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Surrey Branch AGM on 14 November 2018

Surrey Branch AGM on 14 November 2018

(NB AGM Minutes posted at the end) 

The Surrey Branch AGM began at 8.00pm at the Stepping Stones in Westhumble Street, in Dorking. Unfortunately for us our usually clubroom had been booked by another club by mistake, as Tina the landlady of the pub was not there at the time to stop it. Tina made available the side of the restaurant for us, and boarded and closed that side off so we could have some sort of privacy for our event. We had over 25 members arrive for the AGM, and we welcomed a new club member to the Surrey section. This was Rod Daniels who had bought a 1959 Norton Dominator 99 two months previously. He is having problems with his coil ignition as it has had a Boyer conversion added to the engine. Ken Rawlinson our secretary has offered to go over and have a look at it for Rod.

The minutes for the last years AGM were noted from 8 November 2017, and questions asked for any matters arising from them. Mike Petryszyn our chairman then read out his report, concerning the sections activities through out the year. The branch has had an amazing selection of speakers and events that we have attended, and Mike went on to explain in detail of all that had transpired at these events that the Surrey section had attended and represented the NOC at.  Mike was very loudly applauded for all his efforts on behalf of the Surrey section.

Our Treasurer, Geoff Cole presented a very comprehensive list for all those members present, which was a draft of income and expenditure and a balance sheet. Geoff has done an incredible job of our treasurer. He has been in hospital for a while after a very bad fall, and he is now able to drive his car so he could attend this AGM. However, he tendered his resignation from the post of treasurer at the meeting, and offers of help/nominations to fill this post are now sought.

As I am the Press Officer for the branch, I explained to the AGM, what I had done could be read in the many past editions of the Roadholder. I also explained about the up and coming Brooklands Motorcycle Show that will be on Sunday, 30th June 2019. I have contacted Donna Marshall, and she has sent me an application form for this event. The Surrey section will have our gazebo at this event, for all owners of Nortons to come along and be part of this show with us. We will also be at the Ardingly, the South of England Classic Show, on the 31st March 2019, and the Surrey section will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Dominator twin. I asked all those present with any type of Dominator twin to bring it along for display at Ardingly. Julie Diplock, who organizes this event, has set aside a large area for this Norton Dominator celebration for the Surrey section.

I also asked the AGM, as we have many owners who have a huge amount of expertise with their own particular bikes to give the section a talk next year. Paul Gibbons suggested that he had a friend who could come along and give us talk about those who had been awarded VC’s in combat in the last 100 years. I also put forward a suggestion to give a talk on the Hybrid bikes, but I was metwith blank faces, and deaf ears. So a big no then.

Simon Smith our Facilities Officer gave his report of what has transpired through out the year, and what extra equipment will be required by the section. Ken Rawlinson told the AGM, that we were planning to get a TV with a DVD added so that we could play these on our stand at our events. Simon also explained the section was investigating getting sale panels for our stand to give it more of a higher profile. Simon had also brought along all the trophies and rosettes that the section had won over the previous ten years, and laid them out on display for those at the AGM, to see. It was a very impressive lay out on the table of all that the branch has won over the previous ten years.

The awards that the Surrey section has been awarded over the last ten years.


John Blades our Website Officer explained all that he had done to upgrade our website and to have added all the stories that the Press Officer had sent him, through out the year. John also informed the AGM about the two ride outs to Jacks Café that he had lead this year, and also asked the AGM if there were any other locations that the members would like to visit. One location John mentioned was a ride out to the Sammy Miller museum in New Milton. John was thanked by the AGM for being such a very accomplished ride leader, and for organizing these ride outs for the section.

Ken and Simon also brought along our club shirts and Hi-Viz, vest’s if any one attending wanted to buy any of the items on display.

The committee at this point all stepped down, and were all re-elected, except Geoff Cole, who has decided he would not stand for re-election for 2019. The section will be looking for a new Treasurer.

We then came to the Club Member of the year award for the 2018 year. This was given to Simon Smith after a vote, as Simon performs an amazing job for the branch, and with out his good self, and his pick-up truck, and trailer, the branches equipment would be not have been transported to any of our events. We extended our grateful thanks and our appreciation, to Simon for playing such an integral and very important role for the Surrey section. Simon was presented with the Member of Year trophy by Mike Petryszyn our re-elected chairman.

Mike Petryszyn presenting Simon Smith with the Member of the Year award.

The section will be having a branch dinner at the carvery in Ewell East, on Saturday 17th November. This is to celebrate the 10 years that the Surrey branch has been in existence. This has been arranged by Ken Rawlinson our re-elected Secretary. Ken had informed the AGM that he had ordered the new 2019 calendars for the branch should any one require one, that they should contact him to obtain one.

Ken Rawlinson also explained to the AGM, about all the up and coming events for the coming year of 2019. A question was raised at the AGM from Phil Hannam concerning the timing of the start of the club night talks, and the AGM. Phil explained that those that had far too travel home and also were in employment arrived home later, due to distance that they needed to go to get home. The suggested new start times will be debated by the committee for a start of 7.30 to 7.45pm in the evenings if we have a talk.

We then came to the Any Other Business section of the AGM. This was a very special award that was given to both Graham Holcombe and Oscar Frieslaar who have always supported the Surrey section and always come along to all our events. Graham and Oscar were amazed at this award, we had just given them. Graham thanked us for the award and this consisted of two club shirts. Graham explained that they had original come along for help with Oscars Norton 650ss Dominator, and because the Surrey section was so friendly, and helpful, they had both decided to stay. I then told Oscar to get his 650ss running again and display it on our stand at Ardingly in March 2019. Ken Rawlinson has agreed to help Oscar to get the bike running once more. We also had Mike Duffell come along as Mike, has, had a very bad fall, he had been in hospital for a while, and he was still in a lot of pain due to what had happened to him.

