Sidecarland

60th Founders Day Meet

60th Founders Day Meet at The Fox Burwell

by Roy and Chris:, pics by Roy and Martyn

Recently Fed Members travelled again to the Fox Public House in Burwell to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of the first Fed meeting all those years ago. Chris and I were here for the Gold meeting ten years ago. I got lucky on that occasion to talk to John Bye, who had been at the orginal meeting in 1958, and we had a long chat about the differences in performance between sidevalve and overhead valve single cylinder motorcycles. We also talked about the sidecars of the time. It was a pleasure to meet him.

This year on the trip to Burwell Chris and I went through the so-called “Wetlands”; when you see a water height marker that measures eight feet above the road then you know that there is a serious problem in this area. This marker is near the town of Welney. Approaching this area are permanent road signs stating that if the signs are flashing the road ahead is under water!! Martyn confirmed that this does happen; he said that he has fancied to attempt a ride through water, however if the bike were to cut out it’s a long push home. Whilst going through Ely an “Apple Fair” was being held in the grounds outside the Cathedra. This looked very good, with lots of people wandering amongst the market stalls.

Chris and I had a good trip to Burwell, but we missed the pub the first time through the town, but we found it second time through!! When we arrived the grass parking area was already fairly full with a steady amount of outfits turning up.

One outfit that caught my eye was a scooter rig as it turned up. This was ridden by Paul, and he had his father (Sonny) in the chair.   Sonny is a very sprightly 88 years of age and the outfit is actually his; however he has not ridden on three wheels since the 1950’s so he is a little rusty in riding with a sidecar so he lets his son ride it.

The scooter is a Suzuki Burgman 400 cc and Watsonian have recently fitted the sidecar. Both of them were very pleased with the performance of their outfit. I have ridden Wolfgang’s scooter outfit, which also had the same scooter, and it went very well – 60 mph was easily available.

They are both seriously into motorcycles; Paul has owned a Goldwing outfit for many years and they both have solos. This was the pair’s first visit to a Fed do and they were made very welcome; hopefully we will see them again.

There was a nice display of outfits and solos to look at, and this gave something for the passing locals to talk about.

It was nice to see that Frank and Chris have their Flexit outfit running well again.

Bob Parsons put his outfit to good use when he gave a couple of local children a ride in his sidecar

The Fox was very busy, as were the kitchen staff. The food was excellent and luckily the weather was very good. The pub had a large awning up and this was useful to put the Fed’s gear under in case of rain; this also was where the free tea and coffee facilities were located.

This was a brilliant day. Great to meet up with friends, good food and nice surroundings – what more could you ask for? Well done to all those who organised the event and to those who just turned up to make the event a success. Roll on to the 70th meeting here.