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Some classic bike clubs can be terribly formal. If rules and regs aren’t your thing, then RC reader Malcolm Richings recommends this group based near Rushden…
This is quite an unusual classic bike club, says member Malcolm. ‘It has no fees, no chairman, no secretary, no treasurer (no money!), no committee, no constitution, no cliques, no snobbishness, no elitism and no dinner dances!’
Instead, the East Northants Classic Motorcycle Club offers a friendly, welcoming atmosphere; ‘where there is no place for egos or bull, just a genuine bunch of sociable enthusiasts with a common interest in bikes, especially anything a little unusual.’ All classic enthusiasts are welcome, and the word ‘classic’ is undefined so you can make up your own mind whether that includes you!
The group got off the ground when a bunch of born-again bikers in Northamptonshire, led by Keith Willmer, set about finding other like-minded souls. With help from local bike dealers, such as Phil Short of Phil’s British Bikes, and a spoof article in the local paper — ‘Black Panther Spotted in Rushden’, courtesy of a 1958 650cc Panther! — interest was awakened in sufficient enthusiasts to arrange the first meeting back in November 2004.
The group chose The White Horse at Wymington near Rushden for their regular meeting place. It’s a biker-friendly pub with a biker-friendly landlady, Lesley, who can tell many a story of escapades on Triumphs!
Meetings are held every Tuesday at 8pm, with a programme of events throughout the year. The winter months concentrate on the more social activities such as curry nights, Chinese nights, Bowling Challenges and the Christmas favourite – Stuff The Turkey Night – illustrating the group’s irreverent attitude to tradition!
The riding season starts with an opening Breakfast Run at the end of March, when the clocks go forward, with runs to events and places of interest every other weekend and evening runs twice a month. The year ends with a lunch run when the clocks go back at the end of October.
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The programme for 2007 will include trips to the Stinkwheel Show at Loughborough for the third time, going to the fourth International Classic Bike Clubs’ Show at Stanford Hall, the Rushden Cavalcade, the Cedos Easter Monday meeting, the Woodcote Rally, a coast run and a B&B run to the Sammy Miller Museum. As if the programme is not busy enough, a long weekend trip to Normandy is also planned.
Members, male and female, come from a wide area, including Rushden, Kettering, Northampton and Bedford and Milton Keynes, and members range in age from their mid-30s to mid-60s. Their regular rides vary from a 1934 Panther up to the latest Hinckley Bonneville, but club members feel that a ‘classic attitude’ is more important than ‘classic machinery’!
Random Panther Stuff on eBay.co.uk
The Club always welcomes new members or visitors if you happen to be in the area. All RC readers are welcome to drop in one Tuesday night at the White Horse, and see what this new-style club is all about.
The East Northants Classic Motorcycle Club meets at 8pm, every Tuesday evening at the White Horse at Wymington near Rushden, with a programme of evening and weekend runs throughout the season. Membership is free.