Section Runs and Meetings for 2019
Reports are listed in reverse order i.e. newest first. They
will then be removed to the page called the 'previous year' on the
Lounge dropdown button above.
photos use a slide show type of presentation, just click any photo to
July - Historic Tour
The weather didn't look too bad for the day as some eight
bikes and three 3-wheelers assembled at the Caerphilly Mountain Cafe
for the first leg of the day to Caerwent, by which time the sun had
come out. Here we were given a guided tour of the Roman remains by
Geoff, who explained the history of the village. From Caerwent it was
on to Tintern for lunch - all arranged at the Anchor Inn. A good lunch
it was too. Next we headed up the valley towards Monmouth before
turning off right and climbing the escarpment up to the Kymin, a neo
classical monument of a round house and a naval temple built by the
Monmouthshire Picnic Club in 1794/1800 and now under the umbrella of
the National Trust. There was a super view out over Monmouth town. The
next scheduled stop was a visit, back down the valley to the Tintern
Mill, however as time was getting on, just about everyone opted to call
it a day, so we set off home on the back roads led by Rob J.
After a small detour to avoid an accident we all made it home after a
great day out - big thanks to Geoff for the organising - spot on, yet
July - Follow the Velo run
Thirteen motorcycles and two
Lomaxes met at the Caerphilly Mountain Cafe for Rob's Follow
the Velo Run. We set off through Caerphilly and on to the M4 before
taking the A48. Here we picked up two more motorcycles. Our destination
was the Dean Forest Railway. Having spoken to Charlie we were met and
invited to park inside the yard at Norchard next to the ticket office.
Heading up to the platform and cafe we saw Charlie arrive driving his
GWR prairie tank and coaches. After lunch, as we were waiting, we heard
the sound of four Rolls Royce Merlin engines and looking up spotted a
Lancaster flying overhead. We were then taken, by Harry one of the
railway volunteers, around the workshop and sheds where we saw
machinery, boilers and a few men working on a loco. We were also shown
other engines and rolling stock, one of which is 1400 class loco number
1466, which is the very engine that started the Great Western Society
in 1963 at acost of £750. Number 1466 is at the Dean FR for a £300,000
From Norchard we headed along the main
road to Coleford and Monmouth before taking the back roads to Raglan
Pontypool and home. The weather was good, as was the company and every
one had an enjoyable time.
1st July - The BBQ
goodness for some decent weather for the evening - it was very
pleasant, I must say, and some 30 odd people turned up to eat the grub.
The girls did a marvellous job in the kitchen and thanks are not really
enough to say to them, as they worked hard to feed us all.
June - remember the Dragon Tour
day started cloudy and
warm but with the promise of light showers, we set of with foolish
should know better. Bob J. had already told me that several were
ride directly to Llandovery and would meet us there at 1.00.
bikes and one three wheeler
arrived at the Café on Caerphilly mountain. And at the arranged time we
at a steady pace with me in the lead, which means we rode somewhat
safely to Llandovery where we found the roads through the town were
resurfacing. This essential work is always inconvenient, but in this
caused massive disruption. I managed to find a suitable alternative
through the town with only one short “wrong way down a one way street”
to get us somewhere near the start by the college. Incidentally, if you
go to Llandovery, take some cash with you as the only bank in town has
and at this moment there are no cash machines available.
J and John H arrived after
having some problems on the way, which they resolved. A high speed dash
A470 and they arrived in time.
set off at the appointed
time in dry weather but shortly after it started to rain. Then it
rained. By the time we got to the midway stop at the Old Railway,
were all soaked through. We realised that Howard and Carol were no
longer with us;
they saw sense and headed straight for home. After a coffee and cake in
pleasant converted railway carriage, we decided reluctantly, that
is the better part of valour”, and decided we also would ride directly
no pictures, I intended
to take some at the coffee stop, but it was too wet even for that.
in two years time.
June - Bring a bike night
a good turnout - 3 bikes and one threewheeler, however it was Andy
Whiteley who won with his pretty M21 BSA. The John Wells trophy will be
presented at the Xmas dinner.
June - Banbury weekend
We headed for Banbury on the Friday in order to help with the setting
up of the site on the Saturday. We were also to help with the extra
event that was organised for the Saturday to enable bikes,
manufactured later than the Banbury cut-off date of 31st December 1931
to experience a 'Banbury' route. On the day itself I was to be one of
the Concours judges. A couple of our memebrs were there to see the
spectacle - Pete M as well as Bruce and Di. Being pretty busy for the
rest of the day I took most of these pics early on:-
June- The Seaside run
We had a total of 49 entries, which wasn't bad, but not good either,
with only one car provided by that stalwart supporter of the event,
Robert Marsh. The weather seemed a bit iffy and it did try to rain as
we left Penarth, but soon cleared up as we headed towards Barry. This
year the Island was awash with the Barry Festival of transport, so we
gave the circuit of the Island a miss this year and headed onwards
through Rhoose, where we saw Barry C. From there it was on to the
coffee stop at Nash Point. In North Cornelly, all went fairly well
with Sunday lunches being produed in double quick time by the ladies in
motel. The only problem of the day was, on the way back to
the finish, the Five Mile lane from the A48 to
Barry was closed, after I was assured that it would be open - best laid
plans of mice and men, as the saying goes. Big thanks go to the Penarth
Conservative club for the welcome that they give us. We didn't hand the
out this year and decided to catch up with all the engraving and
present the awards at the Xmas Dinner on the 16th December. As this
event is likely to be the very last Seaside run, we'd like to thank all
those who have supported the event over it's 31 years of running and if
anyone missed out on a badge, then please see Jean or myself at a club
night, as we have some left over.
