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Friday, June 24, 2016

Royal Enfield Owners Club provides news that will amuse

The Royal Enfield Owners Club UK has published The Gun magazine since 1978.
Issue No. 253 of The Gun, the magazine of the Royal Enfield Owners Club UK, arrived in my email in box the other day. Opening it, I realized that I had somehow failed to receive Issue 252, for April/May, as happens occasionally.

This is no disaster. As a member, I can easily read any issue of The Gun back to the first (in 1978!) on the club website.

I promptly went there and hunted up the issue I'd missed.

Issue 252 included Part 1 of "Ride of My Live," an account of a motorcycling adventure on a Royal Enfield in the Himalayas, by Alistair Matheson.

"If this was a test ride for the new Enfield Bullet, then it passed with flying colors," he wrote.

Editor Robin Gillingham reproduced a summons (traffic ticket to us Yanks) from 1933, discovered in the shed of the cottage he has just moved into. The then owner, a motorcyclist, had been cited for riding at night through the Parish of Henstridge without a light illuminating his license plate.

Robin was also able to include a period photo of the former owner of the cottage on a motorcycle, and asked for help identifying the motorcycle (more on this below).

In other news, there was a notice "To confirm, The 2016 Home Counties Rally will take place on the 29th to 31st July 2016 at Henlow Bridge Lakes, Bridge End Road, Henlow Befordshire... We'll have... a quiz hatched by several Members who will probably argue about the answers and both Julian and Mark will attempt new and unusual breakdowns on different bikes to last time."

From the Branch Reports came word that Wiltshire branch visited the Cotswold Motoring Museum, where "Dave T now had trouble with the carburetor of his Super Meteor, but he got further than last time. Next time he is hoping to go all the way."

It was then on to read my copy of Issue No. 253 for June/July. Here I was satisfied to see that member Mark Mumford was able to identify editor Robin's mystery motorcycle as "a Velocette GTP, a 250cc two-stroke quite an expensive machine at the time."

It is nearly impossible to convey the breadth of Royal Enfield topics explored in The Gun.

It's all there, from suggestions for a carrying a mammoth spare battery in the sidecar, and restoration details of a Royal Enfield Ensign, to discussion of whether the little known New Bullet  of 1965 would have been factory equipped with a "bathtub" rear enclosure.

To share in the delights of The Gun you have only to join the club. Membership details are on the website.

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