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  • Mike Axe

The Spirit of the Sixties

The Spirit Run route started from a new venue this year. We have used the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton in the past and it offered all the facilities we required to start and finish our runs. The Esplanade at West Bay and Bicton Gardens are also venues we have visited before on previous occasions on our Spirit runs.

The route between these three venues was checked out, and whilst there were a large amount of A roads, there were also some fine sea views and heathland to enjoy. We were also restricted on the route selection by the number of marshals who had volunteered, and by the multitude of major road works being undertaken all over the three counties.

Sunday 13th May turned out to be lucky weather-wise; sunny but not too hot as 152 entrants and most of the 60 marshals started gathering at Yeovilton at 08.00am and after breakfast were all away by 09.45. Recently appointed Yeovil Mayor, David Recardo, was on hand to start the entrants off.

Turning left out of Yeovilton, and through Ilchester we turned off right at the Halfway House pub and up over the hill to reach Thorne Lane where we skirted to the West of Yeovil through Lufton and up to Higher Odcombe and down to East Chinnock. Then we followed, what is for most Yeovilians, quite a usual run down to the coast at West Bay, to park on the Western Esplanade. Drinks supplied by the ladies at Helmet City raised £35 of voluntary contributions for the charity.

The second part of the run started by returning to the A35 and left up to Honiton and the A303 until we headed off left towards Exmouth across the heathland before turning into Bicton Gardens and parking on the lower lawn. (stand plates were available). Another £35 was handed over at Bicton by enthusiastic motorcycle admirers. Riders enjoyed the sunshine, gardens, and museum as well as the refreshments at Bicton. It really is the sort of venue you really need to revisit to fully appreciate all the amenities.

After lunch we returned along the coast road via Newton Poppleford, Sidford and Raymonds Hill (via a bit of A35) and through the countryside to Crewkerne. We then headed towards Martock and on to the A303 for a short ride to Ilchester and back to Yeovilton for tea and cakes.

After numerous consultations by the judges the award winners were presented with their trophies.

Best Standard - Jody Knight 1962 Velocette ; Best Special - Andy Gale 1972 Triumph

Best Japanese - Malcolm Wright 1976 Honda CB 400/4 ;

Best Italian award provided and presented by Ian Matthias from MC Electronics. - Lindsey Pickford 1975 Benelli SE1,

Best Norton - Norton Owners club (Wally Davis Trophy) presented by Shirley, (Wally’s Sister in law) – Alan Jones 1962 Norton Navigator

Marshals Award – Tony Hawker

Spirit of the Sixties Award – Anthony Samuel

Many thanks go to those volunteers who assisted before, during, and after the event, and to the three venues that hosted us. The organising of the run is a team project that relies on all involved doing their bit to provide a good day out for all concerned. Let’s hope next year’s run is as successful. Where shall we go?

- John Dodge

Co-Ordinator Spirit of the Sixties

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