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Full Accounts (Final) 31/03/2017 Accounts for 2016/17 are now available on-line. If anyone needs any information please contact the treasurer email@example.com Full Accounts 31/03/2017 PDF Download
LE VELO CLUB – 67th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETINGSUNDAY 14th MAY 2017
AGM Agenda Notice 2017 Download
AT THE VICTORY HALL, BODYMOOR HEATH,SUTTON COLDFIELD, B76 9JFCommencing at 2 p.m.
Added to the links section (14th May 2016)
“The Ultimate Motorcyclists Directory” Hopefully with something for everyone it covers Charity Work, Places to Visit, Events and Shows, some Technical articles, Trusted Traders, the VMCC, Bike Clubs and much more.
The L.E. Stand at the Stafford International Classic Motorcycle Show - 25th ~ 26th April 2015
This year our Stand moved from our usual balcony position into a prominent position in the Main Hall; putting us on a par with the big Velo, Vincent and Arial Clubs – Which, I guess, is promotion at last! Ten machines were exhibited:
* Malc’ Skinner’s lovely red Viceroy
* Brian Day’s superb Valiant special, sitting on the revolving turntable which we built last year.
* Jim Wright’s very shiny and original black and chrome Valiant.
* Keith Glover’s Vogue with its cleverly adapted fuel tank
* Fred Bannister’s LE Mk 3 in original grey livery
* Peter Tolley’s unusual and very smart green MK2
* A 1951 Mk2 untaxed and unused since 1952 - possibly for sale via Buller’s End
* John Rose’s three, sectioned machines ; including the hovercraft / viceroy engine, the Valiant / LE engine that share a common crankcase and, in pride of place, an entire LE, almost literally cut in half down its length, with the complete workings driven at a stately 6 RPM - and with a spark plug, adapted to take an LED,” firing” at the correct point.
As anyone who has ever had a part in organising one of these events knows one of the hardest things is getting all the kit on to site.....especially if its heavy and has to be tramped across fields to get to the show hall; so one of my ambitions is it to reduce the weight and bulk of the supporting material. Anyway We are very fortunate that Andrew Biddle always helps with his big van – and this year we had Pete Tolleys van as well – a real god send!
Setting up, and indeed breaking down afterwards, usually falls to our exhibitors, aided by Trevor, Bill, Adrian, Robin and Ben - it’s quite a task; especially as the set up required that we did a “proper” PAT test on all the gear - Ben had driven all the way from Guilford to do this for us. On Sunday Ted Snook came to take the “official Club photos” and stayed to help dismantle the stand.....All in all a lot of work done by the West Midlands team “ The Boys from Bullers” and not forgetting Carol Day. We certainly needed everyone because the stand attracted huge attention right from the onset. Colin had arrived at around eight thirty on the Saturday and already we had people gathering and asking questions so that by the end of the day I had lost my voice.....No bad thing I hear you say!
Colin Seeley (the ex sidecar racer and original maker of Seeley frames and a version of the G50 engine) visited the stand promoting The Joan Seeley Trust a charity that collects money for pain relief; he left us a colleting tub, which unbeknown to him, we jointly committed to filling by the end of the show....And we did! His face when he collected it was pure emotion.... Most stands had simply put the tub on their stand and not actively promoted the charity, we really tried - the result spoke for itself.
Then came the Show’s award ceremony – We won the British Club stand and a prize of £100 for the Club Coffers!
Now for next year.......All ideas welcome.
Observations at Stafford ’15.
Charles has written the report, but for those that don’t know him, his modesty does not fully convey the effort and the hundreds of hours put in by him, John Rose and the rest of his team, to make the stand the success it was.
Calling me the ‘official photographer’ is a bit OTT for someone who only takes snaps - and I had a misfire when Charles was being presented with the Trophy, but I think others got the shot (hopefully).
