I am honoured and privileged to hold the office of Chairman of the Caravan and Motorhome Club, Suffolk Centre. I am the 21st person to hold this position since the centre was formed back in 1968.
Thank you to the outgoing Chairman Garry Pyett and his Lady Connie for looking after the centre these past four years with the covid epidemic around us. For his troubles Garry has taken on the role of Secretary of Eastern Region, Caravan and Motorhome Club. I wish him well in his new role.
Thirty years ago, I joined Suffolk Centre and went on my first rally at Ufford. Being quite new to caravanning and not knowing anything about rallies or what they entailed. Myself with my wife Denise and two young children were made most welcome. We were invited to attend future rallies by marshals that were on the rally and it must have had an effect on us all, as both my children have caravans and part of Suffolk Centre. As I said earlier, I had no idea what the centre was, but got to learn the different types of rallies put on from small to big rallies including holiday at home and abroad. We have some really good memories and at this point I would like to thank the marshals for giving up their time to organise events and locations for us to enjoy with friends and possibly meet new ones.
On behalf of the centre, I would like to say thank you to the Landowners for letting us use their venues. Like wise to all the businesses who advertise in the rally book, which helps with cost of producing a rally programme.
This year the centre has inherited new members to serve on our committee, along with some existing members from last year. I believe, with the people serving now, we have a bright future ahead. With new ideas to take us through the digital age.
As I said in my acceptance speech at the AGM, I gave a lot thought into what charity the centre would best support this year. I did say they do a great work in their role for a particular cause that is close to our own personal heart. I wanted one that would represent all of us on the rally field. This year it will be EAST ANGLIAN AIR AMBULANCE and hopefully never need their services.
As the Chairman of our club, myself and Denise will try to be out on most rallies this coming year. Our caravan door will always be open for a chat socially or otherwise. Those of you who know me, Know I like to talk, as my wife can verify.
Let’s enjoy the next year, as we have a varied rally programme, put together by Alan Dobson our Rally Secretary.
Last but not least, take care of yourselves and stay safe. Hopefully I will see you on a rally field somewhere.
Chairman, Suffolk Centre,
Final Message from our Past Chairman
May I take this opportunity to sincerely thank the members of the Suffolk centre for the very kind gifts & also the flowers for Connie presented to us after sadly standing down as your Chairman and Chairman’s Lady at the AGM.
It has been an honour to have served you, and we have thoroughly enjoyed our privileged time as your Chairman & Lady for the last 4 years, but we need to make way for your new Chairman Ron King & his Lady Denise, we wish them both well, and we hope you will give them all the support for this demanding role, as you have done for us during our term in office.
I thank the previous officers and committee for the help and support during my tenure, as many of you will recall I took over as your Chairman when I noted that no other nominations had been posted and jumped in at the deep end and can only hope that I have not disappointed you in the way I have carried out the role. I also thank all the officers and new committee for stepping up to run the centre and wish them every success in the future, please give them your support.
Unfortunately I have not had the luxury of operating in a normal role during my tenure, with taking on the 50th Celebration rally in my first year ably, assisted by the excellent sub committee to make that event successful, we then had this unprecedented pandemic to deal with, which has effected us all with cancelled rallies, and the inevitable fallout & changes caused by that situation.
And to compound my last year, as some of you may be aware, I am dealing with several health problems including cancer but have tried very hard to not let it impact on my duty as Chairman,
however I do apologise for being a bit emotional at the end of my Chairman’s report at the AGM, due I believe to the treatments I am currently undergoing.
Suffolk centre is still at the heart of our caravanning and we look forward to meeting up with all our friends on the rally field, and as I move onto my new role as Secretary of the Anglia Region, I am sure this will give us a further chance to meet up.
All the very best for the new season, and enjoy your time away with the Suffolk Centre.
Best Wishes and Stay Safe.
Garry Pyett, Past Chairman, Suffolk Centre.
Following the relaxation of most of the restriction following the 2nd Covid Lockdown and the necessary cessation of our opportunity of getting out in our caravans and motorhomes, we are have at last been able to resume our rallying, albeit with caution to protect all our members.
