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The Heart Of England Rally and 25th Brum Demo.
5th - 7th July 2002
Heart of England Rally Pictures.
Brum Demo Pictures.
Words by Clare
My weekend started with me looking out of the office window on Friday afternoon thinking, 'Nah, it's not raining in south Birmingham, and only drizzling here, I'll not bother fishing out the waterproofs'. Rather inevitably, the Law of Sod took over and ensured that I got a thorough soaking every time I stopped in traffic, or at road works, or behind accidents, or... I'm sure you get the picture. Someday I shall learn.
Anyway, I finally arrived at the site and I was beaten to it by a number of other people and clubs, which is always nice to see as there's nothing quite so dull as being the first to arrive at a party. The tent was erected attempting to keep within the Worcester County Council's bizarre rules that the tents must be at least 6 metres apart. Whilst I agree that some members of the biking fraternity/sorority should have an exclusion zone around their tent (for reasons other than fire regulations), extending this to a whole rally is completely impractical, not to mention downright antisocial. So Boo Hiss Worcester County Council, and I hope you rethink your policy for next year.
The rest of Friday evening was spent shopping at the lovely array of stalls, listening to the bands, looking at fine gentlemen and at some point the drinking commenced. I have only fleeting memories of Friday night's bands, and the lead singer of the second band had wonderful..er..stage presence.
The highlight of Saturday would have to be the demo. The run went from Longbridge, through the centre of Birmingham, on to Sandwell Council house, and considering there was no police escort this year, it went with relatively few hitches. Sadly, there was very little in the local press after the event. Surely no-one could miss over 600 bikes ploughing though the middle of Birmingham?? It appears that some event called 'The Party In The Park' was considered more newsworthy. Philistines. However for the first time in years it didn't rain on the run, which was nice.
Saturday evening's entertainment certainly equalled, if not surpassed, that of Friday night. The first band played rock classics which got many people a-dancin', and I sadly won nothing on the raffle. (I am generally luckless at raffles, and nowadays I consider buying a ticket more-or-less a donation)
Any young ladies' chances of pulling that evening was diminished by the arrival into the marquee of the Perverts In Leather, or more specifically the little skirts containing the Perverts In Leather. I understand the rally was a hen weekend and I do hope the prospective bride continues to have as much fun in life post wedding as they appeared to be having on Saturday night. I would've joined in, no really, but..erm.. my little skirt was in the wash.
Finally, band No2 on Saturday deserves a special mention. They didn't look like a rock outfit, no sir. They were a duo with rather bright dickie-bows and tailcoats but were technically brilliant. I don't know why those two chaps are playing weddings/rallies/bar mitzvahs as they could musically go on to greater things, but I do hope they continue, as it would be great to see them at a rally again. Maybe next year.
All in all, I, along with about 300 others, had a cracking time. Lots of beer was had, the games were silly, the Perverts rather ingeniously cheated at the tug of war, and 75% of the bands played 'Whole Lotta Rosie'. Many thanks to West Midlands MAG for organising the shindig, the Past-Its for helping to marshal the site, to Nicky Basset-Powell and Ian Mutch for their words after the run. And thanks to all attending, particularly those who had come a rather long way, for generating such a chilled out atmosphere.
And lastly, many many thanks to the Divine for providing enough sunshine to dry out my jeans...
Steve's BitFor those that are interested, the bands at the Heart Of England were:
Nothing But Grief
The Special Stuff
Thanks to everyone in the bands. When I get round to it, I'll post all their details on the links page.
Thanks also to Sandwell Council for inviting us to end the Brum Demo at Oldbury again. Councillor Bob Badham was thrilled to be presented with MAG's "Biker Friendly City" award, which Sandwell deserve for their work on the Strategy For Powered Two Wheelers.
As always, thanks to everyone who attended the rally and the Brum Demo and made it a successful weekend.