VMCC South Durham

The South Durham Section of the Vintage Motorcycle Club

Archive Monthly Newsletters

June 2017

The riding season is now well underway. Events in May included the Wetherby Run which was attended by 5 from the section.

The Quaker weekend was well-attended, with 41 entrants in the main Sunday run, and was up to the usual high standard of organisation and enjoyment. Thanks go to Brian and the family Porteous and their able support team. Results are posted here but a special mention to overall winner Gerry Bear with Kelvin McNeish and Brian Smith being second and third.

The Lakeland section Back Green Rally was well supported by South Durham with rain on the Saturday not spoiling enjoyment of the superb Lakeland roads and scenery.

The results of trial at Over Silton are posted in the trials link with a five-way tie, with no marks lost, suggesting an easier than normal event or a great improvement in feet-up ability.

There are two evening runs in June. The social run and concours, organised by Dave Headon, starting from the Chequers Inn at Dalton on Tees at 6-00pm on 6th and, on 20th, we have Eric’s Evening Excursion. This starts from the village Hall at Dalton and regs. are available from Eric or by download from this page.

The big upcoming event is the Beamish Reliability Run on 18th starting, of course, from the Beamish Museum. Along day out, particularly if riding to and from Beamish.

A host of events take place in July which are itemised in the calendar with the Northumbrian Gathering being the first of many. So, there’s no excuse for not getting the bikes out.

Tom Reed

May 2017

Back in April, Brian and Dennis entertained a well-attended gathering with their quiz and supper event. Most of us fell back onto the old adage that “it’s the taking part that counts” to explain our less than bright responses to the fiendish questions. Thanks Brian and Dennis and we’ll try harder next year.

The trial at Wensley was tied with Jim Jardine and Paul Deakin on zero points lost from Paul Harrison on 2 points. No doubt some sort of tie break will separate Jim and Paul before full results are posted in the trials link.

May presages the onset of the local riding season as registered in the section calendar. On Sunday 7th , the North Eastern section’s Wetherby Run beckons with some of us meeting at Great Smeaton at 09-30 for the ride down. There is no pre-registration for this event – simply turn-up and sign on.

The Quaker weekend is on 20th/21st  and is the first South Durham event of the year. David Porteous has regs. which can also be downloaded from this web page. Always a great event and we look forward to a strong entry.

View Photos

A full programme of events continues into June from all of the local VMCC sections including our two evening rides which are always enjoyable. In addition, there are many shows across the North East which have classic car and bike elements and can give great fun for the whole family. Of course, the trials championship continues throughout the year with Roy maintaining a great following.

So, there is much ahead to whet our appetites. All that is needed is sunshine and bikes that are in good fettle to see us through the summer.

Keep riding

Tom Reed

April 2017

The social side of the section continued with the domino knockout, organised by Dave Headon on 9th March, being won by Alan Hillaby with Wallace Holmes second. Well done Alan.

On 23rd , Eric demonstrated why few people live or holiday in Greenland which is the largest island on earth and consists of a vast ice-cap surrounded, in places, by a narrow periphery of unfrozen perma-frost for a few months of each year. The native Innuits have a hard existence with transport only by sea between neighbouring settlements and no motorbikes and few four-wheeled vehicles. Suddenly, Darlington doesn’t seem so bad.

Back on planet civilisation, there were 26 riders at the trial at Gilling which was won by Paul Deakin from B. Tweedy and Gary Bloodworth. Full results are in the trials link.

In April, Dennis and Brian will be taxing us with their quiz on 6th. Pies and peas will be served and ladies are, of course, most welcome to bolster our knowledge and increase the glamour of the event.

See you there.

Tom Reed 

March 2017

The days are definitely stretching out now and the morning sun is streaming through the front window. What does this mean? Yes, the bikes will soon be given an airing. However, as of now, our motorcycling fare consists of club nights, the trials scene and auto jumbles.

Accordingly, at the early club night in February, Alistair Alexander gave a slide show and talk on the Hebridean Hop – a 500 mile island- hopping jaunt on lightweight machines through the spectacular scenery of the Hebridean Islands. In addition, Alistair treat us to a history of the racing exploits of the ‘Flying Fifer’. The planned talk on the ’KTT at the Manx’ could not be given due to technical problems with the new-fangled digital equipment. We should have anticipated this as we are the vintage club after all. However, Alistair - a most personable chap -  is thanked for travelling so far for our entertainment.

Eric’s sociable quiz at the second club night was just that- sociable. It got us out of our seats to test our knowledge - or lack of it - regarding events and machines from earlier times. The quiz winner was chairman Steve Hodgson and many thanks go to Eric for his different take on the usual quiz format.

The winner of the trial at Chop Gate was Steve Ainslie from Graham Powell with Rob Green and John Sowerby tied for third place.

The March programme continues in much the same vein with both a Domino Knockout and a talk by Eric on Greenland’s Icy Mountains. Eric likes his exotic holidays although I must confess to a preference for warmer climes.

Tom Reed

February 2017

There were two social events in January. President Rod Hann presented the trophies at the awards evening for 2016 events which was held at the King’s Head Hotel in Darlington. This was generally agreed to be a much improved venue – being smart, spacious and centrally located. It was pleasing to see a full turn-out of the Porteous family who contribute so much to this annual event and no doubt enjoyed the evening as did we all.

At the club night on 26th, Jonathon Hill gave a well- researched talk and slide show on J R Moore who pioneered bicycle and motorcycle innovation and production in the early years of the last century. Complementing the talk was an early Fafnir side-valve engine and a well-constructed flat tank. One of Moore’s Dene machines resides in the Beamish Museum collection. Thanks for an enthralling evening Jonathon.

As already announced, the club night on 9th February will include a talk by Alstair Alexander on ‘tracing a bike’s history’, as well as a film ‘KTT at the Manx.’ Alistair is the area rep. for Scotland and we appreciate his visit to the South Durham Section.

At the club night on 23rd, Eric Londesbrough will organise a ‘sociable motorcycle quiz’ which promises to be a variation on the usual quiz format.

Please note that the date of the February trial at Chop Gate has been changed to 26th

Events in March are in the section calendar with happenings taking place at both club nights. Please join us.
For those that follow these things, I have now got the New Hudson running tolerably well and am only awaiting warmer weather to venture forth.

See you at club nights in the future


Tom Reed

January 2017

"The Hardy Annuals" at the start of the traditional Boxing Day Run to the Strathmore Arms at Holwick - Teesdale
Photo by Steve Hodgson
I trust that we all enjoyed a happy Christmas and Santa brought all the bike bits that we wished for – did he really?

The Christmas party was most enjoyable and thanks go to Paul, Brian, Viv and the delightful raffle ticket coercers for their help as well as to Rachel for a fine buffet. The evening was well supported by our friends from the Northumbrian section as well as our family members.

The Boxing Day run was held on a bright day with about a dozen riders facing the cold. Brian Smith, Gerry Beer and Mike Carruthers from the section rode to the lunch stop and joined the less adventurous/wiser throng in the warm of the pub at Holwick. Well done all.

The trial at Hartlepool attracted 12 entrants and was won by John Pattinson from Jim Jardine and Paul Harrison with full results being in the trials link.

There are two events of note in January. On 7th, the awards evening will be at the King’s Head Hotel in Darlington with tickets from Brian. On the same day, Club President Rod Hann will hold a meeting in York with representatives from the North East sections to discuss club affairs. Please let Steve Hodgson know of any items that you wish to be raised.

At the club night on 26th, Jon Hill will give a talk on J R Moore – Newcastle’s motorcycling pioneer. Let’s have plenty of support for this evening. Further ahead, on 9th February, Alistair Alexander will give a talk on “tracing a machine history” and show a film “KTT at the Manx” which will be of great interest to us all I’m sure.

With 2017 now here, time to access the shed, I think, and start readying the bikes for the warm weather to come. I’ve had my New Hudson running for the first time this week although more work is needed before it’s on the road.

That’s all for now. Happy New Year and see you at the King’s Head on7th.

Tom Reed

December 2016

There were some 80 attendees at the awards evening for the 2016 Beamish Trial on 20th December. Awards were presented by David Porteous and congratulations and thanks were given to winners and organisers of the trial. Well done Tom, Brian et al.

 21 entrants enjoyed the trial at Hindlethwaite which wound up the 2016 championship. The winner was Rob Green from S Dale and Jim Sowerby. Full results of this trial and the 2016 championship are in the trials link.

The section AGM was held on 1st December with the usual reports presented and accepted from officers of the committee. A pleasant change this year was that Steve Hodgson volunteered, and was accepted, to be chairman. This was a relief to Paul Feldon who stepped into the chairman’s role following the resignation of Martin Peacock last year. Dennis Marwood proposed a vote of thanks to the officers and committee for their endeavours over the last year and this was heartily endorsed by the membership present.

There are two social runs in December – on 4th starting from the Cricket club and on 26th to Teesdale.

Tickets are now available for the Christmas Party on 15th December at the Cricket Club and for the Awards Evening on 7th January, which will be held at the Mercure Kings Head Hotel in Darlington, when awards will be presented by Club President Rodney Hann. More details are given on the site home page.

On a sad note, is the news that Roy Sturgeon’s wife, Sheila, has passed away. Her funeral will be at Darlington Crematorium on Monday 5th December at 11-45 am. Condolences are given to Roy, his family and friends.

To close, can I, on behalf of your section committee, wish you and yours a happy festive period and safe riding in 2017.

November 2016

This is a somewhat shorter report this month with the riding season drawing to a close.

The anniversary Run was organised by Mike Carruthers and his team and is well reported below. However we cannot let the occasion pass without recording our thanks to all involved for a well-organised event which, despite the odd rain shower, was enjoyed by all who took part. Award winners are given in the link below.

17 riders entered the October championship trial at Braidely with the winner being M. Smith from Gary Powell and Paul Deakin. As usual, full results are in the trials link.

On 17th November, we have the awards evening for the 2016 Beamish Trial when congratulations can be given to deserving award winners  and also, most importantly, to Tom Norman and his many supporters who, once again,  did such a sterling job in delivering this year’s event.

The November championship trial will be on 20th at Hindlethwaite.

Further out, the section AGM will be on 1st December. Propositions to improve section administration, and

enjoyment,  should be in writing to the Secretary together with nominations for membership to the committee. It will be particularly pleasing to receive nominations for Chairman and Vice-chairman.

Finally, the Christmas party is scheduled for 15th December and, no doubt, tickets will soon be available.

Regards        Tom Reed   

October 2016

The Baydale Run was on 4th September organised by Bobby Robinson and family. Eleven  entrants enjoyed a sociable tour in Durham calling at the National Railway Museum in Shildon, lunch at Middridge and tea stop at Bishopton. Full results are in the link on this webpage but the winner was Dave Miller from John Robinson and Dave Headon. Thanks Bobby for a good day out.

The championship trial at Underbanks attracted 14 riders and was won by Rob Green from Paul Deakin and Steve Ainslie who decided second place on a tie break. Full results are, of course, in the trials link.

The big event in September was the Beamish Trophy Trial held on a lovely day and superbly organised again by Tom Norman and his small army of volunteer marshals from both within VMCC and the wider motorcycling fraternity. There were 130 starters on the day with only 6 failing to finish.

An examination of the results shows that riders travelled from a remarkably wide spread of the country to take part including Ayrshire, Stirlingshire and Midlothian in Scotland; Dorset, Devon and Gloucestershire in the South West; as well as Liverpool, Colne in Lancashire and Essex. Thirty makes of machine took part ranging from 1921 to 1979 with riders aged from 16 to 82. Full results will be sent to all entrants and posted on this website in the next few days. Thanks Tom and co. for a brilliant event.

The Teesside Classic Bike Show was held at Middlesbrough Motor Club with improving weather throughout the day. The South Durham section enjoyed success with 6 awards. Namely; Viv Tubby’s Rudge and Mike Hull’s Brough Superior gaining 1st and 2nd  respectively in the Vintage & Veteran class; Howard Master’s Scott Squirrel and Howard Duddles’ Francis Barnett gaining 2nd and 3rd in the Post Vintage class; and Dennis Marwood’s  Velocette and Norman Steven’s Royal Enfield gaining 2nd and 3rd in the Post War class. Thanks to all section members who supported the event.

There are two section events in the calendar in October; the Anniversary Run organised by Mike Carruthers on 9th with regs available here, and Roy’s championship trial on 16th at Braidley.

September 2016

Brian - totally distraught after receiving a half from Rachael instead of a pint. Took him the rest of the day to get over it Taken by Maz on the Baydale Run at the lunch stop at Middridge

Grassholme Reservoir on Viv's Saturday Saunter
Lunch stop at Grosmont on Brian's daytime social run
Viv’s Saunter & BBQ started August off and what a super day it was. Held on a bright and sunny day, the morning run took us, via Barnard Castle, to the lunch stop at Middleton in Teesdale where we were entertained by a summer fete and parade. The afternoon run was a mere interlude prior to the BBQ chez Tubby when Viv and Sue did us proud with king-size burgers, sausages and saladdy stuff. I understand that enjoyment continued until a late hour but my body clock precluded such late night frolicking. Thanks Viv and Sue for a super day.

There were 12 entrants at the practice trial at Scarborough which was won by Gary Powell from Rob Green and Paul Harrison. Full results are in the trials link.

Brian led a daytime social run on 17th August taking 14 riders along the picturesque Esk Valley to a coffee & pork pie stop at Danby and then to lunch at Grosmont where steam loco number 63393 was up to full pressure. On restarting, an attempt was made to take the off-road route to Beck Hole but the benign-looking ford proved to be more difficult than it looked with a couple of our chums failing to keep their machines upright. Further compounding shame, a further two dropped their machines on difficult parking conditions at Beck Hole. (And it still hurts !! MC)  Hey ho, there but for the grace of God etc. I foresee a queue for the “ Hoy it down the road” trophy this year.

Coming up, the Baydale Run is on 4th September and regs. are on the website for this and the Anniversary Run.

Other events are in the calendar with the September trial being at Underbanks on 11th . Of course, the biggie is the Beamish Trophy Trial on 18th September and, if you are available to assist in any way, please contact Tom Norman.

August 2016

July offered several good riding opportunities for section members which were generally held in the dry, albeit with some exceptions. It is summer in England after all.

The Pennine Way run on the weekend of 11th/12th July attracted the usual good representation from the section but I understand that this was one of the exceptions to the fine weather mentioned above. Understandably, home seemed a good end point for some and they took this option for an early bath.

Howard Duddles’ evening Sunset Run followed the established format of starting at Middlesbrough Motor Club and touring the North Yorks. Moors including Kildale. Commondale and Westerdale. Full results are on the site with the overall winner being P. Joyce from Chris Stokes and Ged Watson. Thanks Howard and Tony for a good run.

Dave Porteous led the Club Ride-in with a relatively short ride to Sedgefield and the local area. This was just right for an evening run particularly as there was a good buffet waiting at the Cricket Club.

There were two practice trials in July with the full results being in the trials link. At Battersby, Paul Deakin and Tony Frost tied for first place with A Wylie and Dave Flintoft tying for third. At Silton, Rob Green won from Gary Powell and B Tweddy.

We must thank Martin Peacock for organising the Chairman’s Run with assistance from Mike Carruthers, Eric & Denise Londesbrough and Dave Allinson. The lunch stop was at Leyburn and co-incided with the annual war weekend event. This gave the opportunity to see various period vehicles including army jeeps and lorries, steam engines, lovely cars from the Morris owners club as well as a Spitfire outside of the pub. There was the usual market with stalls selling military uniforms, wartime clothing and bric-a brac. A good lady singer entertained us with wartime favourites and there was even some dancing- although not from the motorcycling fraternity.

August is a quieter month, no doubt due to holidays, with events being in the calendar. Viv starts the month off with his Saunter and BBQ on 6th when we’ll be hoping for sunshine. The August trial is at Harewood Dale, Scarborough on 13th.

Further on, September holds more events, starting with the Baydale Run on 4th   which I’ll have to miss as I’ll be in sunny France


Tom Reed

July 2016

There were a number of runs in July to keep us happy. Dave Headon’s Social Run & Concours was based at the Chequers Inn at Dalton and proved a good location. The run was held on a pleasant evening along delightful local lanes finishing with a nice pint outside the pub. There was a good display of machines for the concours which was won by Steve Hodgson’s Excelsior - a two stroke  winner  Brian.

There were 16 riders at the Downholme trial with full results in the trials link. However, the first three were Gary Powell from Paul Deakin and A. Wylie.

