Swanage Rally 2005
Event Report

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Event Report

Swanage Rally 29-31st July 2005

We laughed in the face of the threat of rain and headed off to Swanage, the jewel in the Dorset crown to be greeted with a lovely sunny day and the odd cloud floating aimlessly around the place. On arrival a recent British Legion do had left the main parking area looking like a Wimpey building site but on the plus side we had half the entire football pitch to camp on.

After the usual Friday night pilgrimage to the seafront chippies and a swift pint in the White Horse the ‘Alliance’  got the evening off to a rousing start with  singalong  rally favourites like ‘American Pie’, lead singer Martin resplendant in his customary kilt (or two). Frenchie’s homage to Jagger was as amazing as ever and the copious consumption of falling down juice continued into the early hours. The slumbers of a cool night disturbed only once by the partial destruction of the security gate in true rock and roll style by an attempted escapee in his boxers. Lock up your daughters Swanage – Steve McQueen is back in town!

Saturday Cap’n Bob offered an alternative to the manic mayhem of the traditional Wareham high street burn up with a ride to the first ‘South will Rise’ country music festival at Canford Arena. Having negotiated an entry discount of Ł13 per bike in return for putting on a static bike display amidst all the other ‘Americana’ the organisers then attempted to renege on the deal by insisting it was Ł13 per person. Having made it abundantly clear they could take a hike or we would they backed down and let us in.

The line dancing lessons were entertaining but nothing came close to the abundance of strange, nay eccentric individuals present - the majority of whom you had to conclude had been denied cowboy and Indian outfits as kids by their parents !. Suffice to say Wyatt Earp eating his ice cream and Billy the kid shouting into his mobile phone rather destroyed the illusion we had been somehow transported back to the surreal days of the ‘Wild West’. The eagle was cool but words can’t begin to do justice to the other sights we were privy to and since pictures speak volumes I'll leave to the galleries above to tell their strange tales.

Musically most of the acts in the afternoon were ‘country karaoke’ –passable vocalists with fake American accents strumming along to elaborate pre-recorded backing tracks but looking rather awkward during the solos. Some of the rockabilly bands kicked ass and late afternoon rally favorites ‘Quill’ rounded the event off admirably for most Hogsters who subsequently peeled off back to Swanage in preparation for fireworks and the mighty ‘Mafia’ on the seafront.

Sunday the weather held once again as dozens of bikes lead by Cap’n Les tore across the Purbecks on a route that certainly acted as refresher course in riding for this humble scribe ending up as usual at the Bankes Arms for a great set by Jim Etherington. A large contingent arrived minutes later from Dockgate followed by an equally large mob from the Great Western chapter.

Having refreshed the parts that only Swanage rally can reach and to the absolute delight of the thousands lining the sea front we proceeded to rev the main sea front into audio submission as a prelude to the carnival prior to laying on a static display in Swanage high street. The Spider Men marching band were brilliant and  hats off to ‘Arkwright’ for ‘fessing up that he’d been a member of the band for 5 years banging on his big bass drum – AND he still had the outfit to prove it. Well you wouldn’t make it up would you ? … Fantastic stuff !

Snake NF HOG 211

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