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IT AIN'T GETTING THERE -ITS THE JOURNEY THAT COUNTS
Taunton Carnival ? - It was all 'Geordie Andy' s idea ... like a 'Wall of light man' he said ... 'You'll feel the heat off the parade man' he said. ...and how we scoffed and joshed him - But he was bloody right ... it was ( like a wall man) ... and you could (feel the heat man)
Never been there before but very impressive showroom and nice to see
provision made to celebrate the fact that the chapter are allegedly the oldest in Europe . Compliments too to whoever put together 2 huge collages of individual faces of all the Bridgwater members from silly outtake photos - very effective and a nice personal touch !
At the MFI car park rendezvous - to a man we're all upstaged (once again) by ... yup you've guessed it the immaculately quiffed Oliver in his silver 'Pussy Wagon' having been 'chaffeured' all the way from Sheffield by his personal grooms Rob & Hilary suitably attired in Indian clothes to match their award winning paint jobbie
The distant sound of a marching band is gradually drowned out by disco music amplified with enough decibel power to supply an AC/DC concert as the first of dozens of floats blind us with white light of mothership proportions and young (and old) people gyrate enthusiastically - most sensibly harnessed to their respective floats for health and safety purposes to avoid too much blood on the tracks.
I have to say it wasn't what I was expecting given my recollections of dropping (old) pennies in buckets as the floats trundled up through Southampton common when I was a kid but its reputation is well deserved delivering as it does something more akin to a 'Mardi Gras' than a mere carnival. It ain't rock and roll but I liked it ... '2 Jags' and various others had vanished earlier for a vindaloo so frantic moby calls abound back in the darkness of the car park cos they don't know their way back to the digs. Early night then
Sunday morning despite the full English monty at 8.00am sharp we make the 9.00 a.m. depart from J25 with seconds to spare. Very fast ride with a hundred or so bikes up to the old bridge services - still dry thankfully. Numbers were probably down overall (i'm guessing) on previous years given the threats of 50 mile per hour gales and torrential rain that have persisted for most of the week and the fact we'd heard they were closing the bridges at midnight Saturday till 9.00am Sunday to let the storm blow through and were closing it again at 3.00pm sunday - so a quick in and out then as the actress said to the bishop ?
Well 'quick' was the last thing you could have described the ride as . Despite being a much longer ride than previous years through Magor and various other villages before doubling back to Chepstow I'm not sure why at times we were travelling at little more than walking pace and never got above 15-20 mph ?? - it was no surprise therefore that by the time we hit the town centre there were a number of 'smokers' . Luckily (?) our arrival co-incided with the promised deluge to help put out the flames. There was obviously going to be no let up so once the excellent blues band finished playing in the market square we claimed the T shirts , grabbed the pins, shaped up , shipped out and didn't pass GO till we hit the green green grass of home down the Wessex Way
I heard rumours the event had raised £17k
(?) for the 'Spencer Daman trust for meningitis' so no doubt all for a good cause but (and I'm sure
I'm not the first to say it) ... shame it couldn't take place at a more sensible time of year !