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Saturday 3 January 1981
1930-2230
Social: New Year Party, Exeter
5 present: Colin Brierly, Valerie Farrell, Don Hassall, Michael Jones, Mike Ward
The New Year Party
Mike Ward, Don Hassell and Val Farrell
Jean Brierly, Colin Brierly and Jean Luxton
The New Year Party
A group of Exeter A-Section youngsters
No report available.

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 4 January 1981
1415-1730
Afternoon ride: Abbotskerswell
2 present: Colin Brierly, Michael Jones
To begin at the beginning – of 1981 – our Afternoon Run today was blessed with good numbers and winter sunshine. On our way through Compton a few of us in the front of the bunch spotted a kingfisher flying low over the stream – not the first time I’ve seen one there. A couple of strolls for the more leisurely and the trying of new equipment for some on hills before and after Abbotskerswell, and then a lane route, past the lovely old farmhouse at Dornafield. At Ipplepen the Buckfast folks headed towards Ashburton and we wandered through Combe Fishacre back to Marldon.

(Written by Colin Brierly)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 11 January 1981
1000-1730
Day ride: Hennock Reservoirs
6 present: Colin Brierly, Don Hassall, Michael Jones, Richard Read, Sue Shepley, Nigel Wilson
Richard Read, Nigel Wilson and Sue Shepley at Tottiford Reservoir
Fairly cool but bright and sunny for Hennock Reservoirs, and after the pick-up at Chudleigh Bridge we carried on up the Teign Valley to Steps Bridge before taking to the hills. The track from near the Hostel to Woodlands was in shadow, but we had fine views of the river and Dunsford through the leafless trees and found a picnic spot in the sun when we emerged.

More climbing through Bridford before zig-zagging between the reservoirs to Hennock and a glorious drop down to Chudleigh Knighton Heath, where Buckfast, Dawlish and Torbay contingents separated to head for home.

(Written by Colin Brierly)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Saturday 17 January 1981Weekend ride: Bellever Youth HostelWindy
4 present: Colin Downie, Carl Jeffereys, Michael Jones, Matthew Tewson
Carl Jeffereys, Matt Tewson and Colin Downie enjoying the fire at Bellever youth hostel
I didn’t go to Bellever, but those that did had a very tough trip with a wind that had them walking on the flat and using bottom gear downhill. But they survived the “ordeal by wind” – and their own cooking – only to find leaden skies and “precipitation” next morning!

(Written by Colin Brierly)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 18 January 1981
1000-1730
Day ride: North BoveyHeavy rain
1 present: Colin Brierly
We had arranged to meet the weekenders at North Bovey but, by chance, day run and week-enders met in Moretonhampstead and we picnicked in a shelter to see what the weather would do. Still “belting down” and cold with it, so a unanimous decision – home.

(Colin Brierly)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 25 January 1981
1000-1730
Day ride: Gara Bridge
4 present: Colin Brierly, Michael Jones, Mark Morton, John Stuart
I hadn’t checked on the published pick-up point for the Gara Bridge run, but when we met Mark at Totnes he told me it was Marley Head, which did rather surprise me. But sure enough, when we’d ground up the dragging grades to Marley, there were the Buckfast contingent waiting for us. John gave me time to recover from the hills by trying to deal with a creaking crank. While he was thus engaged, Iris Buckler turned up for a fleeting visit but didn’t stay with us because she was fighting a cold.

We rode through the lanes to Avonwick and then followed down the River Avon for about three miles, then climbed almost to California Cross to drop back down to the river again at Gara Bridge. After lunch, another climb before following the ridge from Moreleigh to Diptford and then some lanes, that proved to be very muddy, to Harbertonford and Luscombe.

(Colin Brierly)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 1 February 1981
1415-1730
Afternoon ride: Unknown
3 present: Colin Brierly, Michael Jones, Mark Morton
A good turnout for the February Afternoon Run, and nice weather to go with it. A couple of “Kerswells” – Kings and then Abbots – should have been followed with a couple of Ogwells, and in point of fact were, for it was in West Ogwell that Mark found, the hard way, that a front brake block was rubbing on the tyre. Repairs executed it was time to turn back and head for John and Win Reynolds at Denbury and a magnificent tea.

(Colin Brierly)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 8 February 1981
1000-1730
Day ride: Hansel Mill
1 present: Colin Brierly
Not a great number of miles but goodness knows how many feet (or metres) up and down for our run to Hansel Mill. Attendance was into double figures once we had reached the Totnes pickup, and the weather was quite kind as we followed the Harbourne river for a couple of miles to Tuckenhay before climbing to Tideford and joining the main-ish road towards Strete. Ominous blackness and a few heavy spots caused a rapid scramble for capes, and no-one’s arm needed twisting to stop for lunch when a convenient barn was sighted.

