A Brief History of our Region

          Brief History Of The Region

With so many new members
, its seems timely to look back on the origins of the Region. Thanks to Neal Benting
for suggesting it and to Adam Hill and Ruth Lloyd who researched and wrote it
up. The Club Regions have evolved, grown and changed over time and R29 only came
into its current form in 2009,, but before that persistant input and support
from our local members made sure North Wales became a feature and ultimately a
region in its own right.

 The first reference to North Wales as an area, not as a region, seems to be from the June 1967 Quin

where the autumn run to Llanberis was mentioned which was to take place in
October. There is a copy of the write up of the trip on the HDRCGB Forum,
Making a History section online post 528. At that time the H-DRCGB HQ was
presumably Warrs Harley-Davidson on the Kings Road, Chelsea.

 

Much fewer regions existed at this time and at the 1968 club AGM the need for a Northern Rep who
would look after all members north of Birmingham was agreed. By February 1977
there were three Regional Reps across the UK.

 By 1979 a ‘Howard Hall’ was active in Wales although it was not clear if this is as a formal Rep.

1979 also saw the South West invite Wales to their meetings, as well as there
being a couple of Welsh Calendar meets.

 The 1980s started with Wales firmly on the Club map. The December 1980 Quin listed interesting

Rep posts including a Sidecar Rep, a Northern Rep and a Welsh Rep who was
Howard Hall. Howard provided a Welsh report in the same issue. The 1982
Regional Map shows Wales named as Region 4 and the meeting in South Wales.

 The late 80s saw more Regions being formed. 

North Wales was named as Region 6 and listed with a vacant Rep position. In the June/July 1987 issue of the Quin, Pete Price (still

a R29 member today) put a note in about a possible North Wales meet. This
doesn’t seem to have happened as no meets in North Wales were published in the
Quin through 1987 or 1988. In 1989 the regions seem to have shifted again and
North Wales was part of Region 7, Wales.

 The regional changes in the July 1994 Quin confirmed the creation of Region 29, North Wales.

(No Shropshire at this point, that was much later).

 In the December 1996 edition of the Quin, the Rep wrote into the Quin with the following

Regional Roundup:

 December 1996 North Wales Round Up

North Wales: What’s all this, a
letter from the North Wales Region? Yes!! At last a few of us have got
together to try and get this long lost wasteland of a region up and
running. After seeing a good number of Harleys at the various shows,
rallies etc this year, you know what it’s like, you see a load of bikes all
summer but you don’t know who rides them!! But they must be fairly local.
So if it’s you, or you know a non-member who lives in the North Wales area,
now is everyone’s chance to get together, even if it’s just to find out who
the hell rides what!! Now who’s writing all this waffle? Well my name is
Andy Jenkins and I’m the new boy to this Rep’s game. I was told ‘It’s a
thankless task but you’ll get a dead cool Rep’s badge!!’ Mmm, I wonder…
The assistant Rep is Pete Price. He’s an all round good guy, and he’s got a
Fax machine so he can deal with all the death threats, hate mail and
general abuse. By the time you read this we will have a monthly meeting
place (Pub). Usual stuff, Sunday afternoons, once a month probably. Also at
the moment, we’re looking at a ‘Hog Roast’ weekend, maybe in May – band,
disco etc, more info as we get it. Could be a case of ‘Hey, throw me
another HOG member, this ones burnt!!’ That’s about it for nowexcept it
won’t cost you much just to phone to find out about the monthly meetings
etc. You’re out there somewhere so just give us a shout and, you never
know, we might even have a laugh!. That’s what it’s all about innit?

 

See you soon Andy Jenkins, Rep. Pete Price, Assistant Rep.

 

Andrew Jenkins is still North Wales, whilst Pete Price is still in Region 29, which we believe

makes him our longest standing R29 member.

 The Regional map from July 1999 shows that Wales had been split into three Regions; Region 7 –

West Wales; Region 28 – South Wales; Region 29 – North Wales.