A number from the section entered the Beamish Reliability Run which proved somewhat arduous for those that rode to and from the start at Beamish. Typically, for much of this year, fine weather at the start turned to periodic heavy showers further into the run. Results are not yet to hand.

The Teesside Yesterday Club held their Dales Run in June which, I am told, was a most enjoyable day’s riding.

We were back at Dalton again for 19 entrants to enjoy Eric’s Evening Excursion but this time at the Village Hall. Full results are elsewhere on the website but the winner was David Porteous, fresh from the Isle of Man, from the ever-successful Dennis Marwood and scooterman John Pearson. Always keep a spare spark plug or six. Well done chaps.

As I’ve been somewhat tardy in writing this newsletter, I can report that the Northumbrian Gathering has been and gone. There was the usual good entry of 62 starting from Wooler with a strong contingent from the South Durham Section. The run covered a scenic route along Keilder Water and into the Scottish Border country marginally spoilt by the inevitable sporadic rain showers. However a super day out or weekend for those that stayed over.

Further in July, there will be several section members venturing to the Pennine Way Run on 9th/10th.

Other events are in the calendar with Howard Duddles’ Sunset Run being on 11th starting from Middlesbrough Motor Club at 6-30pm. Regulations are on the website but entries will be accepted at the start.

The club night, ride and buffet will start at 6-30pm from the Cricket club on 14th.

There are two trials in July. At Battersby on 17th and at Silton on 28th which is on the evening.

Martin Peacock is coming back from Lincolnshire to host the Chairman’s Run which we greatly appreciate and, finally, don’t forget Viv’s Saunter and B-B-Q on 6th August which is an event to look forward to.

Tom Reed

June 2016

May was a busy month with the riding season getting into full swing.

The checkpoint Rally was held on a cold and wet day but this did not deter 12 riders attending Middleton St George and18 at Holwick. Thanks go to Eric & Denise and Ken Dove.

There were 4 from the section on the Wetherby Run for an enjoyable ride which would have been better if an un-named navigator had not failed in his duties on the afternoon run. I don’t think that we troubled the pot engravers.

There were 14 riders at the Castleside trial which was won by Gary Powell from M Brown and Steve Ainslie. Full results are in the trials link.

Brian Smith and John Robinson rode in the Rookhope Ryde with John collecting a pot.

Tom Norman gave a good illustrated talk to the section covering his two rides across America on a BMW embracing some 4000 mile in total. Thanks Tom.

The Touring Week was held in mostly fine weather with runs organised by Brian Smith, Mike Carruthers, Paul Feldon, Viv Tubby and Dennis Marwood in addition to the Quaker weekend.

The Quaker weekend was held in fine weather with 53 out on the most enjoyable Sunday run. Full results are in the link on the website with congratulations to all award winners and particular thanks to the Porteous family and their support team.

There were 10 entrants from the South Durham section at the Lakeland Hesket weekend which was deemed a great success by all who took part. John Robinson won the Sidecar award and son Bobby the veteran award. Well done.

The events in June are in the section calendar but of particular note is that the Ride & Concours, organised by Dave Headon, is on TUESDAY 7th  at 6.00/6.30pm,meeting at the Chequers Inn at Dalton-on- Tees.

Regs. are available on the website for several forthcoming events including Eric’s Evening Excursion on 21st June.    

Regards     Tom Reed

May 2016

Top - Handover of the Baton from North East Section at the White Lion at Cray (Top) on a miserable & cold rainy day.

Bottom -  Transfer of the Baton to Northumbrian Section the next day at the Punch Bowl at Edmunbuyers - equally miserable & cold.
The quiz night in April was most enjoyable with fiendish questions catching many of us out. It’s always nice to have the ladies joining us and contributing their unique take on motorcycling folklore. Thanks Brian and Dennis for a good night.

The hoped-for good weather failed to appear for the 70th anniversary Baton Relay but we had a reasonable turn-out to meet our chums from the North East and Northumbrian sections.

There were 26 entrants at the trial at Wensley which was won by Paul Deakin. Full results are in the trials link.
In May, the Relay Rally is on 1st and the section will have checkpoints at the Cricket Club and at the Strathmore Arms at Holbeck in Teesdale.

The Wetherby Run is on 8th but no regs. will be issued. Simply turn up at the usual start venue for an 11-00am start, register and pay your £3. Dennis and I will be meeting at Great Smeaton at 9-30am for the run down if you care to join us.
Practice trials will be held at Butsfield Quary at Castleside at 10-30am on 8th and at Hobsbush Farm at 6-30pm  at Over Silton on 25th.

Don’t miss the club night on 19th when Tom Norman will be giving a talk on riding across America coast to coast.

The section will be hosting the Touring Week from 19th -25th  May and offers rides through-out the week. Details can be had from ace-organiser Brian Smith.

You know that the riding season has finally arrived when the Quaker weekend hoves into view. As per calendar, the social run is on Saturday 21st and the Quaker Run on 22nd . Regulations are now available.

Looking further ahead, Dave Headon is organising the Evening social Run and Concours on 8thJune. There will be a new venue instead of Walworth Castle and details will be forthcoming.

That’s all for now.   
Tom  Reed

April 2016

Several members of the section joined with the Panther owners Club for their annual pilgrimage to Belgium for the commemoration of First World War battles and the daily ceremony at the Menim Gate in Ypres.

The domino knockout at the club night on 10th March was won by Alan Smith from John Emerson. Well done.

The trial at Gilling West was won by Paul Deacon from Jim Jardine and Rob Green.

In April, Dennis and Brian will be entertaining us once again with a quiz at the club night on 7th. There will be pies and peas and the ladies are invited of course.

On 13th, the section will receive the VMCC 70th Anniversary Baton from the North East Section at the White Lion in Cray and then pass on the baton to the Northumbrian Section on 14th at the Punch Bowl in Edmundbyers. Food is available, if wanted, at both pubs and the runs will be leaving from MSG Cricket Club at 10-00 prompt on each day.

The April championship trial is on 17th at Wensley.

On 25th April, there will be a talk on Brooklands History at Middlebrough Motor Club at 20-00hrs and VMCC members are welcome to attend.

Hoping for good weather for the Baton Run

Tom Reed 

March 2016

The first item of news is that our new chairman, Martin Peacock, has had to resign as he and family have re-located to South Lincolnshire. Martin did flag this up as a possibility when he took on the chair and so Paul Feldon has enthusiastically stepped into the breach for the next few months. We wish Martin all the best in his new abode and hope that he is successful in finding some hills to ride up.

The championship trial at Chop Gate was won by Rob Green from Paul Harrison and Gary Powell in an entry of 14 riders. Full results are in the Trials link.

We enjoyed an informative talk by Pete Bates on Life at the DMW factory in the sixties at the club night on 25th February. DMW was a relatively small operation and needed constant innovation for its survival. Pete enhanced his talk by bringing along a successful two-stroke racer and associated cycle parts. The subs. on the night were donated to the London Motorcycle Museum which Pete supports.

Looking ahead to March, the next club night on 10th will include a domino KO organised by Dave Headon and the next championship trial will be on 27th at Gilling West.

In April, the first section riding opportunity will be the Club’s 70th Anniversary Relay Rally with organisation of the South Durham input by Brian Smith. Time to get the spanners out.

Tom Reed

February 2016

The Awards Evening at Walworth Castle was a great success and is well reported below. Many thanks go to all involved in the organisation and particularly to guests of honour Brian Bean, Geoff Graham and Bill Gillham.

There were 27 riders at the January championship trial held at Castleside, Tow Law which was won by Jim Jardine on a tie-break from Ossie Byers and Gary Bloodworth. The first three all had zero marks lost. The February trial is on 21st at Chop Gate and the March trial is on 27th at Gilling West.

Eric Londesbrough gave a most informative talk at the club night on 28th January on a holiday voyage to the Arctic. Being personally interested in both geography and history, I found much to keep my attention and broaden my education. Thanks Eric.

Another talk that promises to be of particular interest to section members is on the club night on 25th February when Peter Bates will describe Life at the DMW Motorcycle Factory.

See you there
Tom Reed

January 2016

Happy New Year’s greetings to one and all and may 2016 bring a resounding riding season.

The section AGM on 3rd December passed seamlessly with reports from the chairman, secretary and treasurer being presented and accepted. Officials were thanked for their contribution to section administration as well as event organisers for providing riding opportunities for us all. In the absence of nominations for chairman and vice-chairman, it was agreed that the chairmanship would be filled by rotation within the committee. Martin Peacock has manfully volunteered to be the next chairman and Paul Feldon the vice-chairman. Thanks chaps and all success for the future.

The Anniversary Social Run and the 40th Anniversary Gathering at Sadberge are both reported below. The meet at The Tuns was very successful and the staff  were most hospitable and accommodating. As David has reported elsewhere, commemorative tax discs are being issued to mark the anniversary and Brian Smith is in charge of distribution.

The Christmas Party was most enjoyable with a good attendance and an excellent buffet. Thanks go to Brian, Viv and Paul for their contribution to the night.

On Boxing Day, four section members set off from Darlington market place to the pub at Holwick  where they were joined by five other riders as well as the car brigade to enjoy festive cheer.

There were 22 riders at the practice trial at Hartlepool which was won by Paul Deacon from John Sowerby.

There are two events of note in January. The awards evening at Walworth Castle on 9th is the usual sell-out when we will welcome Brian Bean, Bill Gillham and Geoff Graham as honoured guests. Most of you will know that these three were founding members of the section.
On 28th, Eric Londesbrough will give a talk on ‘Voyage to the Arctic.’

Further out, Peter Bates will give a talk on ‘Life at the DMW Factory.’ at the club night on February 25th.

I have to end on a sad note by reporting that Gerry Beer’s wife Vera, who many will have known, has passed away. Her funeral will be on Wednesday 6th January at the Crematorium on Carmel Road in Darlington at 2-15pm. Our sympathies go to Gerry and family.

December 2015

The trials championship concluded in November with 24 riders at Underbanks on 15th.  Rob Green was the winner from J Saffin and Gary Powell and, once again, Rob was the overall champion for 2015. Full results are posted above and in the trials link.

The Northern Road Run Championship is also concluded with South Durham claiming first and second positions via John Robinson and Brian Smith. Again, full results are posted above.

The Beamish Awards Evening was successful with 80 in attendance. The results demonstrate the wide appeal of the trial with entrants from across the UK. Four hardy souls travelled from Cornwall and Dorset to collect their awards - tremendous. Thanks are extended to Dennis Marwood for making the presentations and to Tom Norman, Brian Smith and all of the support marshals for another great event.

Looking forward, tickets are still available for the Christmas Party on 17th December at £6 each and for the Awards Evening at Walworth on 9th January at £10.50 each.
A reminder that we will be meeting at the Three Tuns at Sadberge at 12 noon on 9th December to recognise the inaugural meeting of the section 40 years ago. The Boxing Day Run this year will be to Holwick.

Finally, it was good to see Howard Duddles at the Beamish Awards looking very much fitter than of late. Well done Howard.

See you soon

Tom Reed

November 2015

There were 20 riders at the championship trial at Scarborough, on 10th October, which was won by Colin Jackson from Paul Harrison and J. Saffin. Full results are in the Trials link above.

Appreciation goes to Mike Carruthers and his team of Linda Easby, Dave and Shirley Allinson for organising this year’s Anniversary Run. 27 riders enjoyed a picturesque run on a sunny day over Snilesworth Moor to the lunch stop at Thornton le Dale. Mike has filed a report, picture gallery and results below.

Riding opportunities are somewhat limited at this time of year apart from the championship trial at Underbanks on 15th November.

There is compensation however with the Beamish Awards Event at the club night on 19th November when all members and ladies are welcome to congratulate award winners and enjoy the buffet As already announced, the section AGM is on 3rd December.

Further social events in the offing are the Christmas Party at the Cricket Club on 17th December and the awards evening, for 2015 events, at Walworth Castle on 9th January. Tickets are now available at £6.00 and £10.50 each respectively. These are very popular events and tickets tend to sell rapidly.

As most will be aware, December 9th marks the 40th anniversary of the formation of the South Durham Section at a meeting at the Three Tuns in Sadberge in 1975. We hope to recognise this event in some way including a run to the Three Tuns on 9th December this year.

That’s all for now. See you at one of the above social events.

Tom Reed

October 2015

15 riders enjoyed the championship trial at Braidley on 13th which was won by Rob Green from J. Saffin and G. Powell.

There were 129 starters on the day of the Beamish Trophy Trial which went smoothly, apart from a marshal slipping on Velvet Path and consequently needing surgery for ligament and tendon damage. Last year’s trophies need to be returned prior to the awards evening on 19th November. A donation of £256 was made from entrance fees to LARA in recognition of their assistance.

Viv. Tubby organised a bike display at the Teesside Classic Bike Show at Middlesbrough Motor Club. Viv was deservedly successful again with his Rudge winning the vintage class award and Mike Hull taking second place. Dennis Marwood wheeled out his almost completed and super-looking  Trifield for the first time.

There was a good representation from the Section at the South Lakeland Mountain Weekend which was enjoyed by all.

Events in October are as per the section calendar with the Anniversary Run on 11th being our main event. Regs are still available.

The AGM is on 3rd December and propositions should be with the Secretary prior to 5th November. Once again, we need volunteers for the posts of Chairman and Vice-chairman and, chaps, we mean it this time.

Finally, a medical report. John Fawcett is now on the mend after an operation to remove a kidney and a somewhat painful recuperation. Stewart Westgarth is recovering from an operation. Howard Duddles is not very well but is at home.

So, keep fit and keep smiling.

Tom Reed

September 2015

The Chairman’s Run in August was reported in last month’s Newsletter but we report, here, Viv’s Saunter and BBQ. The run was over delightful local roads to the lunch stop at the Ship Inn at Saltburn on a bright and pleasant day and was nicely rounded off by the BBQ chez Tubby for which many thanks go to Viv and Sue.

Six section members rode to Sutton Bank for the Topcliffe Run on 16th when the Darlington Devils won the team award. Don’t ask how. On the way home we called in to annoy Billy Birks at Northallerton and  enjoy his tea and biscuits. You may know that Bill has sold his bikes and spares but is now a whiz at washing up and dusting and is looking well.

Future events include the Baydale Run on 6th September starting from the Cricket Club at 10-00hrs. Regulations are on the website but entries will be accepted on the day if you’ve left it too late. Regulations are also now available for the Anniversary Run on October 11th organised by Mike Carruthers.

The Saltburn Hill Climb is on 13th September and is always worth attending. This is non-competitive this year.

The section’s major event is, of course, the Beamish Trial on 20th September and we wish all competitors success and a safe ride.

The Classic Bike Show at Middlesbrough Motor Club is on 27th September and Viv is looking to organise a club stand subject to getting support and machines from section members.

Finally, I understand that Wallace has resigned as Chairman of the South Durham Section and we thank him for his efforts and service over the last three years. We would welcome a myriad of volunteers to take on this role but, whilst you sort out who the lucky chap may be, I am prepared to be acting chairman, if required, until I resign at the AGM.

Enough already.

Tom Reed

August 2015

Local events held in July are listed in the calendar with section members entering most of them.

The club night ride and buffet was very well attended with Brian Smith doing his usual sterling job in leading the ride around local lanes. The buffet supper was very good and, no doubt, added to the high attendance.

The practice trial was at Battersby was won by A. Wylie from Tony Frost and Colin Jackson.

Chairman Wallace organized a very scenic Chairman’s Run over the Yorkshire Dales with a stop for coffee/tea and biscuits at the Buck Inn at Buckden being a most welcome feature. The lunch stop at Hawes preceded the afternoon run back to the Cricket Club with most of us missing the rain showers. Thanks Wallace for a good day’s riding.

Section events in August include Viv’s Saunter and BBQ on 8th for which tickets are available at £5 each. Ladies are, of course, welcome. The final practice trial is at Hindlethwaite on 23rd.

The North East section’s Topcliffe Run and the Northumbrian’s Bob Rawling’s Run are listed in the calendar and South Durham members will be supporting both.

Further on, the Beamish Trophy Trial is on 20th September when Tom Norman will appreciate volunteers for marshalling duties. Support him if you can as he and his team do a superb job.

See you on the runs         
Tom Reed.      

July 2015

The service and funeral for Fred Gowton were well attended by VMCC members with Brian Smith leading a motorcycle escort to the main funeral cortege. A reception was held at Darlington Rugby Club when Fred was remembered by friends and family.

On a happier note, this is a busy time of year for sections of the club with improving weather encouraging attendance on runs.

The trials boys had two practice events in June with the winners being Gary Powell and Rob Green. Full results are, of course, in the trials link.

