RIP Jan Hawkins

It is with great sadness that we write of the loss of our dear friend and fellow volunteer; Janet Hawkins who died last Tuesday.

Jan lived her life for others with huge integrity and brilliant love and kindness. One of the great indications of this was in the many decades of support that she offered up to the Imps. If you need an example of how an ordinary person develops into the extraordinary you need to look no further than she.  Jan possessed some of the greatest of all human attributes; compassion, authenticity, integrity and unfailing wit but the greatest of all was in the loving support that she shared with others so instinctively and without need for recognition. Altruism is a word we only use sparingly, as acts of selfless love; of giving to others without accolade is highly unusual. Jan nonetheless embodied this principle, keeping under the radar whilst caring for our children tirelessly, listening to each and every small voice, always working in the background, even in the night, and quietly going about making sure that the children felt safe and well.

She championed and remains one of the best teachers we have ever had for learning, which needs to be done to preserve the positive spirit and high morale of the team. We shall all remember her as a dear friend and devoted family woman whose great sense of love extended to us all in the team.  She was a huge part of the Imps’ history and made everything in our mission statement tangible.

Jan will be sorely missed.

Imps given Queen’s award for Voluntary Services

We are delighted to announce that in our fiftieth year we have been given The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services. This is a major accolade for everyone who has given so much for this charity over the last fifty years, not least it’s founder Roy Pratt MBE and Brian Stewart. Their dedication, leadership, and hard work has made it possible to positively impact the lives of more than 2,500 underprivileged children from the East End of London, during this time. Thank you to all members of the Imps family, past and present; including Hackey Adventure Holiday Project Watch Leaders and Councillors, all staff and chaperones, and all of the children through the ages.

Jamie and Madelein Waller commit £100K

Former Imp and entrepreneur Jamie Waller and his wife Madeleine have begun a charity foundation which has committed to support The Imps to the tune of £20,000.00 a year for five years. Jamie handed a cheque to the team at this year’s dress rehearsal show at Newham in May.

Basel 2015 – The Greatest Imps Tour

Basel Tattoo celebrated it’s tenth anniversary and is now in the top three Tattoos of the world. The ‘IMPS’ had the honour to appear as a Headline act in the Tattoo, the first time a motorcycle display team has ever participated. This tour proved to be one of the greatest in Imps history.

Every night the cast received a standing ovation for a show to be remembered. The ‘IMPS’ took pride of place in the finale by being up front ahead of the entire parade. Their performances were inspiring and were supported by all the other acts in the show, including the Household Cavalry Mounted Band and the Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, who provided live backing music for the  ‘Imps’ display.

The team received outstanding support from the community of Basel, working together with the Basel Police and supported with safety by the Basel Fire Brigade. Both the Police and the Fire Brigade invited the team to their Headquarters for an in depth visit. ‘Erbacher’ Fat Attack Custom bikes builder invited older team members to their workshops for an insight into the wonderful world of Custom Bikes. Our thanks go to Urs Erbacher, the CEO for a great visit.

The river Rhein became a favourite swimming venue in the extremely hot and humid weather that prevailed throughout. The team were able to give of their best due to the outstanding support provided by the staff and volunteers of the Tattoo who were so kind to our kids. It was just unbelievable. The community of Basel also got behind the team and gave fantastic support and encouragement. Filmed by Swiss and German Television, we also welcomed a visit from a British Motorcycle News. The full story appears in this weeks issue of MCN.

The Imps made many new friends and renewed old acquaintances. Basel will live for a very long time in the memories of the ‘Imps’ whose priviledge it was to be in the cast of this outstanding International event.

Thanks go to all who made this trip possible including drivers, chaperones, parents and of course, The Imps themselves.

Roy Pratt MBE who founded The Imps has been Team Director for more than forty years.

The Imps started 42 years ago.

The Imps started 42 years ago. Roy Pratt MBE started a group called the Hackney Adventure Project, which aimed to take disadvantaged children from East London on adventure holidays at weekends and during school holidays. The children found a motorcycle and Roy tasked them with getting it to work. The Imps was then born and the project became a motorcycle display team.

42 years on and the Imps has played a vital role in thousands of children’s lives. The Imps unfortunately recently lost their life long sponsor, Honda UK. The Imps now need your help.

We aim to raise enough funds to purchase a fleet of new motorcycles. With your help we can go on for three more years while our Volunteers work hard to find us a new sponsor.Be part of the team thst will ensure that the Imps is here for another 42 and please donate today. 

The Imps is a registered charity.

