Reports of Section Runs and Meetings for 2023

Reports are listed in reverse order i.e. newest first. At the start of a New Year they will be removed to the page called the 'previous year' on the Lounge drop down button above.
the photos use a slide show type of presentation, just click any photo to start there.

23rd January
Section AGM. We had 23 members in attendance with all the usual suspects being returned to post.
Chairman - Bob James
Vice Chairman - Bryn Tipples
Secretary - Howard Jayne
Treasurer - Bill Phelps
Scribe - Bob James
Rob Jones
Mike Eytner
Andy Whitely
A discussion took place regarding the large subs increase, which has caused some concern. The AGM for the main club will be interesting.

15/16 April Cheddar weekend
Several of us entered the Somerset Sections Cheddar weekend: -
Rob J - Velocette
Roger & Iris M - PAC
Howard & Carol J - Lomax
Bill & Jean P - Lomax
Bruce & Di G - Honda (didn't make it as Di had her arm in plaster)
Saturdays Social Run, of 72 miles, took place on a perfect motor cycling day. After the traffic-light drag through Bridgewater, the Quantock Hills were looking their best, with many different wild flowers and the new greens of spring, all under a blue sky and with little traffic. Return trip to Cheddar was on some faster bend swinging roads with a less stressful route through Bridgewater, followed by more riding on the levels. The lunch, of baked potatoes, at Nether Stowey Church Centre, with it’s background of `vintage’ music, was provided by Section members. Rob's Velo gave up the ghost in Minehead - no drive through kickstart - clutch problems or lack of compression, was diagnosed.
Sunday’s Trial of 25 `friendly’ miles for the older machines, mostly on the levels with a dip (climb) into Mendips was enjoyed by an exclusive group on machines up to 1915. Howard's Lomax was had a charging problem and it was hoped that the battery would have lasted the event, but it didn't, so we had to effect a rescue. Anyway, the longer route of 47 miles took riders straight up, via the gorge, onto The Mendip Hills, then, with long views into Dorset and Quantocks and Exmoor, down into Wells. Back over the Mendips to Chewton Mendip for riding tests. Again over the Mendips to Cheddar Football Club for a quiz, Feely Bags and ploughman’s lunch. Roger collected 14 points and yours truly 11 - not good at all, but we had a great time, and it didn't rain. THANKS:- To Somerset section member’s for support in running the weekend. Particular thanks to Ruth and her team for Saturday’s Lunch. To Jill for her Piano Playing and a check on Sunday. To James for the back up Van, used once - by, guess who?  Our Rob.

23rd April - the Spring run
Six motorcycles left Llanharry WMC at 10:30am. The run was led by Andy and we all arrived together at the tea stop. While enjoying a chat along with some refreshment the rain started, so it was deemed appropriate that we would make for home. Fortunately, the rain, although heavy, only lasted a few minutes and a soaking was avoided. The planned route was followed home with riders peeling off for their homes along the way. Roads were good for motorcycles and the pace was spot on. An excellent ride out in good company. Thanks to all involved in the planning etc.

15th - 20th May, Weymouth week
This year only our Rob went and these are his reports: -
The sky was a clear blue and the sun was shining as we all gathered at the entrance to Bagwell Farm for the start. There were around 30 bikes and riders, many of whom we had met on other occasions. Rob was riding his 1959 Velo MAC and had arrived the afternoon before in his motor home.
Rod and Carol Hann led us on their route along the back lanes to Abbotsbury. The road hugged the coast with fine views over the blue waters of The Fleet. We continued along to Bridport and through Chideock on the A35 to our coffee stop at Felicity's Farm shop. From here our route headed inland over the hills and pretty villages before crossing the border into Devon. We arrived at The Tram stop, Colyton, which is the terminus of the Seaton Tramway, for our lunch stop.
We spent a pleasant hour here having food and watching the trams arriving and departing. The afternoon run was a return along the main coast road through Lyme Regis to a coffee stop at Freshwater Bay Caravan Park. Our return to Bagwell Farm completed a 70 mile tour of the seaside in lovely sunny weather.

