40th Carole Nash Bristol Classic MotorCycle Show 2020

Chris’s 1954 MV Agusta Disco Volante 175cc

It’s February, so last weekend it was time for another Carole Nash Bristol Classic MotorCycle Show at the Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet.

The icy weather this time last year resulted in the show being postponed at very short notice;  the re-scheduled show at the end February never really recovered and the numbers of traders and visitor were down.  But none of that in 2020 — the place was packed out, particularly on the Sunday.

Andrew Rae and Ray Dickinson kindly organised our stand and they were ably assisted by Linda Dickinson, Paul Miles, Ken Druce, Peter Miller, Bettie Barber, Ian Clarke, Chris Biddiscombe, Phil Allen and many others.  Thanks to all those who helped to put up the stand on Friday and take it down again on Sunday. My favourite on our stand (not including Bettie’s sponge cake) has to be Chris’s MV “Flying Saucer” — that tank is a thing of beauty.

The Dorset Section won three awards!

  1. Chris Biddiscombe : 1954 MV Agusta Disco Volante 175cc : Highly Commended Continental Class
  2. Brian Casely : 1966 BSA ISDT Arthur Lampkin’s gold medal winning bike : Best Competition (Trials & Scramble)
  3. Paul Wirdnam, Paul Miles and Nick Field: for the three 1930 Douglases (1 x T6 and 2 x S6) : Jeff Clew Endeavour Award

If you’ve never attended this show, it really is a very enjoyable social event with a chance to meet up with old and new friends.  Oh, and there are a few old bikes to see.  A few words from Ray Dickinson who has organised our stand at this show for many years:

My thanks to all the people who have helped with the show over the years by providing bikes, cakes and giving their time.

I will continue to help & support Andrew Rae, who has taken over as show organiser and has great new ideas to take the show forward.

Regards Ray.

Setting Up on the Friday
Saturday and Sunday
In The Auction
Presentation of the Awards


Photos from the Winter Run 2020

The Winter Run yesterday must have set some sort of record for a Dorset Section run.  The heavy overnight frost, coupled with weeks of rain which was still running off the fields, meant many of the roads had quite large patches of ice on them.

There was a good turnout for the start at Dike’s Supermarket and it was beautiful day but many of us had already had a slippery journey just to get there and, as a result, had already decided not to do the run.

Of those brave souls who did the run, four came off their bikes : Bernard Jones, Phil Allen, Richard Hutson and his friend Dave.  Thankfully, no-one was badly hurt and with only little damage to their bikes.  Richard’s comment sums it up nicely, “It was interesting trying to lift up the dropped bikes standing on sheet ice. Dave and I would have scored a perfect 6.0 if it were Dancing on Ice. The main thing was we were not hurt – just our pride.“.  All four of you get a perfect 6 from me.

While that was going on, those who didn’t do the run either dived into Dike’s Café or went in search of another one; I ended up in Coffee One in Shaftesbury.

Photos from the New Year’s Day Run 2020

As our Chairman said on our Facebook page : January the 1st, time for the Dorset Section to start as they mean to continue – going for a ride! We assembled for the New Year’s Day charity run this morning, followed by lunch at a local pub. A few snaps.

The weather could have been kinder as it was both wet and cold.  But on the positive side, there were four Ariels taking part, so what’s not to like.

Many thanks to Peter Miller for handling the signing-on and producing the bike-friendly tulip route sheets. And to Ray Dickonson who was seen helping to direct traffic.

Lunch at the Virginia Ash seemed to be a success with staff serving both bar food (baguettes, sandwiches etc) as well as the more formal booked meals.

At the start in Sturminster Newton:
At the Virginia Ash in Henstridge:

Photos from the Mince Pie Run 2019

Due to family commitments, your Secretary wasn’t able to take part in Sunday’s Mince Pie Run but I did manage to slip out of the house and see the bikes off from the start at Morrison’s car park in Blandford.

Phil Allen, the run organiser, tells me 15 people signed on and the weather remained clear, although our Chairman reports that he got thoroughly drenched on his way home and had to battled through 70 mph winds.

Many thanks to Phil for organising our last run of 2019 and to his wife Sue for providing the delicious mince pies.

Our Section Chairman has been busy.

There was a discussion on the VMCC forum on Wednesday about how we should embrace technology more to help attract new, younger members.  It was suggested that better use of videos might be one option; after all, current mobile phones take very good 1080p video.

