The BMW Motorcycle Club South West Section
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Thursday 24th September to Monday 28th 2020
BLUE HILLS RALLY 2020
Thursday 24th – Monday 28th September 2020
Due to the Covid_19 issues this year, our rallies have been a bit thin on the ground
The “Hippo” rally, has now been completely scrapped, so Blue Hills is likely to be our last outing for a while.
All those attending Blue Hills, booked for themselves individually to a maximun of six people attending.
The 24th Sept coincided with the South West Section’s regular monthly meeting at “Fishermans Cot” Bickleigh, Tiverton. Due to recent issues with the Tiverton venue, this meet was held at
“The Beambridge Inn,” Wellington.
Phil Sampson and myself, were the only persons that attended the meet, going to Blue Hills
so we turned up on our bikes, with all the camping gear on board.
And Phil did me great service, by leading the ride all the way to Blue Hills Camp Site.
I have been known to get a BIT lost at times :-) so “Thank you Phil”The weather on Thursday was a bit over cast and did actually did rain a little whilst we were in the pub. But the nearer we got to St Agnes, the worst the weather got and was absolutely torrential at times, I had open my visor to still see the road, I wear Specs when riding.Phil and I arrived at the camp site, somewhere around 16:30 in very gusty and wet conditions,
Ginny wanted to put us in the field to the right past the waste bins, this field has slope of about 10 degrees or more, well Phil was having none of that and insisted that we use the usual field, on the left of the gate, that field is level and quite sheltered.Phil and myself got our tents up between some hard regular showers, and some strong gusts.
When all that was done, time to think about some food and a beer , or three.
Ginny had pointed out a covered area over in another field, through a small gate, this was brilliant for being out of the rain and sheltered from the storm, this is where Phil and I cooked our meals
and spent a pleasant evening relaxing with some beers, before retiring with the hope that this storm would not put others off attending.Thursday night was horrendous, we were told gusts of up to 60 mph went through in the night, Phil and I, having the same model of tent, found we were getting clonked on the head every few minutes as the knuckle of one tension rod flexed, and then recovered with each gust. nether of us got much sleep that night. Both our tents sleeping compartments remained dry and warm throughout the night, but my porch section had collapsed by morning as had Phil’s but the main parts were unaffected much by the storm.
Friday morning brought the sun shine and calmer weather, although still very windy with gusts, so after some running repairs and a cuppa I started to dry out all my riding kit, everything was soaked.
The wind was still strong enough to bring “Sea Foam” raining down on us from the shore half a mile away.
Later on in the day, Phil and Myself walk into St Agnes, for some lunch, taking a very steep motorcycle trials track, over the cliffs, and down some monster steps the other side, into the village.
After lunch, I was relieved to know we need to go back the same way. :-)By the time we got back from the village other riders had started to arrive,, it was still windy enough to need extra hands to set up tents. Eventually a full complement of SIX had arrived.
Soon it was time to cook some tea and socialise in the “Cow-Shed”.
Suns out, wind has dropped to nearly nothing, bike kit nearly dry now.
Out of the six rider and bikes five are BMW and one Triumph, not all were BMW Club members, as the Moto Morini Club were represented also. A local Moto Morini and Rider, is due to join us and lead a “Ride Out” for the Morini guys, unfortunately due to Covid-19, the site owners could not let the extra Morini Rider on site, as “no day visitors” were allowed, so they had to tog up quick and join him at the gate. Phil Sampson and myself went our own way, with Phil leading the way, round lots of the Cornish coastal roads. This time all the other riders joined Phil and Myself in the
“Cow-Shed” for beers and a chat until time to get our heads down.
Suns out, not much wind. With breakfast out of the way, four of our six start to pack up to go home.
Phil and Myself have decided to take advantage of the good weather and stay on the extra night.
We say our goodbye’s to the other riders and then head off for fuel and another ride around.
We went right past RNAS Culdrose this time, I have not seen it since 1974, very nostalgic.
After we got back, another walk into St Agnes for a beer or two, before returning to the
“Cow-Shed” to cook tea and chill out.
Never include a weather forecast in your decision making, it rained on a nice dry tent at 06:00
and with no drift and moist air, it was apparent that the tent would not dry out properly anyway, so I just got on and packed it up, to dry it later back at base camp. We were packed up and on our way home by 10:00.A very enjoyable weekend, and the weather much better than it could have been.
