Thunderbird Times





Newsletter of the Mighty South London Triumph Owner Motorcycle Club


May 2008 Newsletter




4 May -Tadworth Children’s Hospital (Roving Reporter Ian Thomas)


The first I heard about the trip to Tadworth Children’s Hospital was when Kelvin called to tell me off for missing so many meetings at the pub. We really needed to sort out bits and pieces for The Sheepshagger Run and due to work commitments I was unable to meet up with everybody to say what has been happening.


It sounds bad I know, but I managed to get the day off really to give out the information for the run to Wales and get breakfast down at Rykas as opposed to the honourable pursuit of charity. It was arranged that we meet up at Rykas at 10.00hrs, Bit of brekky then off to Tadworth to spend a little time with some rather unwell kids.


It was so good to see all the old faces at Box Hill (old being the operative word) and a few new ones that I hadn’t met before. After a lovely cup of cha Bob gathered the rabble together for the run to the hospital. 24 people on 20 motorbikes in all departed for an eye opening and certainly in my case emotional lunch with the children at Tadworth.


The welcome we received was even warmer than the sunshine that was gloriously broiling us alive in our leathers by the time we arrived (the sun always shines on the righteous). Bacon sandwiches and tea or coffee was being handed out almost before we even had time to switch our engines off.

The children at Tadworth Hospital are severely handicapped and not knowing anything about the hospital, its patients or what to expect, added to the fact that I’m about to have my first child in August, I must admit to being a little taken aback and intimidated by the whole thing. (It’s not often I don’t know what to say or do). It would have been so easy to turn up on the bikes and gather in groups to talk as opposed to interacting with the children.


It is times like this when you realise the strength and goodness of those people around you. I’m not what you call shy by any stretch of the imagination but I didn’t know where to start. However everybody to a man got stuck in right away and with the help of the fantastic carers we soon had the engines revving and the children either playing with the bikes or even sitting on them and having their photos taken. You could see in the faces of the children the joy and excitement they found through the sound and vibration of the bikes, their parents and carers revelling in the stimulated happiness shown by the children.


After increasing my carbon footprint by half a tank (along with a few others I hasten to add) but bringing a lot of smiles all round we then gathered the bikes for a photo shoot. I felt that everybody had a fantastic time, children, carers, parents and bikers all had genuine smiles and laughter rang round the hospital as easily as the exhaust fumes.


It was with mixed feelings that I left the hospital for a pint down the Rat that afternoon. On one hand I was very happy to have spent quality time with the children, their parents and the carers who were so welcoming and truly grateful for our time. On the other I really felt for those people who cope every day with what must be very difficult times for them all, and a small prayer that with my child due very soon that I wouldn’t need to find the strength that these people showed.


Many thanks go out to Bob and Francis for organising such a good day, one that has had a profound effect on me. I would also like to add at this point that if the club wishes to do more for this hospital then count me in....


All the best Ian (Rocketman) Thomas


Those members that attended this remarkable visit felt as moved and touched as you were Ian and yes,  thanks must go out to Bob and Frances who introduced us to this wonderful Charity – perhaps we could  arrange a few off-the-cuff visits this year,  get the pint pot out and fill it up.  If anyone would like to organise this and call up our members, just remember to give us a ring too – we’ll be there!!! June


Please see the handmade thank you card from the children of Tadworth Children’s Hospital who obviously had a fantastic time on the Notice Board and the thank you letter from Rosemary which reads:


“Dear Bob - please thank all the bikers for such a lovely surprise on Sunday, 4 May.  The children and carers really enjoyed it.  There will be a last minute BBQ at some stage soon and would love all your bikers to attend.  Please come and see us again soon.  I will keep in touch.  Rosemary.”


Whitsun  Bank Holiday w/end 24-26 May, The Sheepshagger Run,  Wales (Roving Reporter Paul Skeet)


Well, the weather men got it about right. We managed to get there dry, but the Sunday & Monday were wet enough, making the journey back home miserable. It's a shame that the wet stuff has such an adverse effect on the enjoyment of biking, because this w/end had all the makings of something really good.
Ian’s Aunty Joy’s hotel, the Penybont Inn was a warm & friendly place, situated in Llanfynydd village, and I think the 13 of us that took over the place can all testify to the excellent food, even if the beer wasn't quite up to it! The incident-free round trip of approx. 530 miles (for those of us on bikes) was interspersed with a sortie towards the Gower coast, but rain stopped play, and we retreated to a large modern hostelry to dry out a bit over a cuppa.  Meeting up with other bikers from Brecon TO's  club got postponed when a rumour was going around about trouble 'up North', and the 'plan A' run for Sunday was also quashed by the weather. The promised Mexican meal was nearly a tapas instead but the trip into town proved too tricky in reality. Having said all this, we all enjoyed ourselves, and even through the lousy weather, those uncluttered roads are a dream to ride, making it worth the trip. 
Yogi & June took Dolly for a good ride in the country, & although poking fun at the little 2CV, a few of us were envious of them being nice & dry! Strangely, despite us hammering it along the lovely Welsh roads, Dolly managed to get to the meeting points not too far behind!
Charlotte, a friend of Ian & Tanyas' joined us on a
Kawasaki 600 at Abergavenny, & on to the Penybont Inn, & despite her lean riding experience, proved herself worthy. We may well see her again joining us on other rides.