Oscar Frieslaar, left, and Graham Holcombe right in the front row with Mike Petryszyn on the right, with their awards and the re-elected committee behind them.

The committee had arranged with the Stepping Stones for a buffet to be provided for the members, along with both tea and coffee to be provided. The AGM then finished at 8.45pm, and all those on the committee were thanked by the membership for all their efforts on behalf of the section.


Anthony Curzon, the re-elected Press officer



AGM Minutes

14 November 2018


Minutes of Annual General Meeting of the Surrey Norton Owners Club held at 8.00 pm Wednesday  14th November 2018 at The Stepping Stones Pub, Westhumble Street, Dorking


Committee Members PresentMike Petryszyn, Geoff Cole, Anthony Curzon, Simon Smith, John Blades and Ken Rawlinson.

Minutes from last Committee meeting 8th November 2017 – Accepted by the Committee and members.

Matters arising from the minutes There were no matters arising.

Chairman’s Report (Mike Petryszyn):-

Mike had prepared a Chairman’s report of the year and said that the club had had an incredibly successful year. The branch had attended many events during 2018 winning a few trophies for best club stand and bike commendations including Ardingly (April and October), Kempton Park (May), Brooklands (July) and Warlingham (July where we won Best Club Stand beating all other vehicle stands). On top of this we had our BBQ in June, which was open to the public, and raised over £700 for the Joan Seeley Pain Relief Trust, Colin was in attendance and we had some very nice bikes on display including a Loris Capirossi MotoGP bike, Mike Hailwood’s BSA Daytona Rocket 3, Steve Hislop’s TT Honda RC30, two special Suzukis including a monocoque and one that had been ridden by Barry Sheene and many more. We had several talks at our club nights by Peter Ashley, Henry Dulat, Norton Hawes, Bill Vero, Mike Jackson (The NOC President on his career with Norton Villers and his desert racing in America) and Alan Ford (Wall of Death), the club is extremely grateful to the people who gave these talks. We also had two Ride-Outs to Jack’s café which we are grateful to John Blades for organising.  Geoff Cole will unfortunately be standing down and the club thanks Geoff for the tremendous help and support that he has given to our branch over the years. Mike thanked the committee and club members for supporting the club and attending events and hoped that this would continue and even be improved on in 2019.

Treasurers Report (Geoff Cole)

Geoff handed out end of year accounts sheets to those that wanted them. Our main income is from subscriptions and the main expense is running the club events and providing necessary equipment. This year we got a welcome grant from the main NOC club and we hope that we will again be in line for a grant in 2019.

The club has a healthy bank balance and at present is fairly well stocked with equipment although we are continuing to consider further purchases. for use at our events in promotion of the club and the Norton name. We were sorry to learn of Geoff’s recent accident but are pleased that he is now well on the way to recovery. In the very unlikely event of the branch folding it has been agreed that any money left in the bank account will be distributed equally between all paid up members as that time.

Subscriptions were taken by Geoff Cole on the night, if anyone has not yet paid their subscriptions then will they please do so either by payment to Geoff (for now until a new treasurer has been elected) or online. The club subscription would normally run from the AGM night as it makes life a little easier for the hard pressed treasurer but they will be adjusted should there be a large discrepancy in the period of membership. The membership fee has been held at £10 per annum and is not likely to change for the near future whilst we are getting grants from the main NOC).

Press Officer Report (Anthony Curzon)

Anthony has been very active during the year and has submitted reports on all of our events to Roadholder magazine and the website. So many thanks Anthony. Anthony did a fine job “conducting” the AGM.

Facilities Officer Report (Simon Smith)

Simon Smith explained what had been going on during 2018 as far as the equipment goes, we are investigating the obtaining of a TV with DVD so that we can show DVD’s, getting two banners one being “70 years celebration of the Dominator” and one “60 years celebration of the NOC”. We are also investigating getting “sail flags” for our shows. Simon had brought along our display of trophies that the club had won of the past few years. Polo and cotton shirts were on display and these were for sale, the cotton shirts at £20 each and the polo shirts at a one off £6 on the evening (normal price £10). These shirts will be available for purchase on our club nights and at our events.

Website Officer (John Blades)

John explained what he was doing in upgrading our website and also our Surrey Facebook page and mentioned about having Ride-Outs in 2019 including Jack’s café again and possibly the Sammy Miller Museum if there is enough interest. If any member would like a Ride-Out to any other place please let a John or another member of the committee know. The club is very grateful for John’s hard work for the club and for his capable leading of the Ride-Outs.

Selection and re-election of Committee

The existing committee members all stood down and with the exception of Geoff Cole agreed to stand for re-election and this was agreed, proposed and seconded by attendees. We all thanked Geoff for the excellent work that he has carried out over the years for the club.

The re-elected committee are as follows:-

         Position Name
Hon Chairman Mike Petryszyn
Hon Secretary/events Ken Rawlinson
Hon Treasurer TBC
Programme Sec and Events Co-ordinator Ken Rawlinson & Anthony Curzon
Facilities Officer Simon Smith
Press Officer/events Anthony Curzon

Please note that should any member wish to be involved in the running of any of our events then please contact the committee as you are very welcome to come and join us.

Club Member of the Year

The chairman confirmed that Club Member of the Year was Simon Smith for work carried out on behalf of the club during 2018. Simon does a lot of work in storing all of our equipment, loading it up and bringing it to all of our shows as well as bringing it to our club nights when we have talks, Simon is also heavily involved in running the club and attending our many committee meetings. Simon was handed the trophy by Mike our chairman.


The AGM had 25 people in total attending the AGM, the evening was very cordial and sandwiches were provided with tea and coffee if required.

Branch dinner 2019

There will be no formal dinner in 2019 but there was to be an evening meal at the Toby carvery in East Ewell on Saturday 17th November.

