John's Plus Page
I am a member of the National Federation of Plus Areas, formerly
known as the National Federation of 18 Plus Groups.
I joined Huddersfield 18 Plus Group in 1977 when I was 19. In
1991 I transferred to Bradford 18 Plus Group, now Bradford Plus Group, and the following year I moved to
Horsforth 18 Plus, now Leeds Plus Group. In 1997 I
renewed my membership with the new Huddersfield 18 Plus
Group and now I have retturned to Leeds Plus
I have also been associated with the "Dossers" in previous years.
Plus Events I have attended
Click here if you wish to make an enquiry about Plus.
The new Huddersfield 18 Plus Group was launched in April 1997.
meetings took place every Thursday at the Old Court Brewhouse, Queen Street,
Huddersfield, (meetings later changed to Monday evenings), the launch night was
a Juggling Workshop, and display, and the second meeting featured a mock trial.
Launch - Juggling Workshop
The Launch Night, and Juggling Workshop on Thursday April
3rd 1997 started at 8:00 p.m.and was organised by prospective new members
Stacey Murphy, and Matthew Schofield. Expert juggling tuition was provided by
members of the Huddersfield University Juggling Club, the evening was rounded
off with a spectacular display of Fire juggling.
Members from Bradford, Leeds, and Rothwell Groups
supported the event, a display on past and future events for the benefit of
Prospective new members who attended the Launce was set up.
18 Plus on Trial
The following Thursday,
April 10th 1997, was the Group's second meeting. and as the Old Court Brewhouse
function room is a former Court 18 Plus itself was put on Trial.
Presiding over the Trial, as Judge was Councillor Howard
Middleton from Bradford, Howard is a former member of the Sheffield, and
Bradford Groups, and an 18 Plus Yorkshire Area Honourary Life member. The Jury
was made up of Huddersfield 18 Plus Group's prospective new members, and
visiting members from other Groups.
The charge was that 18 Plus was not active, and the
prosecution was conducted by 18 Plus Yorkshire Area Publicity & Development
Officer, Mr John A Smith, assisted by former Wharfedale 18 Plus memberr, then a
Worcester 18 Plus Group member, Mr Philip Bettis. Hull 18 Plus Group member,
and 18 Plus Yorkshire Area Vice-Chairman Mr Paul Williams was Councel for the
defense, he was assisted by former 18 Plus Yorkshire Area Chair, and Bradford
18 Plus Group Activities Officer, Miss Catherine Overend.
Members from Bradford, Doncaster, Leeds, Rothwell, and
Worcester 18 Plus Groups attended the event along with 18 Plus Yorkshire Area
Chair, Wendy Turner, and National Publicity Officer, Judy Horsburgh. Witnesses
were called from among these members.
The prosecution called witnesses who had attended various
Yorkshire Area, and National 18 Plus events recently, including, in the
Yorkshire Area - the Haloween Disco, the Pyjama Party Disco, and the National
10 Pin Bowling Competition & Christmas Party Disco, and Nationally - the
National 18 Plus Easter Holiday at Camber Sands in Kent. No Huddersfield 18
Plus Group members had attended these events as they had taken place before the
Huddersfield 18 Plus Group had opened.
The Defense called witnesses who had attended the Group's
first two meetings, and witnesses who had helped put together the first
Programme of events for the new Huddersfield 18 Plus Group.
The Jury returned a guilty verdict, and the Judge passed a
suspended sentance as there is evidence that the new Huddersfield 18 Plus Group
will be active in the coming months. It is quite clear that 18 Plus is an
active organisation nationally, in the Yorkshire Area, and now in Huddersfield.
18 Plus the Re-trial
As you will have read above, on Thursday April 10th
Huddersfield 18 Plus put "18 Plus on trial", the charge being that 18 Plus is
not an active organisation. Prosecuting was John A Smith, (Huddersfield 18
Plus) assisted by Phil Bettis (Worcester 18 Plus), and the defence was
conducted by Paul Williams (Hull 18 Plus), and Cath Overend (Bradford 18 Plus).
A Jury was selected from those present, and as you know 18 Plus was found
An appeal was granted, and National Publicity Officer Judy
Horsburgh conducted the defense at the re-trial.
Please note, this was a fun event, and not to be taken too
In the past I have been associated with the 18 Plus
"Dossers". Click on the Link to read some stories
The "Dossers" premier event has
been the WASH weekend.
At the moment I am Northern Area
Publicity/Development Officer and National Chairman.
Previous Committee Posts
In 1996 I was War of the
Roses 1996 Chairman, this was the event that got me interested in 18 Plus
Committee work again.
I was next co-opted on to the Yorkshire Area Committee in late
1996 as Publicity & Development Officer.
As Yorkshire Area 18 Plus Publicity and Development Officer I
have been responsible for co-ordinating the 1997 Yorkshire Area Publicity
Campaign, which included the 1997 Charity
I was also responsible for the first part of the 1998
Recruitment Campaign, which included the Y.T.V. Community Service Announcement.
