2011 AGM Rally

Towcester Racecourse

28th April - 3rd May 2011

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This wasn’t the first AGM rally that the Club has held at Towcester Racecourse but it was the most special. Why? Well apart form a certain royal wedding on the Friday, 2011 is the Club’s 40th anniversary year. In recognition of this Swift generously paid our accommodation costs and allowed us to hire the very swish Empress Stand. It’s built in an art deco style and is apparently a listed building.

The stand was the home of our evening entertainment on the Saturday and Sunday and provided the perfect setting for the AGM itself on the Sunday morning. As usual there was plenty of lively debate and a new committee was sworn in. Members wishing to see who they all are can do so in the members’ section of this website.

The weather was quite reasonable but a strong wind blew for most of the weekend. This, combined with a clap or two of thunder and a few drops of rain, forced the wedding street party off the street and into one of the marquees. It didn’t spoil the fun though.

Talking of fun reminds me of one of the acts on the Sunday night. His name was Matt Black and he played and sang and joked like no one I’ve ever seen before. He was really, really funny and very entertaining, albeit sometimes a little blue. No one seemed to mind though. I do hope we have him back next year.

For those new to the Swift Owners Club I should explain that the AGM rally is one of our biggest with some 120 outfits normally attending. As a rule we hold it on the May bank holiday weekend to give us an extra day and to make it worthwhile for those who have to travel long distances.

The annual General Meeting itself takes place on the Sunday morning but the rest of the weekend is packed full of fun. This year was no exception. The pavilions had working televisions to watch the royal wedding and many took advantage, creating a party atmosphere.

Carrying on with the wedding theme we had a competition where ralliers were invited to enter their wedding photos for identification not just of the couple but also the year. That last bit was really tricky.

Saturday morning saw the catering team serving up bacon and sausage baps as the table top sale got under way. Later various get togethers gave way to the Chairman’s challenge where the 8 areas of the Club competed for the Inter Area Challenge Shield. It was won by Area 2 (NE England).

Evening entertainment was provided by a one man act called ‘Chucklefoot’. He certainly had the children spellbound. Next it was the turn of the adults. Founder member Geoff Rowe gave a speech about how the club came to be formed 40 years ago and what happened in those early days. You could have heard a pin drop.

Afterwards all were treated to piece of birthday cake and to bubbly served in specially commissioned glasses bearing the Swift logo from 40 years ago. What's more we got to keep the glasses.

More get togethers followed on the Sunday after the AGM and then we had the evening entertainment. I’ve already mentioned Matt Black but I should also mention the BarB trio who played some excellent numbers and had many of us up on the dance floor.

The real stars of the rally though were each and every one of those club members who worked so hard to make it all happen. It would be pointless trying to list them, there were just so many. Thanks guys & gals for a truly memorable rally.

Techtel


Here is Geoff giving that memorable speech. Learn how he came to own his first Swift caravan and how the Club came to be formed 40 years ago.

Hear the lowdown on those early rallies including a visit to Berlin in the days of the Iron Curtain and how Geoff led a convoy of Swift caravans across a 21 section floating pontoon bridge operated by the American army.

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Photos courtesy Val Rowe & Techtel
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