Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Royal Enfield club magazine keeps calm, carries on

From time to time I've shared my delight in the delightfully English (as I suppose it to be) magazine of the Royal Enfield Owners Club UK: The Gun.

From editor Robin Gillingham's always disarming opening column, to the write-in letters, ride reports technical tips and branch doings, there is always something to learn, or at least to laugh along with, in The Gun.

So I was concerned to find that Issue 262 for December 2017/January 2018, contains a bit more sad news than usual. For starters, editor Robin notes that the issue is a little late, as he was "in hospital after dropping on the road face down."

Issue No. 1 of The Gun magazine,
from 1978.
He doesn't dwell on his injuries. But he goes on to recommend Jacqui Furneaux's book about her travels by Royal Enfield. Its title: "Hit the Road Jac." Ouch.

Brighter items follow. These include an amazing photo of a Royal Enfield Crusader, heaped with luggage under the Eiffel Tower, pictured as David Read and wife rode it to Spain in 1957.

Alan Barringer reports on his recent circuit of Scotland, carried out on his 1957 Royal Enfield Super Meteor.

But then come obituaries for two treasured members.

The report on the Annual General Meeting notes that "the membership number still stays around the 2,000 mark, but there are concerns over the aging of the membership."

There are one or two hints of that, as the classified section offers an Interceptor Mark II for sale "due to ill health," and a branch officer asks for help with his duties, due to eyesight problems. A club is a human undertaking and suffers along with its members.

But the foundation is strong, as the Club Calendar for 2018 lists 11 interesting sounding events. What's more, this issue announces the names of 89 new members.

Watching from afar, I find myself wishing the club and all its members good health and happiness in the New Year. Why not join and enjoy the fun? Membership information is here.

One of the advantages of membership is that you will be able to view the archives of The Gun, all the way back to 1978.

The archive reveals that, in 1982, then editor Don McKeand expressed Happy New Years wishes this way:

"May your con-rods never snap, may your oil continue to circulate on the inside and may your restorations prosper."


  1. Hello David,
    I am interested in taking membership of REOC. As you wrote that the club magazine "The Gun" archives are available from 1978 onwards. So is it possible to download the back issues of the magazine so that we can read it offline at our convenience.

    1. Archived editions can be read online but I do not see a way to download them. You can choose to receive your fresh editions by email (instead of hard copy) and these arrive as pdf and can be downloaded to be enjoyed offline. Either way, content is copyrighted and not to be reproduced. I took the liberty of reproducing the original 1978 cover, above, but will remove it if anyone objects.


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