Archive for December, 2011

Lakeland Section ~ 2011 Season

Posted by ColinSteer On December - 31 - 2011 Comments Off



Greyhound Inn “Ride – In”

The Greyhound Inn Saturday lunch visit has been our season ending event for a few years now. Today we experienced poor weather again which seems to be a recurring theme this year. However, 19 riders were brave enough to venture out, including long distance travellers from as far afield as Barrow and Garstang, well done those guys and girls too! Given the unpleasant conditions they each deserve a medal. As usual we were treated to a warm welcome by our hosts with good food and excellent service. Some discussion ensued with regard to the calendar for 2012 and a committee meeting has been arranged for 19th. October to start the event selection process. We heard later that Malcolm Miller has returned from his biking trip to Italy, in snow, in September and set off to join in the fun at Shap but was prevented from attending by plug troubles on his A10.

Some bikes, with riders on guard duty opposite the Greyhound Inn.


South Lakes Mountain Weekend

This event originated as a reliability run when introduced by former VMCC President Steve Jenkin in 1989.  Attracting entrants from almost every county in England along with other long-distance travellers from Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man and Ireland the event flourished under Steve’s careful management until in the early 2000’s it became more and more difficult to obtain permission for two-day events in the Lake District. This was due to the large number of organisations that wished to promote events and the restricted number of dates available. Accordingly, Steve retired from the event in 2005 and the Lakeland Section took on the organising role of what had necessarily become a social event.

As usual, the weekend was kick-started by an informal get-together at the Church House Inn, Torver, Coniston on the Friday evening when many long-standing friendships were renewed and many tall stories told. All told, 115 riders and 23 passengers made up a total entry of 138, plus 4 riding marshals.

Saturday dawned with a leaden sky and steady rain but this did not deter everyone and folk soon set off on the morning run. This took us out through Coniston to Hawkshead then down through Grizedale forest and on to Newby Bridge, Grange-over-Sands and Flookburgh before turning north again, passing Holker Hall and wending our way through the back roads to meet Coniston Water en route back to Torver.

After lunch the rain dried up a bit and our 53-mile route took us in the opposite direction alongside Coniston Water, across different back roads through Newby Bridge and up to the beautiful viewpoint of Gummers How, overlooking Windermere. We traversed the Lyth Valley towards Kendal then visited the approach to Kirkstone Pass before heading back to Ambleside, Coniston and Torver, via Skelwith Bridge.

Thankfully Sunday was dry with many sunny spells and the assembled riders were keen to make a start on our classic high passes route (70 miles). In contrast to the Saturday routes, which are varied year on year, we retain the classic core of the Sunday route and only occasionally change the approach to the Wrynose and Hardknott Passes (both 1289 ft.). This year we went out through Ambleside, past Rydal Water, around Grasmere and over Red Bank to Elterwater where we turned right into the Langdales and past Dungeon Ghyll. This was where Scott Hodges collected his puncture. Unable to repair it but with two security bolts in place on the rear wheel he chose to ride his AJS 350 Compy over Wrynose Pass, along Wrynose Bottom and the over the very demanding Hardknott Pass with its mixture of 1 in 3 and 1 in 4 hairpin bends on both the ascent and descent, to the lunch stop at the La’al Ratty steam train terminus, a total of around 12 miles over some of the most challenging roads in the country. With a borrowed tube and tools the bike was back to good fettle for the afternoon jaunt to Muncaster, across Corney Fell to Broughton Mills, through the very scenic “Woodland” and onwards again to finish at Torver. Once more a wonderful event, enjoyed by all; we covered about 20,000 miles with only minor failures, two magnetos, a (Vincent) primary chain, a puncture, a broken cable and a diesel fuelling event.

Thanks are due to Martin Tuer, Eric Stephenson and John Pears for the route planning and marshalling, John Bell and John Silcock for the recovery provision, Joanne Weeks for the administration and our hosts, Mike & Mandy.


