Well, it’s been a while from our last update and we’ve just completed the well supported summer (for what little a summer we had) so now seems as good a time as any!
PARK – the park continues to move along and usage is steady, with some really good attendance figures especially in the last month. Membership continues to grow too this year which is really positive.
Having been in contact with the council since the inception of the park we were notified of the plans of the new “City Deal” that the Ards and North Down borough council are working on along with neighbouring councils before they were made public. In short the council like others are hoping to expand on the “health highway” scheme.
Their first phase was the Comber greenway. They now want to expand it out across the borough with a general idea being that you can walk from the greenway along the tide bank, out along the old railway track to Donaghadee, then follow the coastal path to Helen’s Bay etc. There is also the possibility of taking paths out across the Leadmines through Clandeboye estate and out to Helen’s Bay along the current Ulster Way.
None of those plans will affect the trials park. The trials park is as you know the only official legal trials practice ground in the country and it was with the assistance of the council that it was achieved. It took us three years working hand in hand with the council to get there. The council did the planning application, they paid all the fees and they paid for the concrete lane to the park, we gave them our thoughts on how it should be set out, and in fairness they agreed. We are stakeholders there and as such we feel confident that not only is the trials park safe, it is our view based on the discussions with the council that where necessary they will assist us in development of the park going forward for everyone to enjoy the Whitespots park long into the future. This was proven when we wanted to reopen and expand the Bear Pit, they backed our ideas and supported us fully.
The park now has a gate committee headed by Rachel Cooley who has been doing a great job in masterminding this side of the club and forms a vital part of the running of the park.
The gate committee is formed with members signing up to do a set number of days, for this they receive complimentary use of the park, and their help is deeply appreciated. If you would like to sign up to this super team then please ring or email Rachel Cooley on the club mobile or email@example.com
Also, if anyone feels able to assist with park clearance days or has an area of the park they would like to see opened up or maybe even excavated for new sections please get in touch with Russell Houston who would be delighted to hear from you.
TRIALS – we decided this year to run more trials and it has been a great success. The riders turned out and generally there was great feedback. We would like to thank all the riders for making the effort to show up and participate and to all the observers for supporting the events whom without we simply can’t run events.
CHANGES IN THE CLUB
At the last AGM Robert Crawford gave notice that he was standing down as Chairman, due to work commitments. His new RC Live venture is starting to take off, which is fantastic to see, and unfortunately, as with us all, the club while it is a big passion of ours, we are all volunteers and fit it in around our paid jobs when and where possible. Robert was one of our founding members, there from that very first meeting in John’s shop when we decided to fight the closure of the Leadmines and personally and on behalf of the club his vision, and especially his drive, has been immense over the years and without him guiding us and putting in the effort he has over the years the club would not be where it is today. We wish Robert the very best in his exciting new venture and hopefully we will see him return if time becomes available again, he’d be welcomed in a heartbeat by us all.
So with Robert leaving the club the club needed a new chairman and to be fair he left a big pair of shoes to fill! Andy Perry, who is also a founder member of the club and is there with his support at every event, was elected as the new Chairman and we wish him well going forward!
The club has a healthy membership, we have no financial issues and we are all pushing forward to keep things progressing for you the riders!! We are delighted to have Russell Houston remain as Competition/Race Director! Russell has been doing a fantastic job of running all events for the past few years and his passionate vision for you the riders and the park practice locations has been clear for all to see with the clearing of some great old sections and even some new ones that no one knew were there! We look forward to seeing what plans he has for the year ahead! Warren remains at the backbone of just about every role within the club and although never looks for any recognition and makes light of every job he is given he truly is the captain that keeps the ship on an even keel! From sign on at events and park days to results, booking all club meetings, banking, press releases, council meetings and not to mention all of the paperwork that needs returned every month for the insurance company along with a million and one other things the club would not exist without him and we thank him for it all!
This would also be a good time too to formally welcome Nicola Coulter and Rachel Cooley to the committee. Both bring a vast knowledge with them from their employment backgrounds and previous club memberships, so we look forward to their input over the next while.
As a final thought, as I’ve said already we are all volunteers, and there’s isn’t many of us. Just remember this is your club! Whether you’re a club member, park member or committee member your input and say is what it is all about. If you’ve an inkling for joining the team and helping out but don’t know how to go about it or maybe your afraid to put yourself forward in case you can’t commit too much, then please come along to the meetings and chat to any of us! They are every other month on the third Monday, details of which will be made more obvious going forward. We are easy to talk to and any little bit of help, no matter how small is always greatly received. Equally, if you’ve any ideas you’d think would benefit YOUR club and more importantly you as members, please please please let us know. This isn’t rocket science and we are all keen to make the park bigger and better. This is YOUR club after all!