To read a summary of the last Dinner & Dance, scroll down.
What it's all about
This is the evening when you leave your bike leathers at home and gear-up with that old suit or DJ that’s been hanging in the wardrobe for special occasions.
It’s an evening to bring your partner and show them you really do go to a motorcycle club on a Monday night.
The evening is open to all members and friends so why not make up a party; there are eight seats to a round table.
The evening starts off at 18:15 when we meet up in the bar of the Cromwell Hotel, Stevenage Old Town, for pre-dinner drinks.
After finding our places on the seating plan, we sit down for a scrumptious three course meal followed by coffee and mints.
After dinner are the customary President and Chairman speeches (you might want to bring a pillow for this bit but they can, in fact, be very entertaining), followed by the presentation of awards won by members over the past year.
It’s then off with the jackets and into action on the dance floor.
As always at our social evenings, there is a raffle with excellent prizes.
The event finishes at midnight but many of us often end up with a "night cap" in the bar, particularly those who have chosen to stay the night at the hotel, where we get a preferential rate.
Tickets for the Dinner are available from our Club Secretary Mick Taylor and are still a very reasonable £35.00.
Trophies are awarded for the following:
Dave Green Trophy
Awarded for the best entry by a club member on the George Brown Memorial Run.
Dave Green was a Vice President of the Club and also landlord of the Crooked Billett and the Hermit of Redcoats Green Public Houses.
Ian Ashwell Trophy
Awarded for the best performance by a club member on the George Brown Memorial Run.
Ian was a club member for many years, and was one of the top motor cycle sprinters in the country. Sprinting his then famous 1000cc supercharged Vincent "Satan". Unfortunately it was sprinting that took his life while competing at the Brighton speed trials.
Don Davies Trophy
Awarded for the best entry by a club member riding his own bike on the George Brown Memorial Run.
Again, Don was a member of the club for a great many years. A truly wonderful man there are so many stories about Don, so if you have a spare few minutes, ask our president Pat Barrett about Don Davies.
Yorkshire Grey Trophy
This trophy was presented to the club by one of our late Vice Presidents, Jack Knott.
Jack was landlord of the Yorkshire Grey Public House in Stevenage Old Town, and presented the trophy for fastest time of day at the clubs sprint meeting.
Dave Kelly TT Trophy
Awarded for an achievement by a club member (or silly thing) done on the annual pilgrimage to the isle of man.
Dave Kelly, whom we have not seen or heard from in a long while, is a Vice President of the club and lives on the isle of man.
Dave Wiley Photographic Trophy
Dave was a club member for many years and served on the Committee. He was a keen photographer and the trophy was presented to the club after his death by Dave’s wife Maureen, who still comes to the Dinner Dance.
Frank Pepper Trophy
Frank or "Uncle Frank" as he was better known in the club was a true gentleman in all aspects. If you needed to know where Frank was all you had to do was to look round for a big cloud of smoke, and there puffing on his pipe would be Uncle Frank - hence his trophy is one of his pipes. It's awarded for anyone displaying outstandingly poor navigational skills by getting lost.
Wes Lord Trophy
Stupid name, but that is what this trophy is about. It is awarded to a club member who has done something silly over the past year. It was presented to the club by our ex-treasure Les Ward or should that be Wes Lord?
Stevenage News Trophy
This is awarded to the club member who has done an outstanding achievement during the past year. It was presented to the club quite a few years ago now, by the then local newspaper "The Stevenage News".
Jeff Humphries Memorial Trophy
After the sad passing away of one of the clubs original members, this trophy was presented to the club by Jeff's wife Cherry for an unsung hero of the year.
Cheese Skittle Championship
This trophy speaks for itself, but the actual trophy is one used by the Vincent Motor Cycle factory inter departmental bowls championship - last used in about 1950.
The Stabilisers Award
To the member who has fallen off or dropped their bike the most times (not that its a regular occurrence!).
The Jan Hallett Memorial Trophy
In memory of Gordon's wife, this is awarded for an achievement by a club member.
2020 Annual Dinner Dance
Normally on the first Saturday of February, this year’s Annual Dinner & Dance was the following weekend, on Saturday 8th February. As has become the regular venue, we returned to the Cromwell Hotel, Stevenage.
Well over a hundred members and guests got dolled up for our posh night of the year.
