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April 2012

Sorry, but this is a bit late. I have been busy sorting out my B-A. Although it stayed together for our foray into Lands End/John O Groats, it did use a bit of oil and new valve guides didn’t look as if they would do the trick!

John and I did consider visiting the Ace for the founder’s day but the weather forecast together with the reputation of Essex/Cambridge councils, made up our minds. I am not riding in the snow!

The annual Presentation Evening on 12th February at the Cricketers at Eight Ash Green was well attended, but there was room for more. John had trouble with the original booked venue so it was good that we did make it in the end.

Read more: April 2012

February 2012.

January has been a bit problematical for our leader as he struggled to find a venue for our annual dinner. However it’s all been sorted and we are meeting on Saturday 11th of February at the Cricketers in Eight Ash Green. If you want to go and haven’t had the details contact John as soon as possible. And a thank you for John for persevering!

We had a good turnout for the January meeting even though the windy weather resulted in no bikes turning up. I did think about it but there really was no need. We did have a good run out to the Victoria in Earl Soham on January 12th. I did a recce of the route a couple of days before hand on my BMW and we had the table next to fire reserved for us. Six turned up, four from our section and a couple of friends. I was on my 125cc Vavarado, and the others included a 1200cc Suzuki!

Read more: February 2012.

December 2011

This is the first of an attempt to keep our membership informed of what has been going on beyond the monthly club nights and to encourage you to take part in one or two of the large number of chances to take the old bikes for a ride.

I tried in vain to keep section notes in the Jampot, so at the last committee meeting, I agreed to give this a try.As an aside, I now belong to two one make clubs,and three others , as well as the Caravan Club.The one observation I would make is that the size of the annual subscription is in direct proportion to the size of the monthly magazine! And if you join the ACO which runs Le Mans, it will only be available in French!

The Ladies Lunch Meets continue to be popular and thanks to Dot for organising them for us. My attendance hasn’t been too good as we seem to be away too much. John got together a good programme for 2011, and I think it’s fair to say that a lot of members have enjoyed some excellent runs and visits in the course of the year. Two of the best ones for me involved the North Norfolk Railway, and we are grateful to Julian for having a contact there. Not only were we treated very well when we got there , the 98 miles each way proved quite exciting as well! A ride on the footplate of a steam railway engine must be high on everyone’s list.

Read more: December 2011

January 2011

Like everybody else the past few weeks of awful weather has caused chaos with club nights and other activities but twenty two of us sat down towards the end of January for our annual section meal and awards night. We did miss Dot our stalwart monthly restaurant organiser and we all hope she will soon be well enough to attend our functions. We did have an enjoyable evening but I will gloss over the standard and quality of the food and service. I know Chris who organised the meal was extremely upset and angry with the restaurant attitude to his complaint but that is all water under the bridge and we move on to enjoy our motorcycling. The Photo Cup was won by Ray Faux for his restoration of a 350cc AJS that he purchased as boxes of rusty bits from our esteemed President. We felt that the photos showed exactly what so many of our members try so hard to achieve and so few manage. The Alan Jones Clubman Cup is the first time it has been awarded and will go to the member who has supported the most Section events during the year and that went to a somewhat astonished Chris McIlroy. The Ralph Davis Memorial award went to a long time member and supporter of the section for his help for so many other members. Sadly because of ill health he was unable to attend but Colin and myself presented the award to him at home. I pleased to say he has since been to a club night.

Read more: January 2011

Obituary November 2010


1932 - 2010

It is with great sadness I have to record the passing of Alan Jones, aged 78.  He was suddenly taken ill at home and died shortly afterwards in Colchester General Hospital, following a stroke.  Born in East London in 1932  moving soon afterwards to Plumstead. His National Service took place in The Royal Corps of Signals of which numerous amusing stories would be related at Club nights.

Eventually he worked for Colliers producing his beloved A.J.S. and Matchless machines. Having married Jean they moved to Kent and as an avid and successful solo trials rider he now found he had a willing sidecar passenger for competitions.

Read more: Obituary November 2010

November 2010

We do not seem to have had such a busy month or perhaps it just seems to be so. When we went to the Kimbolton Rally last year one of the runs was to the Shuttleworth Museum and as it was so interesting and we did not have sufficient time to view everything, we said at the time we would return there. This we did and what a wonderful day we had. The twists and turns of going across country are ideal on bikes and the journey each way was very enjoyable and we must thank John Swann for leading us again.

We were able to wander around the hangars and take in so much that was on show. The exhibits are truly remarkable and so varied and has man ever developed any machine so quickly and thoroughly as the “Flying Machine”. The flimsy contraptions from early in the last century have developed into safe speedy transport that the early pioneers could never have envisaged. Indeed I have been fortunate to recently read about the life of Sir Harry Ricardo and other early aircraft designers who only thought of planes as weapons of war. They have all types of engines on show: rotary, radial, sleeve-valve, vee, straight, H section, flat, 2 stroke, 4 stroke, petrol, diesel, turbocharged, supercharged and it goes on and on. But this was all to change with the jet engine, and there is an early model at the Shuttleworth.

