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 www.elk-promotions.co.uk  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.

 

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