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Sussex British Motorcycle Owners Club

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Lest we forget - Remembrance 2018 - 100 years On

Just a few pictures of this year's event.

Amberley Autumn Gathering 2018

This annual event is always popular and this year was no exception with 300+ entries which included cars, bikes and the obligatory stationary engines. Fortunately the previous day's inclement weather stayed away and we were blessed with a glorious day. The pictures below show Keith's (Hairy) Morris Minor Estate which he is renovating from the back towards the front with all of the woodwork having been replaced. Keith (The  younger) put in an appearance on his Matchless  and whilst not in the photographs Dave V's Triumph, Mick's Panther, Brian's Fanny B and my A10 represented the Club.

There was something for everybody and I am sure this particular event will go from strength to strength. 

Amberley's Classic Scooter Day 2018

At the invitation of the Museum we were asked to provide a few 'rockers'  to add a little authenticity to the scooter day  and a select few us took up the invitation on behalf of the Club to support local events. On arrival there seemed to be very few scooters but clearly they are either late risers or travel far very slowly so their numbers gradually increased to a more acceptable number. Include were several Bond three wheelers , a Morgan and a 'Bug" something to stir the memory, oh! and a Messerschmidt . I'm not too sure what a Porche Targa or several Minis had to do with things but there was an overall feeling that the day was less organised than usual with multiple vehicle movements not usually allowed.

However the public were there in good numbers and we 'rockers' had a very good day, so many thanks to Keith (The younger), Mick, Dave, Richard, Steve and late comer Gerry.

Brighton Burn Up 2018

Brighton Speed Trials  2018

I marshalled at the Brighton Speed Trials today and a good time was had by all. Well mostly . The yellow Lotus was pushed in and when the driver removed the air filter he found this section of round steel . Yes it is whatyou think, a valve stem and when we looked into the carb: you could see the
valve head in the inlet port. Before you ask , no he didn`t race again today.

A fairly new club member, who I only know as John Langridge, was there racing his NortonAtlas which now is wearing our club sticker .There was also a number of really tasty items there including the home madeRolls Royce fitted with a mk3 Merlin and yes it sounded as good as it looked. John Taylor would have been happy as there was an Ariel there just a bit different than the usual type.

A car which interested me was the 1924 Vauxhall with number 37 on its side Just as it should be. 
John Grew

 PS Both Roy Robinson and Jim Tiller were performing well on the day.

Wings & Wheels – 25th -26th AUGUST.

The annual Wings & Wheels Air Show at Dunsfold Airfield is a spectacular event that this year celebrated 100 years of the RAF. Among the featured aircraft on display and flying this year were The Battle of Britain Memorial flight, a B17 Flying Fortress, Hawker Hurricane, MIG 15 Fighter from the Cold war, a Chinook, The Red Arrows and an assortment of Stunt & acrobatic displays.

For those who had made previous arrangement it was possible to try your pride and joy in a measured sprint down the Runway, before it was used for its intended purpose. As you’d expect the take up was great with everything from Lamborghinis, Ferraris to Ford Fiestas and Hot rods. Bikes were equally well represented, Suzuki hyiabusa, Yamaha F1 and even a Bantam and a Gold Star took to the tarmac with the expected results.

Fortunately on Saturday the weather was ideal for both riding and flying and those of us that made it that day were not disappointed with the full day’s activities. However you could not get two more different days and although most got to Dunsfold on Sunday in the dry, shortly afterwards the heavens opened …. and stayed open for the rest of the day ! This somewhat curtailing the planned events & Air Show, but there was still plenty to see & do, but made for a rather soggy ride home.


Our first trip to this show which previously seemed not to want motorcycles and a successful appearance on the Club's part it was. Well represented on both days our stand attracted a lot of attention with several Club cards handed out to interested parties. We had a good team to help Don with setting up the gazebo, flags, photos etc and a similarly good team to 'break out' at the end of the show. Was the weather could have been a little warmer the constant flow of tea, coffee and biscuits kept  us on our toes and the availability of  good food which included bubble & speak, fish & chips and pizza as well as the old favourites of burgers and hot dogs meant that nobody starved. There was no cost for individuals or the Club the profile of the latter being raised quire considerably., and we enjoyed the brass band and the ladies singing songs from the 1930s up to the 1960s.

