Photos from the Blandford Run 2021

Following on from the Informal Good Friday Run, this was our second “Rule of 6” run consisting of 5 groups with 6 riders in each.  But unlike the Good Friday run, the weather was decidedly chilly this morning but it was largely dry for many of us although it looks as though Phil Allen’s group drew the short straw weather-wise.

Despite the low temperatures, everyone seemed to have a good time and its good to see the same new Section members always being the first to reserve their places on the next informal run.  We must be doing something right.

Finally, our Informal Bluebell Run is in two weeks time on the 25th and 23 of the 30 places have already been booked.  So if you want a place, you had better hurry and book one…..

Blandford Group 1

Report from Paul Wirdnam, the group leader:

Quite a range of bikes in our group today: Paul Miles on a 50’s Sunbeam S7, Ken Druce on a 30’s Sunbeam Model 9, Steve Edgington on a very pretty 50’s NG Ariel, Kevin Eddols on his  80’s Yamaha 4, Willian Webb on a Velo and me on a 30’s Ariel VH;  having two Ariels in our group clearly upset our Ariel-hating Chairman 🙂 .

Starting at Lidl in Blandford, we headed off to Ashmore, Berwick St. John, Ebbesbourne Wake, Fovant, Dinton, Wylye and finally stopping at The Ginger Piggery & Ginny’s Cafe for a coffee.  Quite by chance, we bumped into Rich Kinsey here who was out on a ride with his Sunbeam S8.

Then onto Sutton Veny, the Deverills, Mere, Motcombe, Shaftesbury and ending at Hammoon, nr. Sturminster Newton.  68 miles in total and a very pleasant run.

Blandford Group 2

Report from Bernard Jones, the group leader:

A cool but not uncomfortable run. Jim Thornton was unable to make it, trouble with centre piston on his Triple Triumph. So 5 of us met up at Blandford Tesco car park, Kevin Chapman 650 Triumph; Simon Baker, Laverda triple; Mick Sobalak 655 BSA; myself Vincent Rapide and new boy Ian Buckingham 500 Triumph. Ian told me he really enjoy the run, and will join us again, hope he is telling the truth! We headed off up the Tarrant valley to the Shaftsbury top road past Compton Abbas airfield, through the Donheads up to East Knowle. Then trouble hit, Mick’s BSA lost its clutch, not literally, but suspect the shaft nut had come loose, so rescue service for Mick. The rest of us proceeded through East Knowle to Starbucks on the A303. Not my best choice but with Covid rules, not much alternative. Paninis and coffees all round and a good chat then headed home via Gillingham, Sturminster Newton and Winterbourne Stickland. Blandford greeted us with drizzle, and with minor hail at East Knowle, otherwise a dry run.

Blandford Group 3

Report from Phil Allen, the group leader:

We started at the Marsh & Ham car park with 5 bikes and 6 people, headed towards Bryanston, Melbury Hill & Compton Abbas by a very nice narrow road route (gravel and grass in the middle), onto Donhead St Andrew just off the A30 down narrow roads to Hindon where we stopped for a break then on our way for coffee and cake in Shaftesbury. As we arrived at the car park snow or hail or something fell for 10 minutes so as you can see, we sheltered in the toilet block then on for tea and cake. We then lost 3 of the group who either decided enough was enough or had to get off home, the 3 remaining went off to see the Fovant Badges where we lost another member who decided it was nearer to go home so only 2 left for the final leg through Broad Chalk and Bower Chalk, Six Penney Handley and back to Blandford for more tea and biscuits. A very enjoyable day of just over 75 miles through some of Dorset and Wiltshire’s best biking roads!!!. Most of the day was nice weather be it a bit nippy and of course a bit of the white stuff. Incidentally it is a good job me and Dave did not do the full route l had roughly “planned” as it would have been just over 100 miles. (must improve my route planning in future). Oh! the cake in Shaftesbury was excellent.