The Chairman’s Run

On Sunday 11th. September 2011, 19 intrepid riders and 1 lady pillion set out in atrocious conditions to participate in Eric’s first Chairman’s Run. Only 18 bikes made it to the start with John Silcock suffering a puncture whilst on Corney Fell. It took about 6 hours for him to be recovered home as there is no mobile signal there and the eventual rescuers initially sent a truck that was too large to navigate across the Fell.

Unaware of this unfolding drama, the assembled crew refreshed themselves with coffee, tea, gingerbread men, cakes, flapjacks and so on (courtesy of Eric), whilst discussing their individual experiences of the weather en route to Great Broughton. Nil points were awarded to the numpty that tried to make coffee with cold water from a tea urn instead of from the already boiled kettle. Then we all set off upon our 90 mile journey of fun!

More numpty points were given to the pair that followed another visiting rider to his home rather than follow the route sheet, oh joy! No Names at this stage though.

On the other hand, heroic accolades were due to Stan & Ann Haynes who fought their way through the mire, all the way from Barrow-in-Furness, a display of true dedication to the cause, and they were smiling too.

Our route for the day! We started from Great Broughton and traversed clockwise with a lunch stop at Little Dodd Garden Centre 1 mile north of Keswick on the A591 where Andrew, the new proprietor is also a motorcyclist.

Howard’s latest acquisition, a 1950 Vincent Rapide C with a nice RE and a couple of Beezas behind.

Action on the Route, Dave Weeks pulling a gap on Harvey Moore who is being followed (won’t they learn their lesson) by Roy and Robert Dixon.

The lunch-time line up at Little Dodd

Hardy souls lunching outside under the gazebo!

We saw some la’al bits of sunshine, now & again, despite the whitecaps on Keswick Lake, Buttermere & Crummock Water.

The jury is out on whether Martin has a big grin or a manic visage as he leads the follow up / support team.

An artistic shot of Martin’s nimble & swift Beeza

Photos courtesy of John Storey and Alan Stephenson

More photos to come from Dave Wilson, if he managed to hold his bike up in the Solway Gale, whilst taking some shots.


The West Cumbria Valleys & Coast Run

This run, the brainchild of Ian Jones, run for the 4th year, provided an enchanting experience of West Cumbrian backroads. The creative route visited the high fells, the valleys and even the seaside and saw 17 happy riders enjoying good weather again! Riders experienced quiet open roads that they’d not seen for a few year’s or roads that they’d never seen before, great fun! The bacon butties, cakes, tea & coffee were a welcome added attraction, thanks Joelle. Those that missed the event missed out on a very good run and excellent hospitality.

We even managed to drag some locals out of their garages to see what was going on and local, well known rider, Phil Graham dragged a bike out of his garage to join us at the finish. Another local member, Dave Taylor, back on his bike now, after a replacement knee job, failed to find the finish because he was late and the VMCC signs were no longer on display.

Having told Jane (my very much better half) about the route, we then explored it two days later in the camper, at least, as much of the route that the camper could reasonably access. Jane is very pleased that our route planners find such out- of-the-way locations for her to visit a short while later, she sends her thanks.

The lunch stop, at the La’al Ratty, such a good venue, it even made Bob smile.

Eric, offering, reluctantly, to share his sausage roll with Bob.

A selection of bikes, on parade, being inspected by a Puch.


The North Pennines Run

The North Pennines Run, a new event and the brainchild of Stan Harper was supported by 19 riders plus Stan and John Little doing the recovery duty. Thankfully they had a quiet day. The enthusiastic crew assembled at Hartside on a pleasant day although because of its elevation, Hartside itself was a good deal cooler than almost anywhere else locally. However as we departed and moved into lower climes so it warmed up and we enjoyed a terrific route on quiet but interesting roads with excellent scenery. Quite different to many runs in the Lakes, here we had virtually no traffic to concern us. This dumbhead left his camera at home but thankfully Robert Lemon and David Wilson have provided a few shots of the day.

David commented in his email to me:-

“Hi Colin a few pictures as requested. I was in time to see the late running Fellsman steam charter passing the long closed station at Cumwhinton. A pleasant run on a pleasant day in pleasant company. Well done to Stan.” This comment expresses the view of everyone that I spoke to as well, a thoroughly enjoyable route, to be done again at some future date. Well done indeed Stan.