The format is similar to many formal events so, after starting with pre-dinner drinks in the bar we moved into the restaurant where dinner was Leek and Potato Soup, surprisingly lovely roast beef and then absolutely gorgeous Apple Crumble. Sometimes, with big dinners like this, hotels can let the standard of food drop and the Cromwell has done the same once of twice in the distant past but, even better than last year, this year’s dinner was absolutely spot on. We could not have asked for a better meal.
The room was laid out in a traditional and somewhat formal manner with members and guest on large round tables while the Chairman, Treasurer, President and Vice Presidents sat on a “top table” with their wives.
After dinner, Norbert’s speech was heckled as always and Pat Barrett followed up with his usual wit. Finally, there was a short speech and toast to the Club by a long term friend of the President before trophy presentations.
This year’s recipients were:
The Dave Wiley Photographic Competition was won by Alan this year for his lovely photo of an airborne racing motorcycle. Have a look in the Gallery to see his entry.
The Dave Kelly Isle of Man TT Trophy went to Ray Thompson. 2019 saw Ray’s first go at TT marshalling, which went really well and he will be continuing with this great voluntary role in the future.
The Wes Lord Trophy went to Ian Harris. Ian and another Club member have achieved IAM Observer status over the past year so their riding should be setting a standard. Unfortunately for Ian, no matter what excuses he comes up with, he was still “done” for speeding through Liverpool on their way up to the Isle of Man!
It wasn't possible to present the Jan Hallet Trophy for an achievement by a Club member at the Dinner Dance but the recipient had been nominated by Gordon. It will be presented at the AGM in a couple of weeks but, this year, it goes to Ian Harris for his excellent work with the IAM. He has qualified as an IAM Observer and has worked to create a collaboration between the Club and the IAM so members can achieve an advanced riding qualification without joining the local IAM group.
If you'd like to improve your riding and possibly get cheaper insurance, click on our IAM Collaboration page.
The ever abusive (in a friendly way) and p**s taking Pete Starr received the Gary Jones Wooden Spoon Trophy for the second year. Pete’s ability to shit-stir is unmatched and it’s hard to pinpoint any specific occasion that deserved mention so we just lumped the collective abuse of the year into one award.
The Johnny Greenhill Trophy was awarded to Geof for consistently being resistant to any weather and turning up every Monday evening at Coreys Mill Sainsburys for the group ride to take up the position of TEC (Tail End Charlie)
This is a very unfair award but was taken with the good humour intended. Ray received the Stabilisers Award after “falling off” his bike on one of the Monday night group rides. This is not actually true as he was actually hit up the chuff by someone else (an almost unheard of event on our rides). And he didn’t actually fall off – he just laid it down a bit. But when do we ever let the truth get in the way of a good story; particularly when it gives the opportunity to take the p**s.
Cider received the Jeff Humphries Memorial Trophy, which he was delighted to receive from Jeff’s widow, Cherry (one of the loveliest ladies in the world!). While he was grateful for the recognition for his efforts to run the website and lead most of the Monday group rides, he thought his input was less deserving than the likes of Pete Starr who does a superb and unenviable task as treasurer. Another drawback of the webmaster receiving an award is that he has to write something about himself on the website, in the third person, which made him feel a bit of a dick!
George Brown Memorial Run Trophies:
Don Davies Trophy for best member riding his own bike – Gordon Hallett
Ian Ashwell Trophy for best entry – Jason Holmes
Gary Jones Trophy for most desirable machine – Dave Hubbard
Road Safety – Geoff James
As usual, once the Trophies had been presented the music started and the budding John Travoltas were exposed on the dance floor.
It’s then that the mingling starts and everyone tends to just move between tables being sociable.
The usual short interval interrupted the dancing for the raffle and, this year, Jason & Lisa had donated a huge bottle of whiskey which was auctioned off. Thank you both.
Yet again, the evening seemed to end far too soon but another custom meant some late drinking at the bar well into the night.
2019 Annual Dinner Dance
On Saturday 2nd February, the Club held its 58th Annual Dinner & Dance which was, once again, at the Cromwell Hotel, Stevenage.
Over 70 people attended what was a wonderful evening.
After drinks in the bar, we made our way through to the restaurant for the three course meal which, this year, was Leek and Potato Soup followed by Roast Chicken with Saute Potatoes with Mushroom Sauce and finished off with Profiteroles and after dinner mints.
All seemed to enjoy the menu and there was plenty for even the hungriest of guests.
Once the food was polished off, it was time for the speeches. Some feel this part of the evening is a bit old fashioned but most of us still think it sets the evening apart and is a tradition well worth continuing.
