The Nomads Motorcycle Club was founded in April 1966, and at the first meeting the subject of a constitution was raised. Nick Ehrman produced a copy of the Royal Cape Yacht Club constitution on which the Clubs constitution was based. The formation of the club was the brainchild of Les Hayden, who subsequently discussed the idea with YMCA Members who were interested in forming a motorcycle club for British Bikes of 500cc’s and over. The April’66 meeting took place in a small lounge in the YMCA in Observatory. The *founder members were, Messrs. Les Hayden, Nick Ehrman, Billy Steyn (Chairman), Pat O’Connor, Mike Wrightford, Brian Conyers, Robert Borrel-Saladin, Peter Wheeler, Fred Berkenshaw, Desmond King, Billy Burnell, Llewellyn Maxsted, Robin Vismer and Army Livings.
Attached to the YMCA was a fairly large garage where many repairs were performed at night and over weekends. This became such a focal point of the club that the one time chairman, Nick Ehrman, was appointed as Garage Manager.
Membership was around the twenty-five mark in the first year and runs were of the Sunday afternoon variety. Membership over recent years has hovered around 150.
The origin of the club logo, the”Flying Boot”. One day in 1966, Pat O’Connor and Mike Wrightford were sitting in the back rows of the lecture theatre at UCT, dreaming of better things such as Velocettes and BSA Gold Stars. They decided then that the newly born club needed a logo. Between them the “Flying Boot” was created. Mike did the original drawing there and then and gave the drawing to Jerry Day who then produced the artwork from which the first badges were made.
Over the years, the Nomads Motorcycle Club has continued to grow under the various Chairpersons of: Billy Steyn, Nick Ehrman, Alec Autef, Egon Mendel, Warwick Williams, Tony Ferguson, Tony Bailey, Leon Gotkin, John Wilmot, John Van Der Spuy, Pete Strydom, Ian Sinclair and Luderick Jacoby.
General meetings of the Club are held on the 2nd Monday of each month at 20h15 at the Jaggers Bowling Club, Strubens Rd, Mowbray.
Over the years, the monthly meeting places have changed, with meetings having been held at the following venues;
- YMCA in Observatory
- Mowbray Scout Hall
- Gordon’s Institute, Mowbray
- St John’s Ambulance Hall, Roeland Street
- Glendower Hotel
- Good Hope Hotel
- Lord Milner Hotel, Woodstock
- Holiday Inn, Woodstock
- Villager’s Club, Claremont
- Liesbeeck Park Recreation Club, Observatory
- Deutscher Verein, Cape Town
- Jagger’s Bowling Club, Mowbray (current)
As the name Nomads implies, these changes are seemingly not out of context.
Club Rides take place on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each Month and depart from outside Damelin College (previously the Gordon’s Institute), 12 Liesbeek Parkway, Mowbray, Cape Town. Club rides are announced at the General Meetings and published in our monthly journal which is available on request.
Visitors are most welcome on our Club Rides, however, we do request they ride in staggered formation and do not wear “colours” which is not considered befitting the Club’s image.
As the largest and longest established motorcycle Club in Cape Town, if not the Republic, the past and present members have reason to be proud of the Club’s record, and hopefully the “Winged Boot” will continue as the symbol of all that Nomads has stood for in the past – for yet another 51 years – and beyond.