Annual Review

This is when we learned that COVID-19 is not a one-year event. The pandemic continued to disrupt our lives, even if we were lucky enough to avoid catching it, restricting activities and hanging like a dark cloud over all our plans. Nevertheless, we put on a cheerful face (beneath our masks) and made the best of it.

All you will catch from our website is a whiff of the way things were in 2021.


Contributors provided plenty of fresh content for

Jean-Francois Helias

Francois (aka Fanfan) has a few abiding interests but circumstances continued to prevent him fulfilling his passion for fishing that he turned it into his profession some years ago. His enforced break from work provided time to share with us his other passion - motorcycling in the post-war years.

The breadth of Francois knowledge and research have enlightened us on the history of legendary characters, manufacturers and rallies. His collection of badges and other regalia hint at a vast, forgotten time of motorcycling.

We appreciate everything that Francois provides and have mixed feelings about the prospect of him returning to his 'proper job', running Fishing Adventures Thailand.

Hans Veenendaal

Hans researches our Rally Listing that continues to be the most popular resource on, and refuses to let the trials of the past two years dampen his resolve to provide the most thorough index of motorcycle rallying events.

Even on weeks when he takes off on his combo for a distant rally, Hans puts in a new list of upcoming events.

Thankfully Hans' recent updates have contained less dreaded cancellations and he is already well on the way to providing us with a full choice of rallies for 2022.

When he isn't searching for future rallies, Hans also finds time to send us collections of his badges and stickers. There's dedication.

Hans Mondorf

New contributor Hans Mondorf is rapidly progressing from tales of Shakespeare series rallies into accounts of his continental rallying.

Some of Hans' reports for German rallies are in his native language but with a translation to help us Brits in case we struggle to understand what motorcycling and rallying is like abroad. Here is a quick aid in case we need it:

Motorrad=motorcycle. Bier=beer. Freund=friend. That's all we need to know.

Luckily Hans has lots of photos and kept much of the memorabilia where he can lay his hands on it! Maybe he is writing it down for us as therapy. Whatever the reason, we already have reports from Hans to be added in 2022.

Phil Drackley

Phil the Spill did not entirely rest on his laurels this year; he added a couple more reports to let us know he is surviving north of the border. In the meantime Phil is constantly uploading heaps of rally photos to his Facebook page.

Other Contributors

Old friends are joined by new readers who have discovered as a result of a casual Google or through a recommendation. When they are inspired to add a few words, a photo or badge, we add their testimony to the appropriate page to encourage others to participate and create compelling content.

Contributions are always acknowledged in our Bibliography.


Here is what they wrote...

This year we added another 130 new pages and 190 additions to existing pages. The Rally Section continues to have the lion's share of new pages, with 50 this year and additional content on another 140. However, there was a big improvement in the Motorbike Section with 40 new pages of motorcycle reviews and diatribes. It is time for you to pen a few lines of tribute to the bike that carried you so many magic miles!

Across the website we added more than 4,200 photos in the hope that you may find a snap of yourself or your bike or a long lost pal. It does happen.

Badges continued to pile in and up with an additional 4,600. Total as the year closes is 12,000 rally, club, race, show, machine and training scheme badges, stickers, pennants and patches. We continue to develop ways for you to find a particular needle (or pin) in that haystack.

News Updates were posted every Friday because we always have lots of things to tell you, even in these restrained days. The Foz Spot cheers us up and the 2021 Foz Annual appears by magic on Boxing Day.

TIP: Once you have star rated a page, we stop bugging you.

When you have dwelt long enough on a page to decide its worth, we poke our Star Rating form under your nose. Such arm-twisting resulted in 600 ratings this year with an average of 4.86 out of 5.


Being stuck at home because of COVID has given us an excuse to work even harder on


The Badge Section rapidly expanded this year. This was entirely due to the hard work put into it by Jean-Francois Helias who, not only collects the material and sends it in by the truck-load, but also prepares badges by 'removing' the background, and then checks the pages for errors.
(Adding errors is still my job!)

Because of growing numbers, we now split non-rally badges, stickers and patches into alphabetic groups and also enable you to pick out items by a particular contributor.

