Nominees for the National Car Club Unsung Hero award

30 March, 2017

The National Car Club Awards take place at the NEC on 1 April 2017. Here at Footman James, we’re proud to be sponsoring the National Car Club Unsung Hero award for the second year running.

Car club members from across the country have nominated their unsung heroes. Here’s a look at the nominees for this year’s award…

Barry Priestman, The Crayford Convertible Car Club
“A real hero!” Barry has been chairman since this club began back in 1981. In that time, he’s looked after the club archive, maintained vehicle registers, recorded new finds, produced the club’s magazine and organised endless events (and that’s just the beginning). Barry even spent thousands of pounds to turn an outbuilding at his house into a space to accommodate club members needing somewhere to stay for an event at the NEC!

Nicholas J Walton, Riley Motor Club
“A rock for the club.” Nicholas joined the Riley Motor Club in 2003. In 2010 he became secretary on the committee of the East Anglia Centre. Then in 2013, he volunteered to become the club’s national treasurer, keeping accounts in order and giving support to new members. In 2015, Nicholas suffered a near fatal illness, but that didn’t stop him working for the club with his usual passion. He’s been praised for his enthusiasm, dedication and “thankless energy”, throughout everything.

Gary Lazarus, Midget and Sprite Club
“Every member will miss his efforts.” Gary has been the editor of Mascot, the Midget and Sprite Club’s monthly magazine, for the past decade. It was a role he only volunteered to take until a “proper” editor was found, but he ended up being that editor. October 2017’s edition of Mascot will be this incredibly loyal and entertaining editor’s last, and the club knows “that he will leave a huge hole that will be hard to fill”.

Brian Humphreys, The Rover P6 Club
“The most active and versatile member in the classic Rover world”. Brian is credited as the “driving force” behind a new wave of classic car club growth, thanks to smart social media strategies. A “sponge” for learning, Brian learned how to code, build websites and taught himself marketing and social media skills. Despite all this work and learning, he still finds time to call every new club member personally. He recently left his career in project management to become a full-time carer for his wife after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. But Brian remains a “true asset to the classic car community as a whole”.

Steve Conroy, Avenger Sunbeam Owners Club
“He almost singlehandedly saved the club.” Steve, editor and vice chairman of the ASOC, works day in day out to help the club. He set up social pages and the forum, revamped the website, organises events and never courts thanks for his hard work. His work helped double the club’s membership and led to the creation of the ASOC News Magazine. “Nothing is a problem for this guy”.

Peter Moore, Tameside Car Collectors Club
“His extensive knowledge and his enthusiasm are infectious.” Peter runs the Tameside Car Collectors Club, so it’s no surprise that “if you need something restoring, repairing, or just simple advice, Peter is your man!” His selfless commitment and enthusiasm for the classic car movement is greatly appreciated by his club members and the local community. From offering advice to club members whenever they need it, to sending members and partners to lunch to thank them for their support, Peter is his car club through and through.

Pauline Blake, Sunbeam Talbot Alpine Register
“She most certainly is our unsung hero and I hope she will be yours as well.” Pauline, one of the STAR regional organisers, arranges two meetings every month, alongside a drive it day event each year, with over 200 cars from her club and others taking part. Alongside this she has organised bi-annual trips, raised funds for the air ambulance service in Yorkshire and helped the club have its stand at the NEC named ‘best themed club stand’. She was on the stand for the whole weekend, which sums up the enthusiasm and care she has for the club.

David Yeomans, Gordon Keeble Owners Club
“Nothing is too much trouble for him to be of help to others.” During his 20 years as the club’s secretary, David has worked tirelessly. Wherever they meet, he always makes the meeting. He even purchased spare parts and ran the spares section of the club alongside his work as secretary. As well as his dedication to the club, David looks after his severely disabled wife Iris on a full-time basis, heading to every meeting alongside her.

Pat & Barbara Farmer, Morris Register
“Every club should have a pair like these!” Pat and Barbara are the first point of call for anyone looking for information. Dealing with 30 calls a week, they have been largely responsible for getting the clubs membership up to 2,200. On top of this, they arranged a team trip to Malta, with 25 members attending. The trip went awry when the airline went bust, leaving Pat with a bill of over £5,000. The cost ended up being covered, but Pat stated “he would have footed the bill himself”. That’s dedication!

Every single nominee is an unsung hero, but the overall winner will be announced at the National Car Club Awards during the Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show on Saturday 1 April.