News feed, 9.2.16

Hi everyone! Our Heart & Soul Rally 2016 poster has just been finalised. Hope you all like it!

GC Heart & Soul 2016

News feed, 8.2.16

Three-chapter meeting, 16 April 2016: update 8 February 2016
Gretna Hall Hotel now have some extra rooms available for the Saturday night. The cost for Saturday is £45 per person (includes dinner, bed and breakfast).

Some people are making a long weekend of it and we have arranged a special deal with the hotel, as follows:
Extra nights will be available for chapter members at £35 per person (includes dinner, bed and breakfast).
So, the weekend package could look like:

Arrive Friday 15.4 – depart Sunday 17.4 (two nights) twin/double £80 per person, £95 per person for a single
Arrive Saturday 16.4 – depart Monday 18.8 (two nights) twin/double £80 per person, £95 per person for a single
Arrive Saturday 16.4 – depart Tuesday 19.4 (three nights) twin/double £115 per person, £130 per person for a single

It’s looking good – between the three chapters, we already have 50 rooms booked and over 80 people are going – should be a great night! See you there!

Chapter Meeting, February 2016

We had a great Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Nissan SLC yesterday. More than 100 people packed into the room to catch up with what’s going on and to vote for our new Committee members.

Chapter meeting, Feb 2016 1

We’ve got the UK and Ireland Chapter Challenge forms ready for the new riding season, in this case from 27.2 to 30.11. Click here for the form. As we don’t have a sponsoring dealer right now, fill it in with all your details, take a photo of your odometer and bring it to the next Chapter meeting. We’ll get them all endorsed at once. If you can’t get to the meeting, then get in touch through the Contact Us form on the website.

John Johnston introduced Michael Goodwin from Northumbria Advanced Motorcyclists, who gave us an excellent talk on what they do to promote safety and enhanced riding skills among motorcyclists. The link to their website is on our links page, if you would like to know more about them. NAM provides informal one-to-one training and mentoring to new members.

Sohail Kahn, Director at Jennings Harley-Davidson, gave us an update on the new dealership, with an expected opening sometime in April 2016. Fantastic news for everyone in Geordie Chapter! Sohail introduced Sam Roberts who will be the dealer’s H.O.G. Experience Manager. This is essentially an interface between the Chapter, H.O.G. and Jennings. Sohail mentioned that Jennings’ chosen charity for 2016 is the Great North Air Ambulance.

The North of England Children’s Cancer Research team sent a thank-you letter to the Chapter, thanking everyone for the gifts and donations. This was part of our Santa Ride in December 2015. Click here for letter.

It was awards time too and the Chapter presented the following awards:

Mileage award: Paul Wright, with an incredible 16,290 miles ridden

Chapter meeting, Feb 2016 4

Ladies mileage award: Rachael Norman, with a very impressive 8,608 miles ridden
Member of the Year award (Director): presented to Greg Holmes and Dave Cook for their fantastic support to the Road Crew and ride-planning. Very well done to both of you.

Chapter meeting, Feb 2016 5

Outstanding Achievement Award: presented to our Webmaster, Robin Anderson, in recognition of his work in getting our new website up and running.
Member of the Year (Chapter): also presented to our Webmaster, Robin Anderson. Well done, Robin!

Chapter meeting, Feb 2016 7

Finally, it was time for the Chapter to vote for new Committee members – the Assistant Director and second Ladies of Harley Officer positions. Peter Currie was the winner in the Assistant Director vote, well done Peter. The second L.O.H. Officer position was a tie with 47 people voting for Trish and 47 people voting for Ruth. We’ll take this up with Sohail Kahn to see how to resolve this – watch this space for more details.

Chapter meeting, Feb 2016 6

Safe riding everyone. Barry.

News feed, 2.2.16

Tickets for Wake the Lakes 2016 are now available!  7 – 10 July 2016, tickets: £37.00

Registration is at the box office for the Brewery Arts Centre. Opening hours are 10.00am – 8.30pm (Thursday 7 July to Saturday 9 July).
Address: 122a Highgate, Kendal, Cumbria LA9 4HE

Camping is included in your ticket, at Kendal Rugby Club. Motorhome/camper pitches are included at the Rugby Club. There is a free shuttle bus running to the Rugby Club.

In partnership with Bowker Harley-Davidson, all ticket holders will receive a free raffle ticket to win a £1,000 voucher for Bowker Harley-Davidson.

