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 Coventry Parade Event Report.

2017 marked the 62nd consecutive year for the event, which was, once again, well supported and held at Coombe Abbey Country Park.
Organised by the established team of Robert Thomas and myself, we arrived on the morning with our respective well laden transport at 6:15am in order to allow us time to get the field setup in readiness for the entrants. Over the next two and a half hours, we transformed the field from a plain field sporting a ground-frost to a welcoming event field for motorcycles, with the sun shining from a bright blue sky!
Competitors started to arrive from 8:30, the field quickly filling with a wide array of machines from 1896 to 1980, the pre-booked fine weather encouraging some additional “on the day” entries.

The deputy Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, Councillor John and Lindsey Blundell arrived at 10:15 and were toured around the machines, engaging in conversation with various individuals in readiness for the 11am start for the road-ride where they were to be waved off by the Mayor wielding the Civic flag, in conjunction with a commentary from myself.

A crowd gathered as machine number one, the breath-taking Leon-Bollée, piloted by Scott and Hayden Brown, drove to the start line, followed by the rest of the entrants’, (generally!) in numerical order, the audience, savouring the magnificent sights, sounds and smells which were on offer.

Riders went out on their 40 mile road ride, stopping at an exclusive venue for a buffet lunch and beverages along the way, returning to the park to vote for their favourite machine and relax in the summer sun whilst the judges busied themselves choosing winning machines for the various classes available.

Highlights of the day? For me, there were many – watching Dave Mac and his venerable Rudge, together as man and machine in absolute harmony, was a sight to behold. Watching the machines pull away from the lunch-stop –  the Bollee, Sunbeam mounted Phil Nutt, immaculately turned out in terms of both his machine and apparel, the fabulous vee-twin powered vintage outfits thundering away, the vintage hand-change machines, Chris Chant’s fabulous HRD Super 90, fresh from the workshop- oil feed system set on “the safe side” and consequently leaving a castor oil perfume behind to delight the nostrils, which was personally sampled for at least two minutes after he had disappeared from view! The sound of Dave and Carol Sketchley’s Suzuki triple and Doug Chapman on the Harley chop, doing his best impression of a Terminator, the cold engine objecting to throttle by spitting violently out of the side-mounted carburettor oversized bellmouth as he accelerated away, arms stretched, legs forward - maybe not to everyone’s taste but unquestionably cool!

Voted by the riders as a “smiles all round day”, this Premier Warwickshire event continues to go from strength to strength; ALWAYS held on the second Sunday in August, go and mark 12th August in your calendar for next year, along with a note to fill in the entry form (which will be available from the Warwickshire Section website) before the end of July and see what you have been missing- the organisers are already planning a day to remember!
Finally, thanks to everyone who assisted on the day and the advertisers in the programme- Partsmade for all of your veteran and vintage parts and casting services 07739 583763, Carrs Motor Accessories – one stop shop for spares, oils, parts and accessories 02476 593442 , Alan Bellamy, optician extraordinaire, who can get the best performance out of our eyes, including prescription goggles to enable you to see the route and the road ahead 0116 2531750, Spon Gate motorcycles for all of your MOT, batteries, chains, tyres etc. 02476 225111, Walsgrave garage for all of your car service and MOT requirements 02476 612366, C & D motorcycles for your post war BSA spares 01564 795000 and Tregunter Jams and Chutneys – all homemade with top ingredients, skill and love! 02476 713849.
Please show your appreciation for their support by providing them with some business; now, go and get a big mark on your calendar in June for an online entry form and we will see you all for another grand day out on August 12th.
Geoff Booth

Our thanks go to Geoff, Robert and the team for organising the event and our hosts at Pailton Club for their hospitality.










Warwickshire Section of the VMCC