Sunday, 24 April 2016

Our St Georges Day Fundraising In Support of Combat Stress.

Three Years ago while living in Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire I was incensed by the Local Council, being in one of the wealthiest towns in the country, not doing anything for the community in terms of making the town look nice with tended flower beds. Everything was left to local organisations and the few Roundabouts with poor plant arrangements were sponsored by local businesses. So money coming in but nothing going out.

On St George's Day, most of the local Villages were decked with St George's Flags over every building and many held events on the day 23rd April.
Beaconsfield did absolutely nothing.

It was then that I was already doing the occasional Street Collection in support of Help for Heroes to enhance the fundraising for our All Morgans' Days a Waddesdon Manor.
Si it was in 20014 that I decided to book a space right in front of the Beaconsfield Town Hall on St George's Day and wave a Few Flags.  Being absent from that Town Hall, typically not one Councillor was around on the day but I made my point to the Admin Team in the offices.

At Beaconsfield Town Hall in 2014

We moved home to the South Coast at the end of 2014 so in April Last year Steve Dacombe, Manager at the nearby Locks Heath Shopping Village was kind enough to allow me to fundraise at the centre on St Georges Day, a Thursday.

It was a successful day raising another £175 for Help for Heroes.

This year, with another All Morgans' Day event taking place this time at Blenheim Palace on 3rd July our team decided to support Combat Stress, The Veterans Mental Health Charity.

With Steve kindly allowing me a second visit, this years St George's Day, yesterday, was planned. Being a Saturday this year and joined this time by my Colleague Terry Seymour, I set off to spend the day at Locks Heath again. 

The Combat Stress Wristbands come in 4 lovely colours and a £2 each are a bargain. Here are my two cobbled together boxes containing the Wristbands, Brochures, Window Stickers, and sheets of small Thank You Stickers.

 As I am about to reverse out of the garage with the Morgan stacked with Flags Seats and other paraphernalia, I took this quick snap.

Centre Manager Steve took this photo and posted the message below on  their Facebook Page just as we began fundraising. In the Centre is a Large Box of Linen Locks Heath Shopping Village Shopping Bags that we were able to offer free to customers as they made their donations.

Steve's Message.
Don't forget it's St. Georges Day today.
Frank Lomax, Terry Seymour with their two George Cross emblazoned Morgan cars which look great in the Spring sunshine.
Frank and Terry are collecting for Combat Stress, The Veteran's Mental Health Charity which helps servicemen deal with the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (P.T.S.D).

We also have a face painter here, just about set up, so if you are looking for a patriotic George cross, or any other design, just ask.
In about half an hour, 11.30am we will have the King John Morris Men for some light-hearted traditional dance ... great fun!!
They will also be giving away some of our 'Locks Heath Shopping Village' Jute bags but any donations will be gratefully accepted.
... And don't forget that the Strawberry Field Tavern will be stoking up the BBQ and also offering up tasters of tradional fish and chips along with a few English tipples from Midday - 4.30pm ...
... Pimms o'clock anyone
The Shopping Bags

At the end of the Afternoon, Steve took this photo of Terry and I sporting our Combat Stress Buckets
 Immediately we arrived and set up our cars at 9.30am, Terry was wooing the public to encourage them to part with their precious cash. He provided an object lesson to me on how to fundraise as I would normally just stand there and wait for people to ask me what I was collecting for.

Terry deep in thought. What can he be thinking? 

It was a day of mixed weather with some sunshine. The northerly wind was quite cold only benefitting the Flags, but certainly not us. 

 A Local Martial Arts Class had finished nearby and young Will Holloway in his very smart White and Red 'Dobok' was perfect for St George and he and his mum were happy to join in the occasion with us.

 Will's magnificent Phoenix School of Martial Arts Club Badge.

Steve had arranged for some Morris Dancers to come along for an hour or so. Her we captured some of their musicians arriving. 

Captured by Terry 

 Here the Dancers of The King Johns Morris Men from Southampton set off on their first routine.
They had already completes one event with the local Brownie Pack and would be heading off to Chandlers Ford to do a third stint after our day. Their program indicated that on 16th April they did 5 events in one day. Fantastic support for their charity.

The Musical Support sported a colourful set of rag Gown but the Squeezebox player was in rather scary mode.
Here he is at Close Quarters.

And at Even Closer Quarters.

The Lads performing one of their Stick Routines - Sore Knuckles for the beginners I suspect.

The Morris Men drew the shoppers, but unfortunately away from us for a while.

It is said that you never stop learning. Very True!

One lady who bought one of our Wristbands told me that she would be using it, sewn into a figure 8, for inclusion in the 'Twiddle Muff' that she was making. 
What is a twiddle Muff say I?

I was not aware that these Highly Decorated, Artistic and mostly Knitted Muffs are give to Dementia Sufferers to Twiddle with the many items sewn inside of the Muffs.

I found these example on the internet and am amazed at the intricacy of them and with the strong link she provided to the aims of Combat Stress; Helping with Mental Health Problems.

 Examples of 'Twiddle Muffs'

Twiddle Muffs being Demonstrated.