Thursday 10th October to Sunday 13th 2020
On this our tenth Dartmoor Rally the weather was kind to us, so I think we had a total of forty two stay but not all at the same time, some came for one night and other's for up to five night's. We had six from the East Anglia Section one came down from Shrewsbury some more from Bristol, and most of the rest from the Southwest Section. On Saturday I led a ride out consisting of five bike's and seven people. We took the scenic route to Roadford Lake for a coffee stop where Cliff had to pump his front tyre up a couple of pounds. Next, back up the old A30 to Sourton Cross around the back Okehampton and on towards Crediton, turning off at North Tawton for Whiddon Down then back up the old A30 again to Woodley Hall coach house for our lunch stop. After a hour we back tracked a couple of miles and turned off onto the road past Castle Road down to the A382 and turned left to Moretonhampstead, then down across Dartmoor to Princetown and on to Yelverton, then back to Morrisons at Tavistock for supplies and petrol and back to the campsite. We had a catering van on site Friday evening, Saturday morning and evening as well as Sunday morning up until about 1pm, serving a good range of food at very good prices. Evenings were spent in small socially distanced groups, with about six or seven in the gazebo, and the rest scattered around the rally field. Sunday morning saw the majority pack up and leave by lunch time, but six of us stayed until Monday, which saved me having to rush to load the bike onto the trailer and take the two gazebos and table down and load them into Debbie's car ready to go home. It was a very good weekend and the weather was kind to us, hope to see you all again next year somewhere, and thank you all for coming and making it such a good weekend. Phil and Debbie.
On Thursday the 9th of July I set off just after lunch to go to The Bettle and Chisel at Delabole for three night's camping in the pub's camping field, I arrived at 2 - 00 pm. about ten minutes after Keith who had come down from Slimbridge, after putting up our tent's Don came and brought some more supplies for the porta loo. In the evening Keith and I went to the pub for a meal and a couple of beer's, we headed off to bed. In the morning Keith and I went for a ride to Ocean at Plymouth, where we had a coffee and I ordered a new visor for my helmet, then we went off to The Engine House at Callington for some lunch and to make sure that we had a table booked for next Tuesday. After lunch we made our way back to the camp site, by the time we arrived some of the other's had arrived, we ended up with eleven in total all of who ended up in the pub for a meal and a couple more beer's before going to bed. In the morning we set off for a ride to Looe - Bodinick - Stithians Lake, and then on to Penzance for the last of the photo's that Jim had to do for the challenge, after that it was back to the site and into the pub for a meal when Debbie arrived, after a good meal and some more beer and good company it was time for bed again.
Up good time on Sunday morning and packed up the tent's and everyone headed for home accept three of us that where heading to Dorset for two night's camping and take another six photos, but that is another story. I would like to thank all of those that came and hope to see you all soon
Tuesday 14th July 2020
Well the first Engine House meet since lockdown attracted 11 people who where all glad just to get out and about again, 4 of us came down from Dorset that morning after having a couple of nights camping to do the 6 challenge point's in Dorset, which we did on the Monday.
It was mainly the usual one's that came to the Engine House for a catchup with friend's that we haven't seen for a while, after a couple of hour's it was time to pay my bill and yet again I ended up paying for a breakfast and coffee that was not mine because someone walked out without paying their bill?
Hope to see you all soon
Saturday 14th we met at Ocean BMW dealership Cafe for coffee before setting off for the first visit to one of the photo challenges, the river crossing River Avon Tidal Road near Kingsbridge South Devon. We travelled via the A38 to Ivybridge then cutting across country, we found it easily because we had Chris, who lives locally, to show us the way, best use of local knowledge. After the obligatory photos we headed back towards Plymouth via a more direct route just to mix things up a bit and arrived at GT Motorcycles for a spot of lunch. Being refreshed we headed off across Plymouth to the Torpoint Ferry, after a bit of a wait we crossed the Tamar into Cornwall and headed for Looe, to the next photo. I did have difficulty finding it, but thanks to Phil who peeled off from the back to the location, Terris Pill Tidal Bridge. These locations are easy to find if you use “my three words” app on your phone, which I should have used, Thanks to Chris, Phil and Hank for coming along, as this may be last rideout / meet for while.
Sunday 23rd Feburary 2020
Sunday 23rd we had our spring meet at the Bowgie Inn in Crantock near Newquay, since the last visit they have rebuilt half the Inn and well on the way to rebuilding the other half, which may be the reason why there prices have gone up, 5 members turned out for the meet, the bad weather contributing to the low turnout, we all enjoyed the meet and the spectacular seas crashing over the rocks. Photos show the members and the new face of the Bowgie Inn.
Saturday 15th Feburary 2020
Sunday 19th January 2020
Sunday the 19th we had a second visit for a Lunch time meet to Louis Tea rooms Kitt Hill, Callington. This is a very busy Biker haunt on most Sundays so I tried to pick a less busy Sunday, I booked a table for 8 and 7 arrived so not bad, considering the weather was not ideal for biking. I several trips out to the car park and drag a couple of members in from the cold, including Roger a less frequent visiter but hopefully will see more of him in the future, also Rob a prospective new member who is about to join, he likes camping so should meet his needs, we all enjoyed the meals and the company.
A damp, drizzly and misty day but it didn't deter 11 members from turning out for a ride around north Devon.
Starting at the Whitehouse cafe,10 bikes and a visit from Chris Rogers. An excellent breakfast before we set promptly at 1115 after a briefing with Phil as sweeper.
Via Winkleigh, Beaford and Torrington to Bideford where we met up with Jim. Those doing the Water Crossing Challenge took their pictures of the old bridge and then off to Fremington Quay.
