Archive index   Go to the Archive index

The founding of the VMCC Cyclemotor Section

Compiled from articles by Stan Greenway and Rory Sinclair

The Vintage Motor Cycle Club Cyclemotor and Autocycle Section was founded on the 11th April 1981, and was the inspiration of Stan Greenway of Leamington Spa.  He had planned a gathering of 1950s’ cyclemotors at the British Two Stroke Club / Scott Owners Club Rally at Evesham in the summer of 1970; and although the meeting failed to materialise, it enabled contact to be made with like-minded enthusiasts.

It was Ray Pratley of Nottingham (Founder of the Nottingham Cyclemotor Club in the 1950s) who organised Cyclemotor Runs during the late 1960s and early ’70s.  These were British Two Stroke Clubevents, held at Evesham at the invitation of The Scott Owners Club.

Bob Light was Social Secretary of the BTSC during this period and, together with Ray, must take the credit for keeping the Cyclemotor Movement going through the quiet years of the 1960s.  Ray passed away on holiday in 1981 and it is nice to reflect that his interest in cyclemotors lives on as a result of his lifetime’s enthusiasm.

During the early 1970s, John Lycett and Bob Pearce both of Warwick joined in the local cyclemotoring activities and the group which was eventually to become the VMCC Cyclemotor Section was formed.  John designed ‘The Magic Wheelers’ motif as a letter heading and later had lape1 badges made.  At the Inaugural Meeting he donated the printing block to the group and the motif has become the logo of the Cyclemotor Section.

It was not until 1976, when motor cycles made after 1950 became eligible for VMCC events, that the VMCC’s Warwickshire Section took the opportunity to include a class for cyclemotors in their Social Run.  A Cyclaid, two Cyclemasters, a Lohmann, and a Tailwind joined the Vintagents on a special 21-mile route devised by Stan Greenway, starting at Abbey Fields Car Park, Kenilworth, and finishing at Hatton Fête.

This First Cyclemotor Social Run was such a success that it was repeated in 1977.  Bob Currie gave the event advance publicity in The Motor Cycle and ten cyclemotors were present at Stratford-on-Avon Motor Museum for the run.  Meanwhile, letters to The Vintage MCC Journal and The Motor Cycle proposed a non-territorial VMCC Section for cyclemotors and autocycles; and a Cyclemotor Marque Specialist was appointed.

For the first time in 1978, a calendar of cyclemotor and autocycle activities appeared in the Journal, and cyclemotorists rode to the Founder’s Day Rally at Stanford Hall.  By now, the Cyclemotor Social Run was an established fact: the third Run in the series was exclusively for cyclemotors and autocycles.  Eighteen starters, including a 1914 Wall Autowheel, set off from the Red Lion Inn at Norton Lindsey near Warwick.  The following year, the cyclemotor contingent headed north for the fourth Cyclemotor Run, which was incorporated in the Mid-Lincs Section Veteran and Belt-Drive Weekend at Goulceby.  Eight stalwarts covered a total of 50 miles over two days in atrocious weather.

For 1980, the venue of the run was once again Warwickshire, and seventeen competitors descended on the Little Chef at Long Itchington.  The essence of the meeting was summed up by Bob Currie in Motor Cycle Weekly: ‘There was nothing regimental about the run.  No speed schedule, no one-minute intervals, just a casual wave of the hand-a sort of “Go when you feel like it”.’

The Cyclemotor Section had arrived.  The VMCC’s Management Committee unanimously granted it full section status at its meeting on October 19th, along with the committee's best wishes.  The section started its own newsletter, edited by Rory Sinclair, but this lasted for only three editions before it was stopped by the VMCC’s Management Committee.

Doug Whittaker welcomed fourteen members to the first Section Annual General Meeting on the 27th September 1981.  The group officers reported a current tank balance of £61.28 and a membership of 39.