Wakefield MAG January 2019 Newsletter

Happy New Year from Wakefield MAG

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.

I hope everyone had a brilliant Christmas and has a fantastic and biking filled New Year. In addition to getting some Christmas pressies that you really wanted, hopefully you also got some that you gladly want to give away !!!! WHY ? ....... because the Wakefield MAG Post Christmas Auction is only a few months away (See below for details).


1) New Years Resolutions
2) Fred Hill Run
3) MAG starts the New Year determined to build on successes
4) MAG praises tolls precedent at Severn Bridges
5) Post Christmas Auction
6) Wakefield MAG Annual General Meeting
7) Gordon Finney R.I.P
8) Motorcycle Parking in Leeds and Bradford
9) Pothole Campaign
10) Forthcoming Events (for January and beyond)

1) New Years Resolutions

Hands up how many people have made a New Years Resolution or two? Give up the fags .. drink less .. exercise more .. lose weight .. get out on the bike more, whatever the weather? How many can honestly say that they will be able to keep it up for the whole year .... probably not many.

Want a New Years Resolution that is easy to keep, will make you feel better about yourself, and your contribution to others, will save you money & make the world a better place? Sounds too good to be true? Almost, but not quite ....

One of the best NY resolutions you can possibly make is to join a non-member to MAG this year (or join yourself if you are not a member, rejoin if you have recently lapsed, or ensure you maintain your own membership throughout the year if you are already a member !!!).

This resolution is dead easy to keep (just £27 will guarantee that), you will be positively contributing to the on-going maintenance of your chosen lifestyle, both for you and everyone who rides a bike, you are joining a union of 10,000 like minded souls, and best of all, you will be able to save money by taking advantage of the many benefits and deals only available to MAG members.

You can join MAG at:

Join (or renew) by Direct Debit, then you'll never again have to remember to renew as it will be done automatically for you: http://www.mag-uk.org/files/Renewal_DD-1_page.pdf.

Membership fees are: Single Membership - £27.00; Joint Membership (two adults) - £40.50; Family Membership - either single or joint adult membership with children added to the membership at £5.00 per child. New members between the ages of 16 and 25 years old receive a £5 discount on first year of MAG membership.

Make this one New Years Resolution you will honestly say you have been able to keep ... Don't put it off ... Join (or rejoin) MAG now !!!

2) Fred Hill Run

Fred Hill (during one of his many arrests)

Leeds MAG are again hosting the annual Fred Hill Memorial Run for Yorkshire MAG. Meeting on Sunday 10th February from 10.00am (to leave at 11.00 prompt) at Squires Cafe, Newthorpe Lane, Sherburn in Elmet, LS25 5LX. The run will take us through the fabulous North Yorkshire countryside ending at The Sun Inn, Brame Lane, Norwood HG3 1SZ. www.thesun-inn.com

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.

Please note these runs are very subject to the weather, and may be cancelled at short notice (for very sensible safety reasons). It is advised to check the Leeds MAG Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/groups/306110975566 and/or web site: leeds.mag-uk.org/ before setting off.

For those wishing to travel in from Wakefield, you can meet at Redbeck Cafe on Doncaster Road, where we will be leaving at 10:00am, for the ride over to Squires to join up with the rest of the run participants.

3) MAG starts the New Year determined to build on successes

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), the UK's leading voice for riders' rights, is looking forward to continuing to build on the good work achieved during 2018.

MAG is ready to continue defending riders' rights and to contribute to the decision-making processes at national and local government levels.

Selina Lavender, the Chair of MAG, noted that the organisation is ready to build on the achievements of 2018: "Everyone - from our Political Unit to our grassroots members - has played their part during the past year and I am confident that they will continue to do so during the year ahead. We will, as always, be meeting with various high-level authorities to push the motorcycling agenda forward and to get the best deals possible for motorcyclists in respect to legislation and best practice. MAG has achieved some success with issues like CAZs and moped-enabled crime but there is still a great deal of work to do and we will rise to the challenge."

MAG will continue to engage with Government and Local Authorities wherever a need to protect riders' rights is identified and will continue to build the relationships already forged as well as generate new ones. MAG invites all riders, dealers, mechanics and manufacturers to join MAG and help create a united voice for the common good of the riding community.

4) MAG praises tolls precedent at Severn Bridges

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has welcomed the 'kept promise' of removing all tolls from the Severn Bridge crossings, after 52 years of charges.

