Reports of Section Runs and Meetings for 2018

The photos use a slide show type of presentation, just click any photo to start there.

2nd January
Lunchtime meeting at the Victoria Inn and only 6 members turned up - Barry even made it on his bike, despite the lousy weather. Happy New Year all, here's hoping that we have a good year riding.

25th March - re-scheduled St David's Day run
The Beast from the east 1 and 2 caused the postponement of our annual St. David’s Day Run, so it was good that the re-arranged date of the 25th March was dry, sunny and at times warm. What a delight to ride in the sun again, on what was our first proper ride of the season. 11 bikes ranging from a 1940 side valve Norton to a GT 550 Kawasaki and one three wheeler, enjoyed a ride through glorious countryside under clear blue skies. The final destination of the abbey of Llandewi Nant Honddu, or Llantony, is spectacular and the adjoining church of St. David's is one of the oldest sacred sites in Britain with a direct link back to our patron saint. After lunch at the Abbey we continued back via Abergavenny and Blainavon.

13th/15th April - The Cheddar trial weekend
There were a number of entries from our section, with only Terry missing out, due to the event limit on the number of entries. That did appear to be a bit strange as there were only 46 entered but it became clear, as the Football club had also booked in a family Christening party on the Sunday, consequently all the rest of us were squashed into the small bar for our end of event lunch.

I must say that it was only at the last minute that I decided to drive our Lomax to Cheddar, which turned out to be none too bad at all. Keeping things to 50-55mph, it was all the lorries that had to pull out to pass us, rather than the other way around. We stayed in a hotel with others in B&Bs around Cheddar. Rob and Bruce were on two wheels and staying with their camper vans on the caravan park next to the Cheddar Football Club ground. The three wheelers from Wales were, three Lomaxes, one PAC and one Pembleton.

Saturday dawned a little misty yet the day turned out to be glorious in the end - seen at the start:

We soon set off and the route took us up the Gorge and out onto the top of the Mendips. Things went fine until there was a mix-up with a left turn road sign, several went straight on whilst others took the left turn, which was the correct way. Eventually we all ended up at King Alfred's Tower - a Victorian folly, built by Henry Hoare II who planned it in the 1760s to commemorate the end of the Seven Years' War against France and the accession of King George III. The tower is near the location of 'Egbert's stone' where it is believed that Alfred the Great, King of Wessex, rallied the Saxons in May 878 before the important Battle of Edington. It was damaged by a USA plane in 1944 and had the top 10 metres restored in the 1980s. Now looked after by the National Trust. Anyway, parked up, to look at the tower were:

the route then continued to lunch and some of us, again, got lost and missed a left turn at a farm. Realising that we'd gone wrong Carol asked in the next village and we got some precise instructions to find the lunch stop pub which gave us the chance to skip some very muddy side roads. Seen at the Waggon & Horses pub lunch stop:

Back to the finish after some 80 odd miles of Somerset's roads, then back to our accommodation for a clean-up prior to the evening buffet at the Football club. A good evening, for sure.

Sunday dawned and the weather looked pretty grim, but we were lucky really as it didn't chuck much wet stuff at us, despite all the overcast. 60 odd miles and we were pulled into a layby to answer some questions towards the end. By this time it was raining and I didn't have much enthusiasm for identifying road signs, but being part of the "Team Taffyland", which included Bruce and Rob - I tried my best. The route took us out around the Somerset levels, which was more like a switchback ride. The bouncy roads were bad enough for Howard to lose the front number plate off his Lomax by bottoming the suspension.
Back at the finish and there was a ploughman's lunch laid on. However, it wasn't long before we set off for home and a soggy drive on the M5 and M4. All in all a good weekend.

26th April
First Wednesday evening rideout last night and the turnout was dismal. Geoff H and Mike S were the only ones to turn up. After the very poor turnout for the Quiz and Curry night on the 23rd, there needs to be a discussion at a club night, as it would appear that our program of events are not what the members want. Come and have your say at the next meeting.

