Weymouth Week 14th to 21st May 2011
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Terry and Dilys Hopes, Bruce and Diane Grant, plus Jean and I had all entered this event. We were taking the vintage Indian to ride during the Sunday's Weymouth run and our Moto Morini for the rest of the week.

Terry had his Guzzi V50 and Bruce his Honda 400 four. Terry, Dilys and motor home had arrived on the campsite at Bagwell Farm on the Friday, whilst we didn't leave home until midday on Saturday. On arrival at the campsite we left our bikes and trailer with Terry before heading off to check into our B&B. Back at the campsite that evening there was a get together in the main marquee, by which time Bruce and Di had arrived. We had a pleasant social evening and also a briefing on the week to come. The weather promised to be good for the week, which was nice to know. A bonus was that our friends, Willy and Mady from Antwerp, were also at the event.

Sunday 15th
The day of the 44th Weymouth Run and we all set off from the campsite at 10am to head for the front of Weymouth and the start area in front of the Pavilion. The run commenced at 11am and we were flagged off by the Mayor of Weymouth who was ably assisted by our own club President, Colin Bell. I had opted for the short route of 40 miles, as had Terry and Bruce, and soon we were away along the seafront. Within 100 yards Terry took the wrong turning and Bruce followed - both last seen heading into the back streets of Weymouth. We headed off along the 'proper' route and out into the country. It was a lovely day and I did enjoy the ride on the bike. We passed through Dorchester and then doubled back along the coast towards Weymouth.

With only 5 miles or so to go Terry and Bruce had caught us up, so we stopped to compare notes for 15 minutes and find out if their tour of Weymouth's back streets was enjoyable, before setting off back to the Pavilion on the seafront and the concours judging.

Some of the 150 or so bikes are in the following photos:

Would you believe it but the Indian was awarded the Best Vintage cup - a rather giant of a thing and too difficult to carry back on the bike so it was left with one of the organisers in the hope that we could recover it later, which we did, of course.
The only mishap of the day happened when we were about to leave the assembly area. Having started the Indian, I promptly fell off it as I threw my right leg over the bike. I unbalanced and my leg gave way and down the bike went, taking the next two bikes in the line with it. Nothing damaged apart from my squashed right knee and pride, of course.

The evening consisted of a run out to Portland Bill and a stop at the 'Codfather' for fish & chips.

Monday 16th

The "Marshwood Vale run" headed out to the west and then turned north towards Somerset and Ilchester. The lunch stop was at the Perry cider makers in Dowlish Wake. Nice lunch, and many of us bought some cider to sample later on.

On the return journey to Bagwell farm we stopped at a craft centre. Ok, I can't remember where it was, but the tea and cake was more than fine. Not sure about our look around some of the craft shops though, as all the goods on offer were well over-priced.

Now then, it is our usual practice to call at the fuel station just a few miles before Bagwell and fill the bike tanks so that we're all ready for the following days run. I pulled in and stopped at the first pump with Bruce and Terry fighting to be first to the remaining pump. We filled our bikes and then Bruce asked "anyone seen my bike keys?". The answer was no, of course. We all searched the forecourt, the payment office, even going through all the customary racks of sweets. Nothing for it but to search Bruce - the girls did have a good time and I'll say no more apart from the fact that the only key that was found on him was one that he didn't know he had - needless to say, it wasn't the bike key. Next job, and the one we'd left till last was to go through the rubbish bin, all to no avail. All of us reached the same conclusion - the keys must be in the fuel tank. Don't ask!! we couldn't figure it either.

As luck would have it Bruce had a spare set of bike keys in his camper, so Terry and Di set off to get them and were soon back. The Honda was then mobile again, but the mystery remained.

That evening was spent in the Marquee downing a few beers and trying to complete a picture quiz. With a bit of cheating we didn't do too badly but there's always someone else who's done better, isn't there? Still it was a good evening.

Tuesday 17th
This was the day of the longest ride to Sammy Millers museum. All of us having been there a few times before we decided that we'd do our own thing and settled for a shorter run to Clouds Hill and then on to the Swanage steam railway. We were joined by Edwin and Mary riding a lovely 1949 350cc Matchless, plus Willy and Mady on their Rotax engined Jawa. Clouds Hill was the home of Lawrence of Arabia and is now owned and maintained by the National Trust. We found the site ok, but would you believe it - Tuesday was the one day when it was closed.

Nothing for it but on to Norden and the Park and Ride for the Swanage railway.

