With due reverence…

The Ixion Run is becoming an established event in the calendar and it is a fitting tribute to a remarkable man.

Words and photographs: ALAN TURNER

On Sunday, May 5, around three dozen prewar solos and sidecar outfits lined up in the car park of St Barnabas’ Church in Bexhill, Sussex for the Ixion Run.

The occasion is becoming established as a regular outing for those willing to follow a route of around 40 miles that offers a suitably relaxing ride for bikes (and, in some cases, also riders) of a certain age.

The significance of St Barnabas’ Church was that for 14 years the vicar was the Canon Basil H. Davies, known to generations of motorcyclists by his pen-name Ixion.

The cafe car park becomes a temporary paddock for riders on the Ixion Run.

In Greek mythology, Ixion was doomed to turn forever on a fiery wheel and the romantic notion of the name seems even more apt when recalling his contributions to The Motor Cycle magazine started in 1903 and finished an amazing 58 years later, in 1961.

Organised by the Sunbeam MCC, the present St. Barnabas clergy is well disposed to the concept of the run – indeed, they are quite delighted that Canon Davies’ memory is so honoured. Legend has it that he was extremely popular with the parishioners of his church.

Tea break time for John Pocklington and a breather for his two-stroke Velocette.

Around 10.30am, the entry made almost a mass start as the various machines involved were fired-up, pedalled and one or two cajoled into life as they headed down towards the nearby seafront.

For the first miles of the run, the road is never far from the beach as it follows the coast to Normans Bay before turning up across the Pevensey Levels and finding minor lanes to bring everyone out at the village of Herstmonceux.

Read more and view more images in the August 2019 issue of TCM – on sale now!

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