Jim Bettley
& The Blue Lamp Trust

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  Southern Section diary

Jim Bettley promised that, “If you’re looking for a dry, humourless lecture, please don’t attend.” The 30 or so members who ignored the chill damp, of the late February Sunday to attend Rake Village Hall had every reason to agree with him.

In an irreverent and humorous style, Jim gave us a brief resume of his successful Police career, with moves around various parts of Southern England. Anecdotes included his experiences of a daily commute, two-up, on a Honda C50 Step-thru, in full police motorcycle uniform, past Winchester Prison. Okay downhill, but requiring an alternative route on the return due to insufficient power!
Jim also introduced us to the Blue Lamp Trust, a Hampshire charity working in association with the Emergency Services helping victims of home based crimes, and support and reassurance for those less able. At the core of the Trust is The Bobby Scheme offering a free security and safety survey of homes with replacement locks and smoke alarms fitted, where appropriate. Funding for such a scheme had been difficult in the current financial climate but Jim, with his fellow trustees, tapped into their skills base and, alongside patronage from corporate sponsors including, Exxon Mobil, and Ageas, turned to offering commercial driver safety training services as a means of funding The Bobby Scheme.

The final part of Jim’s presentation was about speed awareness, a subject close to all motorcyclists’ hearts! Key to the presentation was the need for observance, primarily, in the interests of safety. A core fact is that an adult hit at 20mph has a 95% chance of survival whereas, an adult hit at 40mph has a 95% chance of a fatality. Thought provoking statistics. Jim reminded us that when we passed our driving tests, we signed a statement that we agreed to keep abreast of changes in the driving law. Testing our commitment to this ‘contract’ Jim produced key pads for everybody to ‘vote’ answers to multiple choice, driving law questions. The results are probably best described as ‘okay’(rather than good!).

Dean ‘Chippy’ Carpenter presented the final section of the event. Covering his experiences of motorcycle training on behalf of The Blue Lamp Trust, Chippy emerged in full Gambian dress. Working on behalf of Blue Lamp clients, the Gambian Medical Research Council, rider safety was becoming of an issue and the management was looking for support in establishing a training scheme for their riders. With no requirement for general driving standards testing in the Gambia, the MRC riders used distribute bloods, drugs, and medical samples, required formal training. Training the trainers, The Blue Lamp team spent a fortnight getting 7 riders to a standard where they could pass their experience onwards.

The Blue Lamp Trust is a registered charity dependent on donation and their commercial operations. If any members would like to donate, details are available on their website.


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Chippy in full regional dress!