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since 04.04.2000

Rally Patch from the Lion

The 10th Lion Rally.

9th - 11th June 2000

Nigel, Olwyn, Deb and myself visited the Lion rally for the first time this year. After amazing amounts of rain on Friday morning (of Birthday Bash proportions!), the weather cleared up, and we were able to travel the 125 miles in the dry. Mind you, the wind was gale force all the way.

There's loads of pictures for this one - I've just bought a new camera, so I've gone a bit wild!

The words were done by Deb.

Arrived about 6pm on Friday evening after a couple of 'Little Chef' stops. We enquired about getting tickets for Olly and Nigel as we'd heard tickets were limited, we were told it wasn't going to be that big and not to worry, so we didn't even though the field didn't look that big. After the housekeeping bit - pegging the tent down where it fell and chucking everything in - hoping it doesn't fall down, fall apart, get lost...(any one who knows us knows thats pretty much how we live anyway!) - we brewed up and called Olly (7pm) who reckoned they were just about to set set off and Nigel said they would be there in 1 hour and 45 minutes (yer right!).

Had a bit of a chat with one of our neighbours (Steve with the Honda Bros) and then had a bit of a wonder 'round the site.

Plenty of stalls for a 'small' rally (I'm pleased to say, not so sure Nigel was quite as pleased to see them), plenty of food concessions (all the usuals - hog roast, chips and burgers, but also a pizza wagon and a very nice healthy food option - 'NUTS'), a 'quiet' tent with chairs and tables (very civilized), and a big beer tent - not too expensive considering we were South - 1.70 a pint. Nigel was happy, they were serving I.P.A. which didn't run out 'til around midnight on Saturday night. There were bands but we didn't really get to see them.

Steve was first to win the 'shopping competition' - a leather waistcoat from the very first stall as soon as we got there! (and I thought it was the girls who went to rallies to shop!). There was some different shopping too - Pete at the Skull-Duggery Bazaar with his 'unusual' SKULL Toilet Brush and some 'Death' wall plaques (to keep the 'in-laws' away) was one example (if you're interested he does mail-order - see links page).

After the shopping we thought we'd better start sampling the beer, we saw Steve (Honda) again in the beer tent and he asked us what time we were expecting our mates - we were just having a laugh about Nigels optimism as my phone rang - it was Olly to say they were on the rally field - it was exactly 8.45pm!!!

As Olly rescued her Brandy and Vodka from the bike to build up her strength to pump up the airbed and make the bed (sheets, quilts and pillows!) Nigel fought the tent and eventually won.

Friday night was what you might have expected - beer, beer and then more beer.

Saturday morning we had a ride into Wokingham - for supplies and a meal and to see the 'Carnival', which we never found (I still think it was the name of a pub). We gave up and went back to the rally.

Shopping, silly games and the custom show were the order of the day. Steve will be commenting on the custom show, as the most I can say is there were some pretty paint jobs - my favourite was the bright pink and green Harley Combo. The highlight of the silly games was the Bungee Run (lots of inner tubes tied to a Land Rover) - this looked a bit painful, a couple of blokes lost their shorts and another managed to snap the rubber and get slapped up the backside with it (ouch!!!).

By Saturday night the field really filled up - not quite Bulldog proportions - but it was a bit of a squeeze. It was bloody cold on Saturday night, I had to put most of my clothes on - I could just about zip my sleeping bag up - what I couldn't get on I had over me, and I still had to fuel my sleep with tequila (what a tragedy). Sex was out of the question - Steve couldn't find his way through all of the layers!!!

Everybody was very friendly, and Nigel did seem to know at least a quarter of the people on the field. This was a very well organised rally, although it was without a doubt the most uncomfortable bumpy field we've ever had to sleep in (by Sunday morning I was 'S' shaped from the ground I'd been sleeping on and had to be stood on to straighten me out to get me on the bike!), and the water was undrinkable (I know Olly and me can be a bit fussy but not even Steve could drink his black coffee). However this was more than made up by the other facilities. There were loads of toilets and they were kept very clean and usable (even loo roll and paper handtowels throughout the weekend!!), even Sunday morning wasn't as bad as might have been expected. Perhaps this luxury of usable toilets was something to do with the fact the organisers had the good sense to keep the areas well lit, so people could see what they were doing - OTHER ORGANISERS PLEASE TAKE NOTE!!!

All in all a great weekend, recommended to everyone - even families and disabled who were also well catered for and well represented - we will definitely be going back next year (with an airbed).