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As seen in issue 473 of Back street Heroes

In this the 50th year of the National Chopper Club there’s bound to be some good parties and events, and the Surrey guys started off the year with a bang with the first public event. Add in it was the first weekend where folk could get sunburn too it soon surprised everyone how many turned up. With many arriving well before official opening time. Being national mills weekend for me there was also the draw of a historic windmill nearby, which I pencilled into my itinerary.

A great venue in the depths of the surrey hills, the pub included a family area, which included a pirate ship from which the team directed music and events, sadly none dressed as pirates, though of course Dorset members brought their own stripey trousers. However, I thought it nice that it also gave families visiting for kids play/Sunday lunch a chance to look round the bikes, hopefully some bikers of the future. While we know most of us fall into a certain age category, it was nice too to see several younger riders.

The sheer number of vehicles meant there was soon no room for more show cars, and bike parking was getting a bit sketchy too, and I was pointed to an area of swamp land, thank goodness I carried a puck (and cheers for the Sanzaru guys for the push out).

I think the sun had drawn the crowd from far and wide including Tyler on his 125 from Southampton (about 90 miles 1 way) and Dave’s stunning dyna from Oxford. There was also one scooter, handy as there was a prize though the owner was a bit elusive. Dave limped in on his FJ Rat with a fuel leak and was pointed to a fire safe area but sadly no rat trophies.

There was a local 3-piece rock and roll band to entertain, who played a mix of styles, and being first warm event for many lots and lots of catching up to do. nice to see lots of folks from Kent too. There were several sickboys bikes on the field, but as with many decided to head off and enjoy the sun.

Voting was by the public, and in usual way winners had to ride up to collect trophies, although the car owners who were locked in were allowed to walk up. Winners included best engineering Kev’s black Triumph, best chopper the big green chop, best bike paint Dave’s Dyna as painted by unit 6,land ladys choice blue and green flame Harley, best trike came from Sussex NCC, best car Matts lilac 39 which also won best car paint and best scooter for only scooter there.

Even once the presentations were over there was no mass exit, for me bike of the day the well-used triumph thunderbird with BSA tank. After being assisted out of the swamp a nice ride hope hunting an elusive ice cream, sadly I missed the windmill.

A superb way to start off a year of birthday celebrations, well done all.