A little watery sunshine as we dropped down the very steep and, for a few hundred yards, rough road to the mill, and then plodded up the equally steep road past Hansel farm to the high ground behind Slapton. After a little more lane exploration we decided to take the easy way to Moreleigh, leaving Millcombe and Blackawton for investigation on another day.

(Colin Brierly)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Saturday 14 February 1981Social: Dartmoor Social
1 present: Colin Brierly
We didn’t have to wait a full week for our next get-together because Michael had arranged a social evening at his house for the following Saturday. Very inconveniently the hospital authorities decided that that weekend was the time to have Michael in for a minor operation that he’d been waiting for for some time. The social still went ahead with the help of his parents and we all enjoyed a talk about Dartmoor history from Claude Warren, who at a very active 75 has never lived farther away from the moors than Buckfastleigh.

I showed some slides to illustrate some of Claude’s points, but will have to keep my eyes open much wider to find a lot of the things he told us about. A very welcome coffee and biscuits rounded off a highly successful evening, and Michael, who is recovering well, has at least heard a tape recording of the evening’s activities.

(Colin Brierly)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 15 February 1981
1000-1730
Day ride: Postbridge
3 present: Colin Brierly, Kevin Presland, John Stuart
A chance to look at the moor next day with a run to Postbridge, and a nice sunny morning, even if the breeze was cold. The long climb from Bickington to Haytor was relieved with a welcome cup of tea at Kevin’s house at Lewthorne, but further food was definitely called for on the very steep climb from Widecombe past Southcombe – the sun shining on a convenient grassy bank and wall proved too tempting to resist!

Not quite so bright by mid-afternoon when we reached Postbridge, though that didn’t stop some enthusiastic attempts to wet each other on the part of most of the bunch.

The return route took us on past Powdermills to Two Bridges, Hexworthy and Buckfastleigh. Finally a magnificent tea at John’s house, which would have destroyed the resolution of the most enthusiastic slimmer, before departing in various directions for our respective homes.

(Colin Brierly)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 22 February 1981
1000-1730
Day ride: Kenn Valley
1 present: Colin Brierly
I only went out for the morning on the Kenn Valley run but it was quite a nice day. Apart from slight problems with a couple of members who were faster uphill than the main bunch – the wrong hill of course – it was a pleasant day’s wanderings around the Haldon area.

(Colin Brierly)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 1 March 1981
1415
Afternoon ride: Dawlish
3 present: Colin Brierly, Don Hassall, Mark Morton
The same area on the March afternoon run, because we were at Don and Grace’s for tea, but with care we managed not to duplicate much of the previous week’s run. We didn’t get the views we should have had from Humber Lane and Teignmouth golf course area, due to rather misty conditions, but with a couple of stops for minor mechanical troubles we were just right for tea when we dropped in Dawlish.

A very nice tea and considerable chatter before heading home through the lanes from Combeinteignhead, not realising that a national motorcycle event had just finished at Higher Roccombe. The lane vanished under six inches of mud and, farther up, there were hundreds more cars coming out of a field, adding to the already muddy conditions at that end of the lane. Jean and I coped fairly well on the tandem but most of the others were reduced to plodding through the mire.

When we got into Torquay the elements did their best to wash the bikes clean, without success, and I’m assured by Mark’s father that both bike and rider needed hosing down when he got home!

(Colin Brierly)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 8 March 1981
1000
Day ride: Cornwood
3 present: Colin Brierly, Iris Buckler, Mark Morton
It was ‘orrid’ on the day we were due to go to Cornwood, with a very strong sou’west wind making the drag from Dartington to Marley Head harder than usual. A couple of miles short of Marley we realised that Matthew, who had been tucked in behind Mark and me, was no longer there and, despite our slowing to a very gentle potter, he had still not come in sight by the time we met the Buckfast contingent. After waiting a while we headed back to look for him but concluded (correctly) that he had turned for home.

We decided to take the hills above Rattery and Harbourneford, keeping eyes open for a sheltered lunch spot which we eventually found about a mile short of Gidley Bridge. Capes were called for after lunch, but luckily the wind had died down and I don’t think Iris Buckler’s ride back to Plymstock, after we separated at South Brent, was anything like as hard as it would have been in the morning.

(Colin Brierly)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Saturday 14 March 1981Weekend ride: Inter-DA Photographic Competition Day 1
1 present: Colin Brierly
The next weekend was the Inter-DA Photographic, and five of us rode up to Stoke Canon for our picnic lunch. We grew to fourteen with the Luxtons, Keith, Jean and four from Plymouth for the ride to Bampton and Wiveliscombe, where we stopped for welcome and needed refreshments.

Plenty of bikes already in the Crowcombe Heathfield hostel shed confirmed that Bristol folk were there before us, but with care we found room for ours and we were soon joining in the chatter in the hostel.