The usual suspects posing at the start. (Photo DEW)

John & Ken stop for refreshments, out in’t sticks. (Photo RL)

More happy faces enjoying lunch. (Photo DEW)

A few of the bikes enjoying their break too! (Photo DEW)

The reason why David slipped away promptly. I guessed something was on when I saw a crowd of trainspotters on a bridge at Kirkby Thore on my return journey. (Photo DEW)


The Manor Hotel Ride-In

This popular event, well-organised, as ever, by Stan & Ann Haynes attracted 29 members and a good few from the Barrow Club too. The day started out dry for me but it seems that I was running in front of the weather, so Eric told me. Dave Weeks and I left Keswick in the dry but 30 minutes later it was raining heavily when Eric passed through (saves me having to water the plants).

Anyway, the venue was dry, a good crowd collected and they enjoyed both good discussion, banter and a delightful lunch provided by Terry & Lorraine. All too soon the worthy crew disbanded and suddenly the venue was clear again. Some hardy walkers were heard to enquire if the hotel was open to non-bikers, quite a change from the usual enquiry, eh!

Here’s the Manor Hotel scene.

Smile I said, Ann said it was unfair to show her in her outdoor plumage as she is much more colourful underneath….

Strip off then, said I, and she did……………….to reveal a very colourful jumper.


Summer Run

George’s Summer Run was affected by some of the worst local weather that we’ve had for a while and only seven brave souls ventured out to the Lakeland Motor Museum venue (and one was on an ineligible new machine). This was a real shame because Bill Bewley had granted free admission to all VMCC members that signed on. Nevertheless, a pleasantly short ride-out was enjoyed, followed by coffee and cakes in the museum cafe and a soggy ride home, entertained by numerous flocks of sheep and some crazy very large coaches on some very small back roads.

The Magical Mystery “Summer Run” Route


The Lakeland Weekend

Sadly, late on Friday afternoon, the heavens opened, as per the forecast and this was a formidable portent for the weekend with a similar stormy forecast for both Saturday and Sunday. The evening’s informal get-together was well catered for in the “Keswick Rugby” Clubhouse but there was a noticeable undercurrent with regard to the weather.

Throwing back the curtains early on Saturday it was hard to believe that “things” could change so quickly, the sun was out, the sky was blue, there were no clouds to spoil the view and everyone was smiling.

Some photos from the event…………………….courtesy of Derek Horn Photography.

Five Velocette MOV machines, L >> R, Brian Moorcroft, Ian McBride, David Wilson, Bill Dyke, Jim Blanchard.

“Pops” Hinde and his lovely Moto – Guzzi Falcone.

Our Treasurer, David Wilson accepting the Lakeland Motor Museum Trophy from Il Presidente Geoff Brazendale.

And three photos of the Saturday morning start, from the Keswick Reminder courtesy of David Branthwaite.

Fred Taylor in’t foreground with Ken & Mabe behind.

Graham Gash on his Silk, with Dick Haugh behind, “Birds of a Two-Smoke”..stick together !!

Also, an intrigued onlooker!


The Birthday Run

In response to my recent call for any additional photos, Martin has kindly submitted the route plotting for the Birthday Run, for which I had no photos, thanks Martin.

Isle of Man TT ~ Manx Rally

“Pops” Hinde has sent in a couple of photos of the IOM TT Manx Rally that may prove of interest, their new banners / flags look good, should we obtain something similar?

And one of his Guzzi at the Thundersprint


RAF Spadeadam

RAF Spadeadam is the only facility in Europe where aircrews can practise manoeuvres and tactics against a variety of threats and targets that they face in contemporary warfare. This fascinating facility attracts aircraft from the RAF, Army, Navy and NATO Forces. The survival of aircrews over Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere, and the soldiers on the ground who depend on air support are affected by the training provided by RAF Spadeadam. RAF Spadeadam is the largest “air force” base of any kind in the world, covering 9600 acres but employing only 90 personnel. In addition to owning an impressive selection of genuine and operational Warsaw Pact equipment, the base has commissioned the manufacture of  “emulators” to accurately replicate the radar footprint and performance of equipment that it has been unable to “acquire”.