2019 Calendars

 2019 Calendars will be available in the near future so if any members would like one please let Ken know, if bought in “bulk” the large calendars will be £6.00 each and the desk top ones are £3.00 each plus postage unless they are collected on a club night. An order has been placed for calendars which have already been ordered by members.

Club Nights

The next club night will be on Wednesday 12th December, this will be just a pint and a natter night. Club night on January 8th will be our games night against our colleagues the Velo Fellows, they won this year so we must up our game, there will be FREE tea/coffee and sandwiches. It is proposed that on the February 13th club night to have a quiz against the Velo Fellows so please make a note and come along.

Club Events 2019

Ken Rawlinson will be issuing a comprehensive list of events that the SNOC will be involved in as well as other main events that may be of interest to members and this will be sent out in the near future, if anyone would like any events added to the list please let Ken know. Our first show will be at Ardingly on March 31st 2019 where we will be celebrating 70 years of the Dominator so please bring you bike(s) along (other models are of course welcome), Rex Butcher will be the Guest of Honour and he may bring his mate Paul Smart along and Mike Braid is bringing a genuine Dunstall Dominator which Rex may well have ridden. There will also be our usual shows at Kempton Park (May), SNOC BBQ (June), Brooklands (June), Warlingham (July) and Ardingly (October) and we may also have a SNOC “Norton Day” at Ryka’s café in early September where we will have our gazebo and hopefully a large display of bikes.

If any of our members have any ideas for either events or suggestions they would like to see or changes made in the branch then please let the committee know as if we do not get feedback then we cannot make or introduce changes and can only assume that we are doing things right which may not be the case in the eyes of all of the membership. The aim of the committee is to not only promote the Surrey NOC branch but also the main NOC.

Club Expertise

The branch has several accomplished and skilled members so maybe they would consider giving a talk one club night about their own particular engineering skills and achievements over the years with the involvement and building and repairing of old motorcycles. If anyone would like to give a talk or should anyone know of anyone who may be willing to give a talk on any interesting subject, and not necessarily being restricted to motorbikes, then please advise the committee.

Other matters

As Graham Holcombe and Oscar Frieslaar had attended all of our club nights over the past 18 months at least and also many of our events during 2018 they were given a SNOC polo shirt as appreciation of their enthusiasm and support.

Graham Holcombe thanked the club for the polo shirts and said that he does not own or ride a bike let alone a Norton but that he came along one night to support Oscar who has a 650SS (laid up in his garage but hopefully it will be re commissioned by Ken) and he found the club so friendly that he joined, so well done club members for being so nice and friendly and long may that continue.

The committee wishes you all an excellent Xmas and a Happy New Year and also very safe riding in 2019.

Alan Ford and his Wall of Death Talk on 10 October 2018

Alan with Surrey Branch members at the Stepping Stones pub at Westhumble

Surrey Section with Alan Ford and his Wall of Death Talk on 10 October 2018


The Surrey section welcomed Alan Ford to our clubroom to give us a talk on his experiences of the Wall of Death. Alan explained that he had never seen a Norton motorcycle being used on the wall. Alan had raced a Norton and he had managed a first place. He used to work at Edwards a motorcycle dealer as a mechanic. He also has written books about the Wall of Death, and about the history of the WoD. These books on this subject were on display and our members could buy any of his books.


He went to the Epsom fair where he saw a Wall of Death, and he was racing a Triton at BMSEE. When he first saw the WoD, he was enthralled by it. By that time, he was working as a mechanic for D.H.Barrett in Redhill. He used a BSA Bantam that did not work on the wall. He built up his own special bikes to practice with on the WoD. He built a BSA Bantam to ride on the wall with his own design of frame. He even used a pedal bike to ride on the wall. He worked for an owner who owned a Globe of Death. He only ever used it the once and it was a bit of an odd ride he said.  Alan then bought his own WoD. BSA built them two special bikes to use on the wall.


Alan Ford used to run the Epsom and the Dorking auto-jumbles. Alan showed us many pictures of WoD’s in many countries to illustrate his very interesting and informative talk. He also explained about the history of the WoD and all those that had gone before him, as well as all the stories connected with this type of entertainment. The Indian V twins being the most popular and best bikes to ride on the WoD he told us. Alan also told us that most of the riders ended up with Emphysema, due to all the two stroke and four stroke exhaust fumes from the engines inside the these very confined spaces. Alan him self has this condition due to the many years of riding the WoD. Alan is also a safety inspector for the WoD’s that operate through out the country. He also explained that when they are constructed at where they are going to operate, they have to be constructed with very accurate measurements. If this were not done then the WoD would have many inaccuracies when it is up, and this could prove fatal to the riders.


The Surrey section also welcomed a new member to our section, Ian Gilbert, who owns a 1933 50 single that he had bought about a month previously. Ian was engaged in many conversations with our members who have a huge amount of experience with these bikes.


We at the Surrey section were totally enthralled with Alan’s talk, and his expertise on the subject and his amazing riding experiences. We would like to say a huge thank you to him for coming along and giving us this talk. Also a huge thank you to Simon Smith who brought along the projector and the screen for Alan to display all the pictures to illustrate his talk with. A huge thank you also to Mike Duffell, as Mike is a close friend of Alan Ford, and Mike asked Alan to come along and give us this talk.


Anthony Curzon, Surrey section press officer.

Alan Ford, centre with his wife, and Mike Duffell, right.

Alan’s books, available to purchase!



Mike Jackson Talk on 13 June 2018

Mike with the Surrey Branch members at The Stepping Stones pub, Westhumble.



