Sammy Miller Trip

This trip was undertaken before the current lockdown rules, we were allowed to mix and we were allowed to leave our county boroughs, but just in case we were a group of 6 and we all live together in a bubble house.

Well we all meet socially distanced of course outside the Station inn on Nantgarw Rd in Caerphilly on a chilly Saturday morning in early September, it was 7am after all, we had a full array of bikes Japanese Italian German British the club was well represented. Martyn decided to take his new Bonneville because he wanted to get further than Machen and I decided to not to take my BSA because I hadn’t booked Monday off work! Gareth was looking like Mr Cool on his Guzzi California & Adrian just looked like an extra from the long way down (Ex London courier see nothing rattles Adrian), Jonny Lewis was on his first outing on his recently re-engined ZZR1100 and was looking suitably apprehensive, on our previous trip to the Cotswold motor hub a loose 6mm bolt on the end of the camshaft had failed and caused the engine to eat itself, he’d sauced an engine and fitted it in a little over 7 days. Meanwhile Alan Robinson oil filler cap on his FJ decided to throw oil out and on to his Virginal boots on his way to the starting point so we dashed to my house to pick up some PTFE tape and fixed it. Alan looked really dapper in his new Richa attire. A quick Hi Ho Silver and we were off down through Machen and onto the M4 at Tredegar House, in what appeared to be no time at all we were off at Jcn 18 for Bath for a quick regroup and then on to a breakfast halt a farm café just outside Frome, we avoided Bath centre and went through Bradford on Avon instead. Did you know Royal Enfield re-located from Redditch to Bradford and assembled control equipment for Bofors guns and other gun sights in the old stone quarry workings around Bradford-on-Avon during the war, after the war they stayed on manufacturing the 250 Crusader, Meteor and finally the interceptor in Bradford. 

At the breakfast halt Alan Collins reported that the front end of his Tiger was feeling a little vague, so Adrian in true Boy Scout style produced a tyre inflator that looked like a gadget from one of the Jonny English films, A LITTLE VAGUE!!!! It was showing around 10psi and that was on a warm tyre. I’ve since talked to Alan and he was so impressed with Adrian’s tyre inflator he went straight out and bought one. The bacon sausage and egg were superb, well if a Farm café can’t get those three ingredients right they’d better give up haven’t they. Josh our resident IT wizard approached the breakfast table wearing an enormous rucksack, he has so much IT equipment inside sometimes I feel like the president and he’s carrying the missile launch codes or something, Nibs whispered in my ear “why is he carrying a parachute”. Mike told us his alarm didn’t go off and he actually only woke up at 6.45 and he still made it on time. A good effort Sir.    

So onward past Warminster to Shaftesbury, then we took a road I’m fairly familiar with the B3081 up Zig Zag hill, I was at the front of the group but I believe a few people overcooked the bends a little, come on you know who you are.

Our final stop before Sammy’s was for fuel at Christchurch, Mikes little 400/4 was on fumes, it was a shame I picked the smallest petrol station in Dorset though….15 minutes after that we pulled in to Mr Millers museum.

45 seconds after arriving Nibs was sporting shorts T shirt flip-flops oh and a pair of Oakley’s and was ready to go, 45 minutes after arriving Alan R was just about ready to leave his bike, WOW I thought my Mrs was slow, sorry Matt don’t tell Mam.

If you’ve never been to Millers it’s well worth a visit, there are literally dozens & dozens of bikes and many are just unique, then there’s the memorabilia that needs a museum of its own alone. A good guide to take with you to any of these establishments is Danny, he has an opinion on everything and its usually hilarious and some of his off the cuff comments are brilliant, and despite what he’ll have you believe he quite likes some of the old British bikes, 2 strokes are his love though it don’t really matter who made it so long as its noisy and creates a blue haze behind him. I had contacted the museum a few days before to let them know of our groups imminent arrival on Saturday and the Lady curator was somewhat impressed that we were making the journey from South Wales, so after we’d been there for an hour or so she announced to Mr Miller we’d arrived and the great man introduced himself and spoke at length about a few bikes we were currently viewing, he then invited us into his workshop for more lectures, when he was describing something he’d achieved he talked about himself as the third person, e.g. (that wasn’t good enough for Miller or the young power hungry Miller wasn’t happy with that) it was surreal really, he asked who was the Navigator and from which direction we’d arrived at the museum, when I told him he said that’s totally the wrong way and proceeded to give me a rough sketch of how to get the boys home from there, I think he was fed up with us by then and perhaps the novelty of Welsh voices in his Workshop had worn off. We thanked him for the personal tour and headed off for cake a coffee, I had a piece of chocolate cake, and it was like one half of a breeze block it was HUGE.