Henstridge Group

Report from Ray Dickinson, the group leader:

Another good run. We met up at the Virginia Ash where Peter Hallowes came along to see us off. It was good to see him and have a chat.
Our route took us off south to Kings Stag through Minterne Magna and on to Cerne Abbas as no one was serving coffee there we headed for Hamish’s Farm Shop where we felt obliged to eat bacon sarnies and coffee. Returning through Yetminster, Sherborne and back to Henstridge approx 50 miles.
There was a varied selection of bikes, Colin on his 1926 flat tank Norton, Peter on a 1937 250cc Velo with Maurice & Marie BMW sidecar and our BMW R80. In spite of all the differences in bikes we all enjoyed it! no one got left behind. Looking forward to our next run when pubs and farm shop will be able to offer refreshments.

Sparkford Group

Report from Andy Grew, the group leader:

Another excellent run today from Sparkford. Honda was the marque of choice today with 3, plus an Ariel, a BMW and a Moto Morini.

First was a quick stop for photos at Alfreds Tower then on to Nunney, via Witham Friary and Trudoxhill. Bit of a result at Greggs as we all got a free Breakfast Bun – very welcome!

Then onwards to Cranmore, Batcombe and Bruton to finish at Sparkford.

It was a bit cold in places, Tim’s temp gauge showed just 3 degrees at Alfreds Tower and a we had a hail shower in Trudoxhill.

Roll on the next run!!



Photos from the Good Friday Run 2021

It’s difficult to believe but our last run was almost 6 months ago.  But with the easing of the lockdown restrictions, we’re now resuming some of our runs and this was the first of them.

Held in brilliant weather and conforming to the “Rule of 6” guidelines, we had 5 groups, each starting and ending at different locations and each with one leader with 5 riders.  Having spoken to each of the group leaders after the run, it seemed we all had a great time and all felt wonderful to be riding together again.  So, in alphabetical order:

Blandford Group

Report from Ken Druce, the group leader:

The Intrepid 6

All was going so well, I arrived at Stour Meadows Car Park and the rest of my group were already there, a brief chat and we set off, route was in the satnav…what could go wrong ? Well, for some reason my satnav insisted on trying to turn me around and head for Blandford. Various options were tried whilst on the move, including saying ‘No’ to ‘Return to start of route. However , using The Force and some prints of the route that I had done (not readable by me without glasses) we managed to head in roughly the right direction. There were a few deviations and places I had never seen before or likely again. We managed to get to the village shop in Chettle (a planned stop if we were on time) at 12:50 PM and the shop shuts at 1PM… Phew!

In all we covered 60 miles with no problems with the bikes, unfortunately no photo’s were taken as full concentration was required to stay in Dorset and neighbouring counties.

During a stop at the Horton Inn, one or two bikes turned up from another VMCC section run, and they had got separated using the drop off system, when I asked why they were using the drop off system for only 6 bikes, they said there were 18 of them.

Of our group, all were present at the end, which I think is a good result and something I would not have bet money on at the start of the ride.

Below is the route we should have done and to the right is the route we actually did. As you will see its not too bad.

Fiddleford Group

Report from Bernard Jones, the group leader:

Run from Bernard’s, The Old Farmhouse, headed off South through Oakford Fitzpaine up over Bulbarrow to Cheselbourne, then eastward to Maiden Newton. Northwards to Evershot and finally westwards via Lyons Gate and Kings Stag back home. Bernard’s wife Chrissie did us proud with hot soup and bacon rolls, We spent a couple of hours munching and chatting in the afternoon sunshine. It was a trouble free run but Bernard had trouble starting his Vincent. He had recently fitted Makuni carbs and had lost the minute needle clip, and used a concentric clip as a temporary measure, only fitting the correct clip on the day of the run. Unfortunately in screwing the carb top back on, he had raised the screw cable adjusted so the carbs were about 10mm out of sync!. Soon discovered and rectified.

Okeford Fitzpaine Group

Report from Paul Wirdnam, the group leader:

The day started off well with tea & coffee and hot cross buns at my house, kindly provided by Philippa, my wife.

