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3 Years may not seem like a long time, but from the club standpoint so much has changed since our first meeting back in 2017 following the inception of the club itself.

A lot has changed since then, similar faces from the beginning along with a number of new owners from across the North East getting involved which has seen the club grow from just a handful of Abarth enthusiasts to one of the most dedicated and respected clubs across the world within the Abarth scene.

As 2020 has been a difficult time for everyone, some more than others, but nevertheless a very challenging period due to the COVID-19 issue which has hit the globe bringing all events and more to a standstill. The date had been set at the end of 2019 to have an event in place to celebrate the clubs 3rd year anniversary which I think no one would expect it to be our first real event during what would be a normal busy show season calendar.

On the run up to the event the club staff have butted heads and discussed at length how to go about the event and what we would need to be put in place to ensure a safe environment. The initial plan was to go back to where it had all started situating in the beautiful scenery of Herrington Park being looked from above by Penshaw Monument. It all was going ahead until a problem burst the bubble on our plans just hours before it going ahead. It was brought to our attention that the allocated area we had planned our event had been locked and cordoned off from the public. A real shame, but luckily this had been addressed giving us enough time to recover an alternative venue to host it.

Which lead us heading out to the coast. Couple of miles down the road had the event rearranged to take place at the Seaham Coastal Car Park. Maybe not as picturesque as Herrington Park, but a chance to look out deep into the North Sea giving us a place to go ahead with what we had planned in the first place.

Now you could argue whether the event should have gone ahead to begin with. The club staff had urged everyone attending to play their role in the correct way ensuring guidelines were kept in place. What we didn’t expect adjacent to us was a local car boot sale featuring a much larger amount of the general public attending. You could argue either way what’s right or not, but we looked at it from the point of view as our number of attendees were miniscule in comparison.

One by one at around 4pm onwards would see the club members attend showcasing their Abarth’s with a high level of modification changes following the lockdown spending spree. Alongside this would see a number of new faces who have joined the club in the last couple of months as part of our official membership.

As luck would have it the general public who were taking the majority of the car park got the hint to move on so we could have the plot to ourselves. Following this we would be able to tuck into our amazing anniversary cake made locally by Blackberries Patisserie (@BlackberriesPatisserie) which went down really well for those who managed to get a slice on the day. In addition to this would see the very talented Kimberley Davison (@ItsKimbo44) produce a Biscoff Cheesecake featuring the Abarth Scorpion in a biscuit crumb. Both club admin Neil Barron (@AbarthNeil) and Amanda Barron brought forward a special corned beef and potato pie featuring the Abarth Scorpion etched into the crust. All of which were very delicious and a great addition to the occasion.

Luck and Weather were on our side which was fitting for the day out. It was great to see everyone getting together albeit maintaining their distance to have a good catch up following the past couple of months. From my own point of view it’s difficult within the timeslot to get round to speak to everyone who does attend as the time seems to fly by. That said, the club members can speak to any of the club staff at any point during the event if they need to run something by them or even just a general conversation.

The event spilled over into an additional hour making the most of the great weather leaving the staff to wrap up what had been a fantastic day out. It gave us a chance to reflect from where we had started to where we are now. Making us more determined to continue to push ourselves and make it better for everyone within the club.

We have come so far, but we haven’t even started yet. We’ll see what else we can achieve in another 3 years.

I’d like to thank everyone who have played their part in making this club what it is today. Without the members coming together it wouldn’t be what it is without them. Here’s to more fun, amazing events and more with the club hoping to finish off the remainder of 2020 with a bang.

Ross 🦂

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