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Our Committee

Our Group is run by local volunteers who are all passionate about making life on the road more enjoyable. At present, and in line with the IAM RoadSmart Group Constitution, we have Committee Officer positions for the Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer / Membership.  Our 3 Officer positions are supported by 8 additional non-office holding members.

2019 Committee

Our Committee continually aims to meet IAM RoadSmart's performance targets and consequently, is always interested in getting more members involved with the Group, particularly in joining our Committee, either in the capacity of an Officer or in a non-office holding role.  The document link below describes each of our roles with their corresponding responsibilities. Members at the 2019 AGM agreed a slight change of responsibilities for the Group's Secretary and Treasurer. Our positions are consistent with other IAM RoadSmart Local Groups.

Committee Role Responsibilities (Revised).docx

The following section presents each of the members elected to our Committee at the November 2019 Annual General Meeting for a 1 year term of office.  We welcome 3 new members: Alan Fraser, Gordon Drysdale and Wayne Clarke to our Committee in non specific roles. 

The paragraphs below provide a little bit of background into how each person became involved with Aberdeen Advanced Motorists Group:


Chairperson – Joff Christie

Joff

I commenced motorcycling when I was on the family farm when only 10 or 11 years old and I gained my motorcycle driving license in 1989, riding my re-built Honda CB400 Twin. For a month or so I worked as a motorcycle courier between Southampton and the surrounding area, including London where as you’d expect I was exposed to some near misses.

My next motorcycle was a Kawasaki Zephyr 750 which I rode for a few years before trading it in for a Honda VFR 750 and thereafter to what I ride now, a Honda VFR 800.  When I got the VFR 800, I thought it wise to better my understanding of being able to ride safely and efficiently; the IAM gave me this.

After sitting my advanced test, I then decided that it would be good to assist other like minded motorcyclists to become better and this in turn would improve my own biking skills. I've been Observing since 2014 and would recommend riders to do the same, helping other like minded motorcyclists become better and safer riders.

I've also been an active member on the Committee since 2014 and previously held the post of Treasurer before being voted as Chairperson in November 2018.  This will be my second term as Chairperson and I'm very much looking forward to having another exciting year with the Group.

 

Treasurer & Membership Secretary – Ken London

KLO

I have been interested in powerful cars since passing my test in 1968, just a few months after I was 17. I have been fortunate to own many famous marques in my 50 years of driving such as Triumph, Ford, Jaguar, Lotus and most recently Alfa Romeo. After I bought my 510hp Giulia, I felt I needed a performance driving course, which I did at Knockhill but I also realised that taking an Advanced Driving course would be very beneficial. 

I very much enjoyed the Observed drives and saw that my driving greatly improved.  Consequently, I was eager to volunteer as an Observer after passing the IAM Advanced test but also became involved in Committee matters, in an unofficial capacity, during most of 2018.

This will be my second term as an official Committee member and am looking forward to the challenge of Treasurer now linked to Membership matters also, as well as maintaining our Group's communications via the website and keeping all our membership informed via the quarterly Newsletter.


Group Secretary & Observer Liaison (Bikes) – Neil Warden

Neil Warden

I completed an advanced driving course in 1995 with Grampian Police and in order to maintain my skills, they recommended that I go to ROSPA or IAM. There wasn't a ROSPA group in Aberdeen so I got involved with the Aberdeen Advanced Motorists.  After passing the test, the chairman at that time, Dave Walker, asked if I would like to get involved with observing and coming on to the Committee as observer trainer which I did.  I eventually became Chairman.

A few years back, I took on the roll of RGC (Regional Group Coordinator) after Steve Shepley stepped down. This meant that I could no longer be involved at Committee level with the AAM Group but instead would help all of the IAM local Scottish Groups as and when they required it. This role involved arranging the Scottish Conference once a year, attending groups' AGMs, Committee meetings and anything else in between. However, with IAM RoadSmart appointing an Area Service Delivery Manager for the Scottish Groups, I was able to return to the Aberdeen Group committee exclusively and again became Chairman.