Surrey Section, Mike Jackson Talk on 13 June 2018


The Surrey Section welcomed our President Mike Jackson to our clubroom on 13 June 2018 and there were 34 Surrey sections members and a guest who came along for his talk. Mike began with showing us a poster from the Barstow to Las Vegas desert race with 3200 riders participating in this event. He then went on to explain to us about desert racing, its history and how it had all started. There is a Smoke Bomb he said that was made up of a pile of old car tyres, and every one had to head for that. Mike explained the reason there was so much dust at the start of the film, in the desert racing section, On Any Sunday, was due to a helicopter that was filming and being so low to film the start of the event that it stirred up all that dust that the riders had to race through.


Then it ended in Las Vegas and riders were still coming in to Caesars Palace many hours after the race had been won. They were cleaning off their bikes in the fountains, and on one side of the road with the limos and all the people looking at this peculiar spectacle-taking place. This was the event’s nighttime HQ at Caesar’s Palace Hotel, long after the race had officially finished. This was moved to Caesars Palace after dark, if the riders finished at Caesars Palace, they never were placed.  This Mike put in for my own benefit, as I am very interested in the desert-racing scene in District 37, Mojave Desert from the 1940’s through to the 1970’s.


Mike was with Norton for 15 years, and he joined AJS and Norton in 1969 after six very happy years with Greeves Motorcycles in Essex. The assembly of bikes was at Andover with the engines and gearboxes being built at Wolverhampton. After a few months, he upset the CEO as he was doing what he had done at Greeves, and he was forced in to a transfer to Norton Villiers Corporation, NVC. He was moved to the NVC facility in Long Beach, in California. Mike joined Norton Villiers at Andover on 1st May 1969 in the position of AJS European Sales manager. Bob Mans was the long-serving UK sales manager for Norton, and he moved from Plumstead to Andover at that time. Where after Mike and Bob shared an office for the next 11 months. During this period, Mike rode and learned about the Commando’s. Bob Manns never worked in the USA. When Mike returned to the UK, by then the company was known as Norton Villiers Europe and he was appointed the sales manager. After this, he was appointed director for AJS and Norton for all of Europe. At that point, Bob Manns was appointed to the vital role of Chief Test Rider.


Bob Manns, who later became the chief test rider at Norton Villiers, was the UK Sales Manager, Mike shared, an office space with Bob when he returned to Andover. He took the Commando sales job and he had only ever ridden six road bikes when he went to Norton Villiers and he clearly had a lot to learn, when he went over to the Commando side. Mike was primarily an off road rider and racer. All this time Norton was a very small company in North America and the Berliner Motor Corporation were the sole distributor and importer of Norton’s and they also had many other brands Pirelli, Metzeler, Moto Guzzi, Ducati, Zundapp, and Sachs of bikes and products that they also sold along side Norton. Joe Berliner assumed the importation of Norton’s after an agreement was reached with Bert Hopwood after AMC had refused to let Norton’s be sold though their importer the Indian Corporation. In about 1962, Joe Berliner then took over from the Indian Corporation as the main importer of AMC’s products.


Norton in the 1950’s was a small company in North America as well as in the UK and Bracebridge Street only employed about 150 personnel, and they always managed to punch above their weight. While over 1500 worked at Triumph at Meriden, and the workforce at Small Heath for BSA was around 5000 employees. Norton’s sent bikes direct from their UK factory to Berliners three warehouses, in New jersey, Texas, and Washington. After which these bikes were sold to the 13 distributors who then freighted the bikes to their appointed dealers in the stated in which they traded. Norton only once exceed 10,000 Commando’s in one single year of which 4500 bikes went to the North America, and 4000 bikes went to Europe. Dennis Poore negotiated seven states away from the Berliner who were was located at Hasbrouck Heights in the state of New Jersey, so NVC (Norton Villiers Corporation) sold to their own dealers and they then had control of their own dealers. By an agreed contract Berliner (with 43 states) had to purchase the same quantity of Commandos as NVC who had seven states. The Berliners had agreed to buy as many Commandos’ as did NVC in Long Beach. So if Long Beach in California sold many Commandos’ so did the Berliners, sell many Commandos.


In 1971, Mike did a six-week tour of all their new dealers of the smaller ones of which these were known as Mom & Pop dealers. By 1970 Norton were producing 7 to 8000 bikes. The Roadster out sold the Fastback as the Americans just did not understand the Fastbacks concept, so the Commando Roadster was Norton’s bestseller. The tooling for the new front disc brake cost Norton £30,000 from Lockheed, as this was before the Combat debacle the Combat debacle turned around and bit Norton hard. Against the advice of the design personnel Dennis Poore pushed for the Combat engine to be installed in the Commandos. Mike Jackson completed his 2-year USA stint and he returned to the UK in the middle of the Combat engine crisis. Dennis Poore took the blame for the Combat engine crisis. The 850cc Commando saved Norton and over 20,000 bikes were produced. Mean while the Japanese had increased their market for motorcycles so Norton sold more bikes.


Mike then showed us some of his Norton Girl posters. In 1968 Dennis Poore did a research tour of the USA in 1968, where after the inside of the cover of both publications was “booked” by Dennis Poore, “ in perpetuity” of Cycle and Cycle World for over four years. Honda had tried to get that cover but the magazines did not let Honda have it. Norton photo sessions used to consume two days to complete, and they used to have an engineer in attendance with different petrol tank colours and side covers to change the bikes colours. During a Formula 750 race meeting, Bob Trigg and Mike Jackson went for a walk around the car park at Laguna Seca to look at what were then being ridden and the bike fashions at that time. Many of them were choppers so Bob Trigg sketched out the Hi Rider bike. 100 Hi Riders were made but only 50 were sold and the other 50 bikes were converted to Roadsters. In 1970 Norton’s were offering seven different colours for their bikes. Dennis Poore was very closely involved in Norton’s advertising. In Mike’s 6-week 3500-mile tour of all Norton dealers to the west of the Mississippi, he visited every smaller, rural dealers the Mom & Pop type.  Bill Colhuhoun flew to between the large cities and called on the bigger shops. Mike’s company transport was a 5.7 litre, or a 350ci V8 Chevrolet Camaro, with a trailer towed behind the Camaro. At a time when a US gallon of petrol cost about 30 cents and the bank gave you $2.40 for every pound sterling you gave them. Talk about Paradise lost said Mike. The orders were sent either by post or by telephone.