Throughout our Gaelic experience, the Welsh valleys echoed to the bark of Ians Rocket and the hotel windows rattled to his infectious laughter.  I'm still not so sure about the cockles & lava bread for breakfast though!
Considering the relative ease of getting there, the
Brecons & Wye Valley are well worth anyone considering a weekend trip away, and the hills & valleys are just breathtaking,

Despite my near miss with the rear end of Ians machine when he suddenly decided to stop for someone on a crossing in the wet, the Rockets of Ian & Kelvin showed themselves to be superb overtaking machines, making every passing manoeuvre effortless, & even surprising on the bends too!
Nice one Ian & better luck next time!

Thanks Paul for a fantastic report - I know we all enjoyed it as much as you did.  A huge thanks to Ian and Tanya for organising this trip to Wales and yes we would all like to extend our thanks to his Aunty Joy and family team for their hospitality.  I just loved Wales.   Yogi and I in my Dolly arranged to meet up with the group for our breakfast stop.  Yogi knows the roads very well in that part of the world and had a devious plan to beat the others to our breakfast stop and much to everybody’s amazement we were there before them. They now know of our scheming ways!!  Their faces were a picture – how could a 2CV Dolly possibly beat them on their bikes!!  Yogi and I had a good afternoon out on the Sunday travelling into the depths of the Welsh lanes and beautiful scenery to spend time with a very old friend of his who only lived a few miles away from where we were staying.  We called it our Welsh Safari as it seemed like we were in the middle of nowhere, didn’t see hardly any cars or people and the wildlife was amazing. Yogi and I had a great time and enjoyed our adventure in Dolly.




24 May – Kempton Park, Classic Bike Show - (Roving Report John Flower)


A very successful and social day was had by all on our club stand.  Thanks to Roger, Mog, Malc, Jim, Brian ‘P’, Rod and Dave ‘K’ for showing their immaculate Meriden bikes and other members who turned up to help man the stand.  Several left with large packages having found some bargains at the Auto Jumble.  If you wish to show your bike at the Claygate Flower Show on Saturday, 19 July, let me know.


27 May – The Dog & Duck, Kingsfold  


19 Bikers and a warm welcome to  Martin, our new member, on his Speed Triple on his first ride, plus Mog, Doddie, Dave and Brian ‘B’ who arrived by car, all had a good ride out in the country. We were warmly welcomed by the Licensee with good beer and grub.  Malcolm very kindly suggested I did a collection for my Charity (cheers Malcolm) “Help for Heroes” the new Charity for our Injured troops coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan for their swimming pool and gym complex at their Rehabilitation Centre and Headley Court in Surrey, which you all know I am very passionate about and involved with, so promptly went round with my pint pot and raised over £52.  I would like to thank you all very much for your kind support for this wonderful cause.  It was a good evening.  Thanks to Runs Leader Brian Peters for yet another fab ride.



THE COMING OF AGE – (Report from Kelvin) ...
After many years of riding, the time has finally come when I occasionally have to sneak out to go for a ride.  No, it's not that my wife has joined the National Trust and wants me to look around gardens and houses; it is in fact, after seven and a half years of waiting, my boy's feet have finally reach the pillion pegs.  Having established this after regular measuring, I and a very excited 7 year old went to Lamba motorcycles to purchase his first crash helmet and gloves. The next thing to do was to go for our first ride - which I can tell you was a terrifying experience.  Not for Stephen, but for me - stopping every 2 minutes to make sure that he had not fallen off - and I had not left him a mile down the road in the gutter.  Also, that he was quite happy with the way I accelerated, braked, cornered, etc.  Now, not a day goes by when I get home from work and he asks if we can go out for a spin on the bike.  So, as I was saying, if I wish to go for a ride on my own, I now leave a sad and disappointed boy behind, giving his mum a hard time. The only question to ask is, whether his first bike will be a Triumph!!!


Thanks Kelvin – you now have many enjoyable biking years with your son as we did with our son – your time will never be yours again but it will be the bestest time ever. June 


TO LET Mike & Dot Smith


Please note we now have an online website for our Vendee Cottages in The South of France near Challans, south of Nantes ( – see your February Newsletter for details.  Brochure plus colour photos on Notice Board.


New Members - welcome to Travis Lawless with his Thunderbird and Cub and to Martin Bayer with his Speed Triple – look out for them at our Club meetings and have a chat.



Thanks to all those guys who took the trouble in writing up these wonderful reports. Remember it’s your Newsletter, it makes such a difference and gives our Newsletter a new perspective.  Thanks loads and please keep it going. Your Editor is not lonely any more!!   


FORTHCOMING EVENTS                                                


Sunday, 8 June 2008              Eastbourne Lions Classic M/C Rally & Run          

                                                            Make sure you have a full tank of petrol


Tuesday, 24 June 2008                      Club Run, The Sportsman, Mogador – Depart  8pm

                                                            Make sure you have a full tank of petrol


Thursday, 3 July 2008                       Surrey Branch Bike Show & BBQ


Sunday, 6 July 2008   50th Bonneville Anniversary, London M/C Museum, Greenford


Tuesday, 8 July 2008 Extra Club Run – Wheatsheaf, Marsh Green – Runs Leader John Le Fevre – Depart 8pm

            Make sure you have a full tank of petrol


Saturday, 19 July 2008          Claygate Flower Show/Bike Show

            (See John Flower if you wish to show your bike at this great event)


Tuesday, 22 July 2008           Club Run, Surrey Oaks, Newdigate – Depart 8pm

            Make sure you have a full tank of petrol


Tuesday, 29 July 2008           MSL BBQ & Bike Show



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


Save your old stamps for Mog.

Last but not least – keep 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