A comfort stop here and tea/coffee/cakes we all stood outside and enjoyed the views across the estuary. Dave left us to travel home on the A39, the group the headed down the picturesque but damp A377.
Julian peeled off at Crediton and we stopped in Newton St Cyres for Challenge photographs of the ford.
The group then headed toward Exeter with Jim and Hank leaving us to head for Tiverton. We worked our way around the edge of Cowick and out on the old A30 via Pocombe bridge. An enforced detour onto the new A30 due to a road closure and finishing at the Hog and Hedge at Whiddon Down for more tea and cakes.
A great ride in perfect company – thanks to everyone for coming and special thanks to Phil for sweeping and looking very fetching in pink Hi-Viz.
Thanks to Julian for the photographs.
On Saturday 14th. December I set off on a dry but windy morning to meet up with Vince another member at Saltash, we left Saltash at 10/45 and had a good ride up to the Aviator Cafe and arrived at 11/55, four member's were already there and another three arrived after us making a total of nine.
Four of us came by bike the rest by car, we all had something to eat and drink and a good natter we then dispersed at about 13/45, Vince and I went back to Exeter and picked up the old A30 back to Lifton farm shop for a cup of tea before going our separate ways, not a bad day out for December, I did have a bit of a shower just before I arrived home but it is winter after all,that's it for now hope to see you all again soon
The Fishermans Cot Bickliegh Saturday 7th December 2019
Great to see you all at our Christmas dinner on the evening of Saturday 7th December at The Fisherman’s Cot, near Tiverton. 25 of us turned out in all our finery for our meal served and cooked to the usual high standards that we see on a regular basis for our monthly lunch meets. Thank you to Debbie and Phil for taking charge of the raffle for another year, and thank you to all who brought prizes for the raffle with the first prize of £20 being won by Jan Lyford. £70 was raised after expenses. Some of us chose to stay the night either in motorcaravans or in rooms and we met for a lovely breakfast in the morning. You can’t beat a fry-up to treat a fuzzy head!I hope that you all have a peaceful Christmas and I will see you again in the New Year.
Take care and ride safely,Jim
Wednesday 20th November 2019
Trerulefoot Lunch meet - On Wednesday 20th November, six member's braved the wet weather to come to this new venue that we thought we would try. Three came by car and three by bike, spent a pleasant couple of hour's chatting, all enjoying a meal or snack before going our separate ways. The café was busy due to pre-Christmas shoppers who had arrived to spend,spend,spend in the clothes and gift shop! We might try it again next year? Thanks to those that came, hope to see you all again soon.
Phil and Debbie.
Sunday 17th November 2019
Bowgie Inn on the rugged North Coast of Cornwall, has had a revamp which has made it unrecognisable, as we arrived in the car park it made you think you had come to the wrong venue. Considering it is November the weather was pretty good, dry and sunny, we 6 members enjoyed a meal from the varied menu, the prices have risen, (well someone has to pay for the improvements) but the Bowgie is large enough to cope with flexible numbers.
Thanks for coming along Don.
We had a good turnout considering the location on the North Cornwall Coast not near any one except me, but it is a nice part of the country and the Cafe is nice and spacious with a varied menu. Mixed weather but mainly dry, 9 members, 2 on bikes, not bad for a November weekday meet, I was in two minds as to using the Tintagel Brewery again, but I will put another one on next year.
Thanks for coming along Don
Friday 25th October 2019
We tried a new Cafe for a Friday meet on the 25th of October. As Jenn’s Diner was near Redruth and one end of our long Section, I did not expect large number to attend, plus the weather was terrible, but we had seven arrive before the booked table at 12.00. Jenn’s is an American style diner cafe with lots of memorabilia from live size models of Superman, Laurel and Hardy to diner style juke box. The food follows the same American Style burger stacks, Buns and Fries, and the usual fried breakfast of various sizes. I would use Jenn’s again, more likely on a ride out in the area.
……and that’s what we did!
63 people attended the Hippo Rally this year which was held at North Tawton Rugby Club once again. Our condolences were sent to Julian and Tracie Franklin who were unable to attend due to a close family bereavement.
The rally got off to a good start on Thursday because we were all invited to attend a music evening to raise funds for the Rugby Club Captain who has been left paralysed as the result of a fall. 17 Hippos helped to boost the number of people who enjoyed folk music and anecdotes from artistes who had appeared at the recent Dartmoor Folk Festival.
Most Hippos arrived on Friday, spread throughout the day and evening and so Friday was spent erecting tents, saying hello, having a chat, drinking beer and eating Pasties and beans.
On Saturday after a hearty breakfast we enjoyed a ride around Exmoor with a bomb burst of bikes going off in wrong directions after the petrol stop, (which nobody wanted anyway!) due to one rider going for a pee across the road in the services! Then there was an unplanned off road section because I took a wrong turn, but all turned out well when we all regrouped in Widecombe-in-the-Moor for lunch and walkabout.
