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Easter Meet 2005 at Brough
Photo taken by Rob Burrow, you can see more Rob’s of the weekend at this link.
The 2005 Easter Meet was based at the Castle Hotel, Brough. About Brough Situated in the Eden Valley, Brough is made up of two villages of Town Brough and Church Brough. You can’t go far without hearing the name of Lady Anne Clifford, a redoubtable lady who owned a string of castles stretching from Skipton to Broughton. A high level bridleway above Mallerstang is named the Lady Anne Clifford Walk, as this was the way her coach took as she travelled between her castles. Her Pendragon Castle , a picturesque ruin in Mallerstang, is reputably the birthplace of Uther Pendragon, the father of the legendry King Arthur. There is plenty of rough-stuff. The Howgill Fells and the Pennines are close by, and the famous High Cup Nick is with riding distance, with a multitude of bridleways  and quite lanes between. For the non-cyclists nearby Kirkby Stephen Station is on the Settle/Carlisle railway. The Bowes museum at Barnard Castle resembles a French chateau and has a large silver swam which glides round when the clock strikes the hour. A commercial vehicle rally is taking place in Kirkby Stephen with vintage buses running from Brough to Kirkby Stephen, so providing the weather is kind to us there should be plenty to occupy everyone Annual Report, 2004 Review of the Year The Fellowship secured a new journal editor in 2004 who has returned to producing six journals per year, and is producing it on a timely basis. Despite these changes, our membership decline has further accelerated. The recruitment of new members has recently been low, while the loss of existing members has continued at its normal rate. The Fellowship has increased its publicity efforts in the later part of 2004, and this has had initial success in increasing recruitment towards the year end. Our Easter Meet was at Baskerville Hall, Clyro, near Hay-on-Wyre, where we enjoyed relatively benign weather in comparison with past meets in Wales. It was agreed that we should ensure that the Meet location for 2005 would be capable of accommodating a larger than usual number for our 50th Anniversary. This will be at Brough in east Cumbria. Membership Our membership stands at 625 (529 full members) at the year end, a decline of 62 (10%) during the year. The rapid membership loss became a source of  considerable concern to the Directors during the year. We observed the rate of loss of existing members was no higher than usual, but the rate of recruiting new members had fallen to third of the level needed to maintain membership numbers. Publicity was increased (see below) and membership has been more stable in the later part of the year. During 2005 an usually large number of 5-year memberships will come up for renewal, being about 13% of the full membership. So both membership retention and new member recruitment will be particularly important to us during the coming year. The Rough-Stuff Journal Norman Hodghton was elected editor in 2004, and is pleased to continue for the foreseeable future. He has reverted to six journals per year and has produced them in timely fashion. The journal contains some colour pages, and the editor has responded to the demand for large print size. He has expanded the journal to 28 pages following his first issues at 24 pages. His production methods have contained the cost of the journal, and the editor is exploring weather the number of pages could be further expanded, subject to members providing material to publish. Publicity Steve Griffith was co-opted to the vacant Public Relations Officer position during the year. With poor recruitment rate of new members, despite the ever growing traffic on our website www.rsf.org.uk run by John Brewer, we have revised our print advertising strategy. We are now advertising in a range of magazines through the use of regular low-cost adverts. This has initially proved effective, and at end of the year membership recruitment had increased to about the desired rate, althrough some subsequent falling-off would be unsurprising. We are yet to see a recovery in attendance on organised runs. Signed: Norman R Hodghton, Simon Preston, Ivan Viehoff The Report of the Meet The 50th meet will, I predict, go down in the annals of the RSF as one of the most memorable and eventful. The rides saw some of the highest attendances of recent years, with over 40 on the President’s jaunt. As during the 1966 meet at Kirkby Stephen, High Cup Nick exerted an almost magnetic attraction for some members. The formal part of the weekend commenced on Friday night with the competition slide show expertly given by Harvey Bell. As usual the standards was extremely high. Just as we were all preparing to leave a phone call was received concerning some of our more senior members who had gone across High Cup Nick and would have appreciated some motor assistant to return to Brough. This was quickly provided and before too long everyone was back at the hotel enjoying a specially kept meal. On Saturday Pat Lloyd led hugh group on a circular ride south west of the venue. An easy day in superb limestone dominated scenery with the bulk of the Pennines nearly always in view. We crossed Crosby Ravensworth Fell to a tea stop at Newbiggin, where we completely filled the cafe, from here it was over the fells to Orton for lunch and back via Drybeck and the wonderful situated cafe at Rutter Force right on the rough stuff. Mention must be made of the stoicism of a certain tandem partner. During the repair of a puncture her partner produced not one but three tubes, all of which were the wrong size. The most noteworthy event of the AGM was the awarding of honorary life membership to Bob Callow. There were a number of changes to executive committee with Steve Griffith succeeding Simon Preston as Chairman; Simon had wanted to stand down for some time due to domestic commitments. Steve was appointed as a director. Bill Houlder took on the Advertising Manager role. It is of some concern that we do not have any one to carry out the Sale Officer. Surely this is one of least demanding jobs and idea for someone wanting to make their first contribution. Any one interested please contact Steve Griffith. Sunday dawned dull but the rain held off until late afternoon. The main ride of the day was over Smardale Common providing the cafe at Newbiggin with yet more business and then over the col north of Wild Boar fell on the track called High Dolphistry which drop down to the Settle Carlisle railway it was back to Kirkby via Pendragon castle. This is wonderful track that usually provides extensive views of both the Lune and Eden Valleys. Unfortunately the top was shrouded in thick mist and despite being up there twice before our new chairman got one group lost! The annual dinner was attended by 74 members and friends. All were given a commemorative mug, and a slice of cake specially baked by Pat Lloyd. Pat also presented the awards. The evening was one which typified all that is best about the Fellowship with good food, and good company. Many thanks to Fred Lloyd for finding the venue, to Richard Harris for the administration work, and to the runs leaders Pat Lloyd, Cliff Brown, Simeon Orme and Jeff Rowbotham. Letters to the Editor of the Rough-Stuff Journal about the Easter Meet Well our 50th Easter has come and gone and from the feedback I have had from fellow members it was greatly enjoyed. I would ask however that next year perhaps we could have few more runs leaders and little more variety in the rides. In my own opinion the introduction of an all night ride / walk over High Cup Nick was not an overwhelming sucess. While I accept that the participants of this particular effort were drawn from the less responsible and wilder elements of the club, a little more  restraint is to be recommended, for as with overeating or too much indulgence of the bottle, an uncontrolled over enthusiastic cycle ride is to be avoided. To quote the received wisdom of the day, I blame their parents. Can I just finish by saying don’t forget it is your fellowship, your Journal, so don’t be shy at coming forward with suggestions and articles, for as Bob Callow said, the way to get the most out of the club is to participate. Anyway here’s to next Easter, and looking forward to seeing you all again. Fred Lloyd, Halton, Lancaster It’s a long way from South Wales to Brough and our 50th Easter Meet, but I was glad to be part of the adventure. The clouds parted, the moon shone brightly, and for a few moments High Cup Nick was revealed. It was very late, the end of a long hard day, but we were there. A very sincere thankyou to the folk who came out and gave us a lift home to Brough, it was much appreiated as a wild night set in. John Wilson, Rogerstone, South Wales.