Today's run was of 80 miles through the countryside to the Isle of Purbeck and back. Again there was an excellent turn out with numbers in the 30s. There was a wide range of bikes with single, twin and multi cylinders. The run headed north skirting the edge of Weymouth and running through the lanes. We passed the edge of Maiden Castle and reached our coffee stop at the Rainbow Garage Cafe on the Wareham Road. From here the route used the back roads which took us through woods with mature trees overhanging the road. We had a stop on the Isle of Purbeck overlooking Poole Harbour. Bournemouth,  Sandbanks, Poole and Brownsea Island could be seen in the sunshine.
We swung down into Swanage. As we rode along the front the sea was glittering away to our left. Lunch was taken at Putlake Adventure Farm. The afternoon route saw us riding down Corfe main street with Corfe Castle right in front of us. Then we turned right and headed through Hartland Moor with the road bordered by whit Mayflower and yellow Broom. Heading through the army ranges we reached Lulworth Cove for the afternoon stop in lovely weather. From here it was mostly main roads skirting Weymouth and back to camp.

Today's run was a 90 mile jaunt northwards through the countryside to Shaftesbury. Twenty three riders set out, up past Hardy's Monument and on to Cerne Abbas. The country lanes took us past fields of yellow rape seed and over the interestingly named River Piddle. A slight detour due to a road closure led us to our coffee stop at the charming village of Milton Abbas where a master thatcher was busy re-thatching the pub roof. Suitably refreshed we wended our way through pretty thatched villages, all with their gardens in bloom. The route led us on to some high ground with stunning views over Cranbourne Chase. We next entered some woods and were met with a series of sharp hairpin bends, dropping us down towards Shaftesbury. Here we parked up in front of the old abbey cloister for our lunch stop. Whilst in Shaftesbury we took a stroll to look at the quaint street named Gold Hill. Its better known to people of a certain age as "the Hill" in the Hovis advert.(bit before my time - Bill) The afternoon route was again through the countryside to our coffee stop at Round Chimneys Farm Shop. Its history reaches back to the 1300s with the present building being built in 1590. It was once owned by the Churchill family. Leaving here we soon reached a good B road to Cerne Abbas with glimpses of the giant cut into the hillside. We continued on through to Charminster. Here we retraced our steps over the hill past Hardy's Monument and back to camp.

Today's run saw 30 riders assembled for a run westwards. The forecast was giving rain in the afternoon but the morning was bright and dry. Rod was riding solo as Carol was preparing lunch. We rode along the B3157 through Abbotsbury village with its honey coloured cottages with thatched roofs. Cresting the hill we had views of the blue waters of Lyme Bay to our left and fields of green grass and yellow rape seed in the valley to our right.  Approaching Bridport we were joined by a 1936 Velocette MSS. Rod led us on a windy road to Salway Ash and Beaminster before stopping for a coffee at Redlands Yard. From here we had a gentle run through quiet villages to Rod and Carol's for our lunch. We had a chance to look at Rod's bikes and admire Carol's garden. After lunch Carol joined Rod and we were led along the A37 before cutting across country to come out near Hardy's Monument. Then it was a short run along the coast to finish the day and get back before the rain. It was a fantastic week, riding with friends old and new. The weather remained dry and sunny and the scenery and places we visited were great. Many thanks must go to Rod and Carol for organising everything and to the gentleman who was 'tail end Charlie' for the drop off system. To quote a certain outfit rider, 'it was a grand week out.' .