Viv Tubby organised his final Walworth Castle event on 9th June with a most enjoyable run. The winner of the concourse was Keith Bell’s Norton Dominator from Paul Feldon’s Raleigh. Thanks Viv for holding this event over recent years and we are still open for volunteers to organise this event in future years.

There were only seven starters for the Sunset Run organised by Howard Duddles with three riders gaining identical top scores. The result was decided on machine age with John Fawcett declared the winner from Grant Sellars and Brian Smith. Full results are given above.

There were nineteen starters for Eric’s Evening Excursion over rural local roads on a lovely evening. Results are given above with the overall winner being Dave Porteous. Thanks go to Eric and his support team for the run and refreshments.

Fifty Two riders, including several from South Durham, started the main run at the Northumbrian Gathering in fine conditions over the North Northumbrian and Scottish Borders countryside. Using the Golf Club at Duns for both coffee and lunch stops on the run provided a pleasant and rewarding day out. Unfortunately, Paul Feldon and young Victoria had a bit of a coming together with Victoria sustaining a hand injury. Hopefully she’ll be back on her bike soon. Results of the run will be posted on the website when available.

Events in July are in the calendar and will provide a good choice of rides. Of particular note are:
Ride-in and Buffet starting from the Cricket Club on 16th. leaving promptly at   6-30 pm.
Founder’s Day at Stanford Hall on 19th.
Chairman’s Run on 26th.

Looking further ahead, don’t miss Viv’s Saunter and BBQ on 8th  August with tickets now available from Viv at a bargain £5 each. Ladies and partners are welcome.  

Look forward to seeing you out and about.

Tom Reed 

June 2015

It is sad to start this letter with the news that Fred Gowton passed away last week in the Memorial Hospital in Darlington. Fred was a very well regarded and active member of the section for many years until declining health led to him giving up riding a couple of years ago. He spent his latter months in a residential home and seems to have enjoyed the company of other residents. He will be sorely missed by his many friends and, of course, his family to whom we send condolences from the section. The funeral service for Fred will be held at Holy Trinity Church in Woodlands Road at Darlington on Friday 5th June at 10-30 hours. Sad indeed

There will a motorbike escort to the church with Brian riding Fred's flat tank AJS.  Anyone wanting to join the motorcycle group, we will be meeting at 151 Bates Avenue Darlington at 10.00am.  If you wish to attend please let Brian know asap Tel 01325 286623 or 07912481377.

To motorcycling matters, past events included :

The Wetherby Run when inclement weather deterred yours truly and his chums from venturing south for the second year running. Wimps Brian ?

The Quaker Weekend with the Sunday Run in dry but somewhat windy conditions and superbly organised by the Porteous family again. Full results are in the link on the home page but particular congratulations to overall winner
Brian Smith on his 1913 Triumph.

The Signpost Run was again poorly attended and, I suspect, that organiser Mike must be wondering if the effort is worthwhile or appreciated.

At the club night on 21st May, Neil Straughan gave a well-researched and comprehensive talk on his father’s professional military career and, particularly, his escape through France and Spain following the aftermath of the Dunkirk evacuation. Neil brought along a lot of memorabilia and was rightly very proud of his father’s record of courage.

Results of the trial at Wensley are in the Trials link but the winner was J. Saffrin from S. Rutter and G. Powell. The next trial is on 10th June at Silton.

Also in June, we have the Walworth Castle Concours and Run on 9th, the Sunset Run on 15th, and Eric’s Evening Excursion on 23rd. All are recommended.

The month ends with the ever-popular Northumbrian Gathering at Wooler with scenic riding in the Borders countryside. 

May 2015

There were two items of note in April.

At the Club AGM, Brian Smith was awarded the President’s Award for hospitality throughout the year. Congratulations Brian and well deserved.

At the section club night on 23rd, Lyn Defly gave a discourse on her father’s involvement in the bombing raid on the Tirpitz in WW2 and his consequent crash, capture and imprisonment as a POW. A most poignant and personal story.

There were 27 riders at the championship trial at Gilling which was won by Gary Bloodworth from Rob Green and G Powell.

There were several section members at the Stafford Show which was as enjoyable as usual but I think all-day jumbling is getting a little wearing.

May brings several opportunities to get the bikes out again and these are listed in the calendar. However, the Quaker Run is a must-do event and regs. are, of course, now available for this and other runs.

Please note that there will be another talk for us at the club night on 21st May when Neil Staughan will describe a POW’s 6 month journey home.

Keep riding
Tom Reed

March 2015

As encouraged by section members, the last three club nights have included items other than the usual pint and a natter.

The quiz night and supper was reported previously but, on 12th March, a good attendance enjoyed an extensive roam through the trials scene of our youth with Scott Ellis. Our thanks to Scott for his talk and slides as well as appreciation for him travelling so far for our benefit. The pictures below show Scott at the club night.

For pictures see photo gallery
There were 22 riders out for the championship trial at Chop Gate on 15th February which was won by Paul Harrison from Steve Ainslie and G. Powell.

There was an excellent turn-out for the Quiz and supper at the club night on 26th February at which there was an eclectic mix of questions for which we must thank Dennis Marwood and Brian Smith. It was nice to see Bill Birks joining his team and confirming that he will be holding his domino KO on 26th March.

As per programme, Brian Smith will arrange a green lane run on 1st March providing that someone turns out to accompany him – unlike the run in February.

As previously announced, we look forward to hosting Scott Ellis at the club night on 12th March and anticipate a full attendance.

The championship trial on March 22nd is at Snilesworth.                 .

Organised runs are now starting to appear in the calendar with the Northumbrian Section’s Cuckoo Waltz on April 19th and the Wetherby Run on May 3rd .

For those who thirst for parts or new machines, the Stafford Show is on April 25th/26th and might tempt you to open your wallets. I may go this year.

See you at the Scott Ellis night
Tom Reed   

February 2015

There were 83 in attendance at the Awards Evening at Walworth Castle on 10th January. Our thanks go to Club President Tim Penn for making the presentations and to the Porteous family, Brian Smith and the other many contributors for a most sociable evening and dinner.

At the club night on 15th January, Leo Crone gave a talk on the great efforts being made to keep Green Lanes open and available for our benefit. Some £80 was donated by those present to the TRF Fighting Fund to assist their ongoing efforts.

On 29th, John Midcalfe gave a very informative picture show of railways local to Darlington in the pre and post war years. Amazing how much the area has changed in the intervening years.
There were 15 riders at the practise trial in Hartlepool which was won by Gary Bloodworth from Jim Jardine and Paul Harrison.

Looking ahead, at the club night on 26th February Brian Smith and Dennis Marwood will once again entertain us to a Quiz night and pie and peas supper. Ladies invited of course.

At the club night on 12th March, we are fortunate to have Scott Ellis the ex-factory trials rider for both BSA and Triumph to come along and talk of his experiences. Let’s give him a good South Durham welcome.

Sadly, we must record the passing of Bill Hulme who many of you will know. Bill was involved with the Northumbrian Section and chaired the first South Durham meeting back in 1975. He served on the club Management Committee and was President in the mid-80’s. He was responsible for starting the Machine Register which he administered until recent years and also instigated the Club Library. There will be a service at Sunderland Crematorium on Tuesday 3rd February.

On that sad note we will close and hope to see you on the road shortly.

Tom Reed 

January 2015

Festivities are all over chaps with the Awards Evening at Walworth Castle being the last of our social events to swell the waistline even further. There’ll be a few extra pounds for the old girl to carry this year – that’s the motorbike that I’m talking about, not the wife.

The Anniversary Run is well reported by Mike and was enjoyed by a small but exclusive band.

The Christmas Party was an enjoyable do with a good attendance participating in the usual fun and fine buffet.

The Boxing Day Run to the Strathmore Arms in Holwick went very well with a warm welcome of hot meals and an open fire. Attendance by Section members was a bit thin but more than made up by riders from other groups – some 20 bikes in total.

There were 21 riders at the practise trial at Wensley on 28th December – a fine turnout. The winner was Jim Jardine from Rob Green and Paul Harrison.

I’ve already mentioned the Awards Evening at Walworth Castle on 10th January and a limited number of tickets are still available from Brian Smith. Join us and Club President Tim Penn particularly if you are an award winner.

There are two club nights in January : on 15th, Leo Crone will be talking to us about trail riding in England and on 29th, John Midcalfe will talk about Local Railways.

I look forward to seeing you at these don’t-miss events.


Tom Reed

December 2014

There’s not much riding activity to report this month. The full result of the championship trial at Snilesworth is given in the trials link but for information, the winner was Paul Harrison from Gary Bloodworth and Steve Ainslie. For the first time in several years, we have a new Trials Champion this year in Paul Harrison. Many congratulations Paul.

Presentations at the Beamish Awards Evening were made by Roy Sturgeon. As to be expected, several winners were unable to attend due to their far-flung locations. However the overall winner, Gavin Shaw on his BSA Bantam, did attend to collect his trophies having ridden up from Surrey on his Moto Guzzi. A sterling effort Gavin. Full results are in the link on this home page.

Full results of the Section Championship are in the link on this page but congratulations to Brian Smith on being champion for 2014.

At the AGM on 4th December, Viv Tubby and John Robinson stood down from committee and were thanked for their commitment to the section over several years. Wallace Holmes and Tom Reed were cajoled/encouraged and agreed to stand again as Chairman and Vice-Chairman respectively for another year. Reports were given and approved by Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. A proposition regarding activities at Club Nights was withdrawn following discussion.

Forthcoming events are in the calendar with the Anniversary social Run on 7th December starting from the Cricket Club at 10-30 hrs. prompt. Please note that the venue for this year’s Boxing Day Social Run is the Strathmore Arms in Holwick near Middleton in Teessdale.

A reminder that tickets are still available for both the Christmas Party and the Awards Evening at Walworth Castle.
Finally, can I on behalf of your committee, wish you and your families a great and safe Christmas and New Year and hope to see you at club nights and Section Runs in 2015.

Tom Reed

November 2014

As you can imagine, motorcycling events are getting less frequent at this time of year. However the Anniversary Run that Mike Carruthers and his chums organised was a super event with some 100 miles in North Yorkshire and hardly a main road in sight. The results are in the link on the home page but I’ll just mention that that inveterate pot-hunter Dennis Marwood deservedly took first place from Dave Jolly and the scooter king John Pearson on his Lambretta. Well done chaps.

The championship trial at Hindlethwaite was won by Rob Green from Steve Ainslie and Jim Jardine. Full results are in the trials link. The next trial is at Snilesworth on 16th November.

At the club night on 6th November we were entertained by a most informative talk by Chairman Wallace on the history of the Rudge company and the vagaries of the Rudge Multi gear operation.

November 20th is a date to look forward to as the Beamish Trial awards will be made at the club night. The buffet is free and all are welcome so please come along and support the award winners.

As previously mentioned, the AGM is on 4th December when we look forward to your suggestions for improvements to the running and administration of the section as well as nominations for new blood on the committee. We particularly need nominations for chairman and vice-chairman. We are fortunate that both Brian and David have agreed to continue in their important and demanding roles of Treasurer and Secretary respectively.

Can I remind you that David now needs trophies from last year to be returned to allow re-engraving.

On a final and sad note, we must record that Dave Thornton passed away recently whilst in Thailand. His funeral service was held last Friday in Darlington, with the cortege led by a most impressive motorcycle hearse and several section members following on their classic machines. Condolences to Dave’s family and friends.

Tom Reed

October 2014

September’s seen many delightful days for enjoying motorcycling. Let’s hope that October brings more of the same in what will be the fading days of the riding season.

Since the last newsletter, the Bob Rawlings Run, Beamish Trophy Trial, Teesside Classic Bike Show and Lakeland South Lakes Mountain Weekend have all been held.

Results are a bit thin on the ground but, at the Teesside Show, Steve Hodgson (150 Excelsior),  Dennis Marwood (1948 MAC  Velocette), and Mick Hull (1920 Brough Superior) all deservedly won awards. Indeed, the Brough won

“Best in Show” and is pictured below.    
1920 Mk 1 976cc Jap-engined Brough Superior  -  Best in Show at 2014 Teesside Classic Bike Show

The Championship Trial at Over Silton was won by Paul Harrison form R. Hildrich and Rob Green. Full results are in Trials link.

Events in October are in the calendar but two of note are the Anniversary Run on 12th with regs. available from this link and the Championship Trial at Hindlethwaite on 19th with info. from Roy Sturgeon.

No doubt, Tom Norman will be commenting in his next Beamish Newsletter, but it is disappointing that a resident at Allenheads felt it necessary to complain about speeding motorcycles on the day of the Beamish. Although individuals weren’t identified, we clearly don’t need adverse publicity for what is a most successful and well-run motorcycling occasion. On the Beamish subject, please put 20th November in your diary for the Awards Evening.

Finally, an update on the walking wounded. Bill Birks is now at home nursing his sore ribs which only hurts when he laughs. Viv Tubby sustained facial damage when he took a tumble after the Teesside Show when helping to push start my reluctant Norton Dominator. Sorry Viv. Dennis Marwood has had a cataract operation and he hopes the improved vision will allow him to better follow route sheets in future.

That’s all for now,

Tom Reed                        

September 2014

First, let me apologise for this newsletter being somewhat late as the sun and swimming pool in the Dordogne had to take priority

The Saturday Saunter, organised by Viv Tubby, was a super run with the BBQ in Viv’s garden being a most pleasant end to the day. Thanks Viv and Sue.

It’s sad to report that several of your chums were deterred by the dire weather forecast and failed to brave the Topcliffe Run. Poor show – me included.

The practice trial at Braidley was won by S. Ainsley from F. Hildich and J. Rutter in a high scoring event.

The Baydale Run, organised by Bobby Robinson, was enjoyed by 18 riders who ended up at the Hartlepool Heugh Battery where there is a good display of military hardware. The first three award winners were David Porteous from John Robinson and Stan Fraquet. Well done chaps. Unfortunately, Bill Birks had an off on his way home from the event and suffered injuries to his ribs. I haven’t been able to contact him or Pauline for an update but we all wish him well.

Looking forward, there is the Bob Rawlings Run, the Championship trial at Over Silton and the Saltburn Hill Climb on 14th September. The Hunton Steam fair is on 13th/14th September. The Beamish Trophy Trial is on 21st September and Tom Norman would appreciate any marshalling help you can give. On the same day, it’s the Teesside Classic Bike Show and the South Durham Section will be having a stand. Please bring a bike along for the display.

Other events are in the calendar but note that regs are now available for the Anniversary Run organised by Mike Carruthers on 12th October.

Please support the Beamish or Teesside events and sign up for the Anniversary Run as this will be one of the last events of this year. Most importantly, ride carefully or the Hoy-it-up-the-road-trophy could be yours come January.

Take care

Tom Reed

August 2014

There was a strong turnout from the section on the Pennine Way Run on 18th-20th July comprising a dozen riders plus the three lovelies – Sue, Annabel and Linda. The runs on Friday and Sunday were most enjoyable but the Saturday run from Edale to Hawes marred the weekend. 150 miles of almost incessant rain, with poor visibility on the tops, made for a difficult day. Fortunately, the sun came out with our arrival at Hawes and compensated for my running out of petrol.

The practice trial at Battersby was won by S. Ainslie from John Sowerby and Paul Harrison. Well done chaps.

We must thank Wallace for organising the Chairman’s Run on 27th through stunning countryside to the lunch stop at Pateley Bridge. The food provided at the Comet in Hurworth after the run was most appreciated.

Several members from South Durham supported the Northumbrian Section at the Bikewise Event in Durham and helped them to win the Best Display Award.

In August, Eric Londesbrough has invited section members and friends to his home on 6th at 6-30 pm to enjoy his super garden model railway layout. Please try to let him know in advance of your intended attendance if you can.

Viv Tubby has organised a Saunter and BBQ on Saturday 9th August starting from the Club at 9-30 for 10-00 hrs. The BBQ will be held post-run chez Tubby but it may be too late now to get tickets unless you are very persuasive.

The Topcliffe Run is on 10th starting from the Gliding Club at Sutton Bank. If you have entered, feel free to join me and Dennis at Great Smeaton at 09-30 hrs. for the run to the start.

Further on, Bobby Robinson is organising the Baydale Run on 7th September.

Unusually, there were three bike incidents to section members in July. Ian Upton from Barnard Castle on one of Brian’s evening excursions; Tony Bailey on the Chairman’s Run; and Howard Masters on his way to the Sunderland Air Show. Both Howard and his Velocette need some re-alignment but, fortunately, Howard is now at home nursing his broken ankle.

Let’s take care boys.


