The Wheels are starting to turn….. ACU Statement

Wednesday May 27, 2020 at 8:33pm

The Wheels are Starting to Turn………….
Following a Video Conference of the ACU Ltd Board of Directors, the long-awaited return to two-wheel activity was discussed in detail based on the latest advice/guidance sent out by the UK Government on 25th May.  In case you haven’t seen the latest guidance the link to the document is given below:
TrainingOn the basis of this document, training will be allowed to take place for participants aged 16 and above.  It goes without saying that in all circumstances, social distancing measures must be respected.  A risk assessment has been produced by ACU Head Office which will be distributed to all ACU Coaches and the guidance given within that document must be strictly adhered to.   The Training Secretary (Debbie Walmsley) is now available to issue permits for the return of training activity.  Training activity is restricted to 16 years and above in accordance with the latest UK Government guidance and until otherwise notified, the ratio of training is restricted to one Coach to a maximum of three riders, ie. a small cluster.  Details will be issued by ACU Head Office, when it is considered suitable for these numbers to be increased. When applying for a training permit, the attached risk assessment must be completed and returned or amended / added to deleted to suit individual needs. What is important is that a Risk Assessment must be supplied which outlines the Control Measures put in place to ensure the safe running of a training session before a Permit is issued. Permit applications can be accepted with immediate effect for Training activity to commence from 1st June.
Practice Permits.  With effect 1st June, permit applications may be sent to the relevant Discipline Secretary to apply for a Practice Permit for practice events to commence from 8th June.  It is stressed that this is not for competition but for practice only and participants aged 16 and above.  A General Principles document and Risk Assessments pertaining to each discipline will be issued shortly which again will outline the control measures that must be put in place. Organisers may use this Risk Assessment or provide their own document, but in all circumstances a Risk Assessment must accompany a permit application to demonstrate that Control Measures put in place are suitable and sufficient and considered to be as low as is reasonably practicable to reduce the risk of infection and to maintain Social Distancing measures.  
Competition Permits.  For the next three months (commencing 1st June), all Permits (Training/Practice and Competition) will be issued by ACU Head Office.  This is to ensure that a Risk Assessment accompanies a Permit Application, either the Risk Assessment produced by ACU Head Office that has been completed and returned or a risk assessment drafted by the Organiser taking into consideration the control measures to be put in place to mitigate the risk of infection and to consider Social Distancing measures.  For clarity, competition permits will be issued for events commencing on / or after 4th July.  The cost of a Permit to be issued by ACU Head Office for the next three months (Covid19 Permit) will be £25.00 for each permit and for clarification these are the Permits that would have been issued in normal circumstances by the Centre.  As well as the Risk Assessment, normal protocols regarding a Permit Application applies and entry to the activity is made online such as the ACU online system.  A £3.00 surcharge per rider will be added if we have to cancel the permit following a change in Government advice.
Sidecars. Obviously, each of our sports have provision for Sidecar activity.   Please be assured that the Directors are discussing the issue of Sidecar competition.  Social distancing has to be considered in line with existing UK Government advice/guidance which in its current form has an effect on Sidecars.  At this moment in time, no ACU competitive events in any discipline will commence before 4th July, so we have some time to consider Sidecar activity further in line with the UK Government protocol on Social Distancing.  This issue is being discussed quite comprehensively and once a decision is made, this will be disseminated as quickly as possible.
Youth Practice. As per the latest UK Government guidance, we cannot start youth practice for the time-being.  This is being constantly reviewed and further updates will follow once more clarity has been given on this matter.The Board of Directors thank all Organisers / members for their continued support and on behalf of the Board, Chairman Roy Humphrey commented “The Directors are well aware of the eagerness of many who wish to get going and get started back in their sport as soon as possible.  Apart from the love of the sport and motorcycles, this will give everyone a lift and help our mental wellbeing. We, as the Governing Body have a responsibility to ensure our Sport, our Clubs and Members adhere to current UK Government policy with regard to Covid-19 and as such we must all do what we can to minimize the risk of infection by maintaining our social distance.  The last thing we or anyone needs is a second peak now that restrictions are slowly beginning to ease’.
Summary of dates:
Activity         Permit Application Date            Event Date
Coaching/Training                 27th May 2020                          1st June 2020
Practice Events                     1st June 2020                            8th June
2020Competition Events               15th June 2020                          4th July 2020




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.