It is no surprise; at least to me, that we won the best Club Stand at the show, and with it a Cup plus £100 for the Club. We had twice the number of bikes on the Stand exhibited in previous years, and whereas in our spot on the Balcony, we had a fairly constant stream of individuals taking interest and asking questions, this year we were at times inundated with visitors, and there were at times four or five conversations about little twins going on at once.
Charles has already described the bikes on our Stand, but there were several other touches, including a very professional board describing the Club services that we provide, so that visitors were left in no doubt that if they come into our fold, there are re-conditioning services, spares and advice available to take a ‘basket case’ to a show model – and everything in between. People do need to know that you don’t have to be an expert to get a result, with one of our little twins.
If anyone didn’t go, either through distance or previous commitment, you missed something really good – perhaps next year?
Spare Parts for Overseas Members Update (Amended 27/03/2015)
Overseas members wishing to order spares for their machines may pay using PayPal facilities. You may require a PayPal account for this service.
If all the spares required by an overseas Club member are on the web site list, you should make a list of the spares required in numerical order, calculate the total price of the parts, then add 40% (35% postage + 5% PayPal fee). Send a copy of your order & cost by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. When approved, please pay the cost of your order to email@example.com (PLEASE NOTE this is not an email address, it is who the payment is made to from your PayPal account). If not paying by PayPal, deduct the PayPal fee.
Any enquiry by an overseas member for parts not found on the web site should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and await notification as to availability and price. If available, the member will be notified and then can place the order along with any other parts using the method above.
Orders may still be placed direct with Bullers End but if payment is required by PayPal your contact email address must be included with your order.
Post and Packing
All overseas members must add 35% to the cost of the parts to cover post and packing plus 5% to the total cost of the spare parts cost to cover the PayPal facilities.. (Amended 02/11/2012)
Initially, the parts and part numbers that are required must be sent via normal post direct to our Spares Department at Bullers End. If you require to make payments using the PayPal facilities your email address must also be included. The order will then be processed and a payment will be asked to be made, you will then be emailed with details of how to pay at this time. When your payment is received, the Spares Department will be informed to dispatch the goods.
If making enquiries please enclose an addressed label for the reply.
Note, a small charge will be added to cover the cost that PayPal will make dependant on the value of the transaction.
(All parts and part number can be obtained from the Spares List on this web site)
Report on the L.E. Velo Club AGM, held at Middleton Hall, 18th May 2014
Get-togethers can be memorable for a variety of reasons. This year’s AGM will be remembered for the magnificent turnout, the terrific weather and of course the Venue.
The full report will be available in the Clubs Magazine, ‘On the Level’, but here are a few pictures, along with the bikes that won the Silverware, to be going on with.
Winner of the Dennis Taylor Trophy for the longest distance travelled to the event was won by Mike Rolph, who came 185 miles of so, from Sizewell, Suffolk. Mostly on a Valliant, he came on a very purposeful ‘militarised’ Mk3.
The Wenham Trophy for the oldest little twin attending went to Steve Burgess, who also won the Concours Shield. Steve proved that when restoring an LE, the oldest can also be the best turned out, if the work is done by a skilled and dedicated restorer.
Steve didn’t quite manage a clean sweep of the awards though. Brian Day won the Ron Grover Trophy for the machine, voted by the members as the most desirable to own.
Not the first Valiant that Brian has built up as a Super Sports machine; this one started as a basket job. It showed Brian’s skills off well as it gleamed in the Sunshine.
The Nansen Trophy was awarded to Pete Greaves, who is retiring from the post of Spares purchasing Officer for the Club, for long and meritorious service. His professional approach to the job has resulted in a Spares Service second to none in the Classic Club world.
The Endeavour Shield went to Don Thompson, who travelled further than anyone else this year, to the AGM.
Ted Snook, Publicity Officer for the Club.
