AJS & Matchless Owners Club

East Suffolk Section

Section Notes 16th July 2012

With only one decent evening run so far after the rotten start to the programme, the long-awaited sunshine recently shone on two more. The annual midsummer fish ‘n’ chip run to Aldeburgh is always led by Mick D and comprised eighteen bikes this year, so unusually, we outnumbered the riders of   plastic rockets in the queue. We then went to sit on the seafront in the sunshine to enjoy both food and view. A second sunny evening run was in July when Richard T led the way to his home village of Huntingfield, where we sat in the sun outside the lively pub. Our thanks to Richard, who ordered bowls of chips all round and for leading the run.

Another annual fixture in the calendar is the evening run to meet our Essex cousins at Manningtree railway station, where the excellent bar is under private management. This year’s run didn’t go completely to plan, as Richard C unfortunately had a spill part-way down (thankfully not serious) and we somehow missed meeting the others, who’d decided we weren’t coming and gone off for a run!
The unsettled “summer” weather certainly restricted the numbers who went on the camping weekend in Norfolk at Old Buckenham airfield but several others planned to come up on the Sunday for the air-show. Actually, it was fine weather on the Saturday and one of the Harris-riding lads from the Fenrunners, Richard, also rode up to join us for the day as Albert led a run out to the preserved steam railway at East Dereham. It was very interesting to explore the unfamiliar territory and, coupled with a ride on the train, a good day out. The facilities at the airfield were excellent, with showers, a corner of a nearby field to camp in, and good inexpensive meals and beer in the clubhouse, so the venue is certainly worth another visit next year (preferably with better weather). After heavy overnight rain, the sun came out right on cue for the start of Sunday’s air show, which was a much bigger event than we had realised. There were lots of classic cars on display but few bikes, so our line-up attracted lots of interest. It ranged from Robert’s 1937 250 and Roy’s comp single to Brian’s late short-stroke G80 The programme was good and non-stop, with personal favourites being a Spitfire and Mustang making a thrilling display.
Harwich, although it’s not far away from Felixstowe and you can see it clearly on the other side of the water, is a corner of Essex that we’ve never ridden to, so it was decided to take July’s Sunday run there with Jack leading the way. It was a great back-lanes run and after looking round the sights for an hour or so, we returned to the pub where the bikes were parked for a good lunch. The plan then was to go to the Lifeboat museum, but it didn’t open at 2 o’clock as scheduled, so after waiting a while we started back with the consolation of ice creams from the van on the strand at Mistley.