A Few Too Many At AMMO
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.
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.
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.
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.
Links: Marlow Raft Race
AMM0 1998 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)
Brentwood / Billericay
10 Things You Never Knew About...
... Jo Shaw, NEO
I was told so many things about Jo that I just had to print ten things
instead of just the normal five.
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 !
She has a habit of losing contact lenses and they turn up in very strange
She once trained as a chef.
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 !
She has a penchant for emptying and tidying up other people's handbags
whether they want them sorted out or not.
She has Russian grandparents.
She used to only drink cherry brandy.
Instead of having a hen night she is having a hen weekend at Pontins.
At ArT she tried to kill a wasp and nearly stabbed herself in the forehead
with a fork.
She once posted some 18 Plus stuff from work. It got returned by the Post
Office and she had to be told off !
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
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
National External PRO
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
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
Barnet 18 Plus
|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
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
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.
Honorary Life Member (1975 !!)
Links: ANC / NEC
|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 !
Anyone Want To Buy A Sunshade ?
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.
Plus News Editor
Links: Nicholson House
|Following the sad death of Clive Pearson of Burton 18 Plus,
his partner Sharon Draper has asked that the following newspaper article
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
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
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."
|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
Christine George & Linda Street
|The following elections were made at the July 1998 NEC meeting:
Deputy National Chairman - Donna Verrall (London & South East Area
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
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
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
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
Thanks to Marlow for all their hard work organising a superb weekend.
If you weren't there you missed out.
Links: Marlow Raft Race