Best pre-war car - Welsh Water Trophy - Robert Marsh, 1934 Standard 10
Best Vintage - not awarded
Best Post Vintage - not awarded
Best Post-war motorcycle - the SRM cup - Terry Postans, 1959 Triumph
Best non-British motorcycle - the Barry Cooksley cup - Bob James, 1970
Best Three-wheeler - Jon and Mandy Apsee, 1984 Pembleton
Best Lady Rider - Molly Holmes
Riders choice of motorcycle - Gary Phillips, 1965 Ariel Arrow
Riders choice of car - Jon and Mandy Apsee, 1984 Pembleton
seen at the start:
June - The gathering
The weather didn't look too good for this event at the Dare Valley
Country Park. In the end, it didn't rain and we had five from
the Swansea Section to swell our numbers, along with a couple of VOC
riders. I counted some 12 bikes and one Lomax in all.
Yesterday should have been the day for the South West Coast run -
cancelled this year due to nobody being willing to run the event.
Something that may well happen to our Seaside run next year - in fact
I'm not sure about this year even - only three entries so far.
Anyway, due to there being no SW Coast run a couple of us headed to the
Teify Run, organised by the WSW section. What a great day out we had,
super Sunday lunch in Aberporth and afternoon tea in Lechryd. Beautiful
roads and good company, all well worth the effort of getting up early
enough to get to the start. A few photos below - Anyone else do
April - Wednesday ride out
Unlike last year, we had a good turnout at the Black Cock, some 12
members made it, with some even coming on a bike.
April - the Llanishen Bike show
A number of our members attended and two
section members entered the Sunbeam Show and both won awards . Geoff H
best pre unit with his 1956 Triton and Kevin Gilbert won best vintage
with his 1928 BSA. Two members entered two awards won, not bad. We
could do with some more entries to represent the Section next year
April - guest speaker
The evening was fairly well attended to hear Dr Mike Penny give a very
interesting talk on Perry making - and we were treated to a sample at
the end of the evening. Successfully organised by Rob J.
April - The Cheddar Trial weekend
A number of us set off for Cheddar on Friday the 29th and the weather
promised to be good for the weekend. Some were in hotels, others in
B&Bs with Rob J and Bruce and Di staying on the camp site
adjacent to the main venue. Saturday saw us all gather for the social
We were soon bowling along across the levels only for everyone to miss
the a turning, as the road sign was only visible if coming from the
other direction. It wasn't long before bikes and three-wheelers were
running all over the place. Rob, on his Velo, Bruce and Di on the BS,
Howard and Carol along with Jean and myself soon found ourselves on the
outskirts of Burnham. We decided to double back and take a right turn
in the expectation that we were basically heading in the right
direction. After quite a number of miles and some more wrong turns we
were directed by a local to find the lunch stop at the Willows and
Wetlands centre, south of Othery. What a nightmare of a ride/drive. I
think that I managed to miss the speed camera in Othery, we'll see on
After lunch it was a case of a straight run back to Cheddar after
covering 50 odd miles for the day. Amazingly there were something like
70+ bikes and trikes out, yet the evening buffet was poorly supported
by only a mere 45 or so.
Sunday, the day of the trial, saw quite a number of bikes assemble,
with the final number being 51. Bikes were set off at one minute
intervals, in age order. The
morning run didn't
get off to a good start, as soon everyone was looking for a
non-existing sign. I was lucky, as having ridden the Cheddar for many
years I knew the turning. On we went and soon we made another wrong
turn. It was the norm for the day - missing signs, wrong mileages on
the route cards and confusing junctions. If only the Somerset section
had used Tulip diagrams, we could have recognised at least some of the
junctions a lot easier. We were lucky to have found our way back to the
finish with the only sad part being that Julian Wells on his 1951
Sunbeam S7, whilst riding down a steep hill was run off the road by a
fast driving lady in a car giving it some welly coming up the hill.
broken leg. We were treated to a good Sunday lunch before setting off
for home. At least the drive home was uneventful - as far as I know.
All in all, it could have been a better weekend.
March - quiz and curry night
thanks to John F and Mary, who provided the questions for the quiz. We
ordered 20 curries and only had 17 take up the food. It's always a bit
tricky when organising for numbers, however, we weren't far out. Graham
the caterer at the Llanharry club is leaving and he cannot cater for
our Fish & Chip run on the 29th July. That event is still to
place and we have organised for the F&C to be available from
Mansels Chippy in Porthcawl, where the run will end.
is reported that four hardy motorcyclists turned out for the St David's
Day run. Geoff was on his bike, whilst Howard and Carol went in their
car with Rob Jones in the back seat - so it was decided to follow Geoff
home and to pick him up in the car, where-upon the four intrepid
motorcyclists then went to Llanthony Priory in Howard's BMW for a
lunch before heading home.
