Covid-19 and its impact on Club and Section Activities 16th March 2020

Dear Dorset Section Members,

Please find attached a statement, with recommendations, received today from HQ on the Coronavirus outbreak.

Your Committee had already been discussing the potential impact of the outbreak on our events and were in the process of writing up some recommendations which involved cancellation of Club Nights, Breakfast and Lunch Meets, but still allowing local runs provided there were no pre-run gatherings, no coffee and / or lunch stops. In the HQ letter below, local runs are left to the discretion of the Section Committees.

But this is a fast moving situation and listening to our Prime Minister speaking an hour ago, it seems that gatherings of any size are to be discouraged, irrespective of indoor/outdoor staging. So reluctantly, your Committee has to inform you that the following are all cancelled until further notice:

1) Club Nights
2) Breakfast and Lunchtime Meets
3) Formal Runs

We will try and reschedule some of our runs later in the year.

Stay well.

Best Regards

Paul Wirdnam
Secretary, Dorset Section

—— Forwarded Message ——–
From: xxxxx@vmcc.net
Date: 16/03/2020 16:57:24
Subject: Covid-19
To: secretary@xxxxxx

Dear Section Secretaries

As we are sure you are aware, the next steps in the Government’s approach to the Coronavirus outbreak have recently been announced. The Prime Minister, alongside the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Officer, indicated that the United Kingdom is moving into a ‘Delay’ phase, the aim of which is to push the peak of the outbreak into the summer so as to give as much time as possible for further research into the virus and to ensure that the NHS is as prepared as it can be. You will also have seen the more focused recent advice in relation to those over the age of 70, which describes a significant proportion of the Club’s membership.
The VMCC is by a long way the largest and best-known vintage and classic motorcycle club in the UK, and we feel we have a responsibility to show a clear lead in reacting to the situation with Coronavirus, as well as a duty of care to our members and our staff. Against this background, the Board’s position is as follows. For the duration:

• Section meetings should be suspended;
• the Club should not attend shows and suchlike;
• runs that involve a substantial amount of on-the-day organisation, and thus contact between participants and people such as marshals, sign-on staff or caterers, should be postponed or cancelled;
• formal or social runs may take place at the Section Committee’s discretion, but should not include pre-run gatherings or stops at cafes, public houses or suchlike: if that is not practicable, the event should be postponed or cancelled.

Sections are also asked to consider the situation of elderly or infirm Section members who may need live alone and/or need additional assistance at this difficult time. Phone calls would in general be better than house calls, but please do think about those who may need a hand or a friendly voice that cares.
The situation with major events such as Banbury and 1000 Bikes is a little less clear, but contingency plans are being investigated. Neither the Government, the ACU or the MSA, have so far said that public events of this type may not take place., but our anticipation is that this year’s nationally-organised events are likely to be postponed or cancelled. We cannot, however, confirm this until we hear officially from the appropriate regulatory authorities or the sites where these events are due to be based.
The Founder’s Relay Rally planned for Sunday 3rd May will be postponed until later in the year, provided a date can be found. The Rider’s Sheets for this will not now be distributed with the April Journal as originally planned.
As far as Allen House is concerned:
• the Library is closed for the duration, to both enquirers and volunteers;
• no visitors are permitted to enter the building;
• unless absolutely essential, staff will not for now attend external meetings and events.
At present, all of the Club’s staff are healthy, but anyone who shows the stated indicators of the virus will be sent home and told to self-isolate for 7 days. If this happens, we cannot guarantee that the office telephone will always be answered. In such circumstances, we ask for your understanding and patience, and suggest that for the duration, wherever possible contact with Allen House should be by email rather than telephone.
An ad-hoc Committee consisting of the Chair, Bob Clark; the Vice-Chair, Richard Thirkell; and Board Member Mario Costa-Sa, has oversight of the situation and I will be reporting to and reviewing matters with them on a regular basis. I fear that in the short term things are going to get worse rather than better, and that it may well be some time before the Club can resume its normal activities.

IAN BOTHAM
General Manager

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

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.

Two in One Run on July 7th

Below is information on the run from Pete Dungey

Start and finish is at Henstridge Golf & Leisure in Henstridge and the run start time is 11am sharp.

There are 2 separate runs at the same time, one for pre 1950 machines (slower machines) and one for later machines from 1951 upwards (a longer distance and possibly faster) . Older machines may do the longer run if they want but the newer machines (post 1951) must do the longer run only.

If after lunch you want more mileage then you can go out again on the other route  but please let the organiser know.

Please keep to the speed limits and road restrictions and ride safely.

NOTE : Coffee before and after is available but is payable to Henstridge Golf & Leisure directly, lunch is available but you must order before you leave on your specific run

Any questions or clarifications please contact Pete Dungey or one of the Committee  numbers are  in our contact list.

Gillingham In Gear 2019 : Help Needed!

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.

Regards Ray

A Final Farewell to Three Members

We’re very sad to report the recent passing of the following three members and I’m sure we’re all thinking of their friends and families at this time.

  • Colin Goody, who died a couple of weeks ago, was a fearless speedway rider.  I’ve heard many stories of Colin and his Ariels. His funeral will take place at Poole Crematorium on Friday 10th May at 4pm.
  • Ken Blake of Poole who died on Monday 22nd April. He was a very early member of the Section and at one time was Chairman. His funeral will take place at The Church of the Good Sheppard, 63 Good Road, Rossmore, Poole, BH12 4HR, on Wednesday 8th May at 11am.
  • Pat Manley from Leigh who died on Saturday 27th April. He was a Dorset member for many years and only gave up a year or two ago. His funeral will take place at Leigh Village Church on Wednesday 15th May at 2pm. Motorcycles will be welcome and motorcycle kit worn.

SCAM Alert : Be on your guard!

Fellow Section Members, yesterday I received this email in the Secretary’s email inbox.  It looks like a legitimate request from John Adams, our Treasurer.

But having looked at the email address of the sender, it clearly wasn’t from John.

Be careful!  Our Committee members, with their names, phone numbers and email address, are all listed on our Contacts page for all to see, so it is inevitable that we’ll get scammers pretending to be one of us. If you’re in any doubt about anything you might receive from one us, best to pick up the phone and check before acting on something you’re asked to do…