Brass Monkey 2018

Brass Monkey Rally 22-24 June, report

Motorcyclists, like sailors, keep an eye on the weather, especially for a ride deliberately timed for midwinter in Victoria. Rain was listed as a possibility for the weekend but it never happened – not so good for the bush but very good for us. 22 bikes and riders along with several family members made their various ways to the motel just outside Maryborough, and you can see from the Participants list that one of the strengths of the club is the variety of machinery it encompasses.


We caught up with friends for a good chat at the Friday night dinner while we waited for the food in a somewhat chilly room, never mind, we are big tough motorcyclists. Walking back to the motel after dinner was a reminder of the chilly conditions awaiting us the following morning. Back to the room and crank up the heating unit, and quietly wonder if the bike will start next day.


In most cases they did, and we met at the nearby park on Saturday for Ed Navigator Sleightholm’s briefing on the day’s ride. With the sun peeping through silvery cloud cover and a misty landscape all around we rode on quiet country by-roads via Talbot to Avoca for our morning tea break. Avoca has a hugely wide main street and our bikes were scattered all around, but mainly outside the two (I think) cafes. A nearby gift and antiques shop had a small but interesting collection of classic and vintage bikes. The sun had started to come up by then and there was a slight warming if you stood in it, but I remember sitting in the cafe with both hands clutched around the coffee mug and all clothing still firmly zipped and velcroed shut, which was a measure of the Brass Monkey effect. No more detail on that!


Beauport was our next destination. Ed led us unerringly through attractive landscape close to the Pyrenees Ranges via Amphitheatre and Elmhurst. Flocks of sheep rule the road out there and we paused for a few minutes while the sheep rushed all around us. An interesting sight for those of us who are city dwellers. Kangaroos were still up and about in distant paddocks. Near Elmhurst I glimpsed a sign to Nowhere Creek and wondered how it came to be named, and among large modern farms I sighted several abandoned rustic-looking houses – perhaps evidence of the surrounding goldfield history.


Beaufort is sited on the Western Highway with a variety of places to have lunch so we spread out among them. Later, bikes and people topped up, we followed Ed again. My notes say ‘… fast ride back to Maryborough via Talbot. Intermittent sunlight. Sheep. Chooks.’ It had been a great day and Vicki and I stopped at the Railway Cafe for a coffee in front of their log fire before returning to the motel.


Graham had organised a bus to pick us all up from the motel and take us to the Railway Cafe for our Saturday night dinner. The food, company, and surroundings were very good and it was a most enjoyable night. President Ian gave a short speech and made awards which included: Belle and Keith Emmett for 131 club rallies attended during their 30 year membership, to Jamie Linton as youngest rider on a classic bike, and to Martyn Goodwin for the highest accumulated years of bike and rider age. Ian thanked Graham for his organising of the accommodation, the dinners and the bus, Peter Cullen for backup trailer duty and Ed for planning and leading the rides.


Sunday morning was frosty but sunny as we rode on mostly deserted rural back roads to Dunolly, then on to Melville Caves where we stopped to walk up to the Lookout from which there was an impressive view. Still in sunlight we continued to Llanelly and the Bendigo Motorcycle Club’s premises where we enjoyed their excellent lunch. President Ian thanked Rex and Pam Jones and their helpers for their hospitality, and later we made our way homeward, some following Ed back to Maryborough and others like Vicki and myself riding home from Llanelly. It had been an enjoyable and well-organised weekend, something that I think our club is very good at.

John Best.


Notes and comments

Please note: These are the thoughts of the Part time Report Writer Paul White.

  • Keith and Belle 131 Club Rallies attended. Will it ever be achieved by any one else. Not in my life time, well done and thanks for all you great work and support of this Club.
  • Lunch at the Bendigo Historical M/C Club coordinated by Rex and Pam Jones at Llanely. It was a meal and a half……….. well done and thanks to the team that helped out.

