AMMO was a testament to the power of prayer. The whole AMMO committee,
together with everyone booked to attend, had been praying that the wettest
June in history would dry up and give them a sunny weekend. It worked!
18 Plus members started arriving on Mersea Island (on the Essex coast)
on Friday 4th July and pitched their tents. Then, after a bit of foraging
for food, they headed to the disco and the bar.
Perhaps to avoid getting up in the night, Hooch seemed to be the most
popular bevy (as drunk by the National Chairman) and plenty of bottles
On Saturday morning people staggered out of their tents. Some people
explored the various activities available on the site whilst the games
organisers undertook the final stages of preparation for the games to be
held that afternoon. Allegations that Clive Bryant (AMMO Chairman) blew
up the bouncy castle without the aid of a pump are thought to be entirely
games went smoothly apart from a spot of maintenance required on the water
tower. The teams took part in the various games (see results on page 4)
and then joined the rush for the showers.
The Saturday night entertainment started off with the resident DJ for
the weekend, Steve Grace. An excellent cover band, "Centre of Attraction"
played two sets featuring music from the last two decades. Their lead singer
kept the men entertained and even distracted Chris Page from his door duties!
After the second set of the band the late night disco "Club AMMO" with
a new DJ, Chris Newey, took the music on until 4am with some people attending
the bonfire outside instead.
Sunday morning, for those who could get up, there was the music quiz. This
was won by Watford/Welwyn Garden City. It finished in time for half the
camp to board the coaches for the real ale trip.
That evening a buffet style meal was served, followed by more disco
and another band, "Infantasia". Monday morning saw those people remaining
striking camp and going home for a real bath!
A staff reporter
Links: Annual Mad Mini Olympics
|Thank you to all contributors to this issue. I have also
received several anonymous articles lately, which I haven't included in
this issue. So rather than waste your time writing something that won't
get printed, just remember to include your name and Group name. Your anonymity
in print can be preserved but I need to know who you are.
|Now I need articles for the next issue (due out in November).
National events happening before then are TAG
and Kickstart. Articles about Area or Group
events will also be considered for publication. Good photos are especially
|Please get your articles in by the deadline date. I can
accept some late entries but only if I know they're coming. Having articles
on disk or by email makes life simpler for me.
|I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Andy Anson for
his help and support whilst he was NEO (National Executive Officer). As
well as looking after his Areas he was also responsible for looking after
National Chairman's Column
hard to believe that summer's upon us once again. Where does the time go?
As usual 18 Plus is in a flurry of activity.
The National Area Training Weekend, ArT was held in June and over thirty
delegates attended. There were many new faces who were eager to learn about
18 Plus and to share new ideas. Much thanks and appreciation must be passed
to Rebecca White, National Training Co-ordinator, for her hard work in
organising the weekend.
The next training event will be Kickstart on 20th - 21st September.
Its aim is to cover publicity and development. It would be good to see
many of you there.
AMMO was great with the weather being kind to us. Tribute must go to
the Irish singer on the real ale trip who got drunk and played for two
hours longer than booked.
The next National holiday is of course TAG which will be held in Nottingham
this year. Get your bookings in quickly as the white water rafting is proving
Don't forget about September's recruitment campaign. All the Area Chairmen
have informed me of their respective Area's plans for the campaign. I know
that many of you already work hard on publicity and recruitment. However
an extra effort during September will be greatly appreciated.
See you at TAG.
