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August 1998

  A Few Too Many At AMMO

Editor's Column

Chairman's Column

AMM0 1998 Results

10 Things You Never Knew About... Jo Shaw, NEO

Adopt A Jelly Baby

Dozy-doe !

In Reply

Andy White Steps Down

The Past And The Future

Congratulations !

Anyone Want To Buy A Sunshade ?

Clive Pearson

Barbara Terry

National News

Submarine Sabotage At The Marlow Raft Race


A Few Too Many At AMMO

Bungee Slide at AMMO '98Six members of Castle Point 18 Plus went to AMMO 98, none of them with their own group (which did our popularity with the AMMO staff no good at all). We teamed up with our neighbours Rochford for the games (and everything else for that matter). On arrival I discovered disaster. I had brought only one third of my intended alcohol supply ! Whilst downing the one bottle of vodka I was left with at our impromptu tent party I consoled myself with the thought that it would be easy to buy some more. I would just have to let a few more moths escape from my wallet, but what the hell ! 

We had a good time at the disco although some of the members missed "Whigfield" and "Macarena". (We later learned that this was a deliberate policy by the AMMO committee not to play these songs, not just for the seventies night disco but for the whole weekend.) 

The next morning four of us decided to try to be South Essex's answer to Robin Hood so we booked an archery session. Unfortunately when we got there we found some bloke called Tim with his own bow and arrow in a little case straight out of a James Bond set, shooting from twice the distance everyone else was and hitting the bull almost every time ! But we were not too disheartened and I still managed to come overall third in the competition. 

Daren Emmons at AMMO '98After limbering up on a few beers and some junk food we started the games. Castle Point and Rochford have a proud tradition of doing completely averagely in the games and this year was no exception. On the bike game where two players had to collect balls thrown to them in baskets on their backs whilst riding bikes in a circle, our two blokes Jason and Dave had about one ball between them (no comments please). On the bungee slide I fell flat on my face but we still managed a bucketful of water (God knows how). In the pool I think we did OK. I swam my guts out (literally as it goes because I churned up all the beer and junk food I had recently eaten and made myself very ill !) The water tower (a traditional favourite of ours) went unnoticed by me as I was still being ill and the less said about the brain box game the better ! 

The seventies disco on Saturday night went down well with our members and so did the DJ's little games. We watched as teams of mainly women threaded some string through their clothes and then took part in a "boat race" which is when teams of four people down a full pint and put the glass on their heads. Our combined Rochford/Castle Point team was up against the heavy drinkers of Chingford and I'm afraid I let my team down a bit. My opposite number was Tracy Lamb and she downed her pint in two gulps ! In the end we were narrowly beaten. I consoled myself with a few more pints and the next thing I remember was waking up the next day ready to have my bones shaken out of their sockets on the go-karts. 

I finished on them just in time for the Real Ale Trip. I don't usually drink real ale but thought that I had better make the effort. There were five guest ales with strange names at the pub and I had one of each before hitting the Guinness (it just has to be done). We were all pleased to welcome back the Irish singer from last year who played loads of cover versions and knows how to handle hecklers ! Another worthwhile memory was watching Mr Bond, our new National Chairman, down a yard of ale (although some of it went on his shirt). 

I passed out in the coach on the way back and fell flat on my face when I got to my tent but recovered in time for the final disco and more beer. The night's main attraction was "The Big Mac Wholly Soul Band" who have been to AMMO before and again went down well. I went to bed that night (or rather Monday morning) feeling satisfyingly drunk and not wanting to go home. I didn't even mind when I snagged my eye on a guy rope whilst trying to get into my tent. 

The overwhelming feeling amongst Rochford / Castle Point was that we would be back next year, but with more paracetamol ! 

Matt "Flossie" Garland 
Castle Point 18 Plus 

See later in this issue for the games results. 

Links: AMMO

Editor's Column

Katie Hawkins at AMMO '98This issue is dedicated to Clive Pearson and Barbara Terry. The one part of my job that I don't like is printing obituaries and unfortunately there are two in this issue. 

Thanks to all my contributors. I'm always after more articles but what I'd really like are photos of Andy Bond (preferably in unusual or compromising situations). If you can let me have any then your identity will naturally be kept a secret ! 