Whilst I am aware some of our members also rally with other smaller clubs, they do not appear to have had the same restrictions imposed by the Caravan and Motorhome Club, however rest assured that the committee and myself have been working tirelessly in the background on your behalf to get us safely up and running again.
Whilst we still have some venue’s that are not able to accommodate us at the moment, and also some rallies having a poor take up for what ever reason, although I believe it may well be due to caution with the Covid numbers rising for a while, and now thankfully lowering considerably, we must all respect members concerns and consider their own health status,
Whilst there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel and we can get back to as near as normal as is possible whilst all taking any precautions that suits us all, it really is wonderful to meet up with our old and new friends, I have been pleased to meet and greet several new ralliers on the recent rallies, and I sincerely hope that they can see that we are a friendly bunch and stick with us out the other side of this situation and then see what the Suffolk centre can really do for their enjoyment.
I have just returned from my Chairman’s rally at Newmarket racecourse and was very pleased with the message of goodwill and thanks, raising much needed funds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, and I hope we all had a good time despite the wind and rain that we endured at this excellent location.
With the AGM soon to be upon us, can I ask you members who enjoy rallying, if you would consider joining the centre committee to assist in the running of the centre whose main core reason is the rallies run for your enjoyment, if we fail to continue with a good committee and especially the officers of Chairman, Secretary & Treasurer, then the centre will be administered from either amalgamation with another centre, or from CAMC, thereby losing our 50 plus years of excellence and our own centre identity, with the added knock on effects.
Connie and I wish you all best wishes for the rest of the summer and the remaining rallies this year, but above stay safe and in good health.
Garry Pyett, Chairman, Suffolk Centre.
I hope you are enjoying the new website, I think you will agree that the site is a vast improvement on the old site, we have had several favourable comments, it is still evolving with new tabs and sections added where possible to aid your use even more.
We are always open to comments on what you would like to see on the site, and where it is possible we will try and accommodate your suggestion, the committee are still in discussion concerning the ability to book rallies on line, apart from the additional cost to introduce this facility, we need to establish a protocol for this and consider the additional load that it may place on the person monitoring and redirecting these bookings.
We have had problems with the service we used to send out newsletters via emails, and we unfortunately had to suspend this service, however the committee agreed that we could combine the newsletter and the website rally reports into the newsletter and then place them via the existing tab to place them all on the website.
Peter Wilson has agreed to re-take on this roll as newsletter editor, and you will see the first edition for 2020 in March, if you have any comments or content for the newsletter then please use the email address as per the committee page.
I am now into my third year as your Chairman and Connie and I have really enjoyed making many new friends in our centre, the Anglia region and other centres in the within the region, long may that continue.
I was pleased to be able to present a cheque to the East Anglia Air Ambulance for £1133.15p for last years donations and sale of merchandise, my grateful thanks to those who have helped to raise this in any way and we will continue with this during 2020 as the Chairman’s charity.
Connie and I look forward to meeting you all on the rally field during the year and in particular the Chairman’s rally at Newmarket in August.
Have good health and a really good caravaning season.
8 February 2020
As your Chairman I would like to welcome you to our new website, whilst our previous website has done us sterling service over the years, the now outdated software for running the site made it very difficult to keep it going, giving our Webmaster a few sleepless nights, so we took the decision to build a new site from the ground up, and I hope you will like the new format. I feel sure the Webmaster would like to receive your comments, so we can keep the site as current as possible, well done Julian.
With the warmest February on record, I suspect this will be giving you an incentive to de-winterise your caravan or Motorhome and get out and about, I know several of you, like us have already been out since January.
I note some rallies are already full, so if you are wanting to attend more rallies this year, then keep an eye on the rally schedule, to see if you can get in.
My Chairman’s rally will at Newmarket racecourse 2-4th August, where I hope you will join us and help us raise more monies for the centre charity, which I have decided will remain as the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
It will be our turn to organise and run the Regional AGM rally this year, and look forward to seeing a lot of Suffolk members on the rally and attendance at the regional AGM on the 17 th November, also raising money for Children in need.
We recently presented a cheque for £1,710.54 to the Chairman’s charity at the Norwich base of the East Anglian Air Ambulance, my sincere thanks to everyone who donated prizes, bought draw tickets and run fund raising activites etc during 2018.Lets see if we can continue this during 2019.
