Wakefield MAG February 2024 Newsletter

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Dear Wakefield MAG Member,

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


1) 2024 Wakefield MAG Events
2) Fred Hill Run(s)
3) Wakefield Hospice 10K Race Marshalling
4) Rally Tickets
5) Post Christmas Auction
6) Wakefield MAG Annual General Meeting
7) New Meeting Venue
8) Wakefield Classic & American Car & Bike Show
9) Will your PCC make the 'Fight Motorcycle Theft' Pledge?
10) Forthcoming Events (for February and beyond)

1) 2024 Wakefield MAG Events

Our programme of events for 2024, as agreed at our AGM (See Below). Here is what you can look forward to with Wakefield MAG this year:

And to supplement our own activities, we'll also be attending as many of the activities of our very good friends in the other Yorkshire MAG groups, as time dictates. One thing is for sure, you wont get bored being a member of Wakefield MAG !!!!

See the events page for further details and more !!!

2) Fred Hill Run(s)

It's February, which can mean only one thing - Fred Hill Memorial Run time !!!! MAG groups across the country host Fred Hill Memorial Runs in February, and we have two to choose from this year in Yorkshire MAG.

Fred Hill (during one of his many arrests)

If you don't know who Fred Hill was, or why MAG holds him in such high esteem, check out his obituary Here. Although Fred's protest was against the mandatory helmet law, introduced in 1973, it must be remembered that the helmet law in itself is NOT the issue. The issue was, and still is, the individuals right to freedom of choice. MAG's central ethos of Let the Rider Decide is as relevant now as it ever was.

York MAG

York MAG's Fred Hill ride will be held on Sunday 11th February, departing at 10:00 from Strawberry Fields Cafe, Crockey Hill, York, YO19 4SJ. The run will be visiting Whitby where MAG recently had a motorcycle parking ban overturned. This ride will be learner friendly.

East Yorkshire MAG

East Yorkshire MAG's Fred Hill ride will be held on Sunday 11th February meeting at 11:00 (for a 11:30 set off) at the Alexandra pub, 69 Hessle Road, Kingston upon Hull, HU3 2AB. Hot drinks (and toilets) will be available before the start of the ride, after which we will be riding a circular route to remember Fred Hill. The exact route will be dependent on the weather, but the plan is to ride over the Humber Bridge and take in some Lincolnshire country roads before returning to the Alex for a warming drink and hot dogs. All bikes, trikes and scooters of any shape or size are welcome to join the ride which will be following a pillion and learner friendly route, all we ask is that you ride safely, obey the Highway Code and enjoy.

Please note these runs are very subject to the weather (it is Winter after all), and may be cancelled at short notice if there is snow / ice on the roads (for very sensible safety reasons). It is advised to check the relevant group's Facebook pages for any last minute information before setting off:

3) Wakefield Hospice 10K Race Marshalling

Wakefield Hospice 10K Race

The Wakefield 10k Road Race is organised for and by Wakefield Hospice, with the aim to raise as much as possible for patients and their families living with an end of life diagnosis. Wakefield Hospice annually needs to raise £4 million. They would not be able to achieve this without the help of local people going out of their way to raise funds through taking part in events like the Wakefield 10k.

This years event will be the 27th annual Wakefield 10k and during that time runners have raised close to a million pounds for those who need specialist care at a very difficult time in their lives.

The 27th Wakefield Hospice 10k race is being held on Sunday 24th March 2024, and takes a similar route to previous years: starting from Clarence Park, it's a linear route straight out and back along Horbury Road.

Wakefield MAG have helped to marshal this popular event for more years than we care to remember, and our role is as mobile race marshals, both during the bulk of the run but also importantly looking after those competitors at the tail end of the race. The roads will only be closed for an hour maximum, and although the bulk of runners will be finished whilst the road is still closed, a good number of runners (walkers !!!) will still be on the course, hence the requirement for mobile marshals (that's us !!) to ensure their safety, once the road is re-opened to traffic. We are generally the last 'officials' remaining on the course, and hence play a vital role. We generally need around 6 marshals, although the more the merrier.

If you would like to volunteer, please let me know. P.S. you'll be home for lunchtime !!!

On the day, meet at 08:30 on Lawfield Lane to be issued with your marshalls Hi-Viz vest and receive any last minute instructions.

N.B. Please ensure your own bike insurance does not have an exclusion relating to marshalling non-motorsport events i.e. runners on a partially closed road route - MAG's preferred insurer, Bikesure, does not in it's standard insurance cover exclusions.

4) Rally Tickets

We now have tickets for the Yorkshire MAG 2024 Rallies for sale at our weekly meetings.