Chapter Committee, Nominations 2016

Our Chapter AGM is on 4 February 2016. The nominations for 2016 Chapter committee member posts have now closed. Thank you to the candidates who have put themselves forward. These are as follows:

Position: Assistant Director
Candidates: Peter Currie, Ray Hales

Position: second Ladies of Harley Officer
Candidates: Trish Gillespie, Ruth Neal

Position: Historian
Candidates: None

Wishing our candidates the very best of luck. See you all on Thursday. Don’t forget your Chapter membership card – you’ll need it to vote!

Chapter Meeting, January 2016

On a cold and damp evening, our first Chapter meeting of 2016 exceeded all expectations. We had a superb turnout of 83 members! Thanks to everyone for making our meetings so worthwhile.

Mandy Thompson was welcomed as the new Secretary for the Chapter – the role of Secretary and Membership Officer will be combined going forward.

The Editor post and the H.O.G. on the Tyne (HOTT) magazine will be phased out to meet demand for an electronic version. We will have a live version on our website soon. Contributions are always welcome!

Jon Greenwood has also been in touch about Biker Flood Buddies (BFB), looking for help from other Chapter members. It was set up in response to the floods in the Yorkshire area, specifically for bikers to help flood victims, particularly those not adequately insured. BFB puts fellow bikers, who wanted to help or donate, in touch with those who needed it most. There is a brief lull at the moment as homes dry out but when people start to move back in, there will be a need for furniture, household items, clothes and white goods. Everyone is encouraged to help, where they can. Get in touch with Jon directly or through the website.

Chapter meeting, Jan 2016 1John Langan presented Ray Hales with an award – World’s Best Roundabout Negotiator, for his expertise and fondness for visiting roundabouts … often again and again. Ray was stunned and shocked but most appreciative. His mumbled words, of what we assume were thanks, were inaudible to those even at the front of the room.

Thanks to everyone who attended and contributed to the Santa Ride in December. We made a donation to Percy Park Rugby Club for new strips and we handed over the collected toys to the Salvation Army. Have a look at the website news feed for more information on this. Paul Wright did a great job in organising the toy collection. Greg then led us up to the RVI, in some truly awful weather, where we handed over portable DVD players for the children.

Our next meeting will be our Annual General Meeting (AGM) and we’ve got pie and peas arranged for you all. You’ll also be able to vote for some vacant Committee posts. We have a few to be filled: Assistant Director, second Ladies of Harley Officer and Historian. Remember to bring your Geordie Chapter membership card – you’ll need it to vote. Mandy has posted further details on our closed Facebook group.

Mandy is also collecting nominations for the Geordie Chapter Member of the Year. Use the email address on the Facebook group to get in touch, or the Contact Us form on the website.

Safe riding everyone. Barry.

Chapter Santa Ride, December 2015

Jennings Harley-Davidson did a great write up for our recent Santa Ride. You can read it here.

And Ian McClelland (Ian McClelland Photography) passed on a couple of great photos, below. Many thanks, Ian.

2015 12 Chapter Santa Run a

Eric Mercer, Band Secretary from North Shields’ Salvation Army, rides pillion on Paul Wright’s Harley-Davidson before the start of our annual charity Santa Ride to the Children’s Cancer ward at the Royal Victoria Infirmary.


2015 12 Chapter Santa Run b


It was very wet when we set off from Percy Park Rugby Club. It got worse … it was snowing by the time we got into Newcastle upon Tyne. Well done to everyone who took part. Hope everything and everyone got dried out OK.

Safe riding everyone. Barry.

Chapter Meeting, December 2015

A good Chapter meeting last night, our last one of 2015, at Nissan SLC. We have now 204 members, with Karen Greenwood joining us to say hello to everyone.

Chapter meeting, Dec 2015 1

Karen rides pillion, on a Fat Boy

On our recent LOH Pink Run (October’s Chapter Ride), we collected for Myeloma UK. Mandy showed everyone a letter from Myeloma UK thanking us for our support.

Click here for letter

Robin gave us a presentation on the new website. Hopefully, everyone will use it more in future, to complement our Facebook and Twitter groups.

Many congratulations to Shaun who received his Road Captain certificate from Al.

Chapter meeting, Dec 2015 3

(L-R) Shaun and Al

Thanks everyone for coming out in some really awful weather.

Safe riding everyone. Barry.