On the ground, an order of battle (or ORBAT) of real, simulated and emulated threat radars are arrayed across RAF  Spadeadam’s 9600 acres in order to provide a hostile air environment in which aircrews can hone their tactics,  manoeuvres and electronic-countermeasures in preparation for combat operations. However, there are some  restrictions as  the Station encompasses a number of Special Sites of Scientific Interest and is also surrounded by farmland. For example,  the use of chaff (formerly called Window) is limited but aircrews can practise their full chaff tactics over the North Sea  against threat radars that RAF Spadeadam deploys to the north east coast of England. The current radar threats at  Spadeadam comprise the surface-to-air missile systems SA-2, 3, 6, 8, 10 and 11, as well as the gun-related radars  GUNDISH and SKYGUARD.

Emerging from lessons identified on operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, there has been an increased front line demand for training in ‘time sensitive targeting’, or TST, which involves the identification, acquisition and attack of mobile targets. RAF Spadeadam can offer just such training as the threat systems described above are complemented  by a host of real, model, and inflatable visual targets, including real SCUD and STYX transport-erector-launch vehicles and missiles. These targets are developed, refurbished and deployed by Serco, RAF Spadeadam’s contract element. In addition to this invaluable TST training RAF Spadeadam will, in the near term, offer the only overland, urban Close Air Support training facility in the UK. This is a local initiative based upon the requirements of front line squadrons.

At this juncture there has been no mention of the infra-red threat to UK and allied aircrews, which are prevalent in Afghanistan and Iraq. Surface-to-air guided missiles SA-7, SA-14 and SA-16 are simulated at RAF Spadeadam by  ‘Smoky SAMs’ which fly with the distinctive corkscrew flightpath.

Although 26 folk pre-booked for this special event only 23 turned up on the day, well, it was their loss as it was a very enjoyable tour around an amazing facility. David Wilson had a fair number of late applicants for this run which we  were sadly unable to accommodate due to the usual security clearance needed before being allowed access to an active  RAF station.

The tour was headed by a local VMCC member, Willie Edmond, who works at Spadeadam, and our  thanks go to  Willie and his team of folks that escorted us on their own bikes. Our hosts indicated their willingness to conduct a further tour next year, so, hopefully, we may be able to repeat the experience and welcome those that were  unable to attend this  year.

The bike line-up at the end of the tour, yes, it did rain but this did not detract from the enjoyment. AND, it wasn’t one of our crew that hit the lamppost.

More to follow, off to bed now……………….

A multi-barrelled anti-aircraft gun, able to fire 1000 rounds a minute of 23mm cannon!!

Denis disappearing into its innards to warm up the guns….

Here we are standing on the deck of the Russian SA – 6 missile system, so called because it has three missile tubes on each side. It’s a mobile unit for battlefield deployment. This type is still in use in many Middle-East and Eastern European countries today and these units are used at Spadeadam to train pilots of fast jets, transports and helicopters in electronics warfare and threat evasion.

Dick should feel at home climbing down into the drivers seat, with a 14 litre engine consuming 6-7 gallons per mile, it smokes even more than a Bantam. No doubt he’s going to pre-heat the valves (yes, old-fashioned valves) in the radars.

We were able to ride our bikes around the establishment, here they are parked up outside the building that houses the SA – 6, with Keith Martin giving a jolly wave.

A couple of locals were also invited along for the tour and they brought along their “Vintage” machines, in their case their affections lie with a lovely “Frog-Eye” Sprite and a genuine ex-works Hillman Imp rally car, a unique vehicle that was prepared to compete in the 1968 Monte Carlo Rally, valued at approx. £50,000. (Don’t ask why it has a 1965 registration, we all know what the DVLA is like).

A Green Archer missile, one of the many targets, or is it a threat, perhaps both!

One of the “emulator” radar systems constructed to replicate an “unavailable” enemy system.

And another target / threat.

One of the infamous “SCUD” missiles ready to fire….