Not quite as many people at Crowcombe this year, but still a good crowd for what I always think is one of the best weekends of the year. An excellent collection of slides from the three Das, with Wessex, after a number of years in the doldrums, challenging Bristol very hard, and Devon being relegated to bottom position. I don’t think we deserved to be as far behind as we were, but I have a suspicion that the judge, Jack Gillespie, doesn’t award many points to landscapes. He did say we would have done better if we had had a greater variety, but with the limited number of people we managed to get entries from, this was not possible.

Thanks to those who did let us have slides for the event – I’ll pass on details of the individual scores when the list comes through from Bristol. Scores for the 24 slides from each DA were: Devon 280, Wessex 316, Bristol 320. So once again, Bristol hold the trophy.

(Colin Brierly)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 15 March 1981Weekend ride: Inter-DA Photographic Competition Day 2
1 present: Colin Brierly
Our return ride started on a rather grey though dry morning with the sun gradually turning it into a wonderful spring day. For a change we followed lanes to Milverton and then turned off the Wellington road into Langford Budville, to follow the Grand Western Canal to Sampford Peverell and Halberton.

A lunch spot in the sun not very far along the Bob Ellis route to Butterleigh provided interest for a couple of donkeys who came over to watch the animals fed, and then a gentle climb to Butterleigh, followed by a run down the Burn Valley.

I decided that, in view of a couple of “eggs” that had developed in the front tyre of my solo the previous day, it would be wiser to join Jean in the car from Stoke Canon, but the others had a pleasant ride home down “The Valley”.

(Colin Brierly)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 22 March 1981
1000
Day ride: Hope Cove
3 present: Colin Brierly, Valerie Farrell, Mark Morton
Destination Hope Cove on the next Sunday, but after the period of torrential rain until “getting up time” I wasn’t too surprised to find only Val and a new rider, Richard, at Five Lanes (Marldon). I was fighting a cold but decided to carry on to the pickup at Totnes which, in the event, was deserted, and we decided on a shorter ride in the Avon Valley area. Mark apparently got to Totnes rather late and chased all day to catch us without success – maybe the fact that we were behind him had something to do with it! IN any case, he at least carried out the proper run.

In the meantime, on our unofficial run, we dealt with a non-existent puncture in Val’s tyre and had a nice leisurely picnic in the sun by the river Avon before wandering home through Rattery, Staverton and Littlehempston.

(Colin Brierly)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 29 March 1981Day ride: Rough Stuff Event
5 present: Colin Brierly, Valerie Farrell, Don Hassall, Michael Jones, Kevin Presland
One of the Exeter youngsters doing their best at the Rough Stuff Event, Haldon
One of the Exeter youngsters doing their best at the Rough Stuff Event, Haldon
One of the Exeter youngsters doing their best at the Rough Stuff Event, Haldon
One of the Exeter youngsters doing their best at the Rough Stuff Event, Haldon
Iris Strong
One of the Exeter youngsters doing their best at the Rough Stuff Event, Haldon
One of the Exeter youngsters
Don Hassal
Kevin Presland
One of the Exeter youngsters
Tea and results at the Rough Stuff Event
Rough Stuff Event
Better numbers for the Rough Stuff day and a couple of gentle slopes from Bishopsteignton to the golf course and then Obelisk Hill worked up an appetite for our picnic in rather grey conditions near the Obelisk.

Arthur Browne had, as usual, sorted out some new, distinctly testing stuff for the twenty riders in the event, and after a tie-breaking run-off, Don Hassal became the winner – I wonder if we can teach him to read a map before the BCTC?

(Colin Brierly)

This event was based on the area near the Obelisk on Haldon, and comprised a number of observed sections, marked on a diminishing scale the further the rider went through before stopping. Mud and water abounded, and drizzle later in the afternoon made it seem even wetter.

An entry of twenty came along, ranging from juniors to veterans, and included three ladies – Linda Horne, Iris and Julie Strong.

Despite the organiser’s efforts, the results showed a number of ties for the various places, notable of which was the trio tying for first place. This was resolved by a ride-off between Don Hassal and Andrew Bethke – unfortunately Ken Strong had already departed for an urgent engagement. Don Hassal emerged the victor, with Ken Strong and Andrew Bethke joint second.

Overall the entry conquered the course very well, as the results list reflects, and the riders appear to have enjoyed themselves. My special thanks to the marshals who volunteered, including two groups of juniors who all manned their sections according to my requirements successfully. Thanks also to Michael Jones, Highwayman Editor, for signing on the entrants and helping to start them off.

If you all enjoyed it, come again next year. And if not, come along nevertheless – it may grow on you! Once again my thanks to riders and marshals alike for helping the event to run along smoothly.

(Arthur Browne)

I was happy in winning the Rough Stuff event, but later felt sad that one of the very keen youngsters did not win. I would like, therefore, to present the Club with two small trophies, one for the First Lady and the other for the First Junior. If members thing that this would be a good idea, I will obtain some.

