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Introduction

This is the home of the Iceni CAM Magazine—a free e-magazine about Cyclemotors, Autocycles, Mopeds ... and more.  It was launched on 15th April 2007 and the most recent four issues can be downloaded here.  (Copies of earlier back numbers are also available.)  For non-computerised folks, printed copies are available at £1.50 per edition; we can accommodate mail order too at £2.20 per single edition or £8.80 for a year’s subscription.

So what’s it about?

It’s an e-magazine all about cyclemotors, autocycles and mopeds that carries road test & feature articles, rally reports, free adverts and other assorted information.  Although we are an independent production, we have strong ties to the EACC and also to the New Zealand Cyclaid Register.

We are based in East Anglia, but are by no means limited to that area.  Much that appears in the magazine is of universal appeal.  We welcome contributions, whereever they are from, and are also happy to help to publicise any events for cyclemotors, autocycles and mopeds.

When’s it published?

We publish four times a year and the publication dates are synchronised with key events in the EACC calendar: the Radar Run, the Peninsularis Run, the Coprolite Run and the Mince Pie Run.  It’s purely an enthusiast production, and all produced on a tiny budget.  Nevertheless, we think you’ll be pretty impressed  The free downloadable version will be posted on this website on the same day as the printed version goes on sale.

All the issues of CAM Magazine that we’ve produced have been very well received.  Thank you all for your comments; they are much appreciated.  Several of you have also made donations, which has helped enormously in keeping Iceni CAM going.

What’s in it?

The July 2017 edition is available now on our Downloads Page.

Main feature: Track Day ’70s

Our Track Day 2 main feature continued into the 1970s, with another triple bill of exotic and interesting Italian Sports-50s.

The super-tuned Testi was undoubtedly the most radical and extreme of all the sports bikes we tested, and so fast, that it really was hard to believe it was just 50cc!

We’ve ridden lots of conventional road-going sports mopeds and sports 50 motor cycles over the years, but can honestly say there’s been nothing that comes close to the Testi in performance … or noise!  So loud it hurt!  No other 50cc we’ve ridden compared to the dramatic acceleration, and it topped out the fastest of all our Sports 50s, double-validated by our pace bike speedometer and a satnav reading.  While there’ve always been stories of 65mph FS1Es and Fantic TIs, we’re not sure that any of them would have compared to this Testi—not even ‘tuned ones’ with the baffles drilled out and the air filter removed.  We’ve ridden lots of such bikes over the years, and nothing ever produced the kind of punch the Testi did, however the Testi was also lower geared for track competition, and easily screamed out in top gear.  It was intended to deliver the maximum performance on a short circuit, which meant getting up to speed as fast as possible to maintain a best average around the short course it was on.  If it were re-geared for top speed, it would almost certainly have gone faster.  While road-going sports 50s certainly don’t produce that kind of power, they’re probably likely to be geared higher, and on a downhill run or with a tailwind they might briefly manage a higher top speed—however no sports moped or sports 50cc motor cycle we’ve ridden would accelerate right up to and sit at 56mph, on the flat, in still air.

Testi certainly delivered the performance, but at the cost of very questionable reliability, and you probably couldn’t use it to just pop down the shops.

Despite being the slowest performer of our six track racers, the Cimatti was absolutely the best handling machine, totally stable, confidently followed lines through the curves single-handed, and not even twitching over any bumpy sections.

The Tecnomoto Special-50 was something very exceptional, not built to a price, but built to an exacting standard with all the best components available, while the quality was reflected in the cost … and still is, because these models certainly achieve some spectacular prices today!

Built for track racing or normally restricted with a smaller carburettor and conventional exhaust for road use, our example had been ‘perked up a little’, but despite its looks, the cycle frame fittings were still quite original.  Other than the overly piercing exhaust note from the expansion exhaust, it could still be registered for highway use, and was a model that was listed in Britain, albeit only sold in very limited numbers.

Acceleration was brisk, going straight up to its paced maximum of 51mph, at which it consistently stayed down the main or back straights.

A very nice piece of kit, but rather a toy, and probably not something you could imagine for the daily commute to work.

The Tecnomoto was road tested and photo shot in mid August 2016 and started our Track Day sequence, with the other five bikes subsequently being processed on a weekly basis. 

