Wisbech bikers rev up to celebrate a club’s 60th birthday
- Credit: Archant
Two wheels are better than four at a club that this year celebrates its 60th birthday.
The Fen Tigers, also known as the Wisbech and District Motorcycle Club, began life in 1955 when 30 people got together to talk about getting a club on the road.
Now, six decades later, it is still going strong with events and rides held throughout the year from a loyal band of followers.
A club spokesman said: “Riding bikes is a unique way of life. Unlike other walks of life, motorcyclists share a strong bond between each other.
“The Fen Tigers Motorcycle Club is for people to share their passion for motorcycles, what ever type you ride, and get together for runs, shows rallies and to have fun doing what we do best - riding bikes.
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“In 1955 the motorcycle was the only transport that many could afford and when a family came along a sidecar was added.
“Today most people in the club ride bikes mainly for pleasure but the enthusiasm for two wheels shown by the founding members remains the same.”
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In 1955, club founder Bill Jackson invited bikers to attend a meeting at the Wisbech Institute.
About 30 people turned up and the club was born.
The nickname was always the Fen Tigers and during 1956 funds were raised for club badges which showed a tiger’s head looking ‘as ferocious as possible.’
In earlier years road racing was popular with members competing, marshalling and spectating.
Some competed in trials and grass track.
Annual fancy dress dances were held and in pre-video days, film nights were organised and other clubs invited to attend.
In the late 70’s a few members trained as motorcycle instructors for the National Motorcycle Training Scheme, which later became the Star Rider Scheme.
For many years the ACU National Rally was an important event in the biker’s calendar and regular competitors were familiar with the Wisbech checkpoint, at Gildo’s Motorcycle Shop, which is run by the club.
One of the greatest changes in activities is touring in the UK and Europe, made possible by the reliability of modern motorcycles, better luggage carrying facilities and ease of crossing the channel.