About the Manchester 17 Motor Cycle Club - its history, heritage and letters
Simply click on the heading below, opens a new page.
|History and archive of Manchester 17 MCC|
Films linked below complements of Gordon Snowball - taken by his Dad
George are now on the clubs photo and video sharing site, Fotki, and
linked below. Thanks to Paul Tootal for his efforts in helping track em
3 films from the 1960's real pre 65 stuff proper nostalgia
|General Heritage / history:|
Emails from Ed Stobbs 21 and 22 February 2021
Subject: Re: Ed Stobbs: Manchester17 Trials Club
In my era there was Lawson, Linney, Abrahams at least! The latter had the addition of Moses from the biblical connection, I know he raced the Vincent at one time, saw a letter of his to Motorcycle Sport. Linney dates from his employment by HJHeinz as a salesman, this came to an end when he applied for an undisclosed ad for a similar sales job at better prospects, which turned out to be an HJH job, to them this meant he was not happy with his present post! One of the perks of the job was that he could keep any of their products which had arrived at shops dented, manys the time we raided his stock of treacle sponges when returning from a cold ride- three cans each and a pint of custard went down well at such times.
For job reasons I ended up in Yorkshire, but still used to go marshalling at Oulton Park with the club. Always had a bike though, and until last year have ridden in MCC long distance trials, last meeting Heinz en route home after the Edinburgh one year. Doubtless there are few current members still with you from those days, best regards Ed
21 February 2021
Subject: Manchester17 Trials Club
Greetings, I have just discovered your website! Having been a member from 1963 for about 9 years, your site brings many memories, Dave Linney I encouraged to join in about 1964, after meeting him spectating at a boxing day trial, we both had Ariel Arrows at the time, as did George Long, I see that Dave Abrahams is still a member( ??) could you pass on my email address to him if possible, I would assume he still has his Comet,
Many thanks, Ed Stobbs
Picture Jim Stevenson
From memory, and keep in mind that this was almost 53 years ago, I can't remember why, but we were temporarily without a scramble course. Can't even remember why, or where we had been previously - anyone recall?
It would be almost 12 months earlier than this sticker date, when Hilary and I were out in that blue A35 van that we ran, when we saw the sloping field at Golden Hill Farm. We rambled up the farm track and negotiated a deal with the farmer for 4 scrambles a year for £100 all in!
I was riding that 500cc Matchless G80 single. Brian (butcher) Hatton road tested the course on a 250 Husqvarna.
I think we did probably 2 seasons there before we surrendered to the difficulties of access off the A54 onto Golden Hill.
Dave Rowland found a bigger and better course at Chapel-en-le Frith and we moved on. Happy days indeed.
Regards to anyone who cares to remember,
Perhaps a part of the answer to Keith's question was that we moved to Golden Hill from Paul Tootall:
12 December 2019
This turns out to have been our first event at Golden hill after being evicted from Shedyard Farm, Low Leighton, New Mills.
email from Paul Tootall 28th September 2019
Graham Watson sent me this after we met up at Gordon’s funeral on Monday.
I greatly miss my time with “17” and although I have ridden my Honda ST1100 all over the US and seen some wonderful places, I miss the camaraderie of the “17”.
Up until 2014, I had a great friend in the US (a Brit) and we rode from coast to coast and back.
I left my house in Wilmington N.C and rode to Monterey in Mexico on my ST1100 solo last year, its the bike is the best bike I have ever owned - bought new in 2000, it has over 185,000 miles on the clock, never gives any problems, doesn’t burn any oil and still cruises at 90 mph no problem.
email from Tony McConville 18th October 2017
Ken, thanks for your reply to my comments on the website. (Fotki photo sharing site)
I started my motorcycle history in September 1971 when I was 16 and attended the Manchester 17MCC RAC/ACU training scheme at that time run by our late Trevor Cowdrey. I passed my test and joined the M/C 17MCC whilst riding my BSA Bantam 175cc. I stayed with the club and In Feb 1977 I took over the running of the training scheme from Trevor. Things changed and the Part one test was born, the training scheme became the ROSPA part one scheme as the RAC/ACU had stopped the normal scheme, however the scheme continued with the addition of the part 1 training and part 1 test. I handed the training to Ken Howard as in 1985 I moved away from Stockport with my job and settled in South West Scotland in TROON. Now retired I still ride but due to health not as much as I would like to.
