The Woodland Grange Hotel in Leamington Spa again hosted the TOC AGM weekend and looked after us very well.
Chairman Martin Bryant kicked off the proceedings and welcomed everyone on a warm and sunny day, which had encouraged many members to attend in their Talbots.
There was no need for an election for the Committee this year as the number of candidates equalled the number of places and so continues unchanged.
The minutes of the 2016 meeting were unanimously approved and the full minutes of this year’s meeting will be published on the Club website in due course. In brief, the Club’s membership continues to increase in a very encouraging manner and finances are healthy. Events are well supported and good work continues in the fields of spares, regalia and archives. The opportunity was taken to show Members the new website and Talbotportal, which was a top priority for 2016 and was enthusiastically received. This is covered in a separate article by Glyn Lloyd.
Special thanks were made to Sally Morris who has now retired as Company Secretary; we are grateful to Sally for her contribution to the Club.
Three Club awards were presented; the Merit Award to John Dodd, the TOC Trophy to Glyn Lloyd for all his hard work on the new Club website and Membership Portal and the Test Track Trophy to James Fack for his regular and detailed contributions to this magazine.
David Booth surprised the audience when he announced that this would be his final year as Club Secretary as he is planning to retire at the end of this year.
After a break, the informal session covered the 2017 programme of events, including a potential participation in the Regent Street Motor Show in November before the London to Brighton Run – watch this space. Members had enjoyed the recent winter trips and more will be planned for next year – suggestions welcome.
David Booth also sketched in some of the events under consideration for 2018: a North East event which David Cook is developing, the Le Mans Classic trip with a tour of Brittany, a South West weekend and a recreation of the 1935 TOC European Tour in September.
A number of posters were on show featuring either photos or useful garage reference items such as wiring diagrams and lubrication charts. Printed on a tough plastic material, these are resistant to damage and dirt and will be made available at a price of £12 each through the Members’ Shop on the website.
Martin Bryant led a discussion on technical matters and explained that the Technical Manual (of which 90 have now been sold) would have a substantial revision later this year. Now that the Club website is capable of hosting videos, Members are encouraged to make (short!) explanatory films of how to carry out maintenance or repairs on Talbots.
It is clearly a concern that there are insufficient skilled companies working on Talbots and this leads to frustrating periods of time waiting in a queue until work can be slotted in with the few existing specialists. The first step will be the creation of a proper recommended supplier directory provided by Members and the Club will take an active role in encouraging more skilled restorers and repairers. As regards the supply of spare parts, Ian Polson explained that he is manufacturing some new spares and had acquired Arthur Archer’s new spare parts, mainly for his own use, but might be able to take on someone to manage the retail sales of spares.
At the evening dinner, further trophies were presented. Sally Morris received the Arthur Archer Trophy, Nigel Wills was awarded the Percy Lambert Trophy and Tom Whatton was the deserved winner of the Rawlings Trophy.
Other trophies will be awarded to these worthy winners in person:
Mike Couper Shield – Andrew and Ann Boland
Georges Roesch Trophy – Foppe d’Hane
Light Car Trophy – Paul Wignall
Fox and Nichol Trophy – Keyth Richardson
John Young Trophy – David Pell.
This last trophy was originally awarded by John Young, one of the founder members of the re-formed TOC, and has now been passed to the Club by his partner, Pat Laverack. It is to be awarded to people who have done good work for the Club, but who are not necessarily Club Members.
A full list of trophy winners is published on the Club website.