Surrey Branch at the Ardingly Classic Bike show 23 October 2016

Surrey section at the Ardingly Classic Bike show 23 October 2016

The Surrey Branch had a stand at the 23 October 2016 South of England Classic Bike Show at the South of England show ground at Ardingly in West Sussex. We also hosted the Norton 961’s who’s owners arrived and displayed six bikes and these included three of our members, Steven Eccleshall, Phil Hamann, and Mike Petryszyn on his really stunning black 2010 961, as well as Steven Eccleshall also amazing red and silver painted 961. Phil Hamann displayed his own 961 with the petrol tank and seat unit removed so that those that came to the show could see what was underneath and see the rest of the bike. This display was organized by Phil Hamann and Graham Le Blond and Julie Diplock allowed us to add this display of the later products of Norton Motors Ltd. We passed onto the Norton 961 our own 961 display picture that we normally have displayed behind our own bike display. The interest generated by these few bikes was tremendous and huge numbers of visitors stopped to examine, photograph and ask questions about them. The crowds were often 3 to 4 deep for hours making the taking of a photograph of the whole six bikes nearly impossible.

 

Graham Le Blond and Phil Hamann organised the display for the Ardingly event when they originally asked eight owners if they would like to display their respective 961’s. Most of those invited were 961 owners who had got together at a meeting at Boxhill, during the Brighton Pioneer Run in February. One of the original owners they had asked along had sold his bike during the year. Another of the owners who was asked to come along to the event with his 961 could not bring it as it was still in the Norton Motors service department so it could not be put on to display. This was the first time that such a display of this many 961’s has been on display any where in the county so this was another first for the Surrey section to be involved with.

 

A visitor to the Norton 961 display was one Richard Pearce who took a ten week road trip from Canada through America and covered 8500 miles to raise funds for the Prince of Wales Royal Regiment. Richard brought along a picture of this epic trip that he displayed behind the array of stunning 961’s. Richard was very keen to be part of the show but his bike ended up being impounded by the US authorities following an epic US coast to coast journey. However he turned up, in person, along with a diary and photos of his 2016 trans-USA ride.

 

I rode my Norton prototype Unified Twin long with my friend Andy Neal who rode my 1970 yellow Commando Roadster to the event. We had left at 8:15am on Sunday morning to a huge amount of fog in Selsdon and this made riding to Ardingly a difficult ride. It did eventually clear when we got out onto the A22 and onto South Godstone, but it was very cold and the fields were covered in frost. The Unified Twin went well apart from some ignition fault when pulling away, but we cruised along at about 40 to 50 mph and it was very smooth bopping along with the breeze that happened to be some very cold air. It was really cold and as the U/T had a reputation for seizing it was better to be that cold than warm, but Richard Negus did a brilliant job of rebuilding that engine, and as Richard has now informed me we are now in the development stage of the Unified Twin’s rebuild.

 

We both arrived at Ardingly and Julie Diplock’s staff and all her helpers do an amazing job and all those that came to display their bikes had a very easy access to the event. The Surrey section’s stand was a hive of activity with our very own Chris Barraclough in charge of assembling the podium that my Unified Twin was going to be displayed on. The rest of the stands display was all up and running and the bikes assembled for display well with in time before those that came to see the show arrived. Our own Simon Smith brought along all the stand equipment, and Mike Duffel brought the kettle the water as well as the tea and coffee for us all. With the chairs laid out and with 11 bikes assembled and on display with the Unified Twin up on the podium our stand rocked it.

 

Our stand was very busy all day with a huge amount of visitor’s and with many admirers of the factory prototype. Many were actually touching it because they could not believe that it was actually real, and that it had actually been ridden there and not been transported via a van.  The stand was full of visitors asking many and varied questions about the bikes on display, their own purchases and bike restoration questions. The Norton 961 display also attracted many visitors’ who asked a huge amount of questions concerning the six bikes on display. We had ten bikes on display on our stand. There were many enquires to join us also where our club room was and where we all met during the month.

 

Those that brought along their Norton 961 bikes for display are as follows 

 

Steve Eccleshall

Graham Le Blond

Terry Woods

Phil Hamann

Paul Hailey

Mike Petryszyn, the nice black one

 

Those that brought along their bikes to display on our stand were as follows

 

Geoff Cole              1968 750cc Commando

Andy Neal              1970 750cc Commando Roadster

Ken Rawlinson     1967 650ss Dominator

Alan Throssell       1957 600cc Dominator 99

Malcolm King         1965 750cc Atlas

Chris Barraclough            1960 600cc Dominator 99 café racer

Mike Duffell                       1953 350cc ex Des Craig Model 40 Manx Norton

Patrick Bulimore     1971 750cc Commando Fastback

Dave Gibson            1949 500cc ES2

Anthony Curzon     1961/2 650cc Norton Unified Twin factory prototype

 

To all those that came along and brought their bikes for display, to Simon Smith and Mike Duffell for the stands equipment and hot drinks, we all extend our thanks. To Chris Barraclough for always being able to remember how to put together the display podium, and the tireless work rate of all those that attended this event from the Surrey section. To all the Norton 961 owners we thank you for your display and your help with our stand, we all rocked it totally and good roads to you all.

 

Anthony Curzon

Press officer Surrey section

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