The 44th  Whitley Road Safety Run - Sunday 6th August 2017

Sunday 6th August sees the 44th Whitley Road Safety Run taking place from Lower Whitley Village Hall near Warrington. Open to all VMCC members and Affiliated Clubs. Day Membership available. 25 year rule applies. Enter on the day or contact Richard for an entry form (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). First bike away 11.00 am. 55 mile run through Cheshire. Lunch stop at Carden Arms pub in Tilston. Lunch menu below. If you planning on lunch at the pub let us know when you sign on.





The 43rd Whitley Road Safety Run - 7th August 2016

The 43rd Whitley Run took place on 7th August 2016. Starting from the usual location, Lower Whitley Village Hall, near Warrington, Cheshire. The venue proves to be ideal with plenty of flat, level parking space for riders’ machines & transport and for spectators. The Village Hall itself provides ideal shelter if the weather takes a turn for the worse (boy have we seen some of that over the years!) and catering facilities for refreshments on the day.

Over recent times there has been a lull in the number of entrants to events at local sections, whether that be down to reducing membership, the increased choice of events to attend, the weather or some other factor I don’t know, however this year’s event saw another healthy turnout of 37 entries. Although specifically setting the route to suit older machines and smaller light weights, the number of veteran, vintage and post vintage machinery was well down on the numbers we used to get in years gone by. With a higher proportion of the entries being more ‘modern’ this may sum up the current demographic of the membership or maybe just the fact that people are ‘looking after their investments’. Nonetheless events like the Whitley will continue to encourage the use of older machinery – there is space and demand for all types of event and bikes in the club and to see old and newer bikes together is no bad thing.

Although no particular scientific studies were undertaken (MORI were unavailable on the day!) there was a general feeling that the make-up of the entries had an element of ‘younger riders’ taking part, predictably on machinery at the later end of the 25 year rule. 



·         The Cyril Taylor Trophy - Overall Winner                            Tony McAdam 1969 MZ

·         The Marjorie Cottle Trophy – Best Vintage                          John Coxon 1925 NUT

·         Best Post Vintage                                                           Bernie Horrigan 1931 Sunbeam Model 10

·         Best Post War                                                                Bob Moon 1946 Gilera

·         Best Post 1960                                                              Dave Kay 1964 AJS

·         The Ivor Smart Shield - Best 2 Stroke                                Graham Gotts 1966 Greaves

·         The Frank West-Oram Trophy Best under 300cc                  David Daniels 1974 Honda

·         The John Rhodes Trophy – Best Section Team                   Cheshire and North Wales –  Dave Kay, Graham Gotts, Bob Champion


A huge thanks to all entrants for continuing to support the event and for the complementary remarks. In the words of one entrant in particular “a wonderful advert for Cheshire and for the VMCC!”.

Thanks to the marshals and helpers without whom none of the events that we organise would be possible.

We look forward to welcoming all VMCC members to next year’s 44th Whitley Run – let’s see some older bikes out – nice easy route – I promise.




 Richard Whitehurst – Secretary of the Meeting



2015 Whitley Road Safety Run

(Scroll down for photos)

On 9th August this year the Cheshire Cats Section of the VMCC organised the Whitley Road Safety Run, a gentle amble through the beautiful green landscape of Cheshire. This year the organisation of the event has fallen to myself and my wife Gillian again after a 14 year absence and I thought it might be timely to recount something of the origins of the event back in the 1970’s.

The event runs from the Village Hall at Lower Whitley, near Warrington, indeed it has run uninterrupted in the form of a Road Safety Run from this location since its inception in 1973. This long association with the Village Hall is something of which we are very proud, having been able to support the village hall in the early years to be able to raise funds for its upkeep and growth.

Whitley Village hall 2015      Whitley Village Hall 2015

Whitley Village hall – scene of the Whitley RSR for over 40 years.

In the 34 years since I first became involved in the Whitley Run the Village Hall has proven to be an ideal location to provide parking shelter and catering facilities that have enabled us to make all entrants very welcome and cared for.