The deadline for the November issue is Friday 9th October 1998. Please note that articles submitted for Plus News may be used for other purposes in connection with the National Federation of 18 Plus Groups. This includes but is not limited to publication on the world wide web. 

Katie Hawkins

Chairman's Column

Andy BondTo start with taking over as National Chairman was a bit of a shock to my system but I'm enjoying it so far. To date I've chaired my first NEC meeting which seemed to go alright and attended a GPC (General Purposes Committee) meeting. I've also had time to enjoy myself - at AMMO which was my last event as South Essex Area Chairman. 

As I write this I'm looking forward to going to the Marlow raft race. I trust that I won't follow in the previous National Chairman's footsteps and end up getting dunked. 

Please let me have details of your events as I'd like to attend as many events as possible - hope to see you there. 

For anyone who'd like to know, please note that my work telephone number doesn't appear in the latest directory but it is 07970 855162. 

Andy Bond 

Links: Marlow Raft Race

AMM0 1998 Results

Games Results: 

1 Crawley   587 
2 Brentwood   577 
3 Cheadle   522 
4 Hillingdon   452 
5 High Wycombe   438 
6 Wimbledon   433 
7 Billericay   421 
8 Coventry   415 
9 Chingford   411 
10 Redbridge A   402 
11 Witham   401 
12 Screaming Banshees  399 
13 Fareham   377 
14 Romford A   370 
15 Stevenage / Welwyn Garden City 366 
16 Solihull   365 
17 Acton    343 
18 Rochford   323 
19 Havering   313 
20 Redbridge B   308 
21 Romford B   296 
22 Waterlooville   271 
23 Sophie Went Woof !  217 

Winners of Individual Games: 

Pool Game Billericay 
Water Tower Hillingdon 
Bungee Slide Brentwood 
Brain Box Brentwood 
Wheelbarrows Crawley, Brentwood, Wimbledon 
  & Romford A 
Mountain Bikes Cheadle 

1 Tim Moore (296) 
2 Mark Allen (284) 
3 Matt Garland (267) 

1 Alison White (272) 
2 Lisa Ward (207) 
3 Caroline Luty (158) 

Music Quiz: 
Brentwood / Billericay 

Links: AMMO

10 Things You Never Knew About...

... Jo Shaw, NEO

  1. Jo Shaw & Keven Woodhead at AMMO '98As she is an advanced driver coach, her 18 Plus group thought she would be the perfect person to take the test for minibus drivers set by the local council. However she failed !
  2. She has a habit of losing contact lenses and they turn up in very strange places.
  3. She once trained as a chef.
  4. She is constantly falling over. She once made the mistake of saying "This is the first holiday I've been on where I haven't had an accident". She promptly stepped back and fell into a box of camping gear !
  5. She has a penchant for emptying and tidying up other people's handbags whether they want them sorted out or not.
  6. She has Russian grandparents.
  7. She used to only drink cherry brandy.
  8. Instead of having a hen night she is having a hen weekend at Pontins.
  9. At ArT she tried to kill a wasp and nearly stabbed herself in the forehead with a fork.
  10. She once posted some 18 Plus stuff from work. It got returned by the Post Office and she had to be told off !
I was told so many things about Jo that I just had to print ten things instead of just the normal five. 

Adopt A Jelly Baby

What is it? 

Adopt A Jelly Baby is the most exciting, productive and FUN opportunity 18 Plus has had in a long time. To help raise the profile of 18 Plus and Shelter, the general public will be asked to "Adopt A Jelly Baby" or maybe a Jelly Baby Family. They will be given a certificate and adoption number and must promise to look after their jelly baby and not to bite its' head off ! 

What will it involve ? 

The majority of preparation will be done by myself with help from your Area PRO - and any other volunteers who come forward. The makers of Jelly Babies will be asked to donate the Jelly Babies, certificates will be produced and venues will be booked for 23rd/24th January 1999. As a group, you will be required to turn up on the day, preferably in fancy dress, put the Jelly Babies up for adoption and have FUN. 