The SA – 6 “Gainful” missile array

Spadeadam’s first connection with modern defence came in the late 1950s when it was chosen as the site of the test establishment for the Blue Streak, Britain’s intended Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM). Until then, the area had no activity at all and was referred to as the Spadeadam Waste. The initial site was built by the Ministry of Aviation, and was managed on their behalf by Rolls-Royce. It is their name that is most often associated with the early years of the Station.

In 1960 the IRBM programme was cancelled but the project was immediately replaced by the European Launcher Development Organisation, (ELDO), in which Britain joined with France and Germany to provide a European alternative to the American and Russian monopoly on satellite launchers.

In 1972 Britain withdrew from ELDO and the consortium withdrew from Spadeadam. At that point the site was handed over to the Proof and Experimental Establishment, (P&EE), for static firing and range activities. In 1976 Spadeadam became an RAF Station and the location for Western Europe’s first full scale Electronic Warfare Tactics Range, (EWTR), in January 1977.

One of the two remaining Blue Streak missile test beds.

Blue Streak fuel tank with David Wilson’s Velocette in the foreground to illustrate the scale.

David commented:-

“This Blue Streak rocket fuel tank held 26 tons of kerosene and 60 tons of liquid oxygen; the complete rocket climbing 150 miles in just minutes.  On the other hand my MOV Velo only holds two and a half gallons of petrol and ridden carefully will do towards 200 miles, of course it takes longer than the minutes of the Blue Streak.” Photo by DE Wilson.

Blue Streak ~ A night time floodlit shot from the 1950′s.


Tan Hill Inn

Yikes, what happened to the weather? A glorious couple of days on Thursday – Friday and Saturday morning dawning with crystal clear blue skies and horizon to horizon sunshine tempted me to ride with just a T-shirt under my jacket. Big mistake, no sooner had I cleared Keswick and approached Threlkeld then the clouds rolled in, 100% overcast and cold. To be fair, the forecast had said this was going to happen but a bit later in the day. T’was a major change from 25 deg. on Friday to 16 deg. on Saturday and a bleak NE wind too.

However, it was an interesting ride over to Brough, negotiating a way through the Appleby Fair traffic and then turning off across the moors navigating via a couple of instructions written on a small label stuck to the fuel filler cap. I was a little early, arriving at 11.10 but was pleased to see some friendly faces already in attendance. After a few more arrived, some photos were taken but the light and weather weren’t conducive to good photography so I was glad that I took them then as the weather worsened and a heavy damp mist rolled in. This was time to take shelter inside and try out the bait.

Later on, Malcolm and I took a scenic route back through Swaledale, across to Tebay, up to Shap, then Penrith and home to Keswick for a warming cup of tea.

In all we had 36 attending on eligible machines, three of whom were all the way up from the W Yorks. section, two from way across in Lancaster, a good number from Barrow in the deep south and particularly pleasing was that Colin & Mary Kendal, of Grayrigg ventured out to meet us on their first ever VMCC event. Welcome to the section Colin & Mary, we hope to see more of you on future events. Additionally we were joined by three VMCC members from Coventry who were engaged on a tour on their modern machines and were kind enough to arrange to meet up and say hello, a nice gesture.

Martin’s smart A65 fronts the pack of bikes sheltering in the lee of the pub.

Out front a few more bikes collected and the riders kept out of the “breeze”. Denis wasn’t just arriving, he was making an early escape!

Step back a bit to take in some more machines.

And a bit of zoom to capture the usual suspects.


Back Green Rally

We need to talk about the weather. As I left Keswick, it was drizzling. Now, as we all know, after you leave Keswick, no matter which direction you’re travelling in, the weather improves, allegedly. On Saturday it just got worse as I headed East towards Mungrisedale but then improved again as we wound our way past Mosedale and the back of Blencathra until on reaching Hesket blue sky was visible and it was dry.

The Saturday afternoon run started out with, at a guess, 45 riders signed on. I made it with a couple of minutes to spare before the start, due to my usual chaotic domestic arrangements but as number 65 on the ’53 Dominator I could relax for a few minutes before my start time. I relaxed so much that I was the last one away. It was an attempt to avoid the questions but I failed because a charming young lady sought me out and interrogated me with picture questions to identify various makes of bikes from doctored photos. I got one correct, out of five!