The L.E. Stand at the Stafford International Classic Motorcycle Show - April 2014
This years Stafford Show was the best yet from a little twin perspective, in my humble opinion. The Stand was an absolute credit to Charles Phillips and all the Team who made it possible. Although in previous years we looked good, the addition of a complete sectioned Mk2 LE on a rotating stand proved a real winner. The Turn-table was made from small electric motor and other bits and bobs by Keith Carnwell and Charles, and the sectioned Mk2 emerged as a miscellany of used parts from Buller’s End, before being skilfully reworked by John Rose. You can view the turntable in action by clicking HERE, this will open in a new viewing window. Thanks to Trevor Aston for uploading the video and the link.
Crowds were looking and commenting the sectioned machine as it slowly revolved to show all the features that made it so different to everything else on the market, when it was a current offering in Dealer’s Showrooms. Our Stand continued to be very busy all the time that I was there, which was most of Sunday Afternoon.
The other machines displayed also received much attention; all of them immaculate and a credit to their Owners and restorers. They included another nice Mk1, owned by David Ball and a Vogue with the fuel Tank in a Top Box, by Keith Glover showing a neat and cost effective solution to the dreaded Ethanol problem. Jim Wright provided a very smart Valiant, while Brian Day’s Valiant Sports Special had many reaching for their cameras, while Malcolm Skinner flew the flag for Scooterists by showing his super Viceroy.
Charles Phillips, John Rose and all the rest of the Lads, are worthy of our accolade for making our Stand one of the most popular that I saw - and to the Lads that gave them something that moved around rather than just sat, that was pure genius.
Ted Snook, Publicity Officer for the Club.
New Associate Membership Details - February 2014
The Club has introduced a new category of Associate Membership. This is only available for existing members who are aged 75 years or over, who have been a member for at least 10 years and who only requires the OTL Club magazine and not any spares or other Club services. The subscription rate of Associate Member is £14 per annum and must be paid by standing order only. Please contact the Membership Secretary (Renewals) Mr John Dodd if wishing to change to Associate Membership, his contact details are in the inside cover of OTL, the Club magazine.
The L.E. Club 36th National Rally 2013
To start with the weather, it was a wet and windy day, cold and
overcast, with rain at times. This put all but the hardiest
off, although some did come by car. Quite a few made the trip,
looked at the sparse turnout and went home again, after the
briefest of stays - shame really.
As was to be expected, attendance was lower than usual. We were thankful for the use of the members room that came along with our booking (we didn't need it last year) and the spares people were able to set up their wares inside - at Stanford Hall they would have been under a tree. I did notice that those who complained about the wind at the Gliding Centre last year, on an otherwise fine day, were more than happy to be inside, even though the room was cold due to the doors being open. I went there on my Honda - the Vogue has been troublesome and I didn't want to take a chance with it in bad weather - and just could not get warm either there or when I arrived back home. It might have made a difference if I had put the zip fastened inner lining back in my jacket.
Overall in attendance, there were about 10 L.E.'s, a few Valiants and a very nice trio of Viceroys; Ted Snook was on hand to provide the photographs.
The Udall Trophy was won by Mike Rolph's Valiant, which has won
many awards over the years.
The Goodman Trophy was won by Graham Bayley on his red L.E.
A Trip Down Memory Lane.
I recently received an email from Derek Trayler, who some of the older Club members may remember from the early days, with some of his memories and photographs of his machines. He writes…..
We were members of the LE Velo club and went on many trips until
our first child came along. We took our first by air to travel
round Europe staying with friends as we had little money. The
earlier machine photo was taken in Holland when we went on tour
of Europe in 1954. We flew by Silver City Airways from Lydd in
Kent to Le Torque in France which was rather unusual at the time
and impossible now.
The L.E. was second hand and we bought a new one when we joined the club. It was two tone grey and green with a dual seat which wasn’t strictly legal at the time. It had the improved oil system with exterior filter and the three plate cutch which didn’t slip as much. Some of the club members with the earlier model had a hole drilled in the side so they could inject Carbon Tech in to degrease the clutch plates when they got oily.
