• 2018 First Cuttings

  • Welcome to 2018. With the Christmas break well and truly over, it’s time to remind you all of the forthcoming season’s racing.

    AGM Date:-  The date for this year’s  AGM is Saturday 3rd March and the venue is once again at Billingshurst Village Hall, starting at 2pm.

    Vice President:-  At last year’s AGM, with Jim changing his role within the club to Founder and Pete to President, the position of vice president became vacant. To begin with it was not thought necessary to fill the post, but as the year progressed it became obvious that not only that it needed to be filled but there there was only one person that could and should fill this important role. A motion to confirm his position will be made at the AGM. Who is it? Come to the AGM to find out.

    Membership:-  Many of you have already renewed your membership for this year. Just to remind everyone else, that if you want to retain your race number you have to have renewed your membership by the 31st January. After this date all unclaimed race numbers will be freely available.

    Current Committee:-  I would like to thank the committee for their help in running the club over the past year making it another successful year.
    Mark Robinson has decided to stand down from the committee after 8 years. In that time, Mark has been a very active participant, from organising the race calendar, sorting medical cover, producing the handbooks and 12 hour programmes, to providing us with a field to race in/trash, as well as the everyday help that he always willingly gives. Thanks Mark for all your help and support over the years.
    New Committee Members:-  We need to add at least another 2 members to the committee. If you feel that you would like to contribute more to the running of our sport, then this is an ideal way. No experience necessary as training given J. Contact me or anyone on the committee. Nominations need to be received in writing 2 weeks before the AGM.

    Terry Kirkby:- It is with deep regret that I have to report that Terry Kirkby died late last year. He had not been well for some time, and finally succumbed in early December after several stays in hospital. Our condolences go out to Lynne, his wife, and daughter, Jay.
    Although, Terry raced mainly  gp 2, winning the championship in 1992 and 1995, he also raced his gp 4 in endurance races, partnering up with Mark Akroyd and later with Nick Durrant.

    He was one of those lawn mower characters who made an impression on all who came to know him, whether it was his enthusiasm for the sport, both on and off the track, his XXL breakfasts, or his encouragement to others to “have a go”. He was also a regular member on the war trips. 

    Provisional Race Calendar 2018:-
    April 28/ 29th      Capel 
    May 12/13th       Maresfield 
    26/27/28th           Selwood 
    June 9/10th          SPECIAL EVENT
    23/ 24th                 Sharnfold
    July 7/8th              Heddington and Stockley 
    21/ 22nd                Codicote 
    August 4/5th         BLMRA 12 hour 
    25/26th                           Wings and Wheels (Dunsfold)
    September 7/8th  Great Maze
    22/ 23rd                 TBA
    October 14th        NW 6 hour

    Even though the calendar retains most of our most popular venues, there have had to be a few changes.

    Unfortunately, we have lost one of our most enjoyable meetings, the August Bank Holiday Weekend Mendip meeting, as the YMCA is unable to support it any more. However, Pugs has managed to replace it with the Wings and Wheels Show in Dunsfold Surrey. This is a fantastic show of airplanes, cars, motorbikes, etc, set in the airfield where they film Top Gear.

    9th June:- This is another new race addition. Details will be revealed at the AGM. However, I can divulge that as far as I am aware, it will be like no other meeting we have ever done, and if all goes according to plan, it could be a game changer for lawn mower racing. We do need as many entrants as possible for this event, so please keep this date free.
    I may have mentioned this before, but collating a race calendar is one of the more difficult jobs for the committee. This year Pugs Reeves has been the prime mover in sorting our calendar out for the coming season. This is not, as a lot of people suppose, just a question of ringing a venue for a repeat booking. Shows can be very fickle. Sometimes they book with the best of intentions then have to pull out at a later date, throwing the calendar into disarray, making it necessary to find another venue which is becoming more and more difficult as the years go by. So, thank you Pugs for finding us 2 new venues for this year so close to home (well for some of us. Still not found one close to you, Kevin!)
    News Roundup:-

    12 hour late in November the track was spiked in an effort to aerate the ground and reduce the compaction it is suffering from. We intend to do this again after this year’s race and then reseed the track straight afterwards, thus giving the grass time to establish a root structure to help bind the soil together. This won’t prevent the wave effect that formed this year, but that was because the ground was so wet from the severe amount of rain that fell on the Wednesday.
    We would like to thank Phoenix Training for again agreeing to sponsor this event.

    Ingfield Manor Donation - In early December, Pugs Reeves, Stuart Johnson, Charlie Gould and Pete Hammerton attended Ingfield Manor School to hand over the £1500 donation from our club. They went armed with a couple of mowers and spent an enjoyable afternoon in the company of the students who were all keen to clamber on the mowers. A good time was had by all, and the money is always thankfully received.
    Finland 12 hour - this is set for February 8th. At the moment there are 19 teams venturing from England this year to take part in this race on ice, with teams from the BLMRA, NWLMRA, Mower Madness and the West Midlands all entered. Maybe it should be renamed “British Lawn Mower Racing On Ice”. They could even get Phillip Schofield to start the race. We wish them all good luck.
    French 24 hour – this is another race run in our closed season, and if it’s anything like last year, there will be teams from our club also entering.
    Offers:- For those of us not yet finished building/rebuilding our mowers, Bearing Boys are offering 20% discount on all bearings until 31st January. Use code BRGSJAN20. For belts use BELTSJAN20.
    Don’t forget there is also R&M Racing and Ron’s Bits for those specialist racing mower parts.
    And Finally –
    small thoughts  – an occasional column
    2018 is well and truly here. There are 2 kinds of mower racers, those who are organised, have probably finished working on their mower and are twiddling their thumbs waiting for the first meeting, and those who are not. These are the ones who are frantically putting the mower together as the scrutineering boys come round. I would love to be in the first, but I know I will forever be in the second.

    I started with all good intentions. As I manhandled the mower out of the van after the last race of the season, and pushed it down the garden to the shed for the winter, I chanted the same mantra as in all previous years; work on the mower one evening a week and in that way, the mower will be ready way ahead of the new season. In my mind it’s simple. Strip the mower, weld where necessary, repaint, renew bearings etc, put back together. Easy.

    I started off well. I managed to jet-wash the mower and trailer down. Then, as the days got shorter and colder, working in the shed became less and less attractive. Inextricably, the days turn into weeks and then all of a sudden, I realise that 3 months have gone by and my mower is now in a worse state now than it was when I pushed it down the garden all those weeks ago, as it is now rusting from the cleaning it had.
    Never mind, there are still over 13 weeks before the first race.
    Loads of time!

    The BLMRA