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East London & Essex Section Notes

(as appearing in Jampot magazine from 2017)


Aug 2020


As the Covid 19 situation is now allowing a little more freedom the section has had a few outdoor meets, where once a location has been decided where there is room for us to park up and socially distance, each member makes their own way there by whatever route they wish for an hour or so meeting as from 11am. Of course, being outside, these meets are very much dependent on the weather and so they are often held at short notice. However, each one is normally held on a Wednesday, so if you are not yet on Roy’s round robin email list then make sure that he puts you on it. Or if you don’t have email then give him a ring on a Tuesday to find out if anything is going on the next day.


For myself, as one who does not like riding in groups, I prefer this way of meeting up rather than having a formal run, as I still get a ride out on my bike with a gathering at the end and it is good to meet up with some members again after such a break. As far as our evening meetings are concerned we do not yet know when we can return to Stapleford but once we have a date then it will be announced on our section web site and in these notes.


We are still hoping to have our Christmas dinner this year and have provisionally booked the same place as last year (The Plough at Bulphan) for the 5th December. We need to know as soon as possible if you wish to attend so please let Roy know as soon as you can. After such a difficult year it will be nice if we can all enjoy at least one event together.


Jul 2020


With the lockdown eased somewhat now some have been getting out and about on their bikes, happily “self isolating” as they go. I am no different and have been running in my new little Tempest some more as well as giving the G5 a couple of gallops. The spring is my favourite time of the year to be out and about on a bike and it would certainly be a shame to miss it all.


Reg (Harlow) Green has been persevering with his gearbox rebuild and discovered that what had been causing him a lot of trouble assembling the clutch turned out to be a burr inside the clutch pushrod tunnel through the new mainshaft which was gripping and obstructing the rod. Hopefully when that is fixed all will be finally well again.


While Dave Walling is still waiting for another set of piston rings for his G9 top end overhaul Alan Jennings is getting on well with his AJS twin Silver Machine. Alan says that he knows that he will get comments about the colour but that it’s his bike and he likes it that way. He has now got the engine and gearbox back in the frame, and that takes a bit of doing when you can’t call on help from other members and want to avoid damaging that new finish that has only just been put on. We all look forward to seeing it out on the road Alan.


Jun 2020


With the current lockdown I fully expected that section members would be beavering away in their garages, workshops or sheds, restoring or fixing their trusty steeds ready for the time when we are able to get back to some sort of club activities. I would of course have many tales of mechanical “daring” and successes (and hopefully not too many failures) to report on. However, that has not been the case, at least so far, and instead there seems to have been a mania for decorating and pressure washing driveways and patios. In fact I was feeling quite guilty spending time actually in the garage with my bikes, so I did actually paint the garage doors as well.


However, the mechanics aspect has been upheld by some and by now, hopefully, Reg Green (Harlow) has successfully completed his gearbox rebuild. Dave Walling has started overhauling the top end of his Matchless G9CSR, which was starting to smoke quite heavily on one cylinder. With the head off it looks as if he might get away with new piston rings once he can get all the parts that he needs to finish the job.


If anyone else is working on their bikes, even if the job is not finished, then please let me know something about the work you are doing so that I can give members something interesting to read about in the coming months.


May 2020


With the current situation there is not a lot to report this month as all club and section plans for events and meetings are either cancelled or put on hold for the time being. As the restrictions due to Covid-19 seem set to continue for some time it is important for section members to keep in contact and any general announcement will be put on the section web site “programme” page.


Members have been keeping in touch via an email started off by Dave Walling and kept going for everyone by using the “reply to all” option so that all can see what is being written. If you are not already getting these emails then it is important that you give your email address to Roy and ask him to include you on his contacts list.


If members then mention in their mails what they are doing to their bikes I can probably glean enough information to make a more interesting section notes in the future, which is important for anyone who still doesn’t have an email address. We might also learn, with all this garage time now available, if Alan Jennings is likely to finally complete his twin build, whether Reg Green (Harlow) has successfully finished his gearbox and how Les Youngman is getting on with his L5 restoration. I doubt though that we will hear that Roy has actually cleaned a bike at last.


April 2020


On February 27th the section said a sad farewell to Bob Russell, who had been battling against increasing ill health for a long time. Bob, born in 1940, spent his working life at the Basildon tractor plant (originally Ford and now CNH) and was a keen trials rider in his younger days.  It was as a member of the Ilford Amateur club that he met up with a group of fellow motorcyclists who remained friends that he rode with throughout his life. Around the same time he developed a keen interest in the ACU National Rally long distance navigational road trial (now run by the BMF) taking part in 46 of the annual events, his first in 1961, and finishing in 44 of them. He retained an interest in trials after he stopped riding in them and travelled to Scotland for the Scottish Six Days Trial several times and Wales for the International Six Days Trial to watch the event on occasions when it was held in that country.


Bob suffered a serious bike accident some years ago when he was hit by a deer that dashed into the road. This left him unable to operate a normal clutch lever and confined him to “Twist and Go” automatic scooters. However his enthusiasm for the National Rally remained undiminished and he received a “Spirit of The Event” award from the organisers in 2018. So it was perhaps fitting that the last time that Bob was able to ride his bike was in the 2019 event. Subsequently his health deteriorated too much to allow him to continue to ride.


Bob never married but was survived by his two cousins and their families, to whom we extend our condolences.


March 2020


This is the first time since I took on the job as scribe where I have actually got nothing to report as the weather has not been conducive to much activity and our social evening has yet to take place when I am writing this.


