Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Uttoxeter Motorcycle Show

Although the 4th Uttoxeter Classic Bike Show and Autojumble, organised by the VJMC opened its gates to the public at 09:30, Ian and myself did not arrive in the parking area until 10:00. The reasoning behind this is simple. Let the early queue to get in disperse and to have a look around the bike park to see some fine machinery.
The Triumph, or should that be BSA? Trail Blazer seen below was one of many British motorcycles to be seen in the parking area.

Back in 1975, Ian was just a zit faced sixteen year old lad. On returning home from a family holiday his father stopped off at a motorway service station. In the car park on that rainy day there just happened to be a motorcycle, on its sidestand, away from all other vehicles,

and so thank you Kawasaki for producing the Z900 and setting one young oik* on the winding road of life with a target to aim for. He had no money in the bank and one year to go before he reached the age to ride a motorcycle. The rest as they say is history.

Honda were well represented in the parking area. Two machines that caught my eye were this very tidy CL450

and this CBX1000 that manages to out ‘Sei’ the Benelli 750 Sei. The Sei was the first production six cylinder road motorcycle, based on Honda’s CB500, it was stunning with its 6-6 exhaust system. The production model of the CBX had a 6-2 system, however this particular example was something else!

Rapidly fading into history are the old prejudices and the “Jap crap” remarks, as could be verified by the fact that many British motorcycles were on display inside the show.
This was obvious from first setting paw and foot into the show ground. Immediately on the left, in the Paddock Pavillion building was the Vincent HRD club. They sandwiched the Parade Ring, where during the day several owners were interviewed and their machines run, with the BSA Gold Star Club. It was an oversight on my behalf that I forgot to get any photographs of any of these machines.

Swiftly moving on, Ian and myself entered the Staffordshire Stand building. Just to the right of the doorway was a sad looking machine with its machine details card stating ‘This bike was saved from the skip, people ask why!!’

I recall that previously Affer and myself have had a little discussion on this motorcycle(?). The owner was not to be seen. I wonder if he has heard about the Ariel 3 Museum in Bristol?
Occupying the area next to the Ariel was a small collection of GPO Motorcycles owned by John Lawrence.

These were accompanied by the helmet, gloves and telegram satchel from the correct era.

A brief history of the telegram messenger service can be found here.

Ian and myself spent a while chatting with John about his collection and also discovered he was once a messenger himself.

Ian and myself then continued to look around the other exhibits in the room, taking photos of one of the motorcycles in particular, more of which at the end of this post.

There were several trade stands immediately outside the Staffordshire Stand building that we perused before entering the Exhibition Hall. Once inside we glanced at several of the different owners’ club stands before noticing this pair.

This RE 5 we have met before at the Castle Donnington Show in 2008,

however I was more drawn to the 750 Honda below.

Owned by Fred Brown, the motorcycle was bought new in 1971 when he was working in Saudi Arabia for transport. When his contract was completed, in 1972, he decided to ride the Honda home, a distance of 5000 miles completed in eight and a half days.

Next door in the Exhibition Marquee there was an interesting combination, the MZ Club next to the Kettle Club.

The early 1960’s Suzuki racers were copies of the MZs after their rider, Ernst Degner, defected during the Swedish Grand Prix in 1961. I wonder what Walter Kaaden would have made of this pairing as Suzuki went from strength to strength while on December 12th 2008 the MZ factory in Zschopau closed, bringing a halt to motorcycle production that had lasted for 88 years in the same town. The old 'East German' factory became a night club, called MZWerk.

Crossing over the race course we entered the aptly named Centre Course Marquee. Inside was an assortment of VJMC sections’ stands manned by their members.

This particular machine had Ian reminiscing over the television series C.H.I.Ps that was produced between 1977-83.

Hiding in the far corner of the marquee was this 1948 Corgi. Developed from the Welbike, which was built for parachute drops and around the airfields during WWII, was produced until 1954, during which time it had helped to get Great Britain back on her feet.

No show would be complete without an auto jumble, today was no exception. Ian is still looking for the elusive badges for his Suzuki. There was no fortune for him again, one day…. Slowly as NOS (new old stock) dries up for certain machines undergoing restoration, prices rise. This in turn pushes up the price of restored motorcycles, for example, the RV 125 below.

At £3750 it may be some time before it is sold.

Returning to the perimeter we had a look in the Railway Stand Marquee. Recently several clubs have opted to show a cutaway of an engine. I’m pleased to say that the CBX Riders (UK) Club have joined the ranks. This rotating display took a few attempts to get a reasonable picture.

Although the show was open until 17:00 to the public many were departing by 15:00. By the time that we returned to the Suzuki the bike park was two thirds empty. Will we go again? Yes. The show clashes with a motorcycle rally that we often attend so it will be a couple of years before we attend again.