In all a good couple of days which we hope to repeat in the future.

Photographs by Steve Smith


THE HOLE IN THE GROUND.......................AND MORE!

Once more John Grew came up with an interesting destination for rides spread over two weekend days that destination being the Sussex Police Training Establishment at Kingstanding.  This fifty acre site has had three distinctive ‘lives’ the first being a transmitter base, then a nuclear bunker and now a training base for Sussex Police. It has also been categorized as a SSSI, a Site of Special Scientific Interest  which relates mainly to the surrounding ten acres.

To accommodate the massive transmitter, imported from the USA, the hole had to be created and this was done by hand courtesy of solders stationed nearby, we are in wartime at this stage so plenty of manual labour conscripted. One of the photographs shows the size of the excavation and another the entrance and corridor down into the ‘belly’ of building. With a plethora of aerials topside the site was high enough to broadcast to Germany with a view to interfering with normal life in that country. 

In the cold war period the building was converted into a massive nuclear shelter with air management systems and facilities to enable the occupants to live comfortably for up to three months. There is just one very small window some four inches thick from which the occupants could look out to what if any carnage may have ensued. The machinery for managing the bunker is enormous and still in working order and the premise are now use to store old operational notes from Police cases. The air management system  keeps all of the documents in good order and with accusations of historic issues these papers have to be available.

Now up to date the facility is used by Sussex Police for all manner of training both classroom based and externally with the site designed to enable just about every scenario to be created. The variety of buildings is wide and varied but strangely includes a grade 2 lister art deco building which house classrooms which cover all manner of issues including the use of protective gear. A very relevant matter following the Salisbury incidents.

If you can think of any incident where the police are required to intervene then it can be replicated in this facility. Just a few that come to mind are; an attack on an individual at an ATM, dealing with petrol bombs being thrown at you, crowd control, freeing some one chained to a fire engine, rescue from a burning vehicle etc etc. The Tazer training and the Firearms training  are not ignored and both have dedicated facilities.

Finally back indoors there are dedicated areas covering  forced door entry, doors opening inwards, outwards, up steps down steps, rooms used for searching for drugs, alcohol, cash etc. I apologize if by now you haven’t got a feel for the great experience of this visit and whilst I could ramble on I’ll leave it to others to add what I have missed or got incorrect.


Four members of the club visited the ' Care for Veteran' Nursing Home Summer Fayre last Saturday. As we had to have military bikes it did rather reduce the number of bikes assembled. Firstly, thanks to John, Roger, Tinker and myself for attending. We were parked right near the hot dog and cold beer tent so we did not grumble. We were also given a free' cake and tea' ticket. However, without a doubt the value of the visit was listening to all the veterans telling us their stories of WW2. There was Major Ted who was 98 and was a 'Beach Master' during DD day, later on in life he was the Queens Royal Bargemaster and he had the photos to support his story.  He was with his sister who was 102, yes 102, and both were sharp as a button, she is the countries oldest surviving Navy WREN, what a couple - what a story they could tell. There was a bagpipe and drum band and Worthing Borough Mayor, with his rather loud Town Cryer.  A good afternoon, good weather and great company. Must go again next year.   Keith Crowley


With some members at Wiston for the weekend it was down to one or two to support this local event. Gary very kindly brought his gazebo so we could sit in the shade when we wished. As always the public were interested in the bikes with Gary's 'monster' machine getting as much attention as Gerry's DKW. The ice creams were good as was the F1 on the large screen.....well it made a change from the World Cup!

Pictures courtesy of Steve.


At the request of relatives we went up to Horley to meet with Ron who was celebrating his 100th birthday at the rest home when he presently resides. We were made very welcome with coffee and biscuits whilst Ron was 'prepared' for visitors. When he was brought don to see us he was in a terrible mood as his carer had given him a shower....clearly not his favourite event. He came outside in his wheelchair to see the bikes and although his shouts processes were a little slow he remember that he had a Triumph but not which model. At 100 years old he could have ridden from the late thirties  until? so plenty of models to consider.