The foot change was a big improvement but the metal clutch was a
pain as it wouldn’t slip when you left it out over night or
didn’t ride it every day. Once my second child was born I
realised my motorcycling days were over and bought a car.
The windscreen I fitted was not ideal as it tended to slip back in high wind so I bought the Olicana windscreen, with adjustable top section, not much seen nowadays, for my next bike which was a two tone cream and green. We took it to Jersey in 1956 and it had to be loaded by crane and stored in the hold which meant we had to be on the dockside 4 hours before sailing. It was quite nerve wracking watching your new bike being hoisted over the water by a dockside crane. The second picture was taken with my new bike and wife Vivienne in 1958 at Windsor by the Thames. I still rode the bike afterwards for work but with a baby, the future family trips were all by car.
We had many trips with the L.E. Velo club. On one occasion we stayed in a hotel in Devon. The owners were very “Country” and were happy to accept a group booking from a club that had a Group Captain as president without realising it was a motorcycle club!!! The truth be told, most of the members were car owners as well. The LE being rather expensive to buy when compared to other lightweight bikes.
When we went up some of the high peaks in Cornwall, the pillion rider had to slide off as the Elle couldn’t manage with two on board due to the high gearing and lack of power.
On a trip to Wales we had a lot of trouble with bikes misfiring and it turned out to be the suppressors fitted to the sparking plugs so that they didn’t interfere with the new TV sets that rich people were buying at that time.
Sadly all I have left is my wife, some happy memories and the club badge, from about 1956, which has faded badly like me. I am over 80 now, with a poor sense of balance, I look at bikes and my wife says, Don’t you dare!
INTERNATIONAL CLASSIC BIKE SHOW STAFFORD 2013
LE Velo Stand - A good turnout of shiny machinery!
From Preston in Lancashire there was David Ball with a really lovely and very early1948 Mk I- It’s the best one I’ve ever seen and is an absolute credit to him, it was a huge and much photographed attraction on the stand - it should have been given an award for best in show..... But then I’ll admit to being biased!
All the way from Perth in Scotland came Royce Limb with his rally award winning green Mk3
From Hayes in Middlesex came Jerry Cox with his much modified MK3 This bike has footrests suspended off tubular extensions to the radiator frame and electric fans to assist cooling. Jerry was using his visit to promote the London Motorcycle Museum; spending two whole days talking to people and giving out leaflets ...After so much effort the least we can now do is to go and visit
More locally Fred Bannister showed a very original and well turned out Mk 2. This bike is always immaculate and was ridden to the show ...even though Fred had to endure a hail shower along the way. Ouch!
From Halifax in Yorkshire came Malc Skinner with his lovely and very shiny Viceroy. Malcolm is a terrific supporter of the Club; without him and his specialist knowledge there would be very few Viceroys left! There surely cannot be a single Viceroy owner who has not benefited from knowing Malcolm.
Ian Glover rode his Vogue From Stoke on Trent...Good Vogues are getting hard to come by and this is one of the best and in the original coffee and cream livery
Tom Shucker showed a fairly original Mk2 from 1952 (wrongly labelled by me as 1958 (my apologies to Tom)
In an elevated position, in the centre position was the “Manx Valiant special” of Mick Sygrove; this bike with its twin leading shoe Venom brake and other mods’ always creates a lot of interest.
Also capturing attention was the John Rose sectioned engines and transmissions: These are hugely useful in explaining the workings to owners, would be owners and Joe Public..... Although the number of people who remain confused when they see the crankcase with the LE barrel on one side and the Valiant barrel on the other continues to amaze me! They usually ask if Velo actually made such an engine. And of course there was also the hovercraft engine with its White Nile legend.
As an aside; the Big Velo Club had hijacked Jim Wright’s black and chrome Valiant for the hundredth anniversary of Velocette, and very nice it looked too. Jim compensated by giving us help on our stand on all three days...their loss, our gain!