We followed the route shown below and all was well with the world. We had a couple of showers, three or four of them pretty heavy but the rest were moderate and some strong winds but then suddenly we found ourselves on dry roads with blue skies and sunshine again. Repeat the sequence a couple of times and you’ll get the picture. During one shower I thought I’d lost an exhaust but it was only the bullet sized raindrops impacting on the visor and helmet and reverberating through to my ears. All in all a good balance of an excellent route (Thanks Paul), great views and quiet roads. Despite the showers it was terrific fun and back at Hesket everyone was smiling and saying how much they’d enjoyed themselves. My fun was marred a little by losing the clutch (careless, I know) on the model 7, at about 28 miles in, leaving about 37 miles of clutchless enjoyment back to Hesket and another 18 miles home later. Subsequent investigation on Saturday evening showed that the bike was “hors de combat” and wouldn’t make the startline for the Hesket Sunday GP, so instead I motored across for the lunch stop and took a couple of piccies.

Thanks to Dave & Marion Miller and their merry band of ladies and gents that organised and managed the event, without their efforts then I guess I’d just have to get on with the gardening, yawn……………

This route was planned by Paul Richardson (Martin Tuer plotted it with his GPS during the run and sent me the file, thanks) and follows our Saturday afternoon run in a clockwise direction, a route sheet that I’ll save and use again later.

Hopefully Martin will let me have the plots of the Sunday routes when he’s downloaded them.

The photos will have to follow, it’s 12.28 am and time to harvest some zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz’s………………

Look at that, it’s a …………………..

A nice old V-twin outfit, enjoying a lunch break, basking in the sun.

Dave Jones’s lovely Red Hunter, all the way from Anglesey and a frequent visitor to Lakeland.

A broad spectrum of machines in one shot, Norton trials iron, Scott Flying Squirrel and what looks like a late ’50′s RE Bullet, along with evidence of the mornings precipitation.

Another Mr Jones, this time it’s Lakeland member Ian with his very pretty ’38 Velocette.

Hiding in their helmets, our very own “Sam” Smaile (left) and David Lewis (right). Not sure about the character on the left, I feel I should know him but cannot put a name to the face. Ideas anyone?

Dave Weeks making an announcement into the microphone on his Red Panther whilst Malcolm enjoys the charade.

Serious discussion over bait. Not the best location next t’bins but nicely sheltered from the breeze.

Martin’s machine resting against the wall. Must put a stand on the Christmas list this year!

Eric has promised some on-road action shots taken by his niece, Elly, watch this space……………………

Here are Elly’s photos, taken in Great Broughton, showing that it wasn’t all Sunday Sunshine but still getting miles of smiles from the happy entrants.

Elly, thank you for allowing us to use your photos!

Time to flip the routes around, Malcolm in the background.

We can’t name the rider but it’s a tidy looking A10.

A flying Mr Wilson on his Velocette, the bike nicely focussed against a blurred background to emphasise motion.

Popular bikes these Beeza’s

Uncle Eric, successfully completing the hill climb on his trusty 1927 model 8 Sunbeam.

Martin, about to kick his BSA into life, an ideal bike for the back lanes in Lakeland.


Newfield Inn Ride – In

36 riders turned up for this lunch-time gathering but only 32 signed on as the “others” were riding non-eligible machines. Once again we were blessed with good weather and we received a very good welcome from our hosts, Paul and Alwyn. The bait was good too and we’ve been invited back for next year as well.

Some photos………….

General shot of some early folks…..

Sam and Malcolm enjoying a chat. Denis’s Hondamatic in the background.

An unusual Velocette Valiant, deprived of its tinware but happy with a Bantam tank!

Cheerful Chappies enjoying the sunshine

John Bell and his beautiful Cheney Triumph


The Birthday Run

17 riders turned up for a very enjoyable run through the “Trough of Bowland”, fortunately in relatively dry weather although a couple of showers made their presence known, even afterwards, whilst the assembled crowd was enjoying tea on the lawn.

