CHAPTER ACTIVITIES SET TO RESUME ON THE 29TH MARCH
2021 MEMBERSHIP FREE FOR EXISTING MEMBERS
INVICTA Chapter UK is a member of the Harley Owners Group (HOG) and we have held our Chapter Charter for 29 years. We are sponsored by Maidstone Harley-Davidson in Aylesford.
We are a vibrant and active Harley Davidson Motorcycle club organising and attending activities throughout the UK, Europe and beyond. Our trained Road Captains organise and lead ride-outs and tours all through the year.
We meet socially every Wednesday at various locations throughout Kent for a beer, a chat and something to eat if you fancy it.
If you have recently bought a new Harley from Maidstone Harley Davidson then along with your free one year HOG membership you are entitled to a free three month trial membership to Invicta Chapter. All you have to do is contact Nicky Whitehead via the Contact button at the top of this page or click on the Join Us button for a form for full membership.
And Then There Was Invicta
And so the great starter button has been pressed on the Invicta Chapter history and it falls on me (Dave) to grasp the throttle and get the wheels in motion. I wasn’t there in the beginning, but the club was still a youngster when I joined in 1994. I will try to firstly give a brief mention of the time preceding my entry even if some of the details are getting a bit fudged from fellow contributors over time.
In 1988 Robinsons, a family run motorcycle company relocated from Thanet into the old Foundry works in Broad Oak Road, Canterbury with the aim of increasing their dealings of selling Suzuki spares. Already being the largest Suzuki spares stockist in the country they had outgrown their old premises at Westwood.
With these much larger premises in Canterbury the Robinson family were able to think about the retailing of Motorcycles again so in 1990 started work on a brand new showroom to display Suzuki motorcycles and another passion of Stewart and his father Dennis, Harley-Davidson.
By July 1991 the new signs had gone up and the new showroom was opened. The name of “The Foundry” was chosen as it seemed suitable to the new heavy metal brand of Harley-Davidson.
With the onset of the opening of the South East’s first Harley-Davidson dealership it was clear that a new HOG club should be created, so on Wednesday 3rd July 1991 a meeting was held at the First and Last Pub just outside of Canterbury to discuss and formulate the workings of such a venture.
Attended by approximately 40 people these proceedings on that night emanated in creating the name of “Invicta Branch” as a chapter name and the formation of a committee comprising of Phil as Director, Philip as Assistant Director, Kevin as Secretary, Stewart as Treasurer and Paul as Events Officer. I am told that Paul (a very flamboyant character of the early years within the club) was the most vocal at the meeting, being keen to air his views on how the club should be run, having knowledge of all things Harley-Davidson, indeed he was to become a very prominent figure within the club’s first 10 years of being.
From this initial meeting Invicta Branch was born and the first Club Night was held again at the First and Last Pub (now closed) at 7.30pm on Wednesday 7th August 1991 incorporating a barbeque at £10.00 per family.
Regular Club meetings were held on a first Wednesday of the month in various different locations in the early years and on my arrival with the club in 1994 the monthly meeting place was held at the Duke of Kent Pub at the end of the M2 on the Thanet Way, a pub which is now closed.
Wednesday meetings are totally ingrained within the club ethos and still survive as the core meeting day of Invicta to this very day hosting our monthly Club nights and Area meetings on set Wednesdays throughout each month.
In May 1995 following extensive renovations of a few rooms above the dealership (carried out by Invicta volunteers) we opened our very own fully functioning clubhouse complete with telephone answering service for its members. This clubhouse along with a complimentary drinks bar served to be our regular club night venue right up until our last meeting there in April 2001.
We were sadly informed that following this last club night the Foundry dealership were to take the area back again to allow them to carry out extensive modernisation and extending of their sales area.
We have had many varied club venues since this time including what we thought was going to be a good home at the football club on the Charing village green where we first held a club night on 7th November 2007. This was short lived as we were all too soon to find it burnt to the ground along with our equipment and medals in May 2011. We did make a return when it was rebuilt but it was never the same and we finally had to fully part company with the venue in 2014.
Our Chapter name has altered a bit over the years to try to fit in with the general rule of HOG chapters and we have changed from “Invicta Branch” to “Invicta” to “Invicta Kent England” and finally resting at our present name of “Invicta Chapter UK”. We are commonly known as “Invicta” so if you see any of these variables you can be rest assured that we are the same big happy family.
In July 2010 we were dealt our biggest blow with the announcement that Harley-Davidson had terminated their dealings with The Foundry and we were to be placed under the auspices of HOG UK for the next 18 months until, whenever, or if ever, we were to be reunited with a new franchise.
For the next year we were in a sort of in no man’s land until finally with the birth of the new Maidstone Harley-Davidson Dealership we were formally adopted on 7th September 2011 as their sponsored HOG Chapter still retaining our chapter name and identity.
We are now three years into this new chapter in the life of Invicta’s history and it looks to be equally as exciting as the last. We have an extensive list of active committee members, events officer and assistants along with a plethora of trained Road Captains all of which provide all year round events and tours of the UK, Europe and beyond.
We have found a great new home with another family run concern and the future looks bright with the dealership. We have many new faces with great new ideas and energy and at the time of writing Invicta is 23 years going into 24 years old and still as fresh as the day it all started.
Here is to the long and prosperous future of Invicta.
Some of the Invicta Chapter members outside our sponsoring dealership.
A membership form is available to print off on the "contact us" page