Bamburgh Castle- Voyage of Discovery & Memories 1st-2nd June 2019

Many months ago, Ron Gow, who lives some 40 miles (80 return) wanted us to go on a ONE day visit to Bamburgh- as if. Yup 80 miles is a decent % of the return trip.

After he recovered from being told “no way Jose” & stopped crying, we agreed that an overnight stay would be great & left it up to him to organise.

So on Saturday 1st June we finally all assembled at Ron’s for brekkers (thanks, Jo), which was splendid.

Then Ron led us via Broughton, Peebles, Galashiels, Coldstream, Kelso etc , eventually arriving in Bamburgh and the Victoria Hotel, which was very, very nice.

We were somewhat short of time so headed off to the Castle, carrying JG up the hill & managed to negotiate a discount as there was only 1 hour left (puff pant).

The Town & Castle were well covered with visitors and the atmosphere was great. All well behaved on the tour which also overlooked the huge sandy beach, which looked fab.

Back at base & time for a wee aperitif or two. This outside with a great street carnival type feeling. The girls were well away & might have been “easy meat” had we not protected them from hungry wolves, including their own husbands!

Decided to dine a couple of doors away, where Grumpy had a huge T-bone steak, while the rest of us had lettuce & grated carrots, fortified by watching Grumpy stuffing himself, yuck! There were only 2 cognoscenti among us who wanted to watch Liverpool V Tottenham, on a HUGE screen- not only bigger than Norrie’s but even larger than Ron’s- now his is a MASSIVE one he informs us!

Not too late in bed & then a first-class breakfast. Highly recommended this hotel. We decided on two focuses (or is it foci) for the morning. Wooler first, for John’s sake- revisiting his early working time there.

The village hadn’t changed much in only 51 years! There are 5 Antique shops there and a couple feature regularly on TV. Indeed, in one of the windows is a Wooler Motorcycle (I bet you didn’t know that)- made in Denmark. JG bought a couple of momentos/peace offerings, & then we headed for focus No 2, the Jim Clark Museum in Duns.

Pity it wasn’t open yet- Ron!!! However, we found a wee Café & an expensive & distant unisex comfort station- poor girls- don’t even think about it!. To keep the cost down to 30p, we all went in together.

WE stopped for lunch near Coldstream, and experienced the first rain that morning, perhaps 20 minutes of it. Very lucky. Not so clever was the wind heading for Moffat (Ron had turned North for home by then). A quickie up the A74 then M74 & home in jig time.

Thanks Ron, for a grand trip. The writer slept for a week afterwards!

25th Annual Spring Run 30 Motorcycle Club of Ulster and West of Scotland MCC 24-26th May 2019

One of the best ever! The odd hiccup- Chicago’s own Scarface Al Capone & Elliot Ness, or is it the other way round? Our favoured guest leaving with the famous words ringing in his hears “I wouldn’t go in there for another 10 minutes if I were you”,

A Topographic Degree holder and ex ship’s pilot leading 40 people up a road clearly marked “Dead End”, and into a ploughed field and a previous and geriatric Chairman forced into a flying coffin just to get a feel for the real event AND SO ON!

Some of the WSVMCC lot met at Burnhouse X Roads on the Thursday & then motored oh so gently behind the Chairman eventually arriving at our centre for the weekend, North West Castle Hotel in Stranraer

So, Friday morning saw the 2 Clubs meeting at the Stena Terminal in Cairnryan. Johnny then insisted he lecture us (forever it seemed) with the threat of significant retribution if we failed to abide by his instructions. It’s the German DNA in him.

You may have noticed most bikes are modern. Well, we do move with the times, so the V in WSVMCC relates as much to the vintage of the riders as the age of the bikes. You may have also noticed all makes of bikes represented, but no Ducatis.

That is except the Devillish Duo, the two Ducathies

Notwithstanding, we set off for Ballantrae for fuel, then by Colmonell, Barmill, Barr and into the Galloway Forest- Galloway, Galloway, get used to it! Here, all Johnny’s threats were ignored. The bold Charlie (well named), tested the others’ initiatives to determine whether they had noticed his deliberate mistake (so he said, the lying toad). Sure it was. In fact, it’s only when the farmer, whose field they were about to cross raised his shotgun they turned around, (not easy as the road was very narrow by now). How they didn’t notice it it???