July 2014

Phew ! There were plenty of runs to enjoy in June and I’ll give a few of the highlights.
On the trials scene, the Downholme trial on 8th was won by Garry Bloodworth from Rob Green and Paul Deakin. Garry is a new name to me and must be some rider as he came second in the trial at Chop Gate in late May. Watch out Rob.

There was a fair turnout for the Walworth Castle Run and Concours organised by Viv Tubby on 10th. The Concours was won by Dennis Marwood’s MAC Velocette from the Enfield of Tony Bailey. Worthy winners. Thanks Viv for a good event.

15th June brought the Beamish Reliability Run with a good representation from the South Durham Section. This was a first Beamish for me and, having ridden to and from the start, proved a somewhat arduous but enjoyable day out. Results are not yet to hand but I’m not holding my breath.
Howard Duddles organised the Sunset Run on Monday 16th and was a tad disappointed with the turnout from the section. Fortunately, riders from other clubs made up the numbers but many evening events seem to suffer from low turnout. Discuss.

To counter the above comment, there was a good turnout for Eric’s Evening Excursion the following week. This was a pleasant run of just the right length to give my Model P an airing. Thanks Eric, Denise, Shirley and the checkpoint marshals.

The Northumbrian Gathering was the usual successful weekend with the Saturday Run covering lovely countryside including a good spin over the remoteness of the Otterburn Ranges.

Events in July are in the Section Calendar, with the main ones being the Lakeland Weekend, the Pennine Way Run and the South Durham Chairman’s Run. Plenty to look forward to there.

Finally, many of you will know that Ken Tully sadly passed away on 23rd June. Ken was a well-liked and sociable attendee at VMCC and other events across the North East and will be sadly missed. We send our condolences to Ken’s family and friends.

On that sad note, I will leave you and see you out and about. Possibly on the Pennine Run.

Tom Reed

June 2014

Motorcycling activities ramped up nicely in May and more are in prospect in June.
May started with the Relay Rally on 4th with section members travelling far and wide to visit check points and many miles were covered. Thanks go to Eric and Denise for ably manning (womanning ? ) our check point at Middleton St George.

On this same weekend, South Durham members supported the Northumbrian Section’s two day Coast to Coast Run for flat tankers and Cyclo motors. Must get involved next year.

The Quaker Run and associated social run was up to the usual high standard with over fifty starters on the day. Congratulations to all who gathered prizes and most particularly to the Porteous family and their support team.

Results can be downloaded here, Awards here  Photos can be found in the photo gallery

The Touring Section were based at Hurworth from 12th – 18th May and a full programme of runs and social events were organised for their entertainment. The organisation was first class due to the efforts of Brian Smith, Chairman Wallace, Mike Carruthers, Viv Tubby and Wilf Banks. Thanks chaps.

Four of us entered the Wetherby Run on 18th with Dennis Marwood and Tony Bailey being amongst the points scorers.

There was an improved turnout for the Signpost Run this year with Brian Smith again demonstrating his encyclopedic knowledge of local geography.

There was a Bring & Buy sale at the club night on 22nd May and it was pleasing to see both money and goods changing hands. We must do it again.

In June, things start getting serious as can be seen from the calendar but also with members leaving these shores to see what this EU business is all about.

Regs. are still available for the Sunset Run and Eric’s Evening Excursion. We look forward to seeing many of you at these events and the others that are in the programme.


Tom Reed

May 2014

The trial at Snilesworth in April was won by Richard Jackson from Rob Green and Paul Harrison.

The usual suspects attended the Rookhope Ryde, the Northumbrian Section quiz night and the Felix Burke Rally.
Bobby Robinson followed family tradition by being awarded the dubious honour of the KOBI at the Felix Burke.

Malcolm Byrne gave another of his discourses at the club night on 24th April; this time on World War 2 Pacific Theatre. As usual the talk was very informative, well-researched and entertainingly presented. Thanks a lot Malcolm.

May brings us to motorcycling activity starting with the Relay Rally on 4th. Join us at the Mowden Pub at 08-30hrs. should you fancy a ride out.

The Quaker Weekend is as programmed with regulations for the Sunday Run on 11th available to download. Don’t miss this one.

There is a full daily programme arranged for the Touring Week from 12th-18th May and you are invited to join as many as you can. Contact Brian for details.

The Wetherby Run is on 18th so join us for the run down if you wish.

The May practise trial is on 25th at Chop Gate.

It is proposed to hold a bring & buy sale of motorcycling items at the club night on 22nd May so clear out your garage/shed. You know that you’ll never use all of that stuff.

Finally boys, if you use cheques to pay entry fees for runs etc. please only make the cheque payable to South Durham Section. This may prevent Brian from having a seizure.

Tom Reed

April 2014

There were two trials in March; at Melsonby on 2nd won by Graham Powell from Rob Green and Paul Harrison and at Gilling on 23rd won by Brian Irwin from Paul Harrison and Stuart Chapman. Full results are in the Trials link.

Bill’s Domino KO was well organised, as usual, and was won by Tony Bailey. Thanks Bill.

In April, the club AGM is on 6th and promises to confirm a significant shake-up in club administration, finance and governance. Look forward to the outcome.

The championship trial on 13th will be at Snilesworth.

The Northumbrian Section continue their riding programme with the Rookhope Ryde on 13th.
Malcolm Byrne will be at the club night on 24th to educate and entertain us with a talk on WW2 Pacific Theatre. Don’t miss it.

Don’t forget the Classic Bike Show at Stafford on 25th/26th.

Looking ahead to May, the riding season gears up.
Viv Tubby is preparing a route for the Relay Rally on 4th. Details will come later but join us if you can.

As programmed, the Quaker weekend is on 10th/11th and regs. can be downloaded above.

Brian and Wilf’s Touring week is on 12th/18th and all are welcome to participate or lead daily outings.

The NE Section’s Wetherby Run is on 18th and, no doubt, we will be going down for this. Join us if you wish.

That’s a better newsletter – proper motorcycling events.

See you on the runs

Tom Reed. 

March 2014

February was always going to be a bit thin on the ground on the events front, but was made worse by the cancellation of the Green Lane Run and the trial at Chop Gate due to the effects of our wet winter.

However, the quiz night and supper on 27th was very well attended, particularly by motorcycling friends from across the area, and their attendance was appreciated. The quiz itself was a great success and Dennis and Brian are to be congratulated for their efforts.

March events are as per calendar with those of particular note being Bill’s Domino Knockout on 27th and Spike’s Cuckoo Waltz, organised by the Northumbrian section, getting serious riding off to a start on 30th.

Further out, the Classic Bike Show at Stafford is on 26th/27th April and Ian Douglas is arranging the usual Burrell’s coach trip. Contact - 01833 621302 (day), 621494 (evenings ). Email  [email protected] .

That’s all for now,  Tom Reed 

February 2014

January was an entertaining month on the social side of section activities.

The annual awards and dinner dance at Walworth Castle was a sell out again with trophy winners, section members and guests enjoying a good meal, raffle and disco.
Less said the better of the committee’s vocal contribution -- I’m not too sure that Britain has an awful lot of talent.
(Rubbish - it was excelent - MC)
Thanks go to the family Porteous for their wonderful organisation; to Wilf, Brian and others who contributed to the successful evening; and particularly to Guest of Honour Roy Adamson and wife Betty for making the presentations and recounting tales of their early motorcycling.

Chairman Wallace enthralled us all at the club night on 16th with his talk on beekeeping in addition to his free raffle for jars of prime honey.

On 30th Malcolm Byrne gave another of his informative talks on military matters, this time on WW2 European Theatre. A collection on the night raised £80 for the N. E. Air Ambulance charity. Many thanks to both Wally and Malcolm.

The championship trial at Girsby on 19th was won by Rob Green from Paul Harrison and Rob Jackson with full results shown in the trials link of the website.

In February, the championship trial on 16th will be at Chop Gate and there will be a quiz on 27th at the club night.

Regards                       Tom Reed

January 2014

Happy New Year to you all and may you enjoy the many events that 2014 has in store.
December’s events all passed off successfully with the Christmas Party being the usual well-attended and enjoyable night.

The Anniversary Social Run and the Boxing Day run to High Force were inevitably influenced by the December chill but intrepid riders braved the conditions on both days. Well done chaps and Linda.

The trial on 29th was re-located from Swainby to Hartlepool due to waterlogged ground and was won by Paul Harrison from Paul Deakin and Bert Robinson.

January brings us indoor enjoyment but the trials boys will be out at a trial on 19th at Girsby.
The Awards Evening at Walworth Castle is on 11th and is a near sell out as usual and will be the social high spot of the South Durham calendar.

There will be talks at each of the January club nights with Chairman Wallace educating us on 16th on beekeeping and Malcolm Byrne  on 30th on the World War European Theatre.

None of these events are to be missed so I’ll see you there.

Tom Reed

December 2013

The VMCC calendar arrived yesterday and that means that the end of 2013 approaches with the arrival of Christmas and the festive season. For the South Durham Section, it means the Christmas party on 19th December with tickets available for £6 and the Awards Evening at Walworth Castle on 11th January. Tickets for Walworth are at the very reasonable price of £10 particularly as Roy Adamson will be Guest of Honour and presenting the awards. Both of these events are always well-attended with tickets in high demand.

To look back to November, 38 members attended the AGM on 7th to hear that section finances are in good health and, with the exception of Dennis Marwood, all committee members will continue in office. Dennis was deservedly thanked for his work on committee especially his two years as Chairman. He is now back at home following his last and successful operation and we wish him well and hope to see him out riding next year.

The trial at Hindlethwaite on17th was won by Paul Deakin from Graham Powell and Steve Ainsley. The trial on 1st December was again won by Paul Deakin from Paul Harrison and John Green. Well done boys.
Gerry Beer presented the awards at the Beamish Trial Evening on 21st when a good turnout enjoyed the event which included a substantial buffet. Once again we must thank Tom Norman for his continued input to the Beamish and you can read his report of the evening in his Newsletter No 30 in the Beamish link.

In addition to future events in the calendar, it is of note that at the club night on 16th January, Wally Holmes will give a talk on beekeeping and on 30th January, Malcolm Byrne will give a talk on WW2 European Theatre. Both promise to be lively and informative.

Which only leaves me, on behalf of your committee, to wish you and yours a very happy Christmas and a safe and prosperous 2014.


Tom Reed

November 2013

The Anniversary Run is well described by Mike in his report below complete with results and pictures. Mike and his team are to be congratulated for a well-organised and scenic run which was only marginally marred by the somewhat wet afternoon return to Manfield. Well done Mike.

Eric Londesbrough gave a most informative talk at the club night on 24th regarding the procedures and hazards of removing/installing sealants in petrol tanks. Eric’s chemistry qualification ideally fitted him to stress the safety implications of handling hazardous substances. Should anyone want advice or practical help in sealing their tanks, then Eric would be ready to offer guidance.

In November, the AGM will be on 7th and your attendance would be appreciated.
On 21st, at the club night, Tom Norman will organise the Awards Evening & Buffet for the Beamish Trial. Please come along and support the successful competitors together with the marshals and helpers who make the Beamish Trial such a success.

A final word, the Christmas Party will be on 19th December and tickets are now available from Brian Smith at £6 each. Bring family and friends along and enjoy a fun night out.

Regards    Tom Reed

October 2013

The Beamish Trial was held on a lovely day last month with another good entry. A brief report and provisional results are included in the Newsletter from Tom Norman in the link below.  Another success Tom and many thanks.

Also on 22nd September, Middlesbrough Motor Club hosted the Teesside Classic Bike Show with a super display of machines from the vintage era to the modern day. The South Durham Section enjoyed success via awards for Tony Bailey’s Velocette, Bill Birks’ BSA Sloper and Viv Tubby’s Rudge. Steve Davies also won an award but was representing the BSA Owners Club on the day.

This Sunday (13th October ) sees the Anniversary Run organised by Mike Carruthers and which starts and finishes at Manfield.

October’s championship trial is on 20th at Snilesworth and a Green Lane Run is programmed for 27th .

Just a reminder that the AGM is on the earlier date of 7th November and, consequently, propositions and nominations for committee membership are required by this Thursday’s Business Meeting.

Last chance for some of us get the bikes out this year so see you on the Anniversary Run on Sunday.

Tom Reed    

September 2013

Apologies for the lateness of this month’s newsletter but I’m afraid that holidays in sunny Burgundy had to take priority.

In August, the main section event was Viv’s Saturday Saunter and most successful it was too. The picture above shows entrants at the start prior to heading to the lunch stop at the buffalo farm and shop near Brompton

After the run, entrants were joined by family and friends, making some 35 in all, for the BBQ and socialising at the Crown Inn at Manfield. What a good way to end a run. Thanks Viv.

The trial at Underbanks on 11th  was won by Dave Flintoft from Tony Frost and Rob Green. Full results are in the Trials link.

Four from the section rode to Sutton Bank for the North East Section’s Topcliffe Run on 18th and achieved modest success.

The Baydale Run was on 8th September and was enjoyed by the 28 who took part. Results will be posted in due course. On the afternoon of the run, entrants attended the Hunton Steam Fair.

The major event to come in September is the Beamish Trial on 22nd with all arrangements now efficiently in place as we’ve come to expect from Tom Norman and his supporters.

On the same day, the section will support the Teesside Classic Bike Show at Middlesbrough Motor Club with a display of machines. Please join us if you can.

In October, the Anniversary Run will be organised by Mike Carruthers on 13th and is the last competitive event in our 2013 calendar. It promises to be the usual scenic and challenging outing.

On the social/admin side, Fred Gowton is presently in a home and his health is improving. Visitors are welcome.

Roy Adams has decided to retire from serious riding and so has for sale his Royal Enfield. This is a 1961 Bullet of 350cc complete with Craven panniers. It is a reliable machine and Roy is looking for offers of above £1200.

The AGM is to be brought forward to the business night of November 7th . As a result , propositions for consideration must be submitted in writing to the secretary by the business meeting on October 10th.

Enjoy the remainder of the riding season and join us at either the Beamish Trial or the Classic Bike Show on 22nd September.

Tom Reed

August 2013

What wonderful weather we’ve had of late – just right for being out and about on the bikes.

The trial at Battersby on 20th July was won by John Pattinson from Paul Deakin and Jim Jardine. Full results are posted in the trials link.

Viv Tubby organised a most pleasant social run on 24th although there were only three of us out to enjoy it.

The main section event in July was the Chairman’s Run which started from the Comet pub in Croft on to a coffee stop in Osmotherley and thence over Snilesworth Moor to the lunch stop at Helmsley. Very pleasant watching the world go by in the sunshine. The afternoon run took in Bilsdale and then over the top to Carlton Bank and on to the finish at Croft. Chairman Wally had arranged a free buffet at the Comet which was most welcome. Thanks Wally.

This year’s Anglo Dutch Rally was held in this country on 23/26th July with John Robinson being a member of the victorious team. What no Brian?

In August, the principal section run will be Viv’s Saturday Saunter on 10th starting from the Cricket Club at 10.30hrs and finishing at the Crown pub in Manfield where a BBQ will be held. Tickets are available for the BBQ from Viv for participants on the run as well as non-riders but must be obtained before the day of the event.

Other events in August are as per the calendar.
I understand that Fred Gowton has been moved to residential care and is not yet fully fit. Best wishes to Fred and section members hope for a full recovery.

See you on the Saunter.            

Tom Reed    

July 2013

We’ve had a few runs under our belts now and most enjoyable they were too.
Viv Tubby organised the Concours event at Walworth Castle on 11th June and ,after a pleasant run around the lanes of some 40 miles, Grant Sellars adjudged which machines shone the most, The picture shows the boys with too much time on their hands or who got a bulk supply of Solvol Autosol for Christmas.

Winner Howard Masters for his AJS, Steve Wrigglesworth for his Norton and yours truly for my

On 26th, I went with Chairman Wally to Banbury and took part in the Banbury Run. It was a masterpiece of organisation for some 600 machines dated pre- 1931. I was doing well on the Model P until the spark plug gave up and put me behind schedule. The only thing that I got from the weekend was a chest infection from Wally which I then passed on to my wife Pat. Thanks Wally.

The Sunset Run results are shown below with the winner being Grant Sellars from Dave Headon and Dave Porteous.

Eric’s Evening Excursion was on 25th and riders on a good range of machines toured roads to the east of Dalton including Picton, Potto, Stokesley and Crathorne The full results are shown below with the winner being Steve Davies from Dave Headon and Colin Bennet.

The trials boys were busy with two trials in June at Girsby and Downholme. Results are in the trials section link.

The club ride-out and buffet was very well attended with a strong contingent of guest riders. Apart from the drop-off system being beyond the capability of some, we had an enjoyable evening.

