Animals fae Naboombu 30th Anniversary, Knights in Scotland | RALLERY
Barely three weeks after taking 20+ scooters of varying shapes and sizes to The Banausen Breakdown II in Aachen Germany, Doug Turner and his merry bunch of Salford Knights provided a decent muster for the Animals fae Naboombu Scooter Club 30th Anniversary rally at Rothesay, Isle of Bute.
His write up shows the solid inter-club spirit and camaraderie built up whilst mutually supporting events outside of the National Rally scene.
Three tickets bought and all forgotten about for months. Gatz and Sean were obviously coming, Sean just had to break the news to Sandra – which took about 4 months. Copo and Lynne were attending, as they reside in Saltcoats – some 10 miles from Wemyss Bay. George and Mildred, with their Gaelic affinity to the Scots were early ticket holders too. Must add at this point that a pretty unanimous Club decision was passed stating NO Vespa auto conversions would be allowed to go as they are just too unreliable, so it was a definite no to Wayne, under any circumstances!
A week before the off, after a great weekend in Germany, a couple of extra tickets were being sought for Howard our “portly riding T5 psychobilly”, Kev our twisted ever present and helpful MP3 rider, (famed for an extra in Quadrophenia) and our very own ambassador of the Salford Knights (SKSC), Aussie were all late prospective attendees in the last week.
10 of us comprising of two GP’s, one Jet (Saltcoats), Mp3, T5, P225, a brace of Scomadis and a Modena.
Things started badly, George and Mildred’s pair of Scomadis were in MSC, both needed new pistons, studs and barrels and barely a year old. Late repair finishing meant that Georgie had to take Thursday off work and the pair rode back to Wrexham to get their gear.
First man down, Sean had a situation with the local A&E, they rushed through an MRI scan which was on the Sunday, he couldn’t change the appointment, so he dropped out.
Friday morning, Aussie set off at 04.30, George and Mildred soon after, Gatz and myself meeting Kev at Haydock at 07.15. The plan was to meet Howard (H) at Lancaster Services. “Kev, keep an average speed of 60 mph, should be a good run” We got to Lancaster quite quick, breaking the 70 mph speed limit often and I’m still waiting for the speeding tickets to land on my doorstep. The Lammies did well. I filled up for fun, but Gatz had an issue, he’d melted the stator and despite everything we tried, we could not get it started. So no Animals for him and ‘phone a friend’ for recovery.
Welcome to sunny Scotland
H and the T5 did really well keeping up with Kev and me, up the M6, trying to keep it at 60 mph. Keeping constantly in touch with George, Mildred and Aussie via text. What lovely countryside we travelled through, the only qualm was hitting Gretna and the rain started. I’m not sure if this was because we were in Scotland, or the memories of George and Mildred tying the knot there a few weeks earlier. The scenic route was advised by Karen Lynch and Les, so A75 and A76 it was. What a great ride, hammering it at times and slowing for the “portly chap” on the T5. One of the most interesting things that we saw was in a small town, a drinking club that were supporters of KFC. I thought that was a bit deep, then we realised as we hit Kilmarnock, it was the football club!
Lumpy ride on the Modena
Aussie was in the distance, Kilmarnock Services at the McDonalds, “stay there mate, we’ll catch up”. George and Mildred left him as he needed to sort out the tyre on the Modena. It had a lump on it. The tight git would rather ride it, than pay out for a mobile tyre fitter. We collected him and said we’ll cruise at 50. Unbeknown to him, he was doing kmph and not mph. No change there. We finally made Wemyss Bay and he announced with great cheer that the bump/lump had gone away. With closer inspection, he had a 2” square tread pattern missing and was riding on the hessian.
George and Mildred made the 1.00 ferry, Copo and Lynne were on the 2.00 and we made the 3.00. Six Salford Knights pitching up camp. Copo and Lynne could not carry anymore gear in their mates van, so gave camping a miss and booked a local B&B, fair enough after the 10 mile ride to the ferry! We had arrived, along the coast of Rothesay, we had found the mythical Isle of Naboombu, which was a reality and no longer a myth.
Dress code for the weekend was to wear as many SKSC white club T’s throughout, so everyone knew we were there. Dressed and ready for the town, we took a cab. Pete Sweet was the Isle of Bute taxi driver – £7 a hit, between the 4 of us was not under discussion. We were just waiting for Aussie who was farting around. At this point the Taxi driver brought an old name back to life and Aussie was referred to all weekend as ‘The Penguin’ – if you have met Aussie, or saw him that weekend, you’d know why. There were local buses into town and a couple of complimentary ones to take you home at the end of the evening, great transport links for all the riders.
Town, do and the A2 Aces
Town started at the Black Cat (I think), meeting Copo and Lynne, who, at this time had no means of communication as Lynne had had a drink and dropped Copo’s phone in the toilet. Next stop was the Palace for a Karaoke – interesting place. Bumped into a Scottish lad who shared a mutual friend as H, so they got on well. After a few renditions by Aussie and Kev, which were good we were down for the do at to the Masonic Hall. The DJ set was excellent, dancing to tunes which catered for everyone’s needs. Northern, ska, punk, Psychobilly, 60’s and Tamla. The dance floor was heaving.