The origins of the event go back to at least 1973, when alongside a Steam Traction Engine display at the Village hall, Cyril Taylor, my later to be and now late father-in-law, organised a road safety run for veteran and vintage motorcycles. At that time the event was run under the banner of the Manchester & High Peak Section, Cyril being and active member. The event helped to fundraise for the upkeep and improvement of the village hall. We have no surviving records for this first running of the Whitley, something that I would dearly like to rectify if at all possible. If any members have any recollections of entering and riding in either the inaugural or subsequent Whitley’s I would be very pleased to hear their recollections along with any photographs they may have.

The run passed onto the Cheshire and North Wales section where Cyril and his wife May ran the event for the next 32 years until Cyril’s sad departure. Since around 2002 Dave Kay in the Cheshire and North Wales section ably managed the event for 10 years. In 2012 the fledgling Cheshire Cats Section took on the task of maintaining the traditions of the run under the guidance of Paul Knight and the committee of the new section.

The event has always tried to cater for all categories of motorcycle but with a sensitive approach for the older veteran and vintage machines and this year we had an entry of 34 riders with a respectable number of older machines. We were able to welcome riders from neighbouring sections, with the usual excellent support from Manchester and High Peak and North Staffs. And our recent ‘Meet and Greet’ event organised two weeks previously by Jeff Meehan also helped to bring an encouraging entry from further afield with three entries from the North West Section. It was really encouraging to see Chris Appleton riding his 1909 Triumph, albeit for only part of the route until the bike decided to take a rest! Hope you’ve been able to fix your wheel spindle Chris.

After last years washout it was very pleasing to have a warm and dry summer’s day, ideal for a 54 mile ride around the lanes of Cheshire taking in the villages of Lymm, Grappenhall, Great Budworth Acton Bridge, Norley, Mouldsworth, the town of Frodsham and eventually back to the village hall. The overall winner this year was Derek Howarth (M&HP) who once again was able to draw upon a vast depth of knowledge to answer challenging questions on the Highway Code and motorcycle general knowledge.


The Cyril Taylor Trophy - Overall Winner - Derek Howarth 1928 Sunbeam

Best Veteran - Chris Appleton 1909 Triumph

The Marjorie Cottle Trophy – Best Vintage - Keith Elson 1926 Norton

Best Post Vintage - Steve Sullivan 1937 Francis Barnett

Best Post War - Charles Exley 1949 Vincent/HRD

Best Post 1960 - Kevin Dranfield 1981 Moto Guzzi

The John Clegg Trophy – Best Veteran /Vintage Sunbeam - John Coxon 1928 Sunbeam

The Ivor Smart Shield - Best 2 Stroke - Ross Curwell 1979 Yamaha

The Frank West-Oram Trophy Best under 300cc - Bob Moon 1946 Gilera

The John Rhodes Trophy – Best Section Team  - Derek Howarth, Kevin Dranfield, Keith Elson

A huge thanks to all entrants for continuing to support the event and an even bigger thanks to the marshals and helpers without whom none of the events that we organise would be possible.

We look forward to welcoming all VMCC members to next year’s Whitley – the weather is already booked.

Any recollections or old photographs of past Whitley Runs will be gladly accepted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . If I can get enough information I hope to put together a more detailed history of the event over the coming year.


Richard Whitehurst – Secretary of the Meeting

 Whitley Run 2015

A picture of concentration from our esteemed Section secretary. You can tell he’s concentrating – his eyes are closed!

 Whitley Run 2015

It was pleasing to welcome Paul and Christine Exley who travelled down from Ormskirk. Post War Winner on a 1949 Vincent/HRD.


Bob Moon tackles the first of many tricky questions at the start on his 1946 Gilera. Bob won the ‘Frank West Oram Trophy’ for the best under 300cc machine

Clutch trouble at the start for John Drabble on his 1929 Norton.

On the way home again.

Keith Elson on his 1926 Norton – a regular entrant in the Whitley Run over the years, Keith won the Marjorie Cottle Trophy for the Best Vintage Machine.