Here I am "in the spotlight" in an article in the Yorkshire
Area 18 Plus newsletter Alyve.
In 1997 I also became Development Chairman for the new
Huddersfiel 18 Plus Group.
In early 1998 I was co-opted as
War of the Roses 1998 Chairman. I was
also one of the War of the Roses 1999.
Co-ordinators and War of the
Roses 2000 and War of the
Roses 2005 organiser.
From 1998 to 2001 I was National
In 2002 I became Chairman of the Leeds 18
Plus Group. I was also a Northern Area General
In November 2003 following the resignayion of Mark Randall I
became Northern Area Chairman which led to my
election as Deputy National Chairman and thus Acting National Chairman in July
2005 and National Chairman in January 2006 and April 2006.
National Chairman's Web Log
The National Chairmans
After returning home from the National
Conference in April I felt tired, but mildly exhilarated! Seriously though, I
do feel a heavier responsibility than I did before the Conference, now I'm the
first National Chairman of the new Plus! And I also set myself the task of
promoting recruitment and expansion of Plus. However I also feel that we had a
glimpse into the future of Plus at the Conference;
- Gary S showed that enthusiasm and exuberance can make
- Clare Jones, Sheffield Plus showed us that there is a
market for Plus amongst the young
- Geoff and Lis Buller, Lincs Quest, second Plus Group
showed that there is a market for Plus amongst those over the age of
- North Thames and Chilterns Area showed that
friendliness is key
- Northern Area showed that Development can take place
with few hands to help
- East Anglia Area showed that Training benefits Plus
- London and South East Area showed the value of sound
- Midland Area showed us that any crisis can be
- Southern Area showed us that new ideas can come from
the most unlikely sources
There were so many people to thank, I hope
we included everyone, if not, then heres a special thank you for those we
At the June National meeting we appointed
Kirsty van Lieshout as Publicity Officer, she has big plans to publicize Plus
which I hope everyone will get involved with. We also re-appointed Dave Filer
as National Activities Officer, I know this isnt a Constitutional post,
nevertheless the NEC felt the need for the post to co-ordinate activities and
help with procedures for organising events for Plus nationally. Sadly no
Training Officer was appointed, nor Internet Coordinator, though Mark Hewson
stood in at the meeting.
Between now and the end of the year there
are many exciting events planned, especially those for members nationally;
theres the Kings Lynn Group Summer Do which includes the National
Rounders competition, the Milton Keynes MAD weekend which includes the National
Karting organised by Soton Friends (Plus) Group, Northern Areas
NEAT weekend in Sheffield which includes a new National Pool tournament and of
course WASH in November.
At the June NEC meeting a small group led
by National Publicity Officer, Kirsty van Lieshout was set up to create a new
image for Plus, including a new logo, the groups ideas will be presented
to the July NEC meeting and launched nationally in September. Many
opportunities for publicity are presented by the changes to Plus! The first
week in October is National New Members Week, lets start planning and
publicizing for it now, there are plenty of great events at Group, Area and
National scales to promote to prospective new members and then by October lets
sign up as many new members for WASH as possible and surpass the WASH 300
John A Smith
Extract from Plus News Summer 2006
I was a bit surprised when Ian asked me to
write a piece for the Chairmans bit in Plus News!
As Im also Northern Area Chairman I
must mention the Bradford Bargain Break, thanks to everyone who attended and
made it such an enjoyable event, Id also like to thank Janet Rintoul who
was the chief organiser and motivating force behind the event well done.
Well done also to Richard Morton, this years winner of the National
Go-Karting competition which was held on the Saturday. We are investigating the
possibility of running the event again in 2006.
The latest NEC meeting was held in early
October, this was the second that I chaired; I may be starting to get the hang
of it now. Sandra Brogan said I was masterful, just dont
mention the apple pie!
The NEC and others are working hard to put
the Area Lead Option for the restructure into practice. Read more about this
further on and in the Gazette.
While writing this article the thought
struck me that in a way 18 Plus will be a new organisation next year, so why
not have a recruitment drive to Publicise the new 18 Plus?
All the Groups, Areas and National should be
New 18 Plus!
New membership fee!
New 18 Plus!
Its all very well having a new
structure to make 18 Plus well organised at the administrative level, but if 18
Plus isnt recruiting new members then were going nowhere. This
would be a good topic for Onelist; lets talk about recruitment ideas, but
more importantly, lets put the ideas into action as well!
I was recently asked where Id like to
see 18 Plus this time next year settling in to the new structure,
members getting involved in their Area Conferences to make decisions to ensure
the continuation of 18 Plus into the future, new 18 Plus and Quest Groups being
opened and all existing Groups recruiting new members.
When I first joined 18 Plus the slogan
The more you put into 18 Plus, the more you
get out of 18 Plus!
John A Smith
Extract from Plus News Autumn 2005
Federation of Plus Groups
Federation of 18 Plus Groups - Great Britain |
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