MAG has spoken in support of the removal of crossing charges at the two bridges which connect South Wales with England, after over half a century of tolls. These charges, which have not applied to motorcycles, were applied to traffic for decades, causing delays and creating a considerable additional cost to road users.

MAG's Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Lembit Öpik, has highlighted the importance of this decision: "at a time when other parts of Britain are doing their best to impose new toxic taxes and crossing charges on our vehicles, it is pleasing to see a much more common-sense approach at the Severn Bridges. This removal of tolls was promised many years ago, and they've kept that promise. By contrast, there is an on-going debate in many of the country's cities about introducing taxes on the pretext of reducing pollution - and some of these threaten motorcycles. Also, we are engaged in discussions about possible charges for various Thames crossings. You don't make the world noticeably healthier by slapping additional costs on road users who have little or no alternative to using their vehicles, largely in the pursuit of employment obligations. The Severn Bridge decision is a role model for the rest of the UK and we hope it is a sign that ever-higher road user charges have an alternative, which removes what amounts to a stealth tax from connecting economically significant parts of Britain."

5) Post Christmas Auction

2019 Auction

Our 15th Post Christmas Auction will be held a little later into this new year than previous years, on Wednesday 3rd April 2019. This is because for the past few years we have been hit by snow, and either forced to reschedule at the last minute (as happened in early 2018), or, suffer with reduced numbers as people don't really want to leave their houses when you can't see where the road ends and the pavements start. We would still like you to donate all your unwanted Christmas presents, together with other stuff you no longer want, or have the room for, to the Branch so we auction them off to the highest bidder .... we just ask that you can hold onto them until early April when the weather will be a bit more predictable.

6) Wakefield MAG Annual General Meeting

The Wakefield & District Motorcycle Action Group Branch AGM will be held in the Grey Horse, on Wednesday 16th January 2019, starting at 8:00pm (prompt). All members are invited to attend this special meeting, so please try to attend if you can. At this meeting there will be a review of the year, elections for the branch committee and the prize giving for our branch heroes. As this meeting is effectively a MAG political meeting, it carries with it a whopping 75 branch points for everyone who attends (a normal branch meeting only carries 5 points). As all the points are tallied at year end and go towards the branch heroes presentation, points really do mean prizes !!!! What better boost to your branch heroes tally for the new year !!!

The Annual Wakefield MAG mailshot has been emailed or posted to all eligible Members last month, i.e. current MAG members with a WF postcode, to formally place notice for the meeting. The meeting is also advertised in the events section on the main MAG website (http://www.mag-uk.org), and on our website events page.

Last years AGM minutes are available Here.

N.B. Motions for the AGM should be submitted the week before the AGM (Wednesday 9th January 2019).

7) Gordon Finney R.I.P

Gordon Finney

It is with a very heavy heart that we have to report of the loss on the 1st January 2019 of the MAG North East Deputy Rep, Gordon Finney. Even if you didn't personally know Gordon, you will have undoubtedly seen him manning the MAG Products stall at all the Yorkshire MAG rallies (ITV, FYP and YPR), together with Stormin' the Castle and other MAG events.

This obituary is copied from the Durham MAG Facebook page: Only 6 months ago Gordon was diagnosed with a very aggressive brain tumour. Gordon didn't let that bother him and he carried on working all the MAG rallies, Stormin, Farmyard, ITV and Pudding humping gear and manning the MAG stand with Avril and being a key organiser of the first Durham City Custom and Classic bike show. He didn't get to retire as he was diagnosed just as he was about to pack in work and put his feet up. Gordon was old school, very old school and a biker all his life having done a proper apprenticeship with Caterpillar. He and his bikes were well known in the North and further afield, America and Africa even. His last few years were spent working for SOS Bike recovery and if he was called out to you then you would be his trapped audience and receive a treatise on why you should join MAG and what MAG has done for you. Typically towards the end when one of his Christian friends said that 'God would accept him' Gordon replied, "Bollocks to that, I'm off to Valhalla to drink with my friends."

Motorcycling and the Motorcycle Action Group has lost a fine member of our lifestyle and organisation. Ride free Gordon.

8) Motorcycle Parking in Leeds and Bradford

The Yorkshire Region Political Rep, Steve Bolton, is asking for suggestions for the provision of secure parking in the LS and BD postcodes (essentially car parks (or roadside parking) currently lacking the provision of secure parking facilities for powered two wheelers, as operated by Leeds and Bradford Councils respectively). Steve hails from Huddersfield, so doesn't know the areas that secure parking is desperately needed in Leeds and Bradford.