Chapter Meeting, November 2015

A great Chapter meeting last night, at Nissan SLC. Some remarkable achievements – we now officially have more than 200 members! 201, to be exact. Gino and Jocky joined us at the meeting, to say hello to everyone. Welcome to both of you!

Chapter meeting, Nov 2015 1            Chapter meeting, Nov 2015 2

Gino rides an 883 Iron …                                  and Jocky rides a Heritage Softail


On our recent LOH Pink Run (October’s Chapter Ride), we collected for Myeloma UK. This was a very successful day and we managed to raise £419.00. Geordie Chapter made this up to £500.00 and we presented a cheque to Delia Dunn at the meeting.

Chapter meeting, Nov 2015 3

£500.00 cheque for Myeloma UK, presented by our Ladies of Harley


Last month, many of us went to the Stand up for Scarlet bash at the Lancastrian Suite. Chapter member Paul McPherson was in the chair organising things on the night. Bessie and the Zinc Buckets and Charlotte Yanni provided the entertainment on a superb evening, with a real Halloween flavour. There were some great prizes on offer too and Paul reported that the thick end of £5,000 was raised. This is a fantastic result and it will all go towards Scarlet’s post-operative care.

Chapter meeting, Nov 2015 4

(L-R) Paul McPherson, Barry and Kev Charlton (Bessie and the Zinc Buckets)


Finally, many congratulations to Ray and Bill who received their Road Captain certificates from Al.

Chapter meeting, Nov 2015 5

(L-R) Ray, Bill and Al


A great night. Thanks everyone for coming out in such damp and foggy weather. We managed to get at least one brave rider on the night.

Chapter meeting, Nov 2015 6

Safe riding everyone. Barry.

Chapter night out, October 2015

Geordie Chapter Stands up for Scarlet, 29 October 2015

Paul McPherson and Barry Gillespie

Scarlet Connelly is an inspirational young lady who was born three months prematurely. This left her severely deaf and with cerebral palsy. Scarlet is now 14 years old and she has become increasingly dependent upon her wheelchair. Since birth, Scarlet has endured many surgical procedures to increase her balance and mobility, Unfortunately, none of these have been successful.

More recently, Scarlet’s healthcare professionals recommended SDR surgery to release the spasticity in her limbs, along with tendon lengthening surgery. This is not funded by the NHS and costs around £50,000, including post-operative care and intensive physiotherapy. Scarlet is also a close family friend of our Secretary. When I heard her story, I asked the Chapter for help with fundraising. It came as no surprise when everyone said they were very keen to do it.

We arranged a music and curry night at the Lancastrian Suite and, following discussions with Barry and Peter, it soon became a Chapter-sponsored event. Music was provided by the fantastic Charlotte Yanni and the amazing Bessie and the Zinc Buckets so I knew we had a great opportunity to raise some funds towards Scarlet’s care.

We had a fantastic turnout from the Geordie Chapter. The evening started with Charlotte Yanni performing a superb mix of covers and original songs and everyone was soon on the dance floor. Many had arrived in Halloween fancy dress, as had Scarlet. It looked like everyone had made a fantastic effort.

2015 10 Chapter night out a 2015 10 Chapter night out b

After the curry, we held a raffle and auction. Among the prizes was an H-D experience day. This was in such demand that we were asked to auction a further two days and these boosted the funds by over £400. These will involve a day out with the Geordie Chapter at one of the Chapter ride-outs in 2016.

2015 10 Chapter night out c

After the raffle, Bessie and the Zinc Buckets entertained us with their fantastic musicianship and interactive entertainment. It was a great set, matched by their efforts at this year’s Heart & Soul Rally.

During the performance, the Ladies of Harley sold Geordie Chapter teddies and this raised a further £267 – well done Ladies! The prize for the best Halloween fancy dress was won by Chapter member Shaun Arundel, in a rather fetching winged costume.

2015 10 Chapter night out d

The fundraising was a fantastic success and during a short break, we presented Scarlet and her parents, Shaun and Leona, with a cheque for £3,000. With further contributions, this amount increased to £4,616 (plus gift aid). This will fund a hydrotherapy pool in Scarlet’s home, which will really help her on her long journey ahead.

2015 10 Chapter night out e

The night ended with the Buckets belting out Rock this Town, and we certainly did! Many thanks to the Geordie Chapter from Scarlet and her family. Everyone is very grateful for your generosity and friendship.

2015 10 Chapter night out f