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16th September 2005

The VMCC Manx Rally

Most rallies last a weekend, but the VMCC's Manx Rally goes on for a whole week. Terry Cooper, the Rally Secretary, was delighted to welcome an additional 60 entrants this year...

Every year during the Isle of Man Grand Prix, the VMCC hold a full week of vintage and classic events in the form of their Manx Rally. The 33rd event in August 2005 followed its well established format, but with a new two tier entry system which attracted over 60 new entrants. This was very encouraging and we will continue to promote this system, thus allowing the cheaper entry fee if you do not wish to parade. Unfortunately we failed to attract any Veteran machines this year, so to encourage you to get your older machines out and use them, the Rally will offer a free entry to all motorcycles registered before the 1st of January 1915 for the 2006 event.

The Isle of Man served up its usual unpredictable weather after the dry weeks preceding the rally, however we enjoyed mostly sunny days and mainly dry riding conditions.

Starting at Port Erin in the south of the island on Saturday 27th August, the event got underway with a Scenic Social Run followed by lunch on the seafront in glorious sunshine. After lunch the riders judged a 'Bike I Would Like To Take Home' competition. This was followed by a historical train ride to nearby Castletown on the Isle of Man Steam Railway.

Two visitors from Zambia, Alan Obst (180) and Ginty Melvill (179), arrived at Castletown after Sunday's Road Safety Run.

Sunday dawned wet and windy for the start of our Road Safety Run but soon cleared up to give us a dry, if not sunny, afternoon. The run covered a shorter route this year and culminated in a wonderful display of our machines in Castletown square throughout Sunday afternoon. This event has a real party atmosphere, meeting old friends, making new ones and enjoying a pint whilst talking about old bikes. Well attended by spectators, the square is closed to traffic to make it safe for competitors and visitors to enjoy the wonderful collection of bikes on display. Tea and biscuits were kindly provided by the Castletown Commissioners to all entrants adding to this festive occasion.

Monday saw the first of our very popular Closed Roads Parades from Quarterbridge to Ballacraine. The riders then proceeded, at road legal speeds, to the seafront at picturesque Peel for a well earned cup of tea again in glorious sunshine.

Mick Shaw (151), Bill Taylor (55), Harry Oglesby (105) and Andrew Broatch (133) seen rounding Braddan Bridge in Monday's closed roads parade.

Tuesday started bright and sunny and by 10am the TT Grandstand reverberated with the sound of 208 vintage and classic motorcycles setting off in pairs at 30 second intervals to compete in the Main Event. This is a timed lap of the famous TT circuit to match an average speed of either 20 or 24mph depending on the age of the machinery. Conditions deteriorated soon after the start with mist and driving rain in Douglas. This lasted as far as Kirk Michael where the sun was still shining, and then started again over the mountain. Most entrants continued to complete their lap, despite the conditions and times were as competitive as ever.

On Tuesday afternoon there was an informal run to Tony East's house in Kirk Michael to view Tony's lovely collection of vintage and classic motor cycles. More tea and biscuits were enjoyed on the lawn in brilliant sunshine, served by Tony's wife Pat and the East family visiting from the mainland.

On Wednesday it was our second, and usually the most popular, Closed Roads Parade from Ballacraine to Ramsey. This section of the TT course, especially for the older bikes, is the most interesting and varied. Apart from a steep climb at Glen Helen the remainder is relatively flat and includes many famous and challenging landmarks; Laurel Bank, Douglas Corner, Kirk Michael, Ballaugh Bridge, Quarry Bends, Sulby Bridge and of course Ginger Hall -- all those wonderful names with so much history.

Unfortunately after a fine morning the weather closed in at lunch time and, after a frustrating wait until 4pm, the Junior MGP and parade were cancelled. The racing was rescheduled for Thursday afternoon but our parade was unfortunately lost for this year. This also left us with a problem for Thursday as our route crossed the TT Course in several places. Harold Cardy the Assistant Secretary came immediately to our aid organising a new route that evening (thanks Harold). This was photocopied and ready for the start of our Thursday run with fresh timing points so the event could continue as normal.

Random Manx Stuff on
The Chairman of the VMCC, Colin Bell, can be seen [1] among the bikes preparing to leave a sunny Old Laxey sea front for Thursday's Ramsey Road Run. [1] Unless he was on the extreme left, in which case I have cropped him out for quality reasons. RM.

So Thursday morning found us all in Old Laxey for the start of the Ramsey Road Run. This is a timed reliability trial covering much of the Northern part of the island and finishing at Mooragh Park in Ramsey . On arrival in the park the riders enjoyed a light lunch in bright sunshine whilst exhibiting their motorcycles in the Concours competition judged by their peers. The setting at Ramsey is idyllic, we display our bikes on a large grass area near the lake with the sight and sound of the Ramsey sprint happening just behind us on the Promenade.