We decided to leave and head home via Stonehenge and Avebury standing stones, I thought I’d better give Alan the nod that we were leaving soon so he could get his clobber back again and boy did he need the heads up. We headed for Ringwood roughly following Sammy’s exit strategy and then Salisbury, did you know Salisbury Cathedral has the highest steeple in England, anyway we passed Stonehenge on the right and the traffic was mental most of the group missed it anyway, the traffic was far too heavy for a closer inspection, next up we stopped outside a pub…….it was shuttered up, I don’t think it was a casualty of covid. Mike Shak 400/4 in a previous life it would seem had repaired industrial appliances in commercial premises all over the South of England and recommended the Red Lion at Avebury, he’d given the dishwasher there a good service a while back…her name was Dawn….. no it was Hotpoint really. Anyway after a brief tour of Avebury’s car parks we finally arrived at the pub only to be asked have you got an appointment, someone said we don’t want to see a Doctor we just want to sit outside in the sunshine with a drink. After 10-15 minutes the girl who I think used to work for border control at Dover decided to let a small party in to buy drinks for everyone else, honestly it was like been back in school and being limited to how many kids are allowed in the local sweet shop! It was around then when I noticed Mike was on his second drink already and I thought, he must’ve really given that old dishwasher a good service! The Red Lion is on a series of S bends and a Triumph 1200 Trophy dropped into the bends like Barry Sheene its cans scrapping all the way around to the sound of Cheers and whistles.

We headed for Chippenham Mike dropped off for fuel again but the rest of us were good, we all pulled in a lay-by just before the M4 and awaited Mike, when Mike appeared he went straight past like he was passing the pits at Le Mans or something, to the rest of us it was like Fox & Hounds and we all gave chase.

And that’s pretty much what happened your Honour, we got home just before the heavens opened up, a good time was had by all I think and I for one can’t wait until we can a do it again. We are seriously thinking of renaming the club, THE SOUTH WALES

If you’ve never been to Millers it’s well worth a visit, there are literally dozens & dozens of bikes and many are just unique, then there’s the memorabilia that needs a museum of its own alone. A good guide to take with you to any of these establishments is Danny, he has an opinion on everything and its usually hilarious and some of his off the cuff comments are brilliant, and despite what he’ll have you believe he quite likes some of the old British bikes, 2 strokes are his love though it don’t really matter who made it so long as its noisy and creates a blue haze behind him. I had contacted the museum a few days before to let them know of our groups imminent arrival on Saturday and the Lady curator was somewhat impressed that we were making the journey from South Wales, so after we’d been there for an hour or so she announced to Mr Miller we’d arrived and the great man introduced himself and spoke at length about a few bikes we were currently viewing, he then invited us into his workshop for more lectures, when he was describing something he’d achieved he talked about himself as the third person, e.g. (that wasn’t good enough for Miller or the young power hungry Miller wasn’t happy with that) it was surreal really, he asked who was the Navigator and from which direction we’d arrived at the museum, when I told him he said that’s totally the wrong way and proceeded to give me a rough sketch of how to get the boys home from there, I think he was fed up with us by then and perhaps the novelty of Welsh voices in his Workshop had worn off. We thanked him for the personal tour and headed off for cake a coffee, I had a piece of chocolate cake, and it was like one half of a breeze block it was HUGE.

We decided to leave and head home via Stonehenge and Avebury standing stones, I thought I’d better give Alan the nod that we were leaving soon so he could get his clobber back again and boy did he need the heads up. We headed for Ringwood roughly following Sammy’s exit strategy and then Salisbury, did you know Salisbury Cathedral has the highest steeple in England, anyway we passed Stonehenge on the right and the traffic was mental most of the group missed it anyway, the traffic was far too heavy for a closer inspection, next up we stopped outside a pub…….it was shuttered up, I don’t think it was a casualty of covid. Mike Shak 400/4 in a previous life it would seem had repaired industrial appliances in commercial premises all over the South of England and recommended the Red Lion at Avebury, he’d given the dishwasher there a good service a while back…her name was Dawn….. no it was Hotpoint really. Anyway after a brief tour of Avebury’s car parks we finally arrived at the pub only to be asked have you got an appointment, someone said we don’t want to see a Doctor we just want to sit outside in the sunshine with a drink. After 10-15 minutes the girl who I think used to work for border control at Dover decided to let a small party in to buy drinks for everyone else, honestly it was like been back in school and being limited to how many kids are allowed in the local sweet shop! It was around then when I noticed Mike was on his second drink already and I thought, he must’ve really given that old dishwasher a good service! The Red Lion is on a series of S bends and a Triumph 1200 Trophy dropped into the bends like Barry Sheene its cans scrapping all the way around to the sound of Cheers and whistles.

We headed for Chippenham Mike dropped off for fuel again but the rest of us were good, we all pulled in a lay-by just before the M4 and awaited Mike, when Mike appeared he went straight past like he was passing the pits at Le Mans or something, to the rest of us it was like Fox & Hounds and we all gave chase.

And that’s pretty much what happened your Honour, we got home just before the heavens opened up, a good time was had by all I think and I for one can’t wait until we can a do it again. We are seriously thinking of renaming the club, THE SOUTH WALES CLASSISIC & SARCASM MOTORCYCLE CLUB. I can’t think why.

Alwyn

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s