Bike cavalcade to celebrate the motorbike vicar

A vintage Bexhill biker
A vintage Bexhill biker

Bexhill’s extraordinary motorbiking vicar Canon Basil Davies will be celebrated on Sunday May 10.

The fifth Ixion Cavalcade will see his old church, St Barnabas in Sea Road, surrounded by vintage bikers and enthusiasts in what has become a much loved new annual tradition.

Canon Basil Davis was vicar at St Barnabas for 26 years and a devoted family man but nobody locally knew of his other life as a pioneering motorbike journalist who wrote under the name ‘Ixion.’ Local biker Dave Masters has written a book about this particular life-well-lived and organised the event to shine a light on this character from the past.

Dave is expecting almost 60 pre-1940 motor cycles, two antique motor tricycles, a 1897 Leon-Bollee and an 1899 De Dion Bouton for the event which will meet at the church leaving at 10.30am for a Cavalcade across the Pevensey Levels and returning for lunch at 12.30pm. Dave said: “Visitors are very welcome to come and talk to the riders and view the machines. There is a record entry this year of 16 pre First World War motor cycles and seventy riders and passengers sitting down to lunch provided by the Cantalupe Community Association. For locals and Bexhill visitors they will see nostalgic makes of British motor cycles including two Brough Superiors, like those ridden by Laurence of Arabia, Nortons, Triumphs, BSAs, Rudge, Ariel, Velocettes to name a few of the 28 makes of machines taking part.This year we have a special guest arriving on his 1450cc Harley Davidson, the Rt Rev Bishop Richard Jackson, Bishop of Lewes. He will be flagging the machines off, and then riding a 77 year old British Velocette on the Cavalcade. Bishop Richard is known by some as the ‘Biking Bishop’.

Once again, as in past years, riders and their passengers will be eating lunch in the church after the 40 mile Cavalcade, which commemorates the life of this remarkable man. Members of Canon Basil Davies’s family will attend to present the awards at 2pm.