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The Flat Tank Section weekend, Tewkesbury - 2011
(Click the photo to see a larger picture - then just click your back button to come back to this article.)

Those going to this event were Terry and Dilys, plus Jean and I. Terry was to ride his Barr & Stroud engined Beardmore Precision and I'd entered the 1923 P&M outfit. However, Jean had decided that she didn't want to ride in the P&M sidecar as it moved around too much due to it's rather soft suspension - so the week before, I rang the organiser and substituted the Indian.

We arrived at the Haw Bridge Inn, near Tewkesbury, around mid afternoon on the Friday to find quite a number of caravans and motor homes all set up.

The idea was to leave the bike and trailer with Terry, as Jean and I were booked into a hotel in Tewkesbury for the following two days and they didn't have the car parking available for our trailer as well as the car. After dropping off the Indian etc, Jean and I set off to Tewkesbury and to book into our hotel. We were soon back at the Haw Bridge and ordered one of their usually good pub meals. We sat outside afterwards and enjoyed a very pleasant and balmy evening. The weather forecast was good for the weekend, which was quite pleasing to know. Anyhow, the evening eventually finished off with a quiz in the skittle alley - we didn't win, of course.

Saturday morning and the weather looked very good, although there was rain forecast for the evening.

Having said that the sun was out and Terry, as number 48 was soon away. We were number 50 but I was a bit late getting away due to the need to adjust the throttle cable on the Indian - that done we headed off out into the lanes. No rush at all as there was no time element involved and it was pleasant on a lovely summers day to just bowl slowly along whilst looking at the scenery. We were passed by a few of the later runners, but what was the rush? One of them on a Veteran Triumph had a death wish from the way that he rode, but I was told that he was always like that and had two speeds - flat out or stop.

The route took us towards Newent and then into the Forest of Dean where we came to the first of the checkpoints. They weren't time checks as such and all we had to do was answer a few questions, for example - Who's the current President? Who's the President elect? What has been your average speed to here? How far have you travelled up to now? All questions to determine who gets the trophies when there is no time element involved.

We soon arrived at the lunch stop in Lower Lydbrook and wondered where Terry was, as he should have been there before us - anyway, he soon arrived and admitted that he'd been on a short excursion after missing a turning. Fed and watered alfresco, we were busy talking as it came over all dark. "It won't rain", says I, "my wife said so". How wrong I was and it was lucky that we were still at the pub as the whole entourage piled indoors to watch the rain through the pub windows. After a while the rain stopped and a number of us decided to get on with the ride. In no time at all it began to rain again and neither Jean, Terry or I had over trousers with us. All part of motorcycling really - we just got wet. Some distance further on, the rain stopped and that was it for the rest of the day. At one point we were overtaken by two riders who after a short distance turned left into a lane. A quick look at the signpost and Terry and I followed - that was a mistake.

The lane was certainly single track and the farther along it we went the worse the surface became, potholes, sand, and grass up the middle - towards the end there wasn't even any tarmac. We arrived, after a mile or so at the tee junction that we were looking for, except that there was no road sign and it was obvious that we'd gone wrong. Right we went and after a few miles found the correct road. Another stop for questions - "who is the clubs CEO?" etc. "Why not ask me who is the Immediate Past President?", I said. Rob Rendell replied that I might just know the answer to that one.

On we went towards Newent before turning east towards Tewkesbury and the finish. The sun was out again, our trousers had blown dry by this time and it was time to enjoy the ride again.


Back at the finish we decided that we'd all pile into our car and head into Tewkesbury to pay a visit to our favourite Chinese restaurant. Fed and watered we arrived back at the Haw Bridge Inn for an evening of skittles. I can't remember who won, but it wasn't one of us.

Sunday dawned and again the weathermen were wrong. It was grey and dismal, but this time we were able to wear our over trousers from the start. Terry had discovered that one of the front fork leaf springs on the Beardmore was broken so decided that it would be best not to risk something more severe by riding with a much weakened front suspension spring. He and Dilys would meet us at the lunch stop and have a sunday lunch with us. Jean and I, aboard the Indian set off into the countryside and soon there was a welcome coffee stop at Taynton, wherever that is. Somewhere south of Newent, I was told.

Lunch was to be taken at the Royal Oak in Much Marcle and by the time we arrived, Terry and Dilys were already there. Our group was allocated a room all to ourselves and the lunch - a choice of beef, beef or beef, was fine, although the horseradish sauce was a touch on the powerful side.

After lunch, it was still raining as we set off on our return to the Haw Bridge. On the way we stopped to view a collection of micro cars and to partake in some tea and cake.

The collection of Microcars numbered something like 20 odd. There were examples of Messerschmitt, Gogomobile, Peel, Lloyd, BSA, Berkeley, Rollera, Kleinschnittger, Zundapp, Heinkel and more.

And now for some of the micro cars: -

inside and undercover were a number of project cars: -


Finally, something that is very unusual a 1959 Zundapp Janus. It's the same from both ends and it's only the end with the steering wheel that tells you which is the front, apart from the lights, of course. It has a 14bhp 250cc two-stroke motor and a top speed of 52mph. The seats fold down to form a double bed. It was only made for one year and is huge fun to drive, so the owner says.

All in all another interesting weekend, despite the rain.

BP