Month: May 2013

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Motorcycle thefts

See article here: Perth is the nation's capital when it comes to motorbike theft and an expert says the only obvious reason is the weather. Yes, the weather. National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council director of strategy Geoff Hughes said while WA has 11 per cent of the nation's registered vehicle fleet, it is responsible for 25 per cent of motorcycle thefts. The disproportionate amount of thefts in WA is evident in a motorcycle theft map put together by the national auto theft data centre CARS, the Comprehensive Auto-Theft Research System. Read more:

Blackburne Enquiry

Hi there, I am a long standing member of the VMCC, having been the OEC Marque Specialist for about thirty years. I recently acquired a fine early Blackburne engined motorcycle <> and with this bike came a dossier of papers including some correspondence from 1990 between the then owner, Michael Brown and the late Peter Groucott, in which he mentions owning an early Blackburne engine which he hoped to put into a suitable frame. [caption id="attachment_519" align="alignnone" width="812"] 1922 Blackburne engined Hemmings - pic by Martin Shelley[/caption] I realise that Peter died some time ago, but I wondered if his effects are still in the family or whether perhaps his collection has been passed on to other VMCCWA members. Maybe someone has his Blackburne engine or possibly a complete bike fitted with it! Its a 550cc 4 1/4HP engine from perhaps 1922, and is engine number E1841. I myself have been interested in Blackburne-engined machines for a long time, and in the 1980s corresponded with the late Jake McConnville of Rockingham who had several such machines including Cottons and OECs himself. In the mid 1990s, I found myself seconded to work for DITAC in Canberra and spent a happy two years travelling the subcontinent and meeting up with many like-minded enthusiasts and racing Rudges belonging to well known Aussie enthusiasts, Rob Hart and Peter Scott. One one occasion, I managed to fit in a visit to Jake but by that time he was fairly elderly and frail and although he was pleased to see me, his collection was mostly dismantled in in rather bad storage so was not what i had expected. I gather that his son inherited the collection but have not tried to find out whether they are still around in WA. Hoping that you can help me get in touch with the Groucott family and perhaps solve another Blackburne related mystery! Kkind regards Martin Shelley VMCC OEC and Blackburne Marque Specialist Member VCC and VSCC

Roaring Twenties Run to Nannup – May 2013

Roaring Twenties Ride 4/5 May 2013 Ken Vincent’s name is spoken in hushed tones of respect from Mt Clarence to Phillip Island but it is not his prowess on the race track which endears adherents of our glorious sport to this particular event. By registering early, one escapes the possibility of relegation to Nannup Hotel’s (in)famous Pink House, a ramshackle, turn of the (nineteenth) century with a motley assortment of rooms. The last nine to enter are booked into this place which contains a number of double beds in pokey rooms. For the 2013 event, the buxom barmaid, Priscilla, convinced those people to put a row of pillows down the middle of each bed and dream earnestly of Elle McPherson. A determined deputation stormed the front desk and a couple of the troops were assimilated into the “upper storey” hotel rooms, more about these later. It all started off at the quirky, rural transport museum in Boyanup, where local impresarios Murray and Sharon had gotten into the museum early on the Saturday morning, so all the Perthites (and Bunburites/Albanites) could park their vehicles in the back, secure carpark of the museum. Meantime, Ken and Dave Weeks, the nominated back up driver set up the Club’s Gazebo and starting boards on the exit road towards the South West Highway. Colin Brazil, whose vintage Indian’s magneto packed up on the eve of the departure, along with wife Delys, gallantly offered to stand in as reserve back up drivers in place of Lyn, who was unable to make it. So, by 9.30, a very respectable line-up of 28 pre 31 bikes were parked in a dazzling array along the old railway line. Furthermore, Murray and Sharon were dressed up in contemporary clothing, including tartan dress, stockings, top and tails, trilby for Murray and the de rigeur Mike Hawthorn racing bowtie. Andrew Barleet, also dressed up, in tweed and bulging “plus fours”. No deerstalker suits though, and clay pipes, something for next year maybe? The usual criminals were lined up on the start, Terry Mckie and Elliott Montagu on ’27 Triumph flat tankers (the ex Phil Skinner Triumph was in there somewhere too), Bill Cowlin and Rex Edmondson on the ubiquitous Slopers (Weeksy looked on forlornly, knowing that his own Sloper is already breathing Liverpudlian sea air). Kevin Badby was there on his glistening straight 4 Henderson, Spencer and Joyce on their veteran, tan…