This weekend just gone, our Barry based Reuters Correspondent decided
to the Dragon Rally with a friend called Geoff. Bruce was to ride his
400/4 Honda, fitted with an Avon fairing and Geoff was to use
a mid 50's SV Ariel VB. The agreement was
to meet at 8am on Saturday morning - Bruce takes
over the tale:-
Dear Bill, just got home at 13.45hrs. The CB400. What a
! What an undemanding, reliable servant, needing just fuel and regular
attention to oil and filters.
340 miles in total on the Sat and Sun. Always on the
button,ready to go.
As I rode into the riverside Dragon camping location just 2
miles from Betws y Coed , two people on seeing the Honda rushed towards
me. The first , a Frenchman clad in red jacket and matching bobble hat
asked if he could take a photograph , not of me but “ of the
The second said to me “you made me all excited”. I can tell you Bill,
it’s a long , long time ago when last I heard those words. But
disappointingly, actually, his reference was to the bike. He had a new
red CB400 in 1975, registration commencing MNY, not that far from the
HNY on my bike.
although his Honda registered after Sept carried a suffix of P and not
N. He only saw the NY part on my plate and thought it was his machine.
given the chance he would try to purchase his old bike if it were
possible. Anyhow I know you are not satisfied with anything less than
a full account so we go back to the start , about 8.15am in Barry on
“Precisely 8 o’clock I’ll arrive” said my pal.
Yes, I thought, and pigs might fly. He arrived 8.15am with a tale of
woe. He had filled the
Ariel VB full of fuel the day before. He put it away but omitted
closing the fuel tap. The carb happily flooded overnight emptying 3
gallons onto the garage floor. He had to drain some fuel from another
machine to enable him to ride to the same garage to fill once more.
set off and the first breakdown, well sort of , occurred at Nantgarw.
His ammeter was fluctuating wildly. He pulled the wiring harness where
it entered the headlight. The ammeter needle steadied at zero. We
carried on to a lay-by on the A470, our route all the way to Betws. The
Alternator drive belt tension was checked. I
told him to switch off his lights because the rear is getting
dimmer and dimmer , so that means your battery is
going down and you need it for your coil ignition. He has been an auto
electrician and is now a general motor mechanic and doesn’t take advice
from a lay person like me, so he left his lights on.
I told him to reduce speed. 60 mph for an old side valve
Ariel May be too much . I told him to nurse it, knock the speed back to
50. We have plenty of time in hand. I might as well have spoken to a
There was another stop, awkward on a busy road with no place
to pull in. And then the pre final breakdown in
Builth Wells. I had told Geoff of the garage/Greggs cafe 2 miles before
Rhayader, the half way point. There I said we can top up the fuel and
have a short break with a coffee and a bun. This I told him more than
He stops at a garage in Builth Wells. He is at the pump. I
pull alongside. “ What the f... you doing here ?” I say. “Isn’t this
the stop ?” he says. “Is this two miles from f...... Rhayader ? “ says
me. My patience, so far very good, is wearing thin. His bike refuses to
start. He tries the pilot light to prove
battery health. There is no light, the battery is flat. He has a spare
battery in a pannier. It too is flat. In the 45 minutes we are stuck he
at last discovers that the dynamo feed to the ignition switch is not
connected. The wire has come out of it’s terminal. He rectifies this
we connect up the Honda battery and his bike starts. Off we go again
along the A470 to Betws as arranged.
In Rhayader, he turned
off the A470 onto the B4518 signposted Llanidloes. (I had a look on
the return today to check road number and destination). I think that he
has a problem again and is looking for somewhere he can park and attend
to the bike, so I follow him but no, we come to another roundabout and
he turns right. Then I realise. He has a bloody SatNav on his
handlebars and it’s sending him a different way to our agreed A470 all
the way to Betws. I return to the A470 and continue to Betws y Coed. I
expect to find him there, grinning, having gone like hell and saying “
where you been?”. No, he is not at the checkpoint or at the camping. I
have to put up the four man tent by myself in the bucketing rain.
I phone Dianne at three ( I arrived at 2) to tell
arrived safely but without Geoff. She says that she knows that Geoff is
not with me because he has phoned her to tell that the Ariel has seized
, he has had his final breakdown and he is awaiting the recovery lorry.
He phoned her earlier today to ask if I have arrived home yet, I
hadn’t, and then told her that he got home at 3am, yes 3am in the early
hours of today.
On two journeys previously his behaviour has
been identical. I reckon that i shall never ever go anywhere with him
The times before the rally I said to him “the A470 all the
way to Betws”. The times before the rally I said to him “ use your GS
it will be far more reliable than the Ariel “. There is an old saying “
he who travels fastest, travels alone”. Very true.
The Dragon with your memory of how it used to be would
disappoint you. Full of middle age and older yobs. My last time has
- attended by a disappointing number of only 18 members. Anyway, it was
all over with in 25 minutes with the same crew elected as the
section committee - see the office