We had to host a rugby match in the afternoon, which wasn’t really supposed to have happened and we struggled to get rid of players and supporters who wanted to stay and drink beer. After our dinner provided by Kirsty the Caterer, Saturday evening entertainment was by The Bottle Top Boogie Band, a local quartet from Bampton, including Rev Kev; the vicar! A brilliant night. More beer was drunk of course and in fact we very nearly succeeded in drinking the Club dry with only a few pints left in one barrel.
A good old full English washed down with copious quantities of tea and coffee cleared our heads ready to pack up our tents and camper vans on Sunday morning for our journeys home.
The weather was kind to us - not very cold at all, very little rain and much sunshine.
Loads of people helped in all sorts of ways - keeping the urn topped up, cleaning tables, and cleaning up on Sunday morning and I thank you all for your help. It’s great when we all help each other isn’t it?
The 3 people I would like to give a special thank you to are Sal Robinson who baked us loads of lovely fruit buns ( I had one in my rice pud - yum) and managed to sell 500 raffle tickets all on her own. You’re a star Sal. You raised about £200! (accurate figures will follow when Jane and I have done the accounts)
Chris Laxton and Gemma who between them served us every meal, kept the coffee boat clean, and looked after our health by bleaching tables and cleaning up.( I went in the hall at 0800 on Sunday morning to clean up, and they had already done it!) On top of all that Gemma cooked rice pudding for 63 people.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. It wouldn’t happen with out you.
Thank you all for coming too. There wouldn’t be any point in it if you didn’t. See you all next year. Same time,same place .
The Andy Baines Long Distance Award was won by Richard Norris who travelled 272 miles to the Rally from his home in Lyminge, Kent.
Saturday 12th October 2019
Saturday the 12th of October, we had a visit to the Moretonhampstead Motor Museum, we arrived at the opening time of 11.30 am, only to clash with a visit with the Mercedes owners club, but we managed to slip in first, with just a couple of late runners queuing with Mercs O. C. We had new member Nick from Newton Abbot for his first visit, hoping we see a lot more of him. About 10 members enjoyed the visit to the museum, with a large collection of bikes and cars, I only saw 2 BMW’s, one with 2 wheels and one with 3, the bubble car. Frank Loft a very enthusiastic and passionate collector, has refurbished the old Bus Depot to a high standard the plus adding a new mezzanine floor. Too raise the cars up to this floor, he has had a large plate made that the cars drive on, then a fork lift raises the car up to the next level. He has a viewable restoration area, plus lots of automobile and artefacts .
Sunday 22nd September 2019
Sunday 22nd we had a pub meet at the Ship Inn on the Barbican Plymouth, we had 9 members, after meeting up in the Captain Jaspers bike parking area, we then headed off along the Harbour side to the Ship Inn, which was very quiet where we had a lunch. It was nice to see Don and Shirley, after sudden retirement from biking following his incident with his bike and a bridge wall, his 10 broken ribs are healing nicely. After the meal we followed it up with an ice cream on the sea front with Tim and Annie before we departed home.
Thursday 19th September 2019
On a lovely sunny September day 9 of us met at the picturesque town of Lynmouth on the North Devon Exmoor coast. Nice to see a new member, Tony from Exeter. 5 BMWs and 1 Triumph. I wasn’t allowed to take my bike because I’m trading it in for another on Monday and at 15000 miles and 27 months old the dealer thinks that’s high mileage and doesn’t want me to put any more on it. I took the car and Hilda came along for lunch too. We had a meal at The Exmoor Information Centre where there are great views over the bay. The closest we got to fish and chips was Hilda’s scampi and chips. Graham didn’t feel like eating and went walkabout before meeting us back at the bike park.
Good to see you all, thanks for coming.
Jim organised a Fish and Chip meet in Lynmouth on Thursday the 19th, following on from this we had a ride out lead by Dave Fox Spencer with Tony and myself, bringing up the rear. We travelled west through the Valley of the Rocks, passed Lee Abbey, then through the toll road and then through the twisty narrowest of lanes, several miles later arriving at Combe Martin, then onto Ilfracombe to view the Verity, the Damian Hurst Statue. After a refreshing ice cream we started the 2 hour trip homeward, a long day but most enjoyable.
Dartmoor Rally and Bike Show at Harford Bridge Park,Tavistock – 5th to 8th September - This year the Dartmoor Rally was blessed with good weather. Debbie and myself went up on Wednesday so that we could go and recce the Saturday ride out on Thursday morning and still be back on site before too many people turned up. We had fifteen there on Thursday night including us and after enjoying a pasty supper we all spent the evening in the television room where it was definitely warmer. On Friday morning Debbie and I had a walk into Tavistock before lunch to get a bit of shopping so that we would be back by just after one o'clock before most of the others arrived. In the evening some went to the television room and some in the gazebo, I think a few were also in Jim’s rented caravan. Altogether I think we had twenty-eight on the campsite in van's and tent’s, also some in hard accommodation. Saturday morning, I led the ride out leaving at ten thirty, with nine bike's and eleven people. We headed up onto Dartmoor and over the top to Mortonhampstead for a coffee stop. After arriving back at the bike’s, we found that Dave F Spencer had caught up with us so we set off for Whiddon Down to Okehampton then headed for Halwill and turned off for Roadford Lake where we enjoyed our lunch in café. After about an hour we went back up to the old A30 and went to Lewdown where we turned off for Chillaton then turned left again and went past Brent Tor to Lydford returning to the camp site. I would like to thank Malcolm for taking up the rear and making sure no one got lost! Another nice evening spent socialising before heading to bed.
