Sussex British Motorcycle Owners Club defies ‘leather-clad bikers’ image, preferring to focus on supporting children’s charities

Motorcycle enthusiasts with a love of classic British bikes are looking forward to another year of ride-outs and raising money for children’s charities in Sussex.

Sussex British Motorcycle Owners Club is approaching its 33rd anniversary and though much has happened, very little has changed in its objectives since it was formed in May 1986.

Sussex British Motorcycle Owners Club members supporting the RNLI at Selsey on one of its Friday Gathering runs

Sussex British Motorcycle Owners Club members supporting the RNLI at Selsey on one of its Friday Gathering runs

The club was started by a group of like-minded enthusiasts with the aim of preserving British-made motorcycles and recognising what was then an emerging interest, now an ongoing interest, in classic innovative British machinery.

The articles of association included a stipulation of fundraising for children’s charities and over the years, many thousands of pounds have been donated, most recently to Kamelia Kids in Worthing.

Malcolm Walter, chairman, said: “As we now approach our 33rd anniversary, much has happened in the intervening years but very little has changed in the original club objectives.

“Alas, though, there is now only one remaining founding member as, for obvious reasons, numbers have dwindled over these years. But he still enjoys his riding.

“We are very fortunate to enjoy the facilities of Clymping Village Hall, where, as members of the sports and social club, we have a bar with decent seating capacity, a separate hall for special events, a hard-standing car park and additional grass standing in the summer.”

At first, the club was purist and required members to own a British motorcycle but it is now pleased to welcome anyone who has a genuine interest in old British bikes.

Malcolm said: “Membership currently runs at around 100-plus, either enjoying the social activities and especially the Monday club nights, the tales of restoration successes, and disasters, to seeking technical help from those more mechanically experienced, maybe showing off their machines, not always shiney, at the many local and national shows, or riding on the regular ride-outs both here and abroad.

“If you would like to join us then please come along to one of our Monday meetings, always noisy due to the proliferation of multiple deaf aids but we really are a friendly bunch.

“We really are as far from the stereotypical image of leather-clad bikers as is possible and would rather be categorised as good folk helping others less fortunate than themselves, who just so happen to be motorcyclists.”

Visit sbmoc.vpweb.co.uk for details of the club and all activities. The next Friday Gathering will be on January 3 at Washington for 10.30am and the next club meeting will be on January 6, 2020.