1923 Packman and Poppe Anyone?

This week, I had a phone call from a gentleman in Corfe Mullen who has just joined the VMCC a few days ago!

During our phone conversation, he explained that he is really a vintage car man (Bullnose Morris) but has recently bought a 1923 Packman and Poppe motorcycle that was extensively modified 50+ years ago by  the “famous” Mr. Edward Heward who used it for grass tracking in the Petersfield M/C club.  The current owner’s dilemma is either to 1) leave it as modified or 2) restore it to original.

As I knew absolutely nothing about Packman and Poppe motorcycles, I did a little research and offered to pay him a visit today, which he gladly accepted.  It was certainly a lot better than I was expecting but there are many alterations including: the fitting of an OHV Blackburn engine which resulted in frame and engine plate alterations and lose of correct tank, movement of saddle and its mountings, additional frame tubes for added strength, hand-change conversion to foot-change and various other things.

Packman and Poppe rear wheel bearings are quite unique…in that they are set in the frame rather the hub. The rear hub is also a QD one that leaves the brake drum and rear chain in place.  The company only existed between 1923 and 1930 and it is difficult to find any information about them.  Because the frame has been altered somewhat, we’re not even sure what model this started life as, but it’s probably an L2 or L3.  No sign of any frame number to help us.

But the biggest surprise of all was that it is running…and sounded great:

Over tea, we discussed the pros and cons of either leaving it like it is, or restoring to original.  Due to the number of alterations already carried out coupled with the rarity of the bike (only 5 known to survive), the latter would be quite a challenge as an engine would need to be found, tank made, frame altered etc.  The former would be attractive if the grasstacker was indeed as famous as thought, but I’ve not found any reference to him anywhere, so who knows.

If anyone is interested in this bike, the owner is quite open to offers – cash or swop.  On reflection, he wishes he had bought an unrestored model from a more common maker (i.e. BSA, Ariel, Norton, Rudge etc) from the 1920’s; preferably one with acetylene lighting.  Also, if anyone knows of another owner of these bikes or has more information on them, please do let me know.

After a couple of hours, I left him with our 2018 Programme Card, my contact details if he wants to come and see some rusty Ariels (he does!), and a promise I’d post something similar on the VMCC Forum.

38th Carole Nash Bristol Classic MotorCycle Show 2018

Some of us have been at this Show for the last three days.  It’s been tiring at times but I thoroughly enjoyed it.  A chance to meet friends, old and new, put faces to names and generally natter about old bikes while drinking much coffee and tea.

As usually, the various club stands were outstanding and I’m always amazed at just how many different motorcycle clubs are out there.

I’d like to personally thank Linda & Ray Dickinson, Chris Smith, Mike Ward and Paul Miles as these individuals surely spent the most time setting up and manning our VMCC Dorset Section stand at the show.

Oh, and Linda won an award!

Setting Up on Friday afternoon:

Saturday and Sunday:

A fairly random selection of bikes based on anything that caught my eye.

Dismantling Sunday afternoon:

Talmag Trophy Trial 2018

Report and photos by Ray Dickinson:

Last Sunday, four members of the Dorset Section made their annual trip to Hungry Hill, Aldershot to watch the Talmag Trophy Trial for four stroke pre-65 bikes and sidecars.  As you would expect there are the usual Tiger Cubs, C15, Triumph twins, BSA, Ariel and AJS singles, but how about a Levis girder fork, Ariel Colt, Triumph TRW, Ducati SMS, Douglas Comp, Vincent Comet, Panther or a MV Augusta 125.  The event is free to watch and you are made most welcome.

Christmas Run and Dinner 2017 at Leigh Village Hall

After 28 years of organising the annual Christmas Run and Dinner, Rod and Carol Hann, and their helpers, held their last one yesterday at the Leigh Village Hall.

I’m sure there are many members in the Dorset Section who would like to thank them for their hard work and dedication.