Can you imagine the chaos? Some 40 bikes up a mountain, trying to turn around and so on, and some 40 other bikes with humans waiting FOREVER for the others to surface with hay coming out of every orifice!

Eventually continuing through more of the GALLOWAY forest, we reached the A75 and then for lunch at the Selkirk Arms Hotel in Kirkubright (night tonight). First Class meal and a glorious day. Even the Flying Coffin passenger did not complain once extracted

The main group then went their merry way, including the GALLOWAY forest again, while the more discerning duo in the Said Coffin, Undertaker & Client, decided to improve their minds by conversing with the locals in Wigtown, Scotland’s Book Town.

It was also a requirement to drop into a café & have an ice cream. Here, the Undertaker (Bill D) and his prospective victim conversed with the owner, his Mammy & Daddy & his daughter who were all related and not only to each other, but apparently to the whole population (other than White Settlers) in Wigton. They urgently are seeking fresh blood—too many 1st cousins, it seems.

By a coincidence, the Undertaker, who comes from these pairts, was sort of recognised (that’s why they need fresh blood) and the bold mammy staggered on her sticks, and produced, as if by magic, one of Bills best school pals. What a moment, Eamon Andrews revived!

A gallon of tears thereafter we set off for an historical tour all the way to Galveston  and the Coast Road, eventually reaching the A75 & Stranraer, We passed a Wartime Aerodrome where they trained bomber pilots, the Solway coast where the Mulberry Dock was tested and where bomber pilots learned low flying over the water to represent bombing runs. You learn something every day, but not how to get out of a flying coffin and with dignity (Dignity- sounds kind of familiar)

Another repetition was “White Settlers” and their impact on house prices and the inability of locals to afford the hike in prices. Shades of the Highland Clearances.

The evening was the real pleasure, meeting old and new friends with a similar hobby while having varied backgrounds. No room for snobbery. All you can hear are howls of laughter and the clink of glasses. Occasionally, you have to carry an over-enthusiastic up to his or someone else’s bed. SURPRISE!

Further displeasure was on show when Johnny got up to advise about the next day. Charlie Farley was in the firing line and further torture was promised should the marking fail again.

Once again the routes included the, yes you’ve guessed, the Galloway Forest and this time we headed for Gatehouse-on-Fleet for a soup and sandwich lunch. Again, excellent. Unfortunately, it rained the whole day.

During our stop in Port William, we met Deena the dug and her White Settler owner (hiss). So we included the wee mite (Rottweiler) in our Group Photo,.Zoom in Norrie.

We spent a bit of time there soaking in the atmosphere and the rain. Then we headed home, some directly, but most, you’ve guessed, (the Galloway Forest).

The roads were wet, gravel at the edges, and the inevitable happened to one of our more careful and non-hooligan riders. This is where our Chicago incident occurred, where Elliot Ness (US Tax Man) swapped fizzogs with Scarface Al Capone. Both Elliot & his Kawa got somewhat battered and bruised. Elliot could still manage 8 courses for Dinner, but his 2 wheeled friend, remained on the trailer.

Because Dinner could not be brought forward from 8 pm, the respective Chairmen made their speeches ahead of dinner in the bar. The serious stuff was OK, but their parting jokes were hilarious. Thanks George & Johnny.

Dinner quality as always was 1st rate. Most were nursing some form of headache from the previous night and retired early-ish. No wife swapping to my knowledge took place on the Saturday, but who knows about Friday???

Sunday was a short day, with a longish way to Portpatrick- what a bonny place, and lunch at The Crown- very good indeed.

At this stage I would like to thank Norrie for all the work involved in fixing the photos onto these pages, as nothing is more boring than solid text. As always, a Rolls Royce jobmany thanks.

Since we were in Galloway & Rabbie Burns territory, – “and here’s a hand o’ mine- till we meet again”

Sam`s Old Bike run Sun. 12-5-19

Our Chairman eventually arrive somewhat deflated after suffering an instant deflation to his rear tyre at Burnhouse. Resourcefull Johnny had a tubeless repair outfit, no holding him back then.

Our crew are very happy after eating an excellent lunch at the Kirkmichael Arms.

Les Ritchie enjoying a first class lunch with Liz and me.

My Ferguson tractor waiting for further instructions.

Everybody enjoying afternoon tea back at the ranch at the end of a good day out with Ben keeping a watchful eye on the hens.

