St Barnabas church was once more host to the Sunbeam Motor Cycle Club and their annual event celebrating the life of an astonishing previous vicar.
Canon Basil Davies was a world authority on motor cycling and wrote for The Motor Cycle magazine for over 58 years, 1903 to 1961. The people of Bexhill were unaware of their famous vicar as he wrote under the pseudonym of ‘Ixion’ and never revealed his day job. For riders of historic motor cycles Ixion is revered for his wonderful command of the English language when writing on his favourite non-spiritual subject.
Fifty six riders entered the Ixion Cavalcade last Sunday on machines dating from 1899 to 1939, they rode from the church that morning over the 42 mile route across the Pevensey Levels and through the lanes of lovely East Sussex countryside.
Two of Canon Davies’s granddaughters, Nicky and Virginia flagged the riders off and at 12.30pm sat with all 70 riders and guests at two long dining tables down the centre of the church for a three course lunch provided by Angie, Kevin and Sally of St Barnabas Church.
Bexhill’s Deputy Mayor Councillor Brian Kentfield presented awards after lunch, the two key recipients being Henry Brooks of Henley-on-Thames who was awarded the Ixion Cup, voted by fellow riders, and Mark Diplock of Bromley who received the Basil H Davies vase chosen by the visitors. Henry Brooks had completed his 4th Cavalcade on his 1899 De Dion Bouton Tricycle and Mark Diplock rode a delightful 1927 Sunbeam on 350cc.
All riders received a memento of the day and many left with copies of the new biography of Ixion - for details at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01424 211873.