17 Hello All ,

Great news! I just checked the long range weather forecast and what I ordered for our rally weekend is on its way. It is going to be dry for a few days before the event, whilst it’s on and afterwards. So you’ve still got time to pre book otherwise you’ll have perfect riding weather should you decide to pay at the gate. Remember we start on Thursday 28th July and we are a 3 night extravaganza of Sunshine and Music and hot bikes and cool beer and some beautiful scenery and riding. We can’t wait to see you all there.

Now here is a very little known fact that personally I’ve kept very private over the years. When I organised our very first rallies I had been around the block and seen quite a few of some of the best and some of the worst. Don’t forget this was only 1992 and a lot of the chapters and motorcycle clubs were quite small and underfunded and being run by total novices in most cases. Not the best recipe for success I hear you say. 18
19 I even arrived at some rallies where people were leaving as we were arriving because the venue was so basic and the entertainment was non existent or perhaps just one pub band for an entire weekend. When we formed the Fenlanders I didn’t want to do anything except be the activities chairman (as we were called in the early days) and was duly given the job.

So what did I do as a recently orphaned new chapter without a sponsoring dealer and without funds in the chapter account?

So what did I do as a recently orphaned new chapter without a sponsoring dealer and without funds in the chapter account?

I used my business acumen and experience of what I’d seen girded my loins and got to work.

Firstly I found a great venue which was in fact a soccer club and American football club combined which has showers and was fully licensed secure and with plenty of well manicured and drained grass areas.

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21 I Approached the owner not as a biker but as a motorcycle enthusiast and wooed him into agreeing to let us put up a stage and a marquee beside the clubhouse so there we had the basics.

I then was absolutely convinced that to encourage rally goers to travel to the most eastern rally on the map that they needed something good, something we now call the wow factor. I put on two good bands on both nights promoted it to the other chapter and that was that right ?

Wrong, remember I’d said earlier we had no money in the chapter ? Did that stop me ? No absolutely not. I knew we would have income from ticket sales but not how much so I bankrolled the balance myself knowing that because of the show we’d put on we would have another rally the following year and we would have more attendees and would then be self financing. Hallelujah , I was proved right and we grew from strength to strength and this July sees our 24th annual rally with 9 bands at a fantastic venue with a cast of hundreds and volunteers for your enjoyment and entertainment. 22
26 I got a kick from those early days and an even bigger one now.? So see for yourselves and join Fenlanders at the East of England Rally and be a glass half full person and have the next one lined up ready.
See you there.

Take good care.

Neily B

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