63rd Banbury Run 2011
(Click the photo to see a larger picture in a slide show.)
year only Terry H and I had entered from our section - Terry on his
1921 Barr & Stroud engined Beardmore Precision and myself with
clubs 1923 P&M outfit.
Jean had decided that the P&M
sidecar was not at all to her liking as it was a bit like sitting in a
jelly and rolled a touch too much, so Stewart B was press-ganged into
providing the ballast.
Terry and Dilys arrived at Gaydon
Heritage Motor Museum, the base for the event, on the Saturday with
their Motor Home, whilst Stewart and I arranged to leave home at 6am on
Sunday with the hope of getting to Gaydon by 08.30am.
P&M was all ready and loaded onto the trailer on the Saturday.
Sunday dawned a touch cloudy - but dry as I set off to collect Stewart.
On the way we solved all the worlds problems and I also recounted the
confrontations that I'd had in
previous years with the marshalls whilst trying to gain entrance to the
Gaydon museum site.
2009 Jean and I were stopped no less than 5 times by marshalls and
on where we had to go and park, as if the first one hadn't got it
right. They did that to everyone who entered
the Gaydon site and it was no wonder that there was a chaotic queue out
along the main road.
In 2010 that had improved a bit and I was
instructed to go and park in the non-competitive car park. This was
despite the fact that I was the President of the club that year and had
some official duties to perform. "Park at the rear of the Museum with
all the officials vehicles" I was
told by the club's CEO a few weeks prior to the event. But there I was
- VIP sticker in the windscreen - with a real 'Jobsworth' refusing me
entry. "I Hope things will be better this year" I said to Stewart.
planned, we entered the Gaydon site to be told that the bottom car park
was full and that we had to park in the top car park. I enquired
about disabled parking and was directed to it - this was to
Stewart a bit of a walk. The yellow-jacketed marshall said to park
alongside the fence so that I could unload the P&M and as
instructed that's just what we did. Then an orange-jacketed 'jobsworth'
appeared - "Move your car and trailer over to the other car park, you
can't park here" he said. "But I've a registered disabled friend with
me and we were told to park here" I said, as I untied
"That doesn't matter" I was told. The arguement went on for
some minutes as I remonstrated that we were legitimately disabled, blue
badge and all, and
had parked properly, as instructed, in the disabled parking area etc,
etc. The outcome was that the 'jobsworth' was as entrenched in his
opinion as I was and he stormed off in a huff after saying that he'd
have me removed from the site. What a great start to the day!!
and I took the outfit down to the paddock area and parked it on our
designated spot - we were riding number 190 and Terry had already
placed his Beardmore on his number 145. Sign on; stick riding number to
the outfit; route in the roller route and generally try and get
ourselves ready. Whilst chatting to friends etc a couple of black
clouds passed overhead, but thankfully they came to nothing. The only
South Wales member that I saw there was Ken Baxter and it was nice to
and I were due to start at 10.37 and it wasn't long before we
pushing the P&M outfit in the queue for the off. Engines
were only to be started after reaching the start line and not before,
luckily the P&M started up quite easily. Five bikes at a time
set off at one minute intervals - think about that? 600 riders, 5 every
minute - that's two hours just to set them all off. The P&M was
scheduled in with 3 solos and a Morgan threewheeler and it was a bit of
a squash on the line, but soon we were on our way.
Out into the Warwickshire
countryside. Blue sky and a few puffy clouds - things looked good. The
P&M was running fine, clutches working nice and smoothly, oil
delivered via the sight glass - all was well with the world. Stewart
and I did laugh quite a bit as on every righthander the sidecar body
leaned out and the mudguard rubbed on the sidecar wheel tyre, giving
off a high pitched screeching sound. Stewart soon developed a technique
of grabbing hold of the rear carrier of the bike and holding the
sidecar body off the tyre as we rounded right handed corners - seemed
to work quite well. I reckon he'd be good on a racing outfit.
miles on we
clocked in and out of the first time check as I watched the roadside
for spectators. Why? well, I knew that Angela Martin was there
spectating somewhere and she had indicated in an email the week before
that she'd like
to see the P&M on the road. It was Angela's father Angus, who
1950 bought the P&M and had kept it in it's 'as found'
Angela and her mother had kindly loaned the P&M to the VMCC as
wanted it to be used and seen and I was it's first custodian. I spotted
a lady with a camera on the next road junction after the time check and
pulled over. It was Angela and it was a pleasure to say 'hello' for the
first time. It would have been nice to have had a longer chat but we
had a time schedule to keep up - so, a couple of quick pictures and
Stewart and I were off again
Later on the route, Sunrising hill was taken with ease by the
just as well really as there is always a big crowd watching the bikes
as many don't make it. We were down into 1st at one point, but showed
off by changing up into second as we got near the top. Soon we were
back at the finish and after clocking in I pushed the outfit
to it's spot in the paddock. Terry was already back and he said that
he'd had a good ride. Stewart and I signed off and collected a
then set off back to the car to find our sandwiches and unwind a bit.
around 2pm so Stewart and I decided to frequent the autojumble. As I
looked around I became more and more despondent about my hobby due
to the pure greed on open show from most of the vendors.
were astronomical. At one point a nice late 20's Norton and sidecar
caught the eye of Stewart and he stopped to chat to the seller.
that point Terry arrived and, leaving Stewart to his negotiating, we
set off to the other side of the jumble area as Terry had seen two BSA
Dandys for sale as a 'bogof' deal. I'm rebuilding one of those and it
was quite easy not
to consider a further purchase, as I have probably, enough bits to
second one anyway. I ask you what do I want another two decrepit Dandys
Jean would have had me sectioned if I'd come home with them. But - how
about the Brough on show at the Bonhams coffee tent:
as good for 106mph in second gear and with a value of £240,000
£280,000. I suppose that there are people who would pay that sort of
money - I ask you, what price a 1928 Brough Superior?
no sign of Stewart catching us up so Terry and I decided to go and
retrieve our bikes from the paddock area. Blow me down, there on the
P&M was a rosette. The bike had won something. Anyway,
the bike back to the car and loaded it onto the trailer before setting
off for the conference room and the award presentation.
was already there and it wasn't long before Ian Young started
announcing the award winners. Terry had
won a gold award and the
big surprise was that he also had the Best Vintage award for
Timekeeping - that
really is something at the Banbury, I can tell you. Meanwhile the
P&M had won the Best Original condition machine. I must say
both felt pretty chuffed as we left the meeting and headed
our respective cars. Didn't the South Wales Section do well?
It must be
said that Stewart baulked at the £18.5k price tag on the Norton and
didn't buy it.
year, it'll probably be the 1908 Triumph for me and a Beardmore for
Terry - I shall look forward to it and hopefully not suffer any more
problems with over officious marshalls, but I'm not holding my breath.