Chairmans Report by Dave Iszard

May 30th, 2019

It’s the 6th month of the year already, it doesn’t seem five minutes since the new year fireworks were banging away outside. 17th March, the flag drops, we’re off. 29 riders from Writtle Green, the Cobwebs Run lead by Paul & Pauline Fletcher and backed up by Rex Croft, was well attended as it always is. It seems members are gagging to get out on a ride and folk who don’t appear for the rest of the year attend the Cobwebs. A dry day considering the week before gave Essex a good soak but we weren’t completely saved as there were some monumental puddles to cope with. All part of the fun. Fun ‘Run’ actually, the chosen route coincided with Highlands Park Fun Run and there were hundreds of them. Some proved quite suicidal, competing with us for space at junctions. We managed not to kill or injure any of them. The coffee stop at the Snug (Lodge coaches) although pre warned of our arrival were over run with other motorcyclist and cycle clubs, we did laugh, we got our coffee though. The highly enjoyable route took us on to the Lunch stop at The Barn, Galleywood. In cold sunshine we dispersed for home all except Steve Back who’s T100 had a flat battery, last seen being bumped started in the car park.

Clyde and Grace looked after the first Wrinkly Ride, March 27th. I wish they were called Midweek rides wrinkly makes me feel old, I suppose we are but you, like me would prefer not to be reminded. A ten o/clock start from Tesco’s, Maldon saw a good turn out on a very nice day, not even puddles. Through to Gosfield Shopping Village for coffee and cake and sausage rolls all especially cooked that day by Sue, the owner, for us. As always a nice route through Essex winding up at The Chequers, Gt Tey, in a reserved side room. The back marker was Grace who incidentally understands when one of us has to stop in the bushes ?

Brian Irwin’s ride on 7th April (Early Easter ride) threatened showers and as soon as we left a few spots arrived. We made it to the coffee stop at Assington Barn in the dry but while we were there the rain hammered down on the tin roof and sounded serious. When we ventured outside we discovered, it was serious but was only a heavy passing shower. On to the Lamarsh Lion, a pub buy-out by the villagers (I think) where tables were set-a-side for us. With the rain and the farmers transferring there fields out on to the road most returned home with a dirty bike. A good time was had I believe but it almost wasn’t for Alan Matthews whose Vinnie ingested some rain. In the true vintage spirit he sorted him self out and made it home.

Sadly most of our section premier events have been abandoned because no member wants to take them on. I believe it’s, unfortunately, a sign of the times but we do have a full calendar despite that. So, big thanks to Lesley Willmore for ‘grasping the nettle’ and singlehandedly organising everything to do with the Bluebell Week. Everything being, arranging dates with The Museum of Power, camping arrangements, fish n chips, evening meal, three days routes with coffee and lunch stops, advertising the event, applying for regulations via the VMCC, leaving the camp site as we found it and more. It took several days to do the routes plus three days off work, she really does deserve a pat on the back. Two of the days were route sheets which I really enjoy and the third day was ‘end over end’. Some of the lanes were challenging, not quite off roading but narrow with grass growing in the middle. A good showing of VMCC members from neighbouring sections and a good spread of machinery. The Arthur brothers had the oldest bikes with a 1924 BSA and a 1925 Triumph. In my opinion the 350 Levis bitsa of Andy Abraham was the very spirit of (post) vintage motorcycling. I’m not sure of the most modern bike, maybe an 80’s Honda or Triumph but all good stuff.

Mark Wilson put together a very entertaining ride on 5th May. More like a day out actually, we visited Foulness Island Military Facility. I’m not going to elaborate on it here as Mark has written his own report on this website that deserves a read. It should prompt you to go next year when I hope Mark arranges it again. It was different and of course included a pub lunch. 10 out of 10.

The first of our evening rides on 15th May lead by Steve Back and tailed by John Ruth seemed a bit ambitious at 45 miles in an evening. It actually turned out a good ride and yet again surprised us with unknown (to me) Essex roads. 23 riders enjoyed a pint at the end and returned home in near day light. Only one mechanical casualty, Paul Sellick’s Norton Model 50 broke it’s spring to the centre stand which was dragging on the road. By the time he secured it with a zip tie the pelaton had disappeared over the horizon

The club evening entertainment has proved popular and most evenings have enjoyed a capacity turnout. The auction, earth quakes, Mosquito planes and more to come.

It would be nice if we could resurrect a premier event in the future. Also it would be good to have a ‘girder fork’ run for older bikes maybe in parallel with a small engine run. Your opinions are always welcome.

Dave Iszard.