Meeting 2019 02

Record of the General Meeting at the Lane Theatre

Tuesday 12th February 2019 at 11am

Speaker: Andy Bellamy from Cornwall Blood Bikes.

The Chairman, Gret Woodason, welcomed everyone, then went through the Health & Safety/Fire notices before welcoming and introducing the visiting speaker, Andy Bellamy from Cornwall Blood Bikes, whose BMW motorbike was already in place in the auditorium.

Andy, a local man from Mawgan Porth, told us all about the very valuable work done by their motorcyclists taxiing blood, drugs, stem cells, human fluids, breast milk and other medical products and equipment needed by the NHS around the county, even as far as Bristol, within a 4 hour timescale.

Cornwall Blood Bikes is a charitable organisation which started in 2015, initially funded by a grant from the Masonic Charitable Foundation. Their current fleet of 11 BMW R1200RT police spec motorbikes is made up of new and second hand bikes which knock up between 90k-100k miles per year, funded by donations from the public with no cost at all to the NHS, so they rely heavily on fundraising.

Although the bikers manage to transport their valuable packages to their destinations speedily, their bikes are not classified as emergency vehicles and they are not allowed to use sirens or the blue lights on the bikes. They have no exemption from speed limits. However, with their distinctive colours, usually vehicles see them approaching and pull over to let the bikes by, thinking that they are something to do with the police. Urgent cases would however get a police escort.

The bikers, who all have to undergo an advanced motorcycle test at £1300 per rider, work from 5pm until 7am on weekdays and 24 hours per day at weekends. Running costs are about £500 per month per bike, i.e. about £54k p.a., meaning that they need constant funding from the public. There is no age limit for the riders. Most riders are over 50 and their oldest is 84. They currently have two lady bikers in the team.

As well as the bikers, the organisation needs coordinators, both male and female, who work from home taking calls and organising the riders' duties. Fundraisers are also needed to go to supermarkets and special events to help raise more money for the organisation.

Andy ended up by answering several questions from the audience, who gave him a good round of applause.

General Meeting.

1. Apologies: There were no apologies, although some members had to leave before the meeting started. Peter Mann had to go home just after he arrived because he wasn’t feeling well, but wanted to pass on thanks for the get well cards and visits he received during his illness.

2. Minutes of Previous Meeting held on 8th January 2019 were signed off and available on the notice board.

3. Matters Arising:

  • 1) The Post-Christmas Lunch. Gret said that some people’s opinions were that we should change the venue next year. She has been making enquiries at the Atlantic, which will be more expensive at about £20-£22 but with a choice of 2 or 3 courses. She asked for comments to be put in the suggestions box.
  • 2) 2019 Diaries. There were still 8 available which were free to anyone who wanted one or they would be binned.

4. Treasurer’s Report: In Dave Morey’s absence Chris Bramhall announced:-

Current Income for Year (as at 31/01/2019) £3,979
Estimated Expenditure for Year £3,000
Petty Cash £137
Refreshment Fund £191

5. Antiques and Collectibles Group: Chris mentioned that the Antiques Group would be meeting at the Quintrell Inn at 10:30am on 25th February with the theme being Vintage Fashions and Accessories.

6. New Discussion Group: Margaret H introduced Maureen to tell us about her new Discussion Group, meeting for the first time at Morrison’s cafe on Tuesday 26th February at 2pm and thereafter on the 4th Tuesday each month. To avoid anyone monopolising the discussions, each person will be allowed up to 5 minutes to put their point.

7. Donations to Cornwall Blood Bikes: At this point Andy Bellamy from Cornwall Blood Bikes was ready to leave. He started the bike and drove out via the double doors to another round of applause. After he had left Gret and John explained that as a charity ourselves we were not allowed to write a cheque to donate to another charity without a written request, which Cornwall Blood Bikes did not provide. She suggested that we gave a donation from the refreshment fund, which does not go through the books. The audience were in agreement.

To donate or volunteer contact:-

8. Membership Secretary: Shirley announced that there were 89 at the meeting with a record number of 13 visitors. She also announced that it was time for the new cycle of subscriptions to “Third Age Matters” and if anyone wanted to sign up for it they should see her after the meeting.

9. Garden Appreciation Group: Dot announced that 26th February was the Garden Quiz at Newquay Garden Centre Cafe Quint in Quintrell Downs, from 2pm. All that was required was that people present should purchase refreshments from the cafe. She also reported that the Beetle Drive at the Quintrell Inn in January went down well. The 26th March garden visit will be to the Pinetum at St Austell for which the sign-up list will be available at the next meeting.

10. Walking / Family History / Quiz / Cornish Language: Sheilah Terry said that her walks had been rained off, but that they had a successful quiz at the Lanherne. She had also taken part in the walk organised by the Longer Walks Group. She talked about her Family History sessions, where she had made some interesting discoveries about people’s ancestors and found someone’s brother. She also informed us that Newquay Library are organising a Cornish Language taster session.

11. Food with Friends: The next meal will be on 26th February at the Spires Restaurant at Truro College. The sign up list is in the reception area.

12. Other Miscellaneous Social Activities:-

  • Lighthouse Cinema: Janet announced there is a showing of the classic film “Singing in the Rain” on 7th March in aid of the NSPCC and Trenance Cottages.
  • Hampton Court Flower Show: 5th-6th July. Gret announced seats have been booked with Williams Coaches for the trip, which will be for two nights at £309 including travel, hotel, entrance and visit to RHS Wisley on return journey. Booking is through Debbie.
  • Silver Screen: Thursday 14th February – “The Green Book.”
  • Simon Weston CBE: scheduled for Saturday 23rd Feb at the Lane Theatre has had to be postponed.
  • Travelling Groups Magazine: Gret has a copy if anyone wants it.
  • Flower Festival at St Michael’s Church. 23rd – 25th May. Tell Gret if you are interested in contributing.
  • Newquay Radio 106.1 FM: Our Newquay U3A adverts are being broadcast at regular intervals.
  • Newsletter: Gret announced that she has not been sent any material for her next newsletter. She needs material or there will be no newsletter.

13. Date and Time of Next General Meeting: Tuesday 12th March 10.30am for 11.00am.
The speaker will be Des Prouse from Goonhilly Earth Station, talk entitled “Goonhilly – A Tale of Two Half-Centuries.”