Ticket prices and dates are:

Remember, if you buy your tickets directly from us, you save on the on-line booking fee (which are per ticket not per transaction !!!) and postage .... more money in your pocket = more beer money .... what more of an incentive could you possibly want !!!

See the Yorkshire MAG Events site for more details of these 3 fantastic rallies: www.mapevents.co.uk


This article was written by Rick Hulse (NABD Chairman) and was first published in the January 2024 issue of Back Street Heroes Magazine. It has also been widely posted / shared on social media. For anyone who thinks Fifty Quid is expensive for a bike rally .... read on and think again ......

I had a rather disheartening conversation at a motorcycle event recently. It started reasonably enough, when I was asked by one of our NABD rally regulars if I had the dates for next year's new NABD event. I explained that I am still negotiating with a couple of likely looking venues and I'm hoping to keep to our traditional dates of the first full weekend in May but I cannot say anything for certain at the moment. The look of disappointment on the chap's face made me want to offer him some positive news to mitigate his understandable frustration, so I mentioned that the dates have just been published for the 2024 Into the Valley, Farmyard Party and Yorkshire Pudding events.

He said, "I don't do the Into the Valley because it's always been the weekend before the NABD rally and I can’t get time off work for two events so close together". I know this to be a problem faced by a number of people who would like to enjoy both events so I could sympathise with his problem, but then he continued with, "I'll definitely be doing the Yorkshire Pudding rally but I'm thinking of giving the Farmyard a miss because they're taking-the-piss with the ticket price!".

Now, had he said he simply couldn't afford the ticket price, I would not have questioned it. Times are tough and we all have to live within our means. But I could not let his assertion that the event organisers are 'taking the piss' go by without challenging it!

"Do you honestly think fifty quid for a Farmyard Party ticket is 'taking the piss'?" I asked incredulously.

"Yeah, it is a bit, isn't it?" he said in all honesty.

I had to stop myself from asking him if he had any idea what it costs to put on an event of that size. It would have been a stupid question because, of course, he has no idea what it costs.

However, I do know, so I decided to enlighten him.

"An event the size of the Farmyard costs something in the region of two-hundred-thousand-pounds* to put on! Which means, at £50.00 per ticket, the event needs to sell 4,000 tickets just to break-even! If they were to reduce it to £40.00 per ticket, they would then need to sell 5,000 tickets just to break-even!"

*I have checked the actual figure since with Pete Walker and it is actually £204,000.00 for the 2024 event, so my estimate was pretty damned close.

As he cogitated on this simple but obviously shocking fact, I ploughed on, "Of course, nobody puts an event on simply to break-even. The core function of the Farmyard Party is to raise much needed funds for the Motorcycle Action Group, so it can continue to protect our beloved biking lifestyle, which in itself should at least earn those involved the right not to be accused of 'taking-the-piss'!" I was in full-on 'rant mode' now and nothing short of an earthquake, or the call for 'last orders at the bar' was going to stop me!

"Where else can you get 24 bands playing on four stages for fifty-quid? (Actually, it's more like £40 when you take the near £10 the VAT man takes for every ticket sold, that's more than the rally makes in profit per person!). Then of course there's the Smacked Arse Comedy Show, which you would be paying £18.00 or more to see at a comedy venue. And let's not forget the huge custom bike and trike show, the stunt show display, the huge open marquee full of tables and benches that is provided simply to give people a comfortable place to eat their food, the professional medical team and the professional security company who, together with their trained security dogs, have put a stop to the thieving bastards who were previously robbing tents. And all of this is provided within the ticket price!"

By now he was nodding in agreement and regretting his badly chosen words but several other people had begun listening so I decided to reinforce my point before letting him off the hook.

"Do you know what the ticket price is for Farmer Phil's festival in Shropshire next year?" He shook his head. "Ninety-quid for a weekend ticket!"

"What about Bearded Theory?" Again, he shook his head. "Two hundred and ten fucking quid! And a ticket for Tribfest would set you back one hundred and fifty quid, and people will be flocking to it!"

He then left me somewhat stunned when he said, "Yeah, I'm going to Tribfest!"

"And you're telling me that you think the organisers of the Farmyard Party are 'taking-the-piss' for charging fifty-quid!"

At this point he held-up his hands and said, "I get it Rick, I shouldn't have said they are taking the piss, it's just that there are a lot of rallies I can go to that cost a lot less".

"Well, of course there are" I agreed, "and many of them are fine events in their own right. But none of them offer anything like the range or amount of entertainment and services offered by an event like the Farmyard Party and none of them cost anything like as much to put on. The fact remains that, at fifty-quid per ticket, the Farmyard Party is still damned good value for your money, when you actually take the time to think about it!"