 We’re a bit fuzzy over the next decade, with the Region ebbing and flowing in terms of activity

and size. In 2006/7 Mog Ellis was the Region Rep and Ruth Lloyd was Asst. Rep.

 Mog stepped down in March 2009 which is when Ruth  took

over as Region Rep. When Ruth picked up that role it began a new era as Ruth
requested to the national Club that Region 29 could include Shropshire as well
as North Wales. Ruth established herself as the new Rep, bringing together the
two areas , nay, a county and half a country – no mean feat! Thus Region 29 as
we know it today was formed. Shropshire was  officially welcomed on the R29 forum on
18/02/09 and had its 1st meeting at the Wingfield Arms Thurs 2nd April 2009 at
6.30pm.

 In summary so far, we’ve noted that Region 29 came into being from July 1999, when the Club’s

map showed Wales being split into three regions at that time; Region 7 – West
Wales; Region 28 – South Wales; Region 29 – North Wales. At some point in the
future Region 7 took over South Wales to become its current configuration.

 The H-DRCGB forum includes posts from as far back as 2006, from the then Region Rep Mog

Ellis, the Asst. Rep ‘Susie Harleychic’, from Ruth (Howells) Lloyd and several
other members. Ruth joinedH-DRCGB in 2006, with the R29 meeting being held in
Mold, she notes that less than half a dozen regulars attended.

 Without a Facebook platform, the forum was the main route of communication for members.

Ride-outs, rallies etc were posted there as well as general chats between
members throughout 2006 and from there on. 
It wasn’t until Oct 2014 that our current Facebook came into being and
became the favoured route for communication between members.

 The year 2009 saw a post opening a debate why Shropshire should join North Wales. There were

Harley riders who lived in Shropshire but had no local region, so Ruth asked if
Shropshire could join R29 as a joint geographical area. After some discussions
of a ‘sub-section’ and plenty of cross border banter, (you won’t be surprised
at that, it still goes on today!), it was fully agreed to ask the Club to allow
Region 29 to include both geographical areas, which it did. The first meeting
of the joint North Wales and Shropshire Region was held at The Wingfield Arms
on Thursday 2nd April 2009, with Ruth picking up the responsibilities of
representing the Shropshire end. 

 

In 2011 Mog Ellis had been the Region Rep for 7 years and decided to call it a day as life
moved on. Looking back at the posts on the forum and photographs, he was a very
active Rep, even though the region was still very small at that point.
Attending meets, running the region AGM, organising camping weekends,
attendance at rallies, and holding a region treasure hunt on the bikes starting
at The Ponderosa and ending in The Grouse Inn, Carrog. It’s fair to say he laid
the foundations of the region’s ethos – riding, meeting up and having fun
together – even though the debate continued about access to meets, how to
encourage attendance to events and keeping everyone involved – no change there
then!

 Ruth was appointed as the Region Rep at the 2011 club AGM with Al Lloyd as Asst. Rep.

There was no regional committee at that point, the region was not really large
enough to need one, but there was a need to have more members’ help to promote
the club locally.

 Al Lloyd took over as Region Rep by 2013, as the work commitment for Ruth was becoming too

great with the establishment of her own tattoo studio and she was ready to hand
over the baton.

 To help share the load and provide access to local members, a North Wales Asst Rep. had been

created and later on a Shropshire Asst. Rep and a Secretary position. North
Wales Asst. Reps included Andrew Tucker, Richard Moulton and Greg Hoey; and now
Colin Turnbull. All of these Asst. Reps. brought something new to the region,
establishing and running the North Wales meets, organising ride-outs, rally
attendance and some pretty epic parties by the sound of it. Adam Hill became
the first secretary in 2014 and his documents filed on our Facebook page are
testament to his diligence and attention to detail. Neal Benting became the
first Shropshire Asst. Rep. – a post he has held since its inception in 2014 –
with his remit being to ‘go find and tell them about us’ so as make sure Shropshire
had as a good a balance of members as North Wales. There wasn’t a Harley in
Shropshire he didn’t chase down; and working with Ed Smurthwaite and Al to
cover the rest of the region, it’s fair to say The Boys Did Good!

