Photos from the VMCC Banbury Run 2018

Rick Kinsey and Paul Miles heading off to the start.

It didn’t start well.  Phil Allen, Ken Druce and myself set off in dry weather at 5 a.m. from Shillingstone towing two Ariels.  By the time we joined the A34 at Andover, we were in heavy rain and the depression had set in with comments like “let’s leave the bikes on the trailer and just do the autojumble and museum“.   But the rain stopped just north of Oxford and by the time we got to Gaydon at 7:45 a.m., the roads were dry.

The Dorset and Wessex V&V Sections were both well represented. We saw Ian Clarke and Bette Barber on their autojumble stall, Rod Hann was in the bike parking area, as was Peter Bovenizer (#190) with his Harley. Paul Miles (#314) was there with his 1928 AJS, pigeon and Dorset flag. Ken (#383) and I (#382) were riding two Ariel Model F, one 1929 on loan from Peter Batton, and my 1930 example.  There were probably other members there that we failed to see…it was busy and crowded.

Apologies if there are too many photos of Ariels…I got carried away 🙂 .  And no breakdowns: Paul, Ken and I completed the Class C course together, approx 72 miles, with no bike-related issues, although Paul’s pigeon came a cropper.

Would I do Banbury again?  This was my sixth, it’s a lot of effort, it’s expensive, it’s a long, tiring day, and, frankly, it nicer riding around Dorset and Wiltshire, so definitely not next year.  Look out for a possible Dorset Section Girder Fork Run in the 2018 / 2019 Calendar of Events!

In the Autojumble:
In the Rider’s Bike Area:

Two short videos of Ken and me taken by Alan Skinner — thanks Alan!

Photos from the Camping Weekend 2018

Write up by Paul Miles. Photos by Paul Miles, Paul Wirdnam.  Many thanks to Chris Smith and others for organising this event…and, of course, to Sandy at Henstridge Golf and Leisure for that excellent English breakfast.


First ride of the Dorset Section camping weekend. Nice bikes, nicer people, what’s not to like?


Our second major run of the weekend, concluding the camping event. Fantastic turnout, including another Brough (with wings! , I’m so jealous), sat next to a MZ 250- only in Dorset section😉.
New route, really excellent, stopping for coffee at the Haynes Museum. One of the Ariels broke, my suggestion of putting a coat hanger in the hole didn’t seem to be appreciated. Your correspondent’s Norton International snarled its way round the route, spitting hate and bile at everyone and everything. It didn’t break, of course, being unapproachable an’ all.
If you didn’t come this year, keep the date free for 2019!

Preparing for Banbury 2018

With the Banbury Run 2018 only 3 weeks away, and with yesterday’s perfect weather, it was time to check out the bikes…

This was all about Ken Druce really as he will be riding Peter Batton’s 1929 Ariel Model F.  The bike’s not been ridden for a number of years, Ken has never ridden a Model F and this particular example has a lever throttle, so we needed to check out both the bike…and Ken 🙂 .  I was on my ’30 Model F.

It turned out to be a brilliant ride, making up the route as we went along and covered 65 miles, taking in Shapwick, Tarrant Rawston, Witchampton, Cranborne, Martin, Broad Chalke, Bowerchalke, Sixpenny Handley, Tollard Royal, Ashmore and Compton Abbas Airfield before finally heading back to Blandford.

That last photo may look like Ken has broken down yet again…but it turned out that he’d run out of petrol due to a faulty/blocked reserve tap.  I’ll let him off; his mechanic, Peter, will fix it over the coming days.

Banbury Run here we come…and many thanks to Peter for the loan of his Ariel. BTW: If you’re going to Gaydon on the 17th June, look out for us: I’m 382, Ken is 383 and Paul Miles is 314.

Photos from the Three Okefords Rally 2018

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.

Photos from the Wessex V&V Picnic Run

Where was everyone yesterday?  Glorious weather should have resulted in a better turnout but it was left to myself, Paul Miles and Peter Miller to enjoy ourselves on our pre-1931 bikes…and we did!

Paul and I missed a turn on the excellent route map…and ended up at Messums Art Centre in Tisbury.  Perfect opportunity for your Quiz Master Extraordinaire and Secretary to play silly buggers!

Many thanks to Ian and Bette for organising the run and ploughman’s lunch.


Photos from the 2018 Founders Relay Rally

Kevin to the rescue!

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)

Photos from the Bluebell Run 2018

It was cold and overcast yesterday, but thankfully dry. Great turnout with 30 bikes assembled at Okeford Fitzpaine Recreation Centre for our annual Bluebell Run which involved a 62 mile round trip down to Lulworth Cove and back, via Delcombe Woods to see the bluebells.

Before setting off, we were looked after with teas, coffee, pain au chocolat, croissants, etc kindly served by my wife Philippa and Marjorie.  I’m somewhat biased as I live in this village but I thought this start venue with its large hard-standing area and refreshment facilities was excellent; I hope others agree.

By the way, interesting route guys!  Somehow you managed to miss out Delcombe Woods…which is where the bluebells are! 🙂 🙂 🙂 .  By the time I got to Lulworth Cove, the run had already been renamed the “Lost in Dorset” Run.

Seriously, a great time was had by all.


Bike Parade:

The Off:

Lulworth Cove:


Riding with the Somerset Section

Report by Ray Dickinson:

The 36th Twin Dragon touring weekend was again a brilliant event
organised by Dave Boon and saw 24 people on 17 solos and 1 sidecar tackle
some of the lesser known mountain tracks, now tarmaced but in the 20’s
they would have been gravel; many were used by the motorcycle and car
industry as a test route for their new models.

The 1st day was about 220 miles from home to The Royal Ship, Dolgellau
were we stayed two nights,we joined the route at Abergavenny were we
meet most of the other people taking part.

Day 2 : there was a route of 70 miles around Bala Lake but having done
this before we chose to go to the National Slate Mine at Llanberis; well
worth a visit.

Day 3 : 115 miles; our route took us over the hills to the coast with
spectacular views of Barmouth Bay before heading to Devil’s Bridge for
lunch and onto The Plough Inn at Rhosmaen, a 5 star Hotel with great
food for our last night together.

Day 4 : the planned route though the mountains was abandoned due the 
weather with forecasts of thunder storms and high winds, so we took the
A40 down to Abergavenny and home.

Our thanks to Dave & Sue Boon and the Somerset Cection for another
great weekend.

Regards Ray & Linda Dickinson, Ken Druce & Dave Brown

Photos from the Wessex V&V Hinton St Mary Run

Many thanks to Ian Clarke and his Section for arranging the good weather last Sunday 22nd April, and to Gabby Hunt for the excellent route… and not forgetting all the helpers who laid on the coffees, teas, French cheeses and cakes for lunch.


Paul Miles and I were using this as a practise run before the big one; the Banbury Run in June.  I’m glad to report, we both made it round the 33 mile route without incident.

Weymouth Week 2012 : The Movie

Get yourself a drink and some popcorn.  Find your favourite chair and put your feet up.  And watch “Weymouth Week 2012 : The Movie“.

I was kindly given this DVD by Maurice Marston at last night’s Club Night and I’ve uploaded it to our unlisted YouTube account for displaying here on our website.   At this rate, we’ll soon have the complete set of annual Weymouth Week photos and videos.

The Movie is 45 minutes long and although it consists mainly of a slide show, there are several videos (with audio) embedded within it.  If you’re wanting to see the infamous “Vintage Echoes”, jump to 41 minutes.