21st May - West South Wales section, Black Mountain event
Rob, freshly back from Weymouth, had entered this event along with myself and our yellow Lomax. Jean being rather poorly had opted not to come with me this year. The morning of the event and I wheeled the Lomax out of the garage and climbed in, only to find that no matter what I did the motor just would not fire up. I spent an hour checking sparks, new plugs etc before moving on to the carb. After removing the carb top I found that there was no fuel in the float bowl. It turned out to be a stuck float needle. I must remember not to leave it to the morning of an event in future before checking that the engine runs ok. I had just over an hour to get to the start in Llandeilo and found the Lomax only too willing to getting a move on along the M4. I rolled into the car park in Llandeilo just as first man away was heading out. Some quick hellos were said and as Rob was away in only a few minutes after my arrival, I soon made arrangements to follow him and save myself the problem of not having a navigator.
The route was superb, sun was shining, birds tweeting and we had some lovely single track country roads to enjoy. We headed north towards Salem, passing through Cwmdu and on to Talley. Still heading north we came to Caio and took a sharp left up hill here, before heading out onto a loop to Cwrt-y-cadno. That was the first time check - how far had you come and at what average speed? On we headed to Rhandirmwyn before heading into Llandovery for an hours lunch stop.
After lunch we headed for Llangadog, then out over the Black Mountain and into Brynamman,before turning right and heading up towards Golden Grove and back to Llandeilo and the finish. 34.3 miles in the morning and 36.8 in the afternoon. Rob's velo performed well and he only had one wobble when negotiating a slippery ford. It sure was a lovely route etc. Some photos taken on the day.

3rd/4th June - West South Wales section - Irish/Welsh weekend
The event was to have been based in the Nant-y-ffin Hotel in Clynderwyn, but the government had decided that the hotel was to be reserved for housing asylum seekers, so all bookings had to be cancelled. At the last minute the usual base at Saundersfoot was selected. The journey to Saundersfoot on the Friday afternoon was a M4 stop/start affair, with a full contingent of traffic. It seemed to take forever to make progress. We eventually met up with the Irish contingent on the Friday night  “ meet and greet” in the Merlewood Hotel, Saundersfoot. There were some 25 from Ireland with a similar number from the UK. From our section there was Rob J Honda, Roger & Iris Mallett PAC and Carol & Howard J Lomax.
Saturdays run was along some interesting lanes through Broad Haven, Little Haven, Dale and many other places. The sun was hot, very hot and we were pleased for the scheduled breaks to re-hydrate etc. The route was good and enjoyable, helped by the lack of modern traffic. Saturday night was the event dinner, which was more than acceptable. After a day’s driving/riding an early night beckoned.
Others partied into the night - Oh for those days again.
Sunday was another hot and sunny day with a much longer route. Some 130 miles long and again with some very interesting lanes, mixed with a few A roads. A tea/comfort break was the mid morning stop at a garden centre. From the garden centre we made for Aberaeron and lunch. The afternoon route was more of the same and very enjoyable.
Yet another excellent weekend arranged by the West South Wales Section continuing the bi- annual Welsh/Irish event. Next year it’s the Welsh turn to visit Ireland.

11th - 17th June - Scarborough Week - thanks to Rob and John for the photos
Rob and John were joined at Seamer, by Derek and Geoff from mid Lincoln, Gareth and Anthony from Swansea and Norman from West South Wales sections for the Scarborough Riding Week.
 After a welcome by Tony Cowley on the Saturday all routes for the week were given out. It was up to each group to decide what route to do on what day. So, today we decided to do a short 48 mile ride around Dalby Forest as we had booked an evening meal at the pub in the village. Derek led us off riding a 1939 Velocette MSS followed by Geoff on a 1960 Viper,  Norman on a 1959 Cub, Rob on his 1959 MAC, Anthony and Gareth on Hondas and John on his BSA A10. Scott had ridden up from Chesterfield for a day's ride. Leaving Seamer we headed to East Ayton where we took the Forge Valley road through the trees. Climbing through the shady woods we were soon on high ground heading for Troutsdale. The twisty back roads were traffic free and led us up over the dale past the small deserted Chapel before descending and giving us superb views of the Vale of Pickering. Crossing the A170 we were in the low farm lands of the Vale before rejoining the main road near Thornton le Dale. Here we turned north into the North Riding Forestry Park at Dalby. Stopping at the visitors' centre we had a tea break and chat in the sunshine. Next the route took us through the dappled lighted road in the forest towards Hackness, passing the quaint looking Moorcock Inn which is really out in the wilds. A loop from Hackness via Scalby brought us back to Forge Valley and the main road to the campsite.

