21st Irish/Welsh Rally 2016
What started as a day trip to south east Ireland for the West South wales section on the very first VMCC relay rally is now an event in it's 21st year. A annual event alternating between the section and Leinster classic motor cycle club which is affiliated to the VMCC. As usual we set sail from Fishguard's Stena line on in lovely sunshine and which lasted with us all weekend. This year once again we were joined by a few of the South Wales section members, & some members were on their first trip with us. Some of the machines included Lomax 3 wheelers, BSA & Matchless outfits, BMW, Honda's, Kawasaki, Moto Guzzi, Morini, all of which was club eligible machines. On our arrival in Rosslare we were greeted by Leonard Fitzpatrick event organiser along with other LCMCC members who led us to the Woodenbridge hotel in the vale of Avoca County Wicklow "the garden of Ireland" it was a nice evening ride of about 60 miles using the drop off system. In Wexford Gareth Jones Honda sprung an oil leak so was loaded onto the breakdown trailer until it was fixed next morning, on we then went to the fish & chip stop in Arklow. evening after booking in most of us had a pint & a chat in the bar with a few of the Irish members who had rode up with us and were also staying .
morning after a great Irish breakfast we gathered out side the hotel lodge in beautiful sunshine for signing on and catching up with old friends and chilling out and fettling the machines & getting fuelled up which was just a minute away.
By many of the LCMCC members had arrived all riding a similar mix of machines as ourselves but out numbering our British ones it's quite rare to see any Irish owned 3 wheelers in the republic probably that's why people go mad taking photo's of them. Shortly then we were briefed about todays run using the drop off system by Leonard who would lead us on his Velo Thruxton out through the lovely wooded valley on some nice but sometimes bumpy lanes and through quiet villages were many people gave a wave as we went by.
On route in the town of Buncloddy in blazing sunshine the back markers came to a halt as the road was closed to a national cycle race which was in progress just up the road. Not long after we all then caught up at the top of Mount Leinster for a planned stop to stretch the legs take some photo's of the great view, have a chat whilst enjoying Val's Welsh cakes. Past President Bill Phelps was introduced to Leinster club President retired Garda motor cyclist Tom Egan who joined us in his classic Mercedes. This spot is renowned for hang gliding (as some members may remember on the very first event beware low flying men!!)
Lenny was busy curing a misfire on the Thruxton which caused some banter amongst some of the riders, leaving the 2,612ft mountain behind we headed down towards Bagenalstown along the lovely river before stoping at the Lord Bagenal hotel in Leighlinbridge for food & drink. From here we travelled some lovely roads & villages once again, through Tullow & Kilteagan it was now getting towards on this sunny evening todays run would be about 100 miles. Later that evening in the hotel a lovely rally dinner was enjoyed, thanks and praises were exchanged between the two clubs & the handing over of the rally plate salver was presented by Con Rogers Leinster club chairman to Les organiser West Wales Section who duly elected Peter Thomas to except it on behalf of the section, we then enjoyed an evening of live music in the bar whilst having the craic with our Irish friends .
morning soon came round a bit to soon for some after a late night or early morning, another good Irish breakfast went down well to get us on the way. A great time has been had up until now and we haven't yet done the main run! That starts today about 10.00am 128 miles on a well presented route card once again thanks to Leonard.
Today we saw more of the Leinster Classic club turn out for the main event, as we departed Woodenbridge our first turn was into Avoca past Fitzgerald's pub (famous in the TV series Ballykissangel). Then it was on through some lovely country lanes to Redcross, further on the route took a fork right which took us through a forestry road with some great views across the Wicklow mountains. It was then on to Roundwood for the morning Tea/Coffee stop at the Coach house inn by now we had 40 miles under our belt.
After refreshments we headed off in blazing sunshine up into the Wicklow mountains taking the mountain pass road to Sallygap at 1,650ft were it crosses the military road a very busy road with cyclists and tourists many of which were taking a fantastic view of Lough Tay (the Guinness lake) looking down it resembles a massive head of Guinness with the black peat water and white sand shoreline around the edge and which in fact is part of the Guinness family estate.
As the route left the mountains we dropped down into Blessington then we had some main road before the lunch stop in the town square at Baltingglass, some had lunch in the pub while others had theirs out in the square 80 miles had now been ridden with no breakdowns for our recovery man Paddy who was really enjoying the w/end. Here we said goodbye to some of our Irish friends as they were making their way back home as they lived this end of the Province.