Ron was 'up together' and sported more hair than some Club members but he clearly struggled in the density department. To make him smile you only had to mention the ladies that look after him and the pictures might give you a clue as to why. We have booked a return visit next year!


Whilst I have only limited knowledge of this gathering I am reliably informed that Gerry got 'Best in Class' with his rotary engined DKW and Richard the 'Landlords Trophy' for the best overall. Photograph evidence to follow;


Get up at 5 o'clock on the road at 6 and arrive at Kempton in good time to set up the stand and prepare for the onslaught of the public which never happens because they go around the auto jumble first!  We have a good selection of classic machines which included the following;

Dave Tickner's 1948 BSA A10 resplendent in Candy red

Trevor Dawkins 1960 Triumph Tiger 110 restored by its owner and presented in black & white (or cream)

Don Tandy's 1938 350cc Ariel Red Hunter in original condition

Bob Jenkins ever so shiny BSA A10 Street Scrambler.

Richard Bennett's lightweight Norton Navigator in stripped down trim.

Mick Gant's military B40 hot from the Friday run

As always we get a good few enquiries, memories and questions from the punters and it shows the Club in good light, especially when we know the answers! Our stand was a bit more impressive than usual but not good enough to win a rosette, although as winning bikes include a racing MV Augusta and a Moto Rumi scooter we clearly have to up our game?

The pictures below include Richard and Mick waiting to start up their machines as requested by the organisers. Thanks as always to those who made the effort to support us.


As appears to be the case this year the numbers of machines being shown was down but the public numbers were very much on the up. Although the Club was not formally represented and I was continually asked why not, there were  many from the Club present . Rather than pictures of the usual suspects I thought the following machines were of interest and maybe? you might be able to identify the riders?

Pete B's latest acquisition, rebuilt motor and currently being run in.                                       Keith (Hairy)'s Norman Nippy still performing more than adequately.


Slim pickings for Club members showing bikes at this early Show a shame really because it was a pleasant ride up to and back from the West of England Showground.

However Patrick and Nick turned out whilst Brian joined his colleagues at the Francis Barnet stand and Keith (the younger) had his machine on the Jampot resplendent class winning stand.

Apologies to Nick as his Triumph is hidden behind the Beezer.


This annual event has been a long standing fixture on the motorcycling calendar but this year's event was under threat until the last minute due entirely to the inclement weather condition. Whilst the event did eventually go ahead competitors signed on at the usual starting place at Epsom but then trailered their machines to Pease pottage for the run down to Brighton. Numbers were inevitably down on previous years and starting these old machines in the Pease Pottage carpark surrounded by lorries and other vehicles brought its own problems. The roads were snow free and well salted making the ride somewhat soggy but enabling the riders to complete their journey without major mishap.


As a result of the recent inclement weather Geoff (Baker) decided to while away his time composing quiz questions. Now this no mean feat when you remind yourself of the target audience you are seeking to entertain. So no technical questions on motorcycles and a complete absence of anything even vaguely referring to sport. Let's see so that leaves general knowledge, history, geography, TV, music and films.....and Geoff covered the lot and more. All though there were several highly intelligent ladies present the questions were pitched somewhat lower so that no males were embarrassed. With spot prizes, an individual's round with money on offer the competition was highly charged with Alan (T) and Mick (G) being financially rewarded for their efforts. The Tickner clan's raffle efforts were well supported with a range of quality prizes to be won.

However the stars of the show and the overall winners were Trevor's Terrors (I'm not sure that was their real team title...sorry) and  as you can see below they revelled in their success
A very respectable turnout for this years Remembrance Run with attendees gathering once again at the Castle in Bramber for a cup of coffee before taking the two minutes silence at 11.00. Keith Fryer took on the role of Master of Ceremonies and ensured that the usual procedure continued to be carried as in previous years. A great variety of machinery and with no rain forecast even some of the Harleys were out.  Different route down to Shoreham Airport this year where we attend the short service in the bitterly cold wind. A rapid departure was the order of the day as folk headed off to warmer destinations.

John Grew kindly provided the pictures a selection of which are below.