Our background display comprised Velo’s original advertising material, four roller banners and new to the stand, a montage of lovely pictures provided by Alan Crotty; Alan is more normally known for his railway pictures - See his fabulous web site. These photographs were of an Mk3 LE and ‘Policeman’ (Richard Downs) Thanks to both Alan and Richard.....I was hugely impressed by the sheer quality of the photography and will get them made up into proper roller banners for next year.
Did we do what we were supposed to - Or In modern parlance did we fulfil our mission statement?
· To recruit new Club members.
· To improve the image of the flat twins.
· To Share knowledge.
I think so!
And I would particularly like to thank Andrew Biddle, John Rose, Robin Grey and his son Ben for doing so much to make the stand a success ....They are always there and do so much to set up the stand, transport display material and especially pack it all away at the end of the show. I’m incredibly grateful, especially as Ben has to take a day’s holiday from work just to help!
I’m now focusing on next year; undoubtedly we will use some of this year’s machines again, but we will always need “new blood” in order to keep the interest; so if you have a really attractive bike contact me either through the Forum site or my home address (listed in the register of members)
IMPORTANT ! - ANNUAL CLUB SUBSCRIPTION RATES FOR 2013
Due to rising Club administration costs, the management committee has approved an increase in the annual subscription fee from 1st April 2013, the new fee will be £20.00.
This has been made necessary by spiralling postage costs and maintenance outlay. This has been the first increase in subscription rates in over nine years and it is hoped that this will remain static for many years to come.
The additional one off joining fee of £6.00 and the addition payment of £5.00 for overseas member to receive their Club magazine by air mail remains unchanged. This increase does bring our membership fee to a level similar to that of other motorcycle clubs, but at the lower end of the scale.
It is a timely reminder to those members who pay their annual subscription by standing order to please update them now.
FBHVC SURVEY ~ CALLING ALL CLASSIC VEHICLE ENTHUSIASTS ~ ( 21st November 2012)
Federations for historic vehicles around the world, including the FBHVC, are addressing the issues of how the necessary technical knowledge to repair and restore classic vehicles can be retained for the future. To achieve this aim the FBHVC, and the Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (FIVA) with its 70 member countries, are undertaking a large scale survey of enthusiasts and owners of historic vehicles. The questionnaire, which can be completed via the internet, is completely anonymous. If you wish to take part then follow the link to the survey listed below.
FBHVC and FIVA invite all owners of classic cars, motorcycles, commercial and military vehicles etc. to take part in this survey in the first half of 2013. The questionnaire only takes a few minutes to complete and you will be helping to maintain your freedom to use yesterday’s vehicles on tomorrow’s roads. The findings will serve as a reference during many considerations and discussions in the future to propose solutions in this area.
Please follow this link to ENTER SURVEY and you will be automatically directed there. Opens in a new window.
The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs works closely
with a wide range of organisations and government departments to
retain the freedom to use historic vehicles on the UK’s roads.
The FBHVC has over 500 organisations as members representing
over 250,000 individual owners.
Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs Ltd, Stonewold, Berrick Salome, Oxfordshire OX10 6JR
The L.E. Velo Club National Rally ~ 9th September 2012
The Club had a fine and warm day, although it did get breezy in the afternoon, at The Gliding Centre, Husbands Bosworth Airfield, Lutterworth, Leicestershire. This was a new venue for the L.E. Velo Club from that of our previous rallies. The Gliding Club were most helpful and delineated our area prior to the day with tape, so it remained for Dennis and his helpers to mark our area out within the set limits at the start of the day. Most members who expressed a view about the venue spoke highly of it and we have asked if we can go back there next year. The photos below are a couple of general views of the bikes.
I think the attendance was greater than at Stanford Hall in most recent years although it was difficult to judge given the size of the site. I twice set off down the line of bikes with the intention of counting them up but was waylaid both times, so gave up! There were certainly far more Valiants there than in most years - possibly 8-10, I guess.
