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Founders Day Fry Up and more

Well, it was another hot one at Founders Day this year. And I actually managed to get around the autojumble this time, to make up for the abortive efforts at Banbury…   The Founders Day show and autojumble at Stanford Hall near Lutterworth Leics, is one of the most popular autojumbles for anyone into the older bikes. Traditionally, it is seen as the place for garage clear-out stalls, rather than professional traders and although this has made it attractive – and therefore…

The Show Must Go On

We went to the seaside the other day… Margate to be precise, my old home town, to visit the recently-restored Dreamland amusement park. I didn’t have much to do with it as a nipper. Thing is when you live near the seaside it has less appeal that when you live inland and when you live on the outskirts of a resort like ‘Margit’ the appeal is further reduced by the amount of holidaymakers that pack the town and sandy spots…

‘Allo Verus

Stafford has been and gone; the Classic Bike Rickman Bonneville sold for a satisfying £14,000 on the hammer and I came back with a load more old junk I didn’t really need… Well, I say that. I spent a lot of money on Blackburne parts I do need but only to find that all of them will need further (expensive) attention. These were parts from the estate of the late Mike Sherwin of Hampshire. Mike was a nice fella whom…

A Star is born.

This is a rather long story and if you have no interest in BSA Gold Stars you might be better off going back to browsing Ebay. Below is the full, uncensored story of my life with BSA’s most celebrated single and I decided to post it here is partly because anyone trying to get on with a Goldie for the first time might find it useful and partly because I think it’s maybe a sort of testament to something, maybe a record of building unfamiliar bikes from…

The Madness.

This weekend past was the MCN London Show at Excel; and yet again I really found myself enjoying it.. Because although there’s the usual combination of aggressive-looking, jabby bikes, crap music and visually-jarring colours from helmet and clothing stands, all bound up with a sort of force-fed, ‘all the fun of the fair’, there is an unusually upbeat atmosphere that gives me hope for the future of motorcycling in all its forms. This particular show has improved immensely since I first visited –…

New Gerrard News.

Sorry, bit of a part 2 to the previous ‘Happy New Year’ post, this but a couple of comments received made me think I should round up some more New Gerrard titbits. Graham Gasson pointed out that Jock Porter was listed in the book ‘Britain’s Racing Motor Cycles’, written by former Continental Circus rider Les Higgins, as having competed with a Blackburne-engined New Gerrard 500cc twin in the 1922 Senior (500cc) TT. Higgins also reports that Porter entered the Senior in…

Happy New Year!

Of course at this time of year our thoughts focus on the unwanted, the lonely and abandoned. Yes, many bikes have suffered this fate over the years. But what about ex TT machines? They must be out there somewhere, surely… But let’s be serious. Imagine I am a 1920s manufacturer. I won last year’s TT with a bike which was basically a pretty complicated version of my standard engine in a set of stock cycle parts. If I sell the bike locally…

Last Gig of the Year?

Yesterday’s Kempton Park Event was the last one I will attend before Christmas. The Yule celebrations are not particularly recognised in our house; I mean obviously when Finbar was a pup he used to get up especially early to start chewing the decorations but since he’s grown up we don’t really bother… In fact the absence of a TV in the house leaves us blissfully free of the whole business, the only problem coming when you gaily nip out to the shops and wonder…

The month in retrospect.

Been another busy few weeks, with three events to attend as well as restoration and writing work to do. As usual, Stafford was a great weekend, although every year I seem to spend more time gabbing and less time buying things and I completely forgot to pick up some bits of metal I needed. There was some interesting stuff in the auction. I remember years ago people saying the days of the barn finds were over, but every year there’s…

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

I think that sums up the the last few weeks pretty well… The Good? Well, Kop Hill climb of course; I posted about it last year and although I don’t want to be too repetitive, may I say what an utterly excellent weekend that is, and it’s all for charity, folks… But there was also the Brooklands Great War 100. Unfortunately this one off event made us miss the Sunbeam Club’s Romney Marsh Run that we enjoyed so much last year,…