Never one to refuse a challenge, our Section Chairman produced this within 24 hours and posted it back on to the forum.  Just a short promo for the GIANTS Run next year, but it shows what can be done with a little time and at no cost.

Well done Paul, I think it’s brilliant, even if it reminds me a little of Star Wars — are we Storm Troopers or the Rebel Alliance?

Turn sound up to 11!

2020 Programme Card is Here!

The 2020 VMCC Dorset Section Programme is out!  The printed cards will be available at the Social Evening and Buffet Club Night on Wednesday 11th December.  If you can’t wait that long, then you can either print off the two images below or click here to download the PDF file.

All of our events have been entered into the Events calendar on this website and here you will find further details on all of them. If you use an online personal calendar such as Google Calendar, Apple iCal etc, you can automatically copy all of our 2020 entries from the Events calendar to your personal calendar — ask for help if you get stuck.   Click here to list all events for 2020.

To print images: click an image, then right mouse click and choose “Save image as…”

Change of Lunch Venue for New Year’s Day Run

We have moved the New Years Day Lunch to The Virginia Ash where the New Year’s Day Run ends.

It was uneconomical for Henstridge Golf & Leisure to specially put on a lunch for our club only and with limited numbers. Therefore, we have booked the 30 people who put their names down at the last Club Night to now eat at The Virginia Ash.

If anyone else wants to eat at The Virginia Ash, please let Ray know on 11th December Club Night or by phoning 01747 228837

Photos from the Memorial Run 2019

Frosty start for people in the Blandford area this morning, but by the time we had strayed into Wiltshire for the start at the Hillbrush Centre in Mere, it had warmed up a bit.

Thanks are due to Ray and Linda Dickinson who had put a great 45 mile route together that took in Stourhead, Kingston Deverille, Sutton  Veny, Wylye, Dinton, Hindon and ending at the Orchard Park Garden Centre in Gillingham.

Message from Ray:

Thanks to all the 21 riders and other club members for their generosity,  we have raised £142.50 today. I will ask the Committee at our next meeting to round this up to a level amount which will be presented to Marie Curie cancer support.

We had a dry sunny day for the ride of 45 miles from The Hillbrush Centre, Mere and finishing at Orchard Park Garden Centre. Every one seamed to enjoy the scenery and no breakdowns reported. This Memorial Run is the time to remember those who are no longer riding with us.

Regards Ray & Linda Dickinson.

1939 Ariel “Special” For Sale from the Estate of Peter Batten

UPDATE 17th November 2019 : The bike is now SOLD!

Peter Batten

As many of you know, Peter Batten was a great Ariel fan and, before he sadly passed away, he sold many of his bikes to local members.  But one remains: his Ariel “Special” project, and Peter Miller and I are now helping his family to sell it on…

Don’t have a girder fork bike for next year’s GIANTS 2 run?  Then this could be the ideal bike for you, as not much work is needed to get it on the road and you get a 500cc OHV girder fork bike for less than £4000.  Bargain, if you ask me!

So what’s the catch?  Peter Batten started building this bike from the many parts he had in his garage, so there are Ariel parts from several years.  The frame is 1939 and the V5C shows it as 1939 (yes, it is even DVLA registered!).  However, the engine is 1955 — but who cares; the Ariel single engine hardly changed at all between early 1930s and late 1950s. The girder forks are pre-1939 and the chaincase are post-war.  The V5C also shows it as a 600cc VB side-valve whereas the engine now in the frame is a fully restored 500cc VH overhead valve engine.  So if you’re an Ariel purist (rivet counter), you have a bit of work to do to bring it back to 1939 factory spec.  But that was never Peter’s intention: this is a “Special”.

Price is : sorry, it is now SOLD.  

The small print details: Engine number (prefix LB) indicates this is a 350cc OHV from 1955; however, it now has a 500cc barrel on it (350cc and 500cc bottom halves were the same).  To the best of our knowledge, the engine was fully restored by Peter: new bigend, new mains, new valves, new pistons.  The gearbox is the heavyweight Burman BA, correct for a 500cc OHV Ariel. The girder forks are between 1935 and 1938. Hubs are correct. Magneto is restored.  Correct instrument panel tank but condition unknown under all that paint but looks sound. No instruments in tank panel. No electrics, no dynamo. Missing steering damper. Saddle needs sorting and securing. The exhaust pipe is brand new; I bought it from Armours for Peter in September.