Salford Knights Rixton Rally 2017 | RALLERY
To most scooterists a rally is somewhere you just arrive at, stick a tent up (or check in a B&B) and get smashed with a load of friends. Behind the scenes fellow scooterists will have spent a good few months planning, hours and hours phoning around and emailing, days booking various parts of a rally jigsaw; toilets/showers/caterers/bands/dealers/DJ’s/ equipment and hiring in various services. Here’s Doug Turner’s look at their own club rally, Rixton 4, held last weekend.
Wednesday – setting up
We take over an old car boot sale patch, with a large poly tunnel and a huge hanger type building. The work starts on Wednesday, with a team of club members laying a huge floor in the hanger, a dance floor in the soul room (poly tunnel), we also build a bar, beg, borrow and steal chairs, tables and all the staging – staging big enough to take all the Manchester Ska Foundation and little “Cai Scooter Boy”. Then we set up toilet blocks, shower blocks, dig a soak-away, do some ad-hoc plumbing, wiring, lighting, sort out a second outdoor bar, get the non-stop food wagon into place and even get an ice cream wagon in for the Saturday. We pride ourselves on the amount of goose poo that we move off the fields before the event starts, even in the flooded parts.
With the meeting of the M56 from North Wales, M6 from Birmingham and Scotland, the M62 from Leeds and Liverpool, the location of our Rixton rally is ideally placed, easy to get to and second to none.
Friday, from 11am we saw a steady flow of people setting up tents, dropping off the odd camper van and caravans. By 2pm there was a few hundred people on site, by 5pm, some of the best pitches were already taken. We have never experienced rain in four years, so as usual we were hoping for a sunny one. The weather held off completely from Friday morning to Sunday afternoon, the scooter gods above were watching.
There were four bands over the weekend, the first off the mark were “Strangest of Saints”, who got the dance floor moving in preparation for the 5:15’s. Playing Jam, Mod, Who, Two Tone, Ska, Small Faces and their own tunes – they couldn’t get off stage, as everyone wanted them to play until the early hours. The main hall closed around 1.00 ish, leaving the Northern Soul room, with Macca and George continuing for a few extra hours, plus all the parties around the camp site and vans.
Saturday morning we awoke with some rays of sunshine. We more than welcome day trippers on a Saturday, come and watch the band, visit the stalls, see the custom show, partake in the raffle and drinking – all at no charge.
Breakfast & beer
The queue for the breakfast van was manageable, with a local truck stop nearby for the overflow, if needed. The bar opened early, as the drinking started early. The gathering of the ‘Overnight Crew’ takes place and many likeminded scooterists, religiously meet up and catch up, fancy dress, wigs and alcohol abound.
Get you home nail bar
The custom show was gathering momentum and parking space was evaporating quickly. There were about 10 stalls present, from second-hand parts, a nail stall, get you home parts, T-shirts, paintings, clothing, helmets, boots – stalls are always free at our rally, just donate a prize to the raffle. This meant with other prizes donated, including some from SC Madrid, Ghost Photography and our usual donations making their way from Man City FC, the raffle would take half an hour to do the complete draw – I think everyone on site took home at least a bottle of 2T.
The lunch time band had now started, “Spark”, they too kept everyone’s attention whilst drinking and we would recommend them for any rally. After the raffle came the custom show. The biggest “ridden club” was the Ace of Spades, the Best Lambretta was “Rise of the Foot Soldier”, Best Vespa 1964 L, Best Rat/Chop sponsored by Mental Engineering was Vespa Chop “Game Over”. Terry O’Neill who won the Best Lambretta, turned out to be the lad who had a heart attack at our rally two years ago – fully recovered, not drink related and full of praise for the help he received that day.
Does drinking never stop on scooter rallies? We started preparing for the evening with Manchester Ska Foundation heading the bill. They have a huge scooter following, plus a large local fan base. If you mix that with all the soulies in the area and local mates from Irlam/Cadishead – the Saturday night was set to be heaving with likeminded people.
We had a small incident of someone collapsing, but with our trained medical staff and equipment on site and a nurse close to the scene, the incident was minimal – an ambulance came and we heard back from the girl, she’s fine and just fainted and hit her head. We also had one small family altercation, which got calmed down – apart from that, problem free.
New York, Paris, Rome and Peckham
The Salford Knights offer a free raffle during the weekend, there’s a number on the ticket for all those who pre-booked. This year’s prize was a weekend in Rome and a weekend in Paris for two. Maggie Gorton, from the Manchester Lyons has taken the Rome trip, her first ever trip overseas and Denise (name on the ticket), still needs to claim the Paris trip.
Manchester Ska Foundation need no introduction and were awesome. Macca and George, with their young protégé Matty in the Soul Room had non-stop dancing and still there were more sounds coming from the camping area. The party was raucous. With the weather being so good, the music was bellowing through the hangar, like the Stone Roses at Spike Island, the sound echoing all through the bar and seating area – the night was a great success. Karen from the bar needed to empty all the barrels, so beers and ciders were knocked down to £1 a pint for the last two hours until 3am.
We started saying goodbye to everyone on Sunday, riders were going solo, in groups and with new friends. Two-by-two the Animals fae Namboombu set off, Karen from Glasgow on her own, Essex Road Tramps and everyone else. We’d like to thank everyone for keeping their own pitch tidy, so this meant minimal work for the members clearing up.
A big thank you to all the members, family and friends that took time off to set up, de-montage on Sunday, work the gate, do litter collecting, marshalling, toilet and shower cleaning – you know who you are. Thanks to Wayne, (who still couldn’t get his Vespa auto thingy to work, so drove down), who set up his M*A*S*H style medical tent, with his twin lads they kept us all safe throughout the weekend. Kenny, Karen and her team for the showers, bars and generators and the burger wagon guys for feeding us. Special thanks to the four bands who were excellent.
Finally, a massive thank you to those who turned up for the day, the night and the weekend. Without you and your support, none of this would be possible. See you on your next rally and hopefully next year.
Even bigger shout out
Big shout out to the furthest travelled. Jennifer Parker(above), a scooterist from San Diego, California. She bought a GTS on Monday, where she is currently working in Prague, Czech Republic, rode through Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium and Kent – overnighting with friends, then on to our rally. Left for Bamber Bridge Sunday and then on to Great Yarmouth. Absolute Legend!
Clubs in attendance
We were pleased to welcome the Essex Road Tramps, the Animals fae Naboombu, Lincoln Knights, Wrexham SC, North Wales Dragons SC, Runcorn SC, Posh as F**k SC, Glasgow Globetrotters, Widnes SC, Ace of Spades SRC, St Helens, Wigan Day Riders, Old Skool, Middleton Not Rights SC, Stoke-on-Trent SC, BLOC, Goldhawks SC, Phase 3, Wire SC, Mad Hatters, Rigby’s Guardian Scooter Division, Lancaster Scooter Club, Stockstead Lone Riders, Skin City, Preston Vespa Club, Macc Kroozers, Horwich Loyalists, Penine Posers, Omega Squad Northwich, Flintshire SC, Manchester Lyons, Hindley Retro, Wigan Vespa, City of Liverpool SC, Bolton Roadrunners, Sothport Sandpipers, The In Crowd (Blackpool), Burnley & Pendle, Hells Angels, Nite Owls, Overnight Division, Radstock Devils (Dorset), Oldham Globetrotters, The Sock Robbers and the list goes on – sorry if I have missed you.
Words and photos: Doug Turner. Aerial photo/video, George Ellis – Ghost Photography
Rallery by Doug Turner