Unfortunately Robert has no photos of the event but if anyone did take any photos on the day then please send them to me and I’ll add them to this note.

AND, the winners were…………..

Birthday Run Shield:  for the overall winner ~ Dick Haugh

Birthday Run Cup: for the highest Vintage score ~ Stan Haynes, this was for the rider, not the bike!

Brian Hinde Award: for the oldest bike ~ Stan Haynes.

Stan will have to attend the annual dinner next January, just to collect his hardware.


The Compass Rally

A beautiful but breezy day welcomed us on our bikes, the breeze caused a few hairy moments when I thought I’d got a puncture but realised it was just wind……………   Some early risers, nine in all, managed to arrive at Grange-over-Sands for an 8.15 start. Myself and Dave Weeks started at Appleby but I forgot to take any photos. Richard, the Bridge Cafe proprietor was in his usual good form, coffee and scones aplenty but it was a bit too early for one of his famous bacon butties, next time perhaps.

The ride through the villages twixt Appleby and Carlisle was magical, the brilliant weather had brought on the blossom and cottage garden flowers and I found myself laughing stupidly inside my helmet at the wondrous beauty of Mother Nature and our good fortune at being able to enjoy it all in dry conditions with quiet roads too.

At Carlisle we met up with our organiser, Dick Haugh and some Lancastrian lads (Vic Price and Mike Bond) that had started at Grange and were intent on visiting all check-points. We were followed in by some Appleby starters and were then most pleased to find that Keith and Sue Martin had travelled over from Hexham.

Group Photo at Carlisle

Vic and Mike followed myself and Dave across to St. Bees, taking in some high fells and long straight back roads before Dave took the lead and showed us the way into St. Bees whilst taking in an excellent view of the Island.

A good crowd turned up at St. Bees with another Lancastrian, Chris Roberts appearing on his Triumph TRW as well as a potential new member.

A few photos…………

Thanks to our admin. team, Doug Tyson, Joanne Weeks and Allan Robson. Allan & Joanne were buying ice-creams so only Doug was available for the photo..!!!

And, of course, thanks to Ron Pears and Leon Barnes for their efforts at Appleby and Grange over Sands respectively and to Dick Haugh for organising the event. Thanks guys!

2011 Compass Run Participants, and Joining Points.

Grange-Over-Sands, signing-on with Leon Barnes, 08.15-09.00.    S.  E.  N.  W.  S.2.

Stan Haynes                          350 Velocette MAC                                        +   +   +    -     +

Ann Haynes                             “           “           “                                             +    +   +    -    +

Denis Birkett                          Hondamatic CB750                                         +   +   +    +    +

Eric Stephenson                    250 BSA                                                             +   +   +    +    +

Vic Price                                  500 AJS                                                             +   +   +     +    +

Paul Duff                                R. Enfield 970                                                    +    -    -     -     -

Mike Bond                             500 BSA Gold Star                                             +   +   +    +    +

John Silcock                         Triumph Thunderbird                                        +   +    +   +    +

S. Atkinson                            BSA B33                                                              +   +    -   +     -

Appleby, signing on with Ron Pears, 10.00-11.00.

Graham Gash                        Scott Flying Squirrel                                      -   +    +    +    +

Colin Steer                              500 Norton Model 7                                      -   +    +    +    -

Sam Smaile                             BSA A65                                                           -   +    +     -    -

Dave Weeks                            BSA B31                                                            -   +    +     +    -

Geoff Brazendale                   2.3/4 Sunbeam                                               -   +    +    -     -

W Dickinson                          Velocette Venom                                            -   +

Mick Gillett                             AJS 16 MS                                                        -   +    +    -    -

S Yarker                                   630 Vincent Comet                                        -    +    -     -   -

L Forsyth                                 Vincent                                                             -    +    -     -   -

Carlisle, signing-on with Dick Haugh, 12.00-13.00.