During the winter, after years (really) of consideration I actually got around to buying a new carb’ for my G5 when the old one’s body had finally distorted enough to cause the throttle slide to stick open when fully opened. I agonised whether to get a concentric replacement, as many have had good results from doing so, but eventually decided to replace it with a new monobloc after all.


After changing it over I thought all was going to be OK when it started straight away and I managed to set a tickover (something I could never really do with the old worn one). However, on a later day when I went to take it out for a test run, it just would not start, when it previously started first or second kick with the old carb’. This happened twice more when it ran in the garage but would not start when I wanted to use it. However I think I have cracked the right settings for starting with the new carb’ now, after three first kick starts on separate occasions and a good test run where the bike felt more livelier and responsive than before. It amazed me just how much that old worn out carb’ affected the performance without me realising it.


February 2020


The perils of required lead times and the early publication date of the last issue meant that the section run which I said should have already taken place on 29th Dec had not actually then done so and when it was subsequently cancelled I could only put the announcement on the section web site and hope for the best. Sorry to anyone who turned up at Crown Corner on 29th.


We did have the run on 5th Jan instead and six of us met up at Crown Corner for a short ride, in good weather for the time of year, to the High Beach tea hut, with only a slight pause for Pat to clear the remnants of an old petrol tank liner from his blocked fuel filters. While at the hut we met up with John Leijs who had ridden there on the offchance, having failed to meet anybody on the 29th Dec.


Although we were a bit down on numbers for our first club night of 2020 on 9th Jan it was a reasonable turnout and Steve Carvosso was presented with the section Clubman of the Year award. Well done Steve and I wish a good year for all our section members.


January 2020


By the time you read this our last two section events of 2019, the Christmas dinner and the post Christmas run on December 29th will have taken place and we are looking to the new year’s programme. At the Christmas dinner the “Piston Broke” award was presented to Chris Willis for the problems he had on the run to the Remembrance Day event at North Weald and it was announced that the “Section Clubman of The Year” award this year would be going to Steve Carvosso, but as he was not at the dinner it would be presented to him at the first club night after the dinner.


The section AGM was held on the November 28th club night, there were no contentious issues and as all section officers were willing to carry on they were re-elected en-bloc. During the evening it was mentioned that there is no longer  a section “Quest” magazine issued at the start of the year to show the dates of all the meetings. It was pointed out that the club nights have always been the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month and the mid week meets and runs from April to October are always the 1st Wednesday (lunch meets) and 3rd Wednesday (runs) each month and this will not change. It was also mentioned that the whole programme of events is given on the section web site. It would appear that some section members were unaware that we even had a section site (it is shown at the heading of these notes each month), but as it has only been running for about 10 years or so I guess it might be early days yet.


Dec 2019


The section meeting on 10th October was not so well attended as usual as several members were away to attend the Alternative rally. However we were pleased to have a visit from club member Mike Shaw, in England on a visit from Monthault in Brittany. We hope you enjoyed your evening Mike and would be pleased to see you again on any future visits to the area that coincide with our meetings.


Roy, Dave Walling, Steve Carvosso and Graham Eaton rode up to the Alternative rally, led by Graham on a scenic route to where they were staying off site at a farmhouse from which they shuttled back and forth to the rally site. They had a dry ride on the outward journey but it seems that was not the way it was for most of the weekend and the ride back home took place in continuous torrential rain. However, despite the wet weather all of their bikes (and presumably riders) performed well with no reliability issues.


On our 24th October meeting we were also pleased to welcome a returning member to the AMOC John Leijs from Harlow, owner of a Matchless G9 Clubman Sports. We hope that you will become a regular section member in the future John and that you get much future enjoyment from your Matchless twin.


Nov 2019


On 16th September at Hainault Forest Crematorium 14 section members said farewell to long time secretary and section stalwart Dennis Fox, who died on 29th August. He will be much missed and our sympathies go to his wife June and their family at this sad time.


On the 18th September we had possibly the best turn out for one of our mid week runs so far when 10 (it should have been 11 but Norman had trouble with a control lever at the start and decided not to risk it) set out from Crown corner bound for a café near Terling. The run went well with no problems for anyone and while at the café a nearby neighbour heard the bikes arrive and wandered over to take a look. This resulted in an invite back to his place to have a look at his very interesting collection of bikes and cars.


By the time this is read the last scheduled mid week lunch meets and runs of the year will have taken place and apart from the regular club nights we have just the Christmas Dinner scheduled but keep in touch by contacting Roy or the section web site in case any extra events are decided.



Oct 2019


Thanks to the Hampshire section who put on an excellent Jampot Rally at Horndean our group of around a dozen or so section members and guests had an enjoyable weekend with fine weather, even if a little too hot at times; and all of us who were not staying on site were at the nearby Premier Inn. Pat Gill once again won the best pre-war Matchless award, this time for his model D80 500cc single. It is only fair to report that Dudley, after receiving a slandering in the official rally notes in connection with the breakdown facilities, took part in all three runs with no problems at all.


On 31st August Dave Kewell, Keith Smith and Dave Watts paid a visit to the South Essex section meeting at Ballards Gore, Stambridge, one of these days I will actually manage to get to one of the meetings myself, a good run out for a Saturday lunchtime.


The following day Roy, Geoff Gibbins, Dave Kewell, Pat Gill and Les Youngman left our usual meeting point at Crown Corner for a run to the rescheduled British Owners Club open day at Mole Green, meeting up with Pete Berry, Dudley and Alan Jennings at the site. Pat Gill once again took an award, this time for best pre-war bike, with his Matchless Silver Arrow. Fortunately for the British Owners Club the weather was kind to them this time after the torrential rain which caused the cancellation of the original date.