Steve, together with Wakefield's own Ian Whittaker and Richard Manton (Yorkshire Region and Leeds Rep) have been working closely with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority for a number of years now and obtained hard won assurances of £16k per year, per West Yorkshire council, for the next four years, to bring secure motorcycle parking up to spec throughout West Yorkshire .... BUT ..... we can't do this without local knowledge.

As Wakefield is so close to both Leeds and Bradford (and many of you probably work in these cities), please let us know of any suggestions and we'll pass these onto Steve so we can endeavour to get some secure parking installed where we need it .... before the money is lost!

Email suggestions to wakefield-rep@mag-uk.org, or post in the Wakefield MAG, Leeds MAG or Huddersfield MAG Facebook Groups.

9) Pothole Campaign

It's important we maintain momentum in 2019 with the pothole campaign we launched in Q4 2018 (namely, helping Wakefield Council spend their share of the 420 million pound fund made available to fix potholes across the UK). Potholes in our road network are a severe problem, and particularly impact powered two wheelers as vulnerable road users. As we are now in the winter season, freezing temperatures, snow and ice will accelerate the break-up of road surfaces, creating potholes. Hitting a pothole in a car can often result in costly damage to the vehicle (buckled wheels, tyres destroyed, broken suspension, underbody damage). Hit the same pothole on a bike, and if you are very lucky, you'll get away with damage to your pride and joy, if you are not so lucky, you may end up with an unintended visit to Accident and Emergency at the local hospital (or worse). Potholes are a potential killer on a bike, so, with your vigilence and a little bit of time on your part, we can get them filled in a timely manner.

So, if you spot a pothole on your travels, do make the effort to report it so it can be filled in, it may just save someone's life. Report potholes at these links:

Wakefield District: www.wakefield.gov.uk/roads-and-transport/highway-maintenance/potholes-and-damaged-pavements

Out and about and not sure who has responsibility for the road (other Councils or Motorways and Trunk roads managed by Highways England): www.gov.uk/report-pothole

Please let us know if any of the pothole reports you submit don't get quickly addressed, as we will then escalate this within the Council. Many Thanks.

10) Forthcoming Events (for January and beyond)

Wednesday 9th January 2019 - First Wakefield MAG meeting of 2019 !!!

Back to normal after our Christmas and New Year break, with the first meeting of 2019 being on Wednesday 9th January, normal time of 20:30. This is also the last date to submit any motions for our AGM the following week - See Above.

Wednesday 16th January 2019 - Wakefield MAG AGM

See Above.

The 17th Wakefield & District Motorcycle Action Group Branch AGM will be held on Wednesday 16th January 2019. All members are invited to attend this special meeting, so please try to attend if you can. At this meeting there will be a Review of our achievements in 2018, Officers Reports, Election of Branch Officers for 2019, Plans for 2019 & a Presentation to our Branch Heroes of 2018. Current MAG Membership Card required to vote. 19:30 for a prompt 20:00 start in the Grey Horse, Kirkgate, Wakefield, WF1 4EJ.

Tuesday 22nd January - Leeds MAG Owl with Laughter Comedy Fundraiser

Leeds MAG's comedy night is back - at a new venue (The Royal Hotel, 30 Station Street, Pudsey, LS28 8PR) and with a brand new name and chosen charity! They'll be splitting all the proceeds between MAG and Leeds Mind - an independent Mental Health Charity - see more at: www.leedsmind.org.uk

The Divine Patrick Devine will be MC and he's going to be introducing four fantastic acts:

There will also be the customary curry and cake (of course)! Tickets are £10 and are now on sale (from Leeds MAG meetings / members, the website (leeds.mag-uk.org/) and the venue). Numbers are limited so get your tickets early to avoid disappointment.

Sunday 10th February - Leeds MAG Fred Hill Run

See Above.

Saturday 23rd March - An Evening with Ed March

Leeds MAG is proud to present their 5th annual talk, An Evening with Ed March. 'Riding around the world with no plans, no idea what he's doing ..... and no-one telling him what a stupid idea it is.' Want to know about Ed March? Watch this short YouTube video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6f5yA2N_-8

20:00 at Squires Cafe Bar, Newthorpe Lane, LS25 5LX. Tickets £10 plus postage (also includes free camping) from leeds.mag-uk.org/

Wednesday 3rd April - Wakefield MAG 15th Post Christmas Auction

See Above.

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


Bank Holiday Monday (May Day) 6th May - Wakefield MAG Bike show at the Wakefield Gala

10:00 onwards at Clarence Park Arena, Wakefield

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


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


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