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27th June 2005

Classic Events in Kent

The RealClassic Roadshow attended the Ashford Classic Motorcycle Show for the first time this summer; there's more of the same to come in July, at Rye...

The RealClassic Roadshow rumbled along to the seventh Ashford Classic Motorcycle Show and Bikejumble, not really knowing what to expect. We'd not travelled to deepest Kent before, so Easter Monday 2005 promised all manner of entertainment.

There's a school of opinion which believes that local trading restrictions in Kent make it difficult for jumblers to set up stalls and carry on their business in their usual manner. From our experience this would appear to be tosh: we simply drove in as usual, owned up to being from RealClassic magazine (and replied to the usual abuse with cheery disregard), and were directed to our stand. If anything, the administrative burden which falls upon the organiser means that the flow of traffic through the gate was more orderly and organised than usual!

A soon as the camera came out of the bag the crowd lowered their heads and feigned interest in whatever was in front of them.

This annual Show is housed in Ashford Livestock market - an excellent venue with plenty of under-cover autojumble space and luxury accommodation for the show bikes in the new halls. Good café, too. There were over 100 bikes on display, which meant that Frank-the-Editor, who was judging, had to take several turns around the Show halls to make sure that he didn't miss any entrants (although mysteriously, whenever anyone went looking for him, he could be found in the autojumble area… just checking for errant show bikes, presumably). If you attend next year then make sure you've seen all the exhibits, because it's easy to walk past the entrance to the more tucked-away displays.

The RC Roadshow was beefed up by the arrival of Graham, complete with Daisy the Speed Twin and her trailer, plus a host of RC readers who we don't usually get to see. Lovely to meet you all, and congratulations to Karl for collecting a prize for his MZ.

Shaun the Kent Correspondent put his A10 on display next to the RC stand, and was amazed when one of the bike's previous owners stopped, stared and exclaimed; 'That's my old bike!' The excitement and non-stop jabbering this caused no doubt explains why Shaun neglected to collect an RC sticker at the time…

Daddy, what are those bits of cardboard under the Triumphs for?
BSA A10 Stuff on

The Cinque Ports CMCC won the Best Club stand award, while many other clubs were represented, including local make the Norman Cycles Club. There was also a high entry of competition machines in the concours, which caused much head-scratching during the judging. How do you choose between so many machines which have received such careful attention? In the end, Frank opted to give first prize for Best Competition or Special to Steve Ledsham of Maidstone, for his 1962 650cc Triton.

Paint was an optional extra.

It's an extremely well-fettled machine: the frame is a much modified slimline fitted with one-off alloy tanks; it uses race-prep crank, T120V rods, E3134 profile cams on R followers, fully race valve train, a gas-flowed head and 30mm carbs. The 4-speed close ratio gearbox transmits power via the belt drive. The swept back pipes wear Goldie silencers, while the front end boasts Manx length forks and a 250mm Fontana front brake. Steve's Triton tips the scale at under 350lb, and has been clocked at 120mph.

'Unit engine usually looks lost in a featherbed frame', said Frank, ticking boxes on his judging form; 'but in this special it looks totally at home - a really well executed idea, very neat.'

A random AJS 7R yesterday...

Every show entrant was given a specially commissioned solid brass Rally Brass; far superior to the usual plaques or badges. If you'd like to add one to your mantelpiece then enter early for next year's event when the Show will again be at Ashford Livestock Market on Easter Monday, which falls on 17th April 2006.

However, you don't have to wait that long to enjoy another Elk Promotions Show: the Rye Classic Motorcycle Show and Bikejumble is on Sunday 10th July 2005, at Marsh Road, Hamstreet, Kent TN26 2HD (just off the A2070, 6 miles south of Junction 10 of the M20 motorway). See

Ashford Classic Motorcycle Show 2005 Full Results

Best Pre 1946

  • 1st: Alan Wardle, 1934 BSA J34/11 V-twin
  • 2nd: Anita Dray, 1942 Indian 741-B

    Best 1946-1959

  • 1st: S Strover, 1949 Vincent HRD Black Shadow
  • 2nd: Dave Bull, 1949 Triumph Tiger T100

    Best 1960-1969

  • 1st: Andy Wallis, 1960 Norton Model 50
  • 2nd: A Iddenden, 1965 BSA Spitfire Scrambler

    Best 1970-on

  • 1st: Ian Stewart, 1973 Kawasaki Z1
  • 2nd: R Avery, 1973 BMW R75/5

    Best Overseas

  • 1st: Dave Moyse, 1977 MV Agusta America
  • 2nd: Karl Bentley, 1974 MZ ES 150/1

    Best Competition/ Special

  • 1st: Steve Ledsham, 1962 650cc Triton
  • 2nd: J Bonugli, 1953 Norton International

    Best Lightweight

  • 1st: Richard Eldridge, 1969 Royal Enfield Continental GT
  • 2nd: Ron Warrener, 1961 Norman B4 Sports

    Best Club Stand

  • Cinque Ports Classic Motorcycle Club

    And the prize for blurriest beesa goes to...

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