Last week we asked for your early scooter rally memories and recollections, Mick Tobin was the first to write in and share some of his early 1980s history and stories. If you want to write in, get in touch at editorial@ScooterLab.UK
Here’s Mick’s Memories & Confessions…
1980: I went to my first Chords concert. Then Secret Affair released My World, I remember buying the 7” and seeing it go straight in the charts.
1981: Going to Andy Rue’s, ‘Rue Alldayers’. This was the best thing ever. I also saw The Purple Hearts at Orpington, and gigs by The Specials and Madness. I love a bit ‘o ska.
1982: Buying my brand new Vespa 50 Special. Going to the Raglan in Plumstead like a big boy, then going to The Jam’s final London gig.
1983: I bought a Vespa 150 ‘Soup’ Super and went to Great Yarmouth on it. I remember seeing a gold chopper and a Lambretta with coffin sidecar. As well as Clockwork Orange and Time (Trouble or Toil?) ‘n Money. I was mindblown. I entered Yarmouth as a mod and left as a scooterist!
1984: The first inland rally, we were at Newark and gained the ‘Scooterscum’ headlines, that became our name in the tabloids during the 1980s. I bought a P2 engine there and brought it back on the back of my scooter.
I shoehorned the P2 lump in me Soup, now I was in the P2 zone! I started the A.A.S.C. Did ‘The Full Monty’-ish. At Morecambe and met Steve and the boys. I took a tumble on the way back pushing 70 after a rear wheel blowout. As the scooter went over I stepped off it and found myself running at 40mph… only to see the Soup – with Nigel still on the back skate past me. We were both ok though, just scratches. We set off to the mud bath Great Yarmouth that year but only made it 20 miles outside of London and camped up in a pub car park. We stayed there for the weekend and awarded ourselves an imaginary ‘Paddy Smith’.
Feck off back to London!
Dunbar, I made it as far as Rugeley and broke down then hitched a ride with Rugeley Scooters. We ended up fitting a new piston at the side of road. Then got the nice Mr RAC to take us home. He did as many rallies as we did back then!! 400 miles to get there and we were greeted by a roadblock
Where are you from? You’re from London, then fuck off back there.
At the IOW that year I remember seeing Exile and thinking, ‘wot the feck?!’ In other news, Nigel got chucked through the ‘Happy Chef’ window.
On the way to Skeggy, we put the tent up on a mini-roundabout late at night. The next morning we woke up in the middle of town. We did the same on the way back… on a Milton Keynes A-road. We woke up to a chorus of lorries tooting at us and had all slid to the bottom of the tent.
1985: Great Yarmouth, did the ‘Full Monty’ again (what was it with scooter boys getting naked back then?). I got a FREE PADDY! Also met Petal ‘n Alley there. I ended up spending the summer on Pet’s mum’s sofa. I saw the great showman, Edwin Starr at the seafront nighter, not easy to see though as he was dressed in cammo.
We started the El Giva hall dos with the ‘el Bastardos SC as well this year.
DISC ’85 rally at Donington. Watching The Meteors live – ‘The Wrecking Crew’ became our mantra. Buster Bloodvessel sticking the mike up his ass. Seeing scooter racing for the first time, amazing! I also bought King Kurt’s ‘Big Cock’ on Throbbing Red Vinyl.
We went to Redcar in a blue car with seven of us in it. The RAC wouldn’t take all of us when we inevitably broke down, so Nipper spent 10 hours in the boot on the back of the breakdown truck.
The Isle of Wight, I remember seeing Little Rascal outside the campsite. I wanted a Paddy Smith but didn’t want to pay to get in. So many custom scoots there but they were is surprised me that they were just ‘normal blokes’ scooters.
Other scoots I remember are Clockwork Banana, and spoof custom ‘Drizzle’ was parked next to Howlett’s Dazzle, then there was Revenge. I have many more memories but I was too pissed to remember most of them. I got my ear pierced at the IOW and screamed like a girl, while a little girl had hers done and didn’t flinch. I lent my full licence to a passenger and my RAC card to someone else. Then I broke down myself and used someone else’s RAC card to get home. Mr RAC turned up to collect me with both of my mantes on the lorry! We spent the whole journey calling each other different names so we didn’t get rumbled.
1986: Full Monty again and a good showing for the E.B.S.C, mainly me and Steve plus Petal. Girvan was a war zone, I was nearly stabbed by a local with a screwdriver. I came back home in the boot of Steve’s Audi.
Reece had his new ‘Armadillo’ 225 at Great Yarmouth. Pet’s mum’s yellow Capri took us to Margate. It wasn’t as big a ‘no, no’ back then with cars and vans but I still did most rallies on scoots.
Waking up after ‘The Purge’ – or riots, on the IOW. I was used as a stolen booze mule on the way home! I saw a gorgeous Armandos restored GP there that weekend. It was lovely but I thought ‘that’s the end of the custom Lammies’ and it was for a while as restorations started to become more common.
1987: I ‘retired’ and got myself mortgaged up. I came out of retirement though and went to Scarborough on the train. I got there to find scooterists barred from the pubs. I slept under Beedspeed’s van but kept my hand on the van’s exhaust just in case they decided to drive off!
Never say never
I’ve still got my neglected P2 from ‘85. For the cost to build the engine, sort the rust out and the front end, paint it, seat, cables, tank etc. I could buy one running. Maybe one day when the Lotto fairy visits me I’ll get it back on the road. They’ll probably bury me with it though, not long now.
With special thanks to…
Steve, Petal, Petal’s mum, Tony, Little Sue, John, Jason, Tez, Stevey Mac (when are you coming back), Andy, Ken ‘n Mash ‘the feckin’ tea’, Chris H ‘and the DD, Nigel (AA), Simon (AA), Rob, Rob (show us your knob), and his rat. And the bloke that got the ‘Old Bastards SC’ tattoo on his back instead of the El Bastardos, and finally to ‘Every Man Jack’ of the El Bastardos SC.
Probably not print-worthy, mostly just a good rant but it brought back some memories for me!
Send us your 1980s memories and confessions
Confess your 1980s scooter rally tales, sins and stories to SLUK. We can’t promise to absolve you of all blame but offloading will give you some kind of closure on those troublesome times. You can email your story to editorial@ScooterLab.UK
SLUK Shop’s book shop
SLUK has various books covering the scooter scene from the 1980s, into the rave scene of the 1990s and through to the mid-2000s. If you’re looking for scooter history check out our SLUK Shop.
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