Awards on Saturday night

  • Oldest Bike & Rider: Combined Martyn Goodwin 140 years (nothing to do with Ann apart from Goodwine).
  • Furthest Traveler on a Classic Motor Bike: Graham Boulter (The Tail End Charlie on Saturday, where’s the lights we all had to look at the Briefing NOT on during most of the ride Graham?)
  • Youngest rider on a Classical Motor Bike: James Linton, (loves a red wine or two…)
  • Encouragement Award: Aaron Symons (loves his tucker and always helps a fellow rider)

Other thoughts on those that attended

  • Ian Snadden. Well done. Plenty to talk about. Love the coffee!
  • Graham Boulter. Breakfast and other meals well coordinated. Please review lighting on Bike!
  • Richard Sommerville. Was seen passing the lead rider in the starting blocks. No harm done!
  • Ed Sleightholm. A great navigator, not many know the roads like Ed, however I did notice one small error, but I won’t tell anyone!! If you want to know about travelling Europe in the 60’s Ed has been everywhere.
  • Reg Hammond. I am still chasing my $1 Reg look out.
  • James Linton. A fellow Bonnie rider, has trouble with the Clubs Beanie though, way too small.
  • Paul Clayton. Can you supply another bottle of red next time, I was just starting to enjoy it.
  • Richard Mason. Now Richard did pass the lead rider, Ed but apparently Ed was waving on the traffic NOT Richard at the time.
  • Colin & Miss Blue eyes … Julie for those who have not taken any notice! Nothing to say at the moment but will be watching!
  • Allan & Michele…. well these two were noticed doing warming up tricks on the bike. Nothing to do with the bike engine??
  • Bill Garner. The quite achiever, not much to say except, can I change this to veal instead of chicken it’s a diet thing!!
  • Martyn and Ann. Enjoy their red wine with mates, telling about life’s travels and plenty of laughs. Martyn has never touched that Vincent, we believe you.
  • Andy Symons “The Viking” we all love that thing on your head.
  • Aaron Symons loves his tucker, that caramel desert on Saturday night had no chance!
  • Peter Cullen. Did anything happen Peter, apart from those brochures I asked you to carry back for me. Thanks for doing the Back-up trailer duty.
  • Daryl Kopke. A lot of stories and knowledgeable about “The Land” and the local Ballarat area. Great talking.
  • John & Vicki Best. Deep thinkers, great to talk to, have done lots of travel, well worth catching up and talking to.
  • Philip White, John Fontanglia and Noel Thornbury, I did not spend time with but I did chat with John for a few minutes about wine and his operation in Daylesford.
  • Keith and Bell I spoke to about their wonderful contribution to this Club. Well done once again.

Overall a well organized “Brass Monkey Run” the best ever, no rain, great company, good food (including breakfast), everyone returning safely, a few sociable drinks and lots of talking.

Thanks and cheers,

Paul White.

Assistant report writer.


Rally participants:

Ian Snadden, BMW R1100GS 1995

Graham Boulter, BMW R90S, 1975 (Tail End Charlie, Saturday)

James Linton, Triumph TR7, 1974

Richard Sommerville, Honda CX500 1981 (Tail End Charlie, Sunday)

Richard Mason, Honda TransAlp 2005

Martyn & Ann Goodwin, Vincent Comet 1951

Allan & Michele Prentice, Suzuki GS850 1981

Reg Hammond, Triumph Bonnie T100 2017

Ray Isles, BMW F650CS 2004

Ed Sleightholm, Triumph Street Twin 2017 (Ride Leader)

Paul White, Triumph Bonnie T100 2015

Daryl & Kaye Kopke, BMW 1100RT 1997

Colin Borthwick, Triumph Bonnie 2017

Bill Garner, Triumph Bonnie 1971

Andy Symons, Triumph Bonnie 2007

Arron Symons, BMW R1100RT 1996

Ray Harrison, Norton Commando 1969

John & Vicki Best, Suzuki Bandit 2008

Colin & Julie Sullivan, Norton Commando 1972

Philip White, BSA 1959

John Fontanglia, BSA 1958

Noel Thornbury, Indian

Peter Cullen, Back-up trailer

Keith & Belle Emmett, car.


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