The Club Chairman, Tony Brown, started by welcoming everyone and went on to summarise the year’s events, including the highs and lows.
He passed the speech baton on to the Club President, Pat Barrett, who presented with his usual humour and finished with a toast to the “Ladies and Guests”.
The speeches were rounded up with a toast to the Club by Amanda Paine, Pat’s daughter.
The annual awards presentation followed the speeches with our president`s wife, Hazel, presenting the trophies. The awards went to:
Ian won’t have been happy to have received the Wes Lord Trophy, which is presented for doing something particularly silly or stupid. Anyone can have a lapse in concentration and make a mistake and poor Ian has suffered probably too much teasing as a result of his so we won’t bring it up again and we think this award draws a line under his highly entertaining faux pas.
The Frank Pepper Trophy was awarded to Garry for his ability to display outstandingly poor navigational skill and turn up in the wrong place.
Gary also won’t the annual Cheese skittle championship and received this award too.
Jeff also did well this year, receiving two awards.
In memory of a true gentleman, The Jeff Humphries Memorial Trophy, was presented by Cherry Humphries to Jeff for his stalwart presence at the rear of the Monday night rideouts. Come almost any weather, Jeff is ubiquitously TEC (Tail End Charlie), making sure everyone in the Group gets to the pub safely.
Jeff’s riding style is quick but safe and, with his dayglo suit and helmet to keep him seen, along with his “not as dangerous as the rest” George Brown Memorial Run entry, he was easy choice for this year’s Road Safety Award
All we can say about Mick receiving the Dave Kelly TT Trophy is "what goes on on the Isle of Man stays on the Isle of Man!"
Sheelagh has had another outstanding year in racing, made particularly impressive as she still only has partial use of one hand. She received the Stevenage News Trophy for her efforts.
The Jan Hallett Memorial Trophy went to Ray for his unwavering support with the George Brown Memorial Run.
Pete was the recipient of a “special” award. Beautifully hand crafted by the talented Gary Jones, the Shit Stirrer of the year trophy is a new award, introduced because nothing else quite fitted the particular talents of our Club Treasuerer.
Once the Trophies had been presented, the initial formalities of the evening relaxed, jackets came off and the disco started up.
As is so often the case, the ladies took little encouragement to throw back and get the moves going while the men were a little more reserved. But it never takes much alcohol to get the feet tapping and, in no time, the dance floor was full.
After an hour or so, there was a short interval in the dancing for the raffle. This year we also had an impromptu auction for some special bottles of wine and a four and a half litre bottle of whiskey, with the proceeds going to the Club to help ensure we break even.
The evening was all too short as, at twelve o’clock when the music stopped, there were still plenty of dancers on the dance floor, chatters at the tables and drinkers at the bar.
That’s when most, a little worse for wear, started to make their way home but, with the advantage of holding the event at a hotel, the residents bar stayed open and a few hardy revellers stayed up chatting and quaffing spirits into the early hours.
A straw pole at the following Monday night Club meeting indicated the annual event was as popular as ever.
Next year, we just need to encourage more members to come along.
2018 Annual Dinner Dance
The Club`s fifty seventh annual Dinner & Dance took place on the 3rd February 2018 at the Cromwell Hotel, Stevenage Old town.
A total of 82 members and guests sat down to a very nice meal of Soup, Chicken and Sticky Toffee Pudding.
After the meal the customary speeches were the order of the night, with our Chairman Tony Brown welcoming everyone to the dinner and giving a brief resume of the Club's activities over the past year.
This was followed by our President Pat Barrett giving a hilarious speech and proposing a toast to the Ladies and Guests. Finally, the daughter of Club Vice President Gordon Hallet, Michela Hallett, who was visiting from "down under" proposed a toast to the Club.
Next on the agenda was the prize giving and the following awards were presented by our president’s wife Hazel,
- Frank Pepper Trophy - Gary Jones
- The Stabilisers Award - Jim Carmichael
- The Dave Kelly TT Trophy - Pat Barrett
- The Gary Jones Trophy - Dave Hubbard
- The Dave Green Trophy – Tony Brown
- The Don Davies Trophy - Gordon Hallett
- The Johnny Greenhill Trophy – Lisa and Jason Holmes
- The Stevenage News Trophy - Sheelagh Neal
- The Jeff Humphries Memorial Trophy - Cider Bob
- The Jan Hallett Memorial Trophy – Paul Bryant
After the presentation the evening continued with dancing with music supplied by a live band, Rock Stock and Basil.