Links: AMMO / TAG
Welcome to Sue
|Following the departure of Gaynor O'Neill (who's now working
in an estate agents in Newent), the new addition to the staff at Nicholson
House is Sue Swan. She lives just outside Newent and has two daughters,
three dogs and two horses ! She is dealing with memberships whilst Christine
George has taken over the day to day accounts. The third member of staff
is of course June our cleaner.
|The following National appointments were made at the July
|National Executive; Officer Jo Shaw
|Nicholson House Officer; Vaughan
|ANC 98 Committee Chairman;
|Now Get Out Of That 98 Co-ordinator;
|Deputy National Chairman; Andy Bond
Mid West Area Archery Competition
|On Sunday 22nd June 1997, Mid West Area held their third
annual archery competition at Sutton Coldfield Rugby Club. Despite the
weather - rain and showers (unless you are a member of Bromsgrove 18 Plus
when it was hot and sunny !) - eight mixed teams of four participated in
the event with members from 18 Plus Groups from as far south as Malvern
and as far north as Lichfield. With final placings in the competition going
towards the Area competition trophy, a competitive nature was shown by
some teams, whereas other teams couldn't care less as they just entered
|After several practice rounds, the competition was held
over three dozen arrows fired in rounds of three over a short distance.
Some impressive scores were obtained by people who had never picked up
an archery bow in their life before, and were pleasantly surprised by the
|The overall competition standings were as follows:-
|1st Sutton Coldfield A; 2nd Solihull A; 3rd Lichfield
|Congratulations to Corinna Haywood, Sandra Cawthra, Richard
Teale and Terry 'Biggles' Drake for being in the winning team.
|Liam Wright Mid West Area External Publicity Officer
Northampton Raising Money For Charity
|Northampton 18 Plus held a dance on Friday 16th May, raising
£346 for Oxfam. The committee presented the cheque to the local shop
manager. Thank you to the 120 people who attended.
|Ash Nazir Northampton 18 Plus
Barbecuing the House
|Whitefield 18 Plus recently held a group barbecue at the
Chairman's house. The barbecue was set to begin at 7.30 and last for a
couple of hours ... but what the cooks didn't account for was the setting
fire to the chicken and trying to burn the wall down! Luckily for Stewart
and Carol there was a water spray nearby so this was used on numerous occasions.
The chicken had a flame grilled appearance (black) and the kebabs were
|As for the evening it went very well with music ranging
from Queen to Disney tunes at which Neil from Whitefield decided to engage
the jokes. There were two versions - the long one or the short one and,
you guessed it, we chose the short version. Laura then decided to tell
us about the three naked men who were running alongside the motorway when
she was returning from the Lake District with Altrincham Group. We did
have to tell Jackie Twist that we were sure it wasn't worth her going to
look, as they would have gone by now.
|Elaine Padley North West Area Chairman
War of the Roses
|This is to be held on September 6th and will be hosted by
North West Area. The competition will be between Yorkshire and North West
Areas and the theme for this year is Star Wars.
|The games will be based on the characters and the evening
event will involve people dressing up. The new Vice Area Chairman, Michael
Jackson, will be Darth Vadar (he doesn't know yet!)
|The whole day is being organised by all the groups in the
Area. For more details contact the North West Area Chairman. North West
WILL keep the trophy!!!
|North West Area
A Load of KAC
16th May marked a day in Kent Area as momentous as our Area Chairman Donna
Verrall (aka 'Head Spice') giving up smoking or Neil Weller from Medway
managing to keep his mouth shut for more than ten seconds. It was the day
of the Area's very first holiday weekend, in recent years anyway, the Kent
Several of us from Dartford, Medway and Eltham headed to the site at
Birchington (near Margate). We had been told that the site offered some
rather nice caravans and the odd log cabin or two, but we didn't realise
how good the facilities were until we got there. The caravans were brand
new, the cabins the height of luxury and several of the Medway couples
were in a bungalow bigger than most people's houses (certainly big enough
for Donna Verrall's drink supply).
After we'd settled in and enjoyed a few beers, we headed up to the venue.
There we learnt that the DJ booked for the evening had sprained his back
the night before and couldn't move, let alone run a disco. Two all-expense
spared replacements had been bought in, namely that notorious professional
Northerner in exile Wayne Fenton and old git Phil Lewin. Surprisingly the
disco was rather good. As Kent is a very sad Area, we are totally unappreciative
of crucial dancefloor fillers like 'I am the Music Man' that Areas north
of the Thames seem to enjoy and we were all devastated that the DJ's didn't
There was a live band called the Trogg Magnets; two dodgy looking geezers
plus their manager who performed a variety of cover versions, from sixties
classics to Oasis and a massacre of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' for good measure.