John Bell                                  Cheney Triumph                                             -    -     +    -    -

Keith & Sue Martin                Honda CB450 Black Bomber                          -    -     +    -   -

St. Bees,  with Joanne Weeks, Doug. Tyson and Alan Robson

George Crellin                         Panther                                                             -    -     -    +   -

T Stevens                                  Moto Guzzi Fallone S/Car                              -    -     -    +   -

Chris Roberts                          Triumph TRW 1964                                             -    -     -    +   +

Lakeland Museum,  signing-on with Dick Haugh, 17.00-18.00.

J Mc.Neice                               Visiting Member                                               -    -    -     -    +

The  “attendance” figures are:- Railway Station, Grange over Sands,   9

Bridge Café, Appleby,                        17

Border Gate, Carlisle,                         14

The Beach Café, St. Bees,                  12

Lakeland Museum,                            10

I would like to thank all helpers once again for their support in making the event possible.

My Best Wishes to “The Team”,

Yours Sincerely,



The Stafford Show ~ One man’s take on the Show

Was it a Classic Bike show, an autojumble, a social gathering, an auction mart or ………………

In truth it was an amalgam of all the above and yet again it was wildly successful with tremendous crowds on the Saturday which diminished only slightly on the Sunday. The dry hot weather must have played a significant role too. The Saturday weather was baking hot whilst Sunday was a lot cooler with overcast skies but still dry.

And the winner was………………….a relatively humble but nicely presented BSA Hornet. Obviously a newly done and unridden (unregistered even) restoration of this off-road bike which still managed to drop some oil.

Some more photos of Stafford, some of the various class winners and other random ones that took my eye.

This lovely Scott took “Best Vintage”, I thought it was good enough to beat the Hornet to “Best in Show”, only my opinion though!

The next two shots are of the “Best Triton”

An unusual machine, the AJW Red Fox

And a shot of the tank area

A superb AJS V-Twin, with an eye-watering price tag of £22,500

And here’s one for Mike G

A modern machine lurking on the mezzanine…..

A pretty little Peugeot, seen outside….

A well-presented big cat…

One that Stan H might appreciate

The other side…

Well, here’s the Matador, where’s the bull?


Ireby Ride-In

35 members signed on at Keswick for the ride in to Ireby and judging by the total bike count (including moderns) of 110, probably the same number or a few more rode directly to Ireby.

Here are some shots of the event.

A few shots before the start.

Nice to see some social interaction.

Allan Little walking the walk . Harvey Moore on’t left.

Three of the winners together in the VMCC compound.

Graham Gash won the VMCC runner-up award with his Scott Flying Squirrel and John Bell took the VMCC first place award with his 1923 Triumph SD. In the background sits the Triumph of Howard Ostle that took the judges imagination and the Judges Choice award.

Dave Stangers Mike Hailwood Replica deservedly gained the Modern Classic Award. Please excuse the cones. Later on, Dave entertained us with a glorious tune on the pipes.


The Border Run

Twenty-four members signed on today for another interesting and challenging run up and down the very scenic Eskdale in dry, sunny weather, with our lunch stop at the fascinating Samye Ling Buddhist Temple. The run was challenging because of the very numerous and rather large potholes encountered. I’m sure I saw a periscope sticking out of one! Fortunately, Geoff had advised us of this at the start, so we had plenty of warning but we needed to keep alert and take avoiding action where possible. Thanks to Marjorie for her efforts in keeping us supplied with tea, coffee and cakes, both at the start and at the finish.

Ronnie perusing some machines at the start…………….

Samye Liberation Gate

This is the formal entrance to Samye Ling. The Gate is dedicated to world peace and is decorated with carved mantras and figures that are said to help develop peace of mind in all those who see it or go under it.

And a closer shot to show the faces….




The Spring Run

The 2011 season got off to a good start in Outgate this last weekend when 22 riders of eligible machines assembled in dry , mildly sunny conditions, to sample the delights of a 40 mile ride viewing the Lakeland scenery and then to enjoy a good lunch at the Inn.

Some photos of people enjoying themselves…………….

And some more folks, amused by something, surely not a camera fixation?

Body Language?

And another…….

Later on in Grasmere, Stan was taking instructions….

But, a good day was had by all……………..