A few photos taken by Ken Druce (click to enlarge):

Video and Pictures from the Winter Run 19th November 2017

Great ride today, 37 bikes were counted at the start at the Orchard Park Garden Centre, Gillingham, with a fine mix of machinery on show. The weather was ideal for a ride- crisp and cold on drying roads, although the bikes did look a tad muddy by the end. Thanks to everyone who came, thanks to Ray Dickinson for organising it and hopefully see some new faces next time.


Video and Pictures from the Autumn Run 2017

What a fab day!  The weather forecast suggested it would be dry but it turned out very sunny and unusually warm, so much so, that once we arrived at the coffee stop at Henstridge Golf and Leisure, some of us ( including me) decided to chill out here for a couple of hours with a drink or two and some lunch….perfect!

Pictures from the 50th Anniversary Dinner

Apologies for the late write-up of this post for an event that took place nearly three weeks ago, but I’ve been busy tracking down other members who also snapped away with their cameras…

The event in question is, of course, the VMCC Dorset Section’s 50th Anniversary Dinner held at the Henstridge Golf and Leisure Club on 13th September 2017.

With a turnout of over 93, coupled with an auction, raffle and an excellent buffet, a great evening was had by all. The auction raised £125 for Marie Curie and the toast to Ted Foote, our president who passed away earlier this year, was paid for by his wife Vivian who was unfortunately unable to attend but has sent us a card with her best wishes. In addition, the event was attended by Sam Cox who was one of the original members who started the VMCC Dorset Section 50 years ago and has only just stopped riding.

The event would not have been possible without the behind-the-scenes dedication and hard work of various members. In particular, many thanks to:

  • Ray and Linda Dickinson plus other Committee members
  • Phil Allen as Auctioneer
  • Ken Druce for taking a day off work to help set up
  • Rod Hann and Peter Miller for donating raffle prizes
  • Peter Batton for donating magazines for the auction
  • The catering staff (we don’t know your name!) for providing some truly excellent food
  • Finally, those other unknown helpers that I’ve missed out.

And so to the photos…

Photos by Jonathon Hill:

Photos by Paul Wirdnam:

Videos from the Last of the Summer Wine Run 17th September 2017

No photographs of this run, just videos!

The weather forecast was good, so a respectable number of bikes assembled at Hinton St Mary Village Hall ready for the off at 11:00am:

The sun even appeared at one stage. The route towards our lunch stop at The Hinton Arms took us along the beautiful Blandford Road near Kingston Lacey with its avenues of lime trees. Apologies for the camera shake; I was trying a new handlebar mount for the Drift camera but I’ll go back to using the helmet mount next time — I guess my ’48 Ariel Twin is not as smooth as I’d hoped:

Ken Druce was having problems with his Sunbeam Model 9 even before we got to the start.  During the 60 mile run, it seemed fine but then played up again for the last mile!  Sadly, it ended being trailered home, despite some final desperate tinkering at the end of the run (here):

Many thanks to Bob Hoare for organising another very enjoyable event.

Pictures from the Border Run 2017

To quote from Paul Miles’s FB Report:

The border run was extremely well attended earlier today, with a great variety of bikes on parade. Here in the Dorset section we laugh at the drop off system, preferring to riff our way round the planned route. Invariably, this results in lots of bikes veering off at all angles like two wheeled rabbits, great fun.

Photos from Paul Wirdnam:

Photos from Paul Miles:

Photos from Ray Dickinson:

Pictures from the VMCC Founder’s Day 2017

Always a favourite event in my calendar, the annual VMCC Founder’s Day at Stanford Hall in Leicestershire, and this year was no exception. A few patches of rain but nothing to stop everyone enjoying the great autojumble, static displays and arena shows…and the Hall does a very nice cup of tea and cake.

The George Formby lookalike riding the black-and-white chequed Triumph was most amusing.  His name is Graeme Hardy and he has an interesting story here —> www.georgeformbymotorbike.com


In no particular order, a load of snaps: