Some Thoughts plus Some Amusing Photos

As a committee we have tried to keep the section informed and in touch with each other, this has meant a lot of work for both the chairman and secretary they have come up with fresh ideas to over come the problems this virus has caused putting in many hours of work to help the section through these trouble times, to keep us within the guide lines and safe and on behalf of all of us I would like to thank them.

As it seems that we will not be able to have club nights for some time is there any support for doing as Somerset section are, by having a monthly ride in to an open air farm shop/cafe for a cup of tea / bacon batch any one welcome on any bike or in a car, just for a chat and to meet up. If you are interested can you recommend any where. Do not leave it up to the committee to do all the work contact Paul with your suggestions and help to keep the club active.

Stay safe Ray Dickinson

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

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 ——–
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.

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.