Read more: November 2010

October 2010

There is a saying that “planning and preparation prevents p... poor performance” and this was brought home to me on our fish and chip run. We had a good ride through the lanes to Aldeburgh lead by John Swann only to find that the fish and chip shop was closed. No hassle, we will go to the one further down the road, but that was closed. As we walked back to the bikes we passed a Chinese take away and we enjoyed some different food which was very good, and somewhat cheaper than fish and chips. So remember, p and ppppp is worthwhile even when things turn out well. Oh! and always be certain that you have sufficient petrol.
Our trip to the races at Snetterton  lead by John Swann,(again) was a very enjoyable day. The sound of several well tuned big singles accelerating hard has no equal and I could listen to them all day long, real rolling thunder! During the day there was a long pause in the racing due to an accident and we were able to take a slow wander around the pits to admire some wonderful classic machinery and not miss the excellent racing.
The ladies lunch was held at the Alma and a large number of members and their spouses enjoyed a good meal. Thank you Dot for arranging it earlier than usual so helping yours truly to fit it in with his hectic social life?  

Read more: October 2010

September 2010

Firstly the whole Section and various other Clubs must thank Gordon for staging our annual BBQ again. Both Gordon and Julia put their heart and soul into making a super job by opening their house and gardens for the evening to a record number of barbequers. I would also like to thank Jean, Jane and Les for their support and help. The food was’nt bad either. A few weeks ago we had an evening run to Shotley for a beer which was very pleasant.
Now about three years ago we did the same thing and when we came to return home one of our invited guests leaped onto his bike and promptly fell into a heap on the other side. I found this very funny as it seemed to be achieved in slow motion and he did not hurt himself. However, on our latest visit we parked the bikes in exactly the same place and on our return to start them who did just the same thing and fell off his bike. Yes you have guessed who so things have a way of getting back to you. I must thank the East Suffolks for their invite to meet them at Manningtree for a noggin and natter. Always a good evening and not too far with the 6volt members  We had arranged to visit the Transport Museum at Carlton Colville and with Gordon acting as run leader away we went. Now as most of our members will know I have had an ongoing electrical problem with my bike and we only got as far as Ipswich when the usual misfire set in. I thought I had cured this some weeks ago but sadly I had to return home with splutters and bangs. It is now repaired and I am hopeful that it will continue to go properly. When the other members arrived at the Museum they found it was closed but would be opening later which I find rather surprising as it is situated next to Lowestoft and in the middle of summer with thousands of potential visitors at hand. However all was not lost as they then visited Cake Street Classics where John Swann was able to find a solution to a long standing dynamo problem. Jolly good. I was going to mention our visit to the autogyro genius Ken Wallis but there is no need as the details were in last months Jampot.

Read more: September 2010

August 2010

When we met up for our last mid week run it was perfectly clear that nobody had any ideas of where we were going for the day apart from Colin Smith. He had done his homework and said he would lead us on a comprehensive tour of Essex. And he did, to the tune of 140 miles. But there was method in his madness as he wanted to call at a dealers for spares. We proceeded on our travels and with the good weather we had a really enjoyable run arriving at Burnham on Sea for a leisurely lunch. Eventually we started our machines and they all ran but not necessarily in the right manner. Poor Colin’s Matchless decided to pop and bang and make a fuss. Indeed people in the main street were obviously alarmed as the noise was just like gunfire and while some found it highly amusing others quickly hurried away. On a lighter note the restaurant owner appeared and recorded the commotion on his camcorder. Nervertheless we all arrived home safely, including Colin, and I can report that his bike is now fixed and running smoothly.

Read more: August 2010

July 2010

The Ladies Lunches that Dot organises each month are always well attended and luckily they tend to take a considerable time to enjoy, with extremely important  motorcycle business being discussed at one end of the table, and ladies banter at the other end. Mind you there is always one who can cause trouble so Alan Jones needs to take heed as his excuse about being deaf is wearing a bit thin, when he easily hears what he wants to hear.

At our last midweek rideout I was the only one to turn up. This was not unexpected as we seem to have had many members incapacitated and others on holiday. Nevertheless your esteemed leader had a wonderful ride through Essex and Herts going just wherever his fancy took him.

Read more: July 2010

March 2010

It was very encouraging to see fourteen members and their ladies had come out to dine at the Anchor pub on our Ladies Lunch day. This is obviously very popular and we need to thank Dot McIlroy for our enjoyment. As I said to her at the time we have never had a bad meal as long as she has been finding good eateries just that some have been better than others.

On Wednesday 3rd March we moved to a new meeting place. The Alma pub seems pleasant enough with an area to meet in, a good car park, a beer garden, not on a main road and central for most members. I hope we can settle there as we have had four moves in four years. Quite a number turned up and a good evening was had. Two large platters of sandwiches suddenly appeared as Derek the landlord said they would. Maybe this was the reason for the good attendance? A reminder to all that on Sunday 28 March we are going to the Coalhouse Fort at Tilbury with the Maldon British Club.

We will leave the Alma pub at 9am and ride to the Miami Hotel at Chelmsford and join with the Maldon Club and as they know the way it will alleviate any hassle.

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