Our Group Evening with Paddy Hopkirk and David Gallagher was a huge success. If you were unable to attend then you missed a memorable evening. We were supported by not only a good number of our own Group Members but also other local Groups, Walsall, Redditch, Lichfield, Stafford and Kidderminster as well as a fair number of potential new Members in friends and family, over a hundred people in total attending.
David Gallagher gave a presentation of interest to all drivers but with a special focus on how to reduce driving incidents involving the younger or less experienced person. Focusing on effective approaches rather than just statistics demonstrating the risks, David left all attending with some thoughts on how to best engage younger drivers in adopting and gaining improved driving skills including IAM RoadSmart based initiatives such as the “1,000 Free Training Modules” that are now available to the under 26’s and the newly launched “App” to guide and engage the younger driver. His presentation was very well received and rightly so.
Following the refreshment break Paddy Hopkirk took to the floor. He initially presented three of our Members with their recently gained Certificates, David Barley, Michael Brooks and finally Sean Mullin who gained a straight “1’s” F1rst. Paddy was kind enough to sign photographs of the presentations for the three new IAM RoadSmart Members making their awards that little more special. Everyone was then treated to what could only be described a gentle romp through Paddy’s history from his first car through to his current successes including his being elected to being President of The British Motor Racing Drivers Club. His humour and eclectic choice of photographs had everyone laughing and made for a thoroughly entertaining hour bringing back to everyone the massive importance of the mini within British motorsport and also to driving in general.
We were very lucky on the night to be supported by Rybrook Wolverhampton Mini who bought along one of their cars to show the amazing differences between the cars that Paddy was driving so successfully in the 1960’s and those now being sold. Rybrook had their Mini Product Genius, Tom Lagram attend so there were no questions that could not be answered. (The Rybrook Wolverhampton Mini Web Site can be visited by clicking here).
Additionally one of our Group Members, Roland Sellors, bought along a friend, Chris Nutt of Codsall Photographic who graciously agreed to act as “Court Photographer” for the evening taking professional grade photographs for us at very close to no cost. It was thanks to him that we were able to produce pictures of the Certificates being awarded and get them signed by Paddy during the course of the evening.
Other supporters of the event that need to be mentioned are Richard Dodd of Signal Radio, (also a Group Member), who lent us a PA system and The Mercure Goldthorn Hotel who, though we were renting the room from them, did way more than would normally have been expected, even contributing a prize for the raffle.