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The Sheene Run - May 27th 2005

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    This year's Sheene Run, the unique town centre event that sees a mile of permanent road closure in the centre of Rugby has been given another major boost as the Auto Cycle Union (ACU) announce that two of Barry's World Championship bikes are set to return to the UK from Australia.

    The machines are those ridden by Barry in his World Championship years of 1976 and 1977. The RG500s have been out of the Country for 21 years since 'Bazza' emigrated to Australia in 1984. The machines will bring a very special addition to the event, which has already lined up 7 other machines ridden by the biking legend. Despite the RG's having been dry stored for many years, it is hoped the machines will actually run at the event in Rugby on Sunday 3 July 2005. Barry's mechanic, Martin Ogbourne and engine guru Nigel Everitt will be examining the machines when they return in a week's time to determine what needs to be done to get them running again.

    Host for the day in Rugby is Steve Parrish who, in addition to being one of the commentators on the day, will also ride one of the machines. Discussions are still ongoing with another rider of Barry's era to ride the second machine. Steve commented "It is incredibly exciting that the bikes are coming back and that the event organisers have every intention of getting them running. If Martin can make that happen, I have made it known that I want to be riding one of them! I know Stephanie is thrilled the event is happening again and that Barry's memory is being kept alive."

    The bikes will subsequently go on display at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu for an at present undefined period of time. The man behind the event, ACU's Neil Hellings said: " Bringing the bikes back is fantastic and I am extremely grateful to Stephanie for agreeing to it. I, like most people in the their late thirties or over, remember Barry as an icon and to once more see and hopefully hear and smell the bikes again is going to be magical."

    The Sheene Run sees bikes of all shapes and sizes 'enjoy' the closed roads of the town centre. In addition to the growing number of Sheene bikes, making the most of the closed roads will be numerous other race bikes that are running on the day as well as cavalcades of road legal machines, stunt riders and even a Mitsubishi works World Rally Car is being lined up. An impressive collection of Brooklands racers will be attending the event and recreate a 1920's paddock to create the atmosphere of those pioneering days of racing.

    Riders attending include Mick Grant, John Cooper, Bill Smith and fastest lady around the TT, Maria Costello.

    Rugby Borough Council and Warwickshire County Council have really got behind both the National Rally and The Sheene Run and it is great to see, local political support for motorcycle events.

    Anyone with a race or classic bike that wants to join in the fun can do so by contacting or by calling 01788 566415. The event has a comprehensive website where you can get all the details of this event that takes motorcycling to the very heart of a town centre. This year's event is also tying up with the National Rally, which finishes in Rugby that morning and the profits from the day are going to Mencap. Certain aspects of the day will be charged for, but an advanced ticket costs just 10 which will cover every aspect of the day from secure bike parking to programme and entry to the various paddocks.

    There is also a black tie dinner (tickets cost 58 each), on Saturday 2nd July, providing a chance to socialise and reminisce with friends who rode with Barry and the special people who engineered his bikes. For information on how to apply for tickets please log on to the website or call 01788 566415.