Sep 2019


On Sunday 7th july the section hosted a stand at the Battlesbridge event. This was the second year running that we had done this and as our first appearance last year was considered successful it was decided to repeat it this year but with hopes for a larger site than we had at the previous event. Unfortunately since last year a large portion of the site that existed then has since been sold and the event area was therefore more compact than previously so we couldn’t expand as we would have liked to. Nevertheless, Thanks to Dudley Woods organizing the stand for us we

had sixteen bikes on show, nine of which were ridden to the event by :- Roy Bellett, Geoff Gibbins, Dave Walling, Dave Lewis, Dave Kewell, Peter Berry, Graham Bister, Alan Jennings and (Harlow) Reg  Green.


Two awards were presented to Pat Gill, “Runner-up for Best In Show” award for his World War 1 Matchless Machine Gun outfit and a “Highly Commended” award for his 400cc Matchless Silver Arrow solo. Chris Willis, who had his “Willis Wheels” trade stand at the show also had His RAF liveried AJS on display.


The July mid week run saw Roy, Geoff Gibbins, Steve Carvosso, Keith Smith, Dave Watts and Pat Gill had a good run up to the Debden Antiques Centre near Newport, led by Geoff and with no bike troubles. Pete Berry intended meeting them there but unfortunately got the timing a bit out and arrived to meet the others just as they were about to leave.


Aug 2019


Only seven of us got together for the mid-week meet on 3rd July, which was less than earlier in the year. Although the weather was nice and sunny perhaps it is just too hot at the moment for some to enjoy riding, or maybe holidays are reducing numbers at the moment.


On June 23rd a group of us had a pleasant day at Chris Willis’ (Willis Wheels) wheel building concern open day at his premises in North Weald where we were hosted by Chris and his wife. All seemed to know where it was, except for me that is, who being so sure that I knew where it was that I never asked and was rather lost when it wasn’t where I thought. However, thanks to a BSA Gold Star Club member at the airfield cafe, who looked up the Willis Wheels web site for me on his phone to get the address I got there in the end if somewhat later than intended. One thing that needs to be recorded though is that those of us who were there at the time were amazed to see Alan Jennings bike start first kick, a rare occurrence indeed.


On 6th July dedicated ACU/BMF National Rally enthusiast Bob Russell took part in his 46th event when, despite taking a tumble during his ride, he managed to finish and sign off at the Harlow control. Bob, who had previously been presented with a “Spirit of The Event” award by the organisers says that this year’s event really will be his last, and we will remind you of that next year Bob if you happen to forget.


Jul 2019


Only six of us met up this time for our 5th June mid-week meet at Stapleford but those who did were lucky to see a flight of around seven Dakotas pass over on their way to Duxford to join with the rest of the D Day commemoration flight to Normandy

The following day Roy, Geoff Gibbins, Steve Carvosso and Dave Walling left to ride up to the International Jampot, meeting up with Graham Eaton at Hatfield Peverel. Graham was having trouble with sticking throttles but they all got going, only for Roy’s bike to die near to Maningtree. A broken points spring was diagnosed and a new set of points got him under way again. Just after the Orwell Bridge it was realised that Dave had gone missing, Roy went back to find him with a dead magneto. After failing to get it going Roy left Dave to call his breakdown service to take him to the site and carried on to meet up with the others at the Woodbridge café that they had used before, only to find it had shut down, so no breakfast there. After they had set off again it was Steve’s turn to break down, also with a failed magneto, but this time a “Bright Spark” conversion got it running and no further problems were experienced by the group, getting to site around 4.30 and meeting up with Alan Jennings, Dudley Woods, who had collected Sergio Gavoni, across from Italy, Pete Berry, Pat Gill and Reg Green. Dave Lewis and Richard Smith were also in attendance.. 

Dave got his magneto firing again but his tale of woe was not finished though as on the Friday return run from Walcott it stopped again and the breakdown truck took back to site, where a points adjustment again got it running. However, coming out of the museum at North Walsham on the |Saturday run he found he had a flat tyre, so it was once more on the breakdown truck. Looks like you might be a candidate for the Piston Broke Award this year Dave.

Steve’s woes however also continued as he only got a hundred yards or so from site on the Sunday run when the magneto packed up again, this time terminally. Steve rode the breakdown van to Sheringham and back again! Did I mention it was Roy who oversaw the fitting and repairs of the various magnetos on the three bikes? Swapping bikes for the journey home and borrowing Roy’s Rhubarb and Cream G12, which Sergio had been using, he suffered a minor issue with fuel starvation, easily fixed by running the rest of the (very wet) way home with both taps open. 

So, the Piston Broke Award might not be so cut and dried, although Dave’s G9 CSR was leaving a trail of smoke behind him all the way home, looking like an engine strip and rebuild will be needed. The committee will have some head scratching come award nomination time methinks!  


Jun 2019


Our second mid-week lunch meet took place on Wednesday 1st May at Stapleford airfield, with a good turn out of around 10 on a fine day, if a little too windy to sit outside.


Three days later four of us, Roy, Geoff, Steve and myself, set off from Crown Corner bound for the Open Day at Kettering. We met up with Graham Eaton at Bishops Stortford, who led us through some very picturesque Hertfordshire lanes between there and Royston on our way to a breakfast stop off at Kimbolton. Unfortunately we had to pass by a rather “skittish” horse on the way, which took some time for us all to get by and resulted in our party getting separated and Steve missing out on his breakfast at Kimbolton. However we all met up again at Kettering where we also met with Alan Jennings, who having gone in his car was able to take home the various purchases of tyres and oil etc. Despite several heavy showers and hail while we were there we left for home in the dry with Graham leading again. Although there were always black clouds and heavy rain that we could see in the distance we were lucky enough to miss most of the rain, if not the wet roads, and all arrived back undrenched and all together this time, making for a good days ride out.


