to its original home at Witton Castle, County Durham. Ticket prices are at 2007/8 prices, priced at £22 pre-book or £30 OTG. See: www.storminthecastle.co.uk for further details

Sunday 13th September - Wakefield MAG Branch Run to Fort Paull, East Yorkshire

Meet 9:30am (leaving at 10:00am) at Stork Lodge Tea Rooms, Thornes Park, off Thornes Road, Wakefield

Friday 18th - Sunday 20th September - Spat out of Hull Rally

Dean Park, Dunswell, Nr Hull, HU6 0AA. Bonfire, bands, comedians, great food. £10 strict 500 limit, £5 cars. Cheques with SAE payable to East Yorkshire MAG to PO Box 247, Beverley HU17 6BB by 09/09/09

That's all for this month and I hope to see you all soon.

Ride Safe
Steve Travis
Wakefield MAG
0772 078 4734

Wakefield MAG meet at the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield at 8:30pm every Wednesday. New (and Old) faces are always welcome.