The 40th running of the Autumn Historic Transport Gathering was very well supported with a total of 294 exhibitors entered in the programme and as the weather promised no precipitation I believe most turned up on the day. No free cups of tea/coffee this year, times are hard, but most of the various workshops workshops were up and running so plenty to see. With the bulk of the entry being cars there was a tremendous variety and some superbly restored examples from Austin Seven to Rolls Royce and just about everything in between.

If you kept your eyes open you could find a smattering of Club members around and below I hope you will find pictures of most of their machines, you can always try to match up bikes to members as it shouldn’t be too difficult.


The 33rd Ace Café Brighton Burn-up was held 10th September 2017, Madeira Drive, Brighton, and this year there was a far stronger turnout of OC clubs and manufacturers. It was a surprisingly cold start at 8c on the day when trying to get there by 8.00am to set up, and thanks again to DonT for bringing in the gazebo, banners etc for the day and 2 of his Bantams for the stand in his van. Thanks also to everyone else who rode their bikes in for the display and to others who supported the event by visiting during the day. The biker turnout for the show was clearly down on prior years because of the threat of rain, but nonetheless it is reported that a respectable 25,000+ bikers parked up or passed though the event on the day. We only in fact had a light shower, but the wind got up a fair bit in the afternoon and many a display stand and gazebo needed extra lashings to keep from flying down the Drive and away across the Channel.

Biker Bear reporting


Once again those Club stalwarts Don, Bob and Bernie do it again with the SBMOC set up the only motorcycle stand in the Show and looking as professional as any other exhibitor. Tea, coffee, cakes and sweets provided by the above folk ensured those exhibiting could enjoy a cuppa after their journey and before taking in all there was to see. Although the Club had a wide variety of bikes (not just Triumphs) the machines that get the most attention seem to be the smallest, in this case the Raleigh Wisp, Corgi and a variety of Bantams. The Club static display provoked plenty of questions from the spectators and cameras and 'phones were much in evidence and it was good to see Roy Robinson still thundering up the runway on his Egli Vincent. The sight of Des Lindsey on his Formula 1 Yahama outfit must have brought back memories for George after his trip around the Goodwood circuit on that outfit.

I must admit I had feared that there might be drop in the flying display after the Shoreham tragedy but that proved not to be the case, from Pitts special to the Red Arrows the display was comprehensive with the Typhoon setting deaf aids whistling and car alarms into action. Far too much more to cover in a short report but please put this show in your diary for 2018 as it is £15 very well spent.


AJS & Matchless take the 2017 IWKR by storm……..well almost

A Report from Keith (the Younger) on The 33rd International West Kent Rally 4th to 6th August 2017, The Friars, Aylesford, Kent

This is an annual VMCC event held at The Friars in Aylesford, a beautiful commercially functioning Priory founded in 1242 or 1251 depending on which official sign you found. There were a lot of people and in vans but I chose to stay in the Friar accommodation which was likely similarly built 13thC and comprised a bed, a wash basin and, fortunately, a power socket for the mobile. The other facilities were out, down and across a courtyard. Not so good after a few beers in the evening.

362 bikes were registered for the rally proper on the Saturday. The oldest was a 1897 Leon Bollee Voiturette 620cc and the youngest a 1991 Ural IMZ 650cc. Only bikes registered and ridden in the actual rally were eligible for awards which makes a change from bikes with unworn pimples on their tyres. Mine was in the 1960 class and ridden 90 miles to the event. Eventers started to arrive Thursday afternoon and there was a social ride that evening but after all those miles to get there the local bitter and lamb shanks for me was more appealing. On the Friday there was a full 2nd man drop-off run for lunch and back of maybe 50 or so miles involving probably 250 machines. Weather was good. The Saturday was the rally proper with most if not all registered bikes on a sign posted route with some marshalling at the more potentially hazardous junctions over either a short (70 miles) or long (100 miles) route but without notice the local council decided to dig up some of the roads which reduced the long route to 95 miles except for those riders needing Specsavers who missed a turn or two and made up the difference retracing the route. A couple of heavy downpours but cleared up nicely in the afternoon. Sunday was a full display show, club stands, auto-jumble with many familiar faces and a bike gymkhana and the day was scorching hot such is the fickle British weather. In addition to the 700 or so riders and support teams/families, on the day an estimated 2,000-2,500 further day bikers and 4 wheelers arrived and 5,000 or so more people came through the gate and all proceeds of day going to the ‘Headway’ West Kent charity. Returning now to the title of this piece. Of the 362 registered rally bikes 12% of the total were of the AJS & Matchless marque and which took 30% of the total show bike awards. The best club stand went to the historic sushi bikers OC.

