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Barham Motorcycle Club was formed early in 1929 by a group of young businessmen in Barham.
The initial members were Frank & Charlie Vanner and Charlie Newman (Butchers), Frank Everett, Alf Epps and Alf Andrews (Builders). Soon after the formation a considerable number of other local enthusiasts were recruited, the most well known being, Tom Arter, Bert Thompson, Reg Hambrook, John Perkins, Alf Keeler and Frank Down.
For a club badge they used the banner of a famous army regiment depicting a lamb holding a long pennant, probably because the founder members were butchers.
Thought to be appropriate our open to centre trial was later named the Mutton Lancers Trial and remains so to the present day.
In the pre war days, grass track racing was very popular, the Barham clubs venue being at Hearts Delight Farm, Kingston.
Tom Arter, his brother Don, Reg Hambrook and others took the clubs name to many wins, including the coveted Silver Helmet trophy at the Ashford Track.
Social events featured strongly in the clubs calendar with many runs and club outings to the coast and other clubs hostelries. An annual Dinner & Dance was introduced and is still an annual club event.
Over the years success grew until in the sixties with riders like Mike Duff, Hugh Anderson, Peter & John Williams and Dave Hughes (who were all Club members), they achieved many successes including Dave winning the Manx Grand Prix. The club won “Best Club Riders Trophy” in the Isle of Man circa 1956 with Toms 3 riders, Gavin Dunlop, Don Crossley & Frank Perris all on Arter Matchless’.
The famous Derek Minter was also a club member during his many years on the road racing scene, in fact he was made a life Vice President following his historic 100mph (first on a 250) lap of the I.O.M TT circuit, later reduced to 99.7mph by the ACU.
Likewise in trials, club riders riding Arter AJS’ such as Cliff Clayton and Mick Waller went on to become full works AJS riders. Mick also rode a works AJS for the British team in the ISDT.
Through the years the Barham club has been involved in most aspects of motorcycle sport.
Trials, until the mid 1990’s always included ground at Jumping Downs, then owned by ex Club President, Lawrence Goddard. Twenty or more miles of roadwork were usually included and only a single lap of the course was used. In later years the Downs were also laid out for a spectacular moto cross course, although flints were a terrible problem, it was used for a few meetings until support dwindled.
Grass tracks, run by the club, also eventually suffered from a lack of support, although many fine tracks, such as the original Lydden Hill track and Ham Farm, Barham were used for many years.
The 2nd World War intervened and although the club did not disband, activities were obviously curtailed. Interesting to note in the Club minutes of March 30th 1937 that “in the event of war the Club to provide dispatch riders if necessary. Messrs Arter, Epps, Thompson and Hambrook volunteered all being of eligible age”
Every club has some history and Barham is no exception. Over the years a number of champions have come from our ranks. While there has always been a hoard of old photo’s of club members doing what they do it was never freely available. These have now all been scanned and documented and placed in a single electronic document that you can download using the “Club Archive” button.
Of course if you have any photos that you think would be useful in keeping our archive updated please send a copy to email@example.com