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Back From The Dead Again
5th to 7th June 2009Report and pictures by Wendy, so far. The way to shut me up is to send me your words and pictures.
I hope to include pictures taken by "Bones", from RPM, when I have the disk from Nigel. If anyone else has photos from the weekend that I could include, please e-mail them to me (or bring copies to the 'Park Inn' and I will scan them in). Thanks.
Believe it or not, when we reached the site on Friday morning to put up the control tent and marquees, it was warm and sunny. ('We' being Ian, John and myself, joined by Nigel, Pauline and John James).
Our own tents went up first, then we could concentrate on the control tent.
The control tent was an unfamiliar one, that we borrowed from the Moonshiners, and even though we had not yet visited the bar it led to a lot of discussion and head-scratching, before we finally set it up (OK, so one connection was in the wrong way round, but that did not cause any problems).
There was one problem, however - the site seemed to consist of a thin layer of dirt/grass laid on impenetrable concrete!! Tent pegs went in for about 1/4 inch, then buckled. As a result, it was impossible to anchor the control tent and marquees sufficient to stand up to the weather that the Gods threw at us. Never mind - rally-going bikers are made of stern stuff!
We discovered discarded tables and chairs on a pile at the side of the field, so borrowed them to furnish the control tent. Time to finish setting up our own quarters, and relax before riders began arriving.
The warm sun had vanished behind cloud by this time, and although the first arrivals were able to set up camp in the dry, others were not so lucky. This did not seem to worry them (although they were glad of a hot drink before they signed in).
'Double Drat M.C.C' and 'Moonshiners M.C.C' were both well represented, and 'Double Drat' easily won Club turn-out. Six of us were there as MAG members this weekend, because it was our rally - although we are also Moonshiners, and would have been counted in their numbers at any other rally! There were also a number of old friends from the Park Inn (MAG, Sundowners etc). It was lovely to see Claire and Mort again too.
The fact that the rally had been listed in RPM for the last two months meant that one or two new friends rode in to join us. Simon, from Hereford, arrived complete with guitar having read about the rally in Motorcycle News. He was looking for somewhere to go for the weekend - and we are glad he decided to join us. Thanks for everything, Simon - musical contribution, manning the urn during the odd hours, and the interesting conversation. He said that he had enjoyed himself so much that he would be looking out for more such rallies to attend. Watch this site, Simon - we are thinking of holding another this year! Do come and join us again.
OK, so the scorching weather we had at the end of May vanished at the beginning of June! A month's rainfall in one weekend - and it had to fall the weekend of our rally. So how did we manage to have such a good time? I guess it must have been the company we were with. That, and the excellent food (at even more excellent prices), a log fire in the bar, the musical entertainment, decent beer and lager, free tea and coffee in the control tent, - and the company we were with (worth a second mention!).
On Friday evening 'Double Drat' held a birthday party in the marquee for 'Gitsy', and later Eric and Martin (appearing weekly at the 'Comedian') joined Bod, Andy and Simon in a great 'jamming' session in the pub. It was well into Saturday before we rolled back to our tents.
Saturday dawned - I think! although the clouds still covered any sun and gaps in the rain were shortlived. A good breakfast in the pub set us up for the day, and while some happy campers stayed on site (there was a log fire in the bar), others went off to do their own thing. Nigel and Pauline manned the control tent; some of us ran errands in Bewdley, then popped into the museum before going back to the rally (passing a line of very damp floats on the way - Bewdley Carnival was equally ill-fated, for weather).
We had not expected any new arrivals on Saturday, as the rain did not seem to know how to stop, but we were pleased to welcome Bones (from RPM) and more hardy Double Drats. Pete and Olwyn also drove out for the evening, after visiting their new grandson in hospital.
Unfortunately a gusty wind got up and we had to dismantle the marquees at teatime. Andy moved his disco equipment into the pub, and when the rest of his group arrived Bones arranged for them to set up in the pool table end of the bar. It was rather a squeeze, but it did not affect the music, or the enjoyment. Bod joined the group for some numbers, and his contribution soon had everyone singing. It was nice that some of the locals took to the mike, too, later in the evening. Our thanks to Andy and the Mightie Molez for braving the rain, and the cramped conditions, to entertain us. They have been booked to return by Phil (the landlord).
Scooter Phil had obtained vouchers from Streetbike as raffle prizes - they were the only firm to support us. Dave gave us 2 tickets to his rally (Hop and Barley) and on the Saturday night Double Drat gave us 2 tickets to their rally (thanks) and the landlord added a bottle of red wine. An impressive prize list, every one well worth winning! In the end, the money raised helped us to make a small profit from the rally - unexpected, in view of the weather.
Trophies were awarded for:
Club Turn-out - Double Drat MCC
Furthest Travelled Male - Mort (Scavenger MCC)
Furthest Travelled Female - Juliana Elgerton (ViragoStar Owners)
We had so much fun, we are thinking of doing it again this year - perhaps at another new site. Watch this site.