6th May - Our Relay Rally checkpoint - manned by Rob Jones
The Section’s checkpoint for the Relay Rally was once again at Tintern Abbey. The weather was hot with clear blue skies as I pulled into the car park, at twenty to ten, to set up the checkpoint. Already waiting with anticipation, were Geoff Harris and Kevin Gilbert on their Norton and Indian. Setting up and signing on completed and after a short chat, they were both off (Geoff with a little assistance from Kevin) to visit all the Welsh checkpoints. By ten thirty a further 10 riders had signed in on a variety of bikes including a very nice TWM 250 owned by Kevin Knight who had arrived from across the Severn Bridge.

Situated at Tintern, the checkpoint received visitors from Bristol who were making the round trip on to Abergavenny and Gloucester as well as some who came in the opposite direction from Gloucester and were crossing the Severn to Bristol. Many South Wales, Gwent and West South Wales Section members also called in via Abergavenny. By noon, numbers were up to over 20 with Bruce and Di calling in on their 400/4 along with a very nice NSU Max owned by Rod Burris of the Velo Club.

Time fairly flew by with the opportunity to look at some nice bikes and chat to old friends in the sunshine. Keith Knight and Johnny Mockett, from Somerset, were both Honda mounted and Andy Grew arrived on his Laverda. Just after lunch the total signing in had risen to 40. Jenny Hart arrived in her BSA 3 wheeler as did a couple from Presteign in a Lomax. Tony and Dave Danielsen, John and Molly, Peter Merrick, Barry Cooksley, Peter Hunter and John Burns were others from our section that signed in and stopped on for a chat. Things slowed after lunch with only a few signing in. The last were John and Dougal Burns, on Ariel Square 4 and Velo, who brought the total for the day to 48.

13th May - Bristol section's South West Coast run
The day dawned nice and bright as we all set off for Bristol and the start of the SWC run event at Failand. Rob J and Howard J were both on their Honda 400/4s, Terry H took his Honda 200, Barry C was using his latest acquisition a Kawasaki GPZ 305. John B took his Squariel, whilst Brian M rode his latest BMW. Jean and I were taking our Lomax and we set off along the M4 only to have one of the spark plugs blow out as we passed the Coryton interchange. I picked all the bits of alloy out of the plug threads and the plug seemed to screw back in tight, so on we went.
After a tour of Newport, due to the M4 being closed at the tunnels, we soon reached the start and were sent off on the run with a coffee stop at Portishead, before travelling on to Clevedon and the lunch stop. Rob, Howard, Terry along with Jean and I had a nice Sunday lunch in The Salthouse pub before heading out back on the route. On the way back to Failand we had to climb a hill after leaving Nailsea and I was a tad enthusiastic with the Lomax, as things were going well. Should have known better really, as the plug promptly blew out of the right-hand cylinder again. This time we were only a mile or so from the finish and managed to limp in on one cylinder. This time it was a case of calling the recovery, which got us home safely to Wales.
The Lomax won the best three-wheeler and Brian's BMW won it's class - all in all a good day out that has left me with some homework.

3rd June - The Seaside Run
The weather was glorious for this event, starting as usual from the Conservative club in Penarth. It was nice to see two of our old members. Roger Lee, who was riding and Sid Wilmot, who had sold his bike some time back and was not nowadays riding anything. Always insufficient time for chatting, is the main problem. Thanks to those who helped with the organising, just doing that little something makes it so much easier for the rest of us. We had some 34 entries in the programme whilst another 10 signed on at the start. So not a bad entry, but not a good one.

Everyone was soon away and down on to the front at Penarth. The route then headed for Barry and a loop around the Island, after passing the first mistake on the route card - a roundabout had been replaced by traffic lights. Still on to Rhoose, Llantwit Major and a coffee stop at Nash Point.

From Nash Point the route took us on the coast road through Southerndown and Ogmore before reaching Porthcawl. A ride around the seafront ended at the Green Acre Motel in North Cornelly for the lunch stop. From there it was back to Penarth and the finish.
The town Mayor, Jon Luxton, had kindly agreed to present the awards and after all the votes were counted, the trophies were handed out, we all then headed home after a good day out.

