It’s been a summer of celebration, catching up with old friends at events which were postponed during the pandemic. There have been old bikes in action every weekend across the country – here are a few of the highlights…
The annual Classic Motorcycle Day at Crich Tramway Village attracted over 400 classic bikes, from vintage machines to more modern motorcycles. Vehicles over 25 years old could enter the concours competition and join the displays with a chance to win one of seven awards. The public voted for the Best in Show which went to John Wood’s Suzuki GT750.
Paul Kilminster travelled from the Channel Islands to Derbyshire for the event and was rewarded with a prize for his Sunbeam S7. An impressive array of Kawasakis assembled to celebrate the Z1’s 50th anniversary – and Kawasaki owner David Sketchley won the Best Japanese category. The other winners included a Hesketh 1000, a Moto Guzzi Airone and a 1920s James V-Twin.
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The event is organised in collaboration wit the local Vincent HRD Owners’ Club. Jon Lambley of the club said ‘We were delighted with the turn-out of classic motorcycles and it was a fantastic day for enthusiasts and visitors. Entrants came from all over the UK, and many are keen to return next year.’
If you’d like to attend then put Sunday 2nd July 2023 in your diary and check tramway.co.uk nearer the time.
Meanwhile, at the opposite end of England the Salisbury Motorcycle and Light Car Club celebrated their centenary with a splendid motorcycle show in August. The club’s stand had more than 50 bikes on display with more machines to admire on the IAM, MAG and the Veteran Grasstrack Association stands. Several prominent local bike businesses – including Hayballs Motorcycles, VP Motorcycles, Wasp Motorcycles and American Cruisers – exhibited various eye-catching offerings.
Awards were duly allocated to the most impressive motorcycles: Daniel Whalley won the best show bike trophy for his Harley Davidson’s brilliant paint job. John Richley went home with the ‘best visiting bike’ award for his Yamaha XS650 custom and Salisbury’s mayor Tom Corbin kindly presented these trophies.
The crowds stayed all day to soak up the glorious weather, watch the bike parade in the arena, relax and listen to Luke Futcher’s jazz and swing trio and enjoy the refreshments provided by the rugby club. Fund-raising events during the day raised around £2000 for Salisbury Hospice.
And finally, RC regular Roy took a ride to the Baston Car and Bike Show. This started off as a small village show and has grown into a huge event at Grimsthorpe Castle, not far from Bourne in Lincolnshire. There are loads of bikes to admire and several bike clubs – like the BSA and Ducati groups – turn up regularly year after year. I spotted a Manx Norton 350 which had been raced by Dennis Pratt. He had many wins at Cadwell on it and he came fourth in the 1961 Manx Grand Prix. Alongside the Norton there was an interesting Aermacchi owned by the same person.
On a different level was a 1924 American La France Speedster car. This was huge and apparently each tyre costs £450! The Maico Club had a nice display of Maicoletta scooters. Amongst the motorcycles I noticed a very nice 1961 BSA Special, fitted with a Jawa engine, which looked very good. There were many more classic machines to look at, too.
There were also loads of trade stands to browse, plenty of food and drink outlets and live music. Other attractions included a flyby from a Lancaster bomber, monster truck rides and a display of vintage F1 racing cars. A walk through the castle is included in the ticket price: remember that King Henry VIII walked here before you! There’s also plenty to see in the castle gardens and grounds.
This show is well worth a visit with plenty to see and do, and lots of space so nothing feels crowded. This year, any visitors who arrived in a vehicle made before 2000 were allocated special parking in the ‘pole position’ zone. Admission for a rider and bike was £5.
Baston words and photos by Roy Workman
Crich photos by Doug Leman
Salisbury photos by John Palmer & Anna McBride