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The Heart Of England Rally and 27th Brum Demo.
5th - 7th July 2002
Words by Ian Wild.
If you've got any pictures of this event, please email them to the webmaster.
"Not as many people here this year, Eddie." Was a comment overheard at this years Heart Of England Rally. Fair comment indeed. What shall we blame? The weather? Well, we could (and did), but in reality we (West Midlands HoE committee, me included ) just did not get of our posteriors soon enough to get the advertising out to the appropriate journals. Hey Ho! And it rained. That's the first time for donkey's years it's rained at the HoE. Still, mustn't grumble.
Cracking new site though. Stoke Priors Sports & Social Club, just south of Bromsgrove. Great beer, Crown Green Bowls (although we weren't allowed to play, only watch), stupendous Bands, and of course the 27th Bum Demo.
Those of us who arrived on the Thursday had the pleasure of waiting for a cricket match to finish so as we could continue to mark out the site. It appeared that nobody had told them we had booked the entire Club for the weekend. Still, all credit to them, they all pitched in and helped rope of various areas and other tasks once the match was over. The same can't be said for the Archery club who I believe turned up on the Sunday, but did not offer to pick up litter!
Other highlights (for me, anyway) was watching half of the gazebo fly into the air and land on top of the other half after a particularly strong gust of the old windy stuff, Chewing the fat and talking toot with Fergus and the tent-spotter (name dropper) in the early hours of sunday morning outside the club, and watching my lad do his college work on the lap-top after he thought he could get out of it by coming to the rally. But then of course I'm easily amused.
A bunch of us left the rally site just before lunchtime on the Saturday to meet up with the start of the Brum Demo at Longbridge in Birmingham. I missed the mass ride to the start, my own fault, I was gassing to punters in the Magstall. Attendance on the demo was down this year as well. Again probably due to limited advertising, and the fact that again this year, we were riding to Worcester to continue pushing for Bus-lane inclusion (euro-speak), as well as pursuing our 'Diesel spills kills' campaign. It is a shame if Bikers cannot see this as an important issue. Unfortunately, I personally cannot comment on how the run actually went, as my prescience was required back on site. I do believe that out beloved editor and 'El-Presidente' gave a stirring speech. As he always does I hasten to add!
Heartfelt thanks from the HoE committee go to the Past-Its MCC. Their help marshalling the site was invaluable. And of course to Shaun, whom I, for some reason, insisted on calling Stuart for most of the weekend. And of course to the aforementioned Eddie Lowe. We do hope that those who did brave the inclemency and went to the Heart of England rally 2004 did enjoy themselves in the usual laid-back HoE manner, If not, tell us, and we'll try to do better. Ho, yes.
Lessons learnt by us? We have got to try to get more people involved with the organisation of both the rally and the Demo. Easier said than done of course. And do things sooner. Maybe run the rally and the Demo on separate weekends? What does anyone think of that? We also realise we need to improve the punter/trader ratio; either with less traders, or better still, more punters. Oh, and maybe two bands on the Saturday? Oh, and let's get back to having hot sunny days with just the gentlest of breezes.