Just as much entertainment was provided by Alison Cumbers ('Snog Spice')
of Medway and her efforts to get off with them afterwards (which resulted
in the manager and one of the band having an almighty row about staying
The evening ended with what I believe is a great 18 Plus tradition from
TAG's gone by, namely Wayne Fenton being thrown in the swimming pool. Donna
Verrall followed close behind giving us one of the best wet T shirts we
had seen in the Area for a long time (although as the Area is known for
its shortage of female members, this isn't exactly difficult).
On Saturday there was a coach trip into Margate. The sun shone and the
temperature was well up into the seventies giving us a beautiful day to
hang about town, enjoy the amenities of the Dreamland fun park, lounge
on the beach or find a decent pub to watch the Cup Final. Who needed to
go to Benidorm when all this was on our doorstep?
A 'proper' DJ had been booked for the Saturday evening, and once we
had all overcome the shock of Alison Bray's ('Essex Spice') lurid blue
and white trousers, we hit the bar and the dancefloor. Great entertainment
was provided by a ferocious thunderstorm halfway through the evening, which
meant no-one had to go near the swimming pool (or anywhere else for that
matter) to get well and truly wet.
After the disco ended, we all piled into one of the caravans for an
all night party, accompanied by more booze, pizza all round and some pretty
dreadful films on late night television.
We eventually dragged ourselves up on the Sunday for fried breakfast
and the fortunately not very long trip home. All of us thoroughly enjoyed
the weekend, though the total numbers weren't quite as many as at AMMO,
and we look forward to the wonderful Kent Area Secretariat organising many
Richard Andrews Dartford 18 Plus
5 Things You Never Knew....
|.... about Phil Lewin, National
Honorary Life Member.
has thousands of records in his flat which he keeps in boxes in year order.
He buys a lot of things from charity shops.
He is a dreadful gossip and always knows what is going on in both Kent
and South Essex Areas.
There are lots of London Underground and British Rail signs on the walls
of his flat.
He owns a blow up sheep.
Burton Comes of Age
|On Saturday May 31st Burton 18 Plus celebrated its 18th
birthday with a reunion party held at the Joiners Arms in Woodville. 40
people doesn't sound a lot but they included all the Central Area committee,
an ex-National Chairman and a lot of faces that hadn't been seen for a
while. As is traditional we held a collection for charity on the night,
raising quite a lot of money for the local special care baby unit.
|The Group knows that to survive 18 years is quite an achievement
even though we have changed names since opening in 1979 in Ashby. We have
kept going quite well over the years and hope, like many others, to be
celebrating our 25th and more in the future. It would be nice to see a
lot of the current members at least being there. We know that a lot of
groups are larger than us but at least we are still going.
Clive Pearson and Sharon Draper Burton 18 Plus
|This weekend was held over the 14th and 15th of June at
Nicholson House in Newent, near Gloucester. On the Saturday everyone took
part in the first section and then split up into whichever training session
they had asked to attend and each group went off with the relevant trainer.
|There were various sessions including development, publicity
and activities to name but a few. The fun part was the group activity which
was designed to help you mix with all the other people on the weekend.
This year we had to build a boat which had to either go on land or water
for 5 minutes and would you believe that Newent Lake had been drained!
Unlucky for Rebecca.
|The 38 people who were attending were split into three groups
and had to design a boat which the other two groups would agree to build.