On Sunday we had our bike show but there will be a separate report for that. So, we would like to thank everyone who came and hope you all enjoyed yourselves, and we have already booked the site for next year, and will be our tenth anniversary rally there.
Phil & Debbie.
Sunday 8th September 2019 Harford Bridge Tavistock
John Robinson : Best Three Wheeler/Trike GS Trike
Les Carr : Best Classic BMW R800RT
Paul Townsend : Best pre 2000 BMW R800RT
Andy Lobb : Best post 2000 BMW 700GS
Phil Sampson : Best non BMW Honda ST 1100 Pan European
Sunday the 8th we had our annual Bike Show, the sun shone on the 25 entries for the show this year, there were a few late entries which did catch a few votes towards the end.
The winners :
Best Three Wheeler for GS Trike - John Robinson,
Best Classic BMW 800 RT - Les Carr,
Best BMW Pre 2000 800 RT Paul Townsend,
Best Post 2000 BMW 700GS - Andy Lobb
Best Non BMW Honda Pan European - Phil Sampson
Well done to all the winners and thank you to all those who attended and put up the bikes.
During the show we were treated to a varied menu on the food wagon for lunch, with the show entrants given vouchers for a complimentary lunch.
Wednesday 21st August 2019
Fish & Chip supper meet - 21st Aug- at Trebonney’s, Roche, Cornwall. Six of us met up, Don & Sue, Andy, Charles and Phil & Debbie but just as well! No fish or batter we were told [sold out] & busy in the cafe Andy went in the take out for sausage & chips, the rest of us walked up the road for the Rock Inn fish & chips, okay but such large portions and struggled to eat all mine. At least we got to eat as by now it was gone 8pm. Nice evening for a bike ride too, even I came along!
Sunday 1st September 2019
We had a short notice meet at the Louis Tea rooms, as I heard they had a bike Sunday on the first Sunday of the month. September Sunday meet was on the 1st, we arrived at about 10.15am and were met by a sea of bikes, as seen in photo. Our members numbers attending were unknown as only 2 said they were coming, I did find a table of 4 and grab hold of it, in the end we had 11 members arrive spread over half an hour. So we did a staggered breakfast, plus I later found out that other members arrived with Julian E and sat at another table, but as it was so busy you could not see who was there. The turn over of bikes is high, as bikes are arriving others are going. We will try this Bike Sunday again see how popular it becomes with members.
Sat 17th August 2019
Meet at Louis tea rooms on Saturday 17th meeting at 10.30 am for a brunch meet. Eventually we had 10 members. It was good to see Roy, a regular at Louis, but the first BMW meet he has attended. Jerry, a new member, didn't find us until we came out of the cafe. This was the first meet at this venue and being a favourite meet for other bikers, I think it won't be the last. After breakfast we decided to extend the day when 5 of us went for short ride in the brilliant sunshine, out to Minion's tea room, and another coffee.
Friday 9th to Sunday 11th August 2019
Braving the storm at Lavender Farm
Heavy rain & wind at The Lavender
Braving the high wind and heavy rain
The hardened few at Lavender Farm
The “unofficial” Lavender Rally – 8/9/10th August – due to a severe weather warning by the met office it was decided to cancel our rally although the 9 hardy few of us in camper vans and 2 in tents were not put off and braved the 40 -50mph wind and heavy rain particularly on Thurs/Fri. Jim in his tent went home early Friday morning having not slept much, thankfully he, his tent and contents stayed intact on Thurs night which was a miracle! Newcomer Dave from South East Sec arrived late Friday afternoon on his bike, erected his small tent in time for the storm to return then slept in the barn for 3 nights. His tent and some contents were flattened by morning. Sadly, no bike ride outs were accomplished, just a few beers, banter, John Robbo’s birthday cake & fizz in the barn, and some of us at least got out for walks in to Hartland village and the Quay, waterproofs were a must when the showers fell! Now why did we label this rally “the hurricane rally”? – better luck next August!
