The VMCC Saundersfoot Run (Sept. 16th)
Motorcycles make a pleasant change, so I had a look at the Welsh National Saundersfoot Run of the Vintage MCC on its 17th Occasion. There was an excellent entry of over 80 machines for this easy but interesting run along lanes and main roads from Llandovery to the Continental-looking seaside resort of Saundersfoot, with a beauty show on the Sunday. There was interest in seeing motorcycles perhaps less often encountered away from Wales, commencing with Phelps’ very clean 1902 198-c.c. Clement-Garrard, although many of the riders had come long distances to compete. Small vintage two-strokes were represented by Levis, Coventry Eagle and Radco, Miss Taylor from Cardiff bravely rode a 1919 ABC Scootamota with the e.o.i. engine over its back wheel, which already had a crack in its valve-chest, there were lots of Sunbeams, of which Kelly’s Model 90 had the traditional hairpin valve springs, and Briggs’ 1928 o.h.c. 349-c.c. Humber was unusual and smart. Early and late types of Scott, James’ 1921 ABC, a 1922 Harley Davidson from Denmark, a 1923 Beardmore Precision, Warne on an ex-Le Vack Brooklands Brough Superior with leaf-sprung front forks, a DKW twin with big magdyno, Scott’s 1914 BSA proudly bearing that plate on the gearbox announcing that it had the “BSA Three Speed Gear”, and Hill’s H3 Veloeette with Klaxon on the tank were but a few of a very varied entry. I was interested to note that many of the machines were in distinctly “everyday-use” condition, a change from tarred-up vintage and veteran cars, and I was encouraged by the number of sidecar outfits, including the Garlands’ 1,140-c.c. Royal Enfield with GB plaque and a Model 9 Sunbeam with cabin sidecar.
Watching the riders pass at a scenic spot between Cilycwm and Fumpsaint, Moore’s quiet and gentlemanly 1915 Rudge Multi was seen to be well ahead. It was using a leather link belt instead of a rubber one, as were most of the belt-drivers, and it carried tank transfers proclaiming it as “Britain’s Best Bicycle” and “Specially Appointed to HM the King”. Thomas’ Model B Douglas was more noisy, Richens’ Model 9 Sunbeam with open valve gear used a lower gear momentarily, the ABC Scootamota was going astonishingly well, its lady rider seated on a tiny perch, FieIden’s 1.300-c.c. Indian outfit had tyres to match its power, and among all these pre-war motorcycles which put the clock back that afternoon in those remote Welsh lanes were two Morgans, Jenner’s 1927 Aero having the s.v. water-cooled JAP engine. Soper’s 1915 3½-h.p. Sunbeam had toured this territory in the 1920s and the Burke’s ex-Sheffield Police Brough Superior with Grande Alpine sidecar has never missed this popular run. — W. B.