The whole weekend is for Adopt A Jelly Baby. As a group, you could organise your own event. Maybe go on a fancy dress pub crawl / night club crawl, ask the local factories or colleges if they would let you use their canteen at lunchtime, enlist the help of your venue who may be willing to get involved. 

Who benefits ? 

Shelter who help the homeless, 18 Plus and, of course, the Jelly Babies. The money raised will all be donated to Shelter. It is also hoped that the timing of the event will highlight the plight of the homeless during the winter months. 

The profile of 18 Plus will be raised with publicity from local to national media. Your group will benefit from the enquiries generated and you will benefit by joining in the fun that this sort of event generates with a bit of imagination. 


This is the first National Scale Charity event for too long. All the work and preparation is being done by National and Area but it is up to you to make it work. With all of us pulling together, this can be a fun and successful weekend for all. 

So let's get out there and show the world what 18 Plus is all about ! 

Judy Horsburgh 
National External PRO 

Links: Shelter

Dozy-doe !

Eight Rivers Area Barn DanceThe South Essex / Eight Rivers Area Barn Dance took place near Brentwood on Saturday 20th June. This alternative event was well attended and proved challenging to those who are more used to dancing to "YMCA" and "Saturday Night". However having a live band complete with caller to instruct us was helpful. 

Memories of country dancing at school surfaced and helped slightly although half the fun of these events is all getting it wrong together. There were people doing a left hand star when it should have been a right hand one, swinging their partners round enough to make them sick, and ending up with either two partners or none at all ! 

I was most disappointed not to see Andy Bond in action as he spent the night talking and for a lot of the time he was outside the venue. He had possibly realised that I would stalk him with my camera if he set foot on the dance floor. Or maybe he just doesn't like to dozy-doe in public ! 

Katie Hawkins 
Barnet 18 Plus 

Links: Barnet 18 Plus

In Reply

In my eleven and a half years membership of 18 Plus, I have never been compelled to write a response to an article in Plus News within a week of reading it, let alone an hour. However this time it's different. After reading Phil Bristow's article I must write a response and I doubt that I will be alone in this matter. 

I have always had a great deal of respect for Phil. Back when I joined 18 Plus, anyone on the National Committee was well respected and well revered and the National Chairman was definitely an Icon. However after reading this article I start to question this admiration and I wonder just how in touch Phil actually is with the average 18 Plus group ? 

Yes, we do need to have a drive from the bottom up, with the stronger groups showing how it's done, but we need a strong leader to encourage this to happen. Andy Bond will do this I'm sure, providing he is allowed to and providing he is not tied down in the red tape and bureaucracy of 18 Plus. Indeed, at my first NEC weekend as an Area Chairman (some eleven years ago) my comments were that we tie ourselves up in paper work and trivial issues and do not really concentrate on important topics. This is still true today. 

Phil goes on to say that he disagrees with the age range increase, Well so did I initially and on principle, but on reflection I think it is a great opportunity for us to build on the strengths we have - "The successful groups with a wealth of experience and manpower". Which brings me on to the point that experience only comes with trial and error and with the older, longer serving members. "I said to the President of the time when I stood down that if I could have my time again I would know what to do". That in itself surely says that there is a need for the more experienced member who is over the age of 30. 

Groups are the key to the success or failure of the Federation and it is the duty of all members to see that it is a success. Perhaps we should actually review our Federation's Aims and Ideals and see if they are appropriate to today's society ? One of the reasons fewer 18 year olds are joining our Federation is because of added competition from other organisations and better leisure facilities in most towns, not because us "Frankensteinesque" older members are frightening them away. 

Phil has raised some good and valid points, but has often contradicted himself. For example, telling us to cut the bureaucracy and then inviting us to have a seminar (more paperwork!)  Let's give Andy Bond and the new NEC a chance to show us what they can do before we start putting them down. 

And finally... 

People do join 18 Plus for National Events and then find the other benefits of 18 Plus as an added extra. 

