Three Day Bike Tour of Wales – Recap

Some of the riders at the start

The Participants Bright eyed and ready for their trip.

On the 3rd May 2013 a group of bikers from all over the UK met up in Connah’s Quay, North Wales for a three day sponsored tour of Wales for the benefit of Combat Stress.

Combat Stress is the leading UK charity specialising in the care of Veterans’ mental health. They are currently supporting just over 5,000 ex-Service men and women. This includes 637 who served in Iraq and 284 who served in Afghanistan.

While the event was organised by some Freemason’s who are bikers, it was open to all, and in total there was roughly 40 bike’s taking part in the event.

 

waved off by Lord and Lady Barry Jones

Lord & Lady Barry Jones turned up to see the Participants on their way.

The tour started off from the Masonic Lodge at Connah’s Quay where they were waved off by Lord and Lady Barry Jones. The Bikers followed the coastline of North Wales, with a quick stop over to Anglesey, before continuing down the coast to Aberystwyth where They spent the night, also throwing an impromptu Live music concert in the nearest pub to where they were staying.

 

 

 

 

Some of the bikes leaving Brecon

Leaving Brecon

The second day saw them continuing along the coast of Wales, visiting Swansea, and Cardiff where they met Falklands veteran Simon Weston, then on to Brecon where they stopped for the second night, before heading north up Wales on the final leg of their tour ending up where they started in Connah’s Quay, after a trip of roughly 550 Miles over 3 Days.

 

 

Between sponsorship, Lodge donations and the end of tour entertainment evening, over £15,500 was raised. all of which went to Combat Stress since everyone taking part paid for their own petrol, food, and accommodation.

DSC_0895

On The Road

bikes in barmouth

Pitstop in Barmouth

 

The Official 3 Day Tour of Wales Website can be seen HERE

Freemasons help those still homeless after the North Wales floods

THE PROVINCIAL GRAND LODGE OF NORTH WALES

PRESS RELEASE: – 10 April 2013

Freemasons to help local families still homeless because of last year’s floods

Many people in North Wales are still suffering as a result of the floods that hit last November, with families remaining homeless. The Province of North Wales has joined together with The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, a national grant-maker, to donate £13,000 to those affected.
Freemasons in the local area have raised £3,000, in addition, the President of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity has also approved a grant of £10,000 to help the St Asaph & Ruthin Flood Appeals. This money will be used to help families who have been made homeless, many of whom have young children.

On Tuesday 27th November 2012, North Wales was struck by a period of torrential rain, bursting the banks of the River Elwy causing flooding in the St Asaph and Ruthin area. The event was reported as the biggest disaster to hit North Wales since the Towyn floods of 1990. One person was killed and over 1,100 people were affected, with 451 properties flooded.

The Provincial Grand Master for North Wales – Ieuan Redvers Jones stated, “We have witnessed first-hand the devastation caused by the floods in the St Asaph and Ruthin area and four months on we are eager to help those families who are still homeless. We hope that this £13,000 will provide them with much needed items, and that soon they will be able to return to their homes. Freemasons care about their local communities and we are very happy to be able to help in this way.

The Freemasons’ Grand Charity donates £2.5million to charitable causes every year.

The Chair of DOOM!

CR:Chair of DOOM?

GN: “OK, maybe “Chair of DOOM!” is a bit of an over-exaggeration, but it does have a much better ring than “Chair of Nerves“. Oh, Now i think of it “Chair of Terror” would be a much better title.”

CR:Then Why dont you change it?

GN:Couldn’t be buggered, So just had this imaginary conversation with you to explain how the title could be better!

CR:So you just wrote NINTY ONE words to save replacing ONE word in the Title?

GN:Yes…. Yes I did!

Last night was my first meeting as master of a Freemasons Lodge, and we decided to start off with the biggest ceremony we could (A Third for those that know), Nothing like starting big  to settle into our new roles easy. In fact a large number of people actually asked me last night “Why did you not start with an easier night? We’d never do a third in our first meeting” And I had no reasonable answer for them, Insanity is not really a reasonable answer or so I am told.

Now I am a naturally shy person (No matter what PlanetPete says) so I find it uncomfortable being the center of attention, so was uneasy in the run up to last night thinking about being in the spotlight, but as we were lining up to walk into the room I was surprised at just how nervous I was. I’m telling you “Chair of Terror” is a good name for it, I’m sure I’ll get used to it, probably just as soon as its my turn to step down and hand the care of it to my successor.

But even with the nerves, the most predominant thought in my head was “When are these guys going to realise I don’t have a clue what I’m doing!“. In my years as a member I’ve always assumed the Master knows whats going on, has the answers, and so on. But me? I am sat there looking around at people asking me questions, wanting my opinion, all the while as the voices in my head scream “Why are you looking at me?” or “SHIT!!!! they are going to suss me out soon“. I have to say its a very odd feeling sitting there on the big chair.

I should end by saying it all worked out and it was a good night, and no one seemed to suspect I was clueless. So By Bingo I have survived for another time.

Death Threats & Dinner Suits

Saturday evening I was at the  Llannerch & Gredington’s Joint “Ladies Evening” in Llangollen. The evening was a formal event so the dress code was Dinner suits, dress shirts, bow-ties, the works.  The majority of the evening was very enjoyable, with good company, great food, beer, etc. and Several hundred pounds were raised for charity just from raffle tickets alone.

In fact the evening was enjoyable right up to the toasts, of which there were two. Firstly the Master of Llannerch got up to give a quick toast of  “the queen“. The other toast of the evening was “the ladies” and was to be a longer toast more like a speech. And which poor victim was designated with this responsibility? Yes you guessed it, My good self!. Now I should take a second here to point out this was the first “Ladies Night” I had been to, and as such had never seen or heard a ladies toast before, so had no bearing to work from.

I should also point out I am a shy person, So standing up in front of over a hundred people who regularly attend such functions to perform the toast was terrifying. So I start into my spiel, and it seems to be going ok, the ladies present seem to be cheering, and agreeing with what I’m saying and “tutting” at their escorts, while the Men seem to be more growling at me, and denying things. Well I finished my bit and got to sit back down again.

Later on that evening while standing about with a couple of other men I received death threats, and quotes like :-

How could you stand there and say those things!!! Don’t you realise what you’ve done???”My wife wants breakfast in bed tomorrow now” “I have to get flowers after” “How you say that? what you doing??” “Don’t worry we’ll get him later

I did point out to them that I am currently Single, and if they go and pick on a single bloke to make the ladies toast, then they have to expect to live with whatever damage he decides to cause. 🙂