For the rest of us it was another 48 miles of Irish countryside towards Aughrim and Aughavannagh to the afternoon Tea/Coffee stop in the beautiful valley at Glenmalure all the tables outside was full with everyone enjoying the evening sunshine and having a chat whilst other people were interested in the machines, there was no rush to leave and had long passed before some of us left to make our way back to the finish, lucky there was a hill here as Graham's BSA outfit had broken it's kick start but was fixed later by John Fitz who had a spare one in his garage as we passed is home.
night was spent at the hotel with a few of the local Leinster club members. was a free day to go and do what you want as we didn't sail until , quite a few of us took up Leonards invite to come to his home and have a look at the bikes he has, it was a day off for him after the busy weekend and he was also preparing to go to the TT a few days later.
From there we set off in different directions some going to visit Wicklow gaol museum, the Hook head lighthouse was an other destination a place we had visited on a run previously but well worth a visit whilst others had a trip down the coast road and a ice cream at the seaside. All riders and machines were at the port safe and well for our return back to Wales. Thanks to all concerned in making the weekend a fantastic one. LT.
St Davids Day Run 28/2/2016
The sun shone on Saundersfoot for the West South Wales section's 60th diamond Welsh national road trial on the week end of the 19/20th of September. morning the 18th Chris Thomas and some members rode down from Gloucester in recognition of were the event was formed in 1956 by a group of motorcycle enthusiasts from that area now the Cotswold section.
And when the results were made known during the welsh week it was quite fittingly that it was Cotswold member Paul Button riding the Scott flyer as overall winner of the founders cup.
morning at the harbour car park saw the tide in and many boats and crafts bobbing around in the lovely village harbour, as over 100 machines assembled on the car park and their riders coming from all over the UK, unfortunately unforeseen circumstances prevented a couple of overseas riders taking part. Many sections were represented with the furthest travelled members from Fife Dave and Mary Stewart on their first visit to the event along with the many others this year, Dave gave us a great nights entertainment on the keyboards during one evening of the Welsh week that followed.
The start soon came and the bustling quayside was ready to see bike No 1 the 1913 Campion ridden by Bob Ashwin alongside Chris and Eiros Thomas on their 1913 Royal Enfield with wicker sidecar, No 3 was local rider Phil "Lamo" Hammersley who had been looking forward to the run and was astride his 100 year old Triumph a WW1 despatch riders machine he also received the Wyndham Rees cup at the morning prize giving. As the riders leave two per minute he was paired with another local rider Aled Rees also on a Triumph from 1924.
We were very honoured to have our president Mr Tim Penn and his wife Patricia with us, Tim flagged away the first handful of competitors as they were not far behind on the start line themselves and needed time to get ready and kick "Bertie" into life for the off.
Mr Phil Baker chairman of Saundersfoot community council was also present starting all the competitors off on their 94 mile route through the three counties of West Wales on what was said to be a challenging course set by Les. There was a good mix of machines from a Bantam to Brough, lady riders and young riders and many wives or family members as passengers on board the machines many of which were reading the route card to their rider, all classes were generously supported, this year was no exception for the three wheeler class seeing 18 machines including a veteran outfit to a post vintage Morgan and vintage BSA cycle car known as 'Basil' and numerous Lomax's all in their different colours and forms, some of which were known as 'Betty Stoggs' and 'Compo'.
The morning route passed through some lovely rural villages before the first control then it was into the old market town of Whitland which then afterwards saw some hilly terrain and some good views towards the preseli hills before two more controls and the much needed 1 hour lunch stop for a ploughman's and a pint at the Lamb at Rhos.
The return route was easier going with two controls to be visited before the famous village of Pendine famed for the land speed records of yester year and still holding speed trials there today, the steep hill out of the village took the riders to Amroth a village badly hit during winter storms but with great views across Carmarthen bay towards Tenby and the monastic Island of Caldey in the distance. Only one more coastal village and two hills to the finish for a well deserved stretch of the legs back on the Quayside were people were gathering to see the bikes cross the finish line were many riders chatted to each other and the spectators about the days activities before going for a well deserved ice cream.
night at the Merlewood hotel was enjoyed with a turkey dinner and later dancing to some great sounds with live 60's music. Many members were pleased to meet up with Dick the and Gaye Weekes who had come for the evening Dick being a past organiser of the event for many years.