Team one had a basic square shape with a vertical mast (the mast had to
be 6ft). Team two had a more sophisticated design but Team three had a
design for a royal yacht (cheers Eric) so you may have guessed that team
three's design got accepted after a lot of laughter. Each team then had
to design a part of the boat and for this we had to use sunshades, straws,
black bags and numerous other bits and pieces. As the afternoon developed
the boat was put together and we had the launch in front of Nicholson House
(with many an amused look from the locals) where the boat was blessed and
named the "SANDRA BRADSHAW", much to her horror. The launch and recovery
speeches were given to much laughter. Some of the lads tried very hard
to get the boat to move which it didn't do much.
|The evening event was a disco arranged by our very own Kevin
from South West Area and yes Sandra was up to her usual mischief. People
eventually made their way back to their rooms in Nicholson House or the
local guest houses.
|PS If anyone wants a cheap pair of babysitters then Jon
Black and Anthony Podmore are the people to contact. I think everyone who
was on the course enjoyed it and appreciated how much hard work Rebecca
White and her band of trainers put in.
Elaine Padley North West Area Chairman
Speechless ... But Not For Long!!
|"For the first time in my life I'm speechless". Yes, the
absolute shock of my Area winning the coveted Cobb Dual Purpose Mug for
being the Best Area in the Federation rendered my otherwise constantly
moving mouth firmly stuck for something to say when accepting this welcome
accolade. Alas poor members, this state was not to last for long and, back
to my usual self, I would like to take this opportunity to express those
thoughts which failed to enter my head in the dizziness of being completely
and utterly gobsmacked.
|Being Best Area is not just about increasing (or in our
case stabilising) membership. Or attending all National events diligently
like good little Plussers. Or writing lots of articles for Plus News. It's
much more than that. I consider myself highly fortunate to count amongst
the members of my Area some of the most enthusiastic and dedicated people
this Federation could hope for (and yes, that does include the 'old fogeys'
too!) Whilst there are many ways and methods to achieve success in anything
you do, dedication is the key word. Dedication. Defined in the dictionary
as "devoted to a particular cause or purpose". A dedicated member will
persevere rather than write off their organisation without even trying.
I like to think that this is a quality found in many of our members, and
not just those from Thames Valley Area.
|The more you give, the more you'll get in return. Take a
little time to think how you could help your Group or Area improve. If
you're dedicated to getting the most out of life and 18 Plus, it won't
be any hardship to give that help and if everyone did this we would soon
start to see an incredible improvement from our current position. Support
your local Groups, your Area events, your National events. Otherwise they
may not be around much longer (Easter Holiday RIP). Don't leave the job
to someone else as someone else may not be bothered either. Let's pull
ourselves out of the horrible apathy we seem to have found ourselves in
and get 18 Plus back to how it should be. Full of enthusiastic and dedicated
young people working, learning and playing together.
|In the words of the late great Roy Castle, "Dedication,
that's what you need".
|Tracey Horne Thames Valley Area Chairman
Northfield 18 Plus Support the Lichfield Bower
Monday 26th May (Bank Holiday) Northfield 18 Plus supported Lichfield 18
Plus in their effort to raise money for charity by entering a float in
the Lichfield Bower. This is an annual carnival that began thousands of
years ago when the Court of Ray ordered the landowners to take a census
of all the land and then gather at the Bower ("Springtime fair") to inform
the local Mayor of their findings.
Lichfield 18 Plus had a South Sea Island flavour to their float with
a mixture of dancing hula girls and palm trees. They had put a lot of effort
into the event and all the money raised will be distributed by the Bower
Committee to local charities. Well done Lichfield!
Emma Hudson Northfield 18 Plus
Lichfield 18 Plus
|As most people will know we need new members and quickly.
Well North West Area may have found a way of increasing our membership
with the simplest of ways. A member of the Area Committee decided to write
to the local paper and describe himself as a 19 year old girl. What he
asked was whether 18 Plus was still around as his parents had met through
it. The local paper then wrote an article about how to contact us and what
kind of activities we were doing etc.
|Within five days I had twelve phone calls, Nicholson House
received more enquiries and we are still having people enquiring two weeks
after the letter was printed. The local papers have also now started plugging
us in the lifelines columns etc. Cheadle Group have paid for an advert
in the "Big Issue" and up to now we have had five enquiries in two weeks
and at least one more group is paying for a advert in the same place.
|So if you advertise it does work.
|Elaine Padley North West Area Chairman