The photo below is Dennis Frost and Robert Cross discussing the plan of action regarding the Udall Trophy. The Spares marquee, staffed by the Manchester group, is visible in the background. The gliders were too far away to photograph readily, although if I had thought I might have been able to get a view with a glider being towed into the air. Maybe one for next year.
(Click on any of the pictures to view a larger image.)
It is with great sadness that I have to announce my retirement from this post. This is due to ill health and with advise from my medical specialist, that tells me I have to take things a little easier. (Not a very hard thing to do!). This will be on 01/04/2012.
I have enjoyed my time both creating the site some 13 years ago and running it and forming the Forum which has taken off with great success beyond any of my dreams! I hope to write from time to time within the forum so you have not got rid of me completely.
My post will be taken over by Jim Skillen, a very able person, and as a new brush, should bring some welcome improvements to the site.
He has reassured me that the format will still be retained with the policy of no frills and plenty of technical help.
Best regards to all and good luck with the bikes.
NEWS REGARDING THE DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT (19/01/2012)
(Report by Dennis Frost)
The Department for Transport is conducting a public consultation about whether to exempt pre-1960 manufactured vehicles from the current MoT test. Our members' views have been sought - via our online Forum - and the following is the Club's response, sent via the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs, who are seeking comments from the wider classic vehicle community:
Rosy Pugh, Secretary
Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs Ltd
OX10 6JR 7th January 2012
Department of Transport consultation on MoT exemption.
I write to let you have our response to the consultation.
First of all, we welcome the minister's Reducing Regulation agenda as the starting point for this and other recent, related DfT proposals.
The proposal to exempt pre- 1960 vehicles from the MoT is bold, and the supporting information - for example that a lower proportion of older compared with more modern vehicles fail the current test - is persuasive.
However, we cannot support the proposal for practical reasons. The motorcycles for which the L.E. Velo. Club exists were manufactured continuously between 1948 and 1971 - and thus it will be illogical to exempt some from the MoT, while others (which were produced to the same specification) will still be subject to testing.
However we do support the consultation's Option 2 - that all pre- 1945 vehicles should be exempt from the MoT.
I should also note that while asking for our members' views, a significant number cited the value of the existing MoT as an independent safety check. Others expressed reservations that the absence of a test certificate may, unless addressed in regulation changes, cause difficulties - such as follow-up from road traffic accidents, theft of vehicles and the current rules for allocating age related registrations.
FBHVC SURVEY (15/06/2011)
We have been asked by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) of which the LE Velo Club is a member to participate in a survey being carried out by themselves. This survey will help the FBHVC to be more knowledgeable as to the numbers of historic vehicles there are and it will help them in keeping our vehicles on the road which is under threat by the governing bodies.
Please find time to answer the questions. The online survey can be found at www.fbhvc.co.uk/2011-survey.
STANFORD HALL 2008 (Sunday 28th. September)
(Click on picture to view larger image)
Although the meeting was approx. 14 days later in the year than normal, we were once again very lucky with the weather, clear blue skies and strong sunshine. Our normal spot under the trees and by the river was allocated this year to the Scott Owner Club and we had the adjacent field which we shared with the Austin 7 Club. However we had a good turnout of bikes with, this year, a predominance of red and white machines!
A new trophy was donated by Robert Cross of Silent Stainless Steel in memory of Charles Udall. This is to be given to the best turned out bike at the Rally. This year it was won by Malcolm Skinner for his well turned out Viceroy. (see photos)
The picture of the model of a single cylinder Velocette was made from scrap wood/metal by a member who gave me his name and address that I have promptly lost! So if he can contact me I will send him a full set of photographs that I took with my compliments.
One intrepid member rode his Velocette all the way from Scotland! The spares tent was manned by Don Thompson (over from Spain), John Davies, John Dodd and his wife Allison etc., and sales were brisk. Lunch was taken at the quaint hall's cafe and a walk round the hall helped the digestion!
