The Hartwell and District Motor Cycle Club came into existence in 1930, and despite many difficulties over the years, still flourishes as the largest and one of the most progressive in the State. As was the normal practice in the 1920s and 30’s most young fellows in the district rode motorcycles for the simple reason that they were fairly cheap to buy and economical to run.
At the Hartwell joinery works, located at 386 Camberwell Road, Hartwell, young Colin and Roderick Sampson worked for their father in the family carpentry business. After work was finished each day, mates of the Sampson boys gathered at the works to talk about their favourite subjects, with the most import one being motorbikes.
As their enthusiasm grew, so did the number of riders who came to gossip. In December of that year this avid group of enthusiasts decided to form a club, and after a formal meeting o the 18th of the month, the appropriate application was lodged with the Auto Cycle Union of Victoria (which later became Motorcycling Victoria)
At this first AGM it tells the story of what happened in those first 12 months:
“on the 18th December 1930 a meeting of those in the Hartwell District interested in motorcycling was held at 386 Camberwell Road, Hartwell. In attendance were: Messrs: J. Aud, J.R. Harris, C.L. Sampson, J Vines, R Vines, F Jennings, J Morrison, W Bradshaw, A Ramadge, C Morrison, T Johnson, E Teague, K Spence, R Sampson and V. Fisher.
It was decided to form a club known as the Hartwell and District Motorcycle Club. The first office bearers being: President: J Auld, Vice President J R Harris, Delegate JR Harris, Secretary and Treasurer CL Sampson. Committee: J Vines, F Morrison, F Jennings, W Bradshaw.
The club also decided to apply for affiliation to the A.C.U.V. and the application was granted on the 19th March 1931.
The club formed a small track on property on Summerhill Road and may interesting albeit hectic Saturday afternoons were spent on it. The club has taken some months to get going properly and although progress has been a trifle slow and new members at the beginning scarce, the outlook at present is decidedly bright.
At present the club has 28 members and nearly all are enthusiasts. It was not until the last few months that it started putting itself on the map.
There being no fewer than eight members riding at some time or other at the Exhibition speedway dirt track meetings and also be represented in solo bending races at the above track by A Darling.
George Hannaford and Tony Du7nn were entrants from this club in the senior and junior Australia Grand Prix on February 1st last respectively and was not their own fault that kept them out of first place.
The social side of the club if anything is as good as the sporting side. Numerous house parties and socials have been held and in each case have been excellent successes both from the social and financial sides.
Another great point about the club is the financial side, although as you will see by the treasurer’s report is not a handsome balance. The club is financial with all debts paid right up, which is these times is really a great credit to the way the boys stick together as much as is possibly I their power. The club runs, although not of a great number, were all thoroughly enjoyed by those who attended.
Mr. Cliff Wilson, the secretary of the A.C.U.V. attended the 1st birthday of the club held at the Pavilion, Burwood on the 17th December 1931, and an event which was of great importance in the club’s life.
It was with deep regret that for a club so young we have lost two valuable members through bereavement. Alan Ramadge, one of our first members, died very soon after the club was formed and Bill Bradshaw on 26th January 2931.
This report on the past year’s achievements would not be complete without some reference to Mrs Morrison, Mrs Boyd, Mrs Kennedy, Mrs Horkings and Mrs Vines who lent their homes for our House Parties. Also Mrs Morrison and Mrs Hogan, who have made our pennants.
Our best thanks are due to these people for without their help the club could not have attained the good position which it is now in.
In closing it can be said with safety that notwithstanding the perhaps slow beginning on the showing of the past few months of the club, in the ensuing years should go ahead in such a way as to put itself right in the limelight in earnest.
Signed: Colin L Sampson, Honorary Secretary”
Since that first AGM report, Hartwell have prided themselves in being an honourable and welcoming club, that follows the rules and keeps the riders at the forefront.
The Hartwell Club have seen many changes over the years and have participated in many activities other than racing. For example, there was a football team, there was a brass band and many community projects. During the 70’s membership rose to nearly 800 members and whilst today we don’t have the same membership base we feel we still honour the spirit and enthusiasm of our founders and hope we continue to do so for many years to come.