There was the usual good turn-out from the section for the Northumbrian Gathering with a route from Wooler well into the Scottish Borders via Coldstream, Greenlaw and refreshment stops at the Golf Club in Dunns.

The section was pleased to welcome Club President Vic Bake to the club night on 4th July for an informative talk on exploits of Eric Fernihough and his record- breaking achievements in Hungary. Thanks Vic and your wife Laura.

The July events are posted in the calendar but the following are of note.
Trial at Battersby on 20th.

Chairman’s Run on 27th starting from the Comet Pub in Croft at 10-00hrs. with the lunch stop in Helmsley. Regulations can be down-loaded. There will be a free buffet at the finish thanks to Wally. On the following day, the Chairman’s Social Run will leave the Cricket Club at 09.30/10.00 hrs. riding to the Bikewise Event at Aykley Heads in Durham.

Further out, don’t forget Viv’s Saturday Saunter on 10th August which will conclude with a BBQ at discount rates.

On the medical front, it has been very pleasing to see Dennis Marwood at two recent club nights. He must be getting better as he is looking for engine parts for a 350 unit Triumph engine. Please look under your benches.

Fred Gowton has been in hospital to have a pace-maker fitted and is now in respite care. I’m sure that a visit would be appreciated.

That's it for now, keep riding.                  TOM REED

June 2013

We’re into June and welcoming a modicum of sunny riding weather – at last. Having said that, the Quaker Social Run was curtailed due to flooded roads.

The Quaker Run on the following day was a most enjoyable event as described by David in his report below. Thanks go, once again, to the Porteous family and their team of helpers.

The Signpost Rally on 22nd May wasn’t well attended which was a poor reward for Mike and Howard who did the organising.

Future events are, of course, in the Events Calendar but of particular note in June are :

Walworth Castle Concours on 11th.
Sunset Run on 17th.
Club night ride and buffet on 20th.
Eric’s Evening Excursion on 25th.
Plenty of choice there for you.

On the medical front, it is particularly pleasing to report that Dennis Marwood is now at home following his spell in hospital and seems to be making good progress. I am sure that you will join me in wishing Dennis a full recovery and look forward to seeing him out and about again.

Finally, a reminder that there will be a sale of items owned by Bert Hicks at Rose Cottage, Summerhouses, at 10.00hrs on 8th June.

See you out and about

Tom Reed  

May 2013

At last, lovely motorcycling weather has arrived. Enjoy it.

In April, we had the Championship Trial at Chop Gate with the results published in the trials link. At the Rookhope Ryde, organised by the Northumbrian Section, Brian Smith and John Robinson were amongst our representatives and finished in the awards.

Moving onto May, again the Northumbrian boys have a good event arranged. This is the Coast to Coast Run on 4th/5th for flat tank and low powered machines. Possibly a bit late to enter but Brian Smith has copies of the regs.

The Wetherby Run is organised by the North East Section on 5th and Bill Birks and I will be riding down for that. Join us if you wish.

South Durham events are published in the calendar with the Quaker Weekend being on 18th/19th and is, of course, well worth an entry.

To personal matters, some of you may know that Dennis Marwood was admitted to hospital for a planned operation in April from which he appeared to recover well. However, complications have led to some concern and visitors are not now allowed until he recovers. Best wishes Dennis and hope to see you riding soon.

Tony Bailey is also temporarily out of action following a hip replacement operation from which he is recovering well. This is a pity as I was hoping that he would need someone to give his bikes a run. Have a good recovery Tony.

To those of us still riding, see you on one of the many forthcoming events.

Tom Reed

April 2013

It’s clear why we don’t start South Durham runs too early –BRR it’s cold.

In March, the trial at Hartlepool went ahead although with a reduced turnout of only 13 riders. Results are posted in the trials section.

The Northumbrian Section’s Spike’s Cuckoo Waltz event attracted about a dozen entrants in somewhat arduous conditions. The green lanes were pretty much unusable and the road sections were quite demanding due to mud and snow. Lunch was at Langdon Beck. Heroes to a man.

At least Bill’s Domino challenge was indoors and proved an enjoyable evening with Viv Tubby being the winner.

There are  two local riding events in April. The championship trial on 14th at Chop Gate and the Northumbrian Section’s Rookhope Ryde on 21st.

May brings a fuller programme as itemised in the calendar so we can look forward to putting some miles in. I’ve even changed the oil in the Rocket in anticipation. Looking forward to the Quaker Run.

Tom Reed

March 2013

February proved to be quieter than expected with both the Green Lane Run and the Championship Trial at Hindlethwaite being cancelled due to water-logged ground conditions.

As anticipated, the club night quiz and supper was a great success with a full attendance. Many thanks go to Dennis and Brian.

In March, we hope for more luck with the weather for the trial on 10th at Brenda Road in Hartlepool.
At the club night on 14th, Rick Swan will be coming along to appraise us of his proposed restoration and precision blasting facilities.

As per calendar, Bill Birks will once again be testing our mathematical skills with his Domino Knockout on 28th.
See you there.                

Tom Reed

February 2013

There was a full house for the excellent awards evening at Walworth Castle in January when Vic Blake was a most welcome guest of honour. The formal handover of the section chairmanship was made by Dennis to Wally Holmes who is settling in nicely to his new role. Many thanks go, once again, to the Porteous family and other helpers for putting on such an enjoyable occasion.

We must also thank Tom Norman and Malcolm Byrne for their talks at two club nights which were extremely well received. Malcolm’s talk, on Deep Sea Diving and Mine Warfare, was his third to the section in a series on naval subjects and I must encourage you to attend any future talks by this most knowledgeable and personable presenter.

Of course, February is a quiet time for most of us from a riding point of view with only green lane runs and trials to interest us – yes, Brian I know that we are all wusses.

However, the club night and quiz, to be organised by Dennis and Brian, is on 28th and promises to be another brain teaser of an evening. There will be the usual supper provided so bring your other half along for a cheap and cheerful treat.

Hope to see you there or at any of our club nights which are enjoying a bit of a boom in attendance.

Tom Reed 

January 2013

A happy new year to all of our readers.

In December, Wallace Holmes was confirmed as Chairman of the section at the AGM. Many thanks go to Dennis Marwood for his sterling efforts over the last two years.
The Christmas Party was another success and thanks go to organisers, supporters, caterers and, of course, all who attended and participated.

Several section members enjoyed a run in the dry to High Force for the Boxing Day Gathering. Pictures can be seen in the Picture Gallery link.

Winners of various awards can now be announced prior to their presentation at Walworth Castle on 12th January.

2012 Trials Championship
  • 1st Rob Green
  • 2nd Paul Deakin
  • 3rd Dave Flintoft

  • N.R.R. Champion John Robinson - See NRR link for full results    
  • Section Champion John Fawcett
  • Over 60 Champion Tony Bailey
  • Ladies Champion Sarah Norman
  • Concours Champion Viv Tubby

In January, there will be talks at each of two club nights as shown in the 2013 Events Calendar.
17th Tom Norman on his adventures covering 10 countries in 16 days.
31st Malcolm Byrne on deep sea diving and mine warfare.

Finally, tickets are selling out fast for Walworth Castle so raid your piggy bank quickly. See you there.

Tom Reed
December 2012

John Robinson being presented with his awards, by Angela holding on to him,  for the oldest vehicle to complete the trial, and best performance by a pre 1931 motorcycle - 1929 Ariel 550cc   ere to edit text.

There were two events of note in November.

The trial at Wensley was won by Rob Green from G. Charlton and Paul Deakin. Full results are in the trials link.

The awards evening for the 40th Beamish Trophy Trial was a well-attended and enjoyable event with some winners travelling surprising distances to collect their well-earned trophies. Congratulations to one and all. Full results and pictures can be found in the Beamish Trial link.                                                                                                        


The evening commenced with a minutes silence to recognise the passing of Robert Atkinson who was instrumental in the early years of the trial. The awards were presented by the incomparable Angela who rewarded several winners with a kiss ? better Angela than Grant. A CD of the trial is available from Roy Sturgeon at a small charge.

Moving on to December, there was to be a trial at Hindlethwaite on 2nd but unfortunately cancelled due to bad weather. The AGM is to be held on the 6th.

In the absence of formal propositions for committee membership, Wallace Holmes has agreed to be nominated at the AGM to be Section Chairman. I have agreed to continue as vice-chairman. I am sure that you will all support Wallace in his new role.

There two social runs in the calendar in December in addition to the un-missable Christmas Party on 20th. Tickets are available from Brian Smith.

Looking ahead to January, we have the awards evening for 2012 events at Walworth Castle when the presentations will be made by Club President Vic Blake. Tickets again available from Brian.

Finally, on behalf of your committee, can I wish you and your families a happy Christmas and hope that you have a safe, mobile and rewarding New Year.

Tom Reed

November 2012

As I write this newsletter, there is thick fog outside and it’s freezing cold. No more bike rides until we see the green shoots of Spring I think. Only the trials boys seem masochistic enough to brave the winter chills – and Brian of course.

The two principal road events in October were the Anniversary Run and the Colonial Run and these are well-reported on the website. Thanks Mike and Martyn for your reports.

The October trial was at Snilesworth with the full results reported in the Trials link. However the winner was Rob Green from Tony Frost and S. Powell. The November trial will be at Wensley on 18th and the December one at Hindlethwaite on 2nd.

The section had a most interesting talk and slideshow by Eric Londesbrough at the Club night on 25th on the subject of his visit, with Denise, to Kenya for the Concours Event. It was clearly a most enjoyable trip embracing both motorbikes and wild life safari. Lucky Eric and thanks for the talk.

The Beamish Awards Evening will be held on 22nd November and will include a buffet and a photographic display of the trial. Please join us to congratulate the prize winners and to thank the marshals and other helpers without whom the event could not be held.

Finally, don’t forget the AGM on 6th December and get your nominations for committee membership in early to avoid disappointment.

Stay warm

Tom Reed 

Newsletter October 2012

There were two runs in early September. The Bob Rawlings Run which was won by Brian Smith and the Baydale Run Download results organised by Bobby Robinson. This was a most enjoyable event. Well done Bobby.

Several section members attended the Hunton Steam Fair to re-live their youth in support of the farming community.

The Battersby trial was on 15th and full results are posted in the trials page. However, Rob Green won the trial from Dave Headon and R Linicuter.

The Saltburn Hill Climb was again held on a non-competitive basis this year with several section members in attendance to admire some fine classic bikes and cars. Wally Holmes bravely powered his veteran Rudge up the hill but this was probably easier than trusting the brakes on the return trip. The picture below shows a couple of intrepid characters preparing to tackle the hill in a JAP-engined Morgan.

  Saltburn Hill Climb - Tom Reed and Grant Sellars

The Beamish Trophy Trial was on 23rd and was again successfully completed. Full results and information will be posted on the Beamish website

Beamish Trophy Trial Haggs Mine Section

Viv Tubby organised the section stand at the Teesside Classic Bike Show at Middlesbrough Motor Club. His efforts were rewarded by taking the Best Club Stand Award which included £50 towards section funds. Many thanks Viv. The Best Vintage Bike Award also went to Viv for his Rudge and the Post 60 Award went to Tony Bailey for his lovely Velocette Thruxton. All told, a successful day out.

Looking ahead, Mike Carruthers is organising the Anniversary Run on October 7th starting at Manfield. Regulations and entry forms are available on the website or from Mike. Other events in October are as shown in the calendar.

If I could leave you with this thought. Both Dennis and I will be standing down from our roles as chairman and vice-chairman of the section at the AGM on November 8th. We have many talented people in the section who could contribute greatly to section activities. We would appreciate nominations to the Secretary from likely lads before the AGM.

Tom Reed 

Newsletter September 2012



Two photos from the July social evening run to Osmotherley featuring Mark and Geert de Boer, our friends from our twin club in the Netherlands.


The frequency of runs slowed slightly in August although those that were held were most enjoyable.

Brian’s Social Weekend centred on Hesket with only the occasional shower dampening spirits. Still it wasn’t raining in the pub.

The trial at Underbanks was won by John Pattinson from Mark Hardwick and Dave Flintoft. Download Results

The Sunday Saunter was well planned by Dennis and Viv with a good mix of green lanes included in the run. No questions and pleasant weather greeted 14 riders at the start supported by pillions Sue and Annabel. Bill failed to make it to the lunch stop indeed he failed to make it past Sadberge. We all have those days Bill. Perhaps there’s also the need for refresher training in the drop-off system.

There were 8 riders and 2 pillions from the section on the Topcliffe Run which took in the usual circuit of Hutton-le-Hole and Rosedale to the lunch stop at The Lion on Blakey Ridge. This was followed by a green lane run to Helmsley and thence back to base. This route was the reverse of the normal direction and this added to the interest.

September starts with the Bob Rawlings and Baydale Runs and regs. are now available.

The big event is, of course, the Beamish Trophy Trial on 23rd and Tom has worked his magic again with a full entry from far and wide. Your support would be appreciated.

The Teesside Classic Bike Show clashes with the Beamish but the section will still have a stall at this show. Please bring along suitable machines.

The September trial is on 16th with some doubt as to the venue. Probably  Snilesworth.

Further out , the Anniversary Run will be organised by Mike Carruthers.

Of more general interest, there is now an autojumble on the second Saturday of each month held at Mill House,   Littleburn Industrial Estate,   Langley Moor. Another chance to rummage through boxes of rusty bits.

Tom Reed   


Newsletter July 2012

As we run into August, the runs available continue apace.

Looking back to July, John Robinson attended the Lakeland Rally and David Porteous was a marshal at the Festival of 1000 Bikes at Mallory. This latter event gets bigger and better each year and is a tremendous success for the VMCC.

The July practise trial was cancelled due to water-logged ground.

Thirteen section members rode down to Edale for the Pennine Way Run. There was some rain on the way down but the subsequent two days were fine although it was very blowy on Alston Moor on the run home from Greenhead. This was a most enjoyable and sociable event which covered some 470 miles home-to-home over the three days. Possibly the best bit was the bath, dinner and bottle of red that awaited chez nous.


 Pennine Way Run -  Lunch stop at the Old Silent Inn Near Haworth

Brian’s final Evening Social Run of 2012, to Osmotherley, had a turn-out of some 12 riders including two from the Netherlands. These two hadn’t come over just for this run but for Founders Day. This was cancelled as you will know and is re-scheduled for 2nd September.

The Chairman’s Run took us over the lovely North Yorks. Moors with the lunch stop at the Down Arms at Castleton. The morning run was picturesque but rain, sometimes torrential with thunderstorms, marred the afternoon return. The South Durham Olympians were   Gold – Colin Bennet,  Silver – Brian Smith,  Bronze – David Porteous. Many thanks to Dennis, Annabel and their support team for a well-organised event. Download Results

August started with Brian’s Social Weekend and reports of any misdemeanours are not yet to hand.

Other events are listed in the events calendar but the following are of particular note.               

Sunday Saunter on 12th organised by Viv and Dennis and starts from the Club at 10-00hrs approx. The lunch stop will be at Middleton in Teesdale and finishing at Archers near Walworth for ice cream. As the name implies, this run is not a race and the older the machine then all the better.

The Topcliffe Run is on 19th starting from the Gliding Club at Sutton Bank as usual. Entrants are invited to meet at Blands Corner at 09-15hrs for the ride to the start.

Looking further ahead, the Baydale Run is on 9th September, organised by Bobby Robinson, and regs. are now available.

Don’t put your bikes away just yet as summer may still happen.

Tom Reed       


Newsletter July 2012

I think that we can all agree that this summer has been pretty dreadful with more than our fair share of cold, wind and rain. We’ve hardly seen the sun since March. However, it’s fair to say that our section runs have escaped the worst and have been most enjoyable.
In June, there were two practise trials; at Downholme on 10th which was won by Paul Deacon from Jim Jardine and Rob Green and at Girsby on the evening of 20th which was won by John Pattinson from Rob Green and Graham Charlton. It was disappointing that only four riders plus two ladies went on the social run to support the boys on a fine evening at Girsby.
The Walworth Castle Concours was judged by Grant Sellars and won by a 1930 Ariel Colt 250 de luxe brought by Tony Bailey prior to riding it in the Banbury Run – a lovely machine. Second was a very smart Triton owned by Steve Wigglesworth and third was Dennis Marwood’s 1948 MAC Velocette.
The Beamish Reliability Run had a full entry, including a good turnout from the South Durham Section who enjoyed a good and dry day’s riding.
Eric’s Evening Excursion again had a good turnout on a pleasant evening. The full results await Eric’s return from the Isle of Man but the first three were Dave Porteous from Tom Reed and Colin Bennet.
There was another strong entry for Howard Duddles’ Sunset run around the North Yorks. Moors. Results are yet to be announced.
Download Results
The Section was well represented at the Northumbrian Gathering on 30th June. Results were announced at the evening awards ceremony but have yet to filter down to me. Results are here for download NG2012-Final Results.pdf
Finally, for past events, the Club Ride –in and Buffet was very well attended particularly by friends from related motorcycle clubs. The weather stayed dry but some of the puddles could have served as back-up for Olympic swimming events. Brian performed his usual excellent route-master role and the evening was topped off with Elaine’s sumptuous buffet.
We must thank all of the organisers of the above events as well as marshalls and back-up teams and Elaine, of course.

