Phoenix From The Egg

The Leicester Phoenix Motor-Cycle Club started life at the beginning of 1961 when a few members of the Fosse Riders decided there was a need for a Touring Club in Leicester. The first meeting was held at The Gate Hangs Well pub on the Six Hills Road, where a name for the newly formed club was decided on

Our first dance was held at the Uppingham Hotel and the group we had to play for us had not yet made a name for themselves but are now well known as the Tremeloes.

- John Muschialli

There were five members at the first meeting and their first task was to find a club room. After searching, one was found. It was the Princess Charlotte pub in the Newark. The first club room we had I consider the best as there was a very homely atmosphere about it with an open fire always well made up and the landlady would make hot dogs with plenty of onions for us.

Some of our first club runs were Whipsnade Zoo, Windsor Castle and Nottingham and the shorter runs were most enjoyable. On the Nottingham run it was thick fog all the way with speed down to 30mph.

During the first twelve months club runs consisted of five motor-cycles; three Nortons, one B.S.A. and one Triumph.

Liquid Refreshments

Left to right: John Muschialli, Alan Bainbridge, Chis Bainbridge, Keith Bainbridge and Ron Tunks.
See this photo in the 1960s Gallery

After a while the Princess Charlotte changed hands and the new landlord agreed to keep us on but on our first week he forgot we were coming and let our room and we ended up in the store room. So we decided it was time to get a new club room. We got one for the following week which was the Rocket.

Photo from Brian Gamble

Keeping an eye on the security of bikes at The Rocket.
See this photo on the Club Rooms page.

Things started looking up for us at the Rocket, with new members quickly coming in while other clubs kept giving us another month. Hardly a week went by without a club run or a camping weekend. We had film shows and dances to attract new members. Our first dance was held at the Uppingham Hotel and the group we had to play for us had not yet made a name for themselves but are now well known as the Tremeloes.

1962 was a good year for the Phoenix with camping weekends at Edale in Derbyshire and to Andover to see the 500 mile production race.


Left to right: Ron Tunks, Nev Baum, Trevor Brewin and Bill Langley.
See this photo in the 1960s Gallery

Whitsun was spent in Wales and August was spent in Cornwall. On our way down to Cornwall we stopped at Cheddar Gorge for one night and there was a drunk hanging around the tents so two of the members decided to escort him up the road so we could get some sleep. One member was in white pyjamas with blue stripes and the other white with red spots. If the police had come they would have wondered which was the drunk.

See this photo in the 1960s Gallery

While down in Cornwall we made many friends and went back to see them in following years.

See this photo in the Rallies Section

1963 was the second Dragon Rally but the first for us. It was held at Gwrych Castle in Wales. Four members went and there was six and seven feet of snow drifts on each side of the road.

Blackpool Show winners, left to right: Keith Bainbridge, Chris Bainbridge, John Muschialli, Jan Muschialli, Ron Tunks, Derek Foster, Jackie Foster, Warwick Pople and Nev Baum.
See this photo in the Club Runs section.

This was also the first year a motorcycle show was held in Blackpool so we went up for the weekend and stayed bed and breakfast. While in Blackpool the club took first prize in the Daily Mail Concours De Elegance. We won a silver cup and twenty five pounds. We had a police escort round Blackpool. The following day this was filmed by a member and is occasionally shown at the club film shows.

By 1964 all but two of the original members had gone. It was in 1964 that we had a misunderstanding with the landlord of the Rocket who blamed us for the noise made by the local cowboys, so we decided to look for another club room.

This time to the Abbey Hotel in Abbey Park Road. This was not a good club room. It was always cold and we had to go down stairs for our drinks. We did not stay long at this pub. As the Rocket had changed hands we enquired if we could go back and the new landlord was quite agreeable so back to the Rocket we went.

By now we were getting quite a few members and were being accepted by other clubs. We were putting on a number of successful rallies and having bigger turnouts to other club's rallies such as the Dragon and Woburn Rally.

Cup Winners, Photo from Chris and Clive.

Best Club Display at the Woburn BMF Rally. Left to right: Jack Wiley, Chris Mansell, Ben Crossley.
See this photo in the 1960s Gallery.

During 1964 while out canvasing for new members outside King's we stopped one lad and asked him if he was interested in the club and he said that he belonged to the Kettering and District Motor-Cycle Club which also was a freshly revived club. So we made arrangements to meet them half way between Leicester and Kettering one night. Since then we have been on very friendly terms with the Kettering Club and have met other clubs such as the Huntingdon and District Motor-Cycle Club. We have had a number of camping weekends with both of these clubs.

- John Muschialli

Open quote Without the efforts of the lads this page would not be here in 2007 for us all to enjoy.

My bike was a Raleigh runabout 49cc. I spent more time walking with it. Must remember to fill it up. Close quote