Winners were:
Pre-war car - Welsh Water trophy - not awarded
Best Vintage Motorcycle  - VMCC trophy - not awarded
Best Post Vintage motorcycle - Dene Llewelyn cup - Geoff Harris
Best Post War Motorcycle - SRM cup - Gary Phillips
Best Non-british motorcycle - Barry Cooksley cup - Brian Farmer
Best Three-wheeler - Brian North trophy - Jon Apsee
Best Lady Rider - Molly Holmes
Entrants choice of bike - Chris Bolter
Entrants choice of car - Robert Marsh

9th June - The Great Gathering
What a nice day we had for the gathering. Riders came from Swansea and Abergavenny, along with a fair number from our section and the Velocette Owners club. Most arrived by midday and after stopping for a good natter and a bite to eat, were on their way home by 2pm. Should we put the event in our calendar for next year? any feedback?

10th June - The West South Wales Section, Black Mountain event
Another good day for the weather, as Jean and I headed up over the Beacons in the Lomax. The start was in Llanwdra at a small cafe in a side street, which was a nice quiet place for the assembly and start. Bacon butties and full breakfasts were being consumed by a few in the cafe. We found Rob J and his 1959 350 MAC already there when we arrived so we got a cuppa and sat watching more bikes etc arriving, 3 Lomaxes(including ours), 2 Morgans and a 3 wheel Raleigh. First man away was at 11am and we were all soon off into the lanes of Carmarthenshire although a few got even the first instruction wrong. There were two checks in the morning before we all ended up back at the start and the cafe for a bite to eat. After an hours stop most set off on the afternoon route, which was shorter than the morning route and just about right in length. It was then the case of a cuppa, back at the finish, before everyone set off for home. Many thanks to Les and Shirley for setting the route and organising the event - a good day out. Neither Rob, or us won anything, but we did enjoy ourselves, which is what it is all about.

17th June - The Banbury Run
Several of our members were there, Brian Morris, Ken Baxter and Terry H, who was riding, of course. Whilst yours truly, was one of the concours judges. Jean and I travelled up the day before as I had to be on site quite early.The weather wasn't too bad although a bit cloudy with the occasional spot of rain. It suited me as I had to walk and study 500 bikes and watch them all leave at the start - scorching sunshine, I didn't need. Colin Seaton and Chris Roberts were also helping with the judging and we had a completed list by the time the last rider was away. Then came the big problem - only finishers were eligible for awards, so it was a case of watching them all come back in. Four didn't, so we then had the task of selecting another bike. All a bit of a nightmare, I can tell you. There were Three Brough Superiors and none were worth an award, so, The best BS trophy was not awarded. One wag suggested that they dropped the B in Brough. I can't help wondering just what on earth makes them so sought after and valuable? Anyway, a few photos from the event, that you must go and see, one day, if you haven't already.

28th June - Wednesday ride out to Y Maerun
I counted 9 bikes and two three-wheelers at the Y Maerun last night. Super weather for an evening ride and a nice welcome at the pub - good grub, as well. Nice to see John Watkins with his latest acquisition - a very original 1924 Buick tourer. Des Watkins arrived on a very nice original Rocket three that had been brought back from Philadelphia a year or so ago. It looked as if it had come straight out of the showroom.

6th - 14th July - West South Wales Section Ireland visit
Five of our section members headed for Fishguard on Friday the 6th to take part in the twinning weekend with the West South Wales Section and the Leinster Classic Motorcycle club who were celebrating their 40th anniversary. The weather was super for the whole weekend which started after a one night stay in Carlow. Where we went, I cannot remember, but there were some spectacular views from the South Leinster Way. The Saturday evening meal at the Upton Court Hotel in Kilmuckridge was pretty late in arriving and we were only just finishing our desserts by 10:45 - all a bit late really. Sundays run took us back out into county Wexford to a coffee stop before ending in Leighlinbridge for lunch. Our contingent parted company at the coffee stop and headed back to the Upton Court, where we had a cottage booked for the week. We spent the week looking around the area and had a great time - leaving to catch the 8am ferry back from Rosslare on Saturday the 14th. Not a scrap of rain all week.

16th July - follow the Velo run
Sunday's weather was clear blue skies and sunshine for his year's 'Follow the Velo' Run. Some 16 machines including Norton's, Triumphs, BSAs, Hondas, Kawasaki, Velocette and Lomax gathered at the Mountain Cafe, Caerphilly for the 10.30 start. The route this year was mostly fast A and B roads and we made our way up the Llanbradach bypass and over the mountains to Pontypool. From here we headed north to the tea stop at the Steel Horse Cafe where we met up with 4 more Velos. Some of the original group left us as they had things to do in the afternoon.
The run then progressed down to Usk and along the old Chepstow road. This B road is lovely and twisty and well suited for motorcycles. Our lunch stop was the Carpenter's Arms near Shirenewton. Many riders made their way back from here while a few of us continued through Shirenewton and along the A48 before splitting up on the motorway. A good day out in lovely weather.