Today's run was a hundred miles through the dales and mountains of the North Yorkshire Moors. Only six of us rode, as Anthony decided to give it a miss. We were all using the same bikes as yesterday except John who was on his BSA. We took the main road to Pickering where we turned on to the lanes which took us to our tea stop at Rosedale Abbey. After a cuppa we tackled the 1 in 3 Hill with hairpins known as The Chimney, which is one of the steepest climbs in all of Europe. Then it was along the rolling roads over the Moors to Hutton le Hole where we turned up Farndale to our lunch stop at The Feversham Arms, at Church Houses. The afternoon route took us up the hill to Blakey Ridge before turning down through Westerdale and over Commondale to Castleton. Next we took some of the roads running along the top of the hills with lovely views in all directions. We could even see Whitby and the North Sea sparkling in the distance. We stopped for ice cream at Grosmont Station but there were no steam trains running that day. The last leg took us along the high ground to the Littlebeck turn off. This narrow road really tests man and machine going down some 3 in 3 hills with four hairpin bends. What goes down must go up and again we faced hairpin bends and steep climbs. Crossing the main Whitby to Scarborough Road we were back through the trees of Forge Valley and back to camp.

Today's run was a visit to Dick Craven's motorcycle museum in Stockton on the Forest. Everyone on site was going, as Dick had opened up especially for us. The route was down through the Yorkshire Wolds with rolling countryside and less steep hills. We made use of many back lanes and B roads which were mostly well surfaced. We were on high ground which gave us great views of the rolling farmland. Our first stop was at Kirkam Abbey in the valley to the south of the A64. We had time for a chat and some photographs as the museum was to open at 1 o'clock.  The museum houses over 250 motorcycles plus signs, adverts, tools etc. Dick Craven also had some if the bikes that had been used in Heartbeat and Emmerdale. After spending some time here we headed off through the smaller roads and through pretty villages with houses of red brick and tiled roofs and gardens in flower. We reached Friday thoroughly and decided to call into a cafe fir something cold to drink. The clutch on John's Triumph had begun to feel a bit spongy and on inspection it was found that the cable was fraying. Luckily Derek on the 39 MAC had solderless nipples so it was soon fixed. Our route back to camp was on relatively traffic free roads and we enjoyed the views through the farmland towards Thixendale and over the Wolds to camp. Ninety miles covered and enjoyed by all even if it was rather hot at times

Today's weather was glorious again, so under clear blues skies six of us set off to ride to Helmsley. The route took us westward through the lanes of the Vale of Pickering to Maltan passing fields of crops. We continued on to Castle Howard and into the Howardian Hills. Climbing through trees we came to to village of Terrington with its honey coloured houses with red tile roofs. Dropping off the hills, we entered Helmsley and parked the bikes in the market square. After lunch the route took us north for a 17 mile run looping through the high hills and dales of High Lidmoor and Bransdale. There were stunning views but we had to be careful of sheep and even came across two gates along the road. We rode around Gillamor and stopped at The Crown at Hutton le Hole for a drink and photos. In 20 miles we only saw one tractor and two cars. From Hutton it was along the wooded roads to Pickering and an ice cream stop in Thornton le Dale before arriving back at the camp after a run of 90 miles.

