A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CAIRNS MOTORCYCLE RESTORERS CLUB – THE FIRST TWENTY YEARS
A public meeting was held in Cairns on the 3rd of February 1979 at the HFC building to discuss the formation of a motorcycle club with the theme of restoration. Present at that meeting were Col & Mary Jones, Bill Alison, Greg Wallwork, Wayne Leonard, Robert Neil, Gordon Heit, Chris Johns, Charles Demercado, Errol Brix, Bob Ward, Graham Mitchell, Bruce Humphreys, Vic Allen, Ian Winkle, Russel Claremont, Tony Obrien, Mike Hopkins, Len Hayes, Bill Kerr, Chris Wood, Owen Densley, Gordon Simm and apologies from Dennis George, John Penhaligon.
After a short general discussion it was resolved to form a club, and a formal meeting followed to elect office bearers. Vic Allen was elected as the first president of the club and Col Johns vice-president.
It was agreed that there would be no restrictions on membership and the annual club fees were set at $5.00 and 50 cents per meeting.
During the early meetings a list of all current restorations was obtained, and the parts needed by members to further their builds.
The first club ride took place in July and all members were pulled over by a motorcycle policeman who immediately called for backup. Turns out he noticed that Vic Allen’s AJS and Chris Woods Velocette did not have mirrors, no tickets issued.
At the April 1980 meeting it was decided to develop a points system for members and their restorations. At various meetings in 1980s, the minutes record the ongoing discussions re the design of the club badge (some of it a little heated apparently). The new club badges arrived October 1981.
March 1982 the club held a promotional display of restored motorcycles in the new Earlville Shopping Town complex and it was well received by the passing public.
1983-1984 The club took part in many displays around the region. The club was invited to take part in the Cooktown re enactment weekend in May 1985, but a member pointed out how bad the road was with huge pot holes and dust most of the way.
Of great importance to the restorers in 1986, the club was advise that the Cairns Chrome Plating facility at Portsmith had been sold to Alex Brotherton and would continued to produce excellent work. (those were the days)
1987 The club grew to more than 30 active members.
1988-1989 The club made plans to build their own club house and received quotes from builders around Cairns. The club house was to be erected on land to be donated across the inlet adjacent to the current Flat Track ground !
An application was sent to the local council for a road race was planned for the streets around Portsmith for May 1989, ( does anyone know if this actually happened ).
1990/1992 The club members were very active in helping to repeal proposed new government laws to ban registration of motorcycles more than 10 years old. The club had bike displays at several functions around the tablelands, and at Earlville and the new Smithfield shopping centres. The Club held a display at the Stockland Earlville shopping centre in August of 34 motorcycles, including a 1911 500cc Bell of 3.5 HP. Eddlestone Trophy for 1992 won by Mike Jeremy with a 1952 BSA 500
Complaints again from members that the annual club insurance had risen to $152.
1993/1994 Club members organised five bike shows around Cairns shopping centres and on the Tablelands. Trouble in the ranks again as the annual insurance rises again now up to $271.25. 1993 Eddlestone Trophy won by Les Richards with a 1952 Ariel and the 1994 trophy when to Ros Rieschieck with a 1924 BSA 250
1996 Once again the trophy had several entries with Greg Wallwork winning with his restored Triumph Terrier. Meeting held at the Mareeba War Museum and Copperload Dam.
1997 / 1998 Club exhibits at Mareeba Warbirds flying display day and the Innisfail Police Citizens Youth Club. The club also attended the annual Cairns Show, with the President claiming almost 100 restored motorcycles displayed and many inquiries from the public. Col Jones won restoration of the year with his 1962 BSA Gold Star. Club held another display at the 1998 Mareeba Warbirds flying day. Some club members have found a page that sells vintage motorcycle parts on a thing called the internet.