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14 May 2017

Ace Cafe Ace Cafe Ace Cafe Ace Cafe Ace Cafe Ace Cafe Ace Cafe Ace Cafe Ace Cafe Ace Cafe

M1 & Watford Gap 50th Anniversary 28/10/2009

M1 Motorway & Watford Gap Services 50th Anniversary


Motorcycle Riders Roll-Up to Watford Gap


A group of motorcycling enthusiasts from the famous motorcycle club and church charity, The 59 Club, will be helping the UK’s most iconic Motorway Service Area, Roadchef’s Watford Gap, celebrate its 50th Anniversary.


Father Dennis McSwinney and Derek Hooper from The 59 Club management team will make the 78-mile pilgrimage from the club’s regular stomping ground, at Ace Cafe London, to the site on the northbound carriageway.  Managing Director of the Ace, Mark Wilsmore, and members of the cafe’s events team will be exhibiting on both Sunday 1st November and Monday 2nd November 2009.


But that’s not all, as part of the celebrations, the 59 Club and Ace Cafe London will be presenting a display of vintage British bikes from the era, in a bid to help recreate the look of the Watford Gap car park as it would have appeared on the day it opened back in 1959. A classic 1959 BSA Gold Star Clubman will be accompanied by a Triton Cafe Racer (a hybrid motorcycle consisting of a 1950’s Norton Featherbed frame with a Triumph 750cc Bonneville engine) and a BSA A65 Rocket with a 1950’s “Dustbin” fairing.


Similar to Watford Gap, in the late 50s and early 60s, the Ace Cafe enjoyed fame as one of the top hangout spots for Ton Up Boys (and girls) and Rockers from all over the UK.  During its heyday, members of The 59 Club were frequent visitors to the Ace, until the cafe’s closure in 1969.


25 years later in 1994, The 59 Club once again became involved with the cafe on occasion of the holding of the now annual Ace Cafe Reunion, and has done so every year since. The Ace Cafe London re-opened the original premises in 2001 and now plays host to bi-annual meetings of The 59 Club, many members of which share an enduring and genuine passion for English motorcycles.


Simon Turl, CEO of Roadchef, the owners of Watford Gap commented:


“It truly is fantastic that members of the 59 Club and Ace Cafe London’s management team will be sharing in the 50th Anniversary celebrations with us, particularly as the club started out in the same year as Watford Gap and the M1 motorway opened and has a similar rich cultural history involving many icons and celebrities from the rock’n’roll years. We feel extremely privileged that they have agreed to organise a display of classic bikes for two days on both 1st and 2nd November, to share with both our birthday guests and the travelling public.”