Terry "Biggles" Drake 
Sutton Coldfield 18 Plus 
Mid West Area Competitions Officer and former Area Chairman 

Links: The Future Of The Group and The Challenge Ahead / Sutton Coldfield 18 Plus

Andy White Steps Down

Thanks are due to Andy White who, after four and a half years as an NEO (National Executive Officer) and attending NEC meetings for seven years, decided to have a well earned rest and not stand for re-election at the July NEC meeting. He was one of the first NEO's elected and is the longest serving one so far. At one point he was looking after the most Areas (Wessex, South West, Kent, Surrey/Sussex and Severn). 

The Past And The Future

The last ANC I attended was the 50th: prior to that I organised the 40th Conference at Brighton. I found the 1998 Conference interesting - good in parts but sad in others. Sad because this National Conference was no bigger than some South East Area Conferences I've been to in the (distant) past. Sad too that the level of debate was not as strong as it should be. 

But there's hope. There were some good speakers and there's knowledge that the only way forward is upwards. With a good NEC 18 Plus will grow again, because there is a need for an organisation such as ours. 

I still treasure the friendships I made when I joined 18 Plus back in the sixties, through my involvement with many groups, at Area and National level, and on the Easter Holiday committees. If today's members are as committed they can also reap the same benefits as I did: they will also ensure that 18 Plus stays an alive, unique organisation. 

Paul Walby 
Honorary Life Member (1975 !!) 

Links: ANC / NEC

Congratulations ! 

Paul Mallett & Sue Rowland of the WASH committee (WASH administrator and bookings officer respectively) have became engaged and plan to get married in May next year. Yes, he did go down on one knee ! 

Links: WASH

Anyone Want To Buy A Sunshade ?

Nicholson House SaleFollowing the sale of Nicholson House the contents were sold on the bank holiday Monday 25th May 1998. The weekend was spent painting the new offices (and one person's bottom !), moving furniture and equipment from the old office to the new, and sorting out what could be sold on the Monday. 

We were blessed with decent weather although I drew the short straw and ended up indoors selling the bedding, TV's and stereo. Outside in the garden we had the kitchen stuff, a spare sink and Plus Products (including car sunshades). A few 18 Plus members came along and made some purchases. A lot of interest was shown by locals although that may have been caused partly by the chance to have a look round what is an interesting old building. 

The biggest sale was to a couple who had a holiday cottage to furnish. Their purchases included a TV, stereo, kitchen stools, bedding and even a wheelbarrow ! Most of the Plussers who had been working over the weekend bought themselves a souvenir - such exciting things as cooking pots, measuring jugs and, in my case, a whisk ! Our efforts proved to be well worthwhile as we managed to raise over £600. 

Katie Hawkins 
Plus News Editor 

Links: Nicholson House

Clive Pearson

Following the sad death of Clive Pearson of Burton 18 Plus, his partner Sharon Draper has asked that the following newspaper article be printed: 

Friends and family are in mourning today following the death of well-known community figure Clive Pearson from cancer aged 31. 

Mr Pearson, Chairman of the Burton 18 Plus social and fund-raising group, died at the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary in Derby on Sunday 3rd May with his family at his bedside. 

Mum Mrs Pat Scarrott said: "Clive was the sort of son who would always help anyone else. He thought of people and people he could help. He was a loving son. 

"In September 1996 he had a brain tumour and they operated on that and then this Christmas he was taken ill again and seemed to have the same symptoms all over again. He was very poorly. Unfortunately the tumour came back." 

Mrs Scarrott and Mr Pearson's partner, Sharon Draper, had visited him every day for the last six weeks in hospital. 

Relatives and friends are due to pay their last respects on Tuesday May 12. 

Now Derbyshire Royal Infirmary fund-raisers are to stage a sponsored hill climb in memory of Mr Pearson to buy an orthopaedic bed for the ward where he died. 

Mrs Scarrott's husband Don paid tribute to his step-son's life and said: "He certainly lived life to the full. He did a lot of travelling. He was a very loving son." 

Barbara Terry

Some of the older HLM's and members may remember Mrs Barbara Terry who unfortunately died on Tuesday 7th July and was cremated on Thursday 16th July in Ruislip. She was a former and very prominent member of 18 Plus in about 1947. She was originally a member in Birmingham and was influential in developing groups around the West Midlands. She then moved and was responsible for opening most of the groups round London in 1947/48. 