(Don Hassal)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 5 April 1981
1415
Afternoon ride: Woodland
2 present: Frank Boyes, Colin Brierly
A large turnout for our April afternoon run, including seven newcomers and the Section founder himself – Frank. The weather was kind and our route to Parkhill and Denbury Green was straight enough for us not to have to do much shepherding of our flock.

A little gear trouble sorted out near the Rising Sun and then we turned towards Woodland and Broadhempston with a stop en route to replace a faulty brake cable (the nipple broke in half on a new inner wire, so be warned!). No further problems except for discovering that Richard was missing after we had turned towards Marldon from Redpost and, whilst we didn’t manage to find him, I don’t think he could go far wrong from there.

(Colin Brierly)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Sunday 12 April 1981
1000
Day ride: Powdermills
8 present: Colin Brierly, Matthew Burrows, Colin Downie, Michael Jones, Mark Morton, Kevin Presland, John Stuart, Nigel Wilson
Colin, Antony and Mark crossing the Dart near Huccaby Bridge (requires confirmation)
Michael tries some wildflife photography when a sparrow gets close near Huccaby Bridge
Examining one of the chimneys at the site
John, Mark, Nigel and Kevin at the Proving Canon, used to test the quality of the gunpowder
The chimney from the front
Nigel by the chimney
Nigel, John, Kevin and Mark on one of the waterwheel housings, with a chimney and other buildings in the distance
Nigel on the clapper bridge with some of the ruined buildings behind
Nigel, Mark and John by another chimney on the site
The waterwheel housing
Powdermills is a fairly energetic run, especially if you are going to spend time finding the Proving Canon and looking at the old workings, so by the time we had got to Holne I had decided it was beyond Matthew’s range and he and I left the others to complete the run while we wandered elsewhere. Matthew and I had a leisurely ride via Buckland and Haytor to an arranged meeting place at Becky Falls, whilst the others duly inspected – or rather had a guided tour of – Powdermills thanks to the kindness of the farmer.

It’s just as well we didn’t wait too long at Becky as I think we were a couple of hours ahead, and after an enjoyable drop off Trendlebere we rode home via Teigngrace.

(Colin Brierly)

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

Friday 17 April 1981
1000
Tour: North Devon Day 1: Home to Elmscott YH (65 mi)
9 present: Colin Brierly, Colin Downie, Valerie Farrell, Don Hassall, Michael Jones, Mark Morton, John Stuart, Mike Ward, Nigel Wilson
It was a bright, sunny morning when four of us set off from Marldon on Good Friday. We rode through Moles Lane and Kingskerswell to Newton Abbot, and from there took the Teigngrace road towards Drum Bridges roundabout. Unfortunately Sue Webber, who had been hibernating for the winter, was already finding it hard going, and so she decided to turn back. Colin, Val and myself continued through Heathfield to meet the Buckfastleigh contingent at Bovey Tracey, where our numbers were boosted to seven.

We moved off up the drag to Moretonhampstead at a fairly brisk pace, and then on and still up to Whiddon Down. Antony left us here as he was only out for the day, and the rest of us continued along the reasonably flat road to Okehampton via the village of Sticklepath, situated on the huge fault splitting Devon in two. On the hill dropping down to Okehampton there was a long and very slow-moving traffic queue, and so0 most of us whipped past on the outside. Unfortunately for Michael, Val would not overtake, and as he was following her he got rather annoyed. At first he thought that perhaps he should stay behind, but after a while he could bear it no longer and managed to overtake her.

On again out of Okehampton for about two miles, and dropping down a long hill we discovered the Exeter bunch eating lunch by a bridge at the bottom. The Torbay lot parked their steeds and sat down in the warm sun to feed. Unfortunately, just at that moment, a big black cloud appeared. Luckily this was not in the sky, but was Michael who, in an effort to save postage and to get them to people on time, had brought the B-Section Highwayman magazines with him, which he presented to Jean. This gesture on Michael’s part was not very well received by Jean who then swore at him! Michael was not pleased.

Apart from the normal (?) B-Section bunch, Bernard from the A-Section and a new B-Section member, Martin, had joined us. Now sixteen in number we walked and rode up the hill on the other side of the bridge and followed the B3218 to Dunslans Cross. From Anvil Corner Colin took us by a devious route through the lanes to avoid the many hills, and we arrived at Elmscott hostel just before five. Sitting in the sun in a neighbouring field were Michael Ward and Don Hassall, who had left Dawlish on Thursday and taken two days over the journey. You couldn’t miss Michael with his bright red legs!

The hostel was small and isolated and the food was not worth mentioning, but we had a good night’s sleep.

(Mark Morton)

Today's ride included a total climb of 1010m.

[The attendance list for this event is currently incomplete]

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