How it all began and what we have achievedHow it all began and what we have achieved
The formation of the I7N goes back to the International 60th anniversary event in the UK where three Lotus 7 clubs UK, Germany and Switzerland organised. Working together was enjoyable and productive many emails and zoom calls later and with Clubs from Italy, Netherlands and Sweden joining we finally established the network sitting over a beer in Amsterdam, elected roles for the Network and agreed the formal organisation would be in Switzerland under Swiss law.
Following the formal creation of the Network over the last year there were a number of administrative tasks to complete including the formal documentation under Swiss legislation and opening a bank account, not easy when working across many countries and nationalities! this was finally completed in March 2020.
We were clear from the start the network would not incur the member clubs or individuals in any expenses and that we would seek sponsorship to cover costs of a website and newsletter. We would like to register our thanks to our sponsors with whom we would not have been able to do as much as we have done. Redline, Kumschick Sports Cars, Soft bits for Sevens, Scenic Car Tours.
The website was the first joint creation with the Lotus Caterham Seven Club Sweden creating our logo and the Lotus Owners Club Switzerland the website design. It is in the early stages of development however many areas have now started to be populated such as service points for cars, routes, etc.
The first monthly newsletter was in March 2020, with 3 or 4 articles a month from member clubs. We try to achieve a mix of features to appeal to all: touring, workshop, history and people. The list of individual subscribers is increasing each month and active readers have reached over 2,000.
A Facebook site was created and is a place where people can access our newsletter, the team have also posted the newsletter on all member club facebook accounts and those sites that are Seven and Lotus or Caterham related.
Most of the time of the team was designing and promoting International meetings and then having to cancel them due to the pandemic !. As it looks likely that travel restrictions will be in place throughout this sevening year we are now planning 2022. Who would have predicted that 2 years of international meetings would have been cancelled?. However, we are hopeful for 2022 with some events already being planned.
We were delighted to welcome four new clubs to the network, Caterham Car Club Germany, MK Owners Club, Lotus Drivers Club and Kent Sevens. We were saddened to receive the resignation of the Lotus 7 Club UK who felt the International 7 Network did not meet their own strategic aims.
The management team is elected every year to allow all member clubs to take an active part in the management of the network. It is important to us all that we represent our clubs fairly and equitably. All those on the team are able to stand for election for a second term although we actively seek to rotate some. The exception is the Chair who retires from that role annually however is permitted to take on another role.
At our annual AGM we agreed to revise the byelaws to allow for digital voting at meetings , honorary members as individuals elected by the AGM for exception service to the network, and an affiliated group membership for groups who have no formal constitution or structure as yet but act as a Club.
We were delighted to elect unanimously the management for this network year; Chair: Edward Westenberg ( Super Seven Club Netherlands), Treasurer: Colin Smith (Lotus Drivers Club UK), Secretary: Patrick Vogt (Lotus Seven Owners Switzerland, Auditors: Jan Tell ( Lotus Caterham Club Sweden and Dirk Zimmerschied (Lotus 7 Club Germany), Ian Bruce (Kent Sevens) social media.
Christine Abbott the retiring Chair thanked Florian Schlueter for his contribution and friendship to the network as he retired from the role as Treasurer to focus his energy into his political interests “I will always be a part of the network as Chair and member of Lotus 7 Club Germany and wish the team and the Network well for the future” Florian Schlueter Founding Treasurer
Both Patrick and Edward thanks Christine for her vision and energy she has given the network and welcomed her as an ambassador for the network.
“I am both honoured and delighted to have been the networks first Chair and of course will always be a great supporter of all the Clubs and groups of seveners in the network who exist to provide the best services they can for their members and followers, so they in turn get the most fun from their cars.”
by Christine Abbott, Founding Chair