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Richard Blackburn

VMCC Walworth Castle Concours 15th June 2010

This event, organised by the South Durham section, is held annually in the grounds of the imposing Walworth Castle, just west of Darlington. The format of the event is in the spirit of riding the bikes, so after arriving and signing on each competitor is given a route card. For this event it was just under 45 miles, running along the edge of the Dales on the country lanes. Following a hopefully successful navigation of the route within the 2 hours allowed the judging takes place followed by the prize giving.

I arrived at the Castle early so was the second or third rider to sign on and earning me the 36 plate for the 1929 Scott TT Replica I’d dug out for the occasion. I’m no hardcore concours entrant and was more interested in the road run side of things. I’d given the bike a good clean and polish the day before though so it was looking its best.

All told around 15 bikes were entered but one did not make the start. A scrambler style Triumph had decided to only run on one cylinder and after much playing about the rider retired the bike.

Being my usual unprepared self I’d not brought any form of device to hold a route sheet so I stuck it to the tank. Off we set on the run and the first instruction to turn left out of the castle entrance had been missed by the rider in front of me, who promptly set off in the wrong direction. It was not looking good….

Of course my lack of preparation bit me when the first time I got near 60mph the route sheet started flapping about so I grabbed it with my left hand before it blew off completely. I did the rest of the run with it in my left hand, stopping at each junction to memorise the next couple of turns. The route sheet certainly caught a few out as I overtook only one rider going the same way as me, but 4 or 5 going in the opposite direction. Quite how they got ahead of me only to end up going the wrong way baffled both me and them, but in the end all bikes made it back for the judging. I feel I held up the Scott tradition by being first home after a thorough blast along the lanes. Typically we were kept waiting for a couple of stragglers who had been “dragged” into an ale house en route.

Here are some pics of various bikes, some very nice examples turned out from a crisp sounding very tidy Bantam to BSA, Triumph, Ariel, Norton, my Scott, Velocette, Royal Enfield plus one or two others I failed to get pictures of.

Norton Dominator and a Triumph scrambler

Nicely done BSA B33

The ever present 1929 Ariel

BSA’s and a Velocette

The Dommy and Scrambler again, RE and Scott in the background

So onto the results and we all filed into the castle. I do not claim to know or understand anything about concours judging so was somewhat surprised to find my name among the results.

First place: Ron Todd BSA A7 (number 39*)
Second Place: Richard Blackburn 1929 Scott TT Replica (number 36)
Third Place: Dave Headon Norton Dominator (number 87*)
* – I think!

So overall not a bad turnout, excellent weather, great location and a good blast home along the back roads afterwards. I seem to have hopefully fixed the Scott’s penchant for overcharging and blowing bulbs by fitting a new larger capacity battery and a 36W headlamp bulb. That means I can now give it full beans at night without being plunged into darkness!