IT’S IN THE GENES!
IT’S IN THE GENES!
My Old Club Badge
Speaking to my cousin Tom the other day reference rejoining my old UK Motorcyle Club and
acquiring my ACU Licence for 2008 I realise that for some of us this ailment called “Trials Riding” is
in fact hereditary!
This is all new! The club Web-site
I looked at my club’s website, yes we have come a long way, and there is a history page with all
the founders way back in 1929 and mention of the main men including my father (Frank Down)
and my uncle (Tom Arter). Well the website is all new to me so I avidly read on as the author takes
me to many places I had ridden in my youth.
1963 on “Jumping Downs” in the snow
Jumping Downs, our traditional practice area and the site of many trials, Lydden Hill Grass Track
before being stolen from us by that Invicta Club, but I still went there with Dad who was an ACU
Steward by then so at least I got to see all my Grass track heros, Alf Hagon and his immaculate
bikes, Barry and Maury Briggs along with Lew Coffin and Don Godden.
Uncle Tom, the footing coat, trilby, and that Pipe!
With a tear in my eye, I turn to the “gallery page” and there is Uncle Tom on his big old banger
with flowing trench coat and trilby……. and his pipe in full blaze. Some remember Don Smith for
always smoking in the sections but Uncle Tom always had his pipe well stoked. I actually
remembered that pipe (one of many) with the repaired stem and strangely remembered the brand
of tobacco he used to smoke “Three Nuns”.
Then another picture with Uncle Tom and my old man with his pipe on full bore, along with more
great all rounders.
Uncle Tom, same old coat and hat, loading his pipe. My Father smoking his
My Father in action…not bad!
Further on I see a youth in full flight up a typically muddy Kent hillside (circa 1973) and recognize
the rider as non other than my cousin Tom on the Montesa.
My cousin Tom in full flight
It was always fun to come back home in those days and I’d always plan to be back for the Club’s
big trial of the year the “Mutton Lancers”. Sometimes I’d ride round with Tom but more often I
would ride while he was out as Clerk of the Course.
1970 Jumping Downs at the “Mutton Lancers”
Well sadly both my Father and also Uncle Tom are no longer with us, but I’m still riding, and cousin
Tom is still the Trials Secretary of the old club so I guess it stays with you forever…………..
…….or it’s in the Genes!
The Pipe might be in the “Genes” as well
Tony Down & Relatives also afflicted