morning a lovely day once again saw the previous days machines line up on the harbour for the Concours d' elegance this is the "Saundersfoot" to many people who book their holidays to come and see the display of machines along with the many other local spectators who came to the harbour many of which were modern day motorcyclists and clubs who were very interested to see the early machines and chat with the owners about the many different controls which they used whilst riding. President Tim Penn presented the silverware for class and runner up awards, along with numerous other awards while young Jessica Lewis presented the anniversary rosettes. most interesting machine was Barry Winter's Brough, best WSW Section machine John Webb's Scott, also winning the road trial vintage class. furthest ridden & youngest rider awards were presented and a few best in class cups went home with members of the North Cotswolds section. Nicholas Granger's weekend was topped off with winning the post war Concours with his nice little FB Mondial .This year four riders received a lucky lotto prize of a can of oil and goodies kindly donated by B&R Factors, one recipient was Terry Hopes who took part in the 1959 event and has ridden in many since.
With the awards over riders departed on the social run and lunch stop which was organised by Roy and Alan. WSWS Would like to thank all involved for making the 60th and Welsh Week a great success and the great letters of thanks received. LT.
New years day get together at Cenarth saw about 35 members enjoy a chat and a drink and lunch in the warmth of the White Hart, whilst outside is was quite miserable and the River Teifi was still very swollen quite a few people were having a look at the river and falls including some of our hardy members who had ventured out on Vintage two wheels " waders not waterproof's needed to day if you wanted a picnic on the riverbank ".Thanks to all for coming. L & S.
Pollys Wrinkles Run (From our Pembrokeshire correspondent)
There was no unlucky thirteen for the machines that turned out on a beautiful day for Polly's wrinklie run, which was run on the drop off system and was actually led by Andy & Quae in the Lomax . With Les & young passenger Jessica being sweeper also in a duplicate machine, the other riders from Kilgetty, Swansea, Llandysul Narberth & Nantgaredig area's swapped places between the red 3 wheeler sandwich. Starting in Carmarthen & then into the lovely flowing roads from Bronwydd to Llanpumsaint, Banc-y-ffordd into Pontwelly thro Saron before heading towards Capel Iwan & some great views over the hills & down the Cych valley to the lunch stop at Cenarth covering about 40 miles in the warm lovely sunshine.
Teifi Valley Run 2015
The sun came out for Andy and Quae's Teifi run held on the 12th July. 30 members turned up on a variety of bikes, Lomax's, combinations and a 3 wheeled Morgan. Starting from their smallholding with tea and biscuits a short cross country run took everyone to the National Woolen Museum for more tea and cake. The verges in Ceredigion had not been cut and with grass in the middle of the roads!, Some of them were so thin you could pick the flowers with your teeth, steep hills and hairpins the morning was a test for everyone. At one point Chris Thomas had to ask all his passengers out of the vehicle so he could make it up one lane ! Angelo Conti only made it to the third turning before he got lost and had to be pointed in the right direction! Lunch was at the Ffostarol Arms, where a check was made to make sure everyone had made it so far. Peter Watts in his kit car, navigated by Sally left copious mounts of rubber on the road after the navigator failed to mention a turning until they were level with it, so sideways breaking and steering on the junction by Peter ensured they made it! The afternoon was along the coast, taking in Cwmtydu, Llangranog's tight bends and steep hills,and Tresaith, stopping for ice creams along the way. The finish was back at the house for more tea and biscuits.
Midsummer Run 2015 (From our Pembrokeshire correspondent)
Irish / Welsh Rally (From our Pembrokeshire correspondent)
Girder Fork Run (From our Pembrokeshire correspondent)
Pendine Get Together.
ST DAVIDS DAY RUN.
NEW YEARS DAY GET TOGETHER
The 59th Welsh national road trial or Saundersfoot run as it is known to many , took place on the . saw a social run from the host hotel The Merlewood depart at for a 48 mile Run part of which was along the ridgeway above St Florence and Manobier.
With stunning views across the bay to the monastic island of Caldey ,then down to the coast road and bay of Manobier continuing along the coast a bit further before turning inland past the 12th century Norman castle and tidal mill at Carew and onto Cresswell Quay .Were some decided to stop for a quick beverage at a traditional watering hole known as the Quay tucked away on the Cleddau estuary." Definitely worth a visit"
Some decided on a different route to the lunch stop" after sampling the real ale from the jug."