May 2019


The section run to the High Beach tea hut on Sunday 17th March saw Roy, Steve Cardozo, Pete Berry, Geoff Gibbins and Dave Kewell set out from Crown Corner and meeting up with Pat Gill at the tea hut, while the first section mid week lunch meet of the year on Wednesday 3rd April saw 10 of us gathering at Stapleford Airfield. Arriving on my sidecar outfit in sunshine the weather unfortunately changed to quite heavy rain on the way home, although Pam kept dry in the sidecar.


The planned run to the Ardingly show saw only three of the intending five leaving from the meeting point and with Geoff Gibbins leading Roy and Pete Berry they had a fairly uneventful run down. However, Roy arrived with a flat battery so purchased another battery on site, although it might have only gone flat due to a broken connection. The journey back, again led by Geoff, I am reliably informed took a rather more “creative” route, apparently taking in parts of Croydon and then almost Gatwick as well before resorting to the M25 for most of the remaining journey home. Arriving home Roy found that once again his battery (the new one) was flat. This time the broken connection being due to the fuse holder coming unscrewed and falling apart. With that apparent amount of vibration perhaps that was the reason for the loose oil connection liberally lubricating the rear of his bike as well. I’d better not mention too much about vibration though, having had an exhaust bracket fracture from vibration on my bike last year.


Apr 2019


At the 28th February club night it was decided that the mid week lunchtime meets at Stapleford Airfield and the mid week runs for 2019 should start again in April. As for the previous year the dates would be kept to the first Wednesday of each month for the lunchtime meets and the third Wednesday of each month for the mid week runs. This of course gives an extra meeting opportunity for the two weeks in each month when there isn’t a club night. Roy needs ideas for possible run destinations from those willing to lead a run to their suggested destination.


Although we have yet to start spring it is a sign of just how early things need to be booked ahead that we had to make a choice as to whether we wanted to book our 2019 Christmas dinner at The Plough, Bulphan, again. It was agreed amongst those present that we enjoyed the 2018 dinner there, so it was decided that we would book it again for this year. The date will be announced later.


It is intended to have a section run to the Kettering HQ Open Day on Saturday 4th May. It will start from Crown Corner and further details can be had from Roy.


It was mentioned that the British Owners Club were holding their annual classic motorcycle event on Blackmore village green on Sunday 12th May, but as it was such a nearby event there would be no section run to it and members would make their own way there as we did last year.



Mar 2019


With the weather not being very predictable at the moment we have not had any runs planned but our section nights have carried on well attended. The 24th January meeting was interesting in that new member Barry Thompson and his friend George fetched along a large assortment of small parts from a heavyweight single which they needed identifying and it was made into a competition between teams trying to identify the various bits and pieces. From the other end of the room, where Dave Kewell and I were trying to assist another new member, Mick Roberts, to sort out the arrangement of some parts on his 250 lightweight it seemed, from the volume of voices at the competition end of the room, that part identification was being disputed quite often. At the end of the evening however Barry and Geoff were pleased that many parts had been identified and it had been a great help, and hopefully Mick’s lightweight parts arrangement for the brake pedal and associated fixings had been successfully sorted as well. It’s the sort of thing that sections do well, helping out with information from the knowledge and experience of other members when someone is stuck and it is a very good reason for joining a section if you possibly can.


Feb 2019


Not a lot happening within the section over the Christmas period but prior to that, on the December 13th club night the section held its well attended “Social Night” at Stapleford, where Geoff Gibbins was presented with his Section Clubman of The Year award, much to his surprise.


On December 30th we had an “End of The Year Run” to the High Beach tea hut and as it was quite a foggy day at first we decided to stick to the main roads. Eight of us set out from Crown Corner, it was nearly nine but Dudley did not quite make the start before needing a lift to get the van from Roy’s home to collect his bike. However, he met us later at the tea hut, along with Pat Gill on his WW1 outfit, a great hit with other visitors (the bike not Pat), and Terry Summerfield on his G3, which had been reluctant to start in the damp weather that morning. Roy was still grumbling about being “stitched up” with the Piston Broke award while Dudley, in jest after his breakdown, spoke of “giving up bikes”, while, under the circumstances some thought he already had. I couldn’t be smug though as my G5 is still not starting reliably and once more I had to use an alternative. Must get it sorted come spring.


Jan 2019


On our 22nd November club night we had our section AGM. It didn’t take long though as there was nothing contentious and all the committee were re-elected to serve another year.


On the evening of the 8th December we had our annual section dinner, this year for the first time at The Plough, Bulphan, and around 30 of us sat down to a nice meal in pleasant surroundings. As the winner of the “Clubman of The Year” award, Geoff Gibbins, was not present at the dinner it was decided not to announce the winner of it on the night but to award it to him on the section “social night” at Stapleford a few days later on the 13th. However, the winner of the “Piston Broke” award was present and after a re-appraisal of the original decision by a “sub committee of the sub committee” it was awarded to Roy, much to his surprise, for his machine problems at various events during the year. Serves him right for stitching me up with it last year.


Vic Sayers has been very active again, green laning on a bike he has resurrected, and on one of the wettest weekends so far he was part of a group that arrived dripping and quite muddy at Andrewsfield airfield, where despite their condition they were still welcomed. Places like that deserve patronising.