In return for your help we will list you as an Imp sponsor on our web page https://www.impsonline.com. We will also send you a list of our forthcoming performances so that you can meet the children that you have directly helped. Please also see the “rewards” part of this page for additional rewards inc.Global Brand Exposure for as litle as £5k.  

Please help a local UK charity that will see 100% of the benefits within days of you giving.

R.I.P Bill Everett

‘Bill Everett’ former Commentator to the Imps Motorcycle Team passed away in his sleep in Asprey House Nursing Home following a recent stay in Whipps Cross Hospital. Bill was a much loved character, full of fun and will be much missed by the Imps and all who knew him around the world. The details of his funeral are as follows:

Thursday 5th. March 2015 14:00 Hrs

Service in the Chapel at Hoddesdon Cemetery, 135 Ware Road, Hoddesdon Herts EN11 9AE

The wake will be held at a favourite location of Bill’s:
The Fish and Eels, Dobbs Weir Road, Hoddesdon EN11 0AY

Bill asked that on his passing instead of flowers donations to:
Tower Hamlets Mencap and should be sent ℅ Powells Funeral Directors, 79, Buford Street, Hoddesdon EN11 8HX

All are welcome to attend to celebrate the life of this great character.

The Imps

Three successful companies join forces to support the Imps

JBW, Causeway and Silver-worldwide have all worked together to support the Imps by the provision of a replacement coach that the Imps use to travel to their many annual events in the UK and Europe. All three companies are long standing supporters of the team and with their encouragement, guidance and support much has been achieved. Alongside them are a number of other companies the latest of which is London City Airport.

Check out the Imps itinerary on this site and come along to see a performance and see what these companies are doing to support youth, all citizens of the future. the Imps thank all our sponsors.

An inspiring story about the Imps

A truly inspiring story about the Imps

Rob Andrews was one of Britain’s most well-known and successful motocross riders of the 1980s. Racing for the factory Kawasaki team Rob raced all around the world, competed for Great Britain at the 1985 Motocross des Nations event in Germany, and in 1986 finished in 9th place in the World 500cc Motocross Championship.

Rob’s motocross career is chronicled on his web site www.robandrewsmx.com

We were recently contacted out of the blue by Rob, who explained the remarkable circumstances in which he came be interested in motorcycles and which set him off on the path to his notable achievements in motocross racing.  His fascinating story, of which the Imps played a pivotal, if purely accidental and unwitting role, follows:

To continue reading this story, please download the PDF

IMPS Travel the world, would you like to help them?

The IMPS are still seeking to strengthen their voluntary staff with Youth Leaders, Chaperones and administrators, training will be provided where necessary. Can you spend a few hours a week, a day or two a month, if so and you would like to be part of one of the flagship youth organisations of the UK please contact us for an informal discussion of how you may help. We are a unique group both our activity and method of operation is necessarily a one off but all the usual protective issues apply, we value our young people. Those helping will need to allow us to apply for a CRB clearance for you and to convince us you are suitable to work with children.

Many roles are available at the Imps so if you have a little time to spare or need to develop an interest contact us, there are a number of vital roles including for those of you who may have retired and require an interest, don’t mope around being bored you could be fulfilling a vital role with the Imps.If interested or would like to learn more either email us at roy@impsonline.com or call Roy on 07774 642217 we are waiting to hear from you, believe you me if you come aboard you will never be bored again………

IMPS RECRUITS START RIDER TRAINING…..

Following a briefing for parents and children new recruits to the Imps attended a one day induction course at London Youth’s outdoor centre, Hindleap Warren in East Sussex,  those who successfully passed through this experience commenced their rider training at the Team’s Headquarters in East London on Saturday the 12th. October 2013. First they had to be kitted out with safety riding gear and then introduced to their instructors, this was followed by instruction in basic motorcycle parts and how to handle a motorcycle without the engine running. Having learned how to stop and then to go and recover a fallen bike [and rider] training commenced. By the end of the day all recruits were able to pull away, balance at slow speeds, change gear and negotiate a simple obstacle course.

By the end of their first training day all riders had completed their first four and a half hours riding and by the looks on their face had both gained confidence in their own ability and were happy, they cannot wait for their next day’s training and that will be next week. Their next session will cover in more depth braking tecniques , cornering and smooth gear changing etc. At the end of the month they will attend a five day residential course in riding and more advanced balancing practice.

We all wish them well and will follow their progress with interest, keep an eye on the news and we will report just how they progress through their training until they commence training with the main team to learn about formation and trick riding.