I've taken on the role of chairman 3 times, but stood down in 2018 and was very pleased when Joff took the post.  I've not stepped away from our Committee altogether though, as well as focussing on Liaison with our team of Observers I will take on the General Secretary Officer. role for the first time. Regarding the former, my liaison responsibilities will keep the Observers up to speed with what the Group is planning as well as keeping the Committee abreast of how our Observers are progressing with their Associates

If any of our members would like take on the challenge of becoming an Observer, please contact myself or any other member of our Committee.

 

Social Events - Kenny Hair

Kenny Hair

My dad ran a garage workshop for a timber company and consequently I had an early interest in cars, HGVs and tractors. However, after I bought a non-running, decrepit BSA Bantam with a heap of spares for the princely sum of £10 and successfully managed to get it going and then began thrashing it at every opportunity, I developed a love for all things two-wheeled.   This passion is very much alive today although I'm not so sure about the poor Bantam...  I've competed with off road trials bikes in the past but I'm purely a road biker nowadays, although I'll never say never to a return to off-road fun.

A close friend, who was with Aryshire IAM suggested that I become an Advanced Rider and so began my story with the Aberdeen Group.  I was lucky to have Joff, our current Chairman, as my Observer and I successfully passed with a F1RST in 2016.  Joff also encouraged me to join the Committee as the Social "Ride & Run" Events Coordinator during this period.

This is my 4th year on the Committee as Social Events Coordinator.

 

Associate Liaison - Chris Noble

Chris Rockape

I went through my IAM Advanced Rider course in 2017  with Neil as my Observer.  He must have seen some potential because he invited me to train as an Observer after passing my test.   Having been a driving instructor in the past, we decided to go straight to the National Observer qualification, which I passed in September 2018.

The thing I love about this is, we are helping people from all walks of life who share the same desire to improve their knowledge and ability to ride a motorbike safely.

As a veteran of the Royal Airforce Regiment (Rockapes), I also divide my time with being an active supporter of the Royal British Legion Riders Branch which takes me all over the UK on fundraising and ceremonial events. 

This is my 2nd term on the Committee.

 

Observer Liaison (cars) - Gary Macalister

Gary Macalister

I passed my Advanced Driving Test in 1987, having earlier attended an evening class run in Shell's premises in Aberdeen.  At that time, the Observer was indeed just that, in that I had one run out when he told me all the things that I had to improve and not come back until I had fixed them. My second run out was effectively the pre-test.

Shortly after that, "Mitch" Mitchell was increasing the Aberdeen Group's Observer capability and his recruiting advice was "just do as your Observer did".  Even then, it was clear that this approach may not have been the best way to go about things. So as an Observer, I just tried to find my own way.  Thirty years on, I've had a good number of successful Associates, so it couldn't have been too bad. I took my National Observer qualification in Kingswells at the start of 2017 and followed that up with Local Observer Assessor at the end of 2018. 

I continue to work in the oil industry with my own consultancy business but spend most of my time on family, sailing and a global role with Rotary.

This will be my second term as a Committee member.

 

Unspecified role - Alan Fraser

Alan Fraser 

My first experience of using the roads was on a Suzuki moped when at school; this lasted all of four weeks when I was knocked off it in an accident with a car, breaking my ankle and writing off the moped. I decided to wait till I passed the driving test and took to four wheels.  I was aware that my friends at the time had quite a cavalier attitude to their driving which I didn’t share.

A few years later, in 1983, I decided to sit the IAM test, also joining the local Aberdeen group at the same time. This spurred me on to sitting and passing the RoSPA Advanced test twice also.  I became an Aberdeen group Committee member and Observer for several years, participating in various local outings with the group, publicising their work. An opportunity to visit the police college at Tulliallan, listening to and watching them explain their training to become a class one driver was particularly memorable. 

A change of career, getting married and then family brought other priorities which meant I couldn’t commit the time to continue the group responsibilities. However I never gave up the enthusiasm for driving safely. I have spent around twenty years of my working life cycling to and from work, where safety on the road is paramount. However I eventually decided that despite other hobbies, I would rejoin the local IAM group, hoping that my driving skills have not diminished significantly. I am very pleased to once again be part of AAM Committee.