Dec 2018


Not a lot happening at this time of the year but on Sunday 4th Nov Roy, Geoff and myself took a ride out to the High Beach tea hut. Of course it had to happen that the first time since my article appeared in Jampot praising the reliability of my Matchless G5 when I wanted to use that bike it refused to start and rushing around to get out on something else built up a fair old sauna inside my cold weather clothing. I got it running easily enough once I got back home, so I guess it was just having a sulk. We met up with Pat gill at the tea hut, where his WW1 machine gun sidecar was once more a point of interest. He intended stopping off at Homebase on the way home, for some decorating supplies and as he was dressed in his WW1 uniform as well I can only guess at the attention he got in the store, car park and Loughton High Street.


On Armistice Sunday 11 members plus a friend, made the section’s annual trip from our meeting place at Stapleford airfield to the North Weald War Memorial for the annual service of remembrance, with Roy, Geoff, Steve, Dudley, Alan, Pat, Lin and Mark (friend of Chris) on bikes and Chris in his classic Land Rover on the run from the airfield with Dave K, Graham B and Bob in their cars and Pete on his Bike joining at the service..


Nov 2018


On 3rd October the section said a sad farewell to former speedway rider and section member since 1995 Dave Slater. An expert welder Dave had made many finely crafted parts, notably carriers, for club members over the years. His funeral procession on October 3rd was followed by section members on five bikes, two of which had been built by Dave in past years and which he had ridden at many Jampot rallies and club runs. Our sincere condolences go to his wife Pam and their family


There was a good turn out for the mid week run of September 19th when the run finished up at Chris Willis’ wheel building premises at North Weald Airfield, probably the first time that some had been back to that airfield since we lost our meeting place there a couple of years ago.


Pat Gill’s WW1 Motor Machine Gun Corps outfit is continuing to get recognition, a photo taken at the VMCC Founders Day event appearing in the pages of Real Classic magazine and it was also on display at this year’s Goodwood Revival event. 


Oct 2018


The topic of this month has to be the excellent Jampot Rally hosted by the Heart of England Section. While most of us section attendees made our way there by means of “wheels with a top” Alan Jennings and Dave Walling rode there on their bikes through very heavy rain and in doing so confirmed what I have always found, that modern waterproof riding kit does not actually stay waterproof for very long after purchase. Fortunately we had warm weather, suitable for drying out, after they had arrived on site.


I think that it ought to be mentioned, after remarks in previous years, that this time neither Alan or Dudley needed the services of the breakdown truck, with Dudley completing all three runs and Alan both of those that he took part in as well, of course, his return rides to the venue.


Pat, once again, took the best pre-war Matchless award with his WW1 machine gun corps outfit, so Mary can look forward to cleaning it again before the next “Jampot”. It was a shame that Pat had electrical troubles and was unable to get far with it on the Friday run though as it would have made quite a talking point for bystanders. After all they have could hardly been a common sight on the roads since about 1918. 


Sep 2018


On the 7th July Bob Russell took part in his 45th ACU/BMF National Rally (of which he has finished in 44 of them). Although these days and not in the best of health he restricts himself to the day class rather than going for maximum marks he still covered 298 miles and is surely one of the event’s most dedicated competitors.


Vic Sayers recently covered considerably more miles when, in company with two friends on their RD Yamahas, he rode his AJS Model 20 on a 1857 mile week long tour from his home in Harwich via the lake district passes to Fort William in Scotland then on to the pass to Applecross before dropping back down to Ripon before taking a days break at Pateley Bridge then heading down to Derby, where they attended the Aircooled RD Yamaha Owners Club Rally. Vic gained the Spirit of the Event award at the rally and also took in the rally run on the Saturday before heading home on Sunday with another 190 miles back to Harwich. Vic, who’s pre 65 scrambles exploits featured in last month’s Jampot and who has also taken part in track day events in previous years is surely the section’s keenest rider and the reliability of his Model 20 is also a credit to his maintenance and preparation skills.


Aug 2018


On 1st July the section run a successful stand at the Battlesbridge Classic Motorcycle event where although no new members were actually signed up on the day a lot of interest was shown by show visitors. One of the highlights on the stand was surely Pat Gill’s 1914 first world war replica machine gun corps outfit, complete with Vickers machine gun. It certainly caused great interest at the High Beach tea hut when he rode it there for its first outing, especially when he unwrapped the Vickers gun.


Recent section member Norman now has his 350 lightweight running OK and following the DVLA formalities another lightweight will now be joining our ranks and hopefully he will enjoy many happy miles on it.


There was a fairly good turn out for the July mid week lunch meet on the first Wednesday of the month, although the extremely hot weather did discourage some from donning their riding kit this time.


Jun 2018


The section’s first mid-week run took place on 18th April and eight members set out for a run around the countryside in fine sunny weather to end up at the High Beach tea hut for refreshments. A good turn out which we hope will continue for future runs.


The weather was a lot different on April 29th for the Spring Intersection Meet when it was a dull and very cold day. Only two of us from the section went this time. At least I think that was the case as when we got to the venue at the Bell, Castle Hedingham at about half past 11, it was to find that it wouldn’t be opening its doors until 12. So all those who arrived before then went down the road to the Wheatsheaf for warmth and hot food. Assuming that those who arrived after 12 still went to the Bell I expect that it ended up as two meetings and as I never went back to the Bell I do not know if any of our section members turned up there. All in all a rather strange day but a good ride out nevertheless – and the meal at the Wheatsheaf was good as well.


The weather didn’t improve for our second mid-week lunch meet at Stapleford on 2nd May, with heavy showers all day. Even so we had a good turn out of eleven, but none of us on bikes this time though.


