The Isle of Wight Scurry - 27th September to 2nd October 2019
(Click the photo to see a larger picture in a slide show.)

Photos provided by various people.

The South Wales Team:
Rob Jones - 1959 Velocette MAC
Bill and Jean Phelps - 1936 Nimbus

Friday 27th September
We all set off for Lymington and the Wightlink ferry, on Friday the 27th. On the way we collected Ian Young from his home in Berkeley as I'd promised to give him a lift to the event. We had a nice easy drive to Lymington and made the 4pm ferry with ease and were at the Orchards holiday centre by 5.30pm. Rob and his two daughters were already there and were also due to catch the same ferry as us but they had made a much earlier one. As we did last year, both Rob and ourselves had hired a static caravan each, from the site. The Orchards had been used for the first time last year and turned out to be quite a suitable venue for the event. Anyhow, the weather was a bit overcast, but not raining as we booked in. However, for the next three days the wind was relentless and quite strong and when it rained the droplets came down horizontally. Our caravan was sited under an Oak tree which produced a continual hammering of acorns on the van roof all through the night - but we did get used to it.
The first evening consisted of a get together during an excellent Fish and Chip meal put on by the take away caterers at the holiday centre.

Saturday 28th September
There was a poor entry from 'the mainland' and only 17 bikes had been entered - however there were 15 more from the Island making up the numbers. We all assemble outside the camp reception office for the first days ride. I say all, as at a quick count there were only 7 lined up for the start and the ride into the centre of Newport for the show in St Thomas' square.

We were soon on our way for the 7 mile ride into Newport and I was pleasantly surprised to see a large gathering of bikes in St Thomas' square, as we turned in. Must have been 50+ on show - time for a coffee.

At 12 noon the winner of the County Press Trophy was announced and it went to our Nimbus. The photo above shows, from left to right, Ian Young, myself with the cup, the County Press judge and Ron Wallis. That was a nice surprise, must have had something to do with the fact that I'd cleaned the bike. Anyway, the afternoon was ours and there were several suggestions on where to go, but rain clouds were gathering, so, Jean and I, along with Rob, decided to head back to the Orchards. Then, on the way out of Newport the Nimbus coughed to a stop - no fuel. I haven't done run out of juice for many years. Rob headed back to camp and soon returned with his trailer. The silly thing was that I had a gallon in a can in the back of the van and had just forgotten to tip it in the tank that morning. No real harm done, apart from to the pride.

Saturday evening was free, so we all headed to Freshwater and the Chinese Restaurant that we've used each year. It was raining and after parking the car we dashed across the road to the restaurant and went in, without noticing the name change. It was now called Petesaria and 50% of the Chinese menu had been changed to Pizzas. The food was not good, I must say and the duck in plum sauce became a grease ball in chilli sauce - somewhere else in future, I think.

Sunday the 29th September
The day of the Scurry - and we were awoken to the sound of torrential rain on the van roof, plus the customary acorn hammerings and a gale blowing outside. It wasn't difficult to decide what we were going to do, so we waited until well after the start and then at 12 noon piled into the car and drove to the Horse & Groom pub for the Sunday lunch that was already booked for us. Gosh, the pub was busy, but we all eventually got our food. Some of the bikes had in fact gone out for the morning ride and as the weather had cleared up we decided to follow the afternoon route in the car. The evening consisted of a buffet in the upstairs room above the take away - good it was too. After Jean and I left, I was told that there was a quiz, ably given by Ian Young. Not sure of who won that.

Monday the 30th September
Today was the visit to the Boat Museum in Cowes and we were led by Andy Eason riding a very nice Honda VFR from 1992, club eligible and all that. However, I did fancy the bike, so maybe!!! We stopped at a filling station and I filled the Nimbus tank, wasn't going to run out again - Rob would never let me forget, if I did. Anyway, half the boat museum was in West Cowes with the other half in East Cowes. There was some interesting nautical stuff on show including Ben Ainslie's first test boat for the Americas cup challenge, also we had a guide to answer any questions - interestingly you don't sail the catamaran - you fly it.

The first photo above is of T1 dismantled in the museum. The second photo, of the catamaran under sail in the Solent and the following description are included with thanks to the Island Echo:
T1 was the first of 5 foiling catamarans to be launched by the team – in October 2014 – and was used as a test boat for training sessions on the Solent, in the build-up to the team’s campaign for the 35th America’s Cup in Bermuda. The boat originally raced under BAR colours during the America’s Cup World Series in 2012-13 and was used to break the Round the Island race record in 2013, before being modified by the team to fly on hydrofoils the following year.

From West Cowes, Jean and I headed back to the Orchards, whilst Rob, on his Velo, took the chain ferry to Ryde to meet his daughters who were there for a day out. For an evening meal us and Rob went to the Sun Inn at Calbourne and we were greeted by a very friendly landlord. The grub was excellent and very reasonably priced.

Tuesday the 1st October
Today we had a ride to the Isle of Wight aviation museum at Sandown airport - no aircraft in the museum, as such, but loads of memorabilia. There was a flight simulator, with another planned to be installed in the cockpit of a shortened Beagle fusilage. Most interesting was the display covering Mary Ellis, who lived next to the airport. Mary was one of the female ATA delivery pilots during the second world war and at one time she was delivering a Spitfire and on looking left saw a Messerscmitt flying alongside. Mary had no guns and not knowing what to do just waved at the German, who promptly waved back. It seems that he was following Mary to an airfield where he could land his plane and surrender. On another occasion she delivered a Lancaster and on landing was asked where the pilot was and after saying that she was it - a search of the plane was made as the receiving aircrew did not believe that she alone had flew the plane. An amazing lady, and her story is part of the museum exhibition. Mary died in July 2018 - age 101.
For sure, the volunteers have put together quite an interesting exhibition. At the time that we were there they were working on a full size replica of a Black Arrow rocket - see the artists impression below. The engines of the Black Arrow were tested near the Needles on the Island and two of the engines still exist at Woomera in Australia, where the rockets were launched. It is hoped to repatriate them for the museum.

After the museum visit we all had some refreshments in the on-site cafe before returning to the Orchards. That evening was the final meeting to present the trophies and tuck into a superb buffet and say our farewells. Another great five days, despite the weather.