Easter extravaganza

The BSA Owners’ Club display managed a line-up of prewar Small Heath examples.

The BSA Owners’ Club display managed a line-up of prewar Small Heath examples.

East Kent has a lively classic transport scene, but with restorers not always keen to travel miles west, the Ashford Cattle Market site offers a relatively local chance for an opportunity in the limelight.

Weather warnings of a biblical deluge for Easter Monday, April 2, proved widely off the mark. With the show bikes spread around various areas, a sprinkling of trade stalls and the popular jumble, it was difficult to have a good look at everything before it was time for the prizegiving. This saw a couple of Triumph twins graced with well-deserved awards. Early Thunderbirds are not that common and Lee Shorter’s 1950 example is nicely original. The super-clean 1962 TR6SS Trophy of D Jell showed how much things had moved on at Meriden in the intervening years.

The Competition/Special class saw recognition for Basil Smith who exhibits his bike with the Bantam Club, demonstrating how an Ariel Arrow engine just fits into place in Bantam cycle parts.

Making a debut at the show was Dave Spain’s Metisse B44 BSA, put together from bits that had apparently laid around for four decades. ‘If it looks right, it must be right’ goes the dictum. It sold Metisse back in the day and the bike still looks superbly functional.

Another unusual restoration that had also spent many years dismantled was a 1966 Raleigh RM6 Runabout. Most British moped manufacturers soon wilted in the face of Japanese offerings and survival rates of such models are very poor. Steve Clarke’s efforts were recognised with an award in the ‘Lightweight’ class.

Alan Turner

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