Wednesday 31st July 2019
Exmoor ride out Wednesday the 31st July started a last minute ride, to include taking a photo of the Dunster Yarn Market for the photo challenge. Phil, Giles and myself met at the PIE Cafe in Launceston at 9.00 for a cuppa, ready to leave at 9.30. We headed North to Holsworthy then on to Torrington, where we stopped to meet up with the rest, Hank and Tim, at a car park burger van. After a coffee we set off for South Molton, the beauty of coming up to this part of the country is the quiet and fun biking roads and as we approached Exmoor, the scenery just got better, it was a lovely clear day. Then onto North Molton and Withypool then to our lunch stop at Exford. Departing Exford we headed for the destination of Dunster where the Yarn Market is in the middle of the town, one of the easier one’s of Tim’s challenge points to find! Photo taken and much discussion as to what to do next, a couple including me, needed petrol so we set off for Minehead to Tesco for fuel. It started to get busy, we are in the holiday traffic now, even so we head off along the coast to Porlock and take in the famous hill, all easy now for modern machinery, then onto Lynton and Lynmouth. Following the A39, we later turned off and headed back onto Exmoor again and this time we stoped in Withypool for the final cuppa of the day. After refreshments we headed back to South Molton where we split in different directions and headed homeward.
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th July 2019
The Bettle and Chisel Rally held on the weekend of 12th to 14th July. With less than 5 miles to travel to the campsite I just threw the camp gear in the car and erected the tent with help from Sue, and then drove back, and later in the day arrived on the bike. The weather was great for the whole weekend, we had our own little paddock behind the pub. The free camping came at a price of no over night toilets, but we managed, there were public toilets just down the road that open early, plus the pub from 8 till late. The attraction was the beginning of Carnival week with a large marquee with real ales and rock band called the Tank Slappers, some of us did enjoy the pleasures of this and others stayed in the Bettle, while others went to the Working Men’s club. The ride out on the Saturday was ended by the accident involving our member, Dave Fox Spencer, in a collision with the rear of a car, Dave came off worse with two broken wrists and two broken ribs plus bruising, he was taken to hospital in the ambulance and was released very late in the day, the police decided it was just an accident with no blame to ether side. After two hours or so the rest headed up to Bude to North Cornwall Motor Cycles where they have a mixture of older Classics to more modern bikes, they are agents for Royal Enfield, the ride was basically ended there. Most went back to the campsite while I took a couple on a scenic route around the local area.The Rally was a success despite the incidents so will run it again next year probably earlier in the year so not to clash with Carnival as this did make it quite busy.
Sunday 21st July 2019
Just 4 of us met at J27 on the M5. Good to see Pete L there after his Worldly wandering, and new member Keith along with Colin. So 2 Hondas and 2 BMWs. Pete led us over the hills high up by the Wellington monument (well, high by Somerset standards) where we hardly saw another car, and then as we emerged onto the very busy A303 I led us across to join the Langport road at Thornfalcon and once again we were in very light traffic. Pete F, Chris and Graham were waiting for us when we arrived at Haynes Motor Museum. It was extremely busy with at least 400 bikes in the car park and we had to wait about 15 minutes to get served. We had a late breakfast and a wander around the bikes parked outside before we dispersed to make our own way home. Thanks for coming.
Ride safely. Jim
Tuesday 9th July 2019
On Tuesday 9th July when I arrived at the Engine House two members were already there and it was not long before more arrived, as it was a nice day we sat outside in the smoking area, I believe we ended up with twenty member's including two perspective new members. As usual the food and service was very good, and it was soon time to head for home although it had been two and a half hours scince I had arrived, that's it for now see
you all again soon Phil.
Wednesday 3rd July 2019
Short account of last nights fish and chips in Yeovil, Jim took a couple of
pics of us all. After a sunny ride to Yeovil, 9 of us enjoyed an a good plateful of fish and
chips and some had pudding as well. Dave Fox Spencer won the £10 for furthest travelled of 44 miles. After the
usual chat and banter we left about 8.45 for the ride home.
Those of us going west rode off into the lovely sunset, with the prospect of
another nice day.
Thanks to those who came, will book another night again soon.
Saturday 29th June 2019
Visit to Petersen Engineering June 29th 2019
On the 29th June I arranged a visit to the business premises of fellow petrolheads Bob and Sally Petersen who run Petersen Engineering from their beautiful home at Beaworthy Mill in the middle of glorious Devon countryside. Starting off as a designer, Bob has built a specialised Bentley reconstruction business from scratch. Starting with original Bentley chassis which unbelievably are still lurking in barns and sheds around the world (if you have one, Bob’s interested in it!), a complete car is then built. Naturally the engines are completely rebuilt and supercharged if required with a ‘Petersen blower’, new bodies are constructed from scratch and trimmed in Connolly leather and sumptuous carpet. Unable to stand trusting anyone else with any part of the car, Bob makes everything in house, woodworking, fabrication, paint spraying, leather trimming, you name it they do it, in fact Bob has trained his staff of 21 himself putting local school leavers through apprenticeships. The end result is exquisite in appearance and performance, these cars are built to be used not just looked at, brakes steering and suspension are light years ahead of the originals.
If a four and a half litre supercharged Bentley is too tame for you, how about taking a longer Rolls Royce chassis and fitting it with a twelve cylinder tank engine? Bob will happily build you one, remember if you have to ask you can’t afford it.
