55th annual Graham Walker Memorial Run

Ninety-five pre-war motorcycles took part in the Sunbeam Motor Cycle Club’s 55th Graham Walker Memorial Run which started from the Beaulieu Motor Museum in Hampshire on Sunday, August 13, writes Tony Page.

Promoted as ‘an informal gathering of motorcyclists in memory of the late Graham Walker, founder member and one-time president of the Sunbeam MCC’, the 50-mile run follows a flat but attractive route through many well-known places around the New Forest that’s ideal for those riding veteran machines or first having a go on a vintage or post-vintage mount. There is also a ‘short route’ of about half that distance.

This year’s Graham Walker Memorial Run was notable for the number of younger and lady riders taking part, and here Jane Anderson looks well at home on this immaculate Newcastle-built NUT.

Chairman of the Sunbeam Club for many years before becoming its president, Graham was a First World War dispatch rider and later a top Sunbeam and Rudge works rider, winning the 1928 Ulster Grand Prix and riding Sunbeams in the Isle of Man TT.

Appropriate

The run’s starting point is appropriate, because he was the Beaulieu Motor Museum’s first motorcycle curator, having taken up a directorship in 1954 after editing Motor Cycling magazine from 1938 until 1954.

Before the ‘off’, entries in the Graham Walker Memorial Run are lined up in order for Beaulieu visitors to feast their eyes upon them. David Dickerson’s immaculate 1903 Phoenix three-wheeler in the foreground was a worthy winner of the award for the best veteran three-wheeler.

The awards were presented by Graham’s widow Elsie for more than 33 years, but are now presented either by his son, Murray Walker, or the club’s vice-president Lord Montagu himself, who did the honours this year.

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