Some pictures from the Ride In 5th July




Looking further into July, events are in the calendar with the most significant being;
7th/8th Girder and Lakeland Rally
21st/22nd Pennine Way Run. Meet at Blands Corner at 0830hrs.
29th Chairman’s Run. Regs. now available from Dennis.
Unfortunately, I cannot organise the Sunday Saunter as programmed for 12th August but the good news is that Howard Duddles has stepped into the breach and will organise the run. Thanks a lot Howard.
And with that, let’s hope for some sunshine and safe riding.
Tom Reed

Newsletter June 2012

There were several excellent rides in May as briefly mentioned below.
The Founders Relay Rally was well supported and is reported elsewhere on the website.
The Wetherby Run was a pleasant experience, as usual, with Dennis Marwood being fifth highest points scorer.

Someone at the back is celebrating getting a question right

Bill's lost his bike and John wants to swap his.

There were 28 riders at the practise trial at Gilling West which was won by Dave Flintoft from Paul Harrison and Rob Green.
The weather was less than helpful for Brian and Wilf’s Touring Week but that didn’t deter the boys from taking part in the full programme. Many thanks go to Brian for the miles that he put in. The ride to the Craven Collection, organised by Dennis and Viv, was enjoyable, if a little damp. The Collection is well worth a visit.
The Quaker Weekend was most successful and is reported elsewhere with results and pictures.
Mike and Howard’s Signpost Run was the usual entertaining meander down less than familiar lanes with a three-way tie being decided in favour of Brian Smith.
The Back Green Rally in Lakeland was apparently one of the best ever enjoying marvellous weather. John Robinson and Brian (again) managed to get amongst the awards.
The Evening Social Run on 30th was led by Brian to an unknown pub at an unknown location.
There are two practice trials to be held in June: Downholme on 10th and Girsby on 20th.
There will be an evening social run, from the club, to support the boys at Girsby.
As in the calendar, there are three section events in June,
Walworth Castle Concours on 12th. Start at 18-00hrs.
Eric’s Evening Excursion on 19th. Start is at Dalton and regs. are now available from Eric.
Sunset Run on 25th ,organised by Howard Duddles, and starting from Middlesbrough Motor Club. Regs. can be completed on the night. Pie and peas available at £3 extra.
Looking further ahead, do not forget the Club night ride and buffet on 5th July.
Finally, as many of you will have heard, Ron Smith who was a past section member passed away recently. His funeral was at Darlington Crematorium last Thursday and our condolences go to his family.

Tom Reed


Newsletter May 2012

At last, May is here and it is time for some serious motorcycling fun. That is provided that the golden football in the sky finally shines on us.

Some comments first on April’s activities.                                                                

Brian Smith upheld the section’s reputation by winning a three-way tie for victory at the Rookhope Ryde.                                                                                                         

Malcolm Byrne gave another of his enthralling talks at the club night on 26th – this time on aircraft carriers. Appreciation was shown by a collection of some £80 for charity. Thanks Malcolm.                                                                                                                       

There were quite a few familiar faces about at the Stafford Classic Bike Show. A dry, but tiring, day out.

Moving on to May, the Founders Relay Rally is on 6th with our usual checkpoints at the Cricket Club and High Force. The ride to the Lakeland Section will start from the Mowden Pub  Darlington at 07-30hrs.                                                                                  

Several members will be joining the Northeast Section for their Wetherby Run on 13th.

Wilf and Brian’s Touring Week is on 14th-18th with the full programme shown in the link in the events calendar. Ring Brian or Wilf for starting details.  Viv and Dennis have organised the Friday run to the Craven Collection near York. There should be a good turnout.          

The Quaker Weekend is on 19th-20th and promises to be up to the usual high standard. The Saturday Social Run will leave the Cricket Club at 10-00hrs and All saint’s Church,  Northallerton at 10-30hrs. travelling to Masham, Pately Bridge and Nidderdale.

The Quaker Run on Sunday will leave at 10-00hrs. and will traverse  Arkengarthdale and Swaledale with the lunch stop at Reeth.                                                             

Two evening events are in the calendar, namely, the Signpost run on 23rd and an evening social run on 30th.

So, no excuse for further hibernation, let’s see you on one or more runs in the next few weeks.

Tom  Reed


Newsletter April 2012

March was a quiet month for section activities with both green lane runs being cancelled.
However, the usual suspects took themselves off to the Cotswold Section for the Felix Burke event. No feedback yet on success or failure.
The trial at Snilesworth on 11th was won by John Pattinson from Tony Frost and Paul Nelson. Full results are posted in the trials section ( sorry )of the website.
Bill Birks entertained us with his domino KO won by Mike Carruthers from Tony Bailey.
As shown in the events calendar, April brings the championship trial at Braidley on 15th, the Rookhope Ryde on 22nd and the Classic bike Show at Stafford on 28th / 29th.
May kicks off with the Relay Rally on 6th when a group of us will visit the Lakeland section’s nine checkpoints. Join us if you fancy a full day’s riding . Contact Viv Tubby for details.

Tom Reed


Newsletter March 2012

The quiz organised by Chairman Dennis and Treasurer Brian was a well organised success. A melange of questions tested us all but with the help of the ladies we managed to do quite well. Elaine came up trumps again with a pie and peas supper - thanks Elaine. It was most pleasing to welcome friends from the Northumbrian section, Teesside Yesterday Club etc.

Unfortunately, the championship trial planned for Over Silton had to be cancelled due to wet ground conditions.  The next trial is at Snilesworth on 11th March

The two Green Lane runs programmed for March on 4th and 25th have been cancelled.

At the club night on 15th March, stalwart Bill Birks will trundle out his abacus for the domino championship of the world  (well the South Durham Section anyway ).  Always a good event.

The regulations for the Northumbrian section’s Cuckoo Waltz, which is for off-roaders, are now available and can be downloaded from this site.

Planning is now winding up for the riding season. April brings the Rookhope Ryde and the Stafford Classic Bike Show whilst, in May, there is a veritable deluge of major events. Let’s hope that the deluge does not apply to the weather.

Please note that the Northumbrian Section’s Bob Rawlings Run has been put back to 2nd September.

Tom Reed


Newsletter Feb 2012

The frenetic activity reported in the last newsletter is now at an end and, with the days drawing out, we can look forward to some much–needed machine time.

February events are in the calendar but please note that, on 16th Brian and Dennis will be holding their Quiz and supper at the club night. Ladies invited.

The trials scene continues to thrive with two trials in January and the next one being on19th February at Over Silton. Please see a new batch of trials pictures here …….



Bill’s domino knockout will be on 15th March. See you there. 

Tom Reed

Newsletter January 2012

A belated, happy new year to one and all from your committee. December was an active month which I’ll briefly summarise.

The championship trial at Chop Gate on 4th was won by Rob Green, followed by John Pattinson and Tony Frost.

At the AGM on 8th the committee was re-elected en bloc.

The Anniversary Social Run on 11th attracted 7 members sharing 2 bikes and 2 cars. They enjoyed a run to Saltburn and thence to the Speedway at South Bank where Brian apparently blagged a couple of laps. The track record wasn’t threatened.

There were some 70 attendees at the Christmas party on 22nd with the usual entertainment and buffet. Thanks to all who contributed to making the evening so enjoyable.


More party pictures

Some 6 riders from the section joined 20+ guest riders for the Boxing Day run to High Force via the lakes of the Tees Valley. It was the warmest weather for this run in recent memory.

January kicked off with 30 riders at the practice trial at Swainby. This was won by John Pattinson followed by Kevin Chapman and Paul Deakin.

The event of the year was the Awards Evening on 7th at Walworth Castle. In front of a full house, Club President Colin Bell made the awards. A fuller report, and pictures, will be posted elsewhere on the website. Read more


Welcome to the last newsletter of 2011 that rounds off another successful year for the Section.

On 10th November, some 90 entrants, section members and guests enjoyed the presentation by Grant Sellars of the awards for the 2011 Beamish Trophy Trial. Several award winners had travelled a fair distance to the event to collect their trophies in person. This is most gratifying and demonstrates the enthusiasm and support that exists for this well-organised and enjoyable trial. Once again we thank Tom Norman for re-establishing the Beamish in the calendar with such success and also to his support team for their time and hard work, to Grant Sellars for making the presentations and Elaine and Colin for making us so welcome. To see award recipients, click here…..

Brian’s trail weekend involved trails around Farndale in North Yorks. in good weather on the Saturday. On the Sunday, the location of choice moved the Alston area with the usual Alston micro-climate. Wet.

The November championship trial was held at Underbanks and the full results are posted on the trials page of the website. However, the first three were John Pattinson, Dave Flintoff and Tony Hayward. The December trial will be on 4th at Chop Gate.

December will be a busy time for the Section with the AGM on 8th . There are no significant propositions of note this year nor, not surprisingly, any nominations to join the committee. All organisations benefit from the infusion of new ideas, motivations and enthusiasm that new personalities bring. I would, therefore, encourage you to consider joining the management team at the next opportunity when you will be made most welcome.

Other events are in the calendar but just to remind you that tickets are still available for the Christmas Party on 22nd and the annual dinner dance at Walworth Castle on 7th January. Any trophies that are still in your possession are required ASAP by David for engraving.

The anniversary Social Run will start from the Cricket Club at 10-30 on 11th and the Boxing Day Run to High Force will, as usual, start from Darlington Market Place at 10-30.  

Finally, this only leaves me, on behalf of your committee, to wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and a happy and safe riding New Year.

 Tom  Reed   



 The riding season is drawing to a close and it’s time to give the bikes some tlc before the shed becomes too cold. You can do mine if you like.

In October, the Colonial Run looked an adventurous affair with Bobby Robinson upholding the family reputation with first place, followed by that well-known southerner Martyn Weston and our own Brian Smith. See report and pictures on the forum section of this website.

Dave Porteous rode in the Beverley Run and reported his lack of success.

The Scott Trial social run was on 22nd with a number of section members out and about.

The championship trial at Hindlethwaite on 23rd was won by John Pattinson from Paul Deacon and Richard Bainbridge. Full results are in the trials section of this site.

The Green Lane Run due to be on 30th October has now been re-arranged to a trail ride weekend on 5th /6th November.

Looking to the future, there are two further events in November.

The awards for the 2011 Beamish TT will be presented on Thursday 10th November by Grant Sellars, the well-known local rider and organiser of all things motorcycling. Come along, bring your wife, partner (male or female) and enjoy Elaine’s famous buffet.

The November championship trial is on 20th at Underbanks.

A reminder for your diary is that the AGM is on 8th December. Propositions and nominations to committee will be welcomed and must be announced at the business meeting on 24th November. All of those discussions that you have on club nights must have thrown up topics that you would like to have aired and identified chaps who can contribute to the running of the section. Let us know about them.

Dave Porteous would like all trophies from last year to be returned to him asap for engraving.

There is a proposal to go to the Island for the TT on 2nd- 8th June. See Brian Smith in the next few days if interested.

Similarly, Dave Porteous would like expressions of interest in going to the Manx later in the year.     

                                        Tom Reed    





September’s events started with the Baydale Run organised by John Robinson. Twenty riders took part and Dave Porteous was the overall winner followed by John Lines and Tony Bailey. The full results and pictures can be found on the home page of the website.


Four South Durham Section members took part in the Northumbrian Section’s  Bob Rawlings Run with John Robinson claiming second place.


Twenty two riders entered the practice trial at Silton on 11th which was won by Paul Harrison followed by Simon Ridsdale and Dave Flintoff. Full results are on the Trials page. The next Championship Trial will be on 23rd October at Hindlethwaite in Coverdale.


The Beamish Trophy Trial was held on 18th September with 130 entrants on the day. Many thanks to Tom Norman, and his marshals, for their superb, and appreciated, efforts on the day. Provisional results and notes can be found at www.beamishtt.com . The awards evening has been brought forward to 10th November at the Middleton St. George Cricket Club.  All are welcome to congratulate the award winners and enjoy Elaine’s famous buffet.


The Teesside Classic Bike Show was successfully held at Middlesbrough Motor Club on 25th with a good turnout of men and machines. Viv Tubby won the Best in Show award with his Rudge. Well done Viv and thanks to both Gerry Beer and Viv for organising the VMCC stand.


The Anniversary Run was held on 2nd October organised by Mike Carruthers and his A team. We enjoyed a superb yet challenging run starting  at the Crown Inn at Manfield then heading through the Yorkshire Dales to the lunch stop at Clapham. The weather was dampish all day but not sufficient to dampen our spirits on a most scenic run. Overall winner was Brian Smith with Paul Feldon second and John Fawcett third. Full results and pictures can be found on the home page of the website.


Other events in October are shown in the Events Calendar and further details will be announced at Club nights. Please note that there will be no entries allowed on the day at the Colonial Run on 9th.


The November Championship Trial will be held on 20th at Underbanks in Coverdale.



                                                Tom Reed


Newsletter  September   2011


     What horrible weather we’ve had of late, it’s absolutely pouring down as I write this.

     Brians’ social weekend in early August at Eyemouth was, apparently, a complete washout.  I’m told that even Brian left early as the weather didn’t encourage riding the coastal lanes of Southern Scotland.  At the same time, John Robinson and Paul Feldon were ‘camping’ in Scotland for a multi package of runs over some 8/9 days.  Yes, they sampled the same inhospitable weather only getting wetter. 

     Those on the topcliffe run enjoyed a break in weather for a most pleasant run starting, as usual, at the Sutton Bank Gliding club.  Only 35 miles to the lunch stop at Blakey Ridge followed by Rosedale and the infamous chimney.  Six section members made the event but results are not yet to hand. – not holding out too much hope.

     There were 20 entrants in the practise trial at Snilesworth and the full results are in the trials section of the site.  The first three, however, were John Pattison with no marks lost, followed by Paul Deacon and Stue Chapman.

     In September, John Robinson’s Baydale Run is on the 4th and regs are now available.

     Other sections events are in the calendar but our ‘biggie’ is the Beamish Trophy Trial on the 18th.  If you cannot ride or marshal then come and spectate and support the brave souls who can.

     Further on, Mike Carruthers is organsing the Anniversary Run on 2nd October.

    Well, I’m off to sunny France for two weeks and hope that it’s sunny for you too.





July was a busy month for several section members although some travelled far and wide to get their riding fill.

Events visited included :

-        the Anglo Dutch Rally

-        Mallory 1000 Bikes weekend

-        Northumbrian Gathering

-        Lakeland Rally

-        2011 TT Mountain Challenge.

There was positive feedback from all participants.


Closer to home, we had:

-        Club Ride and Buffet when some 30 riders appreciated a typical Brian’s sortie to somewhere followed by Elaine’s quality buffet.

-        Two evening social runs again courtesy of Brian Smith.

-        Trial at Wensley  won by Graham Charlton followed by Brian Irwin and Dave Flintoff. As usual, the full results can be found in the trials page on the website.

-        The Chairman’s Run organised by Dennis Marwood. In humid but enjoyable weather, we rode through the Esk Valley to the lunch stop at Goathland. In spite of excellent route directions, not all riders returned to the Cricket Club. Are they still out there ? The winner was Dave Porteous followed by John Fawcett and John Warren.

Many thanks to Dennis and marshals Annabelle, Viv and Sue together with the ever-friendly recovery team of Stan and Sandra.

There is only one Section road event in August – Brian’s Social weekend on 6th/7th.

There is a trial at Snilesworth on August 14th.

The Baydale Run follows on 4th September and regs. can be obtained from organiser John Robinson.

The Beamish Trophy Trial is on 18th September and Tom Norman would appreciate any volunteers for marshalling duties.

The North East Section’s Topcliffe Run is on August 21st. Anyone wanting to join Dennis, Bill and I for the run to Sutton Bank, then meet at Great Smeaton at 09-15 hrs.

