The Veteran and Vintage Motor Cycle Club of South Australia

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50th Anniversary 2-day Rally to Victor Harbor, Saturday and Sunday 15-16 November 2008

Vintage bikes among the vines

This all came about by one of our very observant Members when reading our “50 Golden Years of Motorcycling” book realised that the first 2 day rally of our club was in 1958 at Victor Harbor on the weekend of the 15th & 16th of November & that appeared exactly this year 50years later - see the original program of the 1958 event. The next coincidence was that our normal monthly Club Run, being on the 3rd Sunday of the month, also matched. There was no alternative but to celebrate this great event. Time was a bit short & I offered to help our Club Captain Ian Baldock with the organisation. We took a trip to Victor, to look at accommodation & meal venues etc & spent a day organising this. We made a call to Dennis Martin’s museum to see if he would open for us on Sunday morning & he offered to supply morning tea. The only problem we envisaged was the steep climb with a couple of sharp corners for the Veterans. We contacted the Victor Harbor Bowling Club to see if they would do a meal for us on Saturday night.

Because of an unfortunate mistake, we had two starting points for those who wanted to ride down on Friday. Ian went to Top O Taps & I went to Collinades. I was met by Denis Saunders who had kindly offered to be the back-up trailer for the weekend & as planned we were soon joined by Ian & Rob Smyth for the run to Victor. We headed off through Pt.Noarlunga, Seaford, Moana, Aldinga, Silver Sands then onto Yankalilla for Lunch (had to check out the Bakery for Sunday). After Lunch we back tracked through Normanville, Carickalinga, over the causeway at Myponga Reservoir, then picked up the Hindmarsh Tiers Rd. then Nettle Hill Rd, Sawpit Rd & Greenhills Rd & eventually into Victor to check out our accommodation. There was a report that part of our Saturday route had been smitten by the road works in progress bug, & presented a stretch of muddy wet dirt. Ian & the others left to have a look at this, to see if we needed to converse with that French man Mr DE-TOUR to re-arrange our Saturday. It turned out to be easily avoided, so all was well.

Ariel and cammy AJS The local offerings
Prayer... Enjoying the sea air

Saturday morning dawned cool but clear which I find excellent riding weather. We headed off with around 21 machines including a few Veterans as well as Chris Harley, who was the only one with us who rode the first 2 day rally 50yrs ago. Because of the road works we had to go right into Goolwa & turn onto Winery Rd to the Currency Creek Winery for Morning Tea. After morning tea we set off for Strathalbyn for lunch. Unfortunately on this stretch Chris Harley blew out a rear tube so some time was spent trying to get a new one for him. The tube was supplied by Garage Motorcycles & Chris was to fit it Saturday night. At this point I would like to say my piece. It is all very well to blame Marshals for everything that goes wrong during a Club run but it is up to the participants to do their part as well. After being told to turn LEFT out of the parking area one of the riders went straight ahead taking our back up trailer with him. By Ashbourne we had a number of people going in all directions trying to get the group together. This task was accomplished and we all carried on to Goolwa where we stopped on the Docks for a break, a drink & of course more talking. It was then a short ride back to Victor for a break before tea. I passed Brian Forth on his Harley not looking good & during the last couple of kilometres before the Roundabout; into Victor I followed Geoff Barnes & Helena on the BSA with a partially flat sidecar tyre. We both pulled into the BP for fuel & discovered it was indeed going down.

At Victor Harbor

Surely it must be tea time by now! Ian, Rob, Denis & myself, in Denis’ car, off to the Victor Harbor Bowling Club for the rally dinner a bit early just to make sure things were all OK. The tables were all set, the meals prepared. Soon Dean Govern & Audrey arrived with the Birthday Cake and all was ready. We had around 40 diners, the bar was open & we all sat around and talked until about 6:30 when the meal was served. Unfortunately Brian Forth’s Harley broke down & he had gone home, so Ian became M.C. for the night. Ian introduced Chris Harley, as being the only person present who rode on the first 2day rally & Chris cut the cake for us. Joy Pauley kindly offered to divide it & we all had a taste.

Sunday morning came cool, breezy & overcast but not raining. We had a few members who just came down for the day so it filled the gaps left by those who had gone home. We set out for the Museum only to have another couple go the wrong way because they did not listen, but eventually we all arrived at the Museum. Bob Gill’s BSA flew up the hills as easy as pie so we need not have worried. After the Museum it was back towards Victor & left up Valley Rd. to Yankalilla for Lunch at the Bakery. After lunch those who had trailered from home went back to Victor Harbor & the rest of us made our way home much as we had done on Friday. We stopped at Myponga for a break & we finished at Moana.


In closing, it was a great weekend & it is a pity more Members do not take part in these events as they are a great relaxing weekend. Time spent with friends with like interests is to Me very precious. There is always a chance someone will come along & talk about that part you have been looking for. Thanks to Ian Baldock for the effort he put into the Rally, Denis Saunders for the back up trailer & all of the Members who made the effort. I sincerely hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Malcolm Gray


Last updated 24 November  2008