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Friday, July 29, 2011

The sun never sets on the Royal Enfield Owners Club

The Gun brings a little bit of England in every issue.
The Gun, publication of the Royal Enfield Owner's Club (REOC) in the United Kingdom, arrives by mail like a little bit of England.

Note the cover picture on the June/July, 2011 issue, which features all things British: the red phone booth, the tile roofs, chimneys, hedges, a playground for the kiddies and a 1958 Royal Enfield Constellation.

Editor Robin Gillingham opens with an Editorial that gently ends  "Thanks for reading my thoughts may they not trouble you."

The Gun includes a picture of the Sun for those
in England who may never have seen it.
Later he illustrates his coverage of Royal Enfield Day at a museum with a photograph of the Sun shining; there must be something unusual about that in England.

The real fun begins in the "Write In" section.

"Perhaps the club should sit up off its pompous bottom, and withdraw this rule..."

"Once the barrel was removed we found that the top of the piston had parted company from the skirt. Funny, I thought, it isn't supposed to do that!"

There's still more fun in the "Branch Reports."

From Kent: "The toll for the day was two punctures, one misbehaving engine and one tumble!"

From Wessex: "All members and bikes are encouraged to attend. Weather will be sunny."

From Torbay and Exeter: "And best new game award for the Lincolnshire branch who demonstrated the ancient art of eel tickling in the river Dart."

From Norfolk: "At last the weather is improving and the Council is out filling in the potholes. One in particular on the back lane I use every day, covered a third of the road difficult to spot when full of rainwater."

From West Riding: "One lone rider made the first ride out, a trip to Whitby for fish and chips. Two members attended the Stafford classic Bike show on the 23rd of April."

From Wilshire: "The ride was to the lost village of Imber which is in the middle of Salisbury Plain. Imber was taken over by the military in 1943 and has been used by the Army since that date. The village has a surreal atmosphere with burnt out tanks and warnings of unexploded ordinance by the side of the road."

And then there are the feature articles, including the second half of one about a trip from Lands End to John O'Groats and back. That is a long way and writer Bob Read recounts it in sentences long enough to match:

"Next day, Monday 6th September, after saying goodbye to Rob, who was returning home to Spalding, we left Bellingham riding south on the B6320 to Haydon Bridge and onto the A686, through Alston and over the Pennines, a hearty breakfast at the Hartside Cafe (at 1,930 feet above sea level the highest cafe in England), the wind was gale force and actually rocking the bikes on their stands, we turned them into the wind."

Overall, The Gun leaves the impression that REOC members are made of stout stuff — perhaps especially including stout.

The Gun is now available to overseas members by email as a pdf file, saving the added cost of international  postage. This option reduces the cost of membership to the same rate members in the UK pay. To join you must complete the application and mail it in — yes, the old fashioned way.

Which is the best way, after all.

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