It was rather gratifying to see, not just my protagonist but also half a dozen other people, nodding in agreement. He then raised his glass to me and said, "I guess I'll be seeing you at the Farmyard then!"

My joy at having educated a few friends about the realities of event finances was tinged with a little sadness at how often bikers undervalue events that are put on by other bikers for the benefit of bikers. It really can feel like a slap in the face for those stout-hearted volunteers who give up their time, and graft their arses off, to put these events on.

Hopefully, this article will go some way to reduce such ill-informed judgements and give a little insight into the realities of these events.

Rick Hulse

5) Post Christmas Auction

2024 Auction

Our 19th Post Christmas Auction was held on Tuesday 30th January 2024. This year the attendance was quite poor with only ten people attending (and the weather was fine for January so that wasn't an excuse) - C'mon folks, support your local MAG branch events .... use them or lose them remember !!!

Our Post Christmas Auction's are the stuff of legends. The idea is you donate all your unwanted Christmas presents, together with other stuff you no longer want, or have the room for, to the Branch and we auction them off to the highest bidder .... with the proceeds split 2/3 to MAG and 1/3 to charitable causes.

Despite the low attendance we still had masses of goods donated, including loads of camping gear, clothing, DVD's, books, X-Box games, household items and lots more. Deputy Rep Pete Huby was our auctioneer this year and he did a cracking job of generating bidding wars on various items. We didn't manage to clear everything so some items went back with their donators. The 2024 auction raised £85.50 which we have since rounded up to £90 from branch funds so it's nicely divisable by three. £60 goes to the MAG fighting fund and our chosen charity for the remaining third of £30 is Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

A huge thanks to everyone who attended and parted with their hard earned cash to bag those bargains. And a special thanks to Brian of South Yorkshire MAG who made the trek north to attend.

Hope to see (more of) you at next year's auction !!!

6) Wakefield MAG Annual General Meeting

The 22nd Wakefield & District Motorcycle Action Group Branch AGM was held in the Thatched House, on Tuesday 16th January 2024. The overall membership numbers (Full MAG members with a WF postcode as @ 2023 y/e) is 90 (6% increase from the same time the previous year !!), and represents the largest WF membership over the past 10 years. Unfortunately, members physically attending meetings has dropped below 10% of our total membership (the national average) for the first time in the 22 years the branch has existed. So, if you are reading this and used to attend our meetings but no longer do, we would love to welcome you back. Similarly, if you have never been to a branch meeting, we'd love to welcome you into the fold.

We have hosted some very successful events in 2023 (Auction, May Day Bike Show, 21st Birthday Bash & Biker Quiz Nite). We are only a small branch, but it is fair to say, that in spite of our size, we have punched well above our weight in terms of the activities we hold and the funds we raise for MAG.

A huge thanks to all our meeting regulars and all those who have supported the branch in all our activities. Hip Hip .... Hooray.

The Branch Committee for 2024 can be seen Here. Our illustrious branch heroes of 2023 were:

The full AGM minutes are available Here.

P.S. Steve was voted in as Rep / Chairman again (for the 21st time), so unfortunately, you are all stuck with him for yet another year :-(

7) New Meeting Venue

As voted on at our 22nd Annual General Meeting in January (See Above), we will be actively looking to secure a new meeting venue for Wakefield MAG. Steve the Thatched House Landlord is retiring in early 2024 and giving up the lease. The new publican (TBA) has agreed we can continue to meet at the venue. However, redecoration is planned and there is no guarantee we will be able to keep a guaranteed private 'free' meeting room going forward depending on the new landlords plans for the pub. Therefore, irrespective of the AGM motion just passed, we quite possibily would have needed to secure a new meeting venue in the not too distant future regardless.

Redbeck Motel in Crofton was suggested as that has a private 'coffee room' around the back and hosts a bike night on a Thursday. However, it transpires that the business is no longer commercially viable, it's been sold to a developer and planning permission has been submitted to knock it down and build 90 homes on the site, so that isn't feasible as a possible new meeting venue. The end of a Wakefield institution since 1969. Other venues suggested include Lofthouse Gate WMC, Wakefield Sports Club, Holmfield Greene King and Harry's Bar but will all need to be properly evaluated against our criteria (see below).

A new Wakefield MAG HQ ideally needs to meet the following requirements:

A request to our members: Does anyone know of a suitable meeting venue that meets the above criteria in the Wakefield area ? Please e-mail suggestions to us or post on our Facebook group. Look forward to hearing your suggestions.

