SEAMS News Archives

Chairman’s Report – Spring 2022

Dear Members

I can’t believe that our last newsletter was pre-Christmas, where does the time go?

I am sure we are all grateful that the light nights are coming and hopefully the weather is improving, thought as I write it’s taken a little set back to
colder this week.

We have had 3 winter meetings at Faygate Village hall, being December, January and March. February was cancelled due to the bad storm which I think hit us on that Friday. We personally lost our electricity supply mid Friday morning with predictions that it would not be returned until 11pm on the Saturday evening. As it was with no SEAMS meeting, my wife Lynn and youngest daughter and her husband descended on Cyril, one to make sure he was okay and two to bring fish and chips. I hooked up a generator and we had lights to eat by.

The December club meeting had a poor turnout (appreciate near Christmas along with Covid scares), we had 4 committee members and 2 non-committee, but we still had the cost of the hall £30 for this event.

In January we had our New Year Gas up and BBQ; this was supported very well, and I thank everyone who made the effort to bring an engine and, Dominic Skinner who brought his tractor and to everyone who turned out. It was a great day and the weather was kind. John and I manned the BBQ, I think I can say that everybody enjoyed the day and the food. SEAMS have always supplied the food for this event but are so grateful to for all the donations, which really support this event and associated costs.

For the January meeting Friday evening winter meeting we had planned to show a selection of old photographs on to a projector screen through Jon Fosters epidiascope, but only bringing the
club projector and not the epidiascope, that made it very difficult. Step in our hero, Dave Ralph, who kindly nipped home 2.5 miles to get his laptop which we plugged straight into our projector.
Dave had a great selection of short films on various vintage subjects and personally, I was interested to see the film on Michael Lugg. This was when he was a young lad, about 10 or 12 years of age. His father had given him a full-size steam tractor which I think was £110 in the mid 1960’s. I recall Michael Lugg at Billingshurst site and now he resides down the Haven not far from me at Rudgwick.

Dave also treated us to the short film focusing on his 1904 Wolseley veteran car. The film is called “The Great British Custodian“ this was excellent, and I would encourage anyone to check this out on the internet. So, a big thanks to Dave for making such a good evening.

March winter meeting was something else. On the Friday 18th March we were treated to a talk and slide show by a friend of committee helper Andy Skinner, entitled “SEAMS Club Night Re-Lives Donald Campbell”. We had an excellent slide show and pictures, accompanied by narrative by Mike Coates-Standring and his partner Nikki on Donald Campbell CBE 1921 – 1967 life and water speed achievements.

The connection is that Mike used to race power boats at a very high level with Gina Campbell QSO (daughter to Donald) during the 1980’s at a very high level. Competing and winning championships all over the world, from the British off shore Champion ships to the prestigious Monaco races, he knows the full history of Donald Campbell. It was such an interesting talk and slide show, giving an insight to the passion and drive behind the man right up to his tragic death in 1967. With the aid of modern technology, we were able to establish a live video link-up with “Gina Campbell” onto the large projector screen, to share a few sentiments and life stories about her and her famous father Donald and her Grand Father “Sir Malcolm Campbell“ 1885 – 1948.

We would like to thank Gina, Mick and Nikki, for such an entertaining evening and Andy for organising the event due to being such good friends with them. I have been in contact with Patrick Knight with a write up and picture, so I hope to see this published in Stationary Engine sometime soon.

One thing I should mention is that as you know, I am stand in Treasurer as well as Chairman, and John Peters is stand In event secretary as well as Health and Safety Officer (as well as our full time jobs). With both the Treasures role and Membership Events Secretary needed to be taken in hand noting, there was no-one that showed any real interest to join the committee and therefore we were duly re-elected to keep standing in.

With the arrival of the New Year, this requires new membership and insurance obtained, registered and distributed. In the past we have had a range of membership numbers from single digits to the five hundred with only about 85 members. You will recall on my last newsletter I had said “please note there is a section to add you membership number, this is very important as we are trying to piece together the membership structure, working alongside Ian“.

What did we get? forms with numbers, forms without numbers and people just handing a £20 note over with no form at all, not knowing their number? The question was what to do?, as they say, “keep it simple Simon”, and so a decision had to be made. So we started from 1 and worked down.

We totally appreciate the fact that some long-standing members have had their membership numbers for a long time. We have received some feedback and really everyone, once I explained the situation and once they had time to think about it do understand the predicament we are in, and have said “oh well its only a number“. One thought that I have considered is, about adding a section on next year’s membership card to say MEMBER SINCE ………….. , but this is something we can consider next year.

With this in mind as we do value all members, I would ask that you run with your allocated number, and I think to have your `year’s served’ on the members ship card would be good. It’s not as if we show our number on the rally field, or it makes a difference to where we position ourselves in the line up.

I believe that the SEAMS Facebook page is a success. This is maintained/managed by Sean Murrell and gives us another platform for information distribution.

We would be pleased to receive a few words, even a picture, of what you have been up to. Please remember you can send in anything you have to me via email, post, pigeon if it helps and we will turn it into something that all members can read through and enjoy.

Steve Rowland 6 Queen Elizabeth Road, Rudgwick, RH123HP
Email: / Tel: 07717 508496

Or email it direct to our newsletter editor Sue at: .

We look forward to seeing you out and about on the rally field.

As always, I have to report on the Land Rover, still ongoing but pretty much there now with all the chosen bespoke component pieces for a full SS exhaust system having arrived, just needs welding together and fixing to the vehicle. I know I have said this before, “you will struggle to recognise it when it finally is complete”.

Look forward to the coming months and seeing you out on the rally field.

Steve Rowland
SEAMS Chairman