Please note that the date of the 2012 Awards Evening at Walworth Castle has been brought forward to January 7th 2012.                                        

       Tom Reed

Newsletter  July  2011


I hope that you are all enjoying the hectic riding schedule on offer at present.


The full programme in June included events held across the North East, including the East Yorks. Section, Reivers Section, Northumbrian Section, the Beamish Reliability Run and, of course, the VMCC Scarborough Festival Week. However, the events of particular interest to South Durham Section members were our own. These were ;


The Walworth Castle Concours organised by Viv. Tubby when 27 machines were out on the run. There were some lovely machines on display with the overall winner being the BMW owned by Wally Holmes, followed by the recently - restored Triumph model C owned by Brian Smith and, in third place, the June bike - of – the – month, Richard Blackburn’s 1928 ex - Factory Scott.


Eric’s Evening Excursion attracted a good turn – out enjoying bright sunshine which was quite remarkable given the amount of rain that had prevailed throughout the day. David Porteous was the overall winner and Eric’s report and results can be found here...


The Sunset Run was organised by Howard Duddles who set a challenging route of some 45 miles in North Yorkshire based on Middlesbrough Motor Club. Results are not yet to hand.

There were two practise trials in June.

          Downholme on 12th.           1st     Brian Irwin

                                                   2nd   Richard Bainbridge

                                                   3rd   Rob. Green.


          Girsby on 22nd                   1st    John Patterson

                                                   2nd   Brian Hutchinson

                                                   3rd    Rob Green.

The next trial is on 24th July at Park Gate Farm in Wensley.


In July, the Section has two principal events;

Club ride – out and buffet on 7th with the ride starting at 18-30hrs returning to the Cricket Club for 20 – 00 hrs.

Chairman’s Run on 31st July, organised by Dennis Marwood, travelling via the Esk Valley to the lunch stop at Goathland.

There are two evening social runs programmed with details to be had from Brian Smith. Other principal events are given in the events calendar.

Enjoy your riding.

         Tom Reed.



Newsletter  June  2011

In the introduction to the May Newsletter, I was optimistic regarding the continuing superb weather that we had been enjoying. In general, this optimism was justified except for the Quaker Run when a mix of wind and rain took the edge off the usual well-organised event. A full write-up, pictures and results are posted on the home page of the website. I must add the appreciation of all entrants to the Porteous family, marshals and breakdown team for their organisation of the event.

Four section members entered the North East Section’s NRR Wetherby Run when John Robinson took the Best Veteran Award – OK he was on the only veteran entered.

Howard and Mike’s Signpost Rally was held on a pleasant evening around the lanes to the south and west of Darlington. Fifteen machines took part in the most enjoyable run prior to finishing back at the Cricket Club. Thanks Mike and Howard.

The Quaker Social Run was on 21st May led by Brian Smith over the North Yorks. Moors with the lunch stop at the Feversham Arms in Farndale.

There was a practise trial at Battersby on 14th May when four riders cleaned all sections. These were Rob Green, Jim Jardine, Colin Jackson and John Patterson with the tie-break decided on oldest machine.

There are 8 events in June and are given in the Section calendar but there are 3 evening runs particular the Section. These are:

Walworth Castle Concours on 14th.      Viv Tubby

Eric’s Evening Excursion on 21st.         Eric Londesbrough – Regs. available

Sunset Run on 27th.                              Howard Duddles – Regs. available

There are two trials in June at Downholme on 12th. and at Girsby on Wednesday 22nd. This latter is an evening trial starting at approx.. 18-00hrs.

July is just as busy as June but, of note, is the Club night, ride-in and buffet on 7th.

Something for everyone I think. See you on the rides.

                                        Tom Reed





The weather over the last few weeks must have encouraged most of us to ready our machines for the impending riding season ahead. Apparently it was sunnier here than it was in Cyprus where Pat and I went on holiday.

In April , Brian was presented with the Syd Plevin Award at the VMCC AGM although none have seen it yet. As Brian is off amusing the Europeans in Holland, Switzerland, Italy and all points south we’ll have to wait for his return – providing that he can convince our border police that he isn’t an illegal. Silly me, I forgot that there’s automatic entry for anyone now.

The first three in the Championship Trial at Braidley were Rob Green, Paul Harrison and Paul Deacon. Full results are in the trials section of the site.

John Robinson, Brian Smith and Richard Blackburn joined our Northumberland chums at the NRR Rookhope Ryde. The lunch stop was at Longden Beck in Teesdale. There no results yet to hand.

A number from the section enjoyed fabulous sunshine at the Classic Bike Show at Stafford. There were light wallets and creaky knees by the end of the day.

Events in May include, the North East Section’s NRR Wetherby Run on 8th. Join Dennis and I at Great Smeaton at 09.15 hrs. if  you want to ride down with us.

For Mike and Howard’s run on 18th meet at the Cricket Club at 18.00hrs.

The Quaker weekend is on 21st/22nd . The Saturday Moors Social Run will be led by Brian Smith meeting at the Cricket Club at 10.00hrs. The Quaker Run will again be organised by the Porteous family and will start at 10.00hrs 0n Sunday at the Cricket Club. The run will cover some 95 miles through Wensleydale with the lunch stop at Masham.

The Hesket Newmarket weekend will be on 28th/29th .

We enjoyed the company of our latest recruit at the Club night on 28th April when 5 day old Charlie Robinson brought along Mum and Dad Alex and Bobby as well as Granddad John. Small sidecar anyone? Congratulations all round.

Newsletter  April  2011

At the club night on 17th March, Dennis and Brian organised a most successful quiz night with 90 in attendance. On 31st , Wally Holmes entertained us with DVD’s of events from the 50’s including sand racing at Redcar, car racing from Goodwood and Charterhall and an  air show at Middleton St. George. Thanks go to Dennis, Brian and Wally.

The championship trial in March was held at Chop Gate with 31 riders taking part. Three riders  cleaned all sections and,  after the usual tie break, the winner was Tony Frost followed by John Pattinson and Paul Deacon. Full results are in the Trials web page.

David Porteous and Tom Norman enjoyed a green lane run in Weardale on 13th   in glorious sunshine.

Events in April are shown the calendar but those of note are the championship trial on 17th at Braidley in Coverdale; the NRR Rookhope Ryde organised by the Northumbrian Section on 17th and the Classic Bike Show on 23rd/24th at Stafford.

Brian Smith will receive the Syd. Plevin award at the Club AGM on 10th.

May sees the riding season get well underway with the NRR Wetherby Run on 8th; Mike and Howards evening Social Run on 18th and the ever-popular Quaker Weekend on 21st /22nd . Regs. are now available.

Here’s hoping for dry weather and good riding.

                                                            Tom Reed   



Newsletter  March  2011

As many of you may now know, Brian Smith was nominated by the South Durham Section for the VMCC major award for outstanding work within a section of the Club – The Syd Plevin Award. Gratifyingly, our submission was successful and Brian will be presented with the award at the forthcoming VMCC AGM on April 10th. Many congratulations to Brian and thanks for your contribution to Section activities over many years.

At the club night on 17th February, Bill Birks held his enjoyable domino knockout event. Eric Londesbrough was the winner and Mike Carruthers the runner up. Many thanks to Bill.

Several section members spectated at the Championship Trial at Swainby on 20th February. There was an impressive selection of machines and capable riders tackling a number of sections mostly through streams with muddy approaches and exits as well as tricky knadgery over tree roots. The winner was Rob Green followed by Paul Deacon and Jim Jardine. Full results are in the Trials section of the site. If you would rather spectate than compete, I would thoroughly recommend these events. The next Championship Trial is at Chop Gate on March 20th.

There are two Green Lane runs in March on 13th and 27th. Contact Dave Porteous or Brian Smith for details.

On 17th March, Dennis and Brian will be holding their Quiz Night. Ladies are, of course, welcome and Elaine will be serving delicious pie & peas at £1.50 per head.

At club night on 31st March, Wally Holmes will be showing DVD’s of various motoring and motorcycling events from years past. These include sand racing at Redcar, car racing at Goodwood, Teesside Air Show, etc. This promises to be an interesting night. Be there.

The Lakeland Section’s Girder Fork and Lakeland Weekend Rally, to be held on 9th/10th July , has been added to the Northern Road Run Championship. All local/northern sections are now represented in the Championship. Should be plenty of good riding ahead.

There continues to be slight changes to the Events Calendar, so run off the latest copy on the site.


See latest Beamish Trial E-Newsletter 


Newsletter  February  2011


Things must be looking up as I was out on B33 last week and the trial at Girsby was able to be held. This was after the previous two trials were cancelled due to ground conditions. The Girsby result was 1st Brian Irvine,  2nd Tony Frost and 3rd Rob Green. The first two positions were decided on a tie break after fault-free performances. Full results can be found in the Trials section of the website.

The main Section event in January was, of course, the Awards Evening for 2010 events. See a full write-up above.

February events can be seen above with a Green Lane Run and Trial at Swainby for the adventurous. For the rest of us, there is Bill’s Domino K.O. to look forward to on 17th Feb.

Please note that there has been some changes made to dates in the 2011 calendar and a new copy can be downloaded from the website.   

 By  Tom Reed



Happy New Year to one and all. The snow has melted at last and temperatures have almost risen to zero.  Of course, the weather left its mark on section activities in December. The trial was cancelled and the attendance at the AGM was slightly down on normal.

At the AGM, the reports from the Treasurer, Secretary and Chairman were all accepted and votes of thanks given. John Robinson stands down as Chairman at the awards evening in January and is replaced by Dennis Marwood.  Many thanks to John for his work over the last two years and best wishes to Dennis.

The Christmas Party was another enjoyable evening with the usual entertainment and buffet. Thanks to all who participated in the organisation.

The two social runs were obviously affected by road conditions with only one bike and two cars making it to Saltburn for the Anniversary run. There were more brave souls out for the Boxing Day run to High Force, including Brian, John, Bobby, Gerry and Martin. They were joined for a warm at the pub by several of the four-wheeled brigade. Well done chaps.

The principle event in January is, of course, the awards evening at Walworth Castle when Bill Phelps, VMCC President, will make the awards. Ticket sales have gone very well and a good time is assured.

Trials details can be found in the Trials section of the website.

There’s still a few weeks to go until we have any organised road runs, so spanners out, oils changed and tyres inflated ready for the off. Bye for now.   


By Tom Reed 


Newsletter  December  2010

There was a good attendance at the Beamish Trial awards evening despite the inclement weather on the night. Understandably, several award winners couldn’t attend given the long distances involved for many. However, the night was most enjoyable with a video of this year’s event and a most acceptable free buffet.

The awards were presented by Stan Bartle, the VMCC representative for the North Eastern area, who travelled from Hull with his wife Moira. A brave effort Stan and I hope that body heat was sufficient to maintain overnight temperature inside the Campervan. Of course, great thanks and appreciation go to Tom Norman for organising the Trial and the subsequent administration of the results and awards. A great effort.


The results of the 2010 Section Championship are now available with John Fawcett being the overall champion. For full results, click here….

The results of the trial at Hindlethwaite on 21st were first, Dave Flintoff, second Rob Green and third Paul Deacon. For full results click here….

It has been agreed to include an additional event in the 2011 North East Road Run Championship. This will be organised by the Reivers Section in June in the Morpeth area.


              Section Champion John Fawcett

As previously announced, the 2010 AGM will be on 9th December. Please remember that propositions must be in writing to the Secretary.

The Anniversary Social Run will be on 12th starting from the Club at a time still to be announced.

Details of the Boxing Day Run to High Force are still to be announced.

A reminder, that tickets are still available from Brian Smith for the Christmas Party and the awards presentation night at Walworth Castle.

Finally, can I, on behalf of your committee, wish you all best wishes for a very happy Christmas and a prosperous and safe New Year.     



The prime section event in October was the Anniversary Run which was superbly organised by Mike Carruthers ably assisted by Linda Easby and Howard Masters. A report with pictures and results are elsewhere on the website.

The Northumbrian Section’s Colonial Run was a wet affair with, understandably, only two section members taking part.

The championship trial at Braidley’s was won by Dave Flintoff followed by Paul Deacon and Jim Jardine. Full results are in the trials part of the website.

Wally Holmes ran an odd items quiz at the club night on 28th. Where does he get the parts and how does he know what they were used for? Thanks Wally for a brain-teasing hour.

Now that November and the dark nights are here, activities tend more towards trials and social events.

The next trial will be at Hindlethwaite on 21st November.

The Beamish awards will be presented at the club night on 25th November.

Tickets are now available from Brian for the Christmas Party on 23rd December and are priced at only £5 each.

Tickets are also now available from Brian for the Annual Awards Evening at Walworth Castle on 15th January. VMCC President Bill Phelps will be Guest of Honour and presenting the awards.

Finally, would last year’s trophy holders please return them to David Porteous at your earliest convenience for engraving before the big night. 



Last month was a most enjoyable and busy time for the section.

The first event attended was the Manx Rally, which is reported more fully on the website, and when eight of us had a super time.

No rest for Dennis as he returned from the Manx on Friday straight into successfully organising the Baydale Run on the Sunday. This is also reported more fully on the website.

Several of us attended the Teesside Classic Bike Show which was held on Redcar High Street for the first time. This venue certainly attracted many members of the public although space for machine display was somewhat restricted. It was a sunny day which allowed us to enjoy the attractions of the sea front rather than just sitting next to the bikes for several hours.                                                                Thanks go, in particular, to Gerry Beer for organising the South Durham section stand. Disappointingly, we didn’t win the Best Stand award this year being bested by the Estonian Motorcycle Club – Harleys and all that. Section honour was, once again, upheld by Viv Tubby who carried off 1st and 2nd place awards in the best vintage class with his Rudge and Model P Triumph respectively.

The big event of September, of course, was the Beamish trophy Trial on 19th    superbly organised again by Tom Norman. Tom has posted a newsletter on the website with results to follow in the next few days.The sunny weather couldn’t last forever – nor did it. Rain adds to the challenge and enjoyment – doesn’t it?                                                                                                                                                 Of concern, is the interest that the box-ticking fraternity are now taking in the trial with their usual helpful inputs. Why do they do it?

The South Lakes Mountain event organised by the Lakeland section was, apparently, a great success with some ten section members enjoying a sunny riding weekend.

Full results of the practice trial at Underbanks on 26th September are shown in the Trials section of the website but, for info., Dave Flintoff was the winner followed by Nigel Smith and Rob Green.

At the club night on 30th September, we were taken through a photographic romp of trials and scrambles from the forties and fifties by guest Ron Grey, and which was followed by pictures of Tom Norman’s ride to Poland on his Panther and the Rallies in which he participated. Many thanks to both Ron and Tom.

October events are as shown in the events calendar with the principal section event being the Anniversary Run organised by Mike Carruthers on 10th.  Regs. can be downloaded from the website and a good turnout is anticipated.

The trials season proper gets back into full swing with the next event being at Braidleys in Coverdale on 26th October.

We are looking forward to the WOW night at the club night on 28th October. For the uninitiated, me included, this means Wally’s odd widgets quiz. I have inside information that a desirable prize may be awarded to the winning team. Exciting or what? Do not miss it.

See you at club night.                  Tom Reed                                               







August may not have been the most sunny or warm of months but most of our events seem to have enjoyed what summer weather there was.

The Chairman’s Run was a success and Brian’s Social Weekend was challenging – at least for Richard Blackburn. Read his intriguing report and pictures elsewhere on this website. Congratulations to Richard’s wife, Justine, for accomplishments on her Honda which show capability beyond her riding experience.

Six section members enjoyed a gloriously sunny Topcliffe Run. The mileage was just right with a climb of Rosedale Chimney prior to the lunch stop at Hutton le Hole. I must admit, at this stage, that some of our South Durham chums managed to reduce distance travelled by some 15 miles in their haste to get lunch – naughty boys. John Fawcett upheld section honour by claiming the Colin Hunter Trophy.

  Lunch at Hutton le Hole

The Manx Week was another sun-filled event enjoyed by eight members. A report and pictures will be on the home page soon.

 Graham Rhodes on the ‘ Roarer ‘ at Jurby     

I can tell you that, due to this late report, the Baydale Run was yesterday and a report, results and pictures will be posted shortly.

On September 12th, the Teesside Classic Bike Show will be held at Redcar on the High Street. The section will be having a stand so your attendance would be appreciated. If you have any copies of motorcycle magazines that are surplus to requirements, please bring them along for sale for club funds. The show is from 10-30 until 16-00 hrs.

The Beamish Trophy Trial is on 19th September and marshals are still required – please contact Tom Norman.

The South Lakes Mountain Weekend and the Northumbrian  Colonial Run are as shown in the calendar but the next South Durham event is Mike Carruthers’ Anniversary Run on October 10th.

