Meet of the week
Where beautiful old bikes mass around beautiful old trains
Bold carriages dominate the skyline, resplendent in crimson, green and gold. Exquisite classic engines parade up and down trailing smoke against the cloudless sky. And hundreds of motorbikes of staggering variety pour in to line up along the old tracks.
Less famous than the likes of Squires or the Ace Café, Whitwell and Reepham Railway is a oncefunctioning station that fell into disuse and disrepair. It’s currently owned and run by Mike Urry and his family, non-bikers who have been striving since 2007 to return the derelict site to its former glory. After an irate landlady terminated a former bike night nearby, riders found a new home at the station in 2011.
Friday Night Bikes is run by local riders, and while they raise money for charities such as Blood Runners and the Air Ambulance, the money spent by us attendees contributes to the ongoing restoration. It’s a superb example of a symbiotic relationship; the local organisers regulating noise and behaviour in their meet’s beau- tiful home, the Urrys welcoming and grateful as the money that’s spent in the station is spent on the station, restoring trains and providing new facilities that in turn bolster the bike night.
Laughing groups of sportsbike girls and guys in their twenties scoff spectacular slabs of homemade cake on the platform, while members of the Honda C90 Club sample the well-kept real ales. Pretty Polish pillions pose with pinot and gossip with grizzled men on gleaming Moto Guzzis. The variety is incredible, with many regulars keen to display their numerous bikes against the stunning background.
This is a truly wonderful meet. It’s not just the station’s massive popularity, or the sheer range of machinery to content any enthusiast’s heart – the backdrop of the railway is worth the trip alone, but the knowledge that I’m also contributing to a beautiful and very worthy project makes me even prouder to be a biker.
You’d be barking not to love this meet