On Thursday evening we assembled in Douglas for the Presentation Ceremony . An excellent Manx hotpot supper and a few beers to wash it down followed the presentations. David Davies, our President Elect, did us the honour of presenting the awards and saying a few words.

Friday dawned fine and sunny, so it was off to Ramsey for the final closed road parade over the mountain after the Senior MGP. I'm delighted to say the weather stayed sunny all day and many said, as they signed off at the TT Grandstand, that conditions over the mountain were so perfect this parade was perhaps one of the best ever.

Saturday again provided sunshine and clear skies for our Social Run organised by Harold Cardy and the Manx Section of the VMCC. After a short but scenic route the run finished at the Quarterbridge Hotel for fond farewells until next year.

On behalf of the Manx Rally team -- Lin, Stuart, Wayne, Jonathan, Alex, Harold, Colin and Richard -- I would like to thank all of the competitors for their help and support at this year's event. For the major help we receive from our sponsors a big thank you goes to Carole Nash Insurance, The Isle of Man Special Events Team, Old Bike Mart, Total (IOM) Ltd plus many more too numerous to mention. Special thanks to the Manx Motorcycle Club for their kind permission to use the TT circuit for the Closed Roads Parades which make the VMCC Manx Rally such a spectacular event.

Richard Birch (45), Robert Mayers (44) and Duncan Fish (48) snapped while waiting for the off on Tuesday's main event, starting from the TT Grandstand.

If you are new to the Rally and want to ride in next years event then call me now on 01275 349414 and leave your name and address for an entry form (these are posted in January 2006 ) or email me on secretary at The Rally also has a website which currently gives details of this year's event. However it will be updated for next year in December and you will be able to download a Rally Information Pack and Entry Form from January 2006.


VMCC Manx Rally Award Winners 2005

Bike you'd most like to take home

  • Alan Dignan, Excelsior Manxman 1935

    Road Safety Run (Sunday)

  • 1st Ted Sutton
  • 2nd David Bayldon
  • 3rd Graham Ford

    Manx Week Challenge Cup

  • Thomas Kadri

    Clara Winifred Frank Cup

  • Martin Pagett

    John Bentley Bowl

  • Margaret Pagett

    Brian Frank Challenge Cup

  • Mick Hunter. Goff Woolford. Dave Downer

    Double Vintage Shield

  • William Southcombe

    Manx Belt Drivers Trophy

  • John Hastings

    Manx Newcomers Trophy

  • Mark Farrand

    Harold Rowell Memorial Trophy

  • Micheal Haines

    George Larkin Cup

  • Alison Hunt

    West Winds Allonby Trophy

  • Alan Dignan

    Jubilee Cup

  • Beverley Whale

    Avon Trophy

  • Hugh Gallagher

    Overseas Post-War

  • Ginty Melvill

    Pete Wilson Trophy

  • Mick Hunter

    Team Wilson Trophy

  • Juan Clague

    Class 2

  • 1st Peter Corris
  • 2nd Tim Reynolds
  • 3rd Mark Farrand

  • Class 3

  • 1st Trevor Moore
  • 2nd Rod Phillips
  • 3rd Robert Taylor

    Class 4

  • 1st Eddie Corkill
  • 2nd Stuart Adamson
  • 3rd Robert Mayers

    Class 5

  • 1st Ken Blackburn
  • 2nd Geoffrey Harrison
  • 3rd Micheal Sharpe

    Class 6

  • 1st Ian Collins
  • 2nd Dennis Geldard
  • 3rd Colin Bell

    Manx Vintage Shield

  • 1st Graham Taylor
  • 2nd Martin Pagett
  • 3rd Rodger French

    The Vangucci Shield

  • Andy Geden

    The Overseas Trophy

  • Burkhard Bredenbeck

    The Ladies Trophy

  • Joan Hardewick

    Concours Class 2

  • 1st Mark Farrand, BSA Roundtank 1924
  • 2nd John Hastings, Douglas TS 1923

    Class 3

  • 1st Rod Phillips, BSA B27 Deluxe 1927
  • 2nd Trevor Moore, Sunbeam Model 9 1930
  • 3rd Mike Vangucci, Velocette KSS1928

    Class 4

  • 1st Richard Birch, Ariel Square Four 1933
  • 2nd Bob Wilson, Norton International 1934
  • 3rd Alan Dignan, Excelsior Manxman 1935

    Class 5

  • 1st Bill Bewley, Vincent Rapide 1951
  • 2nd Kenneth Miller, Triumph Speed Twin 1955
  • 3rd Anthony Head, Horex Regina 1953

    Class 6

  • 1st John Horn, Matchless G50 CSR 1962
  • 2nd Alan Payne, BMW R69S 1964
  • 3rd Claudia Hunt, Ducati Mark 3 1975

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