Connie & I very much look forward to meeting you on the rally field during the year,
and wish you a very successful caravanning season.
8 March 2019
Firstly my apologies for not placing a message recently on the website, whilst putting them in the newsletter, I have realised that I have not updated the website messages.
I am now in my 2nd year as your chairman, and I thank you for your vote by acclaim at the AGM, which went very well this year, my thanks to all concerned in making this happen, the attendance was up this year which was very pleasing, we did have a change of some members on the committee, and I look forward to working with them. I would also like to pass on my sincere thanks to the 2 members who have stood down for the work they have done over the years.
The rally season went well this year, giving Connie and myself a chance to meet many more Suffolk members on the rally field and make more new friends, unfortunately the Suffolk Centre rallies finished this year with the AGM, and has been often said, it would be great if we could encourage either stalwart or new marshals to run some later rallies like Halloween, Bonfire, pre-Christmas shopping, and Christmas/New Years rallies as we have done in the past.
I know some of you rally with other centres and clubs around this time, but it would be nice to continue our season a bit longer.
It will be our turn to organise and run the Regional AGM rally in 2019, and look forward to seeing a lot of Suffolk members on the rally and attendance at the regional AGM on the 17th November.
My Chairman’s rally will be at Newmarket racecourse 2-4th August, where I hope you will join us and help us raise more monies for the centre charity, which I have decided will remain as the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
Connie & I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year and very much look forward to meeting you on a rally field or event in 2019.
17 December 2018
We are full swing into the season and I have been so busy and I have just realised that although I have been putting messages in the newsletter, I have not put a message on the website recently.
We have had a good mix of well attended rallies so far this year, and also seen all that the British weather can throw at us, with the mini beast from the east through to drought conditions through June & July, and it still looks good for a while yet.
It certainly makes for a good rally when it is dry and warm, allowing you to sit out and mix with friends old and new, it is especially helpful for making new friends with 1st time ralliers.
I won’t detail all the rallies that have happened, as these are mostly covered in the newsletters, however I would encourage anyone with photo’s of a particular rally to send them with some notes to the webmaster so they can go on the rally report page.
I must mention the 50th Anniversary Celebration rally that was well attended; it was a glorious weekend with excellent evening entertainment, a fabulous cream tea, sports and a quiz night, as well as other events that filled the long weekend.
A special thank you to the ‘event’ team of marshals who have been planning this for a year, along with committee members and many helpers during the rally, who worked tirelessly in the extreme heat to ensure ralliers enjoyed themselves.
The grand raffle raised £677 for the chairman’s charity, with so many good prizes, generously donated by companies and club members, my thanks also to all who bought tickets to make it a success.
Derek & Sheena Pannell run a BBQ on Friday evening selling hotdogs and hamburgers donating the profit of £155 also to the chairman’s charity.
My personal thanks to all who helped raised these funds.
There are still many rallies to enjoy, and Connie & I hope to see you on the rally field.
31 July 2018
Firstly I would like to thank you all for allowing me the privilege of becoming your new centre Chairman.
It was a heartfelt experience to see all the hands go up at the AGM to acclaim me your new Chairman, the AGM this year was quite emotional, with Janice handing over after three very committed years in the chair, Diane, stepping down for reasons we are all aware & Trevor stepping down for a well earned break, all this did get to me as well, so apologies for my emotionally charged acceptance speech.
I am aware that I have not come through the normal route of committee, vice chairman and then chairman, however whilst talking to some committee members I was told that it appeared nobody was currently intending to stand, and was asked to consider accepting a nomination, it didn’t seem right for the Suffolk centre not to have a Chairman, so I signed it and assumed that there was still time for other nominations to come in, this didn’t materialize, and as I had dared putting my head above the parapet, here I am.
Notwithstanding that, and with the full support of my wife Connie, the new committee, which incidentally has some very experienced officers on board, and those members who we could not do without, the rally marshals who freely give up there time & effort to provide us with the all important means of meeting as a centre, I also feel sure that I can rely on advice from some very good friends we have made in the club.
I will endeavour to fulfil my new role as Chairman to the best of my ability, and sincerely hope to be able to serve you well.