                         Don’t miss it.

                                    Tom Reed





There were many good events, both near and far, in July. These included the Northumbrian Gathering, the Girder and Lakeland Rallies, and the Pennine Rally. All were reported to be most enjoyable.

Closer to home, the club night ride and buffet is reported elsewhere.

The evening social run to the Lorry Museum at Shildon was on a foul night but yet drew a reasonable turnout. Some even went on bikes – well done John, Viv and Dennis.

Visit to the animal sanctuary – Ark-on-the-edge.

The Chairman’s Run was on August 1st and will be reported when the full results are to hand. Suffice to say, 110 miles through lovely Durham villages to Alston ( Cumbria ? ) provided a full days outing with the only real rain being at journey’s end.

In August we have Brian’s social weekend as well as the Topcliffe Run, Manx Week and the Golden Era Run.

The Baydale Run, organised by Dennis Marwood, is on September 5th and regs. are now available on this website and at clubnights.

Although September is looming, it’s too soon to be thinking of garaging the bikes as the Beamish Trophy Trial – The Big One – is still to come. If you wish to help on the day then please contact Tom Norman.

See you there Tom Reed



JULY  2010

There were several good events in June, starting with Brian’s evening social run to Holwick. Some ten of us enjoyed Brian’s usual circuitous meanderings culminating with refreshments.

Reports of the Rudge Centenial Run, Walworth Castle Concours and Eric’s Evening Excursion are elsewhere on the website.

The Sunset Run was held on a pleasant evening with 12 riders. Results still to come.

By the time that you read this, a goodly number will have enjoyed the Northumbrian Gathering at Wooler; and will no doubt be looking forward to the Club night Ride & Buffet on Thursday 8th. Meet at the Club at 6-00pm for a    6-30 start for the ride.

Other events are shown on the home page but note that the evening social run on Wednesday 15th. will be to the Lorry Museum at Shildon leaving promptly at 6-30pm. A good turn out would be appreciated.

Finally, an event not to be missed is the Chairman’s Run on 1st. August. The route is organised and Regs. are now available.

See you on Thursday.  

 June 2010

Written by Tom Reed

As promised in the May newsletter, the riding season is now in full swing.

The Wetherby Run was enjoyed by Dennis, Viv, Bill and myself with one of us collecting the post war award (modesty forbids etc).

The Quaker weekend was a great success, as is the norm, and the Sunday results are shown on the home page.

Mike & Howard organised a Signpost Rally which proved most enjoyable for the twelve or so entrants out on a very pleasant evening. As usual, the mileage covered was quite variable.

Looking ahead, June starts with one of Brian’s (in) famous social runs. Meet on 2nd at the club for a 6-30 pm start.

The Rudge Centennial Run on 13th , organised by Wally Holmes, will start from the Duke of Wellington at 10-00 am. The route will visit local castles on the way to Tan Hill and will cover some 75 miles.

The Walworth Castle Concours event is on Tuesday 15th and the run will start from 6-00pm.

Eric’s Evening Excursion is on 22nd and will start ,as usual, from Dalton Village Hall at 6-30 pm. Regs. are now available from Eric.

The Sunset Run is on June 28th and Regs. will be available at the club night on 10th June.

A reminder that the VMCC Scarborough Week is from 25th June to 2nd July. Several of the lunch stops on the daily runs are within easy travelling distance from Teesside. Should anyone fancy a run out then I’m sure that we can organise something at a club night

Looking even further ahead, the ride-out and buffet is on 8th July and is always a good night.

Plenty there for your enjoyment, so see you on two wheels.

Tom Reed


May 2010

At last, activities are starting to get into full swing with several of us enjoying a lovely spring day at the Stafford Show.

There was a good turnout for Founders Relay Rally with Section members travelling many miles across the North. Dennis, Viv and I covered some 220 miles visiting the Lakeland check points returning via Alston and High Force to Middleton St George. Thanks to all who manned the checkpoints and provided refreshments and hospitality.

Of course, we were completely outdone by Brian and John who are rallying in Italy and all points south.

To come in May is the Wetherby Run on 9th when the usual group will be riding down. Meet at Great Smeaton at 09-00 hrs.

Wilf. Banks’ Touring Week is from 8th-14th and all are welcome to give their support. Turn up before 10-00hrs each morning at the camp site at Bullamoor ( Northallerton ) when you will be most welcome to join the runs.

The Quaker Weekend is on 15th-16th   when we are looking for another good entry for the Section’s Premier event of the year.

Howard & Mike have their Discovery Run on the evening of 19th. Join us for what is always a pleasant ride out.

Do not forget the Lakeland Section’s Hesket Newmarket Weekend at the end of the month.

June promises to be just as busy but please make a note of the Rudge Centenial Run on 13th organised by Wally Holmes.

Join us at club nights every other Thursday.

Tom Reed


April 2010

Written by Tom Reed

Several section members and ladies visited Darlington Town Hall at the invitation of his Worshipful the Mayor, Councillor Jim Ruck, and his wife Margaret the Lady Mayor. We enjoyed a most informative talk on the history of the town, were shown some of the historical treasures in the Mayors Parlour –no not Jim – and were then treated to fine hospitality/refreshments –well we’ve got to get value for our Council Tax. On reflection, as I don’t live in Darlington, on your Council Tax.

Another highlight of March was the talk given by Grant Sellars on his motorcycling career. The evening was very well attended and we thank Grant for keeping us enthralled to the end. However, not all of the tale has been told, and we look forward to another episode in the future.

There were two Green Lane Runs in March with the usual tales of machine mayhem and smiling in the face of adversity –allegedly.

The trial at Girsby was won by Rob Green followed by Tony Frost and Paul Deacon.

In April, there is the VMCC AGM on 11th and a trial at Battersby on 18th.

Congratulation to Wally Holmes who completed the Pioneer Run on his recently- completed Rudge and is now the proud owner of a finishers medal.

Martyn Weston attended the April business meeting to say his goodbyes as he and his wife are permanently re-locating to Devon. We wish him well in holiday land and thank him for his strong support of Section activities over a number of years. He apparently doesn’t bear us any grudges for breaking his leg on the Beamish and would welcome a visit should you find yourself near Budleigh Salterton. He will be contactable on 01395 443631.

A chap called Harry Pea is trying to find the present owner of his old ex-police Triumph, reg. CVN 33C, last known to be in Ferryhill. If you can help, Harry can be contacted on [email protected] .

Finally, we are still looking for a volunteer to distribute OBM as Gerry Beer wishes to call it a day. I’m sure that he’ll be glad to here from you.

Even I’ve had a bike out in the last few days, so see you on the roads soon.  


March 2010

Written by Tom Reed

I enjoyed Brian’s tale of adventure from the trail riding enthusiasts. When did he become computer literate, (er not yet- Mike)  or does he have a secretary?  Not to be deterred, they’re planning another two outings in March (details from Brian). Join them if you’re brave enough.

Trials took a knock from the weather in January, but February’s event at Swainby went ahead. Rob Green took the win again followed by Brian Irwin and Paul Deacon. The March trial is at Girsby on 21st.

Bill Birks did us proud again with his domino KO at the club night in February. Another good attendance.

We are looking forward to the talk by Grant Sellars at the club night on March 18th on all things motorcycling. With pie and peas at £1.50, it is a can’t miss event.

The nights are getting lighter - great – soon be the Quaker Run.


February 2010

Written by Tom Reed

The awards evening at Walworth Castle in January wound up the 2009 season. We all enjoyed a super evening although I understand that the beer specialists were somewhat underwhelmed. Appreciation goes to Colin Seaton and his wife Carrie for their attendance and friendliness as well as to the Porteous family and other section members for their contributions to the event. If anyone is particularly keen to have a CD of the committee song, - erm, no I don’t think so.

 There was an excellent attendance at the club night on 21st of January when Richard Nicholson presented a slide show of past motorcycle sport from North Eastern venues – many no longer in use. Happy memories.

 Events tend to be a bit thin in February, but Brian will be leading a green lane run on 7th and Roy will have a trial on 14th at Swainby.

The club night on 18th will be enhanced by Bill’s domino knock out.

An early note for your diary; Grant Sellars will be at the club night on 18th March to give a talk on motorcycles with a particular emphasis on road racing. Grant has competed for some 40 years at the Manx GP as well as at most mainland circuits.

With his wide experience as a rider, driver and engineer we can look forward to a compelling evening. There is a rumour that Brian Smith may personally provide refreshments.

So, March is around the corner, must spend more time in the shed. See you at club night. 

January 2010

Written by Tom Reed

Happy New Year to one and all and I trust that you enjoyed the Christmas season. Got plenty of bike-related presents? No neither did I. Back to the boxes of rusty bits at the auto jumbles then.

The Section Christmas Party went very well with a good turn out for an enjoyable evening. Thanks go to organisers – Chairman John, Martin, Viv, Paul,Brian, the raffle ticket Dolly Birds and Elaine for the excellent buffet.

Elsewhere on the website, you will have seen the December Trials results and read about the Anniversary Run and the Boxing Day Run to High Force. Congratulations and respect to the mad men (heroes) who braved the cold, ice and snow to prove that motorcycling can be a year-round indulgence. It makes one ashamed not to have joined them, or perhaps not.

Whilst mentioning the website, I hope that you find the latest version a great improvement. Many thanks must go to Mike Carruthers for administering and developing the site and particular thanks to Martyn Weston for his contributions in words and pictures.

Events in January are shown on the home page of the website but a particular mention must be made of the Awards Evening on 16th at Walworth Castle. Tickets are available from Brian Smith, so come along, enjoy the night and congratulate those who took the prizes in 2009.

Well well, it’s stopped snowing, I think that I’ll go and start the Norton up. See you at the Club night on 7th.

 December 2009

Written by Tom Reed

There were two events of particular note in November; the Awards Evening for the Beamish Trophy Trial held on 12th and the Section Annual General Meeting held on 26th.

The Beamish Night is reported more fully elsewhere on the website but, in summary, a full house congratulated the award winners and enjoyed a video and photographic display of past and present Beamish events. Thanks go to Tom Norman for his organising skills and to His Worshipful the Mayor and the Lady Mayoress of Darlington (Jim and Margaret Ruck) for presenting the awards. Copies of the DVD of the Trial are available from Tom Norman at £6 each.

The 2010 Trial will be held on Sunday 19th September from the Board Inn as this year.

The AGM was a livelier affair than usual.

A proposition was accepted to adopt a Section Constitution in line with the requirements of VMCC. Copies can be obtained from the Section Secretary.

A proposition was accepted in principle to elect Honorary Presidents of the Section in future years to recognise significant or outstanding service to the Section. Details surrounding the qualifications for nomination generated lively discussion and will be clarified and agreed after further debate.

Bobby Robinson was elected to committee and we look forward to working with him in the future.

The Chairman commented on the long and meritorious service of Brian Smith who has now completed 30 years as Section Treasurer.

The November trial was held at Hindlethwaite and won by Paul Deacon followed by Paul Harrison and Rob Green. The December trial will be on 6th at Beak Hills near Chop Gate.

Tickets for the Xmas Party are still available at £4.50 and are selling well. Please join us on 10th December.

The Anniversary Social Run will be on 13th December with time and venue to be announced at the Xmas Party.

The Boxing Day Run to High Force will start from Darlington Market Place at 10.30 am.

Tickets for the Awards Evening at Walworth Castle are available at £9.50. The awards will be presented by VMCC President Colin Seaton.

November 2009

Written by Tom Reed

Riding opportunities continued in October with the Anniversary Run, organised by Mike Carruthers et al, being a particularly good event in excellent weather and enjoyed by all who took part. A report and results are given elsewhere on the website.

Other events included:

Colonial Run in which 4 section members took part.

Cotswold Section Weekend when John Robinson won the Night Trial.

Trail Ride through Swaledale and Wensleydale.

Scott  Trial social run in inclement weather conditions. Make a mental note for future questions that Graham Jarvis won.

Trial at Park Gate Farm at Wensley, won by Dave Flintoff from Rob Green and Brian Irwin. 26 riders took part.

Green lane run to North Yorks. Moors led by David Porteous.

Inevitably, we are moving into more socialising than riding mode at this time of year but there is a Trial at Hindlethwaite on 15th November.

Back to social/admin. matters;

The Beamish Awards Evening on 12th November is looking good, with His Worship the Mayor of Darlington making the presentations, a display of photographs and video of the event and, of course, the spectacular free buffet. Unfortunately, you will have to buy your own beer.

The AGM is on 26th November and again we look forward to nominations to committee and for propositions for improvements in the management of the Section. There must be some good ideas out there!

Tickets are now available at £4.50 for the Xmas Party on 10th December.

Tickets will soon be available at £9.50 for the Awards Evening at Walworth Castle in January.

Finally, just to say that we had a most enjoyable Club Night on 29th October with a good turn out which included Paul Feldon who is now on the mend. Eric Londesborough brought along some useful items for sale in support of his charitable activities. If any of you are interested in a 1974 Honda twin, in very good condition, then contact Eric and make an offer. Look forward to seeing you at the Beamish Awards and subsequent Club Nights.  


October 2009

It has been quite a busy time of late both for Section activities and related events by other organisations. The major South Durham events in September were the Baydale Run and the Beamish Trophy Trial.

The Baydale Run had an entry of 24 and was ably organised by Dennis Marwood. Fine weather graced the event with most of the entry making it to the lunch stop at Bedale. John Fawcett was the overall winner and the full results can be seen in the Road Run Link on this website. Thanks Dennis and the support team.

The Beamish Trophy Trial was another great success and congratulations go to Tom Norman and the 50 or so marshals, helpers, and recovery crews who were so vital to the success of the event. There was a full entry of 120 with 110 making the start.  

Several people camped on the Saturday night at the New Board Inn at Esh,and had a merry time. There was cracking weather on the day and this contributed to a brilliant event in which only 6 failed to finish.

Full results and award winners can be found in the Beamish TT Link on this website.

Other events which Section members attended included :

Teesside Classic Bike Show

Hunton Steam Gathering

ISDT Reconstruction in Wales

South Lakes Mountain Weekend

Military Vehicle Display at the Cricket Club

Steam and Vintage Vehicle Show at Scorton

Results of the September trial were    -  1st  Rob Green,  2nd  Joe Morgan  and  3rd  Dave Heddon.

In October, we can look forward to :

4th          Colonial Run organised by the Northumbrian Section

11th       Anniversary Run. Regs. available from Mike Carruthers

18th       Trail Ride. This will be on an easy route so suitable for less experienced off roaders. Meet at Blands Corner at 0900 hrs. or ring Brian Smith

18th       Sprint at Catterick Garrison

24th     Scott Trial Social Run. Meet at Orgate Falls at 0900 hrs.

25th       Trial at Park Gate Farm at Wensley. Ring Roy if you want to spectate, marshal or compete.

Looking further ahead, we have Beamish Awards Evening at the Cricket Club when a well-known local celebrity and entrepreneur will present the awards. November 12th at 19-30hrs for 20-00hrs start.

Many of you will know that Paul Feldon was awaiting an operation to re-vitalise his much abused body. The heart by-pass has now been a success and we all wish him well for a full and speedy recovery.

Finally, the AGM will be held on November 26th. Although this is some way off, we would like to receive your numerous nominations to committee and, particularly, the post of Vice-Chairman. Nominations and propositions to the Hon. Secretary in writing please



September 2009

The new website is almost ready to go live once the original domain

name re-allocated.

This summer hasn’t been too bad from a riding point of view with the Section road Safety Runs giving enjoyable days out.

The Chairman’s Run got August off to a bright start with 30 machines setting off from the Duke of Wellington to the lunch stop at Muggleswick. A particularly good afternoon run through Weardale and Teesdale brought 24 of us back to the finish. Paul Feldon won the event and full results can be found in Road Runs link. Thanks to John for organising the testing route and questions.

Six Section members entered the Topcliffe Run organised by the North East Section on 16th August although none of us will be troubling the trophy engraver. Some lovely machines took part.

There are two outstanding Section events in September.                                          

On 16th, the Baydale Run will be organised by Dennis Marwood and regs. are now available and can be downloaded from the Home Page.

On 20th, the Beamish Trophy Trial will start from the Board Inn at Esh Winning organised by Tom Norman and the team. Entry applications now exceed the 120 limit and it looks like another super event in the offing. Let’s hope that we don’t need the Air Ambulance this year.

Further out, we have the Anniversary Run on 11th October. With the nights now drawing in (gloom) let’s have plenty of entries for some of the last Runs of this riding season. Is it still only August ?



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