As the day drew on the wind picked up a little and the temperature dropped but the sun still shone. The journey back to Manchester was uneventful with the car occupants fully enjoying the day!
You must try to come next year.
ASTLEY PIT 2008 North West Branch 14th Annual Rally (Sunday 6th July)
(Click on any picture to view larger image)
This is the first time I have reported on this rally, it is my local one and is held within the grounds of a famous ex-coal mining pit now run as a museum. It has the last remaining pit head winding structure in the area, once dominated with coal mines.
However we don't seem to be blessed with the good weather as we do at Stanford Hall. This year in started with rain, strong sunshine in the afternoon followed be rain again in the evening. Having said this we has a good turnout and at one point we had about 150 bikes on site. The rally is open to any make of bike or rider, two, three or four wheels driven by petrol, diesel, electric or steam!! These can be seen in the accompanying photos. Every visitor receives a medallion to mark the occasion. There are ample supplies of bacon or sausage barmcakes and tea etc. laid on by the caterers. This must help to bring the bikes in! Spares for the L.E.'s were on sale and hidden away round the corner a 5.5" gauge model diesel electric train was running to entertain the children (and adults).
In all a satisfying day and we shall look forward to the 2009's event.
STANFORD HALL 2006 (Sunday 17th. September)
(Click on any picture to view larger image)
The day was as perfect, weather wise, as you could wish for. Beautiful blue skies with temperatures to match. There was an excellent turn out with all types of L.E.'s represented save a Vee Line Valiant. A new Leval, made a debut giving a total of two, both causing a lot of interest. For my money the best bike at the show was a Mk3, the one used for the photographs of our new president, it is owned by Ivor Barrow of Norfolk. In conversation he told me that the exceptional finish was obtained from spray cans and he did not use a finishing lacquer. It was like mirrored glass! Our new President is Pauline Arculus and is shown in the photograph with her husband Dick.
The club spares stand was again presented by Don Thompson / John Davis and colleagues, and did brisk trade. Their work is greatly appreciated as the day starts with loading the van at Bullersend on Saturday and finishing late on Sunday after unloading again. Well done to all! The event is also a good day for private traders to sell all manner of bits and pieces. The Viceroy shown in the photographs would make an interesting challenge. Dennis Frost our club historian was present and answered volumes of questions prompted by members.
An excellent Lunch at the Hall's cafe was had by myself and colleagues from Manchester. and later the trek home up the M6 with speed restrictions applied making the journey hell, three lanes of metal stop starting for about 15 miles, for no reason but to control but hey that's another topic!
A very enjoyable and relaxing day. There is something about Stanford Hall that makes it so! Try and make it next year, you will not be disappointed.
DRAWINGS SERVICE (03/02/2004)
The Club owns an extensive collection of Velocette factory produced engineering drawings. Most of these detail individual components for the L.E. and subsequent models, although there are also some general arrangement drawings. Over 2000 drawings have been converted into an electronic format and are listed in a 42 page catalogue, which is available to members and costs £8.00 (including postage and packing).
Paper copies are available of any drawing listed. Prices range in from £1.00 - £8.00 each, depending on size.
The Club bought most of these drawings in 1992. Twenty years earlier, a London-based Velocette dealer — Littlejohn — acquired the rights to manufacture the L.E. and Veloce Limited’s other post-WWII lightweights after the firm had gone into liquidation. The purchase included the remaining Factory parts stock and a lot of related paperwork, including drawings. Littlejohns had no intention of re-manufacturing the L.E. Instead they did little more than offer a mail order parts service. Most of the drawings remained in store — some stuffed into plastic bags, others rolled up and tied with binder twine. A priceless archive, detailing the history of one of Britain’s most famous motorcycle firms, spent 20 years in lock-up garages and under the stairs of the Littlejohn’s family home.
