The latest example of bumping into someone from the classic world in a strange place occurred a couple of weeks ago (and follows on from other bizarre ones, chiefly among them the departure lounge at Sydney airport and the fish market in Venice...) in Ireland.
We were right out on the west coast, in County Mayo, on the far coastal side of a town called Belmullet, where my mum was born. I was over with friends and my ‘magical mystery tour’ (we used to go over every year when I was a child) had taken us to a place called Blacksod Point, almost as isolated as they come, and home to a lighthouse which we used to always come and visit.
As we drove out we noticed a helicopter coming into land, presumably visiting the lighthouse as there’s nothing else there. We parked up and watched the chopper come in and land; by now most of my party had tired of my ‘sightseeing’, borderline gale-force winds and rain, and opted to stay in the car, but I wanted to go and see the helicopter, so off I plodded. As I approached, I was greeted by; “James, what are you doing here?” by an incredulous voice emerging from the helicopter compound. It was my Dublin-based friend Morgan Nolan, who rides a prewar MAC Velo in the Irish rally every year, and works as a maintenance engineer on the lighthouses of Ireland. They’d flown out to this one, just as we’d driven out there. What are the chances of that? We took a snap to celebrate, though Morgan seems to be inadvertently sticking his tongue out!
Otherwise, it’s been a busy few weeks, what with Stafford and what have you, while the show shouldn’t be let to pass without me mentioning Michael Barraclough, a youthful classic enthusiast and journalism student, who as well as coming on work experience with us during the week leading up to the show, joined us there. You’ll notice some of his contributions this issue; he was a great help at the show, so well done and ‘thank you’ to him.
Aside from that, I’ve been putting in a few miles on the KTS, only receiving a few seasonal soakings here and there, but enjoying riding in the company of like-minded souls, and even meeting up with Steve France (see last month’s Letters pages) at this year’s Lincs Aviation Run.
James Robinson, editor
Where legends come to life
James Robinson, Editor
James Robinson has been the editor of The Classic MotorCycle since 2002. Aged 34, he has possessed a motorcycle licence for 16 years and during that time has owned and ridden all manner of motorcycles, spanning over 100 years from oldest to newest.
Presently the custodian of a varied shed full of motorcycles, his overriding enthusiasm is for pre-World War Two sporting machines, with a couple of cammy Velos, a Rex-Acme and a Model 9 Sunbeam among those competing for attention.