 

Unspecified role - Douglas London

Doug

It was at school that I first took an interest in Advanced Driving when I learned that one of my teachers had her Advanced Driver's membership. Thereafter, I've always had a desire to become a more competent driver but it was more than 12 years later, after learning that my father-in-law was an Advanced Driver, that I finally decided to do something about it.  I even got my dad interested. We both passed our Advanced tests in early 2018.

This will be my second term on the Committee. I wanted to give something back to the Aberdeen Advanced Driver community that made my objective of being a more competent driver a reality.  I aim to help in the running of the Group in any way that I can.

I became a father over a year ago and hope that once I have a bit more time, I can also become an Observer.  I enjoy driving with my family at weekends and will perhaps try out some of our "Oot an' Aboot" runs.  I am also a passionate mountain biker and work as a Subsea Engineer in the Oil and Gas industry.

 

Unspecified Role - Gordon Drysdale

Gordon Drysdale 

I first started motorcycling at the age of 16 when I bought a Honda 90 monkey bike to get around, I then progressed up to a CZ 175 but after I passed my car test, the bikes were soon forgotten and then marriage and kids came along.  I rediscovered an interest again in 2007 on a visit to America, where my sister had a Honda 250 nighthawk and passed my bike test in 2008.

I joined the Blood Bikes in 2017; it is a requirement that all riders must have an advanced qualification as this group endeavour to promote road safety and so became aware of IAM RoadSmart.  I started my Advanced Rider course with Neil Warden as my Observer and passed my test in 2019.  Since passing my test, I am a more relaxed rider and feel less tired after longer runs. 

I was asked by Neil to join the AAM Observing team and also look forward to this challenge in the coming year so I can help others get the same enjoyment out of motorcycling.

I work within a Marine Engineering environment and I am a welder and mechanic but also spent 6 years in the TA as part time soldier.  I am looking forward to helping out on the Committee  in my first term as a group official.

 

 Unspecified Role - Loren Kelly

 Loren Kelly

I initially got involved with the IAM after my Dad, who had previously passed his Advanced Driving Course, suggested that I try it out. Soon after, I received a birthday present of a subscription to the IAM and the rest, as they say, is history! Even before being given the subscription as a gift, having seen how much friends and family have taken from the course, I knew that it was something that I was keen to do.  I have always enjoyed driving and often go out on nice days to explore Aberdeenshire and further afield.

After successfully passing the Advanced Driving Course, I decided I wanted to give something back to the Aberdeen Group.  Volunteers run the Group and, if it hadn't been for them giving up their own time, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to take the course. Consequently, I got involved as a trainee Observer and had the pleasure of observing several great and enthusiastic Associates, who all passed very well.  I successfully passed as a fully qualified National Observer at the end of October 2018.

I accepted the role of Group Secretary unofficially in summer 2016, but was elected officially at the AGM later that year. Group Secretary sat very well with my day job of being a solicitor but during my 3rd term work commitments meant that I could not give the time demanded of the role. I'm please to still participate in Committee matters, albeit in a less demanding capacity.

 

Unspecified Role - Wayne Clarke

 

 Wayne on bike

I started riding motorcycles in 1995 while stationed on Anglesey with the RAF having had a chequered history with motorcycles prior to this.  After passing my test I engaged fully and was hooked; I’ve been riding; with breaks for parenting and a career change, ever since.  

My bikes; Yamaha DT125, Yamaha Diversion, Yamaha Thundercat, BMW R850, Triumph Tiger 800XC, BMW R1200GSA.  

I started with IAM in 2019 as part of my commitment with the North East Rider Volunteers (Blood Bikes) to get an advanced qualification.  I didn’t think it was going to change my life, I merely wanted confirmation that I was a competent rider.  However, the training process was enlightening and it has changed the way I ride.  I was also asked by my Observers whether I’d consider becoming an Observer myself.  Having passed my Advanced test, I am now about to start Observer training to become a local Observer initially, but who knows what the future holds.  

After attending the AGM, I decided that I’d like to become more involved with the AAM Group and I made a request to join the Committee and was subsequently elected. 

 

Details last updated November 2019