She was one of the mainstays of what became South East Region - mainly in opening and developing groups. She was responsible for setting up the Federation as we know it today. 

She was a member of 18 Plus for ten years and her late husband had also been a former Plusser. She remained friends with a lot of other former members. 

Christine George & Linda Street 

National News 

The following elections were made at the July 1998 NEC meeting: 

Deputy National Chairman - Donna Verrall (London & South East Area Chairman) 
National Executive Officer (NEO) - Sandra Bradshaw 
National Finance Officer - Carolyn Edwards 
National Training Co-ordinator - Sandra Cawthra 
National External Public Relations Officer - Judy Horsburgh 
National Development Officer - Ian Robinson 
ANC 99 Chairman - Carolyn Edwards 
ANC 99 Treasurer - Rebecca White 
ANC 99 Bookings Officer - Sandra Bradshaw 

We currently have three NEO's. Sandra Bradshaw is responsible for Northern Area and the Training Co-ordinator, Jo Shaw looks after Midlands Area, Eight Rivers Area, the External PRO and the Plus News Editor, and Gerry Edwards is responsible for North Thames & Chilterns Area, Southern Area and the Development Officer. Andy Bond will be a caretaker NEO for London & South East Area. 

White Vale & Solent Area has changed its name to Southern Area. South West & Wales Area no longer exists. Its remaining group, Taunton 18 Plus, has become a direct group. 

Links: NEC / Southern Area

Submarine Sabotage At The Marlow Raft Race

On Friday 31st July the second Marlow Raft Race Weekend began. Despite the showers tents were erected. Funny how the tent pegs wouldn't hammer into the ground - with all the rain you'd expect the ground to be soft. 

The disco was held in the Marlow RUFC clubhouse with the South Coast Disco playing loudly to drown out the rumbling trains running down the side of the venue. Saturday dawned fine and after a hearty breakfast, courtesy of the clubhouse catering staff, it was soon time to set for the raft race. It was a short five minute drive or a good ten minute walk via the short cut scenic path to the race site, Westhorpe Water Sports lake. 

The initiative test then began. Out of a motley selection of blue 200 litre chemical drums, a few grey drums, poles and a wonderful collection of ropes, four rafts were constructed. They all looked similar with two drums in front and two to the rear. The secret of the design seemed to be in the main brace and the chance of having an old boy scout on your construction team. 

Tim Brooke-Taylor had come along, togged up in his Henley Regatta blazer, to start off the first few races. The first three rafts were launched and only one was stable. Chingford were the first group to be completely dunked when the craft self-destructed. One raft survived intact to be crewed to victory, slowly but surely by Chelmsford. The other raft, designed on the Indy Car principle, could only go in one direction ! 

Modifications continued throughout the morning. The net results were rafts turning turtle, drums coming adrift and members being ejected into the depths. Southampton were seen aboard a raft modification of three drums arranged in a triangular fashion. Abingdon took part, bringing their own raft, a giant polystyrene pizza box. High Wycombe, last year's winner, failed to make this year's final, which was contested between Chelmsford and Billericay. 

The rafts of both finalists looked similar but the Chelmsford crew paddled quickly into the lead. Two human depth charges were launched from the Billericay craft and hit their target (Captain Blackbeard Carter struck again). The Chelmsford craft disintegrated and the gallant crew continued with their individual drums to victory, inches ahead of the Billericay Pirates ! 

The brilliant sunshine was a bonus, and a necessity to dry off the competitors as very few had escaped a soaking ! By three o'clock two coaches had left the campsite on the Real Ale Trip to the Royal Oak where the guest beers were Blond Bombshell, Rebellion, IPA by Marlow Brewery and Wadsworth 6X. 

The Saturday night disco saw some members from local groups come down for the evening to attend the disco and watch the excellent covers band "What Next" play some fine Indy Pop and classic rock. The award ceremony took place with the trophy being presented to Chelmsford and the wooden spoon went to Chingford for giving people the best laugh when their raft disintegrated ! 

Thanks to Marlow for all their hard work organising a superb weekend. If you weren't there you missed out. 

Sally Stumpweed 
Staff Reporter 

Links: Marlow Raft Race


 Last updated 22 February 2007 by