There was a short break during the evening for the raffle, and an auction for a gallon bottle of Jameson’s Whisky, which raised £110.00.
The evening then continued with more dancing and music with the "official" event ending at midnight but with several members and guests retiring to the bar until very late into the night.
A very good evening was had by all.
Keep an eye on the Gallery as we are currently awaiting delivery of the photos from the evening.
2017 Annual Dinner Dance
This year, Saturday 4th February saw our 55th Annual Dinner Dance and Prize Presentation which took place at The Cromwell Hotel.
After an excellent meal, our chairman Tony Brown made his customary welcome speech, followed by our President Pat Barrett proposing a toast to the Ladies and Guests, and Mr Reg Everitt finished off the speeches with a toast to the club.
Then followed the prize presentation, with the awards going to the following members:
Wes Lord Trophy:
for failing to knock down a single skittle with three cheeses at the Skittles Competition - Pat Barrett
Frank Pepper Trophy:
for going to the wrong pub and asking the landlord where everybody else was - Jim Carmichael
having borrowed a bike to compete in the George Brown Memorial Vintage Run, and due to either bad preparation of the bike or poor Italian manufacture, the rear suspension unit collapsed, throwing the rider through no fault of his own, to the ground, luckily without any serious injuries - Tony Brown
Dave Kelly TT Trophy:
for his excellence performance in competing in the Classic TT Parade Lap - Gordon Hallett
Terry Ives Trophy:
for the oldest combined age of bike and rider on the George Brown Memorial Vintage Run - Chris Sawyer
Dave Green Trophy:
best performance on the George Brown Memorial Vintage Run
Ian Ashwell Trophy:
best entry by a club member on the George Brown Memorial Vintage Run
Stevenage News Trophy:
for competing in the International Classic Parade road races and an International Endurance race - Roger Timms
Jeff Humphries Memorial Trophy:
for keeping records of all the monies collected each week for the sandwiches and keeping hubby in check - Jan Price
Johnny Greenhall Tropy:
this is an excellent trophy hand made by Johnny this year. The first recipient of this wonderful piece of engineering motorcycle art is a member who has supported the club in numerous ways since time began and travels over 500 miles round trip from way up north to be at the Dinner Dance each year - Brian Young
The Jan Hallett Memorial Trophy:
awarded this year to a very old lady, a senior citizen at the age of 73, she regularly competes in sprints, hill climbs and vintage road race meetings riding bikes that are nearly older than her - Sheelagh Neal
Members and guests then danced the night away with the disco provided by Maxims.
All in all, an excellent night.
2016 Annual Dinner Dance
On Saturday 13th February 2016 we held our Annual Dinner & Dance at the Cromwell Hotel, Old Town, Stevenage.
The usual Cromwell hospitality welcomed us on arrival, with numbers slightly down, it was fairly easy to get to the bar and get the evening under way.
An excellent meal was served up with the starter of Mushroom soup followed by huge slices of Roast Beef ,Yorkshire puddings and all the trimmings and bringing up the tail end an excellent Cheese Cake followed by coffee and mints, and of course the customary wine to wash it all down.
The speeches followed next with the Chairman Tony Brown doing his welcome speech, followed by our President Pat Barrett proposing a toast to the Ladies and Guests and finishing with Mr Barry Crouch proposing a toast to the club.
Speeches over, the awards presentation followed with the following members receiving trophies:
Wes Lord Trophy – Peter Star
Frank Pepper Trophy – Gary Jones
Dave Wiley Photographic Trophy – Cider Bob
Dave Kelly TT Trophy – Pat Barrett
Don Davies Trophy – Gordon Hallett
Stabilizers Award – Mick Taylor
Ian Ashwell Trophy – Dave Hubbard
George Brown Memorial Trophy - Tony Brown
Stevenage News Trophy – Cider Bob
Jan Hallett Memorial Trophy – Bob Voss
Jeff Humphries Memorial Trophy – Dave & Jan Price.
Presentation over and done with, the evening carried on with music from Maxims Disco,
(very good choice), a short interval during the dancing was had to draw a very well stocked raffle.
With the bar closing at 12.00 and the disco finishing at 12.30am, a very good evening was had by all.
There were no apparent incidents during the evening, oh only Gordon catching his braces on a chair and taking
a tumble, although there were a few sore heads at breakfast on Sunday morning.
Our thanks to the Cromwell and Maxims for making it a very enjoyable evening, roll on next year.
You can see the photos from the night at Maxims: