It was in 1954 that the Manchester Lambretta club came in to existence with four people meeting in a greengrocers shop. From this humble beginning the club grew in size, and it wasn’t long before larger premises were required, and so the moved to the Waterloo hotel in Withington.
By 1957, the membership stood at 55 a number of whom represented the club in the first Isle of Man 200.
Though the club attended rallies it was mainly concours type of events that attracted the members, as they preferred the leisurely Sunday runs to the hustle and bustle of the rally fields though they did get their share of the trophies.
It was in the 1958 MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS do-it-yourself exhibition where the club had it’s own stand, that Ben Lyon and Bebe Daniels (American TV stars) asked if they could join the club. They not only became members of the club but in fact accepted honorary presidency, and so the nickname of the club became THE LYONS.
By now some of the members had become decidedly sports conscious, and decided to form a sporting club dropping all social activities; and so the MANCUNIANS was formed. This however did not last long and soon went out of existence, leaving the Lyons rather depleted. It did however prove a point always maintained by the club, that being that you must cater for the tastes of both the sporting and social members in order to have a successful and versatile club.
1964 saw the club moving to Kingsway Hotel. It was at this time that things started to happen.
All but two of the older members, the chairman and treasurer, who to date have served us for twelve years had left, and there was an influx of new members, the average age dropping from 30 to 18. From 1964 to 1967 the club built up its strength and began to show a lively interest in both sporting and social activities, Norwich being the first rally for most of us, 15 of us went to watch.
By the end of 1967 we had gained sufficient experience, and decided in 1968 to have a serious try for the Championship. With a great deal of effort and a certain amount of success, we managed to reach 14th place by the close of the season.
1969 saw us starting off with rather more experience behind us and more determined than ever to fight our way to the top. Despite considerable misfortune in the Isle of Man and on the Tour of Britain we managed to pull second place in the Championship.
By the early seventies scootering was on the decline the club was still in to the racing side and this kept the club alive. the club members raced solo and sidecar outfits being very competitive and winning many trophies, also running E.M.S.A. at the three sisters circuit in Wigan .
Starting in the early 90’s the club started to grow once more attending rallies etc , and has just joined the Lancashire Alliance at the present moment it has 30 plus scooters. The club has always maintained that to have a good time and to come last is better than to win and not enjoy it.
Eddie Yates (Manchester Lyons)
They are the oldest Club in England having run since 1954 without a break and have been a Lambretta Club since 1999 and then a Scooter Club for allowing all scooter owners to join.