Our Chairman easily won the sweepstake on when the Douglas would expire with an entry of “under ten” miles — poor John Young, that Duggie has been nothing but trouble.  Today it was the throttle twist control falling apart followed by a stuck open exhaust valve.  He called it a day at 10 miles and limped home.

The rest of us continued on our journey: Okeford Fitzpaine, Bullbarrow, Ansty,  Melcombe Bingham , Cheselbourne, Piddletrentide, Cerne Abbas, Batcombe, Evershot and finally to Hamish’s Farm Shop on the A37.  A distance of 30 miles there, and 20 miles back.

Shaftesbury Group

Report from Ray Dickinson, the group leader:

It was good to be out on the bike, we ended up doing 50 miles from Shaftesbury — Motcombe-Hindon through to Dinton then over to Wylye stopping at The Ginger Pig for coffee and a hot cross bun then onto Sutton Veny past Shear Water – Maiden Bradley finishing at Mere.  A great day, good weather, good company, hot cross buns and no noisy old Ariels🏍💐 (I blame the Chairman for the Ariel comment) .

Sparkford Group

Report from Andy Grew, the group leader:

Todays run from Sparkford attracted a very mixed bag of bikes that only the VMCC could attract! Today we had a 1929 Sunbeam, 1947 Ariel, 1978 BMW R80, 1978 Morini 500, Honda Benly and a Hinckley Triumph Trident.

The route was about 45 miles in length with a mixture of roads and landscapes including Hamhill and the Somerset levels. We stopped midway through for Tea and Coffee and Hot Cross Buns in glorious sunshine, although it was a little chilly in the wind.

A very enjoyable run with good weather, good company and interesting bikes – its good to be back!!


Archive area added to our website.

Two Lockdowns and now sub-zero temperatures means I’ve finally tackled the various ciné films, VHS tapes, DVDs etc that I’ve been loaned.  Many thanks to Rod Hann, Ray Dickinson and Bettie Barber — you have stopped me getting bored during these strange days.

I’ve digitized these film clips as best I can using a borrowed VHS player, capture hardware and various video editing software packages to try and clean up these 25+ years old VHS tapes.  The two 1982 videos are by far the best as these came from high quality 16mm ciné film rather than VHS tape.

You can access these videos, which are hosted on YouTube, by using the new “Archive” link at the top of our website page.  It’s not just an archive of old film clips; as I trawl through old Section note books, CD-ROMS etc, I’m scanning various items that members might find interesting. Anything personal, such as phone numbers on past Programme Cards etc, has been removed.

I hope you enjoy watching the videos.  I’m always open to suggestions / feedback for our website, so please do send them in :


Minutes from 2020 Virtual AGM and Runs planned for 2021

Your Committee held our Virtual AGM at the Fiddleford Inn on Monday 12th October 2020.  Relevant documents from the meeting are below; if you have any questions about any of these, please email the Secretary (

The Committee has also put together an ambitious program of runs for next year, which includes seven (!) new ones.  Due to the ever changing Covid-19 situation and the associate restrictions, we have decided not to produce a printed Programme Card for 2021 as it would also most certainly be out-of-date before getting it back from the printers.

During 2020, we lost Henstridge Golf & Leisure as a venue for our Club Nights.  The Committee does not feel we can safely meet indoors at the current time, but we are looking at potential venues for future Club Nights when things get better.  For this reason, the links below only contain dates for our planned runs in 2021; we are still sorting out run organisers, group leaders, start locations, run formats etc., but the dates should be firm.

We need help if all these runs are to take place.  Covid-19 restrictions means we need group leaders as well as an overall run organiser.  At the moment, it’s the same Usual Suspects that organise these runs but we need a rest!  If you can help at all, please get in touch with the Secretary or any other Committee member.

  • To view all 2021 events that are currently entered in our Events calendar, click here.
  • To download a copy of our 2021 Programme Card (runs only), click here.



