What can we say against Brian Hodges ”Tich” to his friends. Generous, industrious, always willing to help others at his own expense, husband, father and grandfather, but most of all a trials enthusiast. A lifelong motorcycle devotee, he had a reputation as a good mechanic and he helped the local lads repair their bikes, including me.

Then call up to the Army for two years. Here he honed his skills in “taking the mick” out of the Corporals and Sergeants. One year was spent in Aden, which is a very hot country and I remember going into the Bull at Brenchley one Christmas and seeing a tiny dark skinned Indian like man crouched over the fire. It was Tich! Back home he soon put all his weight back on.

By then his younger brother Robin “Minnow”had started riding Trials and we went off to Trials in the winter and Grasstrack in summer.

One ambitious trip was in 1962 to the Intercentre Grasstrack Championships on his old, ridged, Triumph tiger 100 outfit with Robin in the chair and me pillion. The destination was from Brenchley to Pershore in Gloucestershire, about 140miles.

We set out at 7am, got there at 1pm and back at midnight frozen to the marrow and very saddle sore! Only one breakdown to adjust a slipping clutch.

Then married life took over for many years.

Late seventies, when Robin started riding again, Brian and I joined the Owls and got involved with organizing events etc.

In the eighties Brian got the video bug. Instead of just walking round, following his brother, Brian started filming the Trials riders. The early ones were not as good as he only got the riders feet!

They quickly improved and video nights at the clubhouse were very popular. This soon expanded to a regular Tuesday night showing in each of our houses with drinks and snacks provided.

Tich, Robin and I had a pencherant of giving the hundreds of riders nicknames. They only had to vaguely resemble someone well known to be lumbered with names like Gene Hickman, Captain Mannering, Kojak, and Max Wall etc. etc.

Brian also had a habit of calling out “Well done” to a rider just before they fell off in the mud!

Another ruse we had concerned cousin Wally Hodges. He was living in a cottage by the old Seven Mile lane near the church. When we drove slowly past early on Sunday morning we would all lean out of the window and shout out as loudly as possible WALLY! Always wonder if he knew who it was!!

Brian also hated bureaucracy of any kind, but came up against it many times in his career as a plumber.

One funny story is the time he and peter were called out to a public building in the middle of winter to repair the water system. This called for a key to unlock the door to the roof. They were told the woman dealing with job applications had the key, so Brian approached her in his working clothes and she says “yes what sort of job would you like my man?” Instantly he replied “Yours will do very nicely and you can go up on the roof and fix the plumbing”

We had many a good long weekend away following the South East Team in the national Team Trials competition. This took us from Cornwall to Northumberland, Hampshire to Lancashire, Devon to Yorkshire and East Sussex to Mid Wales.

I always did the hotel/ doss house bookings and made certain if we shared a room we had separate beds, just to put Bobs mind at rest.

Brilliant events, sadly gone now.

The list of happy times is a long one and Brian would always say “we had the best years ever” and I know he was right

Goodbye old Mate

Tony Rout


Brian was often at Tenterden centre events beavering away with his video camera, whilst giving a running commentary to those within earshot.

He will be missed by us all. Another character gone and fondly remembered.

ACU Plan return of motorcycle sport

From ACU Website – Wednesday May 13, 2020 at 10:00am

ACU and AMCA plan return to motorcycle sport

The ACU Board of Directors met virtually yesterday (12th May 2020) to discuss the phased return to motorcycle sport following Monday’s publication of the UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy. The ACU, in partnership with the AMCA, have decided that a phased return to sporting events will commence in parallel with the Government’s Step Three. This coincides with the reopening of remaining business, public places and leisure facilities which have been required to close. As of 12th May, Step Three is due to begin from 4th July but this is under constant review.

We will assess the situation again when the Government implements Step Two, envisaged to be the 1st June. In the coming weeks, the ACU and AMCA will publish guidance documents for organisers looking to run restricted events after this time. This will give organisers time to consider the implications of continued social distancing and prepare future events safely.

In order to reflect the differences in devolved administrations, no British Championship Enduro, Motocross, Trials or Speedway will take place until travel restrictions between England/ Scotland/ Wales/ Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man have been lifted and other factors considered, in line with Government guidance.

The ACU and AMCA would like to thank all our members for their patience during this difficult time, and we appreciate the steps taken by many individuals, clubs and organisations to support local communities during these unprecedented events. For further information, please see the ACU’s Coronavirus Operational Plan here. We would remind all members that these plans are subject to change, and will be taken in line with the latest UK Government guidance

Presentation Eve / Horse Race Night & Weald Non Expert Trial – Off

Inevitably, the club has had to cancel both Aprils March Weald Non Expert trial, Clay Hill on the 19th of April and the Annual Presentation and Horse Race Evening that was to be held in late May. We await to see whether the clubs June EKTC Combine Trial will go ahead at Rakins. We do hope riders, observers, friends and families stay safe and well in these difficult times.

ACU Update – Covid 19 – Events off until 31/5 currently

ACU Update – COVID-19 – 6/4

Last week the ACU LTD Board of Directors met virtually for over six hours to discuss the way forward for British motorcycle sport.

These are unprecedented times and the ACU stands fully behind the NHS and essential workers in the national fightback against COVID-19. 

With the current suspension of motorcycle events until 31st May, backed by MCRCB and MSUK the ACU continue to work hard to ensure once the Government’s social distancing advice is lifted members can get back on their motorcycles. We would ask all members to be patient during this period, and respect that our ACU staff are trying to continue providing a high-level of service to Clubs, Centres and Promoters in an increasingly challenging environment. 

We would ask members to continue being responsible and not ride their motorcycles and risk an unnecessary burden on the NHS. 

Thank you

ACU Directors

Dunlop Trial Sunday 26th January 2020 -Start list and Regs

Please click the attached documents to see the start list and Regs for Sundays trial. Don’t forget the start time for this trial will be 10am 

The club are also looking for a number of observers so any volunteers please report the the secretary on the day or call Marc Taylor beforehand so that he can allocate you a section. 

The success of any trial is dependent on having all sections observed, 13 sections are being set out so a few more than normal are needed. 

Dunlop Trial entry list Jan 20

Dunlop Trial Jan 20

Mrs Orpin

It is with great sadness that we have announce that Mrs Val Orpin, wife of John Orpin, has passed away. The Orpin family allow us to use their land for the “Weald of Kent” trial at the Harbourne Venue.
The funeral service will take place on Monday 23rd December at the Charing Crematoreum at 1pm.
Our thoughts extend to the family during this time.