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    24th September 2017

  • Little Hadham
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Club in 1962


MEMORIES OF 1962 FOR SUDBURY MOTOR CYCLE CLUB BY ROGER CHAPLIN

Since its formation in August 1958 the Sudbury Motor Cycle Club have had many memorable years and one of these years was 50 years ago – 1962. The Club had planned two Scrambles and a Sporting Trial for that year but this would turn out to be different. First up was a Scramble at the now historic course at Tye Farm Great Cornard in April and the Club’s Competition Secretary 19 year old Barry Chaplin had ambitious ideas and secured entries from local rider Dave Bickers the twice 250cc European Champion and winner of 6 British Titles in his riding career together with the other top rider in the U.K. and rarely seen in East Anglia, Jeff Smith.

Dave BickersJeff in his riding career was twice 500cc World Champion, nine times British Champion while riding for Great Britain he won 8 Gold Medals in the International Six Days Enduro. Well what a coup and what a day as nearly 10,000 spectators turned up and were treated to your very good racing. There was a race for machines of the 1930s which local rider the legendary Jim Aim won.

The second Scramble was held in May and again attracted another good entry. With the success of these two meetings the Sudbury Club decided to run a third event in July with the proceeds going to the Sudbury Red Cross. Proceeds of £132 and a dummy for the Red Cross members to learn how to perform the kiss of life costing £36 were donated. At this meeting there was a lap of honour for over 12 members of the 1930s Club. In mid August the Club was contacted by Anglia Television asking if they would run a special demonstration Scramble for them and this was filmed on a Saturday in early September with Barry Chaplin being interviewed by Bob Wellings and John McGregor did the commentating for the Television. It is believed the cartoonist Carl Giles attended this meeting and produced a cartoon for the Football Star (Green Un). Well it was all over for the Scrambles season, oh no it wasn’t the BBC wanted to televise Scramble and the Club was contacted by Ipswich’s Peter Wigg who at the time served on the ACU National Committee asking if the Club could accommodate the BBC in which 1962 was the Sudbury Clubs third year of promoting speed events. However the second ever BBC Television and Grandstand Scramble took place on 3rd November and despite the rain on the day and a very muddy track two races were transmitted on National Television that Saturday. The T.V. commentator was Murray Walker and was assisted by Barry Chaplin pointing out the various riders from the programme.

For his efforts since he was 17 Barry Chaplin was nominated for the National Pinhard Prize for his organising and administration skills. Past holders of this trophy were Mike Hailwood, John Surtees, Jeff Smith and Arthur Lampkin. The Pinhard Prize is awarded to an under 21 person who has contributed either by riding or organising each year and Barry achieved the runner up spot. To finish the year the Club organised a Sporting Trial on 30th December however there was heavy snowfall overnight for the second year running but the event went on as the Sudbury Club try not to do cancel. For me 1962 was my first stint on the Committee and I was elected as Press Secretary at the age of 16. I was involved in sending out press releases to about 40 newspapers and television and had a local journalist, Alan Cocksedge, as my ghost writer and from 2008 I have the honour of being the President.