May 2018


The perils of having a month’s lead time for these notes and late date changes for section events were revealed last month with the wrong date appearing for the fish and chip supper. For this I can only apologise and I will have to be careful about announcing specific dates of section events and risking confusion in future.


On 25th March seven of our section set off for the Ardingly Classic Motorcycle Show in Sussex. Unfortunately only six made it there as Dave Walling became victim of AMC’s, “guess the rotor/stator clearance and hope it stays the same when tightened up”, method of mounting the alternator stator in the outer primary chaincase and sadly destroyed his twin’s newly fitted alternator on the journey.


The section’s first mid-week lunch meet at Stapleford Airfield on 4th April was a success with ten members turning up on a windy day where we were expecting heavy rain showers, which fortunately never really materialised. Hopefully we will have a good turn out for the rest of these “first Wednesday each month” meets and also the mid-week runs on the third Wednesday each month.


Over the Easter weekend Vic Sayers, probably our most active rider, took part in a classic moto cross event. Unfortunately his bike (not an AMC) let him down with a loss of sparks, so he didn’t manage to finish his race. Better luck next time Vic.


April 2018.


The past month saw the completion (the DVLA inspection, that is) of Roy’s latest project, the resurrection of a burnt-out twin which has previously featured in the Club’s calendar. His dedication to “patina” reached new heights with laquering over the carefully prepared rust. That was never going to end well so it’s now back to the oily rag I guess. However, yet another old wreck, previously scrapped at some point, has now returned to the road and that has got to be good for the marque.


The section fish and chip supper has had its date changed and will now be held on the 12 April club night and not the date originally shown in section calendar. The first mid week lunch meet at Stapleford will be on Wednesday 4th April and the first mid week run is on Wednesday the 18th of that month, with the run to the Spring Intersection Meet at Castle Hedingham taking place on Sunday 29th. Both runs are intending to start from Crown Corner but finalised details can be checked with Roy nearer the run dates.


At the 8th March club night there was a discussion about a venue for the section end of year dinner. It is essential that a venue be booked within the next few weeks if there is to be any hope of getting somewhere that could take us at that time of the year. Currently there only two options found to be “possibles” with no other researched alternatives being offered by anyone. So if members wish to try somewhere different from the Fox then it looks like it will have to be one of those.


March 2018.


Not a lot happening within the section at this time of the year other than our usual twice monthly club nights. At the second January meeting it was decided that the section would definitely go ahead with having a club stand at the Battlesbridge event on 1st July, with the setting up being on the previous day. Thos attending on the day would, of course, need to be on bikes of the marque and be prepared to stay for the whole of the event.


The first of our mid week lunchtime meetings at Stapleford airfield will be on the first Wednesday in April and it is intended that these meetings will continue to be on the first Wednesday of each month, with the mid week section runs taking place on the third Wednesday of each month, these being easier to remember than random dates.


It is also intended to have a section run to the Spring Intersection Meet at Castle Hedingham on April 29th.


February 2018


Although the section Social Club Night with “nibbles” on 14th December went well the same could not be said for the proposed Post Christmas section run on 27th, which was called off due to it snowing on the day. However, the following evening’s club night saw a fairly good turn out of section members as the previous day’s snow never really settled in the end.


The section’s Annual General Meeting, which originally was scheduled for 14th December but postponed to make room for the Social Night, took place during the 11th January club night. As all the existing committee were willing to stand again and there were no nominations for any of the posts all the previous post holders were re-elected on a block vote. The section calendar for this years activities is in the process of being amended and finalised and will be distributed to section members in the near future.


January 2018


Ten from the section (members and family) attended the North Weald Remembrance Day memorial event, with those going by bike meeting up at Crown Corner and being led to North Weald by Chris Willis in his classic Land Rover.


On the 9th December 28 of us gathered at “The Fox”, Matching Tye for our annual section Christmas Dinner, where we had a nice meal in pleasant (of course) company. This was our third year at this venue and it is good to record that the serving of the food was a lot better than it had been the previous year. At the meeting our Section Clubman of the Year award was presented to Reg Green (Harlow) for being a good ambassador for the club on his very well travelled AJS Model 16. The other award was the “Piston Broke”, for the most problems and I feel that I was probably “stitched up” by someone (wonder who???) when I got it for my diesel fill-up misdemeanour on the way back from the Kettering open day. To give ourselves an easier run home in daylight the following day (and allow a few drinks on the night) some of us opted to book a room for the night. This didn’t seem such a good idea in the morning when we awoke to heavy snow building up on the roads and the normal half hour or so journey for Pam and I taking three hours this time.


The last section events of the year are our club nights on 14th and 28th December, with 14th being our section social night with “nibbles” and, if the weather permits, a section mid week run from Crown Corner out to the tea hut at High Beach on 27th.


December 2017


On 29th October seven of the section set forth over the Dartford crossing heading for Ardingly. It didn’t start too well for Chris Willis who found that his battery wasn’t charging and wondered if it would last the distance there. We now know that it can. Having bought a charger it had a few hours topup charge before the journey home. However, it wasn’t a flat battery that caused a very terminal sounding noise and sudden stoppage of his twin, just before the Brentwood turnoff of the M25.


With a short piece of tow rope and some heroic efforts, which I won’t elaborate here, from Roy and Chris, they eventually got to the garage area just off the roundabout, where they had met up that morning and from there Chris’ bike was recovered home by van. All the time this drama was played out Roy’s phone had been ringing more or less continuously. Eventually he was able to answer, to find out that Colin Seeley had drawn Roy’s raffle ticket and that he had won the first prize raffle bike….lucky so and so.