I look back wistfully at the years when I neglected adding badges and ignored patches completely. The process has been industrialised. We already have a backlog of over 1700 to add next year, every one enthusiastically bought, proudly worn and holding untold stories...
The crystallised souls of motorcyclists.


We have promised for some time that reports for non‑English rallies by non‑English speakers would appear in their appropriate language. This year has seen the first of these appear, as mentioned above, from Hans Mondorf and in German.

So far we have added a flag alongside the page title for you to toggle the language too and from English. In Chrome browsers there may also be a pop‑up box to allow Google to translate the whole page for you, including the bits we haven't already done and into different languages.

For our many readers from other countries, there is also a Google "Select Language" box below the left hand navigation buttons.

Up to our elbows

We have let the content speak for itself this year, with very little messing about in the works.

On the tekky side we continue to roll out cascading stylesheet (CSS) replacements for creaky JavaScript effects. We should be reasonably safe to do that, unless you are still running Internet Explorer on a Windows 95 computer.

In late November I tried to do a major clean-out of one of our primary background data files, but "find-and-replace" went wild. The website collapsed for ten minutes while I searched for a backup file and changed my underwear.
Big Websites have had worse problems this year, so I'm in good company.


We kept cheerful despite everything. Here are a few of the good times we shared, thanks to the heroic efforts of others.

Club Meetings

The Leicester Phoenix MCC were not able to meet at their usual Tuesday haunt (the Elephant and Castle in Thringstone) for much of the year so took to gathering at various places still operating. The committee came up with the brilliant idea of revisiting pubs that the club has met at across the years. At least, the ones we didn't drive to ruin.

Past members heard about these meetings through grape-vine and interweb, with the result that we were able to meet old friends on familiar ground.

The above photos are from the Gate Hangs Well, Syston where the club held its inaugural meeting in 1961, and the Cricketers, Grace Road, where we had our club-room on the 1970s.

Big End Rally

The Big End Rally is entirely due to the Leicester Phoenix MCC and especially Nigel Woodthorpe. It returned in 2021 and brought some old members back into activity including Tim Wicks and Wombat who we had not only lost contact with for fifty years, no-one could recall his real name! (Mike Davis)

I think some past members turned out because they got wind that there would be birthday cake to celebrate the club's 60th anniversary.

National Road Rally

The event went ahead without manned controls and was run on two days rather than continuously over two days.

Because we didn't need marshals at Kegworth or Syston we were able to enter riders in the event. Our team consisted of past members Tim Wicks, Dave Smith and Ian Bower, as well as Mick and Helen Ayriss. They all went in different directions, which is very reminiscent of our past club runs. Or maybe they were confused by the website Matrix that was modified in a rush to accommodate the two day format.

Embers Cycling

Plunged again into COVID restriction, we pedalled the start of the year singly and in pairs, waiting for an opportunity to regroup. Gradually we reassembled into North, East and South subgroups and the end of the year has seen us return to our full muster.

We are dedicated to keeping the local hospitality industry in business. We may succeed single mob handed!

Not forgetting...

We had a lot to be grateful for in 2021. For starters the heroes in the NHS and the vaccine rollout.

Closer to home we were glad for the return of Founders Day, the Small End Rally and Motorcycle Live, all of which we have hitherto taken much for granted.

Sad Losses

Heather MacGregor & Ted Trett

Everyone was shocked by the sudden tragic loss of Heather MacGregor and Ted Trett this year. We know from bitter experience that the sting will never leave us. But at least we have good memories as well, some of them reproduced on the pages of; no compensation but something to recall happy times.

Derek Foster

Derek Foster, was a member of the Leicester Phoenix MCC in its first years. His enthusiasm brought in many new members and set the character of the club that endures to this day.

After retiring to Tenerife for some years, Derek returned to Blighty just in time for the pandemic. Despite that and many other set-backs, Derek remained cheerful and a joy to spend time with, when it was permitted.


Into the unknown

Amid portents of doom, maybe we can pull out some good things to occupy us in 2022.

These days will pass, and we will continue to motorcycle and cycle. We can keep in contact with friends and look forward to meeting them individually and at rallies and reunions.

Stay safe. Take measures and make small sacrifices necessary to protect others, ourselves and those who are working hard to help us.