Lest we forget - Remembrance 2018 - 100 years On
Just a few pictures of this year's event.
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
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.
THE HOLE IN THE GROUND TRIPS JULY 2018
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.
MILITARY MACHINES VISIT THE VETERANS 2018
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
DRIVE THROUGH TIME WEST PARK BOGNOR
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.
100 YEAR OLD RON
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!
MOTORCYCLE WORKSHOP EVENT AT THE GRIBBLE INN
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;
KEMPTON PARK MAY 19TH 2018
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.
AMBERLEY CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE SHOW 6TH MAY 2018
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?
PIONEER RUN 2018
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.
AMBERLEY OCTOBER 2017
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.
BRIGHTON BURN-UP 10th SEPTEMBER 2017
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
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)
BIKEFEST SOUTH 2017
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!
KEMPTON PARK CLASSIC BIKE SHOW 20th MAY 2017
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.
AMBERLEY MOTORCYCLE SHOW 7th MAY 2017
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.
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?
ARDINGLY 2nd APRIL 2017
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.