At our first November meeting Reg Green (Harlow) spoke about the enjoyable Colombres rally that he had attended in Spain, during which he covered a high mileage on some testing roads on his very well travelled AJS model 16.


On December 9th we have the section dinner at The Fox, Matching Tye and on our14th December club night it will be a family social night. Roy has mentioned the possibility of a mid-week run on Wednesday 27th but nothing definite yet.


November 2017


Not much planned for our section this November, our usual Thursday club nights for November are on 9th and 23rd. The section Christmas dinner at The Fox, Matching Tye is on the 9th December and those who are now booked in should be sure to get their menu choices back to Pete Berry as soon as the menu becomes available.


On 6th to 8th October some of the section attended the “Alternative” at Woodbridge and one of them, Dave Wallings, wrote:-


“Five section members attended, myself, Roy, Geoff, Graham Eaton, Steve and Vic

After a false start when my G9 had the speedo drive lock up and I had to change bikes to my M18S, we had a good and uneventful ride to Woodbridge, picking up Graham and Vic on route. We had an excellent breakfast at our favourite café at Woodbridge Harbour, although we had to leave sharpish when we were told the high tide was fast approaching and would flood where the bikes were parked.


The rally was excellent and the food provided by Otley College caterers good quality and substantial plus excellent value at £5 a go. The runs went well, Friday to the very interesting Parham Airfield Museum and Saturday to Sizewell Beach and Leiston to the Garrett Long Shop factory museum of a traction engine manufacturer. Roy, Geoff, Steve and I chose to visit the David Silver Collection, just down the road, instead, although Roy got caught at some lights and lost his way briefly, then almost had a fit at the £10 entrance charge!


The weather was kind, some rain on Saturday as we returned from the rally site to our digs, the only time we got wet, and the journey home uneventful apart from my tank vacuuming due to a blocked fuel cap breather hole causing a brief stop on the A12 at Galleywood.”  


October 2017


Over the weekend of 5th/6th August a group of section members took part in the West Kent Run and meeting at Aylesford in Kent and had an enjoyable time at this popular event and venue.


On Wednesday 20th August eight members started out on the mid week run around the lanes which finished up at our Stapleford airfield section meeting place where another eight members joined them for our August mid week lunch meet. This was the highest turnout of members for both the run and lunch meet for some months.


August 24th to 28th saw 23 section members, partners and guests travel to Stow-on-the-Wold for this year’s Jampot Rally. With excellent weather the whole event was a great success with higher attendance numbers than previous years which, despite a few resulting shortage problems, must be a step in the right direction. Roy’s infamous “Clockwork Orange” bike got plenty of use on the runs with a different rider each time – none of them Roy, and on Sunday Pat Gill once again took the award for best pre-war Matchless while Dudley got a commended rosette for his pre-war AJS.


On 6th to 8th October some of the section will be attending the “Alternative” at Woodbridge. While on 29th October there will be a section run to Ardingly, which will start from the usual meeting place near J28 on the M25 at 10.00am. Further details on both these events can be had from Roy.


September 2017


The19th July run saw seven leave from Crown Corner. Keith Smith initially led the run to Blackmore where they met with Alan Jennings, who was running late. Roy took over as run leader, following part of our 2011 Alternative Jampot route as far as Great Baddow where Keith took over once more, leading the run to Heybridge basin where they enjoyed lunch before returning home. The run got a bit spread out at times but it was the best attendance for a mid week run for sometime.


This year’s ACU/BMF National Rally saw the section’s arch enthusiast for this long distance navigation trial, Bob Russell, take part in his 43rd event, his first being way back in 1961. Now restricted to “twist & go” scooters since an accident some years ago left him unable to operate conventional clutches, his enthusiasm for this particular event remains undiminished. There can’t be many riders who have completed as many Nationals as Bob.


Our Sept 20th mid week run is on the same Wednesday as our mid week meet at Stapleford. The run will again start from Crown Corner and end up at Stapleford for the lunch. Then on Sunday Sept 24th there will be a run to Battlesbridge from Crown Corner at 10am. More details can be got from Roy nearer the date.


August 2017


On our 22nd June club night Vic Sayers, who belongs to both our section and the North Essex, led a group of the North Essex members to Stapleford on a visit, so there were a lot more bikes than usual to look at. It was a fine evening so we could stay outside as well as inside the club room and our Stapleford hosts once again supplied a good buffet for all to devour.


On 30th June some of the section said farewell to a friend at the funeral of Dave Speck. Although Dave lived in Norfolk he, along with fellow Norfolk resident John, had been good friends to our section for many years and we considered them as honorary members. Dave’s cheerful, friendly personality and banter will be sorely missed at future rallies.


As the Jampot Rally approaches Roy wishes to remind section members who intend going but have yet to book then please do so to ensure that you will be able to get food at the event, the caterers need to know before hand.


For our August section events we have the section run to visit the Kent section, meeting at our M25 J28 meeting place at 6pm. Our mid week lunch meet at Stapleford on  16th August, which according to our calendar will also have the month’s mid week run, starting at Crown Corner and ending at Stapleford, with further details available from Roy.


July 2017


On 23rd May the section said a sad farewell to Alan Earl. Alan and Margaret lived in Kent but had been coming across the Thames to our section meetings for many years and were very well known throughout the Club both from their attendance at countless Jampot and International Jampot rallies and membership of the Kent section. Alan will be sadly missed but we are pleased to know that Margaret is still going to be part of our future activities.


