Thames Valley Centre History

The Thames Valley Centre started life as the Reading Centre of the Velocette Owners Club on 2nd July 1963 and changed to the Thames Valley Centre in 1987 to reflect the wide area covered by the Centre. The inaugural meeting was at the Black Boy in Shinfield near Reading attended by 15 members from the Dorking and London Centres. The second meeting was held at the Blagrave Arms in Reading when a committee was elected for the Centre.

The Blagrave Arms continued as the venue for regular club nights with the first AGM held there in March 1963. Membership of the Centre stood at 11 full and 3 social members. At the AGM it was decided to hold alternate club nights at the Rose & Crown in Newbury and the Blagrave Arms. Following problems with the Newbury venue the meetings continued in Reading only. Social activities thrived during the year including a darts match Treasure Hunt, IOM TT film shows and the first Cheddar Gorge Run on 23rd August 1964. This run continues to be popular with Centre members today.

Membership of the Centre increased over the years and by 1975 there were 90 full and 28 social members. Some years ago the social and full categories were amalgamated and membership has remained about the 120 level since.

In 1974, following a change of landlord at the Blagrave Arms the Centre had to find new meeting rooms. To reflect the wide spread of the membership, meetings were held at the Cherry Tree in Stoke Row on the 2nd Tuesday of each month and at the Fox and Hounds in Donnington on the 4th Monday.

The Centre found a new home at the Plowden Arms in Shiplake and again we were very lucky with the welcome we received from Mira, the landlady. The Centre continued to hold its meetings at the Plowden Arms until 2013 when we returned to our old home at the Cherry Tree in Stoke Row. During the Covid pandemic in 2020 we moved our meetings to our current home at The Rising Sun pub in Witheridge Hill not far from Stoke Row.

Over the years the Centre has organised many social events including the national rally on one occasion. Through the active support of our members we have increased the number of activities organised by the Centre over recent years.  Currently the two main events are Show Off Your Bike Day in summer and the annual Christmas Dinner, both of which are very well supported. Show Off Your Bike Day at the common next to The Rising Sun pub is very successful attracting over 50 bikes, veteran to modern, and many different makes.

During the year we have many run outs to places of interest, and promoted the Velocette marque by having stands at several shows. We co-operate with adjacent VOC Centres and join up on runs during the year. Whether riding a Velocette or other make, everyone is welcome to join in.  The emphasis is on enjoying your bike and the company.

Details of the Centre activities can be found on the Events page or in Fishtail.

Keeping Velocettes Alive.
In the Mind, on the Road, on the Track.