Sidecarland

Stonehurst, more than a family farm. 2018

STONEHURST FAMILY FARM

by Roy and Chris

It has been quite a while since Chris and I have visited this farm at Mountsorrel in Leicestershire. The last time was with Wolfgang and his wife, Marion. I had explained to them that this farm also has a museum; after the visit Wolfgang said that he had expected a display of farm implements, and he was very surprised and impressed when he saw the great collection of vintage and classic motor cars and motorcycles that they have there.

Chris had an appointment in Leicester very early one morning, so we decided to go down a day early and stop over in a hotel locally. I spotted the opportunity to visit the farm on the way there. This was a regular place that we used to visit, as it was a firm favourite with our grandchildren when they were younger. There is so much for children to see and do here. As someone said to me “there is something here for every one to do”.

The farm is run by Greg Duffin and his son, Tom. Greg has recently semi-retired and now tinkers with his hobby – the vehicle collection, while Tom overseas the farming side. Both Tom and Greg are keen motorcyclists; they have both ridden in the Pioneer Run to Brighton on their vintage Ariels for several years. Greg did not do the run this year;   however Tom and a friend, Steve, rode the Ariels in the recent Pioneer Run. On this visit I happened to be there when Steve brought one of the bikes back to the farm and Greg and I helped unload the bike. Steve said it was a very cold ride and the hub gears on one of the bikes stopped working – the gear change linkage had frozen solid. Steve used a time-honoured “traditional” method of warming it up!! Apparently there was a lot of salt on the roads and both bikes needing a good cleaning; they also had an exciting time dodging all the pot holes in the roads. The motorcycle that I saw was a 1911 Ariel TT model

Steve is on the left and Greg is on the right;  the motorcycle is the TT Ariel which was ridden in this year’s Pioneer Run

Whilst we were here several groups of young children arrived and had a great time feeding all the animals and they were having a great time with all the attractions. These include pony and tractor rides, play areas, animal feeding and guinea pig and rabbit petting and an awesome straw barn with rope swings and tunnels.

There is a great teashop and restaurant which was well busy – nice food and good service. Groups and clubs are welcome at the farm and Carl, who runs the farm shop, told me that if a club was planning a visit to the farm if they let the tea bar know in time then the farm would make sure that plenty of eggs and bacon would be in stock for their breakfasts!

 

Greg fairly recently bought a motorcycle acetylene lamp set – brand new and still in its orginal box. On a previous visit he told me that he had been out riding one night on a Sunbeam motorcycle fitted with acetylene lamps; he was having such a great time that he ran out of fuel, and had to push the bike home!!

Steve, who rode the second Ariel in the Pioneer Run, is a sidecar enthusiast himself and owns a nice BMW outfit and lives locally.

This is a great place – well worth a visit, with over 50 vehicles on display, and plenty of period signs, loads of push bikes, etc. – a nice display. For the youngsters and parents there’s lots to do and see. Fantastic family fun!!!

For more details: Stonehurst Farm, Bond Lane, Mountsorrel, Leics. LE12 7AA

Phone   01509 413216

Web site: Stonehurst Family Farm