Chairman’s comments on CTC national re-brand activity

Posted on March 21st, 2016

Dear all

This is a specific note to give you some information following a CTC Wantage Committee Meeting earlier this week. As some of you will be aware (and many of you won’t), CTC nationally is intending to change its branding. The national organisation of which we are a local Member Group has been around since 1878 (originally called the Bicycle Touring Club) and CTC actually stands for Cyclists’ Touring Club. The Council of Trustees of the national organisation have decided that the time is right to modernise the branding to better reflect their desire to represent a wide range of cyclists in the UK and so have proposed a new headline brand of ‘Cycling UK’.

It is fair to say that we on the CTC Wantage Committee have had a few raised eyebrows about this for two reasons – 1) we’re not convinced about the name and we’re concerned about confusion with the other major UK cycling membership group British Cycling, and 2) we have been unimpressed with the lack of consultation and communication on this topic with local Member Groups like ours. Having said that, the process has not been helped by a rather emotional campaign by one ex-national Council member called Philip Benstead who is making a lot of noise about this. I mention this only because he seems to have got hold of some member mailing lists and is (very inappropriately and probably illegally) using these to send out his personal views. You may possibly have received some of these emails.

As a result of all this, Mr Benstead is trying to hold up the process of the brand rollout by demanding a poll of all members. Frankly, just at this moment I’m not sure where we are with the process. It may or may not feature in the next edition of Cycling magazine!

I’m sorry to have to raise this, and the main point I want to make is this:

Locally, all we want to do in CTC Wantage is set up and deliver a really good programme of excellent bike rides across a range of abilities and have great fun exploring our beautiful local countryside and getting a bit fitter in the process. I am confident that we are successfully doing this and and actually I’d much rather be talking about the really exciting rides programme that we have recently added to the website for the coming spring and summer season. We had a very positive Ride Leaders Meeting in February and I want to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to our brilliant band of ride leaders who came to that meeting and put their names down to lead nearly 200 rides in the coming months. That is properly exciting!

So, in summary, I would strongly suggest that we ignore the rather unseemly mess at national level (at least until the effect on us, if any, is clearer) and focus on having a great time riding our bikes together. Don’t forget that the Tuesday evening programme re-starts on 5th April.

Best regards

John Tranter
Chairman – CTC Wantage
07826 238350

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