Today we decided to mix two route sheets together to make one run of about 90 miles. The morning route would be to Whitby while the afternoon one would be to Heartbeat Country. The seven of us headed westward to Forge Valley and then turned north towards the coast.  After passing through Scalby we headed up the main A171 to Whitby branching off to Staintondale with views of the sea on our right. Here we found our road blocked so we made a quick detour to Ravenscar. Here we had a cup of tea overlooking the north sea. We rode back the way we had come to get back to the main road. Riding north we took a small B road to Ugglebarnby. Dropping off the high ground we had a sight of Whitby and its ruined Abbey. We rode alongside the River Esk and on to Whitby and the harbour for our fish and chips dinner. The afternoon route was a return along the main road before branching off to Goathland or Aidensfield from the Heartbeat tv show. The Velos, BSA and Triumph attracted a lot of attention as we rode in, even being filmed by a few people. After an hour stop we headed towards Egton before taking the road over the Moors. This is about 16 miles long and crosses the open moor with views on either side. Part of it is the Wheeldale Roman Road. The weather has been dry and hot and the ford which we crossed was empty of water. We reached Pickering and then used the main road back to camp.

Today was the last day of the Scarborough Riding Week. Geoff had already left so Derek, Gareth, Anthony, Norman, John and myself were left. We decide on The Lighthouse Run but missing out some afternoon lanes. It was my turn to lead and we headed out on the road towards Filey then the back lanes over the Wolds. The landscape is not so steep as the Moors and the farms tend to be dairy and crops. The hedges were quite high with dog roses and elder flowers. On the higher ground we did get views of the countryside. We passed the Norman Manor House of Burton Agnes Hall and stopped at the 158 Squadron Memorial at Gransmoor. Turning north we headed towards Bridlington and on to Flamborough Head for lunch. After food we decided to head directly to Filey. We were lucky to get a parking on the front. Sitting in the sunshine we enjoyed our last ice cream of the week. It was a short run across country to the campsite where we loaded the bikes ready to return home on Saturday. The week was excellent. The weather was hot and the skies were blue. Our group got on really well. All bikes ran well even though the temperatures made starting a little difficult. The routes we chose were excellent and the views superb. We are already booked on for next year.

26th June - Bring a bike night
We had a number of bikes turn up for the annual Bring a bike night for the John Wells Trophy - won this year by Bob J and his immaculate BSA Rocket three

12th September - The Vale of Glamorgan
The weather didn't look too bad for the day and mostly the sun shone. However, "sod's law" was to have a good day, as the Round Britain cycle race was to travel through the Vale from Margam at around 11am, the very time that we would be setting off from the start in Llanharry. I left the start early in order to get some photographs as everyone was to pass through the Llancarfan water splash. The problem that I had was that I had fiddled with my camera settings, resulting in most of the pictures needing plenty of processing.
For some reason or other there was only a mere 13 entrants for our event and as it happened we all managed to miss the cyclists and the road closures. However, when we arrived at the lunch stop, the Horseshoe Inn in Marcross - it was closed. Something that we only found out a day before the event. Andy however, had bought some sandwiches and drinks so that we would not go without sustenance as we all assembled in the pub car park - all going well so far!! Jim Codd managed to get lost but did make the finish and when I spoke to him that evening at home, he said that he had had one of the most enjoyable rides around the Vale and expressed thanks to Andy who had prepared the route. Results to follow.

18th September - Saundersfoot run, report by Rob J and photos from Bill P and Angelo Conti
The weekend of 15th to 17th September was the Saundersfoot Weekend. Chris Thomas had organised a social run for the Friday, so Rob, on his rigid Velo, and Bill, in the Lomax, joined some dozen or so others at the Merlewood Hotel for the start. The run was a leisurely 45 miles along the coast and then inland. The route took us all along to Pendine and our coffee stop on the sea front overlooking the beach.

From here we retraced our route up the hill and on towards Red Roses, Tavernspite and our lunch stop at The Station Hotel Whitland.

After lunch we took the back roads around Llandewi Velfry Vineyard, Ludchurch and back to Saundersfoot.
The Saturday Road Trial was a little damp for the start at Coppet Hall, but there was a good turnout of 40 plus machines dating from 1912 to 1998. After signing on, getting the route cards sorted out and admiring the bikes we were all set. Jean was not too well this morning so Bill and Jean headed home with their Lomax and missed the main event.

