The weather was perfect yesterday for the 41st Veteran and Vintage Run. Who remembers last year? It was so hot, it was almost unbearable, with tarmac melting, bikes over-heating and rider’s sweating & swearing. But not so yesterday…
Rod Hann, the run organiser, tells me that 21 riders signed on at Leigh Village Hall. There was only one breakdown when a bike overheated and expired with no compression; that was Andy Hart from the East Devon Section — many thanks to Pete Dungey for the breakdown recovery service! After a midway stop at The Trooper Inn, Stourton Caundle, the route returned to Leigh where 33 people sat down for a nice lunch and generally a good day was had by all.
Prize winners were as follows:-
Best Veteran = Colin Bentham (Somerset) – 1911 triumph
Best Vintage = John Guy (Stonehenge) – 1929 Terrot
Best Threewheeler = Ian Clarke (Wessex) – 1927 Morgan
Combined Age = Bryan Pope (Somerset) – 1922 Royal Enfield Sidecar
Most Original Machine = Andy Hart (East Devon) – 1929 Rayleigh
Last Wednesday (3rd) was the Stonehenge Section’s Mid-Week Sundae Run in conjunction with the Wessex V&V Section…but as you can see, if there is an opportunity to eat delicious ice cream at Barford Farm near Wimborne, then Dorset Section members will be there! 🙂
The Dorset Section was well represented at the Wessex V&V Section’s On The Beaded Edge Run which was held yesterday, plus we had some welcome visitors from the Somerset and West Wiltshire Sections.
It started and ended at its usual venue, the Old Ox Inn in Shillingstone and took in 37 miles of Dorset countryside via Bryanston, Winterborne Stickland, Milton Abbas, Hilton, Mappowder, Plush, Piddletrentide, Duntish, Kings Stag, Hazelbury Bryan and Sturminster Newton. Thank you Wessex V&V for a great day.
The three 1930 oily rag Douglas motorcycles that Paul Miles and I bought back in March made their first, and probably their last appearance together on this run. Ken Druce kindly rode the T6 (the one with footboards) while Paul and I were on our S6s. Apart from my S6 shearing a crankcase bolt just before the start, all three went very well, but it is now time to say goodbye to the T6.
Don’t forget our own Two In One Run next Sunday 7th July….full details here.
Approximately 45 miles from Top O Town car park in Dorchester to the Seaton Tramway in Devon and a similar number of miles back from Seaton to Cerne Abbas. With many of us doing 20 or more miles to get to the start, most of us ended up with a total mileage into three figures by the time we got home.
Ken Druce, the organiser, tells me 24 signed on. The weather forecast probably put a few people off. It didn’t bucket down like on Wednesday’s Mid-Week Run, but it was threatening to rain throughout the run, and occasionally did. It’s not been a good June weather-wise 🙁 .
Last Wednesday (19th) was the first of our four Mid-Week Runs in 2019. As I hadn’t been out on my bike for a couple of weeks, I was determined to take part, no matter what the weather.
I managed to get to the start at Warden Hill Trading Post on the A37, a distance of 20 miles from my house, without driving on wet roads and here I joined up with about nine other riders. But there were ominous black clouds in the direction of Mangerton Mill (our destination), so I think we all donned our over-trousers and set off….
Rod and Carol Hann, the run organisers, took us on a very picturesque route via Wyford Eagle and Spyway, but we rode through some really horrible weather. However, we all made it to Mangerton Mill, where we all enjoyed a cream tea indoors while it continued to rain outside. And it was still raining when we left to head back to Warden Hill. Many thanks to Rod & Carol for organising such a good route. By the time I got home, I’d covered 75 miles, mainly in the wet 🙁 .
Yes, the weather on Wednesday could have been better (much better actually 🙂 ), but I for one still enjoyed it and wanted to re-do the route in better weather. So yesterday, after my riding gear had dried out, Ken Druce and I headed off to Mangerton Mill again and I had my second cream tea of the week.
I’ve been meaning to write up this short article for the last six months; ever since Pete Dungey kindly lent me his folder of historical receipts and letters from C.M. Hunt at the end of last year.
C.M. Hunt was a well known bicycle, motorcycle and pram shop in Long Street, Sherborne and had been trading for many years. I’m not sure when it finally closed for business but probably late 1980’s or early 1990’s; if someone in our Section knows, please do let me know.
I’ve managed to find a few historical photographs of the shop. I took the ones in 2018, but having been back to Long Street this year (2019), I noticed the shop is now vacant. Note the “The Old Cycle Shop” above the door.
The Papers (Receipts, Invoices, Letters)
Pete tells me that when the shop finally closed, 80 years of paperwork ended up in a skip. He rescued a tiny fraction of this, mainly the receipts from 1919 and 1926/1927 with a few other papers from the 1950s and 1960s. To my eyes, the artwork & printing in some of these documents is beautiful, so I scanned them so others can see them. So much nicer that today’s soulless bits of paper.
Seems like C.M. Hunt dealt with all the British motorcycle manufacturers of the time! The 1951 Royal Enfield letter is interesting; although it doesn’t mention it, the worldwide nickel shortage during that year was due to the Korean War and affected all manufacturers.
