As we approach the end of 2019, and certainly of the ‘Riding Season’, I thought all ‘participating-branches’ might like a report on how the ‘Round Britain Relay’ with the Eric Cox Trophy has progressed. (Bristol Branch, do please relay to EC’s family if you’d be so kind)
From its start with Tamar Branch on the Cornwall / Devon borders who kicked things off with a visit to Land’s End, things have gone largely according to plan, with no omissions but one significant addition. From Tamar, the Trophy has progressed through Devon to Bournemouth, and from them to the Isle of Wight Branch on its way to Solent. From thence, it’s been passed through East Sussex to West Sussex to Kent, where it reversed its ever-eastward progress to turn through 180 degrees and be handed over to Surrey Branch, where it’s probably being kept warm through the worst of the 2019/20 winter.
From its current resting place, it’ll head further west to Thames Valley, and from them to Bristol; they then hand over to its next ‘turn’ at Gloucester Branch, who’ll then head back east with it to Oxford, and from them onwards back towards the North Sea via Bucks / Beds, North London, and Essex, where it’ll perform a leisurely ‘East Anglian’ loop back towards the west again, via Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridge who pass over to Leicester / Northants. Nottingham then pass-over to Shenstone, on to Birmingham and then Shropshire in it’s next turn-around loop to North-West Branch, then back eastwards to Yorkshire and East Yorks, from whence the direction is firmly northwards, via Northumbria and Edinburgh to its final destination of Tay Valley Branch, who will hopefully ‘show’ the trophy to John O’Groats.
The significant addition I mentioned is the ‘wee-diversion’ provided the Trophy courtesy of Ian Loram, who between receiving from Tamar and passing-on to Bournemouth showed it the length of Great Britain with his Model 19 ride up to J o’G and back!!! Well done, Ian – I’m sure Eric would have thoroughly approved!!
So far, that’s been 8 transfers between ‘trustees’, with a further 21 to go, so my initial estimate of this being a 3-4 year activity looks like being about right!
It seem the idea has gone down well, with all transfers between branches being seized upon to make a bit of a fuss of bumping into the neighbouring branches, which was part of the original intent, besides honouring Eric in a manner consistent with his commitment to putting significant distances on his much-loved 650SS, that is still being regularly used by a Bristol Branch member – so Eric may be gone, but his legacy remains, which is what we wanted to ensure, in memory of one of the original founder members of the NOC way back in 1959 and a thoroughly good-egg – bless you Eric; you continue to be an inspiration to us all, as I’m sure you can see if you look down!!
UK Branches Liaison Officer
Director, Norton Owners Club Ltd