By 1992, many of the drawings were in poor condition — water damaged, torn, or so tightly rolled up they could not be opened without irrevocable damage being caused. A small group of volunteers — acting on advice from skilled paper conservators — have restored the collection listed here. The restored drawings were then placed on a scanner and the information they contain copied into a digital format. Manchester member Alan Britch spent two years creating this computerised database. Copies can now be produced at the press of a button, leaving the fragile original drawings untouched.
The Club owns many more drawings and other paper artefacts – amounting to the country’s largest archive of original documents originating from a single UK motorcycle manufacturer.
Sadly, many of these items are too badly damaged to be included in this catalogue. The Club has applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund for help towards the cost of the skilled conservation work necessary to restore the archive and make it available to a wider audience.
Veloce Limited’s drawing office was a light, airy room at the front of the single-storey factory facing York Road. For many years the office was headed by George Wilkes, and his initials — HGW — are present on many of the surviving drawings. All drawings were produced in-house by skilled draughtsmen using traditional materials — tracing paper and a sharp pencil, with Indian ink for the dimensions. Pre-WWII, even the basic template of each drawing was produced by hand. Post-war a pre-printed layout was used. Veloce’s drawings were produced to the highest standards — to be expected of a company who had a reputation in the Black Country as being top flight engineers, quite apart from building first rate motorcycles.
A letter suffix was used to identify a drawing’s size. Thus a drawing with a code ending in Z — the smallest — measures 10in x 8in, the old quarto size. In contrast, a drawing bearing an L suffix is nearly a metre square. Velocette produced a drawing of every motorcycle component — often full size — which listed the material from which it was made, the finish and any heat treatment process used. Drawings were individually numbered — in the bottom, right-hand corner — using a derivation of the part number illustrated combined with the letter code already mentioned. For example, part LE101, Flywheel Oil Seal Housing, was produced on a drawing numbered LE101Z.
Additionally, there are small quantities of drawings having other identification codes. Check in the catalogue’s third Description column to identify these.
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The catalogue, and any subsequent drawings, are available from:-
10 Dante Close
All cheques should be made payable to the L.E. Velo. Club Ltd.
VELOCE'S PART NUMBERS
Velocette numbered their motorcycles’ component parts from the earliest days. However it was in the early Twenties that a comprehensive identification system was developed. The driving force was Ethel Goodman — Percy and Eugene’s sister — who was to marry works rider George Denley, himself soon to become Veloce’s first sales manager. Ethel devised a ‘standard list’ — basic parts such as nuts and bolts that were common to the whole motorcycle range. She gave these parts, logically, a ‘SL’ part code — still in use when the L.E. model was produced forty years later.
The first design of a particular part was given a simple identification code — for example LE113, Cylinder Head Gasket. Later developments of the same component were allocated a revised code — LE113-2, LE113-3 etc.
The drawings in this catalogue are arranged in groups by the part’s letter code — also in number order, as follows:
A -Parts common with other Velocettes — tools, number plates.
BT - Viceroy Scooter gearbox and final drive (T for transmission) parts.
LAS - An assembly of LE parts – e.g. a gear lever with its pressed in bushes, a crankshaft etc.
LE - L.E. parts, of course. But remember that, as the Valiant and later the Vogue were substantially L.E.- based, many of their parts are identified by this code too.
LEX - Experimental parts. New components for L.E. – based models that were under development. Many became production parts.
SE - Industrial (Stationary) engine parts.
SL - Standard parts — as already explained. Nuts, bolts studs and washers. Also piston rings.
SS - Salvage schemes. Methods of reclaiming parts that would otherwise be scrapped. For example SS10A, a sleeve to reclaim a bearing housing accidentally bored oversize.
TA - Viceroy parts.
TAS - Assemblies of Viceroy parts.
TF - Viceroy frame parts.
TS - Viceroy engine parts.
TW - Viceroy wheel parts.