All six of our exotic Italian Sports 50s in both Track Day articles came courtesy of Tim Adams, Suffolk Section EACC, for which we’re very grateful.  The 70s’ feature was also sponsored by another Suffolk Section EACC member, Paul Laughlin, who made a donation to IceniCAM for Information Service Garelli PDF files in the new Library free-on-line downloads section.

Another example of how IceniCAM is helping Cyclemotor, Autocycle and Moped enthusiasts across the world, and all for free.  It may take a quite a while (and a lot of webspace) to get the whole library uploaded, but a piece at a time should get there eventually…

First Support feature: Strength and Durability

Townsend characature
Mr Townsend of Hercules outlines
the production plan for 1939.

‘Strength and Durability’ was the Hercules motto, and this second feature was sort of a return to the Corvette moped that we’d previously covered some 16 years ago in April 2001.  This time however, the presentation was appreciably more comprehensive than the earlier piece, and this article was also pleasingly graced with the very same machine that featured in the first article, though it’s fair to say that despite a sort of rebuild, its general condition hadn’t really improved.

It’s quite noticeable that none of the Corvette’s was exactly a shining example, which seems to be how most of the few known survivors invariably appear.  There aren’t many nicely restored ones about, but at least these scruffy ones do work, and receive some occasional use attending club events … two of the bikes in our feature completed the course of the EACC Peninsularis Run on the very day that the article was published in our latest magazine.

Presenting the Hercules history was an important part of the article, as most readers will likely recall the Birmingham-built Hercules bicycles, and many readers may probably even have had one, since so many were made and exported all over the globe.

History however also shows us, yet again, how quickly the mightiest businesses can become lost because, within a few short years of the late 1950s to early 1960s, there were practically no recognisable remains of what could claim at one time, to have been the largest bicycle manufacturer in the world…

The triple-shoot picture set was taken in August 2013, and the road test and photo shoot on frame GZ2690 taken at the same time, before the workshops listed that bike up for selling on.

Frames DZ1646 and EZ1246 were both individually photo shot in December 2016, but both bikes were not road tested till May 2017.

Frame CZ1240 became a late road test and photo shoot in June 2017, and was only completed hardly a week before the editorial deadline, so an article that had been on-going for four years barely had the last piece of its jigsaw notched into place mere days before its due date.

Three of the featured bikes came via the Mopedland workshops, with the fourth from Martin Gates, Suffolk Section EACC, and the article was sponsored by a donation from Hercules Her-cu-motor owner and EACC member Robert Aird of Perth, Scotland.

By presenting four Corvettes together in one feature, you might be deceived into thinking that they could be common machines, but far from it—Corvette’s are actually most uncommon, with relatively few known survivors.  Most examples seem to be in decrepit condition, rarely working or roadworthy, and very infrequently seen, other than by commercial optimists trying to trade them occasionally on internet auction sites for way too much money as ‘a rare barn find’.

Cycle parts are practically impossible to get, which makes original restoration extremely difficult, and all adds up to some impression of how challenging it might have been to get four working examples together for a production.  Perhaps that explains why this article project took four years to complete, but a pleasing result in the end for another rare British-built moped.

Second Support feature: A Little Pussy

Our ‘Little Pussy’ number three article on the Leopard Bobby-3 came about as an incidental road test & photo shoot in March 2017, when our featured bike went through the workshops for some attention to the suspension.

Remarkably, our featured Bobby-3 is still in the same ownership as it was when we produced our first Leopard article 15 years ago, and we have to thank Steve Cobb of Diss for the opportunity to feature it, and to Steve Sharpe of EACC Yorkshire for a donation to sponsor the production.

The last time we covered a feature on Leopard was back in August 2002 when Top Cat particularly focussed on the Bobby-6 model.  Back then we managed to scrape together three B-6 examples for that feature, but the B-3s are a much rarer animal to spot since they were only listed in the UK for a mere 11 months and, by 1957, customers seemed to be inclining toward the better appointed models, so more B-5s and B-6 models were sold than the basic B-3.

The original B-6 Leopard article seemed quite a large magazine feature for its time, but today’s productions typically involve more intensive research, and present a much more comprehensive content.