A damn good weekend. A damn good show and event. Well done to VMCC.

Keith (The Younger)



The sixth year since this revived Show restarted and at last the sun shone which brought out the public in good numbers. As alway our Club members and those of the Bantam Club made up most of the two wheeled attendees. Every one of our bikes was ridden in and support levels were most acceptable with Mick's big Indian the star attraction on the days. Plenty of vehicles to look at, a pretty decent band and the the joys of Formula 1 on the big screen. Lots of interest in our bikes although most just wanted to rake pictures.

Thanks to the team who erected the gazebo and to the team who took it down. As the last to leave I had a little trouble starting the A10 before finding that turning the petrol on cured the problem.


The inaugural Bikefest South event proved to be a success with an attendance of 7500 and blessed with decent weather. The Club was well represented by thirteen classic machines and their riders, the machines going from a 98cc two stroke the the larger four stroke twins all of which provoked a good level of interest. Steve (he of hog roast fame) very kindly provided breakfast and lunch for our exhibitors free of charge. Dave, Bernie and Don took advantage of a spin on an electric scooter whilst other preferred to remain at our display which was situated next to Motogirl who were selling decent quality wear for the ladies with a lot of trying on and looking at themselves in the large mirror. It was far from perfect as a show with a limited amount of attractions but as a first attempt it was fine and it is to be hoped that it will continue next year.

PS Dave got into trouble riding the scooter in shorts!


For the Classic Bike Show we had a stand and were permitted just five bikes, so we decided to be a little different by basing our stand on 'specials',

We had Mick's Norton Dominator on the basis that just about all Tritons use the Norton featherbed frame similar to that on the Dommie. Steve brought his Morgo 800cc Triton and the ex Trevor Triton and Trevor brought his latest project in 'almost complete' condition. The line up was then complimented by Bob's Street Scrambler A10 and he brought his professional cleaning equipment so that our display was nice and shiny.

Don brought all the essentials for the stand, kettle, tea bags, coffee milk and enough cups to ensure none had to be washed up and of course the Club flags. We didn't win any prizes either for our stand which this year boasted technology in the form of a monitor showing Club bikes, members and exploits or for our excellent machines. However we had the happiest stand in the show! 

A really nice line up of bikes, sorry about the array of old fa... in the background, whilst Sean still free from the clutches of Mr Nasty looks on.


Richard's winter time project of Bantam + sidecar + trailer made its' first appearance and created a lot of interest.

Pete provides the smile and Malc the hair and several chins.                              Keith introduces his family to the joys of motorcycling.

Don't worry we've got the Japs surrounded.                                                                             New member Mike Penny's very tidy Barracudor.

Pete and Dud (where have I heard that before?) compare Talisman notes.       Roy puts on his happy face or is it painful sitting in that position?


I was rather hoping we might see a little more support for this event in 2017.  Just four members providing bikes for the display with Steve very kindly lugging the flags up to the show and providing two bikes, Brian had his Francis Barnett Cruiser, Roy his immaculate Bantam and Patrick his newly rebuilt BSA B50. The occasion was used to distribute the last of the Engineerium flyers and provided an opportunity to explain to those who were interested what was available this year. The day went all too quickly with just about enough time to get around the various stalls and the car park which always has an interesting range of bikes. Dave Degens tested a few deaf aids when firing up his Matchless G45 which brought back a few memories of past racing.

We didn't manage to gain any awards so borrowed one from the 'Jampot' club whose face you might recognise and who cunningly covered his 'Jampot' badge. A few minutes assisting Steve with packing up and then off to enjoy a pleasant ride home in the sun, Patrick, known for his generosity left some oil for others to share.