I do have one of the original cast badges for the club which sits on my desk, I did have the yellow and black pin badge but sadly not really sure where it is. I had a lot of pals down there but as time passes I have lost contact details.
It would be great to get some goodies and wonder how many road riders are in the current club, Do you have long distance members ?, if so what is the current membership cost ? looking through the website brought back memories and reminded me of some of the members from the past.
Well that is enough rambling for now
Regards Tony McConville
Club Member from 1971 until 1985
News from Keith Rhodes, 10 December 2016:
Sorry about this delay in responding to your donation of the CD showing Trials & Scrambles. I am currently laid up, recovering from a left knee replacement - I now have a matching pair - so what better time to review the CD and the commentary script. It's not going to be instant, but do regard it as work in progress.
Cheers for now ~ KEITH
Got this email from Rick Stewart on10th August 2016:
Just been down to Hazel Grove Plumbing to get some bits & pieces and was halfway across the car park when this bloke in a blue boiler suit coming the other way said “Rick Stewart?”
Which was a bit of a surprise as I didn’t (initially) recognise him at all!
But then GRAHAM WATSON identified himself and we stood blocking the way for ages, chatting about what’s what, who’s where & how, bikes, times past etc.
Neither of us had anything with which to write numbers down but I gave him my business card so he has a method of getting in touch should he wish to do so.
email from Paul Tootall 15th June 2016:
I lost touch with Nev around 2010 when I saw his house in Mellor up for sale and the e-mail address went offline but I now have his new e-mail address and will try to persuade him to share some memories for the club website.
Nostalgia:email from Keith Rhodes to Paul Tootall 26 May 2016:
Happy, happy memories indeed, and thanks for sending this Nostalgia Trip. I've only just started to look into your fine archives and an hour has passed already!
Derek Anyon's letter to Keith Haining caught my eye first, since it contained the name of Bert Lacey. Bert was a good friend of my father, Ken Rhodes - who worked for Renold Chains and was a M/Cr Eagle Member [but we won't mention the 'Eagle' word again]. I would have been about 7 or 8 years of age [so we're talking 1955/56] when Bert took my father and I up in his aeroplane from Barton Moss airfield for a quick spin. What a great experience for us both. Sadly Bert was killed only a matter of weeks later when he caught the under carriage coming into land and turned the plane upside down. I guess this is the sad side to good old nostalgia!
I then foraged into some of your newsletters and found myself as temporary editor, along with Dave Rowland, Moses and it seems anyone who cared to write something up. What a great club we had. There was mention of the helicopter fund, which story Bradders and I have dined on for years. But, only last year in my current club - The East Sussex Section of the Vintage Motor Cycle Club, I spoke to a 'new pal' Tim Eade who was rather quick in the 70s and later on a sidecar outfit racing in the Manx GP. He remembered our funding efforts to replace the Castrol rescue helicopter and admitted that for many weeks it was touch and go whether the Manx MCC would run the event at all.
In that same newsletter we ran an advert thus:
FOR SALE - 250 cc Husqvarna Sprite American Eagle, cadmium plated frame, Ceriani forks, Husky front wheel Very quick, this machine is a race winner, will accept Racquel Welch or £125 Tel: G Greaves 061-439 4732
The said Guy Greaves, owner of the machine, and I were apprentices in the CEGB - he at Stuart Street P.S. and me at Agecroft P.S., both in Manchester from 1964 until 1969. We are still in touch some 50+ years later. I've made a 'note to self' to ask Guy which he received from the sale - the lovely Racquel or £125!
Must go and get some tea but, just in passing, we came up to Belle Vue in March for the fateful opening of the National Speedway Stadium and the Peter Craven Memorial Trophy. What a fantastic venue but what a wash out evening with no racing!!
Still we had a nice meal in the VIP suite:
Cheers for now and my regards to anyone who cares ~ KEITH & HILARY
PS: in my next epistle I'll share a story from just last week when I met a chap in a bar in Majorca [you know how it happens]. He knew John Hartle quite well and we concluded after some pints that we must have raced against each other at Hatherton Hall in the late 60s.
You couldn't write it, but that's old bikers for you! Be good ~ Keith