Reports of 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 drop down button above.
the photos use a slide show type of presentation, just click any photo to start there.

15th September - Vale of Glamorgan road event
The weather for the day promised to be glorious as some 33 entrants assembled outside the Llanharry club for the 54th running of the Vale of Glamorgan road run. It wsn't long before we were out on route around the Vale and all went well until we came to crossing the five mile lane that joins the A48 to Barry. The road was being upgraded and the turnings were not easily identifiable. Consequently some found the correct turning to Llacarfan and a number approached from a different direction. The lunch stop was at the Horseshoe Inn at Marcross. The afternoon run back to the finish saw a number, again miss the check point, but all arrived safely back at the finish after a good day out. The only resue being a puncture on the BSA Sloper of Richard Williams.
Many thanks to Rob J for his efforts in organising the event, as well as his helpers, Stuart and Lesley R, for manning some of the check points.

24th August
Several of our members attended the Gloucester Classic Retro on a fairly hot day.

11th August - Chairman's run - from our Reuters correspondent
5 brave motorcyclists turned up in sunshine for the run.  Robin travelling from Brecon and Andy from Cowbridge, Carol and me, and a gentleman whose name alludes me (sorry to him).
Two out of this group actually came on motorcycles. We waited for our leader to arrive and lead us on another epic day out.  However, the sun wound down and the sky's darkened and as no one else had arrived by the start time, it was decided that as the weather promised not to be very good that it would be best to return home.
Andy was trying out his new wet weather gear and Robin was seeing if his 12 year old gear still resisted rain. So it was with a sad hearts we left our friends to hopefully encounter some wet stuff so their day would not be a complete washout.
Please note that some poetic licence has been applied to this report.

4th August
Whilst waiting for the start of a West South Wales event it started to rain - so we improvised a shelter.

29th July - the Fish & Chip run
The weather didn't look too good for the run yet 8 motorcycles, one three-wheeler and a couple of cars turned out at Cowbridge Common. However, the rain was spasmodic and had stopped as we all assembled. John & Mandy led the way in their Pembleton and as we neared Porthcawl and the venue at Mansel's Chippy the clouds began to clear. The sun was out and the sky fairly clear as we all sat down to helpings of Fish & Chips. A pleasant evening, for sure.

21st 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 again.

14th 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 a cost of £750. Number 1466 is at the Dean FR for a £300,000 overhaul.

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
Thank 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.

23rd June - remember the Dragon Tour
The day started cloudy and warm but with the promise of light showers, we set of with foolish optimism, we should know better. Bob J. had already told me that several were planning to ride directly to Llandovery and would meet us there at 1.00.
6 bikes and one three wheeler arrived at the Café on Caerphilly mountain. And at the arranged time we set off at a steady pace with me in the lead, which means we rode somewhat slowly. All safely to Llandovery where we found the roads through the town were closed for resurfacing. This essential work is always inconvenient, but in this case, caused massive disruption. I managed to find a suitable alternative route through the town with only one short “wrong way down a one way street” required to get us somewhere near the start by the college. Incidentally, if you plan to go to Llandovery, take some cash with you as the only bank in town has closed and at this moment there are no cash machines available.
Bob J and John H arrived after having some problems on the way, which they resolved. A high speed dash up the A470 and they arrived in time.
We set off at the appointed time in dry weather but shortly after it started to rain. Then it rained and rained. By the time we got to the midway stop at the Old Railway, Erwood, we 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 a very pleasant converted railway carriage, we decided reluctantly, that “discretion is the better part of valour”, and decided we also would ride directly home.
Sorry no pictures, I intended to take some at the coffee stop, but it was too wet even for that. Better luck in two years time.

17th June - Bring a bike night
Not a good turnout - 3 bikes and one three-wheeler, however it was Andy Whiteley who won with his pretty M21 BSA. The John Wells trophy will be presented at the Xmas dinner.

16th 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 members 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:-

9th 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 produced in double quick time by the ladies in the Greenacre 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 trophies 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.
Awards were:
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 T110
Best non-British motorcycle - the Barry Cooksley cup - Bob James, 1970 Honda 750cc
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:

8th 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.

13th May
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 countryside, 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 anything?

26th 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.

13th/14th 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 won 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

8th 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.

1st 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 run day.

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 that one.

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. Result, one 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.

26th March - quiz and curry night
Many 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 take place and we have organised for the F&C to be available from Mansels Chippy in Porthcawl, where the run will end.

12th March
It 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 Sunday lunch before heading home.

3rd February
This weekend just gone, our Barry based Reuters Correspondent decided to go 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 bike ! 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 motorcycle”. 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. He said 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 Saturday morning.

“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. Anyway, we 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 wall.

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 once. 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 and 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 her I'd 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 again. 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 BMW, 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 happened.

29th January
AGM - 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 page.