 Christmas parties were held in January and were hosted in Al’s house back then, with Marcus De

Max providing the catering – Mexican in 2013 and Indian in 2014.

 Speaking to Neal while we were compiling this, he recalled some words he’d written himself

after reflecting about his time with the region.

 

At a local bike meet (Montford Bridge Cafe)
I was introduced to Al and Ruth by Peter Price , I asked about the club and
discovered there were local meet ups; met more club members (but there weren’t
many back then compared to now). The club ticked all the boxes for me, it was
local (I wasn’t really aware at first of the national and international side of
the club).

 

Some of those original members I met have moved
on, either changed there bike brand or found something else that worked for
them in other clubs or just chose to ride alone. What is important is that
whatever path they have taken they are still great friends and I can recall the
great laughs we had. As club member I was enjoying being part of what I call a
grass roots Harley scene – no bells and whistles, just does exactly what it
says on the tin.

 

One Christmas party back when R29 was at a size
we could have it in Al’s kitchen I was asked to consider the position of
Assistant Rep for Shropshire. First concerns were what could I possibly bring to
the table but went for it anyway, I was very new to the position and wanted to
learn more about the history of the club so I asked a lot of question to
members who had been in a lot longer than this new-broom-in-the-cupboard
assistant rep. Al suggested I attended officers’ meetings and AGMs as he did
with the other R29
Asst. Reps. Going to these events opened up
a whole element to the club I hadn’t seen; we all bump into each at rallies and
see what we do on FB but this was a look into the internal works of the engine
that drives the great big machine that is The H-DRCGB.

 Being part of this great club has given me anopportunity to meet some fantastic people over the years. Me and Gill have

travelled the length and breadth of this country and overseas partying with
some amazing people. R29 has changed over the years – mainly its membership
size, having a big region has given us the opportunity to put on the
International Rally in 2018 and much more.

 

Al is in my opinion the figure head for the
region and the club; and with the assistant reps and other committee members we
all do our best to keep the cogs oiled and running smooth. People come and go
in a club like this and people will have different opinions on what’s good or
not so good for the club… I will finish by saying I have great respect for
everyone in this club and I am lot better for being in it
.”

The next new position came about 5 years ago, when the Asst. Rep. for Mid Wales was established with

Bob Everitt taking that position. A regional meet was held near Welshpool for
some time, but this has faded out – should the demand arise, it can easily be
restarted, we are sure. For some time there was a Welsh Coast Asst. Rep., which
Andrew Tucker held, then following a large increase in the North Welsh
contingent by 2018 it was agreed to re-launch this as a North West Wales Coast
Asst. Rep., which is Andrew Sutherland. Finally in 2019, the position of
Treasurer was established because as we grew in size and held more events,
particularly the International Rally, our income and expenditure was becoming
more complex. So that’s evolution of the region committee as it is today.

 

Other key milestones:

        

20 05-08:The Club International was held on Oswestry Show
Ground

·        
2009: Our own region gear and logo were designed and
available, having been approved by the national committee

·        
2010: the Idea of our own website was discussed (it has taken
various forms since then but we are not proficient as you can see, so any volunteers are welcome!

·        
2014: Our region Facebook was set up.

·        
2014:regional newsletter commenced

·        
2014-present: Membership Increases

Ø  2014 – 36
members,

Ø  2015 – 52
members, 

Ø  2016  – 126 full members plus associates

Ø  2019 – 200
members including associates

 

What we’ve learnt as we’ve looked back at the region over several years of posts and
documents; and by talking to people, is that it does change; the members come
and go, but that it has always been vibrant, forward looking and hugely
involved and supportive of the international federation events; and the
national club’s and the other regions’ rallies. We had some crazy times, great
rallies, stunning ride-outs, parties and generally a good craic – long may it
continue!