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Author Topic: Invicta Motor Cycle Club Ramsgate  (Read 31489 times)
Les
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« on: April 20, 2010, 07:34:44 PM »


The Invicta motor cycle club was started in the early 1930’s. It was first affiliated with the Eltham club of south east London before breaking away and becoming a club in its own name. As a schoolboy I remember attending two gymkhanas organised by the club, the first was on the old Ramsgate Football Ground at Dumpton, and the other on Jacky Baker’s sports ground where I sold chocolate bars from a tray suspended in front of me by a strap over my neck.

I understand that the founder members were, Charlie Philpott (of Philpott's Garage), his brother Roy, Doug Whitling, “Jonka” Spain, Bob Aust, Johnny Nunn, Roland Butler and Lionel Kempe (son of A.B.C. Kempe, Ramsgate's Top Hat Mayor). Before the war they held regular club night meetings every Thursday, at The Casino café, just outside Wingham, on the Canterbury road. It is a garage/car sales depot now,

Our club nights were held in an old wooden hut at the side of the Sportsman Inn where we were very comfortable. The Brewers then decided to build a proper function room there to replace the hut and we shifted our meetings to the Windmill Inn at Newington while the work was in process. We then went back to the Sporstman Inn, but it didn’t feel right and we then used The Eagle in High street, Ramsgate.

As a club we used to meet on Sundays to go riding together. There were regular grass track meetings at Brands Hatch and the track was ridden in an anti clockwise direction. After many years of use, the track became very worn and quite dangerous and I remember seeing Jack Surtees, - the father of John Surtees who later became an expert road racing motor cyclist-, getting off the Norton sidecar outfit that he had just raced with and collapsing from exhaustion with the effort of the strenuous ride.

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Paul Narramore
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2010, 09:53:11 PM »

Les

An interesting post. Tell me, I've read that the Invicta MCC combined with the Sunbeam MCC to run the twice-yearly Ramsgate Sprint (mentioned elsewhere in this forum). Are they still in existence?
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Phil
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2010, 07:50:44 PM »

I can answer that one Paul. Somewhere I have all that's left of the Invicta club in a suitcase given to me by our ex. mayor Charles Sharp, who is no longer with us.

Charles, or Charlie as we knew him, kept the club registered with the A.C.U. for many years. As with many things, leisure became an expensive business wrapped up in red tap and insurance, and the Invicta ceased to run events. Even the club road trials were fraught with insurance problems and liabilities.

The club used to run Scrambles/Moto Cross, Grass Tracks (including at Ramsgate Municipal Airfield), Trials and many social events. Somewhere there is the "Martin Thomson" (of Tomson & Wotton Brewery) trophy which I think was awarded for Trials. It was the mascot from Martin Tomson's car mounted on a wooden plinth and affectionately known as "The Door Stop".

In particular I remember the magic of Thursday evening practice sessions at Monkton Chalk Pit (now a nature reserve) and next to the Red Lion pub along Sandwich Road (now a refuse collection point).

A film showing Martin Tomson starting a trial at Westbere in 1954 can be found at:
Small | Large


A 1950's Invicta M.C.C. Scramble can be seen here:
Small | Large
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Phil
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2010, 09:26:05 PM »

Whilst looking through the Club’s paperwork I came across an envelope addressed to the Club with a London postmark of November 1972 which contained the following photos. Can anyone help with identifying the riders or venue? Does anyone have any more pictures or stories of the Club?









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Phil
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2010, 04:23:52 PM »

I've started a photo album of the Invicta Club and its members and will add to it as pictures come to hand. The album can be seen HERE
Any help with identifying people, bikes, locations or occasions will be gratefully received.

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Paul Narramore
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2010, 07:11:09 PM »

Nice atmospheric B&W photos Phil. I don't know any of the club members as I was really interested in scooetrs at that time.

007 - Renzo Pasolini on the fabulous works Benelli.

010 - 207 RML is a Bond Minicar, dreadful three-wheeled things with a Villiers 2-stroke engine driving the front wheel. My father had a number of them. Although they had an electric start, I think, they also had a kickstart. The bonnet had to be lifted up and the hapless driver stood next to the engine - there was no engine compartment 'floor' - as he tried to kick the thing into life. I have a rare Rochdale Olympic kit car, built in Rochdale, Lancs,  and Rochdale (Motor Panels) had a contarct to mass produce glass fibre rear wheel arches for these Bonds. 
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Phil
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« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2010, 10:39:49 PM »

Another 43 pictures of club members, bikes etc have been added to the album at http://www.ramsgatehistory.com/invicta_album/
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Phil
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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2010, 02:51:10 PM »

Michael of Michael's Book Shop in Ramsgate has published a book containing stories and pictures from two former Invicta MCC members, plus a few of his own memories. Priced at £3.99 it would make an excellent xmas present for any former club members or motorcyclists. Lets hope it will inspire more memories for future copies of the book.

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Phil
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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2011, 01:54:10 PM »

It's hoped to have a small re-union of a few former Invicta MCC members during the week commencing 17/01/2011. If you're a former member or know anyone who is, please have a look at http://invictamembers.blogspot.com/ or contact phil@ramsgatehistory.com
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unclebulgaria
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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2011, 07:35:35 PM »

in the above pic,thats my uncle john bonugli(the one one holding the handlebars)
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Phil
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« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2011, 11:09:27 PM »

Former Club Members will be familiar with these Club Rules - which we all strictly adhered to, didn't we !!











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chrisdf
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2013, 04:43:59 PM »

Hi does the Invicta motor cycle club still exist in the same area?
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Phil
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2013, 08:14:35 PM »

Sorry chrisdf, the club no longer exists. There are rumors of a gathering of former members around Easter time; watch this space for details.
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