All the Commando posters were taken from the drive side, and this was because the photographer took one side and then stuck with it. This state of affairs was not picked up on until much later on.


The Norton Villiers take over of Triumph with government promises and this is what broke Norton. Norton Villiers had many orders for the Triumph Trident models and due to the blockade and this is what cost Norton so dear. They were selling Norton, Triumphs together and there was a promotion at that time, and they were giving £75 for every Triumph Trident sold. The pictures that they took for publicity purposes were staged on cobblestones and to get the shot the cobblestones were flooded. The pictures were taken out side the public house The Prospect of Whitby that is in Wapping, or East London. The staff at Norton Villiers Triumph called the NVT logo the tadpole as it was not received very well or actual liked by the personnel at NVT.


An error in those inside cover pictures was never rectified. This was to picture the Commando from the near side, but no one ever noticed or mentioned this mild mistake at the time. Only about 30-production racing Commando’s or the Yellow Peril were constructed in 1970. Rex Butcher and Norman White won the Thruxton 500 production Race on a PR Norton.


Norton at Bracebridge Street from the late 1940 has or in 20 years only constructed about 35,000 twins and Norton was a very small producer of motorcycles. Mike showed us many of the Norton posters that had come from the factory. He also showed us a low cost advert for Phil Read’s 4th place at Daytona. Geoff Duke joined Norton as a scrambler tester and he won the Victory Trial, and Mike displayed to us this poster. Mike brought along many of these factory posters that the company had thrown away and had one of his colleagues put them on to hard board so that they could be shown and preserved much better.


Mike’s talk was an amazing insight into the workings of Norton and from the perspective of the management’s side of the company’s workings. All those that came along were enthralled by Mike who has such a commanding presence and he delivered his talk with such an amazing carefree attitude that made his story of all those years he worked for the company come to life before our very eyes. Mike explained that he must have had the very best job in the whole of British industry at that time; as he said himself, “flogging Commandos during the week, then racing in the desert on a sweet running AJS Stormer every weekend”. If you have, the book that was written by, Don Morley titled Classic British Scramblers then look on page 32, and there is Mike Jackson racing an AJS Stormer. The caption explains “The American’s, at least took to the AJS Stormer and used it as a desert racer. Here Andover Norton director Mike Jackson, the AJS man in the states, leads the annual Barstow to Las Vegas race” The above statement as shown on page 32-33 of Don Morley book Classic British Scramblers is incorrect. He was lying 185th at the first Pit Stop, (40 miles from the start) and he was not leading the Barstow of Las Vegas desert race. He finally got up to 14th place at the end, and there were 3200 starters.


The Surrey section would like to extend a huge thank you to Mike for his talk and his presentation and that evening was such an amazing and enjoyable experience for all those that came along to experience it. For all those that could not come along to Mike’s talk you missed an amazing experience, which was an event not to have been missed.


Anthony Curzon

Surrey Section Press Officer

One of many of Mikes ‘Lantern Slides’ used to punctuate and illustrate his entertaining and informative presentation.




South of England Classic Bike Show, Ardingly, 28 October 2018

Surrey section at the show, from left to right, Malcolm King, Ken Rawlinson, Max Groves, Chris Barraclough, John Blades and Simon Smith

The Surrey section’s line up of bikes.


Surrey Section at the Ardingly South of England Classic Bike Show 28 October 2018


The Surrey section represented the NOC at the South of England Classic Bike show on the 28 October 2018 at the Ardingly South of England Showground. The show in October was a very special event as it had a very special guest, Colin Seeley celebrating 80 years of AMC. There was a question and answer special event at 11.30am in the Stockman’s Building with Colin Seeley and many former AMC employees. The Q&A session was hosted by Brian Crichton the former editor of Classic Bike magazine. The ex AMC employees, included, Bill and Bob Cakebread, Alan Jones, Bill Brooker, and Les Apps and Ray Lightfoot. They all spoke of their time at AMC in Plumstead, and how much they had enjoyed their time working for this motorcycle company. Bob Cakebread went on to work for Colin Seeley and it was Bob who designed that monocoque chassis for the Suzuki two stroke TR500 twin engine that Barry Sheene rode and tested for Colin Seeley. Les Apps being a very good design engineer and draughtsman, who also won many awards for his drawings. Les made sure that the small nut that bolted the Amal carbs to the inlet manifolds on the Commando always had the flat of the nut parallel to the cylinder head sides. Alan Jones also spoke about all the bikes he rode tested and that he had covered nearly 1.5 million miles on over 60 different models of bikes, when he was a road tester at AMC. Bill Booker was also a road tester and he was with Alan when they were testing the Commando frames at Chobham in Surrey and trying to break them. Ray Lightfoot was a road tester at AMC and he is the rider shown on the silver version of the Matchless G15CS sales brochure.


Bill Cakebread talked about his two books that he had written and talked about his time at AMC. Bill was also part of the design team that worked on the ill-fated P10 OHC twin prototype project. Out side, there was this continuous noise from owners starting their bikes, making those that were speaking hard to hear what they had to say. One was continuously straining ones ears to hear. Also at this event, Bill Cakebread introduced the grandson of Charlie Collier, the one time owner of AMC, who came along to listen to this very fascinating and interesting talk. Those who lived near to the factory called the company locally The Colliers. This I found out when speaking to a woman who remembered the factory and this is what she called it, when they were a huge company in Plumstead.