The proprietary Sachs two-speed engines were installed in a bewildering number of machines across continental Europe, while Britain saw only a fraction of the makes that fitted these motors.  People may be more familiar with others that we’ve covered before in the Kieft K50 and Norman Super Lido, but huge numbers of manufacturers in Germany, Holland, Italy and the Scandanavian countries fitted Sachs motors to their lightweights.  From the mid ’50s to the early ’60s the Sachs motors became the beating hearts of many mopeds across Europe.

Leopard mopeds in Britain really are unusual, rare, and only infrequently seen, so are worth a closer look if you may happen across one.

Though wholly made by Patherwerke in Germany and widely sold across Europe as Panther, the Leopard brand was practically unique to the British market since Phelon & Moore of Cleckheaton in Yorkshire had already registered the Panther brand in Britain, which necessitated the name change to Leopard to enable sales in the UK.  The re-branding process for mopeds was common practice in many countries, and we also saw much the same with the original Norman Nippy Mk1 and Mk2 type-1 as re-branded German Achilles models, the earliest Phillips Gadabout P39s basically started life as a re-badged German Rex model, Bown and Kieft K-50 mopeds were based on the German Hercules 216, Dot sold the Italian/German Viberti/Victoria ViVi models, and the entire Kerry Capitano range was comprised of branded Italian Testi models.

It can be a fascinating challenge trying to spot the origins of many machines across the world, that have experienced name changes for different importers into different markets.  Mopeds in the USA are a particular challenge as hardly any of the American brands were ever actually originated in the States, but since the names were never actually sold anywhere else, they seem to become adopted as a ‘home’ brand.

Maybe Leopard similarly becomes adopted as a unique British brand, and it’s really pleasing to have the opportunity to cover a feature on such a rare and interesting model.

What’s Next?

Next Main Feature: We visit the strange imaginarium world of a Midsummer Nights Dream to find an evil mix between a Sprite and a Nymph.  Sprytes are almost always female in appearance, have wings and can fly, are naughty, mischievous, flirty, and can easily be provoked to bite—so why might you call an autocycle after one of these fairy spirits?

As it was, Excelsior seemed to develop a sudden inability to spell properly when it came to naming their Autocycles: Autobyk? Spryt?  What was that all about?  Unless they were really so far out to be adopting the Polish language translation for ‘cleverness and cunning’, where Spryt is actually spoken as ‘Sprit’—but everyone pronounces Excelsior’s word as Spryte (like Sprite), so something doesn’t seem to be working here?  Perhaps they only had space to cast five letters on the crankcase, but that still doesn’t explain where they got Autobyk from?

Next Support: It seemed that quite a few moped manufacturers had a bit of a thing about naming models after dogs, and we’ve covered or mentioned a few of these before, like article Two Dogs (in the Moped Archive) being the BSA Beagle and Dunkley Whippet, then there’s been mentions of the AJW Greyhound in other features before, and Old dog, new tricks on the Moto Guzzi Dingo (well, it’s a sort of a dog).  Now it looks like we’ve got another old dog coming up again, but what’s it going to be?  Don’t these cryptic clues just drive you barking mad sometimes?  Maybe H.M. The Queen could help with the answer to this one…

Next Second Support: It may look like some elegant old-fashioned cyclemotor, but the retro styling of this relatively modern moped displays a different type of Class.  It’s not what you may think…

What else?

Well, there’s this Website … we’ve put a lot of useful information here, and we’re alwas adding to it.  We have a directory of useful people to know.  Information on local events and, after each run, we put photos of the event on this website.  There’s also a market place where you can buy and sell mopeds, autocycles, cyclemotors and other related items

We have a discussion forum on Yahoo—you can get to that from our Contacts page or the box at the top of this page.

Director’s Cut logo

As each edition of the magazine is published, we add to our collection of articles.  From Edition 3 of the magazine, we introduced another evolution.  Previously, features in the articles section had reflected what appeared in the magazine, but you may now discover a bit of extra content has crept into some items as they’ve transferred to the website—you might call it ‘The Directors Cut’.  The problem with printed magazines is editing everything to fit page sizes and space, and there can sometimes be bits you’d like to include, but they have to be left out to fit the available space.  The web articles don’t need to be constrained by the same limitations so, although the text will remain the same, the ‘Directors Cut’ graphic in the header indicates the item carries extra pictures and bits that didn’t make it to the magazine.

