Thunderbird Times


Newsletter of the Mighty South London Triumph Owner Motorcycle Club






March 2008 Newsletter


Sunday, 9 March – Pioneer Run – 8am on Epsom Downs on a clear chilly day saw a good turn out of members to see our own Bernard off to Brighton. It appears that he had indulged in a spot of tuning over the winter as the old Triumph fairly flew off the start line leaving “MSL photographer” Robin still rushing to the first bend!  Most members then departed for tea plus toast to Terry’s house (Surrey member) where competitors were cheered on their way.  Well done to all who attended especially Dean who rode down from Hertfordshire on the ex-Peter Gay Bonneville.  One or two made it to Brighton to meet up with Bernard who it seems had a trouble-free run and recorded his fastest ever time.  Thanks goes out to Terry for his hospitality and well done Bernard.



A warm welcome to new member Rod Daniels who I’m sure you have noticed has a very immaculate 61 Bonneville.  Rod was saying his wife also rides, so Rod, if you can get her to come along and join us either on the back of your Bonnie or on her own bike we’d love to meet her. It’s going to be a very busy year with lots of great events and runs so the Club look forward to Rod and hopefully his wife joining us on our forthcoming trips and rides out.



E-mail from Malcolm:


It’s the 50th Anniversary of the Bonneville next year and the TOMCC have requested photographs for their next year’s Club Calendar.  Photos must be digital, 5MP and over please and must have a Bonnie appearing somewhere in the photo.  If interested and you think you may have something to fit the bill, e-mail Laurence Mee on


Tuesday, 1 April – Bob’s Legendary Quiz Night –8.30pm Start - Cash Prize – Entry £2 per person - large attendance please remember to put this event on your Calendar so you don’t forget, get your teams together and support Bob for this fun evening.  Have sent Invitation Flyers to the BSA Club and Surrey Club to come along and join us – but have told them they are not allowed to win!!!!!!!!



For the last six years we have been visiting the Vive la France Exhibition at Olympia in order to sample all aspects of French life. In January 2004 we went along as usual and found a new development of 160, one, two or three bedroom houses in the south of France at Colombiers in the Languedoc Region on the Canal du Midi near Beziers.


Knowing our budget and seeing photos of the development we decided on a one bedroom property. The complex would have an indoor and outdoor pool, a small club house with a children's play area and an outdoor stage for evening entertainment.  Two week’s later I flew to Montpelier and this is when the first of many mistakes happened!


I picked up the hire car and left Montpelier airport driving in the wrong direction up the motorway!! At the next junction I turned around and headed back to Beziers.  Being January it was getting dark, so turned off the motorway and found a hotel. The second problem was to arise. The hotel was an automatic entry with a hole in the wall where you place your credit card.  I, of course, had no idea what to do but luckily a gentleman at the reception area came to my rescue and booked me in.


The following morning I set off to an arranged meeting with the Property Agent in Colombiers who showed me the plot. With my limited French and his limited English we managed to understand each other, looked at the plan and located where the house was going to be built.  It all sounded good and found it was only 20 minutes drive from the nearest seaside resort of Valras Plage and set off to the airport.  On arrival at the airport – shock, horror, “WHERE ON EARTH DO YOU PARK A HIRE CAR? This would be my third mistake and knowledge of the French language would have been useful! 


I ended up in a Pay and Display park and spotted a sign pointing towards Hertz but there was a barrier across the way. Having sat there for a while trying to work it out and having tried my credit card to no avail, buzzed the operator and listened to a tirade in French.  Much to my relief a very patient French lady came to my assistance.


At last I parked up and rushed to the Returns Desk, gave in my keys and made my way through the Check-in to the Departure Lounge. I then realised I HAD LEFT MY CREDIT CAR ON THE DASH OF THE HIRE CAR!!! I panicked, went back to security, ran to the desk and asked if I could have the keys. He said “I think the car has been taken away to be cleaned”!! Fortunately, it had not. I grabbed my card and went through all the rigmarole again but was soon to be all forgotten.


In June we received the letter we were waiting for, we could pick up the keys but when we arrived at the house we had no electricity.  This in no way was going to spoil this happy occasion so we went out and bought a torch, candles, sheets and towels, went out for something to eat and went to bed by candlelight.





We have discovered that our little home is a good centre to explore the South of France.  We have flown to Montpelier, Perpignan and Toulouse airports, all within an hours drive. We have since been to Barcelona, Andorra, Marseille and the Camargue - these are just a few of the lovely areas we have visited and have made many new acquaintances and some very good friendships.


We celebrated New Year in our little French house. The weather was about 17-19 degrees with plenty of sunshine and ate out on the patio, something we could not do back home in stormy and rainy England.

                         Mike in front of his holiday home


Our holiday home is near Colombiers on the Canal du Midi.  Montpelier is an hour’s drive to the east. The south coast of France is a 20 minute drive.


Editor’s Comments

Thanks Mike – a very pretty property and I’m sure this report will inspire Club Members who are toying with the idea of buying a property abroad.



Read about Debbie and Terry’s journey on how they became Landlords of the Princess of Wales in your April Newsletter.





With all the new technology regarding fertility recently a 72 year old woman gave birth. 

When she was discharged from the hospital and went home her relatives came to visit. 

“May we see the new baby?” one asked. 

“No, not yet” said the 72 year old mother “I’ll make some coffee”.

Thirty minutes went by and they were getting agitated

“May we see the new baby now?” 

“No, not yet” said the mother

“Well, when can we see the baby?” they asked 

“When he cries” she told them  

“Why do we have to wait until he CRIES?” they asked 







Tuesday, 1 April 2008                    Bob’s Quiz Night - 8pm - Cash Prizestart getting your teams together now - no need to book just turn up, have fun and support Bob.


Saturday, 19 April 2008                 Kempton Park Auto Jumble


Sunday, 20 April 2008                   Please note the change of date - Last Chance Charlie                         Goddard Memorial Run – Charlie’s plaque to be unveiled – massive attendance please.  Meet at Farthing Downs at 11.00 or Godstone Ponds at 11.30 (Donations of Pet Food or Cash are welcome).


Tuesday, 22 April 2008                 Club Run – Little London, Albury – Depart 8pm

Make sure you have a full tank of petrol.


Sunday, 27 April 2008                   Engineerium Run - Eastbourne

Make sure you have a full tank of petrol.


Remember to look at the Notice Board for extra news and trips.


Save your old stamps for Mog.


Last but not leastkeep your Editor busy

June F



Princess of Wales             From 8.30 pm

98 Morden Road                          Runs leave the pub at 8.00pm sharp

London SW19 3BP                     every 4th Tuesday of the month (April-Sept)

020 8542 0573                            Please ensure you have a full tank of petrol



Chairman                                Mog Pharoah                     020 8947 7727 (day)

Treasurer                                Malcolm Orpin                   020 8640 2608

Secretary                                Doddie Kent                      020 8660 5227

Membership Secretary       Dave Kent                          Ditto

Show Secretary                    John Flower                      020 942 9976

Social Secretary                   Bob Simmonds                 020 8669 0921

Runs Leader                          Brian Peters                       01737 551762

Regalia                                    Robin Maynard                 020 8224 7421

TT Editor                               June Flower              

Website Administrator      Position Vacant                      Position Vacant