There was also the Fire up Paddock at 10.30am and 1.30pm. This included hearing Barry Sheene’s Seeley Monocoque, and the tube framed Suzuki TR500’s, with Seeley, Mark 3 G50 and many other models were fired up for those that attended this event. The Fire up Paddock was out side the Queens Jubilee Show Hall.


The day did not start that well as not soon, after I got the bike out and onto the drive, then the heaven’s opened and it started to rain very heavily. This is not conducive to a good ride down to the Ardingly show. Getting all my wet gear on and then the bike was reluctant to start. It finally did and off I went, as riding in the rain is some thing I really do not like to do. When I got to the other side of Blindley Heath, the rain almost stopped and then past the Mormon Temple it stopped all together. I finally arrived at Ardingly and put a very wet bike on to our show stand.


Due to the AMC celebration, the Surrey section had to erect our stand by the rear large main door entrance.


The following members of the Surrey section, brought along their bikes to be displayed on our stand.


Chris Barraclough: Norton 19S 600cc single

John Blades: 850cc Commando Interstate

Ken Rawlinson: 1965 Norton 650ss

Dave Gibson: Norton International M40 Long Stroke

Max Groves: Norton Manx Model 40

Max Groves: Norton 750cc Atlas

Malcolm King: Norton 750cc Atlas

Simon Smith: Commando 750cc Roadster

Anthony Curzon: 1968 Norton 750ss


The weather must have kept many visitors away as it was not that good in the morning. The day did brighten up, we had many visitors, and membership enquires to our stand. Many of our visitors had enquires about their own bikes, as well as the usually questions about those in the classic industry who could supply them with good services that they could use. Phil Hannam had a stall selling his parts at this show for his not now required Norton spares, and he always seemed to have a crowd around his stall. This may also have been due to his very in-depth knowledge of the Norton twins as well as their owners need for parts for their restorations.


The Surrey section did not this time at this event, were not awarded any trophies, for our bikes or our stand, and the best stand was awarded to the AJS & MOC.


Julie Diplock and her team do an amazing job of organising this outstanding event. The Ardingly Classic Bike Show is always a memorable and brilliant event. For more on all Elk Promotions events see their web site  The Surrey section would like to thank Julie and all her team for all their efforts on our behalf.


The Surrey section with a huge amount of help and input from Julie Diplock of Elk Promotions will be organising a 70th Anniversary celebration of the Norton Dominator twin. This event will be taking place on the 31 March 2019 at Ardingly, the South of England Showground. We are hoping to be able to get as many different variations of the Dominator for display on to our stand. Therefore, if you have a Dominator twin no matter what model please contact Elk Promotions and you can display your bike on the Surrey sections stand.


Simon Smith brought along the Surrey section’s gazebo, as well as keeping us all supplied with tea and coffee, as well as the required biscuits. This being some thing we all required as the passing day was not that warm. Mike Duffell managed to be able to come along and he was made very welcome as he is still recovering from a very nasty accident he sustained in his house.


The Surrey section would like to give a massive thank you to all those that came along and displayed their bikes. To Simon Smith our huge thanks as always, for always being there for us all by bringing along all the equipment for our very successful display.


Anthony Curzon Press Officer, Surrey Section

Dave Gibson, Simon Smith and Max Groves with Dave Gibson’s International Norton.

Simon Smith with his yellow Commando Roadster, Tony Curzon’s Norton 750ss street scrambler, and Malcolm King’s Norton Atlas.


Surrey Section Talk on the 12 September 2018 by Peter Ashley about his Café Racer

Surrey Section Talk on the 12 September 2018 by Peter Ashley about his Café Racer and its many Incarnations over a Thirty-Year Period.


Peter Ashley’s Norton ES2 has been rebuilt more than six times and each time it has been improved and made to work and ride so much better than the last time. It is still 500cc and it is still a very recognisable Norton ES2 Norton single. His objective was to build a bomb proof Isle of Man bike; and it had to be better and faster than his friend’s Velocette.

It all began with a Wideline featherbed frame, bought in 1982 from Birkenhead. With a blown-up Commando Interpol donor bike from Reg Allen it soon became a CRMC F750 race bike.

Having retired from club racing the engine was removed in 2000 to power his brother’s road going Commando. The empty rolling chassis was begging for a 500 single and further development. So, what to keep, what to discard, and what to modify? Peter showed us a very long list of all that had been changed in his quest for speed and reliability. He then offered any one a pint who could find a part on the whole bike that was still as it came from the factory.

The forks have Lansdowne dampers, and one side controls rebound and the other controls compression. It uses a Suzuki four leading shoe front brake from a water-cooled Suzuki GT750, nick-named the Kettle. Dresda supplied the swinging arm, and the rear wheel is Commando with the Cush drive in the rear hub because the Commando clutch, unlike earlier models, does not have one. The frame has Timken taper roller bearing, or 30205’s, in the steering head and it has a Quaife five speed gearbox. It is geared for 110MPH pulling just short of this with no fairing.

The crankshaft was made from scratch by Alpha Bearings with a stroke of 86mm, balanced to 68%. This makes the engine shorter stroke than the 350cc Model 50. The bike will cruise at 90 mph all day long. The engine may well need a Carrillo con rod in the not too distant future.

The barrel was machined from a bare LM5 casting and Nikasil treated, needing no steel liner. There are only eight fins (9 are standard for an ES2 and a Model 19 has 11!). It weighs 2.1 Kgs, saving 3.5kg on the standard item. Piston to bore clearance is minimal and the short-stroke engine uses very little oil.  The top of the barrel has pockets for O rings on the oil return from the head, and these are the only gaskets in the entire oil-tight engine.

