Thursday, 5 July 2018

Southern Classic Bike Show 2018

Southern Classic Bike Show 2018

As usual preparations start much earlier in the year, making the booking for the stand and asking anyone who would like to display their LE along with their details to register them for the event. Easy enough for me as all those who display their bikes last year were turning up with the same ones this year. EasyI only have to fill in another form. Hopefully for next year Chris will have his LE running and will not need to borrow my trailer again. It seems it is the only time it gets used. I had been away in America doing the touristy West Coast and National parks and a few motorcycle museums along the way as well as contracting cellulitis and the use of my right hand until the second dose of antibiotics got to work. For a change, this year the weather was good, but not the day coinciding with the Royal Wedding and Cup Final! These guys should have better planning! As I was single handed, literally, George helped set up the stand on the Friday afternoon and we were ready for an early start on Saturday morning. What a lovely day! It was sunny, warm for all of us who rode our bikes to the show. Me on my much modified LE, George on his KSS as his LE is still work in progress, Philip on his Valiant that runs very well and Chris with his Police LE. All set up and ready for 09:30 when the punters come in.

It was a busy day with so much interest in the stand and recruitment of new people to the club. I did a stint on the LMM stand and that generated a great deal of interest with the museum taking home a couple of prizes for best original with the Dunstall Triton and best in its class the P1 first triple. As the temperature outside went up more people flowed into the hall it was a busy old day. 

I usually get out late morning to have a look around but this time it was not until after lunch and lots of things had already gone. Most of the stalls appear to be selling the same stuff as last year, only with more rust on and Tiger cubs are coming out of the woodwork for sale. Prices for old bikes are stupidly high as well as are parts but there are some really nice things on show like this Motobi and the MV racer. 

Lastly I have some saddlebags that I used to get stuff home and now my LE looks like it is ready to go places. In my quest for information I keep looking for examples of early Villiers engines so far I have got back to 1921 fitted to a Francis Barnett “built like a bridge” model. 

Here is a 1924 example. 

Villiers Road works was where John Marston had his cycle gearbox manufacturing but on selling the company to his son in 1902 the interest in engines developed and in 1912 the first engine was produced, a 350cc 4 stroke. It was later that year a simple 269cc two stroke 70mm x 70mm was made and this was fitted to a number of motorcycles. In 1913 the Sun-Villiers was launched and by 1914 these remarkably simple engines had been fitted to Alldays, The Royal Ruby, Bown, Coventry Eagle, Sparkbrook, Ixion, Invicta, Juno and Roulette.

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