We also have an Information Service—if you want to know more about your moped, we can help.

What we do

Iceni CAM Magazine is committed to celebrating all that’s good about the Cyclemotor, Moped and Autocycle scene; researching toward the advancement of the pool of knowledge about cyclemotors, autocycles, old mopeds, and other oddities; and the publication of original material.  We are a declared non-profit making production, though we still need to fund everything somehow to keep the show on the road.

The magazine is free on line, and the nominal price of supplying hard copies to non-computerised folks is pitched only to cover printing and postage.  All advertising is free since we believe that the few people left out there providing parts & service for these obsolete machines do so as a hobby and an interest.  This involves far more effort than reward, and they should be appreciated for the assistance they provide.  Our Information Service is there to help anyone needing manuals to help with restoration of a machine.  We make a small charge for this but, again, we have set our prices so the just cover postage and material costs.

Overheads involve operation of the website, and particularly the generation of features.  Articles like Last Flight of the Eagle can cost as little as £20 to complete, while others have cost up to £150 to generate, eg: Top Cat on the Leopard Bobby.  With these overheads, you may be wondering how we get the money to keep it all going.  So do we!  But, somehow, it works, helped by a number of generous people who have sponsored articles or made donations to keep the show on the road.

How long does it take to research, produce, and get these feature articles to press?  Well, up to two years of preparatory research in some cases, where little is known about the machine or its makers, and where nothing has been published before.  Then, collating all the information and interviews, drafting and re-drafting the text, travel and photoshoots typically account for up to 40 to 50 hours to deliver the package to editing.

There are many examples where these articles have become the definitive reference material for previously unpublished machines like Mercury Mercette & Hermes, Leopard Bobby, Ostler Mini-Auto, Dunkley Whippet & Popular, Stella Minibike, Ambassador Moped, Elswick Hopper Lynx, and many others.

We’re committed to continuing to produce these articles, because we believe it needs to be done, and we’ve got a proven track record for achieving it.  Nobody else has done it in 50 odd years, so if we don’t do it—who will?

To whet your appetite for what’s ahead, here’s an updated list of machines with developing articles for future features: Ariel 3, Ariel Pixie, Batavus Go-Go, Busy Bee cyclemotor, Capriolo 75 Turismo Veloce, Coventry Eagle Trade Auto-Ette, Cyc-Auto (Wallington Butt), Cyc-Auto (Villiers), Derbi Antorcha, Dot ViVi, Dunkley S65, Dunkley Whippet Super Sports, Elswick–Hopper VAP MIRA test prototype, Gilera RS50, Heath mini-bike, Hercules Her-cu-motor, Honda CD50, Honda SS50, Honda Stream, James Comet 1F, Motobécane SP50, MV Agusta Liberty, Norman Nippy Mark 2, Norman Nippy Mark 3, NVT Ranger, Powell Joybike, Puch Magnum X, Rabeneick Binetta, Simson SR2E, Solifer Speed, Sun Autocycle, Sun Motorette, Tailwind cyclemotor, Vincent Firefly, Yamaha FS1E.

The working list changes all the time as articles are completed and published, and further new machines become added—so as you see, there’s certainly no shortage of material.

Readers have probably noticed a number of the articles collecting sponsorship credits, and we’re very grateful for the donations people have made toward IceniCAM, which certainly assures we’re going forward into another year.  We don’t need a lot of money since IceniCAM is a declared non-profit making organisation, and operates on a shoestring (and we’d like to keep it that way)—run by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts.

It’s easy to sponsor an article by either picking a machine from the forward list, and we’ll attach your credit to it, or simply making a donation.  There is no fixed amount, it’s entirely up to you, and however large or small, we’re grateful for any contribution to keep the show on the road.

If a vehicle you’re interested in seeing an article about isn’t in the list, then let us know and we’ll see about trying to add it in the programme, but we do need access to examples—perhaps you have a machine you’d like to offer for a feature?

See the Contact Page for how to: Subscribe to the magazineChat to fellow readersMake a donationSponsor an articleEnter a free advertSubmit an article yourselfWrite a letter to usPropose a machine for featureOffer your machine for test feature ...