We all gathered at the Maritime Museum for breakfast (Aka the lost keys) and set off heading for Dundonald, and then onto Bogend Toll through to Mauchline, then to Coalhall, then Hollybush, and from there to Dalrymple, then onto Kirkmichael for lunch at the Kirkmichael Arms.

After a very satisfying lunch we set off on a pretty direct route back to my Ranch for Afternoon Tea. All that participated enjoyed themselves. Colin Ness and myself enjoyed the run on our old Triumph and BSA motorcycles in the spirit of the day.

Sam Duncan.

Thanks Sam,  J.G.

Charlie Farlie’s Fab Fun Run Sunday 28th April 2019

This, I believe, was Charlie’s first attempt. Well thanks for the effort & only 1 regular had a decent excuse for not showing up- disappointing numbers.

However, Grumpy was there, so we got the fotos, at least.

Departed Milton @ 10am-ish and up the A82 North but turned off to go through the old Glen Fruin Road to Faslane (the Camp for the great unwashed still there!)

Up the back road (always a challenge & a favourite) to Arrochar and due East to Tarbet for breakfast. Not a bad day for the bikes, but little sunshine but also no rain.

Then up the Loch to Crianlarich, towards Killin, but kept to the Callander Road. Thru the Trossachs, Duke’s Pass, Aberfoyle and finished for lunch at the Lake of Menteith Hotel.

Bonny views, “good value!” Fish and Chips, plus a wee interlude with Colin (alias Elliot Ness) and a very dear friend. This guy knew a guy who knew a guy who told him he also knew a guy who used to ride his Trumpet when in the Polis. In fact, the guy’s father was also in the Polis & knew the guy who was one the bike’s riders. Overtaking 3.8 litre Jags with no problem etc and such. This first guy used to prepare bikes for the TT. Colin’s eyes seemed to fog over after a while, for some reason.

Grumpy, meanwhile, had spotted a foto opportunity, centre piece being a charming lady in a boat. His hands shaking (excuse the lack of sharpness of the picture), he used his initiative by capturing her, so to speak, for our benefit.

After re-arranging clothing, the party left for home via Arnprior and Balloch

Thanks, Charlie, more next time—-PROMISE

Ian`s Cool for April Sunday Run.

And so it came to pass, that Ian was due to sort out a Sunday Run. This meant heading ONCE again southwards. Does no one appreciate the roads we have towards the NW such as Oban etc, Very selfish.

We met at Burnhouse X Roads, with Kenny Hair surprising us with his presence (family, friends & promoting his June Run). Also refreshing to see Sam with his new very nice silver-grey Triumph with Liz on board.Hayes Garden Centre for Breaky.

We headed on thru the wondrous & confusion of North Ayrshire roads and after freezing about for ages, stopped a short while at Abington Service Stn & then headed on fab roads via Leadhills and Wanlochead  & Thornhill for lunch at Moniaive.

This was excellent although slightly marred by JG and Cathie (Drew’s) having considerable indecision regarding which cake/s to choose. This went on FOREVER!

Finally, Cathie chose a rhubarb fancy and stated that she wasn’t worried as she had a potty in her mini, which has seen plenty of action.

Before we set off, you’ll notice a group foto with Les giving JG a £20 note. This is important to note as a certain present Member, insisted that Les owed him the £20, when Les had mislaid his dosh. Not so, it was JG that did the decent thing.

Now this anonymous Member with a white beard and BMW scooter- Mod like ye ken, has a history of misrepresenting himself. At this rate we’ll have to reduce him to the Membership of the BMW Club who can only stay at posh places such as The Rob Roy when we have to slum it at the likes of North West Castle and Peebles Hydro.

Johnny has promised to remind him (don’t give him your name Pike), that this sort of thing is frowned upon.

At Carsphairn (great roads to it) we continued North & split up at Dalmellington

Freezing ya Bass, that was the only thing that marred the day. Great friends (minus one with the beard) and a great laff.

Thanks, Ian. By the way, beware Ian on his S1000RRRR, due in June. Dark clouds gathering. There will be 230 good reasons for keeping out of his way.


The Latest in Sat Nav Technology

This story arises as a result of the experiences of Bill Davies, JG and, of course, Cathie

It relates to the worst side-seat passenger of all time, as experienced by the above 3 worthies

The correspondence kicked off with an email from Bill to JG, to which the latter replied, as detailed.