At the ticket office Bruce tried his charm. "Any discounts for senior citizens?", "No" was the reply. "How about a discount for a party?", Bruce said, "No" was the reply. "Any chance of a discount for a group of Vintage Motorcyclists?", "No" came the final reply. Well we tried!!

We didn't have to wait long before the train arrived from Swanage, pulled by 'Manston' a 1947 built Bullied 'Battle of Britain' class Pacific. I must say that I'm very much a Great Western man and did feel that the pacific 'Spam can', as they are nicknamed, was a touch too large a loco to be running on a branch line. Still it was steam and the 6 mile run to Swanage most enjoyable.

We meandered into Swanage and soon found a nice pub for lunch. Afterwards an ice cream for those that could manage one and then a walk along the pier, which has an admission charge.

The train ride back to Norden was again behind 'Manston'. Halfway back we were delayed for 15 minutes or so, as the engine suffered a blow back, resulting in the canvas roof between the tender and engine catching fire.

The evening entertainment was from Bonny Sartin. He was very much a one man show and had been a member of the Yetties folk group who gave their last show in April after nearly 50 years of providing entertainment. Bonny beguiled us with monologues and a few songs for nearly two hours - and good he was.

Wednesday 18th
The day of the Jurassic coast run to Lyme Regis. The night before we had been told not to stop at the Crown Inn, somewhere or other - so, having completely forgotten that instruction we set off on the route. After an hour or so we came to a pub with quite a few bikes in the car park, so, we stopped. You've guessed it, it was the Crown Inn and it wasn't until we entered the bar and ordered coffee that we were told that we shouldn't have stopped, as they had a big lunch time event to prepare for - but our order and money was readily accepted, along with everyone elses. It was a bit of a fight to get the coffee as it was obvious that the pub was not ready for us at all. Anyway, on to Lyme.

By the time we arrived in Lyme Regis the weather looked a bit dark - so it was straight into the nearest pub for lunch. Bruce and Di had done their own thing that morning and had been off visiting friends, however, they soon found us. As we ate we watched the umbrellas passing the window and as luck would have it things looked a lot better when we left the pub. The Town Crier was in attendance and posed behind the best looking bike in the car park - what more can I say? The run back to Bagwell followed the coast and we had to negotiate some real thick low-lying cloud that not only reduced visibility but was also quite wet.

The evening consisted of another quiz and a hog roast - which I must say was good, the hog roast that is.

Thursday 19th

Before setting off we all had a go at fishing for the Honda keys with a couple of bits of bent wire, all with no success. So it was declared that perhaps the keys were not in the tank - but where on earth could they be? However, Di was convinced that she could hear them rattling in the tank.

The Blackmoor Vale run this day headed North towards Shaftesbury. The coffee stop was at the Hambro Arms in Milton Abbas, but before getting there I turned us into Milton Abbey.

Now a private school, we were able to visit the abbey and have a look around. It is used by the school as their local chapel and when we arrived and entered we found a lady teacher seated at a grand piano and coaching a student in the singing of 'Bring him Home' from Les Miserables. It sure was a haunting sound to be heard in the acoustics of the abbey and one that I stood and listened to for quite a while. The teacher herself had a beautiful voice and there was a temptation to ask her to sing the song on her own - but we didn't interrupt - and just enjoyed listening to the rendition.

Time was getting on, so we set off for the coffee stop at the Hambro Arms and it wasn't long before we were there. From the pub we set off for Shaftesbury and the designated parking area in the town for the bikes at Abbey Walk.

You can't go to Shaftesbury without a look at Gold Hill. Used in so many TV adverts, and in particularly the Hovis ad. Quintessentially England and one that I had to photograph myself. Then it was into a pub for lunch. Please don't get the idea that we spent a lot of time in pubs, just a bit, that's all.

We had a stop at the viewing point for the Cerne Abbas giant on the return to Bagwell Farm and took the opportunity for a bit of a photo shoot, before heading back on the final leg to the camp site.

As we all had to return home for the following days section dinner/dance, none of us bothered to refill the fuel tanks before getting back to Bagwell - so, back at base, Bruce took the opportunity to try fishing for his keys again and this time he removed the tank and after turning it upside down - out they came. Mystery solved!!

Jean and I returned to South Wales that evening whilst Bruce and Di along with Terry and Dilys came back home on Friday morning. All in all, a super week even though we missed the Fridays ride out.