The Isle of Wight Scurry - 23rd to 27th September 2017
(Click the photo to see a larger picture in a slide show.)

Photos provided by various members.

Friday 23rd September
Terry and Dylis, along with Jean and myself headed for Lymington and the ferry, on Friday the 22nd. On the way Jean and I collected Ian Young from his home in Berkeley. In 2016 Ian had caught three trains to get to Lymington and it had taken him all day, so we offered him a lift home as he didn't live very far off our route home. This year I agreed to take him both ways as he doesn't ride a bike any more and had to surrender his driving licence. We made the 4pm ferry and were at the Brighstone holiday centre by 5.30pm. Terry and Dylis were already there as we settled into our cabin. The weather looked to be very good with the view from our cabin in the first of the following photos. Vic and Laura Blake's 1938 Matchless outfit is seen in the foreground - all sorted after up-ending itself on the 2016 Saundersfoot weekend.

The evening consisted of a get together during an excellent meal put on by the holiday centre.

Saturday 24th September
We all assembled in the car park, with Terry riding his side valve Beardmore, whilst Jean and I were on our Indian. The weather looked very good for the day as we set off for St Thomas's square in the centre of Newport where we were to display our bikes for the public to look at. The County Press trophy was due to be presented at 1pm, so we wandered the shops and cafes whilst waiting.

2pm arrived and we were scheduled to leave Newport and set off towards the west for a visit to Calbourne Mill. Not sure how we managed it, but we were the first to arrive and parked up in the bottom yard. Sadly the mill was not due to grind any grain during our visit, so it was a case of looking around the agricultural implement collection, visit the cafe and watch all the birds - ducks, doves, peacocks etc.

After a few pleasant hours we headed back to base. Jean and I had arranged to head to the Chinese restaurant in Freshwater with Vic and Laura Blake for an evening feed. 

Sunday 25th September
Another lovely day as we assembled in the car park for the 'Scurry'.

The route took us out to the East of the island on a variety of roads. Terry, on the Beardmore was following us, until I stalled the Indian on a right turn off a fast moving main road. As I was pushing into the side road Terry shot past as I kicked the Indian into life. Jean confirmed that it was Terry and that he was now in front of us. It wasn't long before we were at the Chequers Inn for a super Sunday lunch and Terry wasn't there - we'd seen the wrong yellow jacket overtake us. Terry eventually arrived in the recovery van and reckoned that the Beardmore had seized on one of the hills, not sure why. Anyway, after a sumptuous lunch our afternoon ride was a real pleasure as we rode the Military road back to base. The Military road was built as part of the defence network in 1860 and remained a private road for 70 years - nowadays it affords one of the nicest motorcycle roads that I have ever ridden, if only it was re-surfaced properly. There are some lovely sweeping bends and longish straights along it's 11 mile length. All with super visibility.
The evening consisted of a buffet in the site restaurant - just a bit too much food, I found, after having a full breakfast and a huge Sunday lunch.

Monday 26th September
The day dawned grey and overcast and as Terry's bike was out of action we opted for using our van so that we could all take part. The morning run was to the Freshwater independent Lifeboat station that the Isle of Wight section had adopted as their charity. This was not an RNLI lifeboat station and it survived on charitable donations alone. Interestingly the 'Warwickshire Section of the VMCC' were on the list of donors. We spent a couple of relaxing hours looking out over a very grey sea and watching some surfers enjoying themselves.
 
From the Lifeboat station we headed north to fort Victoria with a stop on the way for a buffet lunch at the Boathouse cafe. We were, again, one of the first to arrive and found a smashing table in the conservatory that was overlooking the solent. The buffet lunch was stupendous and the cafe did us proud, I must say. I think that we were there chilling out for some three hours before we decided to move on. We gave the fort a miss and headed back to the holiday centre, where it was a case of put your feet up for the evening. One of the most relaxing days that I'd had for a long time.

Tuesday 27th September
This turned out to be the real 'icing on the cake' day - a visit to the Isle of Wight Steam railway. We had all bought raffle tickets and the lucky winner, Richard Martin from the Chiltern section, won a ride on the locomotive footplate - wasn't me, sniff, sniff. Anyway, us four, again, used our van to get to the steam railway and the weather looked to be a lot better than the day before as we arrived at Havenstreet.

We boarded our train for the ride to Smallbrook Junction and as the engine was swapping ends for the return journey, it passed our compartment and I missed a photo opportunity. However, Vic leaned out of the carriage window and in his best posh voice shouted to the engine that had stopped some ten feet further on, "I say, could you reverse please, so that we can take some photos". The driver duly did as asked, and I got the following out of our carriage window.

The train eventually left Smallbrook and headed back to Havenstreet and on to Wooton, before returning to Havenstreet for us to disembark. An hour of good fun, for sure. Terry and I then opted for one of the guided tours of the workshop, before moving on to the fairly new 'Train Story' exhibition, which had a variety of carriages and wagons on display.

Afterwards, whilst sitting outside the cafe with a nice coffee I was asked if I could take a photograph of a 1947 KSS Velocette that had been in the same family for years and was being ridden by Dan Anstiss, the third generation to ride the bike. It seems that Dan's grandparents did much of their courting using the bike in the mid 50's. It was decided that a photo with the steam engine in the background would be nice, so the bike was pushed up onto the platform and put into it's pose as we waited for the train to return from Smallbrook. The photos weren't too bad. Job done.

The evening was spent in the restaurant on site with a plentiful buffet being provided. Trophies were presented and the results of the 'bike I'd like to take home' vote resulted in loads getting only one vote, our Indian included. There were about six bikes that had two votes, but the clear winner, with three votes, was Terry's Beardmore.

Wednesday 28th September
The following day, and it was a case of catching the 10am ferry and taking Ian home to Berkeley, before crossing the bridge and getting home ourselves. I feel that the Isle of Wight section have the event about right, no pressure at all, and an enjoyable four days in good company, which was a nice way to round off the riding season - if you've never been to the Isle of Wight, come along to the Scurry next year.

BP