Christmas is a time to reflect upon the year gone by and look forward to the season ahead, and in this issue we mourn the passing of motorcycling characters young and old, along with all the happy memories they gave us, as we start to think about what the new year might bring.
One exciting development is the resumption of motorcycle racingat the old Eppynt road race circuit near Sennybridge, in the Brecon Beacons, after a gap of no fewer than 64 years, but once the Christmas festivities are over it won’t be long before we start thinking about all the old favourites as well – and one of the first of these will be the Sunbeam Motor Cycle Club’s Pioneer Run from Tattenham Corner, Epsom Downs, to Brighton on Sunday, March 18 in which even the youngest machines entered will be 104 years old!
As I look back over another year of putting Old Bike Mart to bed, I must once again thank all our subscribers and advertisers for remaining on board, and for all those who have given us so much pleasure with their memories and contributions to our readers’ letters pages.
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With some magazines, editors struggle to fill a single page with letters, but at OBM, which in so many ways feels just like belonging to a lively motorcycle club and chatting to friends on a club night, the problem is sometimes finding enough space to fit them all!
Among the wonderful contributions that came in for this issue alone are John Finch’s recollections of BSA’s Umberslade Hall research centre; Ian Kerr’s great story about James Crosby’s challenging round-Britain ride on a Triumph Tiger Cub (to draw attention to the financial plight of the London Motorcycle Museum, which has some unique Meriden Triumphs among more than 200 bikes on display); Colin Rider’s TT pictures from the very early 1950s; Gareth Tunstell’s obliging last-minute emails about his long rebuild of a Triumph-engined Greeves; and Eric Turner’s memories of building a stunning replica of Ernie Lyons’ 1946 Manx Grand Prix-winning Triumph GP which Ernie himself later described as “perfect in every detail”.
Memories of nightmare rides continue to come in, too – and this month we are grateful to Len Hunt of Colchester and Paddy Winter from Woodhall Spa for their contributions.
It’s a pleasure and a joy to serve such an involved readership, and thank you one and all.