MB Stories – Bella open weekend 2023


Another year another Zundapp Bella fun open weekend at MB Scooters Ltd. It’s such a good weekend the members always vote to do the same next year. Our weekend is like no other event held in the UK. Theres plenty of meeting and greeting old and new friends who turn up to join in our various repair workshops, talks and lectures. We have our yearly agm and ride out and we eat lots of cake and for some of us we drink beer!

Usually it’s a 2 day affair, but that’s a lot for me and Bella Brain to do in two days, so went for 3 days to spread it all out and make it better for the long distance travellers!

After this summers wash out, the sun gods shone and the Thursday was far too hot to be washing and polishing our collection of Bikes, Scooters and Cars. Bella Brian and Dutch Bella Bert was going to come and help me and big Chris finish off cleaning the building. Chris had been at it for 2 weeks, on his hands and knees sweeping and hoovering up and did a fantastic job of turning the whole building into some thing other than a dusty mess. 

It turns out Bert had Gout and couldn’t do much gardening, Brian was knackered and we didn’t get to the end of the final clean up as they disappeared off to go and buy another rusty Bella for the collection. We had arranged Pie Thursday at one of our locals, but they were running so late – food would have been finished! So me and Alice went for a few crafty beers with pie thrown in then met them at the farm to catch up with life, ready for the start on Friday.

Spreading it over 3 days allowed people to come and go as they wished – there was no plans, just see how it went and help members with jobs on bikes or repairs. A lot of it, is just a social meeting, greeting and chatting to old friends and its always nice to see new interesting people turning up.

Ann was on hand with boxes full of cakes, pies and biscuits offering drinks to new arrivals. People travel a long way for this event, one drove from London, spent the day with us and drove home. Bella Burt even drove from Holland to take part and we had a German visit us. 

The ultra sonic came in handy for a couple of carbs that was stripped, cleaned and rebuilt. Advice was given for jetting bikes and advice with suspension upgrades. Bella Burt set about stripping some wheel hubs whilst people watched, setting up an article for the next magazine, showing different methods of removing the solid screws and bearings. 

Brian from Lancashire drove over on his Bella and got a puncture 2 miles away! So car and Bella trailer was dispatched to recover him! Stripping the rear wheel to repair a tube is not an easy job at the side of the road on a Bella, so that came into the workshop and we showed off our tyre machine making light work of removing tyres and tubes. He even went home and drove back the next day with his wife in tow!

With Burts wheels in pieces, he fitted new bearings and seals the correct way and the tyre machined once again showed how easy tyres can be fitted and Bella Brian finally got his head into gear, balancing the complete wheels. 

Georgia the youngest and female learnt how to convert a fast flow Lambretta tap to fit on her grandads Bella. That involved a one to one lesson on the lathe and milling machine and she even got to drill her own hole!  And she even go to ride a running Bella for the first time! 

On these events we let anyone – go anywhere. They can use any of the machinery, tools are supplied to use with orders – they must go back in the right place! The stores, workshop and collection are all free to walk around. 

Friday night had us at the farm for the usual – open fire, German sausages and salads – and of course plenty to drink as we caught up with the stay overs. Another late night for some and up early to open the shop Saturday to do much of the same meeting, greeting, chit chatting, catching up and talking all things old – not just Bella’s. Most in the club have other interests, most have or have had Lambrettas and Vespas and there’s always lots of cars and bike stories.

Saturday had everyone doing a quiz on Bella’s and the AGM, more workshop work and chats. As the sun was out, it was nice just to sit outside and talk with people in a relaxed atmosphere. Evening time had us having a private room and meal at the local pub, then back to the farm for even more drinks and another late night!

Sunday started with our ride out. This year not the normal chaos of break downs and people getting lost. Luckily the South Yorkshire transport museum in Rotherham was open and running a Steam Punk day giving us something to look at, other than the fantastic collection of Cars, Bikes, Scooters, Buses, Trams, Military vehicles, toys, models and cafe and then there was the other vehicles outside. 

A short ride back had us again doing more running repairs and talks with more coffee and cake. I was going to do a quick talk on doing a rebore – quick he says! When you start talking cleaning, bead blasting, imperial to metric measurements, measuring tools, piston tapers, piston to bore clearances, how the boring bar works, then honing – well a quick talk ended up been a couple of hours. And the petrol heads loved it, this was all done on the fly with no preparation. The 2 hours flew by and the rebore was done to perfection and no one could understand how cheap a rebore is with all that knowledge and equipment. We even squeezed in alloy welding and prep work as the boring bar was cutting away.

As people slowly headed off, it was time for clearing up and saying goodbyes – then the long walk home to sit and collapse – I was knackered! What did I say about 3 days to spread it over – must have been the 3 nights till 2am drinking!

Theres such a wide variety of people that turn up. Ages ranged from the youngsters at 27 who was doing plastic rapid prototype modelling all weekend. To John who enjoyed the day and nights socialising and he was 86 and still camped in a one man tent! And the rest were all in-between ages but mainly on the retired side!

Its not until you sit and look back – you realise what a bloody good weekend it was! Already planning the next one!  

Here’s a mixed selection of photos of most things old and enjoyable, from our Bella weekend, MB Scooters Collection and the South Yorkshire Transport Museum and Steam Punk event!