First of all Happy New Year to all members. At the time of writing we are still in second lockdown but by the time you read this hopefully some of the restrictions will have been eased. Like all other sections (I suspect) our 2021 programme is on hold until we get the go ahead to resume normal section activities. We should have held our AGM this month (January) but have decided to postpone that until such time as we can hold a 'proper' meeting later in the year. In the meantime your Secretary and Chairman are keeping in touch regularly with the membership by phone and face time. We hope that by April we will be in a position to run our first riding event of the year, and in fact the first since September 2019, Gabby's Hinton St Mary Run. We'll keep our fingers crossed that it goes ahead!
I should be reporting on the AGM held in January but instead I'm writing to say that in agreement with the existing committee, we have decided to hold the AGM at our first meeting after the current crisis is over. In the meantime your committee will remain unchanged. Bette is still keeping in regular contact by phone and Facetime with the membership. Most of us haven't met up in person for months now but hopefully as we move ever closer to spring, restrictions will be relaxed and we'll be able to meet (if only initially) outdoors. It remains to be seen how many of the pubs and coffee stops we use on our events are still in business by the time runs commence again. On a brighter note I understand work is progressing well on the Treasurer's vintage Rudge so we look forward to seeing that out on runs.
Hopefully, by the time you read this, all our over 70's section attendee's will have received their first vaccination and we'll have a clearer idea of when the current lockdown restrictions will end. In the meantime Bette has a number of ideas for speakers and activities once we're able to meet again. VMCC members John Rock and Peter Benger have both indicated they're prepared to give talks at short notice. John's family firm, J.S. Rock and Sons who were chain makers in the Black Country, also made the little known Rockson motorcycle in the 20's, mainly two strokes with Villiers engines, made in fairly large quantities . Most were exported but an example still exists and is currently on display in the Black Country museum whilst John himself has the only survivor of the 3 350cc Blackburne engined machines originally owned by John's Father and his 2 Uncles.
As I write these notes Boris has just announced the proposed 'Road Map to Freedom'. On the basis that we will be 'free' to hold meetings of up to 30 outside from the 17th May (assuming no more setbacks before then) Bette has provisionally arranged our first meeting since last March. This will be a breakfast meet to be held on Saturday the 12th of June at Ansty PYO (SP3 5PX) from 9am onwards. Dependant on things returning to normal in June and the availability of the village hall at Silton we will also commence monthly meetings as there is covered open air space where we can socially distance for a light lunch followed by our recently postponed AGM. This meeting will take place on a Monday as usual at a date yet to be confirmed but will be from midday onwards. In the meantime stay safe and well.
Following on from last month’s notes regarding our first Section formal meeting since 2020 I can now confirm that, assuming there is no change in the road map to freedom, the village hall at Silton has now been booked for the 14th June. As previously stated, thanks to Bette, Rachel and Christine we will start at 12.00 noon with a light lunch and follow this with the AGM commencing at 2pm. Nearer to the date it would be helpful for assessing food requirements if members could indicate to Bette their intention to attend for lunch. Once restrictions are completely lifted we will commence our runs again. Details of these runs will appear in these notes as well as on our Section Facebook page (VMCC Wessex Veteran and Vintage Section) and our website (www.wessexveteranandvintage.com). Lets hope we’ll all meet up once again very soon.
As mentioned last month our runs will start once restrictions are further lifted. To this end we have organised our first run of 2021 which will be held on Thursday 24th June starting at 2pm from Ansty PYO on the A30 (SP3 5PX) where there is plenty of parking with refreshments available from the cafe both before and after the event. The run itself will be c30 miles through the Wiltshire countryside restricted, of course, to pre '31 machines. For anyone interested in buying a pre '31 machine and therefore experiencing 'real' vintage motorcycling there is currently a 1928 AJS K12 for sale in the Dorset area. I know the bike and it's in excellent restored condition, running well, ready to go and as a light 250cc SV undoubtedly suitable for a more 'mature' rider. This machine comes with its own purpose built lightweight trailer. If you're interested contact me.
As I sit and write these notes at the end of May the weather at last seems to be on the change after what appears to have been 40 days and 40 nights of torrential rain here in the South. Time to ready those Veteran and Vintage bikes for what is left of the riding season assuming of course they weren't brought up to concours condition during the recent lockdowns! Our first breakfast meeting, AGM will both be over by the time you read this and we'll be looking forward to the BBQ at Paul and Denise Lydford's home in Laneside, Shaftesbury where Christine Hunt will be donning her chef's whites for the evening and cooking the sausages and burgers, ably assisted I'm sure by other section stalwarts. This will be our only evening meeting of the year and will start at 6-6.30 pm. Hopefully I'll see you there?