22nd July - Historic Tour
What a glorious day it was as we headed up to the start venue at the Caerphilly Mountain snack bar. On the way I stopped the Lomax to allow two horses to pass by and one of the riders said "Thank you - nice Morgan". I didn't have the heart to tell her that the car wasn't a Morgan. Seen at the start:

We set off by heading North then to Pontypool and Usk. In Usk we turned into the Castle gates and all parked up. Geoff gave us all a talk on the Castle and Owin Glyndwr, before we went exploring: Being a hot day, it was a struggle walking up and into the castle interior but it was well worth it:

From the Castle we headed back down into Usk and the Nags Head, where we had a table booked for lunch. Then it was simply a case of a short walk from the pub to St Marys Priory church. This was the church for the long gone Priory of Benedictine Nuns. We had a good look around the church and found the oldest surviving Welsh brass epitaph, which is a memorial to Adam of Usk(1352-1430), and is written in early medieval Welsh. From Usk we headed south to the A48 and into Newport to visit the grave of Gary Hocking, the 1961 World Motorcycle racing Champion. Then it was on to the M4 for a short distance before heading to Machen to view the grave of Malcolm Uphill. Finally, a group of us went to Geoff's house, where we were treated to tea and cake by Helena. All in all a super day out:

5th August - The Roof of Wales run - thanks to Steve T for the photos
It was a glorious day as 10 motorcycles, Dave C in car and Carol and Howard in the Lomax all assembled at the mountain cafe. We left Caerphilly at 10:30 with the quicker vehicles heading off into the distance. The slower vehicles caught sight of the "faster" bunch in Llandovery as we drove through. As it happened the slower group arrived at the lunch stop well before the faster group. Result!!! A total of 15 people enjoyed excellent food in excellent company.
The food laid on by Helena and Geoff was superb as was the route that we followed. Another great day organised by Geoff and this time he got the weather perfect.
A special thanks to Bob J for supplying the van and driver to transport the food and BBQ equipment and a big thank you to Geoff and Helena - the bara brith was outstanding.

19th August - the 53rd Vale of Glamorgan event
The weather did not look too good as we all assembled outside the Llanharry club for the start. Not a large entry and some six never made the start, however, 17 riders and 3-wheelers eventually set off into the Vale. We had entrants from Gwent, Dorset, Somerset and a number from West South Wales. A new organising team of Rob J, Howard and Carol had set a route that consisted of a mix of roads, some of which I'd never travelled before. Out on the road there was only one retirement, David Evans with his newly restored Moto Guzzi, which developed clutch troubles. Luckily, Dave made it back to the start under his own steam, so did not need to be recovered. Andy Grew brought a beautifully restored 1974 Benelli Tornado 650S, which deservedly won the Post 60 concours. The route took us all north before looping back into the Vale of Glamorgan and the lunch stop at the Horseshoe Inn. The afternoon leg wandered back across the Vale before we all ended up back at the start. Not a lot of the wet stuff, just some drizzle that didn't seem to give up for much of the day. All in all a good day - with thanks to Rob, Howard and Carol - not forgetting Dave C who manned two checks. Results here.
Some photos from the start:

14th - 16th September - 63rd Saundersfoot weekend
Jean and I missed the Friday run out as we were in Plymouth having just got off the boat from Spain. However, a 250 mile drive in our Lomax got us to Saundersfoot by 4pm for the evening get together. Saturdays run was of about 70 miles and the 64 entrants were flagged away at 2 per minute, setting off into Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire. The weather was cloudy, but dry, thank goodness. We soon arrived at the Old Mill coffee stop for a 30 minute break, before setting off to lunch at the Tafarn sinc pub in Rosebush. The 140 year old tin clad pub is quite unusual as it is owned by a group of shareholders who come from all over the world - it is managed and run by the Rosebush community - google it. On with the event and we found that the afternoon route sheet had a couple of errors on it, but we were soon able to decipher the problems and arrived back at the finish on Saundersfoot harbour by 3.30pm. The event dinner was held on Saturday evening in the Merlewood Hotel, after which we were entertained by a very good singer. Sunday saw everyone assemble on the harbour car park, amid some drizzling rain. Our Lomax won the Wyndham Rees trophy - and I still don't know what for, but it is a nice cup. The only other Section member on the event was our Rob J with his 1959 MAC - where were the rest of you? It was nice to see Dewi Evans spectating, along with Bert Davies who was a section member some years ago. The drive home saw us get a real soaking as we had to contend with several heavy downpours - good weekend though.

17th October
A few photos from the Levis Cup Trial at the end of September.

17th December
Our Christmas dinner was attended by 47 and all were well fed by Graham and his team. Our Trophies from the Vale of Glamorgan event were handed out by our Chairman Bob, with the only trophy not being presented this year being the John Wells cup for the Bring a bike night, as the event was rained off.

28th December
A good number turned out yesterday at the Red Lion in Bonvilston - I counted 8 bikes and one three-wheeler - next outing is the 2nd Jan to the Victoria Inn, meet there at 12 noon. Hope that Bruce and Di make it next time - read on for their festive story:
It didn’t take many revolutions of the Honda’s internals before she fired on four. It had been sleeping since October. The thick cloud cover had held in some warmth. It was the 26th, Boxing Day. A Boxing Day Run was planned. Up to Culverhouse. Loads of cars heading into town. Sales? Down to the open gates at St Fagans level crossing. Up the hill and turn left, direction the Cardiff - Llantrisant Road. Observe speed limits through Radar, speed cameras here you see. Up the hill in Tongwynlais and be forced to use the pedestrian entry to Castell Coch, also known as the Marquess of Bute’s bordello. Number one and Number two chimneys have been removed. The mortar was falling to bits, the 100+ year old lead flashing is rotten and rain is entering the bedrooms damaging the wall painted murals.
Continue up past the Black Cock thinking it’s time for a pee. Stop at the Caerphilly mountain snack bar. Unzip fly en route to rear toilets. Bloody ‘ell, all toilets out of use. Well you can’t stop an old Boy Scout. I found a suitable bush.
Down the hill ( in the twenties it was the course of hillclimb competitions. No, I wasn’t there then)
(just a few old pics from the Caerphilly Hill climb - Bill)

Cont: into Caerphilly past Malcolm’s pub and halt to look at the dreadful uncalled for damage to that lovely castle tower. Split in half by those nasty Parliamentarians. Turn left at Piccadilly , down Nantgarw hill, A470, Radyr, St Fagans, well you know the route by now.
The following day the 27th was the Boxing Day Run. Honest. We fired up the Honda in a bit of thin sunshine and it was noted that we had a lower ambient temp compared to the day before. I put it down to thinner cloud cover releasing what little warmth we had to the heavens.
Up the mucky five mile lane to the Red Lion. No one is here. It was 11.30. Perhaps too early ? We headed Bridgend way passing a red Commando ( motorcycle not soldier ) heading Red Lion way('twas Chairman Bob - Bill). Then something happened which I bloody hate. I had to go on reserve. Oh well, hand in pocket again. Filled up at Tesco. Had a look at the entry to Island Farm POW camp. All locked shut. They say that young Bridgend girls who had romances with German POW’s were crying as they were marched to Bridgend railway station en route for Deutschland. Turned left to Merthyr Mawr and over the single track old stone bridge. Ruddy ‘ell, bags of water here. Had a slow tour of Merthyr Mawr village. In the car park at the foot of the dunes there were very many cars. Back to near Ewenny and turn right for Ogmore. Stop in the village at the foot of the castle which nestles by the river. I crossed over on the stepping stones once but you wouldn’t have done it today. Far too much wet stuff. Met a bloke on a big mare who knew Brian Gray and had once owned a 1975 Honda CB400. Carry on to Ogmore by Sea and distant misty views of Porthcawl. Loads of cars at the seafront. Southerndown, Wick, Llanilltud Fawr, well you know the route by now.
About 80 miles over two days. Just lovely for me and the missus.
Bruce Grant.