Come and meet our new VMCC President, Alastair Alexander. This is an informal visit, there is no formal talk, but rather an opportunity for Alastair to meet members from the South West Sections and for us to meet him.
“I am really looking forward to my visit to your area. In August I will be nearly six months into my term as your President and meetings like yours are a great chance for members to give me feedback on our efforts to improve the Club.”
The Dorset Section will be hosting the event as we probably have the most suitable venue at Henstridge Golf and Leisure and we hope to have many members attending from the surrounding Sections.
My friend Dave Roberts has been running this event for the last 6 years and l have always helped out rain or shine.
The event is to raise money for Dorset County Hospital Cancer Appeal and Dorset Air Ambulance both good Charites which some can relate to.
Last year Dorset Section had a run and we finished at this Charity event in Hazelbury Bryan and this year Dave was hoping a few Vintage bikes would turn up for the visitors to see, so if anyone is not doing anything on Sunday how about meeting up there.
There is around 90 classic cars booked in, a few bikes, a traction engine, a band, more importantly food and drink.
Did anyone else go this weekend? On the Saturday, I had all sorts of family chores to attend to so missed out on both the Kempton Park and Beaulieu autojumbles 🙁 . But by 11am on Sunday morning, I’d had enough and decided to pop down to Shillingstone for an hour …
Well, the hour turned into three. The turnout this year seemed better than last year; maybe that was due to the excellent weather or maybe people needed to get out after Royal Wedding overload the previous day.
Very good selection of bikes…and do I spy the Dorset Section President in the background of the first few photos? Seems like this rally would be a good place for the Dorset Section to have a stand…
And the usual selection of cars, tractors, steam engines, lorries, military vehicles, automobilia…and parrots.
First of all, a big thank you to all those volunteers who helped to set-up and man our own Checkpoint throughout the day at Henstridge Golf and Leisure: Chris Smith, Marie McGladdery, Rachel Gray, Grace and Peter Batton, Sue Allen, Philippa Wirdnam and Ann Wells.
As there was no organised route, I can only write about the experiences of our small group of five: Phil Allen, Kevin Eddols, Dave Bramley, Ken Druce and myself. We assembled at Henstridge at 9am to help set-up and decided that from there we would travel up to the Somerset Section Checkpoint at Burecott Mill, near Wells. Then travel across country to the Stonehenge Section Checkpoint at Old Sarum Airfield, near Salisbury and finally down to the Wessex V&V Checkpoint at the Shillingstone Railway Trust.
Dorset Section Checkpoint
Somerset Section Checkpoint
Back at Henstridge, Ken had casually mentioned his clutch was slipping slightly, probably as a result of over filling his gearbox the day before. Anyway, we set off with me leading for this section of the route, and it certainly didn’t seem to affect him on our journey up to Wells where we checked-in and partook in some tea and Somerset Apple Cake, which, by the way, is nowhere near as good as Dorset Apple Cake.
But things were clearly not right with his Sunbeam. Some roadside adjustments were needed, so let’s drain that excess primary chaincase oil into an old cottage pie tray (still with some pie in it 🙂 ).
Stonehenge Section Checkpoint
After leaving Wells, things only got worse for Ken’s poor Sunbeam and a few miles west of Frome, we stopped on the A361 to take stock. It quickly became apparent that his clutch corks had burnt out and no amount of adjusting the clutch springs made any difference. A local farmer kindly took the poorly Sunbeam in and we continued on our way with Ken hitching a lift with Kevin. The Sunbeam was recovered later that evening with car and trailer.
Kevin led the way on the first part of this route, but once past Warminster, Dave took over and led us along a fabulous route from Longbridge Deverill to Old Sarum via Sutton Veny, Tytherington, Byton, Sherrington, Stockton, Wylye and Wilton.
It was very hot at Old Sarum, so ice creams all round!
Wessex V&V Section Checkpoint
Having rested at Old Sarum, time was matching on, so a fast run from Old Sarum to Shillingstone Railway Trust to check-in at the Wessex V&V Section before they closed at 4pm. Got there just in time and even found time for more refreshment in the platform Café.
Some familiar faces here: Peter Miller on his Humber with those magnificent headlamp “wings”, and Ian Clarke and Bette Barber packing their stand up into the Morgan:
Despite the Sunbeam breakdown, our small group had a great time and covered about 130 miles between the hours of 9:00am and 4:30pm, so quite a long day and I’m glad I had Bank Holiday Monday to recover.
On our own Checkpoint, we had:
17 Riders Signing-On (Henstridge was their first Checkpoint)
33 Riders visiting (Signed on at a previous Checkpoint)