The piston is an 86mm slipper piston from a bevel drive Ducati 900SS, making the engine perfectly square. The valve pockets are milled for the slightly larger 90 degree stem angles. The cylinder head began life as a standard Norton part in the early 1960’s. Extensive welding has improved the combustion chamber, inlet tract and head steady.

Smaller diameter valve stems allow smaller diameter guides and therefore occupy less of the inlet and exhaust ports. With less reciprocating mass, smaller and lighter valve springs are fitted. Rockers are polished, lightened and shimmed to replace the standard Thackery spring washers. Offset pushrod buttons increase the lift from the cams.

Peter explained that the Commando clutch is an extraordinary piece of design and copes faultlessly with the abuse necessary to get the best from a tall geared single. With an extra plain plate, the action is light.  Peter then went on to say that the the Commando’s clutch spring does not obey Hook’s Law, so it is important to set the clutch bite pressure at the easiest lift point. Previous attempts to improve clutch action included modifying the clutch cam and removing some radial fingers from the diaphragm, but these were not effective.

The excellent but expensive Quaife five speed cluster probably added the most to the bikes rideability. It is fitted into the standard Norton casting and built to give a one up, four down box. The kick started mechanism was removed long ago when racing as a F750 in the 1980’s so it is a run and bump every time. Peter showed a video clip of starting the bike in the IOM, bumping the ES2 into life for it to make such a glorious sound as headed off down the road which we recognised as the venue for the Ramsey Sprint.

Peter then went onto explain to us all how to find a perfect TDC and set the permanently attached degree disc so that ignition and valve timing can be developed more easily.

Four cam profiles have been used over the years. The original Norton cams were replaced with Joy cams, followed by a special half race profile developed with, and built by, Newman Cams. Finally, full race cams were supplied by Mike Pemberton, who has also undertaken much of the recent cylinder head work.

The ignition is an independent self-energising electronic unit supplied by Tony Harris the then owner of BTH, who coincidentally also supplied the bare LM5 cylinder casting. Ignition timing is set at 35 degrees BTDC. An alternator powers the lights and the horn with a solid-state regulator in place of the original Zenner diode and silicon rectifier. A Lucas 2MC capacitor sits in the circuit where the battery should be.

The bike has a very small frontal area; the foot rests are mounted on the swinging arm pivots and clip-ons are fitted below the top yoke. Leathers are essential not only to reduce drag, but to ensure you don’t expose your kidneys and natal cleft to the Velo behind! (This is what the great engineer Peter Williams did when he made the JPN Norton’s so competitive in the 1970’s. This is also how Moto Guzzi managed to make their own single cylinder racers so much faster and very competitive.) The bike has a Manx Norton front screen and retains the IOM Scrutineers stickers from many visits.

The “speedo” is an electronic recording device, calibrated to within 1%. During the VMCC Rally closed lap it recorded a top speed of 107MPH on the Mountain Mile with only a fly screen and number plate. The bike weighs143Kg and produces about 40BHP at the back wheel. So, yes, it is much faster than his friends Velocette!


We are all grateful for the support from John Blades and Mike Duffell who brought and set up the projector and sound system, stepping in for Simon Smith who is on holiday.

A warm welcome from the Branch to John Summerfield, a newcomer who has just bought a 1928 Model 18 Norton single! We hope to see the two of them on our stand at the many shows that the Surrey section attends. The Surrey section always welcomes new members to our club room. John was in deep discussion about his new bike with Dave Cooper another of our very well informed members who knows so much about the single cylinder Norton’s.

Can we all at the Surrey section give a huge amount of thanks to the brilliant Peter Ashley for a very memorable night’s talk, and those that could not attend you missed an incredible talk by a very talented engineer and all-round wonderful man. One would suspect that Peter has a degree in some specific engineering field, but alas he does not, as I asked him what his degree that he had was for. His reply was that it was in Biology which makes what he has achieved with the building and modifying of this ES2 even more of a remarkable achievement.


Anthony Curzon: Press Officer for the Surrey Section


Peter in action on the Isle of Man!

polished and shimmed rockers

Head with 13″ inlet tract

Ducati slipper piston

Lightweight alloy head with Nikasil bore

The ES2 in its original Commando incarnation

Peter with branch members

ES2 fly screen with scrutineering stickers





Surrey Section Ride Out to Jacks Café on 5 September 2018

Surrey Section Ride Out to Jacks Café on 5 September 2018


The Surrey section met at Rykas for another ride out to Jacks Café on Wednesday 5 September. We meant to have left at 10.30am but we had to wait for other members to arrive. The weather that night had not been that good as it had been raining very heavily so it may have nearly been called off. I left at about 8.45am and filling up the Norton Atlas Scrambler’s petrol tank in South Croydon it only took me about forty minutes to get to Rykas. The rain did appear on the way through Banstead but it soon receded and then the day started to brighten up.

Those that came were

John Blades 1974 Norton Mk2A Interstate

Chris Barraclough 1940 Norton 16H

Ken Rawlinson 1966 Norton 650ss

Simon Smith 1972 Norton Commando Roadster

Anthony Curzon 1963 Norton Atlas Scrambler desert racer

We had two guests that came along, with Ken Rawlinson,

Graham Cooper and Ron Shiells



John Blades was our ride leader on his Commando and we used the drop off system going there and back. We all stopped of at Newlands Corner as I had never been there before and I wanted to go so John Blades took us all via the A25 then up the A247 to Chobham, and then onto Camberley, and then the A30  and Jacks Café.

There we all had fish and chips sat a while and then looked at all the bikes that had come along on the day. The weather did get so much hotter and Simon Smith took the liner out of his jacket it had got that hot. We also met Max Groves who had also turned up as he does not live that far from Jacks Café. Those that needed extra petrol filled up again, and then we all left for Huber’s Garage on the way back. John Blades took us all through the back lanes and riding behind Chris Barraclough brought home to me how good Norton bikes handled and how good Norton’s were at building really good frames for their bikes. It was like watching poetry in motion with Chris riding the corners. John’s Interstate developed a rather bad smoking problem with the right had exhaust emitting large volumes of blue exhaust smoke. The old joke being behind an Ariel Arrow from the 1960’s came to mind.