It was time to catch up with our old mates from the A2 Aces. Their pale blue club polos were signifying exactly what unity a club can bring. We had a bit of a catch up, looking forward to their rally in September and trying to understand the need of evolution into the Scomadi Scene.
I had lost everyone, so when I was kicked out at closing, it was taxi home. I slept like a log.
I woke to beautiful sunshine and got the gas stove out and started making the brews. Slowly awaking – Kev got the Bacon butties from Annie’s Burger Wagon, who did a great job all weekend. Shower, which was hot – unlike the early birds, where no-one knew where the boiler switch was.
As we wanted to go on the ride, we forced Aussie in making him change his tyre. He did try and get recovered back, but they told him that they would recover him to a tyre place on the mainland. Plan B, fix it yourself. Hands up all those who have taken a swinging arm off a Modena – none of us, but the task was ahead – everyone chipped in, except Aussie. The Animals were getting us a spare tyre, as there were no parts stalls. We had a 11.00 deadline to get tyre and wheel to the local boatyard to swap tyre. So I split my brand new spare wheel and loaned him my new S1 – every SKSC on site chipped in and also some of the Scottish lads on site – thank you, job done and the rideout.
12.00 leaving the rideout seemed to have consisted of 200 scooters. Taking in all the beautiful scenery and sites on and from the island. The rideout only had to slow down at the only junction on the island, which was a give way. We had a riding photographer with the Animals who must have taken a 1,000 photos, which I can’t wait to see.
Onto the seafront and the scooter display and Custom show was judged at 1.00. Personal favourite and winner was the “smallie” self painted by the lad in his back garden and built over the last two years, waiting for his 17th birthday. He and his PK50 mate rode over together from Glasgow or Edinburgh – #Youngblood. Well done to Brian from the A2 Aces for the “Best array of stickers on an auto (Scomadi)”
Back to the site for “Animal Antics”, 80’s style rally games. Being a small contingent, we enrolled the services of ‘Animal’ Stevie Smyth for the games. Being as slender as the Knights, the T-shirt fitted like a glove. The games were pole rotations and fruit bobbing, balloon popping, space hoppers and 4 man sack races. There was a lot of cheating and the biggest cheat, the Kilburnie SC won – we were robbed. We still were awarded with souvenir T’s, alcohol, alcohol, more alcohol, ear plugs and 2T oil – they thought of everything.
Everyone was buzzing, but we needed to get ready – showers, quick kips and then a taxi. In town for a Chinese, Aussie and Kev went to Karaoke whilst all the other Knights caught up together – drinking in the venue all night, dancing, awards ceremony – furthest travelled to a French and Belgium honouree members, not forgetting Steve Clarke doing 300 miles plus in no time, by himself on the Friday instead of 30 minutes to Cleethorpes. All aboard the party bus back for a burger at Annie’s wagon.
The snoring that night was horrendous – every tent around was vibrating – but luckily the torrential rain drowned the sound of the snoring.
Sunday morning, tea on, tents down and made the decision to get the 09.30 ferry – quick bacon butty at Zavaroni’s café, run by the family of the island’s famous star, Lena. The A2 Aces Scomadi Club made it – which was nice, bit of banter and farewells.
Route set, motorway all the way, Steve Clarke joined us for first 60 miles, then we had to stop at Cairn Services and wait for Aussie on 35 mph Modena. Steve rightly went on and we waited for Aussie. Our ambassador insists on riding in loafers and suit trousers, he was a drowned rat and secondly, he lost a side panel. Apologies to anyone who came across it in the road. Aussie, at this stage was shattered and we were overjoyed when he decided to ‘call a friend’ and blag a recovery home – which he did. To the stage that I caught up with him doing a change over in a service station in the Lakes.
40 miles on, Howard was shattered and needed a ‘Nana nap’ to stop him falling asleep. We sent George and Mildred on to Wrexham and Kev and I abused him, photo wise as he looked like the Power Rangers portly cousin. Fifty miles on the worse happened, my Fresco had given up the ghost. Not to be too put off, out of my basket came a trusty can of Tenents. I wasted the contents on the ground, made a makeshift sleeve and a couple of jubilee clips later, we were back on the road. 25 miles later, 60 miles from home I could go no further, technically not a breakdown, panels stayed on (Steve Clarke) and I had to be recovered – waiting for the recovery, truck turned up and it was ‘The Penguin’. Swapping over relay trucks. I thought that I could help here, so I offered to fix Aussie’s scooter. His chin hit the ground and begged me not to interfere – all we needed to do, to get it working was turn it on – Aussie you are such a blagger!.
I would like to summarise and thank the Animals fae Naboombu SC for their great hospitality, great organisation and their sheer friendliness. No wonder a club can last 30 years – we are looking forward to the 35th. Big shout out to Karen and Allan, for being there and all the scooterists fae Scotland who were all so welcoming and generous.
Words and photos: Doug Turner
Rallery by Doug Turner