An opportunity presented itself to develop this theme with the help of Grumpy- 


From: Bill Davies <>

Sent: 18 January 2019 18:05

To: John Galloway <>

Subject: Sat NavSat Nav Johnny



Want to buy a Sat Nav system, I’ve now got the use of a “Johnny”.

Complete directional system that monitors speed and direction…does not need batteries.


Regards Bill


How much does it cost?

Do you have to push it in a wheelchair. I actually found out that it does need batteries (unless it’s an older model) fitted at the lower rear of the main body.

Can you charge it at supermarkets. How many miles on a full charge  AND SO ON!!!

Like it

—————————————————————————————————————-Upon further research, I established that it first appeared many years ago, as the state of the art equipment at that time. However, like the British Motorcycle Industry, it really didn’t spend money on development.

In due course, it was overtaken by the Japanese and German companies, and although it did produce new models, often it was just a change in colour or the structure of the casing.

They did indeed use batteries for a long time rather than a connection to the car or motorcycle electrical systems. These were initially A1 size (the ones we used in the long torches at that time). There was a problem inserting them into the body of the unit as it emitted a screeching sound when inserted.

This problem was finally resolved when smaller batteries were used and a metal plate and extra screws were inserted in the lower right of the unit.

Some form of development took place and the Johnny was adapted to fit onto BMW Bikes, with the ultimate attached to the GS 1200.

Unfortunately, there still remained the problem of understating the speed on the screen, and on checking thru Police files we find that a Johnny mounted on a GS 1200 was stopped in Inveraray at some 40% above the speed limit.Sat Nav Johnny. 4JPG

The rider protested his innocence, blaming the SAT NAV. On checking by the Police indeed they found it reading below the correct speed, but not by 40% but 50%IMG_7087

Inveraray Jail is infamous for the way it treated inmates. The rider (now released) wailed that being of a certain age, he shouldn’t have been incarcerated there, even for the 3 months. The unit has now been moved to RH Alexandria Hospital in Paisley for further modifications to the lower right structure of the unit20181023_190411

All I can say is, beware of a Johnny mounted BMW in your mirrors, it probably is going faster than it should




New Year Lunch 6th January 2019

When we were young and beautiful, this event was preceded by our infamous Hangover Run. Now that we’re older, wiser & not so pretty, AND finding it difficult to manoeuvre or even manage a “leg over” (the the motorcycle), we’ve turned into pansies-

hence this luncheon occasion, which has turned out to be very successful. despite having to pay individually for it.

No matter, very good value- the food & staff were great & we, some 50 plus, really enjoyed ourselves.

Hop- along Johnny was upright again, mostly thanks to the Saintly Cathie-  how she has the patience!!! He still was a laff- good on you!DSC03202

Many “volunteered” to organise Sunday Runs- much appreciated, so we should have an event calendar looking further ahead than 2 weeks!! just like Ulster 30 MCC

The highlight was our favourite GRUMPY receiving the Willie Baird Annual Trophy (donated by Ron Spinks). He has been an inspiration with his photos in our Web Page, which lightens up the boring text- like wot this is.DSC03210

Roll on better weather, so we can get some adrenaline pumping. Some of us don’t have scooters you know (Ron) so we are more wimpish as a result. However, in early course-DSC03192 DSC03194DSC03195 DSC03198 DSC03199 DSC03233





Surprising Sunday 18th November 2018

Yes, November, & forecast wall to wall sunshine.DSC02875 DSC02876

So a nucleus of five met at Milton (3 last minutes call-offs notwithstanding) and off to Tarbert for a heat up & met Ronnie fae Dunoon & 2 of his cronies.

Set off via Crianlarich towards the Green Welly, then via Dalmally to InverarayDSC02879

The scenery was stunning, especially along The Loch. No wind & reflections of the hills & mountains on the waters.

The George was up to scratch, especially marine life and constant chatter, interrupted by moaning Grumpy most of the time. Wrong side of bed, we suspect.

Seemed to recover after loadsa calorie intakeDSC02878DSC02882

Returned by Loch Lomond with Willie setting a brisk pace (the way we like it). Traffic was OK and moving well, so no hassle. Needed to get home shortly after 3pm as Winter well established. A bonus day out-  hopefully more such surprises.




Closing Camping Weekend 2018

The return to the Machers….Galloway

 It is 4 years since we wandered down to the Machers in Galloway and while the rain fell on the previous `Friday the rest of the week-end was good…. could we repeat this this year.

