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The Second Hic Bibi Charity Rally.
22-24th April 2005
This small rally, now in it's second year, is organised by Taz & Rocky to raise funds for the Mayfield Special School in Chorley Lancashire. Held at the Red Herring in Coppull the 100-ticket weekend is a delightful example of what can be done to raise money for a good cause.
My weekend started on Thursday, with a phone call saying the chap I am sharing a tent with is no longer taking his tent. Panic then sets in, as I cannot get my tent on the bike with all the other gear I need. Luckily a friend of mine named Yoda is having to go by 4 wheeled transport and has plenty of spare room for all my excess junk. A short trip to south Birmingham to meet up and store my tent in his boot and we start off up the M42.
We had organised a meeting with a few other people on the services on the new M6 Toll Road. This is the first time I had been on this stretch of road and apart from having to strip down to find my wallet and change to pay the extortionate £2 fee (Yoda ended up paying for me) I found the road to be clear of traffic and smooth to ride on. Having met our fellow travellers we continued up onto the M6 and straight into a traffic jam. It didn't make much difference to me on the bike, but I had to wait for the others in larger vehicles. Mind you it was a joy to watch Mark trying to filter through traffic on his Valkyrie trike & trailer. Much to my amazement it actually worked, even though all the other motorists seemed determined to stop him.
The rally is just off junction 27 of the M6 and is situated on an open plot of land next to a giant building that I understand used to be a mill. Having sorted out where we were to pitch our tents we then proceeded to find willing volunteers to help us put our erections up. (Both Mark, Dik, Yoda & I are disabled). There were no shortages of volunteers and thanks go out to Vicci, Neil, Judge, Taz & Rocky for all the help.
The weather was quite chilly, despite the sunshine, due to a strong wind, which felt like it came straight from Siberia. Once settled in and fed and watered we ventured to the Red Herring pub to sample the local ale and watch the bands. The upstairs room where the bands were playing was a very small affair. I could understand why they had to put a 100-person limit on the gate. However it made the evening more 'intimate' and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. First up was "Renegade" who delighted the crowd with some Thin Lizzy covers amongst others. Then "Custard Pie" took to the stage and took everyone back to their youth with some excellent Led Zeppelin renditions. I understand that these two bands stepped in at the last minute to cover for some letdowns. They were very capable and got the crowd going. Free Lancashire hotpot was provided behind the bar (I didn't partake myself) and the beer was very reasonably priced and went down a treat. I retired early on the first night, about 2200, I'm not sure if it was the ride up or just old age. At any rate I was ready for bed so returned to my tent.
The night was very cold and I was glad of the extra stuff that Yoda had brought up for me. By the morning the sun had come out again and the wind was a little less forceful, although still bitterly cold. Yoda had already fixed the kettle and was frying up the bacon by the time I surfaced. What a chap.
Most part of the day was spent wandering around the site, having a look at the stalls or riding into town to get some petrol. The wind died down a bit and it turned into a very pleasant day. The usual silly games were provided at about 1430 and although I didn't partake I did hear some rumours about Rocky in a dress and makeup. If this was anything to do with the games, or just Rocky's normal day-to-day attire I'm not quite sure. There was also a BBQ at the pub, which led nicely into the DJ coming on at about 1900. We spent the first half of the night in the downstairs main room that was a little less crowded. Once the bands appeared we made our way up to the other room. There was a little problem negotiating the steps for our 3 wheelchair using friends but with a little help we managed to get them up. The first band this evening were called "Titan" and played a few covers as well as original stuff. A very competent group but just lacked that something to get the crowd going. When they had finished there was a short break where the trophies were presented. Mark winning furthest distance (from the Isle of Wight) and a grumbling of discontent when a standard Boom trike won the trophy for best trike. The night was finished off with Rocky's own band "Firepoint", who, despite suffering from a few sound problems and Rocky's ever worsening sore throat, put on a good show. A few coffees' and the obligatory chat around the camp light finished off the night a treat.
After an extremely cold night (I ended up with more clothes on than when I went to bed!) the morning was bright and warm. Once the tents were packed away we said our goodbyes and meandered our way home. The trip back was fairly uneventful (except nearly getting decapitated by an errant number plate that decided to part company with Marks' trailer) but more importantly dry.
All in all a very nice weekend, I understand that around £1000 was raised for Mayfield Special School and we all had a jolly good time. My thanks to Taz & Rocky for organising the event and Vicci, Neil & Judge for their assistance.