You may remember the Spitfire engined car from Top Gear a few years ago driven by Jeremy Clarkson and The Stig, that was one of Bob’s and it now resides in Los Angeles in Jay Leno’s garage
To complete their rural idyll, Sally and Bob naturally built a motocross track beside the workshops to blow off a bit of steam in between builds, a ramp was constructed by burying a Ford Capri that was no longer required. In deference to the neighbours the track is now a lake and wildlife refuge.
We had complete access to all the various workshops within the business and Bob was incredibly generous with his time, answering a barrage of questions on technical matters and politely declining to name any of his customers!
The last building on the site was the ‘showroom’, the door opens and you are ushered into a matt black room with chromed spotlights picking out the nickel plating of 3 immaculate green Bentleys, 2 four seaters and a ‘boat tail’. The walls are covered with pictures, documents and glass cases full of options and items of interest. Quite an experience in itself, then we even got coffee and biscuits!
It’s quite rare to be given access to a business this specialised and you don’t need to be interested in Bentleys to be fascinated by the process of bringing these beasts to life, but my abiding thought is of the skills that are being utilised here and proof that you really don’t have to settle for second best
Thursday 27th June 2019
Debbie and I arrived at Slimbridge on Sunday the 9th June although the rally didn't officially start until Thursday 13th. We had been to a National Committee Meeting on Saturday the 8th and it seemed pointless going home to come up again 3 days later. On the Tuesday I had a text message from Pete Frost asking if he could come up a day earlier to try and miss some of the rain, so on Wednesday Pete turned up at lunch time and put his tent up in the dry. In the evening the 3 of us went to the Tudor Arms for a meal and a couple of drinks or so.
On Thursday it rained for most of the day but Ron and Jan - Rod and Chris - John and Sally - and Colin turned up and we managed to put the gazebo and flag up between the rain. Four of us went to the pub for a meal again, then back to the site and spent the rest of the evening in the gazebo. On Friday we went to Tescos at Cam for some provisions and other bits then back to the site and walked to The Black Hut Cafe for lunch.
Another 5 came today making a total of 15, rained nearly all day again so spent the evening in the gazebo. On Saturday Pete had organised a ride out which 6 of us set off on, we hadn't gone far before it started raining heavily, and then we found that the old Severn Bridge was closed so into the services for a coffee. As it was still raining 3 headed back to site and 3 of us went for a ride up through Wootton under Edge to Nailsworth for a lunch stop and then up to Minchinhampton before heading back to site. We had 1 leave today and another 3 arrive, so in total we had 18 over the weekend for a various
amount of nights. We also had Ian and Jan from the Western Section pop in on Saturday afternoon for an hour, so considering the weather a better
turnout than we thought.
Saturday evening was spent in the gazebo for some and others under various van awnings. Sunday some packed and went home but 9 of us stayed until
Monday. We still had more heavy showers on Sunday but 4 of us managed a walk to a secret bird hide and dodged the shower's, on arriving back on
site we found that the awning on Rod and Chris's van had been blown off by the wind, but on closer inspection it had not been fitted correctly, it was
just lucky that no one was under it at the time.
We would like to thank all those that braved the weather to come, and hope you all enjoyed yourselves. PLEASE NOTE:The rally date for 2020 is already
booked with Tudor campsite and will be a week later.....
Here is the date for your diaries: Thursday 18th June to Sunday 21st June.
Phil and Debbie.
Wednesday 5th June 2019
We had our annual visit to the Coddy Shack in Looe, Wednesday evening on the 5th, with only 3 bikes and 4 members. I think the weather played its part, as heavy rain showers spread there way across the county must have put some off, as Dave Fox Spencer said as he passed through several heavy showers on his over 100 mile journey. The evening was spent in sunshine and we all enjoyed the best fish and chips in the area, Dave won the prize for the furthest travelled, coming from Watchet in North Somerset. Hope for better weather for the rest of the season.
Saturday 25th May 2019
Eight bikes met up at Woody's Diner, Sourton Services which was very busy with many other bikes on their way to Bideford Bike Show. Nice to see Michael from Newton Abbot with his R9T on only his second Club event we hope to see you again.
After a brew we left Woody's at 11:00 for a shortish ride up the twisty A386 to The Quay, Bideford. Thank you Phil for sweeping. We adopted the good idea mentioned in last month's Journal whereby the sweeper positions himself at the start so all riders have to pass him and so know who the sweeper is. The drop off system worked well.
Jon was there to meet us and Mike turned up late, not being allowed to come out to play earlier.
We had to queue for parking and pay £3 but it was well worth it to attend what has become a great biking Show with hundreds of motorcycles from all genres and ages to view.
Some of us went to Wetherspoons for lunch, while others contented themselves with refreshments at the show. Members dispersed and made their own way home as required.
Thanks for coming.
Friday 17th to Sunday 19th May 2019
Debbie and I went to Porthleven for The Ales Wheel's Rally a day early, we arrived on site just turned 12 noon went in the pub and saw Donna the manager, then into the field to get set up ready and have some lunch. Just after lunch Colin turned up and then Derek, and Dave to check that everything was all right and said that he would bring the gazebo and tea and coffee in the morning.