Lunch for sixty five members was taken at a local tourist attraction Folly farm. Which has cafe's and gift shop, vintage fun fair, along with the domestic animals are endangered and rare breeds the main attraction being the Penquins and the new family of African lions who were enjoyed by all.
morning on the village harbour car park 100 entrants assembled for the start. Who were flagged away by the chairman of the village community council Mr Huw Morris,and local Normandy veteran Mr Gordon Prime who was no stranger to motor cycling as he was a ww11 despatch rider and recently received the Legion'd honneur medal for his bravery on the front line which was awarded to him at the D day celebrations earlier this year.
Local rider Aled Rees had the pleasure of first away riding a 1921 Triumph model H 550 followed by a good array of vintage machines ,one of which was the lovely Ariel model C of Reg and Patricia Gladding from the Ilse of Wight.
Trevor and Christine Pinfold were 1st timers this year on their 1929 BSA S29 outfit both these riders won concours awards on the morning.
About a dozen post vintage machines were entered this year ,again some 1st timers to the event ,a good selection of three wheelers and combinations were present including Morgan's, Lomax,and BSA.
The biggest class being post war and classic, seeing Ariel's to Suzuki's and black and white BMW'S Two of which came from southern Ireland.
The 85 mile route with marshalled time checks took the riders south to north through the Pembrokeshire countryside which is part of the beautiful national park with pretty quiet village's on route to the 90 minute lunch stop at Llwyngwair Manor holiday park Newport.
With a good lunch and refreshments taken the afternoon route took the road over and around the Preselli hills were a bit of low cloud and drizzle was to be found as they made their way to the 1st afternoon control out on open moorland.
This area is were the bluestones of Stonehenge are supposed to originate from with many ancient burial chambers dotted around the landscape.
From there is was on to Crymych then on into Hebron and another 25 miles before reaching the coast at Amroth and views across Carmarthen bay, the coast road taking the 90 plus finishers back into the finish line at Saundersfoot harbour for a well deserved rest and chat with each other about the days event.
One happy competitor was heard saying I am sorry I have missed this event for so long I will be back" don't think he was called Arne".
A good three course meal was enjoyed that evening at the hotel and dancing to sixties live music.
morning dawned a hot sunny day for the display of machines and concours prize giving on the quay side in the centre of the village which was a hive of activity with locals and holidaymakers viewing the machines and chatting with their owners many of which were modern day motorcyclists.
A regular at Saundersfoot is Malcolm and Hazel from Sussex who this year drove down in their newly acquired Lomax " Betty Stoggs" and went home with the travellers award, also winning best three wheeler in the road trial. Unlike John and Liz Booth who had to retire their newly restored aero Morgan on the afternoon section due to a rear wheel puncture.
Another much travelled couple Dave and Stella Spencer from Northumberland won best post vintage on their lovely turned out Triumph five-five. Local section members Ieuan and Doreen Davies won best section machine with their 1961 big head bullet. The most interesting award went to first timers Alan and Dorcas Webber with a rare 1934 AJS outfit.
Local rider Mike Simon won best post war also winning the class on the previous days road trial, a change of machine this year for Andy Macdougall now Sunbeam model 9 mounted runner up in the concours but class winner on the trial. 90 year old Mr prime came to view the bikes morning and ended up presenting the cups which was a great honour for him he said and also having his picture on the front cover of programme.
It was a family concern for the Devall's from Pembrokeshire classics who picked up a few road trial awards between them with Anthony overall winner on best time keeping how did he manage to keep that rapid 1927 TT Triumph at bay"" his son Alistair won the best Pembrokeshire post vintage class on the ex Eddie Carpenter model 18 Norton and wife Carol and their daughter Anna in the Lomax three wheeler making up their team and were eventual winners of the team award as well. Worcester rider Mervyn Panting was close behind and took the vintage class win on his 1928 sunbeam 500.
That's about it for this year next time we celebrate the diamond 60th event along with a social run from Gloucester to Saundersfoot the weekend as usual and a extra four days camping event from the .
Please see website www.westsouthwalesvmcc.co.uk for details around march 2015. Don't forget this is a popular event so if it's a favourite of yours book early to avoid disappointment as spaces for the road trial and evening meal may be limited.