The Vintage Motor Cycle Club and Vehicle Rallies

In January 1950 Jim joined the Vintage Motor Cycle Club and helped to set up an unofficial Wolverhampton group.
Regular meetings were held at the Red Lion in Wombourne and a number of road events organised.

 Later in the year Ivor Mutton, who started the Banbury Run resigned and the officers of the Wolverhampton group were asked to take over.

At the first A.G.M. of the Midland Region on 25th February, 1951 at the Foxlydiate Hotel, Reading, Cyril Gibbons was elected Chairman, Walter Edge Treasurer and Jim Boulton Secretary.

Meetings continued at the Red Lion but due to a misunderstanding Jim resigned and left the club.

In 1958 Jim was invited to rejoin by Jack Harper, the Midland Regional Secretary. An inaugural meeting was held at the Hen and Chickens, Oldbury on 15th September, 1959 and the Wolverhampton & North Birmingham section was formed, later to be called the North Birmingham section. Walter Edge was Chairman with Jim Boulton as Secretary, a post he held for 38 years. In the same year he took part in the annual Banbury Run on a 225c.c. Royal Enfield from 1920 and in later years on his Rudge Multi.

Jim on his 225c.c. Royal Enfield from 1920 at the start of the 1951 Banbury Run. He received a second class award.
In action again on the 6th annual Banbury Run, 27th June, 1954 on his 3h.p. Royal Enfield from 1916.
In 1959 it looked as though the event would not take place because there was no one to organise it and so Jim volunteered for the job. The run was a great success and he ran the event for nine years. He still took part in many of the rallies and was assisted by Marie in later years.

In the 1973 rally the Rudge Multi was suffering from a loose distributor, even so Jim managed to complete the course. There were up to 300 international entries in 4 classes and thanks to Jim’s efforts and enthusiasm the event became a firm favourite in the Vintage Motor Cycle Club’s calendar. The 57th run took place in 2005.

Club meetings were sometimes held at Ounsdale Road, and these were greatly enjoyed by fellow members who always looked forward to the excellent food provided by Marie. She was a wonderful hostess and because of this the preferred venue for such meetings was Jim's bungalow.

When he gave up the position of Secretary in 1997 Jim received an honorary membership and was given the President's award for organising the Banbury Run and for his services to the club.

Jim and his Rudge Multi start the 18th Pioneer Run from County Hall Westminster on 21st March, 1954.

Albert Kelly repairs Jim's broken Clutch Cable. 1957 Isle of Man.
He also became Vice President and continued to help in the production of the club's newsletter, often contributing a page dedicated to the more humorous side of motorcycling. He also organised the Levis Trials.

In 1997 the Vintage Motorcycle Club had a trophy made to celebrate Jim's contributions to the club and the Jim Boulton Cup is awarded annually to the rider who participates in the most runs on a vintage machine.

Vehicle rallies were an important part of Jim’s life and they were a great source of enjoyment to him. He helped to organise many events including the 1976 and 1977 Fiesta Rallies for Wolverhampton Council, ably assisted by close friend David Evans.

Our largest local event today is the annual Black Country Vehicle Rally at the Black Country Living Museum, Dudley. In 1992 Jim and Stan Hill organised the predecessor to this event for the Black Country Society. 

The rally was a great success with 97 entries and many people came along to see the vehicles. A second rally took place in 1994 and Jim laid down the ground rules that except in special circumstances, are still followed today. All the entries had to be made in the Black Country.

Even so there were 70 entries including 38 motorcycles, 6 Guy buses, 6 Guy lorries, 5 Clyno cars, 3 Star cars, 8 Sunbeam cars, 1 A.J.S. 3 wheeled van, 2 Bean cars and a Jensen lorry. The day proved to be very successful.
Jim commentating at the 2002 Black Country Vehicle Rally, as Steve Mills looks on.

In more recent times Jim has been responsible for the commentary at the Black Country Vehicle Rally and was always a firm favourite with visitors and enthusiasts. He could always find time to answer any questions or queries regarding the vehicles and if he didn’t attend the rally visitors would always enquire about him.

Starting in 2006 the rally organisers will annually present a Jim Boulton cup in memory of the man who started it all.

Jim’s interests went beyond powered vehicles, his knowledge of locally built bicycles and tricycles was extensive. With some friends from the V.M.C.C. he organised the first run for pre-1914 pedal cycles from Kidderminster to Stourport and back. The event took place on Easter Sunday 1964 and was organised by George Burrow, Les Wooding and Jim. It attracted the attention of the B.B.C. and was taken over by the Veteran Cycle Club.

Jim and fellow enthusiasts at a vintage cycle rally.

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