by Roy and Chris
I awoke to a bright and sunny morning – just the thing that any organiser of an outdoor event is hoping for. The members of Skellingthorpe and District Motorcycle Club are the main organisers of this ride-out from the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby in Lincolnshire. The club was also helped and supported by Carrot Cycles of Lincoln.
I arrived early, at about 9.30 am. The stewards were quick to put down pieces of plywood by your machine so that you could use the side stand safely. Signing in was done very efficiently; blue stickers were issued to classic motorcycles made up to 1993, and red ones for later machines; these were put on the headlamp glass. I felt sorry for the rider of a very nice Norton single; he arrived at the entrance to the centre but the bike did not like the idea of going any further. The owner and his friend tried kicking it, but to no avail they then pushed it in. However, eventually it decided to play ball, and started after a lot of effort.
Through the Wolds’ Run the Skellingthorpe Club has raised a total of over £41,000, which has been donated to the Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance since 2008, when they took over running the event.
One of the main attractions at the Aviation Centre is the Lancaster aircraft which does taxi runs. The Large Model Flying Club also attended and put on a marvellous display. From a distance these model aircraft looked just like real planes!! All in all there is lots to see and do here – combined with the ride out what a great way to spend a day!
The first taxi ride was due at 11.00 am, with the first group of motorcycle riders setting off for the ride-out just before that. They ride out in groups of 60 riders, having an enjoyable forty-mile ride around the local area. By this time there were hundreds of motorcycles to look at.
Something different that caught my eye was a BSA three-wheeler – not so many of these around. A young lady was taking photos of it, and it transpired that she was the owner’s daughter; she told me that she had recently passed her driving test, although her father had not let her behind the wheel of this machine yet!
New for this year was a Mosquito aircraft at the back of the hangar; this needs a quite a lot of work; when this is done it will hopefully be able to taxi on the airfield. Also new this year, out on the field close to the large model flying display, was a small-gauge steam engine with a couple of carriages giving people rides. This proved to be popular.
Amongst the model planes flying was a Focker Tri-plane; this stood nearly 2 metres high and was very agile in the air. Another single-seater plane had a 550 cc four-cylinder engine in it; this engine would push a motorcycle very nicely. Imagine the performance in a model plane – it could really shift and it turned on a five-pence piece! The flying display was magnificent – well done to the operator. One plane flew at 120 mph; this was a jet engined one. The model had two engines and these cost £1,500 each. The commenter stated that, with the rest of the equipment onboard this model, you could by a decent family car for the same price! He also said that this model could manage about 200 mph flat out. The models that I often flew in my youth were usually powered by elastic bands, although I did get given a glow-plug engine one once and that made a world of difference – that plane really flew!!
Outside the hangar were several racing motorcycles on display. Two Mono-wheeled motorbikes were something different to look at. One of these had attained the fastest speed of 61.18 mph at Elvington Airfield on 20th September 2015, and it had a Guinness World Record certificate to prove it. One of these was ridden around the site; getting the balance right looked to be a bit tricky, and quite a bit of foot work was needed; all the people walking around did not help the rider.
You could win a ride in the Lancaster if your raffle ticket came up trumps, with other prizes for second and third place.
Talking to a member of the organising club I was told that they had a charity box on the signing-in table and this had raised £173.02p for the Lives charity. The cost of taking part in the run-out is £8 – very well worth it.
A visit to the Aviation Centre is always good; however with all the motorcycles and large model planes on display and in the air makes it even better. On a day like this it is surprising how many friends you can catch up with there. There is the Naffi and lots of food outlets to keep you fed, and also you will not forget the sound of the four Merlin engines of the Lancaster being revved at the end of her run!
Well done to everybody involved in this event. I will be back next year!!!
Roy also took a picture of this aptly names motorcycle, ” The Shacklelford” it’s a special build, by Brian Shackelford, modern with the engine based upon a Buell, crossed with old, including girder fork and a rigid frame. It was at the V Twin day held at the same location last year. www.classicmotorcycle.co.uk/v-twin-day/