Photos from the Autumn Run 2020

Yesterday was our second attempt at running the Autumn Run; we had to cancel the run on the original date (4th October) due to heavy rain and flooding.  Weather was better yesterday and the roads were dry, but there was a little rain 🙁

Not as many photos as normal.  Conforming to the Covid-19 related restrictions means I only have photos from my group of six (11:00 start at Udder Farm).  We certainly had a good time and I hope the other 3 groups enjoyed the run;  we waved to other groups as they headed in the opposite direction 🙂

26 were pre-booked for this run with a couple of no-shows due to breakdowns on route to the start.  Your Committee is still struggling with the best way to conduct these runs in these difficult times, but 24 seems to be the maximum we can handle, so do reserve you place as soon as future runs are announced.

Thorngrove Garden Centre Start

Three photos from the start at Thorngrove Garden Centre; many thanks Maurice!

Udder Farm Start

First 9 photos are those people in the 10:30 group.  The remaining photos are of the 11:00 group; we stopped on the top of Bulbarrow Hill just as it started raining.

Photos from The Last of the Summer Wine Run 2020

Nice day for the Dorset Section’s annual Last of the Summer Wine Run.  We couldn’t meet up at our usual starting / ending venue due to social distancing requirements, so this year there was no tea / coffee, cake or prize giving, but the hot weather more than made up for it.    And Phil gave us a 34 mile route that felt more like 134 miles!

Our Ariel-hating Chairmen couldn’t be with us today, which is just as well as he would have hated it with three vintage Black Ariels taking part (and none of them broke down).

Many thanks to Phil Allen for organising the run and giving us an interesting and unusual route.

The Start at Sturminster Newton Car Park
The End at The Horton Inn
Post Run Meeting at Bakers Folly on Bulbarrow

On the way back home, a few us went looking for an ice-cream first at the top of Bulbarrow Hill if there was an ice cream van there. There wasn’t, so the back-up plan was Bakers Folly halfway down Bulbarrow.  I got there, but I was all on my own…not sure how that happened.


Photos from the Northern Run 2020

Today marked a return to our 2020 Programme of Events with our Northern Run.  Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we limited the numbers to a maximum of 30 riders and all participants had to pre-register, but apart from that, it felt like business as usual.

A great selection of bikes turned up at The Virginia Ash ranging from glorious Ariels to lowly Velocettes.  The pub opened specially for us at 9:30am and it was good to see many of us ordering breakfast, coffees and teas; we need to make it worth their while and I think we did that today.

The first part of the run to the Windwhistle Pub at  Cricket St Thomas was in glorious sunshine, but after that it became overcast and by the time people left Hamish’s Farm Shop & Café to head home, many of us got caught in the odd downpour.

But another very enjoyable run and thanks are due to Bernard for organising it.  Look out for the next Sunday’s run : Last of the Summer Wine Run. A few places are still available but you must pre-book.

Photos from the Mini-GIANTS Run

Wylye Down National Nature Reserve

At the end of July, with 100 registered entrants, we sadly had to cancel our GIANTS Run due to Coronavirus related restrictions.  It should have taken place yesterday 🙁

But with our Informal Runs being such a success, your Chairman and Secretary decided to hold a 66 mile mini-GIANTS Run for 12 section friends who own girder fork bikes.  In glorious weather, it took place yesterday and I believe a great time was had by all.  It was nice of Maurice McGladdery to see us off at the start, and Peter Hallows and Peter Bovenizer be there at the end.

ZigZag not challenging enough for you?

Andrew Rae needs a mention.  While the rest of us struggled up ZigZag Hill on tarmac, Andrew did a bit of green laning on a track that runs parallel to ZigZag.  Should we ban him or give him a prize? The latter in my view 🙂 :).  It’s the red track in the photo on the right; click the image.

Before you view the event photos, please remember that we have our Northern Run on Sunday 6th September and our Last of the Summer Wine Run the following Sunday on the 13th.  Both are limited to 30 riders and require pre-registration. All details can be found in our Events calendar.