Once at Huber’s Garage we decided to see what ails John Interstate. So out came the spark plug spanner, and a check of the spark plugs. One of them the right hand side had a huge chunk of carbon on it, and John took a picture of it. A quick clean of both spark plugs, and then checking the gaps, and then a check of the carburettors mixtures. Both mixture screws were too far in so we screwed them one and a half turns out and it did help. John then proceeded home as Graham and Ron had left us at Jacks Café. Ken, Simon I rode back down the A25, and then Simon left us and Ken and I rode onto South Croydon. It was a great day out and John Blades does an amazing job as a ride leader. He had given us all maps in case any of us had got lost.


Anthony Curzon: Press Officer Surrey Section




Other Upcoming Events

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Club Night – CANCELLED until fur... @ The Stepping Stones PH
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We’ve Moved! – Come and find us at our new Meeting venue of ‘The Stepping Stones’ in West Humble – just down from Ryka’s near Box Hill. It’s still the 2nd Wednesday of each month[...]
7:45 pm Club Night – CANCELLED until fur... @ The Stepping Stones PH
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Club Night - CANCELLED until further notice due to COVID-19 @ The Stepping Stones PH | Westhumble | United Kingdom
We’ve Moved! – Come and find us at our new Meeting venue of ‘The Stepping Stones’ in West Humble – just down from Ryka’s near Box Hill. It’s still the 2nd Wednesday of each month[...]
7:45 pm Club Night – CANCELLED until fur... @ The Stepping Stones PH
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May 12 @ 7:45 pm – 10:45 pm
Club Night - CANCELLED until further notice due to COVID-19 @ The Stepping Stones PH | Westhumble | United Kingdom
We’ve Moved! – Come and find us at our new Meeting venue of ‘The Stepping Stones’ in West Humble – just down from Ryka’s near Box Hill. It’s still the 2nd Wednesday of each month[...]
7:45 pm Club Night – CANCELLED until fur... @ The Stepping Stones PH
Club Night – CANCELLED until fur... @ The Stepping Stones PH
Jun 9 @ 7:45 pm – 10:45 pm
Club Night - CANCELLED until further notice due to COVID-19 @ The Stepping Stones PH | Westhumble | United Kingdom
We’ve Moved! – Come and find us at our new Meeting venue of ‘The Stepping Stones’ in West Humble – just down from Ryka’s near Box Hill. It’s still the 2nd Wednesday of each month[...]
7:45 pm Club Night – CANCELLED until fur... @ The Stepping Stones PH
Club Night – CANCELLED until fur... @ The Stepping Stones PH
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Club Night - CANCELLED until further notice due to COVID-19 @ The Stepping Stones PH | Westhumble | United Kingdom
We’ve Moved! – Come and find us at our new Meeting venue of ‘The Stepping Stones’ in West Humble – just down from Ryka’s near Box Hill. It’s still the 2nd Wednesday of each month[...]
7:45 pm Club Night – CANCELLED until fur... @ The Stepping Stones PH
Club Night – CANCELLED until fur... @ The Stepping Stones PH
Aug 11 @ 7:45 pm – 10:45 pm
Club Night - CANCELLED until further notice due to COVID-19 @ The Stepping Stones PH | Westhumble | United Kingdom
We’ve Moved! – Come and find us at our new Meeting venue of ‘The Stepping Stones’ in West Humble – just down from Ryka’s near Box Hill. It’s still the 2nd Wednesday of each month[...]
7:45 pm Club Night – CANCELLED until fur... @ The Stepping Stones PH
Club Night – CANCELLED until fur... @ The Stepping Stones PH
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Club Night - CANCELLED until further notice due to COVID-19 @ The Stepping Stones PH | Westhumble | United Kingdom
We’ve Moved! – Come and find us at our new Meeting venue of ‘The Stepping Stones’ in West Humble – just down from Ryka’s near Box Hill. It’s still the 2nd Wednesday of each month[...]
7:45 pm Club Night – CANCELLED until fur... @ The Stepping Stones PH
Club Night – CANCELLED until fur... @ The Stepping Stones PH
Oct 13 @ 7:45 pm – 10:45 pm
Club Night - CANCELLED until further notice due to COVID-19 @ The Stepping Stones PH | Westhumble | United Kingdom
We’ve Moved! – Come and find us at our new Meeting venue of ‘The Stepping Stones’ in West Humble – just down from Ryka’s near Box Hill. It’s still the 2nd Wednesday of each month[...]
7:45 pm Club Night – CANCELLED until fur... @ The Stepping Stones PH
Club Night – CANCELLED until fur... @ The Stepping Stones PH
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Club Night - CANCELLED until further notice due to COVID-19 @ The Stepping Stones PH | Westhumble | United Kingdom
We’ve Moved! – Come and find us at our new Meeting venue of ‘The Stepping Stones’ in West Humble – just down from Ryka’s near Box Hill. It’s still the 2nd Wednesday of each month[...]
7:45 pm Club Night – CANCELLED until fur... @ The Stepping Stones PH
Club Night – CANCELLED until fur... @ The Stepping Stones PH
Dec 8 @ 7:45 pm – 10:45 pm
Club Night - CANCELLED until further notice due to COVID-19 @ The Stepping Stones PH | Westhumble | United Kingdom
We’ve Moved! – Come and find us at our new Meeting venue of ‘The Stepping Stones’ in West Humble – just down from Ryka’s near Box Hill. It’s still the 2nd Wednesday of each month[...]