Buzzing with activity

Singer Fiona Harrison and companion in a 1924 Scott motorcyle combination
Singer Fiona Harrison and companion in a 1924 Scott motorcyle combination

There was something for everyone at Leighton Buzzard Railway recently when Pages Park hosted the annual Sand and Motorcycle event and the newly restored locomotive Pedemoura was put back in service.

More than 600 motorcycle enthusiasts gathered for the sixth show celebrating the use of motorcyles in the area’s sand industry.

The theme this year was World War One, marking the centenary of the first battle of the Somme.

The jewel in the crown was the attendance of no less than three ancient girder-fork Triumph 500cc single cylinder motorcyles, with a combined age of 304.

They were used by army despatch riders – known as Don-Rs – in France and one still had a government issue arrow head stamped on its engine.

The crowd was entertained by vocalist Fiona Harrison belting out World War One and rock ‘n’ roll songs.

The show is run by Buzzrail volunteers and the Bedford division of the Royal British Legion Riders – the BRL’s motorcyle group with 6,500 members.

The Portuguese Embassy’s attache for social affairs and transport, Senor Jose Galaz, unveiled Pedemoura’s nameplate at a special ceremony attended by many of those who have worked on her restoration.

Built in 1924 by Orenstein & Koppel, ‘Ped’ was in service at the Pedorido coal mine in the Duoro valley.

She was imported to the UK for preservation in 1972 and spent many years at the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway in Porthmadog. She eventually found her way to Leighton Buzzard in 2005.

Vice president Alf Fisher said: “Pedemoura spent all her commercial working life in Portugal so we were delighted that Senor Galaz was able to join us.

“She will have an active retirement alongside our extensive collection.”