BSRA Big 7 Scooter Rally | RALLERY
The weekend of 9th to 11th June saw the Big 7 National Scooter Rally at Paddock Wood, Tonbridge in Kent. Barely recovered from his exploits at the SWSC Hayling Island rally, Booga takes us through last weekend’s jollies.
Another day another rally, it’s time not to be a twat and head off to the Big 7 rally near Tonbridge in Kent, a nice easy ride (just under 100 miles) along the A27 from Pompey up to Lewis just past Brighton, then up the A26 towards Tonbridge, everything goes well, although I was a little worried when we went through the Cuilfail tunnel (say it loudly) fortunately my CDI and stator both continued to work perfectly!
The weather was looking a little iffy when we set off so it was waterproofs on, but I’m glad to say the weather improved as the day went on, but as the saying goes, better safe than sorry. As I said, it was a nice easy ride and in two and a half hours we arrive at The Hop Farm camp and rally site which is going to be our home for the weekend, first job, up with the tent, but where to put it? Ah, next to the nutters waving madly at us, yeah, that’ll do.
Next job involves alcohol – surprised? No, nor was I! This of course involved catching up with all the people I haven’t seen for ages, then food (always food) from one of the traders, there’s a great choice, from Thai to crepes to donuts and of course my staple diet cheesy chips.
The rest of the afternoon is spent chilling out before the bands and DJs. First up band wise was Mr Clean, a Jam tribute band, and whilst I’m sure they’d be the first to admit they don’t look like the Woking 3, they certainly sounded like them and if you closed your eyes you could almost imagine you back in a Jam gig in the early 80s. Next up was a last minute replacement as the band that had been booked had to pull out due to illness. Well I have to say The Top Cats didn’t so much raise the roof as tore it off, I’ll be honest, I’ve not heard of them before, but after seeing them with their manic stage presence and tight ska sound I’m a definite fan now.
With the live bands done for Friday, I wandered round the various music rooms, catching up with more friends, then more food, though this time I’m pacing myself (remember ‘the food hangover’ from last week)? which I top up with a cheeky couple of vodka and cokes. As the evening draws to a close I head off to my tent having thoroughly enjoyed my first day at the rally. Unfortunately it seems that Alan has got lost again as shouts of ‘Alan, Alan, Alan’ start to echo across the campsite in the wee small hours. Honestly this boy needs to kept on a lead as all he ever does at rallies is wander off!
Saturday morning and it’s off for breakfast, then back to the rally to enjoy the morning sunshine. As usual time is spent chatting to friends, now this is when one of those ‘could only happen on a scooter rally’ things happened. Chatting away and a mobility scooter zips past, nothing really unusual in that, after all eventually that’s what we’ll all be using won’t we? Anyway once again it zips past, well not so much zips as flies. There’s definitely something a little strange about this beast. Third time past and it all makes sense, I hear a “put put” sound. The electric motor’s been removed and replaced with what sounded like a lawnmower engine, genius!
Custom show and rideout
As the morning passed more scooters arrive, a lot more, and the rally has gone from busy to heaving. And one thing I notice is there are a lot of younger riders there, which is nice to see. The rideout left just after lunch time, and looked very busy. I have to admit I didn’t go, I was hiding on the VCB stall avoiding the now blazing sunshine. After the rideout I headed round the custom show, and as usual was greeted by a brilliant mix of scoots, from radical cutdowns, classic restorations, mod scoots and of course the stunning Dazzle.
As the afternoon wore on we got word that a friend (who shall remain nameless) had managed to put diesel into his scoot on the way up to the rally, apparently it actually still ran for a while, but strangely not for long. Being the great mates we are, when he finally arrived, there was more than a fair degree of piss taking, much to our amusement.
Saturday evening has three bands playing, first one up is The Dekkertones, another excellent ska band who kicked out some excellent sounds, then No Lip, a punk covers band followed by The Start, playing mod covers, and although I didn’t get to see them I managed to hear them as the music drifted across the campsite, giving a really chilled out vibe to the evening.
The night’s finished off outside the Olas Boss Reggae room, again chatting with friends before heading back to my tent. This time it appears Alan has also gone to bed as his name is distinctly absent from the campsite.
Sunday morning and everyone’s sunburnt, but happy after another fantastic Big 7 rally. See you at the next one!
Pics Booga and Scarborough Col