France Trip

Albert, France - 28-31/07/2017 - Image 1 of 8

Friday morning (28/7/17) at 6 o’clock, 6 members met at the Blinking Owl Café  (My Place Café) after making our way through the flooded road, for a ride to France.  No mishaps on the way to the Channel Tunnel but we did have to wait in the rain to board!  We had decided earlier to take the more scenic route to Albert on the Somme.  The roads were great with very little traffic.  We stopped on route for a break and a coffee in a small town before continuing on to the Ibis hotel in Albert, nice hotel and well situated just on the outskirts on the town.

We all had a little rest before meeting for a beer (very expensive at 6 Euros for ½ litre) and discussed the itinerary for the next day, deciding to have breakfast at the Ocean Villas B&B, this is where we wanted to stay but it was booked up.

Saturday, an early 08.00 start and off we went for a short 8mile ride to the B&B, 24miles later we eventually arrived ready for a breakfast.  We met and chatted to Avril Williams the proprietor who has been there for 20 odd years and knows a bit about the area and WW1, there is a small museum but it wasn’t open at that time.

After breakfast we decided to go to the Thiepval Memorial which wann’tt too far away, after a wonder round the small museum and the quite grand memorial it was off to find Peter Healy’s Great Uncles grave which again took a while but we did have a pleasant ride around the countryside taking in the Lochnagar crater in La Boisselle, loads of poppies in the corn field!! We found the cemetery and Peter’s Great Uncle and pondered on the waste of life!  Back on the bikes to blow the cobwebs away, thought we would try and find the Somme river and somewhere to have a beer, with me leading, still managing to get slightly lost but ending up in the small town of Corbie and Le Ruby’s Café, very civilized!  A faster run back to the hotel and after a wash and brush up, it was off to the town in a taxi for a very expensive meal and too much to drink.

Sunday- a later start and no breakfast for most of us, we thought we would just go for a ride and follow our noses.  Peter Healy was leading and for about 2 hours we rode along some of the straightest roads I’ve seen, being able to see for miles if not kilometres. The town we ended up in was Cambrai, parking up in a small square we found a baker’s by following the smell of fresh bread. There was a small Café  in the shop and there, they served us with cheese and ham baguettes.

Peter Breading’s Sprint was dropping some water so we thought it was best to straight back to the hotel, his bike didn’t over heat thank goodness.  A meal and a drink in the hotel that evening and not too late to bed as we wanted to get an early start on Monday to head back to the tunnel. It was faster going back as we took the toll roads, A1 and A26.

Back in Blighty and all the heavy traffic again and a big queue at the Dartford tunnel.

All in all a very enjoyable weekend, wouldn’t mind doing it again.


July Pub Run

The Queens Head. Maldon - 19th July 2017 - Image 1 of 3

Wednesday 19th July, our fourth pub run this year. Nine bikes met at The Barge, Battlesbridge and we were on our way at 7.30 pm for The Queens Head, Maldon.

We enjoyed a nice ride on the back roads and reached our destination just before 8 pm.

Phil and Sue were already there, making eleven bikes in total.

The food was good and we spent the evening sitting in the sun having a good chat.

One of our new members, Dean Smithers mentioned that he had lived in the area, with his parents as a youngster.

Time came to make our goodbyes and journey home.

So we had a good attendance, hopefully it will be similar on our next pub run.


Mangapps Railway Museum

Mangapps Railway Museum - 16th July 2017 - Image 01 of  13

11 of us met at The Fairway Diner and set off on 8 bikes for a ride to the railway museum at Burnham-on-Crouch.  We arrived early, so it was closed when we got there.

5 of us entered the museum and had a look around at the old rolling stock and all the old signs, signals and – especially interesting – the early posters advertising Southend.  We we then went for a ride on a early Diesel train – 5-speed no less!  The other 6 members went to the cafe for refreshments.

We then set off for The Cap & Feathers in Tillingham.  The weather now was becoming increasingly hot and we couldn’t wait to get there to take off our helmets and leathers!  Upon arrival, we all made a bee line for the bar and then into the garden for the bar-b-que with really nice burgers and sausage which was reasonably priced.  After a while,  Peter and Dean left, followed shortly afterwards by the rest of us who each made our own way home.


