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Jun July

LINGS DEMO DAY - Saturday 23rd June
A beautiful summer's day, a line-up of demonstrators, and Lings usual generosity greeted the branch members from Norfolk and North London as they came to enjoy another Demo Day, courtesy of Mark and his team at Lings of Harleston.
Choices made and formalities completed the test rides began and, upon the return, the the usual discussions started, our own Mark and Andy talked over the differences of the Africa Twins whilst others gave their verdicts on their chosen machine.
Coffee helped to wash down the cakes and biscuits our branch had brought to contribute to the day, then it was the turn of the barbecue supplied free by Lings to round off their participation around 1:30pm.
Once the food had been consumed, with Mark encouraging us to hoover up everything, Tony led us on a very nice, twisty rideout to a very busy Southwold for an ice-cream, which we ate close to the pier whilst enjoying a friendly social chat in the sunshine. After a while we dispersed to find our own way home completing yet another brilliant branch day, wondering if tomorrow would be as good. A big thank you to Mark and the Lings team for the friendly way they dealt with the extra work we gave them on their normal working day, we really enjoyed all, to our branch members who brought cakes and biscuits, and to Tony who led yet another brilliant rideout.
Yet another glorious morning greeted us as we set up the HOC gazebo ready for a hopefully busy day. The catering and museum attractions arrived, David's team opened up his shop, museum, and sales warehouse for those who wanted to consider purchasing a classic Honda.
Chris and I were soon busy directing the traffic as it arrived putting the classics together outside David's museum, Marion was kept employed by booking in the classics for the show and judging, selling regalia, and talking to prospective members. Graham was also busy on the membership side too and hopefully signed up a few. With more and more motorcycles arriving the day took on a real buzz, it was nice to see old friends and find out where where others had come from, I spoke to one from Wales and another from Bristol, so quite a journey for some.
Guest of Honour, Freddie Spencer gave his time selflessly as he signed, had pictures taken, and chatted to anyone who wanted, telling anecdotes of his racing career and what his era bikes were like compared to today's, very approachable, a real gent and top class bloke, my personal highlight of the day was talking to him for quite a while.
Later in the afternoon, it was time for David and Freddie to do the judging with Chris reading out their results for the best in each class, Freddie read out one result - the one that Chris won! Our own Andy  won a certificate and rosette for his gorgeous CBX 1000 as the best in that class, so very well done to him.

With the formailities over it was time to look around the sales warehouse, Penny did look good on a yellow 400/4, followed by visit to David's brilliant museum. By this time people were starting to leave but Freddie was still there, still entertaining people, I took the opportunity to ask him if he would sit on my bike for a photo which he did without hesitation, (I did apologise to Chris when I asked him to move out of the background!) then he proceeded to let us know how the Hondas of that period developed and how I could get a bit more out of my bike.
Finally it was time to pack up and head for home - like Freddie Spencer - no, the similarities end with us both having a Honda badge on our tanks. The people to whom I talked to during the day all had positive things to say, even the bloke with the steam engine said he was chuffed.
Hopefully a good time was had by all and we can repeat another successful day next year.
RIDEOUT TO NORWOOD - Sunday 1st July
Whilst enjoying the morning at our Lings Demo Day, we were approached by Jackie who wondered if there was a bike club amongst the motorcyclists gathered there. Once we answered in the affermative, she asked if it was possible for a few of us to visit Norwood, near Yoxford to show off our bikes to a few people. We had a quick discussion and decided there and then to change our plans for Sunday 1st July to accommodate her (the promise of tea/coffee and cake was also a factor!). So, at 9:00am on Sunday morning, nine of us on seven bikes met at Posh Pigs near Beccles for breakfast.
Following which, Roger led us from there, cross-country to the Southwold turning on the A12 when I took over as I knew our destination thanks to good old Google Earth. Once parked, we were welcomed by Jackie who took us for the aforementioned refreshments making sure she talked to as many of us as she could, here she introduced us to Michelle. Once we had finished we returned to our line-up of bikes and had an hour or so showing Jackie, Michelle, Paul, Frank, Dorothy, and Pat our machines and answering questions, and having photos taken, a good time was had by all.

Then it was time to depart, Jackie kindly overseeing our departure against their one-way system which allowed us to keep on hard standing and not gravel. Andy led five bikes to Dunwich for an ice-cream and a return home from there whilst two of us returned home directly. from Norwood.

Thanks to everyone for their hospitality, we all enjoyed the morning and hope they did too.
Some time ago, Freda, one of our members asked if we could visit again the staff and students at Stepping Stones in Norwich. I contacted, Viv and a date of Wednesday 4th July was agreed, so this morning Roger, Freda, Hannah, and I met to let the students look over our bikes, and Hannah's trike.
A good time was had by all, particularly the students who enjoyed sitting on our machines with Hannah's trike clearly the favourite as they were allowed to start and rev the engine too.
As usual we retired to the centre for refreshments and enjoyed their hospitality for which we thank them. Just to note that Hannah travelled from Mildenhall to support our morning but could only stay an hour as she had things to do, so thank you Hannah for your efforts.

As a footnote, Viv who some of us know, is leaving the centre in September for pastures new in Wales and we are in the early stages of arranging a fish and chip meal with her and the students to allow us to say "Goodbye" I will post the information as we firm up the date and time to allow branch members to attend if practicable.

FISH AND CHIP RUN - Thursday 12th July
Tonight we welcomed Stephanie and Sam for the first time to one of our rideouts , and by 7:00pm there were eight of us on six bikes ready to begin the ride from Norwich to Cromer. We travelled from Norwich on the North Walsham road as far as Horstead, then cross-country to the A140, turning right and once at Cromer we stopped and parked our bikes. A short walk towards the sea front found us at the No. 1 Fish and Chip Restaurant where we had a little wait whilst a table for eight was set up. A good social evening was enjoyed as were our meals, we took opportunity to find out a little more about Stephanie and Sam with Tony finding something in common with Sam in that they'd both been around the Nurburgring. All too soon it was back to the bikes for our individual rides home, luckily Stephanie and Sam enjoyed it as much as we did and we hope to see them again soon. 
RIDEOUT TO HEDINGHAM CASTLE - Sunday 15th July, by Andrew Wright.
Eleven of us on six bikes met in Route 11, Attleborough for breakfast. Once consumed, we made our way through some very pretty and a very hot Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex countryside, we may even have dipped a toe into Cambridgeshire on our way to Hedingham Castle. Michael made it from the Cambridge Branch and joined us for the ride although he peeled off for home to escape the heat.

The castle is set in some very nice grounds and made an interesting place to visit, we all hoped that the interior of the castle would have been cooler than it was on such a hot day.

After a relaxing visit we left to track down some ice creams and had a nice interlude and chat in Long Melford under the shade of a tree before heading our separate ways home.

Denise and I would like to say thank you all for a lovely day.