News

Mopedathon for Kidney Cancer UK

August 2017

Kidney Cancer UK is involved with a group of seven Superbikers from London who are taking on a personal challenge this August in memory of one of their fellow bikers who died from kidney cancer in 2016.  They are swapping their Superbikes for 50cc mopeds that they have renovated for the adventure, which will see them ride the coast roads from Lands End into London, taking roughly six days.  One of the members of the group, Silvio, lost his brother to kidney cancer last year so they are riding in his memory to raise funds and awareness of the disease.

The Mopedathon ‘Just Giving’ page is at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mopedexpresswayarmy17

Moped owners wanted in Ipswich

July 2017

There is a 40th anniversary reunion for the class of ’77 from Copleston School, Ipswich and the organisers would like people to bring along a few 1970s’ period Puch Maxis and other sports mopeds to the event—the kind of ‘sixteener’ bikes they’d have been riding back in 1977.  The event is from 8pm on Saturday 15th July at the Conservative Club in Newton Road, Ipswich and will be raising money for St Elizabeth’s Hospice.  Please contact Mark Fosdike: if you can provide a bike for the evening.

Original Mobymatic badge
The original Mobylette badge,
which was plastic moulded, back
painted, and was held on by a
special M3×0.6mm pitch screw.

Mobymatic badges

January 2017

Mopedland has now generated NEW badges for For Mobylettes AV76, AV77, AV78, AV88, AV89, etc.

The original badge and special screw have not been available for some time.

It would not have been viable to remake badges by the original method, so they have been re-created by more practical modern means.  The new badges are made of two components: a bright nickel-plated metal diecast badge mount and a domed badge with self-adhesive backing so it can be stuck to the bright face of the badge mount.  The textured back of the badge mount can then be glued (with impact adhesive, Araldite/resin, or mastic) to the badge mounting point on the fuel tank; it engages in the correct position by the location pin on the back of the badge mount, which centres into the former screw hole.  The price will be £18 a pair (2 badge mounts @ £5 each + 2 domed badges @ £4 each).  The new tooling has produced prototype samples and the production badges are expected to be available for sale very soon.

Original Mobymatic badge
Left to right: the textured back of the badge mount with location pin,
the bright front face of the badge mount, the domed badge as supplied
on peelable backing, and the domed badge stuck onto the badge mount.

Stolen Townmate

December 2016

A Cambridge vicar, the Rev Jonathan Knight, has recently had his blue Yamaha Townmate T80 stolen from outside his house in Bateman Street, Cambridge on Sunday 18th December.  The registration number is L491 SAP & frame number 35T 041274.  If anyone is offered the bike for sale they should contact Cambridgeshire police on 101 or Crime stoppers on 0800 555111.

New Web Site

August 2016

And this is it!  We’ve moved our website here at www.icenicam.org.uk and this new website contains everthing the old one had.  For the time being, both this and the old site are operating, to make the transition as smooth as possible.  We will, however, be gradually closing the old site as all our readers get used to our new address.

Norman Headlamp Nacelle Assembly

Norman Headlamp Nacelle

January 2016

The Norman moped headlamp nacelle has been a problem for some time; the old plastic mouldings have been very prone to suffering embrittlement of the plastic and damage.  Also, parts for the Miller lamp unit that was fitted to these assemblies have been particularly difficult to find.  A lot of owners have long been searching fruitlessly for parts for these headlamp/nacelle sets.

Now Mopedland has come up with a solution, by creating a completely new master mould to produce new fibreglass mouldings.  It would have been pointless to reproduce mouldings that needed the obsolete Miller headlamp unit so, to resolve this issue, the new Mopedland nacelle takes a cheap and readily available lamp unit assembly (which is supplied as part of the kit), from a Honda C50.  This takes a 6V×15/15W headlamp bulb.

The nacelle kits are on sale now for £85, comprising: a new fibreglass moulded nacelle housing, a new headlamp rim/lens/reflector assembly (Honda C50) complete with a 6V×15/15W MPF headlamp bulb and socket fittings and 2 new 5mm stainless steel screws to fit the headlamp + 2 anti-shake nylon washers.  The housing fits Norman Nippy Mk 2/type 2 (Villiers), Norman Nippy Mk 3 (MiVal), Norman Nippy Mk 4 (Villiers), Norman Lido Mk 1 (Villiers), and Norman Super Lido (Sachs).