8) Wakefield Classic & American Car & Bike Show

Get polishing your classic and / or American bike, ready for the Wakefield Classic & American Car & Bike Show, in the City Centre, on Sunday 28th April .... Don't mind if I do.

Wakefield Classic & American Car & Bike Show

9) Will your PCC make the 'Fight Motorcycle Theft' Pledge?

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has launched the Fight Motorcycle Theft Pledge ahead of May's Police and Crime Commissioner elections. MAG is pushing for motorcycle theft to be given the profile it deserves. Riders can take advantage of elections for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) coming on May 2nd this year. MAG intends to create accountability for performance against clear goals. It will achieve this by pushing all candidates to make the pledge as part of their election campaigns.

MAG research confirms what riders instinctively know - motorcyclists are disproportionately impacted by vehicle theft. A motorcycle owner is 11 times more likely to suffer theft of their vehicle than a car owner. Motorcycles constitute over a quarter of all reported vehicle theft despite being only 3% of the available targets for thieves.

MAG is asking all incumbent and candidate PCCs to make a clear, achievable and deliverable three-part pledge. Firstly, candidates will set a quantifiable four-year goal. Secondly, they will pledge to hold the relevant Chief Constable accountable for publishing progress towards the goal. Finally, they will pledge to work in partnership with all stakeholders on the issue.

MAG's Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown said: "Those candidates who are prepared to make the Fight Motorcycle Theft Pledge are likely to win more motorcyclists' votes than those who don't. We are confident that the pledge is reasonable and deliverable, so there is little excuse for any candidate not to make it. After the elections we will have a firm basis for a clear measure of accountability. We all know politicians have a habit of making promises and then failing to deliver. Candidates who make the pledge will have a hard time forgetting it once they are elected: we will make sure of that. Every rider in the country can play their part in reducing motorcycle theft by asking PCC candidates if they have signed up to the Fight Motorcycle Theft Pledge."

Full details of the Fight Motorcycle Theft Pledge are available on the Fight Motorcycle Theft campaign page.

MAG will advertise which candidates make the pledge to help riders make informed decisions on polling day, May 2nd, 2024.

10) Forthcoming Events (for February and beyond)

Sunday 11th February - Fred Hill Memorial Run(s)

Join the York MAG run departing from Strawberry Fields Cafe (Crockey Hill, York, YO19 4SJ) at 10:00 or the East Yorkshire MAG run departing from the Alexandra pub (69 Hessle Road, Kingston upon Hull, HU3 2AB) at 11:30. See Above

Tuesday 27th February - Wakefield MAG February Social - Event TBC

Sunday 24th March - Wakefield Hospice 10K road race marshalling

See Above

Tuesday 26th March - Wakefield MAG March Social - Event TBC

Sunday 28th April - Wakefield Classic & American Car & Bike Show

See Above

Tuesday 30th April - Wakefield MAG April Social - Event TBC

Friday 3rd - Sunday 5th May - Into the Valley (ITV) Rally

See Above. www.mapevents.co.uk

Monday 6th May - Wakefield MAG May Day Bike Show

Our popular bike show, hosted at the Wakefield Gala at Clarence Park Arena, on May Day Bank Holiday Monday (6th May). Fettle up your pride and joy and enter it into the show .... for FREE. All types of Bike, Scooter, Moped, Combination and Trike are welcomed and there are six winning categories plus an overall Best in Show up for grabs. We will also be hosting the Wakefield MAG stand and running a tombola (with some great prizes to win). Lots of other attractions at the gala to entertain you whilst you wait to see if your bike has won, and it's a great family day out. Location: Clarence Park, Wakefield. Show to be judged at 14:30, Entry into show from 09:30 onwards (Gala officially opens at 10:00).

Tuesday 28th May - Wakefield MAG May Social - Event TBC

Friday 21st - Sunday 23rd June - Farmyard Party (FYP) Rally

See Above. www.mapevents.co.uk

Tuesday 25th June - Wakefield MAG June Social - Event TBC

Tuesday 30th July - Wakefield MAG July Social - Event TBC

Friday 2nd - Sunday 4th August - Yorkshire Pudding Rally (YPR)

See Above. www.mapevents.co.uk

Tuesday 27th August - Wakefield MAG August Social - Event TBC

See the events page for further details and more !!!

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

Ride Safe .. Ride Free
Steve Travis
Wakefield MAG
0772 078 4734

Wakefield MAG meet at the Thatched House, Stanley, Wakefield at 8:00pm every Tuesday. New (and Old) faces are always welcome.