One final thing that I must do is this:

Two posts ago I set a little task with this picture

The motorcycle is a

and the model is

Congratulations to Affer at getting it correct at the second attempt. All that is required now is to the identity of the owner.

That is revealed HERE.

*An unsophisticated, uncultured and objectionable person.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Chocks Away Part 3, Happy Landings

I have been searching for Cockersdale singing Keith Marsden’s ‘Left Left Right Steady Man’ since I posted the first part of ‘Chocks Away’ to no avail. I have managed to locate the lyrics and they are printed below.

Left Left Right Steady Man

Rear gunner on a lancaster in spring of 'forty four,
Son, don't ever volunteer-o,
I'd seen my share of fighting and I'd had my fill of war,
Son, don't ever volunteer-o,
Over Stettin, over Norway, over Munich and Berlin,
I'd lost count of all the scraps and scrapes, near misses I'd been in,
But I only needed three more trips to get my nineteen in,
Son of mine, don't ever volunteer-o.
I got a left, left, right, steady man, oops!, go round again,
Go round again, lord what a pain,
Blind as a bat he was and where was his brain,
Left, left, right, steady man, oops!, go round again.
I signed on with the new lot to make up a trip or two,
Son, don't ever volunteer-o,
I should have seen the warning signs, their flying suits were new,
Son, don't ever volunteer-o,
No-hopers, never-would-be's and all wet behind the ears,
The other fellows told me that by bed time there'd be tears,
But I never dreamt how they'd fulfil the worst of all my fears,
Son of mine, don't ever volunteer-o,
I got a left, left, right, steady men, oops!, go round again,
Go round again, lord what a pain,
On his wedding night, it was such a sight, you could hear his wife complain,
About left, left, right, steady man, oops!, go round again.
It should have been an easy trip, some dams off Falkland way,
Son, don't ever volunteer-o,
The kind of trip you go to miss, to try another day,
Son, don't ever volunteer-o,
The flak was light, the fighters few, a piece of bread and jam,
Drop short to get that extra trip, for god's sake miss the dam,
Then flick your wings to spoil the film and back to blighty scram,
Son of mine, don't ever volunteer-o,
I got a left, left, right, steady man, oops!, go round again,
Knock ein again, the german gunners refrain,
And the night fighter pilot, he was laughing like a drain,
At left, left, right, steady man, oops!, go round again.
Left, left, right, steady man (2)
He shot us through the bomb bay and he shot us through the wings,
Son, don't ever volunteer-o,
He shot away the engines and he shot away the fins,
Son, don't ever volunteer-o,
We staggered past the beaches and we put down in the drink,
All seven in one dinghy as the light began to sink,
And in the rush the skipper never even stopped to think,
Son of mine, don't ever volunteer-o,
He set the left, left, right, steady man, oops!, go round again,
To steering us back, sure he must have been cracked,
With a chump like him on compass would we see England again,
Left, left, right, steady man, oops!, lost on the maine.
We paddled round in circles two whole days and two whole nights,
Son, don't ever volunteer-o,
Till gleaming through the mist and rain at last we saw some lights,
Son, don't ever volunteer-o,
"Ahoy! are we near England" shouted left-left silly bugger,
"Are you the air-sea rescue or perhaps some fishing lugger",
"Ach, nein, ve are an E boat in ze harbour of Zeebrugge"
Son of mine, don't ever volunteer-o,
I got a left, left, right, steady man oops! go round again,
Got us out of the drink, and straight into clink,
The possibility of future fatherhood for him we all made quite plain,
To left, left, right, steady man, oops!, go round again.
Should have been on leave in Blackpool spending all my Nuffield pay,
Son, don't ever volunteer-o,
With holes burnt in my pockets and a new girl every day,
Son, don't ever volunteer-o,
But I'm sitting in this stalag, going mad on acorn tea,
And wishing I could be there in old A.C.R.C.
For the bleeding left, left, steady man is bunking next to me,
Son of mine, don't ever volunteer-o,
I got a left, left, right, steady man oops! go round again,
The war finished last week, but he's tunnelling again,
He's down there still digging, we're all catching the train,
Without left, left, right, steady man, oops!, go round again.

As this trip comes into land Ian told me about a comedy duo, The Oblivion Boys that Guzzisue and himself had seen in the past. Apart from appearing in several sketches on television programmes in the 1980’s they did a series of advertisements for a brand of larger. The product is not to our liking but their commercials are well remembered, especially this one with the upkeep mines.

Something to look forward to in my next post (which is nearly ready), the answers to my photo quiz. All will be revealed this week.