Those section members who attended the International Jampot in Poland all seemed to have had a successful event which the sometimes inclement weather did not spoil and Graham Eaton took an award for “Best Post War single” with his 350 rigid AJS. For all those who doubted whether it would make it, Roy wishes to report that his “Clockwork Orange” bike not only made it all the way there and back with the only trouble being a rear light failure due to the brake light sticking on at one time, but that his was the only bike amongst the group that he was riding with that did not require more serious attention.


For the July section events there is a run to the Battlesbridge Classic Motorcycle event on 2nd, from the usual Crown Corner meeting place at 10.00am and on Wednesday 12th July there is our next Mid-week meet at Stapleford, which might have a mid-week run on the same day and ending at Stapleford for the lunch time meet, as happened for the June event. More details can be had from Roy nearer the date.


June 2017


Our April 27 meeting was the section’s “fish & chip supper” night and our hosts at Stapleford Airfield did us proud, with tablecloths, real plates, metal cutlery and condiments, certainly a step up from what we had been used to in previous years. We sat down to an enjoyable evening, rounded off by a music quiz organised by Rob, Jan and Kerry Harknet.


Six riders set off for the Inter Section meet at Blackmore End on 30th April and met up with Dudley at a breakfast stop at High Easter. Only six continued though as one felt not too good and headed for home. It was quite a challenging ride as no-one knew exactly where the pub (The Bull) was and another rider also decided to head homewards at the first ford encountered. There was a good gathering when they got there and Dudley was talking about taking bets as to whether Roy’s bike would make it to Poland. So it was rather ironic that it was also Dudley who broke down on his way home.


I got my own come-uppance a week later, when four of us rode up to the open day at Kettering. All went well on the trip up and Geoff Gibbins got an award for his fine AJS twin. On our way home though, I suffered a major brain fade when I mistakenly filled up with diesel instead of petrol. The bike didn’t like its new 60/40 diesel/petrol ratio fuel one bit but with help from Roy, Geoff and Steve, and some petrol siphoned from Roy’s bike I was back on the road again with no harm done except to my pride. It will take a long time to live that one down.


For June there is our next mid week meet at Stapleford on 14th. Possibly also be a mid week run organised for one Wednesday but nothing has been arranged yet.



May 2017


The section has now held its first mid week lunchtime meet of 2017 at Stapleford airfield. Around eleven of us attended and were pleased to see Margaret Earl who had made the trip over from Kent. The run to the Ardingly Show on 2nd April saw seven riders leave from our meeting place near M25 junction 28 with Roy leading the run on his intended International Jampot bike, which showed him that he still had a bit of work to do on the electrical side if he wanted the battery to keep charging .


It only came to my attention after the evening that we had a new visitor to our section meeting on 23rd March who got missed until almost the end. If that member was you then please give us another try. Ask the first person you see to point you in my direction and I will be happy to chat about bikes and introduce you to our section properly.


The four events in May for our section involvement are the next mid week lunch meet at Stapleford on 3rd.  Then the run to the Kettering HQ Open Day on 6th, the run to the local Jericho Cottage Classic Bike Day on 14th, and the first Wednesday Run on 19th. All three of the runs start from our usual meeting place at Crown Corner.


Apr 2017


March this year was a sad month for the section as we say farewell to our good friend Dave Nichols, who will be greatly missed not only by us in the section but also by the many members of the club as a whole.


Our section meeting of 23rd February didn’t quite go according to plan, when a shortage of staff resulted in our usual meeting place at Stapleford airfield not being available to us which resulted in a lot of hasty phoning around by secretary Alan to advise members that there was to be an alternative gathering for that meeting in the Woodman public house at Stanford Rivers a couple of miles away. It  would have to be in the bar area  but fortunately it was not too busy that night and 16 members managed to pass a pleasant evening with a group of them hogging the open fire on what was a cold evening.


Our 9th March meeting was back to normal and we are keeping our fingers crossed that the staffing problems for our meetings at Stapleford can be overcome in future. At least this will not be a problem for the first of our mid-week lunchtime meetings at the airfield on Wednesday 5th April from around 11am


Mar 2017


For our second and third section meetings of the year our numbers were back to around the usual attendance for section meetings after the previous meeting where only the hardy few braved the first snow of the year in these parts, not forgetting of course Zoe, who so capably caters for us behind the bar at each event and who also had to brave the weather to get home after all others had left.


Not much is going on at this time of the year as regards events that we might attend although several future events were mentioned as possibilities, including one at Stowe Maries airfield on 21st May and a “Wings and Wheels” event at Damens airfield later on 16th July which we may visit. There is also the regular Blackmore village classic bike event taking place on 14th May, which many of our section members go along to. There is also the Club’s Spring Intersection Meet at Blackmore End on 30th April and the Club HQ open day on 6th May, so plenty to think about for the future


The dates of our mid week runs and mid week meets at Stapleford airfield for this year are in the process of being decided and intended to be given out at the last meeting, but due to a few errors they will now hopefully be available next meeting and subsequently be put on our section web site.


Feb 2017


At our last section AGM, in my absence, apparently I was voted in as the new section scribe against strong competition from…..absolutely no-one else. As I start my new job at a time of the year when there is not a great deal happening I do have a little time to work myself into the role.


For our last club night before Christmas the section decided to have a “buffet evening”, to include family members who do not normally attend meetings and the opportunity was taken for our new section secretary Alan Jennings to present an award to our retiring secretary Dennis Fox for his hard work for the section over many years. Indeed Dennis was one of the first to welcome me when I joined in 1994.


Our last run of 2016 was a short one to High Beach tea hut and four bikes took part in bright but cold weather, meeting up with two other members at the venue.



Colin Atkinson