In 1961, 36 members of the Bristol Motorcycle and Light Car Club, which met at the Full Moon in Stokes Croft, who were interested mainly in vintage motorcycles, decided to set up a Bristol section of the Vintage Motor Cycle Club. The VMCC, which had been formed in 1946, had by 1961, many local sections, with more forming as time went by.
The inaugural meeting of the Bristol section was held in the Old Tavern on Blackbery Hill and the members decided to hold two meetings per month, on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday evenings. A move was eventually made to the White Lion at Warwick Road, in an outbuilding which they furnished to suit themselves. Another move saw them using the Worlds End in St George, and then the Railway Tavern in Fishponds close to what was then the Vandyke cinema, and a further move was to the Bell Inn at Stapleton. When this closed a final move was made to the Begbrook Community Centre, in Frenchay Park Road, where the meetings are still held twice per month in the function room.
In the early 1960s the newly formed Section and the Somerset Section held joint annual dinner and prize giving events, and on 27th February 1965 it was Somerset’s turn as host. The event took place at the Cliff Hotel, Cheddar. Peter Sparkes was the Somerset Chairman, and Ted Parker the Secretary. Cecil Roberts was the Bristol Chairman and John Burgoyne was the Secretary.
Timed Trials were very popular and trophies were hotly contested.
Originally, only two wheelers made before 1931 were eligible at VMCC events but eventually this was relaxed to allow any two or three wheeler over 25 years old and with this on a rolling basis.
The premier event of the Bristol Section has always been the South West Coast Run. First held in 1964 the event has been held from a variety of venues, including from Henleys in Gloucester Road, Brunel Ford in Winterstoke Road, the Kawasaki Center in Avon Street, but now starts from Failand village hall, where the participants return for a concours prize giving. The route originally went to Weston Super Mare via Portishead for a coffee stop and Salthouse Fields, Clevedon but since the opening of the M4 the Clevedon stop is the farthest point on the route. The entrants return to Failand via Congresbury. In recent years an alternative longer route has been popular.
The SWCR is for motorcycles over twenty five years old and cars made before 1976 and the surplus profit has enabled the section to make a substantial donation to a charity of choice which is at present the Childrens Hospice South West
The section holds a Spring Run in late May or June. Originally a timed trial held in March and called the Ray Cordy Memorial Spring Trial, the Ray Cordy is now a social run, organised by John Dodimead from the Avon Valley Steam Railway.
The Autumn Run, also originally a timed trial, was organised for many years from the Wheatsheaf at Corston by Peter Winch. Now called the Bill Shepherd Memorial Run it is organised in September from Horton Social Club by Rod Western
Both these events are in honour of two well respected former members.
Another popular annual event is the Cyclemotor and Girder Fork ‘Lakes Run’, organised by Alan Spencer in September, from the Manor Farm tea Rooms at North Widcombe.
The Section is, and always has been, very active in organising many evening events and there is a strong following for a couple of breakfast runs and a weekly lunchtime run.