Classic motorcycle show attracts record number of visitors

Mike Hawthorne with Belle, a 1949 Vincent Grey Flash which was the winner of Best race bike and the Peoples bike as voted for by the visitors to the show. Photo: Lenny Hartley/Jingly Jangly Images.

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Organisers of the annual Classic Motorcycle Show at the Arran Heritage Museum promised it would be the biggest and best yet and they were correct on all accounts.

With more than 80 exhibiters and a record number of people attending the event last Sunday, the show, now in its sixth year, was indeed the biggest and best in its history.

Crowds of people, who were outdoors enjoying the summer sunshine, were treated to an extensive display of motorcycles through the ages which extended across the manicured gardens of the museum and beyond into the field opposite.

On display were a number of vintage, classic, off road, trial and rare motorcycles which, for a relatively small show, exhibited a large number of unique and very collectable machines.

Organiser Lenny Hartley of Brodick displayed a number of vintage motorcycles with unique racing pedigrees, including a 1960s 500cc Velocette Venom and a Yamaha TZ350, both with Isle of Man TT provenance.

Attracting a huge amount of attention from admirers, and winning the Racing and Specials category, and the People’s Choice class, was the 1949 Vincent Grey Flash replica, which was meticulously restored and rebuilt by Mike Hawthorne of MHR Engineering. Having sat in a wet garage since 1970, the machine was rebuilt in only five months and has gone on to win numerous awards at motorcycle shows around the country and abroad.

Neil Currie of Shiskine impressed judges with his collection of off-road motorcycles, including his 1937 Honda Elsinore CR 250 which came in first place in the Off-Road and Motocross class. It was this motorcycle which won Best in Show in the 2016 show.

In addition to the off-road motorcycles, a number of trial bikes, which are becoming increasingly popular on Arran, well represented the growing sport with a variety of  older and modern examples on show.

Cars too, vintage and post war were on display, with a 1944 specification Willys Jeep and a 1951 MG TD, which won the Other Interesting Vehicles class.

The Arran Jazz Cafe Band added a relaxing but vibrant musical accompaniment to the show, while the Arran Pipe Band also held a performance which, temporarily brought the show to a standstill.

Following an enjoyable afternoon of music, motorcycles, good food from Cafe Rosaburn, and warm sunshine, a prize-giving was held where the following trophies were awarded:

Classic: Arthur Robinson, Honda CB72 250. Post classic: Laurie McNaughton, Norton Commando 850. Modern: Davey Cleary, MV Agusta F4 312R. Off-road and  Motocross: Neil Currie, Honda Elsinore. Racing and Specials: Mike Hawthorne, Vincent Grey Flash. Other Interesting Vehicles: Bill Martin, MG TD 1951. People’s Choice/ Bike of the Year: Mike Hawthorne, Vincent Grey Flash. Best in Show: Paul Williams, Velocette KSS.