Leicestershire TR Group
The story so far:
The Leicestershire TR group formed in 1981 and has been thriving ever since. From a small start the membership has risen and fallen at various times and is probably at its strongest ever. We have good numbers attending our monthly meetings, some of whom travel from adjacent counties.
The first Leicester group meeting took place following an advert placed in the Leicester Mercury and was held at the Foxhunter pub on the Narborough Road.
Dave Simmons (1981-1983) was the first group leader, although at that time it was pretty much a shared task. Other key members at the time were Bob and Lynn Callf, John and Helen Kirk, Frank Woolerton and Mike Wilce.
In 1983 Steve Deacon took over temporarily as group leader. He was followed by Gary McVeigh (1984-1987). He in turn was replaced by Mike Wilce (1987-94). Phil Gunn was the first TR7 owner to be group leader and continued in post until 1998 when Andy Holyoak took over. He has now taken a sabbatical and handed charge to Dick Goodey who became group leader as of December 2001.
Other venues have included: The Navigation Inn (Kilby Bridge), before moving on to The Railway Inn (Ratby). After filling the car park with a then record 26 cars a hasty decision was taken to move to a bigger venue. This was The Griff Inn (Swithland), which at the time lacked atmosphere as well as being difficult to access from the south of the county. Dwindling attendances prompted a change of venue to the Langton Arms. When it’s landlord moved on to The Bell (East Langton) the group followed on. Unfortunately the car park was too small and we returned to the Langton Arms. This brings us to our present meeting place the Queen's Head at Billesdon. We still meet here on the third Thursday of the month.
In the early days the group leader was expected to produce a monthly newsletter, which has acquired the name “TRipe”. (Latterly it has been shared out amongst the membership.) From its early days when it was largely a diary of upcoming events with the occasional technical article it has had a metamorphosis into a much more professional publication in the hands of Pete Hodgson & Heather Weaver and since his departure to Indiana, by Allan Wesbury & Gail Tamms and has now been taken over by Martin & Sue Faulkner. We still get contributions from Indiana on regular basis. TRipe is now also available as an on-line publication on the Leicester TR Group Web site with many of the membership receiving it by email as well.
Over the years of Leicestershire TR group has been involved in a number of events and activities. We usually have a good number of people attending the International weekend. The Leicester group is usually represented at most of the major TR events such as the Lakes weekend. The European TR meetings have been generally been popular within the Leicester group, with between 2 and 9 cars attending these events which have been held in Holland, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Switzerland in recent years.
The Leicester TR group’s members have rebuilt a number of cars over the years. At one stage the group supplied windscreens at prices have vastly lower than the TR specialists. We were also responsible for the reproduction of Surrey screens, which at the time were unavailable, Thanks to our links with the then Harborough Glass and long time TR group member Pete Campion.
Club meetings tend to be a fairly informal affair, with many people coming along for a chat, a bar meal and sometimes to talk about TRs. In the summer months we often hold mid month meetings at different venues around the county
1991 saw us hold our tenth anniversary celebrations at Stanford Hall, a day best remembered for its unrelenting rain. Hopefully our 21st anniversary celebrations will be a little drier.
If I've missed anybody or anything out I'll apologise however I have only been member for the last eleven years.
Thanks to Mike Wilce for his help in producing this history.