I have decided to continue with the East Anglia Air Ambulance as my chosen charity.
My Chairman’s rally will be at the Suffolk Punch Trust in Hollesley, and I would welcome your support for our centre charity.
Lastly I would like to thank Janice for all the help & advice she has passed on to me in the last few weeks to allow me to hit the ground running, I will certainly have a hard act to follow.
17 October 2017
Past Chairman’s Thank You – October 2017
I would like to thank all my friends from the Suffolk Centre for their kindness last weekend at the AGM Rally.
David and I really enjoyed ourselves and had an excellent time on the Saturday night.
The flowers, gifts and cards I received were a lovely surprise and I will always remember the weekend with fondness.
Whilst I am no longer the Lady Chairman of Suffolk I will remain a loyal champion for the Centre and I hope to be rallying with you for many years to come.
I wish Garry and his new Committee a very successful year as we approach our 50th Anniversary. I am looking forward our special rally at Woolverstone.
So again, many, many thanks to you all for your friendship and support over the last three years.
Best Wishes for the future and Happy Caravanning
Past Lady Chairman
17 October 2017
I would like to thank all those of you who supported the Newmarket Racecourse Rally last weekend. Particularly our fellow marshals, Alan & Janet with Tony & Karen for all their efforts in keeping the ralliers on the straight and narrow. Tony is especially good at this! Their experience was invaluable as the caravans and motorhomes kept coming. Thanks also to Mark, Debra and Natasha, this was their first time as marshals and they were soon into the swing of things and I am sure they enjoyed themselves.
A BBQ is quite a daunting prospect when there are in excess of 140 people to cater for but Derek & Sheena stepped up and volunteered to cook the food for us. Thank you so much.
Then my thanks to Sheena McCartney and her team for all they did with our hobby horse racing – what a lot of fun and frolics there were with that. So many others helped over the weekend so a big thank you to all and I must say it is good to know you are there giving your help and support.
As it was my last Chairman’s Rally I was really pleased with the way it went and I have had some really positive feedback so my thanks to you all. With your great generosity we raised the incredible sum of £726.72. A fantastic achievement with all the money going to the East Anglian Air Ambulance.
I was pleased to be able to present some special awards at Flagpole, firstly there were four first ralliers to welcome. Then John and Nina Taylor were given their Suffolk Punch Horse for reaching their 500th rally and Tony and Karen Reed were presented with a plaque for achieving their 600th rally. Congratulations to them.
Next weekend David and I are off to Clopton, where we hope to find Elvis. David has been growing his sideburns since Christmas as part of his tribute, but I keep telling him that Elvis wasn’t grey!
It’s going to be a busy few weeks leading up to the AGM with plenty of rallies still to come and I would like to remind you that the nominations for all Committee posts closes at noon on the 1st October 2017. Please get your signed forms to Diane before then.
Enjoy the rest of the summer and I do hope we meet up soon.
10 August 2017
It’s been a busy few weeks for the Committee and we are now half way through the summer with plenty of rallies still to come.
To recap on some of our recent events I will start off with the Rede Hall rally where many of our friends, both old and new, joined David and myself at one of our favourite venues. The traditional quoits challenge was again upheld with many of the ralliers taking part and this year the competition was won by Richard and Sharon Cross . This was followed by a cream tea which was enjoyed by all. After flagpole there was a raffle, which raised £130 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance, so many thanks to all who donated prizes and bought raffle tickets.
At Rede Hall I was also able to announce that Suffolk had won first prize for our Rally Handbook entry, so a big thanks to Alan Dobson who lead the team, Maggie Sanderson who provided such a stunning cover photograph and also to Flyer Press Ltd, Felixstowe for their invaluable input.
The National at the end of May was well supported by Suffolk members where we joined in with the Anglia Region in a section overlooking the CAMC Village. This event was well organised with plenty to keep all ages busy. The arena had a vast array of acts and the evening shows offered a variety of entertainment. Suffolk had many successes in Craft, Photography, Darts, Cribbage and Sport, I don’t want to mention any particular names in case I miss someone, so my thanks to all those who took part. There were also several of our four legged members taking part in the Dog Show, but unfortunately the judges didn’t share our views on the adorability of our pets.
