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The Heart Of England Rally.
6th - 8th July 2001
You can see the Brum Demo report here.
Back to Droitwich Rugby club again for this years Heart Of England rally. Friday started off dry, but around tea-time (just as everyone started travelling to the rally) the heavens opened! All the rain storms we had been promised over the past few weeks suddenly turned up, and we saw some very soggy bikers squelching through the gates.
Luckily, the rugby pitch we were camping on was very compacted, so we didn't end up with a mud-bath - after all that rain, you still needed a rather large mallet to get pegs into the ground.
Friday seemed to run incredibly smoothly, and we had a lot of people through the gate, despite the weather and competition from the Megashow at Donnington and other rallies. The foot and mouth problems earlier this year meant that several large rallies were all going on this weekend - fortunately, we've got a lot of loyal clubs and individuals who chose the Heart Of England over other rallies.
Friday night entertainment was provided by Counterfeit and Problem Child - the latter band being 4 pre-teenagers who can put a lot of adult bands to shame! Both of these bands were well received, and some serious partying was accomplished (judging how poorly a lot of people looked on Saturday morning!)
After returning from the Brum Demo, the Silly Games kicked off around 5pm - and the were certainly silly!
It all began with a tug-of-war, between the Black Country MAG lads and some of the Past-It's, using an incredibly ancient bit
of rope - much hilarity ensued when the rope snapped on the first "tug", dumping everyone on their arse! (Almost everyone - having
inside knowledge of how decrepit the rope was, I hung back on the first go, and managed to stay on my feet)
A few knots later, we managed to beat the Past-It's 2-nil. To be fair, all of the big Past-It's were in the bar by this point, so it was a fairly easy contest! We then managed to round up enough women for another "tug", at which time the rope decided to break again, leaving James (the alleged organiser of the games) in uncontrollable fits of laughter, rolling arounf the field.
A 3-legged race was then held for the kids, in which the winner had to be disqualified for carrying his partner for most of the race! The adults 4-legged race was made all the more entertaining by having the middle person facing backwards! One team managed to get the hang of it, and romped home to victory.
Barrel fighting followed, with Adam from BCMAG taking on all opponents and giving them a good thrashing - not bad considering he had to take his glasses off!
I didn't get to see much of Saturday night, as I got stuck with gate duty, but the bands and the disco all sounded pretty good from there. "First Offence" played as support band, and "Cum To Bedlam" played one of their final gigs into the early hours. Managed to get to bed about 4am on Sunday, and slept incredibly well!
The venue is very good for this sort of rally - the 300-ish people we had on site was enough to generate a party-atmosphere, but we could easily accomodate a much larger crowd in coming years. Minimal hassle from the council helps a lot - nearly all problems in previous years have been due to external pressures affecting the way we run the rally.
A cracking rally by all accounts, especially with all the obstacles in its way (clashing rally dates, crappy weather, etc.) There was definitely more atmosphere this year - perhaps people are getting used to the site, and chilling out more.
Other things to look at
You can read Bod's report on the MoonShiners site.
Also, take a look at last year's rally report.
Many thanks to everyone who helped organise the rally, or just turned up and spent some money.
Special thanks go to the Past-Its, who helped out with marshalling the site, and to the members of the Boring Old Farts who helped on the Brum Demo.