Anyway, riders started in pairs and the route went through Wiseman’s Bridge and inland to Ludchurch and the back lanes to Landshipping and Templeton before heading west to the checkpoint at Slebech. Then it was on to Haverfordwest and the seaside at Broad Haven, Nolton Haven and the lunch stop at Newgale.

The one-hour lunch stop gave a chance to chat to old friends. From here it was along the coast for a short while before taking the main road to Haverfordwest and on towards Whitland. It was back to the lanes through Narberth and Ludchurch for the final check point before reaching the finish at Coppet Hall.
The Sunday morning dawned grey but dry and most of the competitors met at Coppet Hall by 11 o’clock for the concours judging. Quite a lot of the public were there to look over the bikes and chat to the owners. Rob managed to get runner up in the Post Vintage Class with his 1953 Velocette MAC.

By noon it was time to pack up and head for home.

22nd to 29th September - The Isle of Wight Scurry
The usual suspects of, Howard and Carol, Rob J and Jean and myself, had entered, and having crossed the solent we planned to stay for a week to make it worth while. We arrived at the Orchards Holiday park, where we were staying, on the Friday - late afternoon. The evening there was a short local run organised, with a dinner booked at the Horse & Groom pub. We opted to go straight to the pub so left the bikes in the van etc.
Saturday dawned and everyone gathered at the front of the Holiday Park before riding into Newport and the display in St Thomas's Square in the centre of the town. Howard rode my 1961 Tiger Cub and I rode my little 1952 Peugeot, whilst Rob shephered us both on his 1959 MAC. I must say that I do like the IOW with it's uncluttered roads and no motorways. It sure is a nice laid back place to ride a bike.

There was quite a few bikes lined up in the centre of Newport, all waiting for the outcome of the selection of the County Press trophy winner.

We all departed from the Square at 2pm for a ride to Sandown airport and a visit to the aircraft museum there. Seen at the museum were:

After our visit it was back to the Holiday Park.
Sunday dawned - the day of the Scurry, which started again from the Holiday Park. This time we had route cards and we agreed that Rob would start on page 1 and as soon as he got to the sheet change-over, I would lead on page 2. That meant that neither of us had to try and uncurl a route sheet and the roll it up in the opposite direction to read the page printed on the back - you need to try it - it's a nightmare. Anyway, the first stop was for coffee at  "The Old Barracks" Puckpool, near Ryde. I spotted a rather tasty Red Rickman Metisse, which I really did fancy.

From the Coffee stop the route took us inland and headed back towards Newport and the lunch stop at PC's Cafe. Carol and Jean were there before us, so had bagged a table. Now, with any event, things can go wrong and this time they did. We waited two hours for our lunch and when it came, only half of it was on our plates. We ate up quickly and set off back to the bikes and the first part of the afternoons run. There was an ice cream stop as part of the afternoons run and it wasn't long before we were at the viewing point near Niton on the south of the island, looking out towards the complete coast of the west end of the island.

From here we headed westwards taking the side roads towards Brighstone. Then, as I was leading I took a wrong turning and ended up on the coast road to Freshwater.  Not to worry, it was nice day and I knew where we were, so off we all set towards Freshwater and a big loop back to the Holiday Park, that was not part of the event. But never mind it was great day out. That evening there was a buffet laid on in the Sun Inn, which was just down the road from the Holiday Park.
Monday - and everyone met at 10am for a ride to the Needles and a visit to the "rocket site". There's not much left of the rocket site now apart from lots of concrete. Used during the cold war to test rocket engines that were used in Australia - Google 'Black Arrow Rocket'. The photos taken at the rocket site were:

Back to a cafe in Freshwater to say our goodbyes, after another great event that had very good weather - all dry and sometimes in sunshine. The rest of the week we spent wandering the island before heading back home on the Friday, with Rob setting off for the Velo Owners Club "Bob Foster weekend".