A Brief History - How It All Started

This article was taken from an old club magazine and by word of mouth.

In early 1977, half a dozen BSA owners  used to meet at a local pub for a pint and a natter.  They also with friends who  owned other British bikes and that summer they formed a new section of the  BSA owners club.

Meetings took place at the  Crealock Arms, Littleham. Twice a month and with limited numbers they added an  associated section for other British bike owners, slowly it all came together. Soon, the associated side of the club took over and the BSA owners were the minority, so 1983 saw the formation of the present club, with a new committee and a determined effort to spread the word around North Devon.

It was a slow start, but the numbers kept rising. We asked anyone who had a British  bike to join us, but  the club seemed to stick to around 30 members for a while. Evening club runs were organised  and  sometimes, rides were organised for Sunday's, though at first these weren't  popular. Some awards were donated by an ex- motorcyclist in the district who ran a shop.

A single sheet  club magazine infrequently appeared to let us all know what was going on.

 YVONNE - ISLE OF MAN 1969
Nick's words - "Mullets were more fashionable back then!"


Several of the members on British bikes competed in long distance trials, including the  London to Lands End, and the Exeter trials etc. A green lanes section was also formed to keep old lanes and bye ways open. All great stuff!

Shows were patronized, we heard about the first Plymouth Hoe show and rode down with our well ridden trials irons and road bikes coming home with a winner. (This show was by the previous Plymouth British Motorcycle Club).

 Between 1983 and 1987, the club expanded to around 70 members. We were attracting one or two from out of the district; including someone from Coventry would you believe!  The summer time saw regular runs out to places of interest on a Thursday evening, usually to the pub, and at least one Sunday run a month was included.

The winter schedule then had film shows, skittles, and talks etc. All done on an informal basis, with a nice social feeling being present. All this was by courtesy of a local social club in Yelland who offered  services of their bar and rooms.

Danny's early ramblings
Martin - 1957 in Exeter 


It seemed that word was getting around about the club; there was the odd mention in Classic Bike Magazine and communication with other clubs in the South West, all with the same interest. ACU affiliation was applied for, and granted. The general feeling was that this could only be of benefit to the club.

So what did the future hold? With new blood on the committee, great ideas were getting tossed around and some even came to fruition; namely the Tarka Run and the Fingle Bridge meet. We hope that the club will prosper and get stronger, obviously during the last 7 years of the North Devon British Motorcycle Owners Club, it’s been hard graft at times, but you realise that within the club there is a dedicated core of British Motorcycle owners of all ages whom you can rely on.

We try to plan a year’s calendar in early spring and with other club events being organised it can be a very busy year for everyone!



Our own events were;  The Tarka Run in July, and a club static display at Chapleton Barton traction engine rally in August, where we held  our annual concourse competition.

There was of course, our dinner and dance in February, where hair is let down and sore heads created the next morning. We met on the second and fourth Thursday of the month at Yelland social club, though the proposed redevelopment of the power station site, our future looks a bit rocky. But with our contacts, I’m sure we will find somewhere else without fail.

This article was taken from an old club magazine and by word of mouth.