Aplin’s of Bristol—Still open for business

January 2016

We’ve heard some rumours lately that Brian Aplin is shutting up shop—it turns out that these rumours are completely false.  Brian is still open for business and planning to stay that way.

Motoring services strategy

November 2015

The UK government has just started an open consultation: Motoring services strategy: a strategic direction 2016 to 2020 about what should happen within DVLA, DVSA and VCA over the term of this government.  Some possible changes are continuing the shift towards ‘digital’ sevices, restructuring the fees that these agencies charge, making MoTs apply to four-year-old vehicles, and bringing back the Road Fund (‘an outrage upon the sovereignty of Parliament and upon common sense’—Winston Churchill).

Full details are at www.gov.uk/government/consultations/motoring-services-strategy-a-strategic-direction-2016-to-2020

Black and white number plates

September 2015

Our report that any vehicle that qualifies for ‘Historic Vehicle’ tax may now carry black and white plates (below) caused some slight bafflement among enthusiasts.  Well, thanks again to the FBHVC, here’s how it happened: the law on number plates changed in 2001 and back then, the cut-off date for both black & white plates and ‘Historic Vehicle’ tax was 1973.  So, the new law linked the two, not allowing for the possibility that the tax cut-off would be changed back to a rolling date!

August 2015

It is reported in the latest issue of the FBHVC newsletter that the rules on old-style number plates (ie: with white or silver characters on a black background) have been simplified.  Any vehicle that qualifies for ‘Historic Vehicle’ tax may now carry black and white plates.

Zündavus

July 2015

Jan Gardien keeps us updated with goings-on in the Netherlands and recently send us some photos of the T’oale Kreng Limburg Weekend.  Among the pictures was this:

Zündavus

You can see more of Jan’s Limburg Weekend pictures at www.mijnalbum.nl/Album=38SEOX6D

500km by Solex

July 2015

I met this French guy on the outskirts of Orléans.  It appears that he is doing a 500km round trip on his Solex, pulling a fully packed trailer.  He is also carrying a complete spare engine on his luggage rack.  I saw him leaving, pushing the whole unit up a steep hill (with the motor running)!

Long-distance VéloSoleX rider

Regards
Brian Hastings

New Restrictions on V765s

June 2015

DVLA introduced new restrictions on V765 applications at the end of May—they didn’t tell anyone they were going to do it but just started rejecting any V765 that used a tax disc as its documentary evidence.

The new rule is that any supporting documentation must have a specific link to the vehicle or, in other words, must show the frame number.  It is not yet clear whether an engine number will be acceptable if the log book does not record the frame number, as is often the case with cyclemotors.

In most cases, this means that old log books will be the only accepted documents.  Pre-1983 MoT certificates and tax discs don’t record frame numbers, so won’t be accepted.  That leaves old insurance certificates and local authority archive records.  In many, many cases these don’t show frame numbers either.

If that’s not bad enough, it also raises questions about the rôle of the FBHVCDVLA seems to have treated the Federation with contempt in this matter.  Not only did they not bother to consult the FBHVC about the change but they didn’t even tell the Federation that it had happened.

It’s gone image

It’s Gone!

June 2015

From today (8 June) DVLA will no longer issue the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence.  Existing paper counterparts will no longer be valid and should be destroyed.  The photocard remains valid and should be kept safe.

Paper-only driving licences (issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998) remain valid and should not be destroyed.

No more counterpart … date confirmed for abolition

January 2015

As part of the government’s Red Tape Challenge initiative to remove unnecessary paperwork, it’s now been confirmed by Ministers that from 8 June 2015, DVLA will no longer issue the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence.  This means from that date, existing paper counterparts will no longer be valid.  DVLA is advising drivers to destroy their counterpart after this date.

The old paper-only driving licences (issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998) remain valid and should not be destroyed.

How will drivers check their driver record when the counterpart is gone?

In 2014 DVLA launched the View Driving Licence service which allows GB driving licence holders to view their driving record online.  The service is free and easy to use and available 24/7.  Drivers can check what type of vehicles they can drive and any endorsements (penalty points) they may have.

Driving licence holders can also check the details on their driving record by phone or post.

There’s more information at www.gov.uk/dvla/nomorecounterpart


Older news stories are available in our News Archive