It was the VMCC Banbury Run yesterday and as I wasn’t taking part this year, Ken Druce and I decided to drive up and have a more relaxing time chatting with friends, looking at the bikes and wandering around the autojumble.
When we set off at 7am, the weather was terrible, even worse than last year, with torrential rain on the A34 up to the M40. It was still raining when we got to Gaydon and although it looked like most riders and their bikes were present, many of the autojumblers didn’t turn up and the number of visitors was down. Which was a shame, as by 11am, the sun was out and we only had occasional light showers for the rest of the day.
Didn’t see many people from our Section there. Bumped into Peter Miller several times as we wandered around the site. And Roger Gillard was drinking tea with Bettie Barber while Ian Clarke was manning the stall. But that was about it.
BTW: the car parking for visitors to the British Motor Museum at Gaydon always used to be bad. In previous years, I’ve had to lug heavy gearboxes, engines etc back to my car which was 1/2 mile away. That’s all changed this year as there is now a massive new car park just behind the museum and close to the autojumble. Much better.
thank you and all the organisers for a wonderful event. Same time next year then?
thoroughly enjoying myself
already in our calendar for next year
Just a few of the comments passed to me yesterday during and after our inaugural GIANTS Run, an event for girder fork bikes. I’m sure Paul Miles has received many more.
Saturday Late Afternoon and Evening Meal:
It kicked off with a late Saturday afternoon gathering at Henstridge Golf and Leisure to meet riders who were camping overnight. At 5:15pm, led by Gabby Hunt, we all headed off on our bikes to Sherborne Golf Course for an early evening supper. Two course meal for £10; what’s not to like! We had 22 at this gathering, which was more than expected, so many thanks to all those who came to welcome our visitors. It was a great way to meet new girder fork enthusiasts, so the scene was set for the following day…
Sunday Morning Line-Up:
And what a day it was! Fantastic turnout! 80 pre-registered for the event, with 10 signing up on the day. Nine were pillion riders, so 71 machines, plus at least 4 of the usual hangers on, too mean to register 🙁 . At least 11 no-shows on the day, without notice, plus a couple of cancellations prior, usually due to ill health or mechanical issues, so we think about 60 rode on the day. Rod and Sandy at Henstridge Golf and Leisure did an excellent job of providing breakfast and the “pie and pint” lunch — it’s worth mentioning that we decided that cancellations and no-shows would not be eligible for refunds, and this helped ensure that- Rod and Sandy’s catering plans would not be upset at short notice.
Professional Photos with kind permission from Andrew Butler Photography:
Andrew, a friend of Paul Miles, shows how photographs should be taken. Some brilliant photos here — many thanks Andrew.
Other Photos taken on route:
Signing-on was administered by Cressy Miles, Philippa Wirdnam and Marie McGladdery. Plus, we had a number of fluorescent jacket marshals helping with parking, and Andy Grew & Pete Dungey offering a breakdown service for the long and short routes respectively. Many thanks to all of you; it all worked very smoothly.
The only thing we lost control of was the weather. Beautiful start to the day but by 1:30pm, the heavens had opened and several of us were caught in torrential rain. Simon Dillon’s Sarolea magneto was overwhelmed by water as was the magneto on your Secretary’s (me!) Ariel Sloper. Both of us were about 62 miles into our 67 long route — so close yet so far. I did eventually get back to Henstridge by car but by then it was 3:45pm and there were only a few people left…although Sandy still managed to produce a pie!
Final Thoughts From Paul Miles:
There was a will in the section to try and offer an event purely for girder fork bikes and to include the 1930s machines- so often the bridesmaids in that they are too new for established events such as Banbury yet find themselves slightly overwhelmed in general runs as the majority of riders choose 70/80s bikes for them now.
A turnout such as this vindicates the decision and really shows a desire to keep these fine old bikes on the road where they belong. The carefully curated routes by Paul Wirdnam played to the strengths of these machines, avoiding faster roads, or the goat tracks we’re sometimes subjected to; especially difficult on bikes with no suspension!
Dozens of these machines going off together and mostly riding at similar speeds made for a tremendous feeling of camaraderie and it seemed to be so much more than ‘just another ride’ to me, at least. Girder fork enthusiasts are the beating heart of vintage motorcycling and long may it continue. I loaned out three of my bikes, all to ‘vintage virgins’. Everyone survived and loved the day. One even asked me how much a ‘GIANTS eligible’ bike might cost as he intends to come again next year with his own machine. Another tried to buy the Duggie off me there and then! I’d really love to see us getting more enthusiasts out on our bikes.
Following from Ray Dickinson; please get back to Ray if you can offer any help at all, no matter how small.
Gillingham in Gear show takes place on Saturday June 8th and we need your support . As one of the organisers, I will be on site from 7am setting up and on car park duty all day. Can anybody help by bring the club gazebo; if needed, I can help on the Friday in collecting it from the Section’s shed at Fiddleford. There are many motorcycle clubs taking part and we need to have a stand that shows how good our club is.
Then we need plenty of your bikes. It’s free to enter and no restriction on how long you stay, plenty of food stalls, a pub next door and a lot to see; all sort of bikes, classic cars, lorries and tractors.
The Section’s Committee is putting a lot of work organising many more events this year and we need the help of its members.