Vintage Collectors Rally, Great Waldingfield

Vintage Collectors Rally - Great Waldingfield - 18th June 2017 - Image 01 of 34

As this run coincided with Fathers day, only 4 of us turned up at the Fairways Cafe at 9am. Myself, Paul Vincent and his wife, Louise and another member, Chris, from Chelmsford who had only just joined in the last couple of weeks. The temperature on the day was 84 degrees so a very warm run up the A12 and then off onto the B1508 into Sudbury. We stopped a couple of times to check the route on a mobile phone but we did well and didn’t lose anyone.

When we arrived and parked up we were able to leave our bike gear includes jackets and helmets with the car parking stewards which was a nice of them as it was very hot walking round. We made straight for the beer tent for a well earned drink. We didn’t stay too long but had a good look round and saw some interesting old vehicles, including some nice bikes and tractors.

We decided to take the more direct route back via the A131 via Braintree and Chelmsford before heading our separate ways.

Paul Fincham

Wives Weekend


Two wives met at the ex Fortune of War roundabout, four bikes, should be an easy ride to Warwick via A127 M25 A41, nearly!
Three bikes went via A41 and after a brief stop or two met up with another wife and husband at Bourton on The Water.We then continued on to Warwick stopping only to fill up with petrol and diesel just outside Warwick.
After calling out the AA and getting the tank drained we arrived at our Hotel.
By now we had ten members present and enjoyed a convivial evening.
Saturday we spent mainly at Warwick Castle which was well worth a visit.
Sunday we went Stratford on Avon and another enjoyable day out.
Monday we returned home via different routes, but all in all a very nice weekend away.

June Pub Run


13 of us met at Battlesbridge on 10 Bikes for a short ride to The Bell at Purleigh.  Malcolm led us from the Barge a lovely scenic route where, once again, we didn’t lose anyone!  The Bell was not too busy, so we all managed to sit outside together then, later on, we were joined by Phil and Sue Burnham.  This was a tried and tested pub that continues to be a favorite with the lovely views on a summers evening.

Custom & Classic Bike Show


Nine of our members met up at the newly refurbished ‘My Place’ Cafe (formerly the Blinking Owl) which now has an outside veranda and proper inside toilets!

We departed at 10.00 am led by John Stone and once over the bridge  went the slightly more scenic route on the A226.  It was a good ride – didn’t lose anyone! (This is becoming a habit).

The weather was sunny and there was a huge number of bikes at the show so we all had a good look around, sat in the sun with  some refreshments where we met up with two more of our members …Chris & Tony.

Myself, Chris, Andy and Keith left together, coming back the direct route.  I was leading and, unfortunately, managed to lose myself by missing the Dartford tunnel turnoff – luckily the others didn’t follow.  We (Heidi & me) then stopped for some lunch and a beer in a lovely beer garden at The Bull in Hockley.

May Pub Run

May Pub Run

A cracking trip to The Green Man in Little Braxted (near Witham).  This was a rerun due to being cancelled because of torrential rain.  12 of us including yours truly and my good wife headed out from Battlesbridge on 8 bikes and made our way to this friendly pub where we had the most delicious and reasonably priced meal I can remember on any pub run.  Will definitely be going there again…


Essex & Herts Air Ambulance


14 of us on 11 bikes met at the Café, including new member Chris, we then rode off as a group to North Weald – we didn’t  loose anyone on the way – this was to support the Essex & Herts Air Ambulance, which was well attended with over a 1,000 bikes.

On the way back, a few of us took a ride up to The Three Horseshoes for some liquid refreshment and then rode back the scenic way.

Jericho Cottage

Jericho Cottage - 14 May 2017 - 2 of 5

Six members on six bikes met at the Fairway Diner and took a ride up to Jericho Cottage at Blackmore for the British Classic Bike Show.  From all accounts the weather was glorious with hundreds of bikes filling the village green.