There was lots of interest in our cars during the day including a visit from Morgan Owner Peter Scott, seen wearing the sheepskin jacket on the left.

There was also a Face Painter keeping busy with the Children but not one had the traditional Flag of St George all opting for Cat Style faces.

Setting Up.

Here is that man again posing for me during their interval.

And the Band Played On

Their Last Dance before heading off to their next booking

One of the many Women and Children who sat in Terry's Frog Mog. This one was happy to stay there.

She is still in there Terry, 

Terry supplying another History of the Roadster 100 for some interested donors..

The sun had disappeared and it became very cold as the footfall fell away during the lunch period.
We were both thankful participants in some free Fish & Chips supplier by young ladies from the Strawberry Fields Tavern just across the Car Park

Some of our last Customers of the Day were these two boys who came along with their Teddy Bear and Frog. Out Came Frog Mog to join with Nola in the photo. 

I apologise for the end of my Bamboo Flagpole getting in the way.

We packed away the Flags and Terry, Nola and I made a beeline for the Costa Coffee Shop to empty the Buckets and count and bag the donations over a very welcome and warm coffee ( Nola preferred Hot Chocolate ).

So, OK, How well did we do?

With a VERY BIG THANK YOU to all of the shoppers at Locks Heath Shopping Village, for Donating a Magnificent Total of £317.82 which I Banked into the Combat Stress account earlier today.

Thank You all for supporting us on the day.

Preparing For All Morgans' Day 2016

All Morgans' Day, on 3rd July this year, will be held for the first time at the Magnificent Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.

The Palace and Lakes

( Previous All Morgans' Day events were held at Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire but change of National Trust policy precluded holding any further Car Shows there? )

With The Duke of Marlborough and his Operation Head, Heather Carter, at Blenheim Palace being so welcoming to us this year, our Morgan Centenary Roadster 100 Register Founder Member David Harris had the brilliant idea of developing a Car Badge for sale to owners and Car Badge Collectors to help fundraise for our new chosen charity to support, Combat Stress, The Veterans Mental Health Charity.

We linked with Hermen Pol of Morgan Car Badges and his Colleague Car Badge Designer Tcherek Kamstra from California, United States of America came up with these two beauties.
Herman is marketing the Car Badges through his website below but will also be at Blenheim Palace selling Badges during the event.

The Green Badge is specifically for use by Members of The Register with the Car and the Border being in the Colour of The Morgan Centenary Roadster 100.

Another of our colleagues, Terry Seymour, volunteered to deal with the Rally Plaque Design and Purchase liaising with our Sponsor, Barry Wynne of Preferential Morgan Insurance Broker Gott & Wynne and Plaque Produce Jancraft Ltd.

Terry introduced both the Car Badge and the Combat Stress Logo into the design producing this years lovely colourful plaque. 

Having been impressed with the availability of a Pin Badge version of the Morgan Sports Car Clubs MOG 2015 Car Badge, Terry also came up with the idea of us having a pin badge developed for All Morgans Day. 

After some debate it was decided that we would like to give a Pin Badge with our Rally Plaque to each Morgan Owner who booked for Blenheim Palace and who made a small donation to our Combat Stress Fund. 

330 Booked Owners have so far donated £3750.00 ( April 19th ) 

We did not want the cost of anything involved with our whole fundraising activities to erode any of the donations so Terry and I decided to become the Joint Sponsors of these Pin Badges.

At the same time I was in the process of developing a Parking Plan for the event and, to cut a long story short, the outcome of all these factors encouraged us to set a Bookings Limit for the Display Places of 350 Morgans.   

Part of the Parking Plan

With the number of Display Places set we could now confirm to the Sponsors and the Manufacturers of the Rally Plaques and Pin Badges that we needed 350 of each for the event.

 ( In the meantime David Harris and I had managed to sell 18 of these Pin Badges raising additional £104.30 for our fund and the production number to 368 badges) 

Once they had been delivered to me, my last role in the preparation of these pin badges was to add a small card to each one to give each badge a better presentation when given to the owners. 

Using the same idea as used for my Badge sales I set out to print and attach 350 of these small cards.

Here are the tools and methods I used. 

 Printer, Shears, Staple Gun & Staples

 Ever keeping the cost down I found theser packs of card in a local £1 Store.

Printing Three Cards of Nine Badges would provide 27 cards and also easily allow me to cut them to size using my shears. ( I do not own a Guillotine ) 
The First Car comes off of the Printer.

Slicing Through the 'Threes'  

Finished Individual Cards and Scrap ready for the shredder. 

The Card and The Badge Pack ready for joining. 

 My Old Industrial Stapler doing its work. The Millions of Staples and Hand Squeezes that I have used with this over the 50 years I have had and used that stapler.

 Work in Progress

The Finished Set. 

And Back Into the Original Delivery Box ( I found that I would need another box twice the size for my organized packaging )

Terry is now in possession for these 350 Pin Badges ready to match each of them with a Rally Plaque to be popped into a Goody Bag being provided and donated to us by MOG Magazine.

24th April 2016