In the afternoon the four of us walked into Porthleven for some shopping, then after we had eaten we went to the pub and met Dave who was already
there, and we spent a enjoyable evening just having a few drinks and a good chat. On Friday morning Debbie and I went off on the bike and ended up at Glendurgan Gardens near Falmouth for lunch then a walk around the gardens,
We then arrived back at the site about 14 - 30 by which time most of the
other's had arrived. In the evening we all went to the pub where they had a bingo game starting so some bought some card's, and I think it was Gemma won £30 - 00 for a full house which was donated towards a round of drinks, we then all eventually went to our bed's.
In the morning Debbie and I walked into Porthleven for a paper before going on the ride out which left at 10 - 30 led by Dave and I went as sweeper, after a nice ride to Marazion - Penzance - Mousehole - Newlyn then on to Tregiffien Burial Chamber so Jim could take a picture for the challange, after taking his picture Jim and John headed back to site and the rest of us headed towards Lands End then towards St. Just and the coast road towards St.Ives where we then went to Daves Diner at St. Earth for lunch.
After lunch Colin went back to the site as he thought he had problem's with his bike, the rest of us carried on up the coast road to Portreath for a ice cream, and from there back to the site where we stayed on the site for the rest of the day and all evening.
On Sunday most packed up and left other than five of us who stayed untill Monday and had a nice quiet day, that's it for now hope to see you all soon
Tuesday 14th May 2019
Tuesday 14th May saw I think twenty member's and one possible new member turn up at The Engine House on a breezy but sunny day, a few of us talked about the Ales and Wheels Rally that is on next weekend the 17th. to 19th. of May at Porthleven. I tried to get to talk to everyone but is awkward when we were spread across three table's, I think everyone had a good get together, and caught up with friends that they have not seen for a while, well that's all for now see you all again soon .
Sunday 5th May 2019
Sunday the 4th May, ride out and meet Princetown on Dartmoor. Poor Don, first he had to change the venue to The Fox Tor, due to his first choice having closed down and then on the day, he rang me to say he had bad vertigo, all vertigo is bad but certainly not safe to ride a bike. We arrived in great weather just before twelve to find the venue absolutely pack to the rafters with cyclists, walkers, and other motor bike ride outs. Early arrivals captured an outside corner and as new arrivals gathered collected chairs and squeezed in. We collected drinks and some had food, but as it was so crowded we decided to continue with the ride out and go on to Castle Drogo. The ones who did not get lunch now enjoyed a bit more room as Castle Drogo cafe is far larger. I would estimate 15 bikes plus a few pillions arrived at The Fox Tor, a few to do there own thing while about ten bikes plus a couple of pillions headed for Castle Drogo. The weather was fantastic even with a slight chill in the air, the roads were narrow, and we did meet a lot of tourists who don't know where reverse is or don't choose to use it. It was nice to see some new members and one was Simon who has been a member for 20 plus years and this was his first meet which he enjoyed and is hoping to come to more, and also Brian from Wadebridge attending his second meet.
Saturday April 27th 2019
The gale force winds kept some away from Lynmouth for our fish and chip meet, I'm sure, but at least the rain stayed away too. So Don, Dave and I parked by the river and had a short walk through the shops to the Exmoor National Park Centre Cafe for lunch.There are superb views of the bay and cliffs from here and the sea was wild.
Afterwards we rode along the narrow lanes and some tricky hairpin bends following the coast through the Valley of the Rocks, Lee Bay, Woody Bay, Hunter's Inn, then Combe Martin and on to see Verity, the controversial statue at Ilfracombe harbour.
The wind didn't cause us any problems. Don won the longest distance tenner having ridden about 150 miles by the time he got back home.
Friday 19th April to Sunday 21st 2019
Sunday 14th April 2019
Sunday 17th March 2019
Tuesday 12th March 2019
Engine House Tusday 12th. March.
On a very wet and windy morning Debbie and I went to The Engine House by car, when we arrived Charles was aready having a cup of coffee and piece of cake, it was not long before Keith arrived and we ended up with a total of seven member's all of who came by car. After a couple of hour's the weather had improved and as we had all eaten enough by this time we parted company and head for home, or in our case shopping on the way home, hope to see you all again soon Phil.
Thursday 28th February 2019
Fisherman's Cot. 28th February. A total of 15 members and 1 perspective new member turned up at The Fisherman's Cot for our lunch meet today our fairly new member Mark came and his dad Sid came also, Sid is thinking of joining the club, they were only ones to come by bike so I hoped they both felt welcome. Ron and Jan came as they have not long returned from a six week trip to Spain, as it was my 65th. birthday last Friday and also Ron's birthday on the same day Sally and Debbie had cakes to celebrate our birthdays. After a good couple of hour's when we had all had enough to eat and drink we headed for home, it was a far better trip home than last time as we did not have any snow, hope to see you all soon
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