Beach BUMS

summer of dodging rain and malfunctions for me. As usual I failed to get to a lot of events I would have wished to as priority tasks kept me in Oxfordshire. That said those I did attend were very enjoyable as was getting back in the driving seat of a 'schmiit. As you read this the bulk of the year's events have passed but much still remains to be involved in, not least our AGM where we hope to tidy up the last few rough edges and consolidate on what has been achieved over the last few years.

I managed to pop down to the Bath Rally where there was a reasonable showing of 'schmitts, mainly from the south coast under their own power. This was part of the group that also drove to Regensburg and few problems were reported from these regularly used cars. Just confirms that the more you use your 'schmitt the better it goesJust confirms that the more you use your 'schmitt the better it goes - something I proved to myself attending the MOC Lynham Rally. I commute to this along a favourite drive offering a cross section of the most beautiful country in central England dropping down from the Golden Ridge I live on, across the Thames at Lechlade to climb gently up to Burford, across the sharp Windrush valley and over the wolds to Shipton and Lynham beyond.

Interestingly the MOC run out chose a similar route in the opposite direction. The latest 'schmitt had clearly seen little use and the trip was delayed by fault correction before starting and slow pace. The details of this should appear as a separate technical report. Lynham attracted about 50 'schmitts and I am pleased to say that the welcome for the person most likely to be booed off the plot was good. Indeed it was suggested that the MOC and MEC swap magazines, a good idea.

Further it was heard that the animosity is over as the people and causes at the start of the club are mostly departed or forgotten. The only issue between the clubs now is one of policy, principally spares pricing really. Full reports of Bath, Lynham and more are viewable on our website

Then the rain stepped in and stepped in with some considerable enthusiasm. That and continued faults built into the Messerschmitt I am using. So I regrettably failed to attend Kemble, Tormarton Clubnight by 'schmitt, Bretforton Clubnight at all and annoyingly forgot about Lewknor pubnight, as it was a one off date straight after my return from what turned out to be undeniably the best rally of the year.

Beach BUMS

Before you get excited that you missed this wonderful Rally I should point out it was a special, being the BUMS on the Beach. The Bubblecar Und Microcar Society is an anarchic microcar group who hark back to the days when cars got used, drink drunk and you went to work to get over itan anarchic microcar group who hark back to the days when cars got used, drink drunk and you went to work to get over it. As a BUMS event it is by invitation only as we pool the micros, share the driving and all chip in to the costs. Those who have a rosy bank account sub those who do not because we are all mates. This was a pretty full turnout minus only The Barking Pumkin and Eccles.

Zundapp and KR200Zundapp and KR200

First was the trip to the starting line near Kings Lynn where the waiting Bond MkF tourer, Zundapp Janus and a Berkeley T60 (Al Bum's slovenly 'schmiit remained in harness) were driven the 60 miles to Waxham Sands on the Norfolk coast just above Caister. Al Bum piloted the Zundapp for this stint as it had been little used and needed a gentle Italian tune up. From 35mph and smoke thick enough for flies to land on we got to 45 mph and a tint of two stroke by Dearham. Then the exhaust fell apart. Using crap left around a lay-by a set of securing brackets were made so the broken system remained, unused, but in place.

'schmitter Cousin It arrived on the scene, as we got moving again. Now the Zundapp could do 50mph and out climbed the Bond, although Beau Geste in the Bond kept up 30miles of wasp swatting behaviour as the angry buzz was so loud behind. Indeed the waiting Doc Martin heard us some 8 minutes outside the campsite.

Right hand down: Squeezing micros onto the Reedham FerryRight hand down: Squeezing micros onto the Reedham Ferry

Pucks puckered up with awnings locked we relaxed with a brew while Captain Bondseye nipped off to borrow a pair of tin snips and buy two tins of tomatoes so as to effect a temporary exhaust repair. We then headed off to a booking with the local Broads to ride with Ross in Lady Jane into the reeds looking for wildlife, oh yes. It turned out the Lady Jane had previously been used in the film Coot Club, an interesting excursion. The return to base passed the Nelson pub to which we now walked down the beach. Only 2 km turned out to be about 2 miles on soft sand. Not soft enough for Gooch the dog who found the only cliff for miles around to jump off, landing some 25ft below. He was severely shocked and had to have a group hug of 15 minutes before recovering --- a nasty moment.

The Nelson provided good beer and grub but all was served with mosquitoes De Havilland would have been proud of. At chuck out time it was a walk back to the campsite and a first brush of ongoing frisson with security. Turned out there was a police presence at a rave on the beach and as we were heading in from the opposite direction, merry, with dogs and a clear idea of where we were going we were clearly young ravers threatening to wreak. havoc to a field full of camper vans already passed which seemed never to actually do anything all weekend despite lots of boards about a fairground training event. We decided that as each time we approached this field we got insulted that it must be a training area for fairground PR . Mind you, officialdom, jobsworths and BUMS do not mix and there is no embarrassment for this lot in creating an argument about it.

At the Tram Museum: A beautiful Blackpool tram sitting next to an equally handsome trolly bus at the tram museum.At the Tram Museum: A beautiful Blackpool tram sitting next to an equally handsome trolly bus at the tram museum.

Saturday saw a mixed bag of machinery including the now repaired 'schmitt set off for distant Lowerstoft via the Reedham Ferry. We ended at the East Anglia Transport Museum who were more than pleased to see us offering Mavis the single decker bus a home as she is so svelte. Being devout shedists the BUMS gave an appreciating sigh each time the trolleybus/tram etc. passed the workshops. The driver thought this amusing but quite a few passengers did not, which made it more amusing to be honest, as along with the majority they had forgotten how to enjoy themselves and support Labour probably. Hungry for a huge BBQ we took the faster 40-mile trip back. All cars behaved well. The same cannot be said for Captain Bondseye who managed the inebriated trick of getting a methylated spirit cooker on one foot and a lit disposable BBQ on the other while attempting to relieve himself.

Sunday we had a slightly different mix of vehicles but just as interesting and headed north via a trip booked on a steam launch then on up to Overstrand, again via back roads and Staithes. Sadly, here the repaired 'schmitt gave up, spitting out a poorly fitted helicoil just shy of the targeted cafe. Fortunately Thornogson was on hand with a van so the dead 'schmitt was bundled inside in short order so we could get out of the rain and join the females sent on in the Janus.

The end of the road: Loading up the KR200 in the rainThe end of the road: Loading up the KR200 in the rain

Once again time pressed so via Cromer for fuel on big roads. Monday we did a short hop in the continuing rain to Caister where there is a large car collection. This was a disappointment for where as the tram museum was alive and £6 to get in (we got a reduction on that) the car museum was dead and £8 to get in.

Despite having a very good 175 Heinkel the effect was that the cars had been walled in during the late '60's and had not moved since, and the lack of information or knowledge gave the place a sad feel. It lacked a target of achievement and love I think, whereas the tram folk were really trying to make something from a pretty small site. This brief taste of the Broads area marks it down as an excellent area for a Rally and a further visit.

It remained to pilot the cars back to Kings Lynn and break up on our separate ways home. The Zundapp and Bond both covered all millage of about 300 miles having been in constant use and despite the exhaust had shown total reliability. As is the case with BUMS events it took me several days to catch up with myself and lack of sleep. Who knows what we will do next and why would you care but I have to write about something as no one is interrupting my monologue.