The Start at Spire Hill Farm / Thyme after Time Café:
On Route and The Ginger Piggery & Ginny’s Cafe:
End at the Udder Farm Shop and Café:

Photos and Video from the Informal Run 8th August 2020

Our Chairman was dressed as a pirate today. Anyone know why?

What a scorcher it was today — a high of 32°C in North Dorset.  Despite the temperature, we had more people turn up for our run than had booked. In future, to help us plan and keep legal with respect to the current Covid-19 restrictions, please ensure that you have pre-booked with the secretary.  At the moment, we feel we can only support 4 groups, each with 6 riders, so pre-book early to reserve one of the 24 places.

We all assembled at Spire Hill for an initial coffee, tea, cake, natter etc.  But by 11 am, we had rather randomly split into 4 groups and headed off in different directions.

I know many of you don’t read Facebook, but there is a Dorset Section VMCC page that is maintained by our current Chairperson, and I quote from his post about today’s run: “Your correspondent played tail-end Charlie of our six and not only followed an Ariel that smoked like a Soviet Steelworks but had to push start another of the wretched things; there ought to be a law about mass gatherings of Ariels…“.  Now we have a virtual AGM coming up in October and I ask you:  Should we have a Chairperson who is so blatantly anti-Ariel? 🙂

I didn’t hear of any breakdowns or accidents during the run.  We all seemed to arrive at Hamishs in good order.  Another successful, but somewhat hot, Informal Run.  See you in two weeks time, but only if you’ve pre-booked.

BTW: I’ve dropped the numerical reference to the Informal Runs, and the reference to them being Post-Lockdown (but in case you haven’t, this was the Fourth Informal Post-Lockdown Run; what a mouthful!)

Latest version of COVID-19 Riding Guidelines : 28th July 2020

Latest version of COVID-19 Riding Guidelines gains National Police Chiefs Council stamp of approval.

The Coalition of Motorcycling Organisations has issued a revised version of its COVID-19 Riding Guidelines. This third iteration of the guidance based on the latest changes to Government guidelines includes advice on group riding and first responder incident management. The coalition are delighted that the guidance has now received an official seal of approval from Nick Adderley, the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) lead for motorcycling.

The coalition has worked hard to distil Government coronavirus guidelines into a single guide relevant to motorcyclists. The guidelines have been updated to encompass recent changes in the constantly evolving advice designed to keep individuals and the wider community safe in these challenging times.

The new guidelines remind riders to plan carefully and to check Government websites including for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and any local lockdowns. They remind everyone not to ride if they are suffering symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact in the last 14 days with someone who has had symptoms or tested positive. Other points of emphasis include: checking out COVID-19 security arrangements at indoor venues (but ideally not to meet indoors); keeping riding groups to no more than six; and observing distancing, hand hygiene and mask requirements at all times.

Commenting on the guidelines and the work of the Coalition members, Nick Adderley said:

“I have been asked to review this guidance on behalf of the Coalition of Motorcycle Organisations in my capacity as NPCC lead for police motorcycling and motorcycle related crime. Policing the pandemic has been challenging and often confusing time for all including motorcyclists. We are keen to ensure the public can enjoy social activities and meet up within the parameters of the guidance set by Government.

I am reassured by the work that has gone into the production of these motorcycle specific guidelines. I would particularly like to commend the lead authors, Roger Bibbings of the VMCC and Richard Gladman of IAM RoadSmart for their tireless work on this project. I would encourage all riders, whether they are riding alone or in groups, to consult the guidance and to follow the rules at rest stops and whilst visiting public places. Please act and ride responsibly.”

The revised guidelines can be found online at . The member groups of the Coalition of Motorcycling Organisations encourage their members and all other riders to read the guidelines and apply the advice to their own efforts to fight the spread of the virus.

Issued on behalf of the Coalition of Motorcycling Organisations by the Motorcycle Action Group

Press and other enquiries c/o MAG at 01926 844 064 or