AJS Rally 2018 - Great Chesterford

This years rally organised by John & Minty and was held over the weekend of 9 & 10 June 2018 based around The Crown in Great Chesterford, Cambridgeshire.   

An excited band of AJS enthusiasts arrived at The Crown on Friday night, 19 members in 7 AJS cars. Before the engines had cooled, work started on Richard's car and up early the next morning the timing problem was resolved before breakfast and all were ready for the weekend ahead. 

On Saturday morning we meandered along quiet country lanes passing through some of the prettiest towns and villages - Saffron Walden, Thaxted, Finchingfield and Ridgeway, stopping off for morning coffee to view a Marcos car and a vast collection of cactus. Lunch was in the interesting and once very wealthy medieval town of Clare where we stopped at  "Platform One Cafe" in Clare Castle County Park. Here we were made very welcome and were all well fed and watered. The restaurant is situated in the waiting room of the old railway station which is curiously situated in the keep of Clare Castle. As usual the line up of cars generated a lot of interest. (clarecastlecountrypark.co.uk/)

The afternoon saw another coffee stop at a specialist model makers where some members were fascinated by the 3D printing process used, while others were more taken with the owners fascinating variety of Guinea Pigs.  

The annual AGM and dinner was held Saturday evening at the Plough in Great Chesterford. 

Sunday saw the bulk of the group heading off to the Imperial War Museum (www.iwm.org.uk/visits/iwm-duxford) while a small group went "off piste" and visited Audley End (www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/audley-end-house-and-gardens/)

Later in the afternoon we all got together again at John and Minty's where we all enjoyed a fantastic barbecue prepared by Minty and Katie. 

We were blessed with fantastic weather and an excellent weekend was had by all, much thanks to John and Minty for their hard work in organising everything. Regrettably none of the Stevens family were able to be with us this year, they were missed and we hope to see them again at next years rally "up north". 

Click here to see more pictures of the 2018 AJS Rally 

Rotary Club Run - May 2018

On the morning Monday 21st May Peter and Gwen Bramwell set off in the AJS 9 on a sponsored drive to visit as many Rotary Club checkpoints as they could, hopefully ending up in Halifax on the afternoon of Thursday 24th.

The object of the tour was to raise awareness of the challenge to rid the world of Polio, as well as to collect funds to help carry out the task.

There were 25 checkpoints in all, one for each Rotary district in England and Wales, from Cornwall in the South west to the most northerly, St Andrews in Scotland.

The AJS stood no chance of covering the whole of the country in the time allowed, so we decided to attempt as many of the northern checkpoints as we thought the car could manage.

Our local district checkpoint was at Beamish Open Air Museum, so we set off to go there first so we would definitely manage one. Climbing Maiden Law bank out of the Village, we had to change down to bottom gear to make it to the top. This did not bode well for all the other bigger hills we would encounter! We made it to Beamish nevertheless, and set off again in the direction of Edinburgh with fingers crossed.

Arrived at the Edinburgh checkpoint about teatime, so had something to eat under the famous Forth Bridge. We had planned to spend the night there, but it was a pleasant evening so we crossed the new road bridge and drove round the Fife coastal route and made it to St Andrews and found a hotel.

After breakfast we visited the checkpoint at the famous old golf course and headed for the next one at The Riverside Museum of Transport in Glasgow.

This part of the run was not so hilly, so we kept up reasonably well with the traffic on the country roads, past the Quaker Oats porridge factory and stopped near Falkirk to be impressed with the Kelpies and the Falkirk Wheel.

We reached the museum by late afternoon, and after a quick look round (most of the cars were on shelves up on the wall so you couldn't get a good look at them) we ventured into the rush-hour traffic in the middle of the city, and were so relieved when we eventually managed to cross the river and find our way out heading south, back on the country roads.

The next checkpoint was at Drumlanrig Castle. After spending the night in Thornhill we went there in the morning and were thoroughly photographed and interviewed by a reporter from the Glasgow Herald.

The drive south towards Preston took us through Dumfries, Gretna Green, Carlisle, Penrith, Kendal and Lancaster. We used the old A6 and avoided motorways and arrived at the checkpoint at Barton Grange Garden Centre after it had closed, so took photos to prove we had been there and set off to find somewhere to sleep.

The muster point at the end of the run was at Halifax and we joined 30 other teams in the garden of Halifax Minster. We were fed tea and sandwiches and congratulated, and admired the other vehicles, including a mock-up of an old-fashioned dustbin wagon. A few teams had managed to visit all the checkpoints, covering almost 2,000 miles. Being the oldest vehicle on the event by many years, we had covered 630 miles by the time we got home to Lanchester, and were very satisfied and relieved!

When Rotary clubs began the campaign began in 1979, all over the world there were 1,000 new cases of Polio EVERY DAY. Because of immunisation, one country after another has gradually been declared free from Polio, down to the last three, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria.

There have been no new cases in Nigeria since 2016. Afghanistan had 14 cases in 2017 and 7 cases in 2018. Pakistan had 8 cases in 2017 and 1 case this year. There had been no new cases for ten weeks, but a case has just been reported in Afghanistan. The immunisation programme must continue.

A £10 donation means that 60 children can be immunised against Polio, thanks to 2 for 1 match funding by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

To show that they have been immunised, each child has a little finger marked with purple dye - hence the "Purple 4 Polio".