I was pleased to accept the £300 prize for the Handbook on your behalf and really appreciated the support I was given by our members. This will go into the special fund towards our 50th Anniversary celebrations next year.
Following on from Sandringham we went to the Bredfield Village Fete Rally, and what a lovely time we had. The villagers were very welcoming and attending a traditional village fete was a fun way to spend an afternoon. This was followed in the evening by Carpet Bowls, which most of those on the rally took part in. The pairings were mixed up which gave us the chance to get to know fellow ralliers. Another fun evening.
Then it was on to Clare, yet again another one of my favourite places, in fact when I start analysing which part of Suffolk I love most I am not able to choose. We are so lucky to have such a lovely part of the world in which to relax and spend our leisure time enjoying.
The weather at Clare was perfect so again, time to relax and enjoy chatting to friends. An opportunity to have a tour of the Priory on Saturday afternoon, followed by cakes and a cup of tea, then cheese and wine on Saturday evening.
As I write this piece I am assured by the BBC weather that this glorious weather is set to continue so I do hope that the rally this weekend at The Suffolk Punch Trust goes well.
There are so many rallies to look forward to in the coming weeks so please do support the marshals. It was disappointing to have the Framlingham rally cancelled because of lack of support.
If you enjoy spending your time rallying perhaps you could think about organising a rally to go into the programme for 2018 – a special year for Suffolk. Maybe arrange to revisit some of your favourite locations? And also think about spending some time on the Committee. Nominations are coming in but as I am coming to the end of my three years it would be good to know that the Centre is giving its support to a new Chairman.
Enjoy the summer and I do hope to see you on a rally in the next few weeks.
20 June 2017
With good weather and plenty to do the Easter Sutton Rally kept us all busy. A big thank you to the Marshals for all the efforts in making sure we had a good time.
From what I have heard the members who went along to the rally at Debenham also had a great time so thanks again to the Marshals who spent their time arranging the event and ensuring everyone enjoyed themselves.
As May beckons there is a busy time ahead. Firstly, David and I are going to go spend some time at Rose Farm Belton, hopefully there will be good weather so that we can relax with our friends. After this we will be running the rally at Rede Hall where we would also like some good weather so we can enjoy the Quoits Competition and an Afternoon Tea.
At the end of the month comes the National at Sandringham, where preparations are well in hand. There will be a large contingent from Suffolk so please call around to the Marshals area to say hello.
If you are going along to the National please take a look at the information and see if you could enter any of the craft, cooking, photographic competitions as all entries give the Suffolk Centre points towards the President’s Cup. Points for this Cup are awarded when members take part in any of the activities and the prize is £250 to the winning Centre. I have made my fruit gin ready for the competition so just need to wait a couple of weeks before the tasting.
Chris Stammers will be busy sorting out the sports teams so if you could help out and are interested in playing or taking part in any of the competitions please give him a call or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With a good selection of rallies coming up in the next few months I do hope you are able to get out with your Caravan or Motorhome to enjoy the friendship and events that are on offer.
If you have not yet booked anything take a look through the Handbook and decide where you might like to go, then give the marshals a call and see if there are any spaces.
I am looking forward to enjoying some of the great rallies coming up and do hope to meet you very soon.
19 April 2017
Lady Chairman’s Message, the Caravan and Motorhome Club Update – February 2017
Now we are the Caravan and Motorhome Club.
Many of you will be as surprised as I was to have been notified of the changes in name of the Caravan Club. The Club has been around since 1907 and I am a little disappointed in the way the change was initiated. With Suffolk coming up for its 50th Anniversary I am proud of the history of the Club and hope that it is remembered and revered.
I feel sure that all our Suffolk motorhome owners have always felt an integral part of our activities and that any new or existing members, whether caravanners or motorhome owners, been warmly welcomed on our rallies.
The changes will not have an immediate affect on how the Centre is run but just to reassure you :
1. We will not be changing our pennants and flags in the near future.
2. Rallies will still be using the blue direction signs, marked “SCCC”, for this season.
3. CAMC is the new brand name, which will run under the legal name of The Caravan Club Ltd therefore any payments by cheque can still be paid to Caravan Club Suffolk Centre.
