The History of Bruce Meyers and the birth of the Beach Buggy is very well documented across the internet and has been the inspiration for a phenomenon of Beach Buggy Culture that is just as much alive today as it was back when Bruce built himself a new toy. Nothing more I can really add that has not already been written about this.
Here in the UK, we have always had a very healthy VW following, and as you would have expected there are now many Local Clubs and Associations up and down the Country as a result. But whilst local meets and gatherings are immense fun, if you have not joined that particular Club, paid the Membership fees and received their Newsletters, then chances are that you have no idea what the Local Clubs are up to, what events they are holding and most importantly, what you may be missing out on.
When I arrived to the Buggy scene in 2010, there were two very prominent Beach Buggy Clubs in the UK. The Midlands Buggy Club (MBC) and the Southern Dune Buggy Club (SDBC) but my problem was that living down in the South West, any Club night would have meant a round trip in excess of 400 miles and for that reason I couldn`t really justify any membership fees or Newsletters telling me about local events. Thankfully, there was also an Online Chat Site called BuggyClubUK.
Many moons ago, when the Internet really was in its infancy, a VW fanatic called Julian had a vision, and set up an online Chat Room where a few of his Buggy mates could get together, and hopefully generate some leads for his VW Parts Emporium Business. It was not long before this became a large online community with lots of people from all over the Country all joining in for the latest gossip. The problem with online chat rooms is that they need continuous policing and moderating, and this can take up huge resources which were simply not available as Julian, quite understandably, had to concentrate his efforts towards his business. The Chat Room had become the victim of its own success, and it was with a very heavy heart that in 2012, the site was unplugged. Whilst Bruce will be remembered for the Buggy itself, Julian will always be respected as one of the founders of the Online Buggy Community.
During a weekend Camping trip later that year with a few Buggy mates, as we sat around the campfire consoling ourselves with many beers, it became very obvious just how saddened everyone was that the old chat room had demised and all of our long distance buddies were now gone. When my drunken friends found out that I not only had access to a team of web developers, but there was a real possibility that it could be run by my own Company, it was put to me that I should seriously look into starting up something new in order to get everyone back together again. In my own drunken stupor I think I agreed, and everyone was then on my case to get it sorted.
And that really got me thinking . . . . . . .
Wouldn`t it be cool if all of the Beach Buggy, Baja Bug and Rail Owners from all of the Clubs around the UK, including the Midlands Buggy Club, The Southern Dune Buggy Club, The South West Buggy Club, and not forgetting an ever increasing number of International Enthusiasts from around the Globe, all used the same Online Forum to share their resources, chat and generally have a laugh?
The conceptual idea was to get all of the Clubs to join together as one big family, and to ensure that if you were the member of one Club, that you would automatically be accepted as a member of any other Club, and that you could travel around to any Club night, meet or gathering where you would be welcomed with open arms, instead of being handed a membership application form. There were some serious barriers to break down here, but it was also just as important for each Club to retain its own identity too so that they could look after their own Club nights and meets.
Countless hours on the phone followed to Hazel, representing the Midlands Buggy Club, Andy Robinson from the Southern Dune Buggy Club, and myself, Dave DND, now also representing the South West Buggy Club, and between the three of us, we set out the structure of what we believed would be the greatest resource the Buggy Community could have, all operating under a single umbrella name of BEACHBUGGY.INFO. This concept was put to the various Club Committees and everybody came back with some very positive replies. But rather than mess about with Membership Secretaries, Treasurers and the usual lack of Club funds to do anything, I proposed that it would be owned and operated by my own Company, DND Services Ltd. Although we would base it around a Commercial Site, it was important to me that Buggy Club Membership would be always be offered Free of Charge to everyone, and everything that followed would be funded by Corporate Sponsorship and Merchandising.
On the 21st February 2013, The Forum BEACHBUGGY.INFO went online and the rest, as they say, is History.
So now you know our story, if you are a Buggy Owner, Enthusiast, Fanatic or Wannabe,
Why not come and join us and say hello.