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15th August 2006


The Popham Megameet and the Isle of Anglesey Show

Looking for something to do this summer? Would you prefer your classic motorcycles mixed with aeroplanes and sky-divers, or combined with customs, choppers and thrash metal music...

Pop Along to Popham

'Are you guys going to come along to the Popham Megameet this year?', asked organiser and RC Clubman Dick, more in jest than expectation as we'd been unable to attend for the previous three years.

'Errr… YES!' we said, sussing that we could swoop into Popham Airfield on Sunday 20th August 2006 on our way back to the west country after spending the Saturday in cosmopolitan Kempton Park. That happy collision of calendars means that we'd be delighted to see any RC readers who also feel like spending the Sunday at Popham Airfield near Winchester, which is six miles west of Basingstoke on A303. (Head for the Henge and follow the airplanes!).

Says it all...

So what happens at the Megameet and bikejumble, Dick?

'We have one LARGE marquee in which we exhibit clubs, mostly of the vintage variety -- Scott, FB, DOT, Pioneer, MCC, VMCC, etc. The other clubs set up their stands outside, along with the private entry bikes. We send out free passes for bikes over 30 years old - or if your bike is younger or you turn up on the day then you have to pay a fiver unless you're as old as me (…an OAP!) and it's then £3. Kids under 12 get in free.

'We try to make the day as informal as possible - someone last year said it felt like a garden party! For the first time, this year we are having an arena -- my friendly parachute display team will jump into the arena if their aim is ok and the wind is in the right direction! We've also booked the Solent Eagles motorcycle display team. The team is made up of youngsters from 5 to 15 and they put on a really good show.

Just out of a shot in the foreground is a tiny replica show ground constructed entirely by ants.

'The event is called a Megameeet and Jumble. So we like to encourage clubs and individuals to ride along and make it a BIG gathering of bikes. We get over 100 stallholders selling their wares, and we must have had close to 750 classic / vintage bikes here last year. plus at least that many modern bikes. There's a licensed bar, food outlets and toilets, loads of parking space too - and if the weather's fine then we can get up to 100 aircraft fly in too. Remember we're an airfield!'

Right. Got that. Airfield… with room for the RC Roadshow. We'll be there!

The Popham Megameet and Jumble is on Sunday 20th August 2006 from 10am, at Popham Airfield in Hampshire. £5 admission and OAPs £3. Call 01256 397733 or see www.popham-airfield.co.uk

You didn't believe that there really was a tiny showground, did you? Well here it is...

*******

All Sorts At Anglesey

The Isle of Anglesey Motorcycle Show runs for the August Bank Holiday weekend, from Friday 25th August to Monday 28th August 2006. You'll find it at the Isle of Angelsey Showground, which is on the A5 between Bangor and Holyhead, and it promises three full days and nights of biking entertainment - including an indoor custom and classic bike show, live bands in the evenings, stunt shows, trade stalls, good toilets, a free dyno and a free shuttle bus to other offsite entertainment like go-kart racing and track sessions. Kids get in for free; weekend tickets are £25 on the gate - or if you fancy going for one single morning then you can pay just £5 for 10am to 1pm on the Monday.

We sent RC Reporter BikerMarc along to the season-starting Welsh Motorcycle Show, run by the same people and on a similar theme. Here's what he thought…

I have a real love hate relationship with Builth Wells. Numerous journeys along endless winding roads, ending at Uncle John's and Auntie Elsie's where lunch, always lamb, Welsh of course, was taken before settling down to a tedious Sunday afternoon of boredom, sparse conversation and the tick-tocking of the grandfather clock. At 4 we set off to Aunt Emily's for tea, the smell of cabbage and even less conversation due to her deafness. 5.30 finally came when we would depart so all the Williams clan could go to Chapel. My dad would then speed to the nearest 'wet' county in England to partake of a pint or two and then home again in the old Wolseley!

All these memories came flooding back as I approached Builth, past Glan Y Wye, where my Dad spent the happiest days of his childhood. The scenery is stunningly beautiful with the rugged Brecons in the background. I had never been to the Welsh Motorcycle Show so it was eagerly anticipated, especially as the promo material made it look bigger and better than anything else around.

Aunt Emily's house, yesterday.

I must point out that I did not go to the show on either of the available old bikes since, as regular readers of the RC message board will know, I am a little too familiar with the AA recovery service. I was sad because it was a bright sunny day and the first seemingly for weeks. However as I got within 20 miles of the site the number of bikes increased exponentially, so at least a good number were being true to the cause.

The car parking gives a good view of the show ground and there seemed, from a distance, to be a great deal going on. Off I troll to the show entrance, flashing my yellow Ace Reporter wrist band, kindly provided by the Welsh Show team, which got me instant access and 10% off my beer… but not off a bacon buttie or cuppa! Ah well, can't have it all.

The show ground is comparable to the NAC at Stoneleigh, in other words: big, and there were stalls to meet all your clothing and bike related needs but not, sadly, much classic bike jumble. This was good in a way as I am on a bits starvation diet at the moment following advice from my bank manager.

An initial wander round was supplemented by the compulsory bacon bap and a cup of coffee and then it was off to the indoor exhibition hall, which was not easy to find but equally not difficult to miss once you got there.

A Welsh Triumph, yesterday.

Now the WMS is not a dedicated classic bike event, so the arrangements were not geared to the display of concours classic bikes in club stand settings. It was all a bit of a mix, in fact, with fully customised Hogs rubbing rims with Goldie trials bikes. I had to work to find 'my type' of bike but there were some real gems as the snaps show. Strangely, unlike at most classic shows the owners were notably absent so my investigative journalism skills, modelled on Mr Paxman, were not exercisable. Some owners had put info on their machines but not many so I have not been able to provide the full history on any of the bikes I photographed -- but they still look jolly nice, do they not?

Custom bikes dominated and there were some enormous Honda Goldwing Trikes the purpose of which always baffle me. Is it a bike, or a car or something else? Anyway the owners looked proud of their behemoths and luckily I was not stuck behind one on the way home.

A Goldwing owner, yesterday.
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Outside more sporty types were able to have their machines strapped to a dyno for free and to find out how many BHP their snarling beasties could produce and a notional top speed with no head wind. I heard the figure 170 being bandied about but was not sure if this was top speed, BHP or litres of go-juice consumed per hour. It was not for me as I think my Matchie G12 would give up after about 4500rpm and 22BHP. The noise from some beasts, including a Ducati, was frightening. They used to run up Harvards at CFS Rissington in my childhood and the aeroplanes were quieter…

In the arena there were falconry displays and American civil war re-enactments, if this pressed any buttons for you, and in the evening there was to be some heavy metal thrash music available to those who could still hear it after the Dyno bash!

A blue Morini, yesterday.

I finally met up with a small band of RC Dribblers who had been rugged and had ridden from Gloucester. Well done men (I hope Jim has now got the feeling back in his bum and fingers!). We sat, dribbled, enjoyed the good weather and tried to convince Jim to go topless on the Human Gyroscope, as he could have got on for free, but he muttered something about false teeth and vertigo so I regret you will have to await seeing a founder member of the HD (Hells Dribblers) club stripped to the waist.

A pleasant journey home along the Wye valley completed the visit to my Da's home town and a big, well attended mix of a show which offer a bit of everything to all sorts of bikers. It's true that there's not a surfeit of anything in particular for the classic bike types -- unless of course Jim stayed on without telling anyone to boogie to the Thrash Metal Bands!

The Isle of Anglesey Motorcycle Show is on August 25th to 28th.

See www.welshmotorcycleshows.co.uk


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