4. The new logo will be gradually introduced to all our correspondence and next year’s handbook will incorporate the new name and logo.
There may be changes with signs to Sites and CL’s but these will be done gradually and I am sure that we will soon get used to looking out for the new logo.
Suffolk Centre rallies will continue to offer friendly, fun rallies for you and your family to enjoy and still give you the opportunity to experience the great outdoors in our special Suffolk locations.
So as we move towards the summer we can look forward to great rallies and I hope to see you very soon.
If you do have any queries on the changes please email me or any member of the Committee and we will try and address your concerns.
24 February 2017
I would like to thank all those who attended the Valentines Rally plus Natter and Chatter last weekend. It was good to meet up with fellow ralliers and old friends to confirm our plans for the coming year. Thanks also to all those who donated prizes and bought raffle tickets – we raised £200 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance fund. Thanks also to Rachel and the Juniors who sold bacon butties at the Natter and Chatter raising a further £46.75.
David and I have had a good start to the year with several weekends already spent away caravanning with the Centre and are looking forward to the Spring and warmer weather.
We will soon be joining North Essex for their Pre Season Dinner at Gt Leighs, then it will be on to Mildenhall for the Sweeping the Leaves Rally to help prepare the site for the season. I am particularly looking forward to the Mother’s Day weekend at Dunwich, another great Suffolk location.
Suffolk Centre has two excellent rallies in the programme for Easter so whether you are looking for the traditional Easter activities or wanting to “Keep it Country”, both rallies currently have some spaces so please send your slips to the marshals.
The Committee are busy planning the activities for our 50th Anniversary Rally, to be held at Woolverstone Hall from the 20th – 24th July 2018, so book the date in your diary now as its sure to be a popular event.
Please enjoy the coming months with the Suffolk Centre and I do hope to meet you on a rally in the new future.
16 February 2017
Lady Chairman’s Christmas Message – December 2016
With 2016 drawing to a close and a New Year beckoning I would first like to give my thanks to all Committee members, Rally Marshals and their families who have helped make the year a success for the Suffolk Centre.
I spent last weekend at the Jolly Holly Rally at Hallowtree, which was a great success and really started off the seasonal fun in style. My thanks to the Junior Crew for all they did for the ralliers. The craft table provided plenty of entertainment to keep the adults busy!
In the next couple of weeks all registered Suffolk Centre members will receive their 2017 Handbook. I hope you enjoy reading it and planning your weekends away caravanning with the Suffolk Centre. If your book doesn’t arrive by the middle of January, please check your Centre registration with The Caravan Club (online or by calling membership services on 01342 318813) before giving Diane a call as the book is only sent to Suffolk members. Remember this registration requires renewal every year in addition to paying your CC membership subscription. Diane receives a weekly update from the CC and will send your book once you are on the Suffolk member database.
A big thank you to Alan and Janet for all their time and effort in co-ordinating such an interesting programme, organising everything and getting the copy to the printers in time for early distribution. My thanks also go to Diane, John, Megan & Lauren for getting over 1,000 books to the post for delivery – a huge task to add to the Christmas preparations.
So, as we head towards 2017 David and I would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a successful and healthy New Year and we look forward to seeing you on a rally field soon.
15 December 2016
I would like to thank all those who attended our recent AGM. It is good to know that the Committee has your support.
As the 2016 season draws to a conclusion with only few more rallies left it is exciting to see the 2017 programme shaping up.
Our Rally Secretary has co-ordinated an interesting programme of rallies which I am looking forward to attending.
I would like to thank Alan and all those members who have volunteered to organise and marshal rallies so that we can enjoy our leisure time with Suffolk Centre.
A draft rally list was available for members at the AGM and rally slips were exchanged in the usual busy fashion.
The Rally Programme will be approved by the Committee at the November meeting and then sent to print. The Handbook should then be ready for distribution as soon as possible in the New Year.
David and I have a few more rallies to attend this year including the Regional AGM at Seacroft, Cromer, a chance to meet friends from other centres and then our own Jolly Holly Rally – a great way to start off our Christmas and New Year fun.
I do hope to see you on a rally soon.
09 October 2016