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Turning of the Stone 2006

Last year saw the first Shebbear motorbike show. It was held to add more interest to the turning of the Devil's Stone ceremony that is held every 5th November in the village square. Despite the ceremony being the oldest in Europe, there has not been the sort of interest from outside that it really deserves. In an effort to right this, a few people of the village along with Bonham Jewell from Woolsery thought that the whole event should be more of a mark on the calendar and so last years bike show was organised.

Despite less than helpful weather, the turnout of bikes was encouraging and the feedback enthusiastic. As had been hoped, the extra attraction did not detract from the main event and added more occasion to the night.

Turning of the Stone

Buoyed by the success of 2005, it was decided to go ahead with another motorbike show for 2006. The weather couldn't have been better for a November day, warm sunshine giving way to a crisp dry evening.

The first bikes arrived at 3.15pm. Lyn Watts provided a constant supply of complimentary tea and coffees to wash down the biscuits and freshly baked rock buns from that moment until the last person left gone 11pm.

John Sabotig Nearly 40 motorbikes turned up. There was a Reliant powered trike from the Freeriders club in Kilkhampton, a quad bike, various off-road machines, classic and modern. There was even a display of vintage bicycles and how to ride a penny farthing.
Other motorbike clubs turnout in force too, the Taw & Torridge Classic mcc, Torridge & District mcc, Harley Davidson Riders Club of GB, Bikers Association of North Devon (B.A.N.D), Barnstaple mcc and a couple that were intelligible.

Categories are voted on by anybody who comes along and wishes to vote, the votes are then added up and certificates awarded. Each motorbike entered is awarded with a hand made plaque. Results are as follows;

Bike show results;
Oldest - Rupert Stockwin 1956 BSA Bantam
Shiniest - Joint award Graham Saunders 1966 Triumph T100 & Peter O'Flaherty 1961 Royal Enfield Bullet
Furthest Travelled - John Carr 246 miles Honda CBR600
Best British - John Trible 1959 BSA Gold Star
Most Desirable Bike - John Trible 1959 BSA Gold Star
Least Likely to get home
- Rupert Stockwin 1956 BSA Bantam (2nd year running)
Best Foreign Bike - John Sabotig Lambretta Special
Mrs Sandie Hillier the Vice-Chairman of the parish council kindly agreed to present the winners with their certificates.

BSA Gold Star Best in show

B.A.N.D member, Ian Walker took the opportunity to have a chat with potential sponsors for his 2007 round Britain coast ride on his 1988 Honda Transalp in aid of the Devon Air Ambulance Trust. He had some very positive responses and took money in sponsorship and donations. Bob, of fledgling company R.J.C Photoz took lots of photos of the evening and he has offered to donate them to the fund. His photos can be found at the bottom of this page. If anybody would like a full resolution copy emailed to them it will cost just £1 per image.

Once again, the event goers were entertained by that most traditional site of English village life, Morris dancers. The clunk of wood against wood and the jangling of bells ring out just before the main event much to everybody's amusement, not least the participants.

All of this made for an excellent aperitif for the American film crew making a documentary for the folks across the Pond about mad Englishmen (& women) before the main course. For what could possibly be more eccentric than straining to turn a hefty boulder over once a year since before history began? Of course even newcomers to Shebbear know that turning the Stone is vital for the well being of the parish. It is hardly surprising that an outsider might think this a little strange but all are welcome to join in and soak up the atmosphere of this unique Shebbearian occasion.

Turn the Stone Photo by Jane Dixon Just before 8pm, the bells of St.Michael's Church rang out once more as the crowds gathered around the focal point of the evening. When the bells are 'crashed' they know that there is not long to wait until the bellringers emerge with their metal bars. The Rev. Martin Warren provides the crowd with an entertaining and thought provoking speech and leads a prayer before the bellringers strain to once more keep the Devil at bay for another year.
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