The invitation was posted on the club website and the uptake was slow, there is a lack of MEN in this club, you need to get out and enjoy life at the edge, being eaten by midges and soaked in the ass

No really we want you all to come on down and have fun.

The week-end meet was at Chez Moi in Alloway where introductions were made and egg rolls were served together with tea and coffee choc biscuits also. Then we were off using the back roads to Maybole and then onto Girvan and down the coast to Ballentrae for lunch at the garden center. Arriving mob handed we were faced with lunch outside until the punters decided it would be better to leave rather than face the bikers. A good lunch served quickly was consumed then on with the tour thro’ Colmonel and Pinwherry and Barrhill then the B7027 moor road turning left at Knowe down towards Bargrennan and the campsite at Glentrool.

Here Johnny and Ron parted to head for home via Newton Stewart and New Gallloway) well that was one route discussed amongst many….do they not know where they are).

The intrepid campers then set camp, Jimmy MacFarlane, Tom Rae (Pembleton), Colin Fergusson (Grinall Scorpion 3), John Sykes (Panther outfit), and me aboard the Bug, once camp was set and a Dram issued by Jimmy we decanted for a run up to the “Bruce Stone” a memorial to make the start of “Robert the Bruce’s” campaign against the invading English…and that said is history.thumbnail_1542275763208blob

 Arriving back at camp we found John Mitchell complete with caravan and bike in the pick-up having a cup of tea, also Sam McIntyre (Velocette Venom) from Tyneside camping with us, we had all arrived safely.DSCN6257

 After a good night at the local hotel, we went to bed and awaited the offerings of the Weather Gods, I dosed up on Paracetamol and Fishermans friends and had a good nights sleep. The dawn was good and Jimmy set to with the famous frying pan providing a hearty breakfast for the campers. Then we were off down the Cree valley to Newton Stewart for coffee and scones before heading north to Challoch then west to Glenluce and then south to the Machers. At Milton point we turned inland for Elrig negotiating the hairpin (here the turning circle of the Grinall came in for high jinks…the only one not to get round in one) and on to Bladnoch for lunch. A table had been set aside for us and we were suitably fed and watered.

Then off round the fighter training airfield at Bladnoch(2nd World War) and on to the Isle of Whithorn via Withorn.DSCN6261 Then a quick coastal run to Garlieston for afternoon tea and coffee at brother Jim’s house before going to visit the Mulberry exhibition in the “tin hall”. After leaving we passed thro’ Wigtown the Book Capital of the south west, which had houses wallpapered for the book fare the previous week-end.

Then along the muddy flats towards Newton via the Martyrs monument, before getting fuel etc for the way home tomorrow. The night was passed in the hotel where the food service was slow however the food when it arrived was good. A modest portion of drink was consumed.

Another night dosed with paracetamol etc and a good night’s sleep then again Jimmy satisfied the hungry campers before we dropped the tents. We made it in time only just as the rain started at 10.00 just as we were folding the tents, well stuffing them in their bags really, they can dry at home in the garage. Then we were off, Tom and Sam left early as they were heading east and south respectively with Sam jetting off to Poland the next day. Colin then set off to attend the BMW AGM in Aberfolye leaving the WSVMCC contingent to make their way home.

The rain was now getting serious so we went via the main moors road A714 to Barrhill and then on to Girvan then up the A77 to Maybole and Alloway for coffee and biscuits etc before parting for home.

Verdict …another good weekend with the usual weather of all sorts, next year well who knows where we will end up…you could come and join us….it is fun …..honest

Bill DDSCN6251 DSCN6255

What has our Leader done to himself?

Nothing like an –ld fool, they say. None of the old, thank you.

Well, the poor guy, doing his best to keep Barrhead as beautiful as ever, tried too hard to finish off his hedge, AFTER it had been cut— just to add that ever so essential final touch—-when oops, down on the pavement in agony. The shears were OK & not embedded in his body.

Not so lucky. On examination at the Royal Alexandria, confirmation that his right ankle basically knackered and now plated & pinned, with a likely long recovery period ahead.20181023_190411

He seemed remarkably positive when visited and after they check progress on his ankle, it’s a matter of organising a suitable situation at home.20181023_190421

We all wish him and Cathie all the best. Suggest plenty of home visits would be much appreciated

Best wishes for as speedy recovery as possible. All the best from your mates