Bridlington or Southport BSRA National? | OPINION
If you look around social media at the moment there’s an argument raging that’s bigger than BREXIT. It’s dividing opinions within the scootering community and later this month it will be dividing us geographically. That argument is between two opposing towns on other sides of the country.
It’s around this time of year that I often get myself into bother by publishing a story about the final National Scooter Rally of the year. Before Bridlington last year I posted this one about plans for the 2019 ‘Scooterfest.’ The writing was already on the wall for Bridlington but local pubs and many Yorkshire born ‘n bred Scooterists had already decided they didn’t want to move out of their home county for the last big rally of the year.
Later that month at the 2018 BSRA meeting, it was announced that the final National for 2019 would indeed be moving to Southport (it had already been stated in the 2017 meeting to give everybody plenty of notice so digs wouldn’t be pre-booked). Southport is a great town in the north-west of England with a fantastic venue. We last visited for a busy pre-season rally back in 2017.
Change as good as a rest
Also at the BSRA meeting last year, the Mansfield Monsters/Olympics announced that Cleethorpes wouldn’t be on in 2019. It was also intimated that the Isle of Wight may well be over, or at least over in its current format. We’ll have to wait until this year’s meeting to find out if that is going to happen or not next year and if there are any other surprises. For myself and many others, the changes were good news – a possibility of three new (or at least different) Nationals to look forward to in the future. A change is as good as a rest.
Spice it up
The idea of shaking things up is to spice up an otherwise stale National calendar (see 2017 article about this). None of us are getting any younger and riding to a new, or at least different destinations is much better than travelling to the same old town that you’ve been to for over two decades. As much as I love Bridlington and Cleethorpes, personally I was ready for a change (as are many of the people I knock around with or have been talking to). The number of friends riding to repetitive events has decreased year on year, our once 30-strong mob dwindles at every Bank Holiday. Age is a big factor but lack of something new is a bigger one, as is proven by the number of riders we get for an exciting Euro adventure.
So, rally promotors try to introduce something new and shake things up a bit and what happens…
Sadly, what has happened is that ‘Scooterfest’ has gained momentum and the final BSRA/VFM/LCGB event of the year will leave people split on opposing sides of the country. Scooterists are free to go wherever they want but remember back in the dark ages of the 1990s when the rallies were under threat of extinction, it was the various scooter clubs and fellow Scooterists (who still run the Nationals) who kept the scene alive and who helped it to grown once more.
It wasn’t the local publicans and B&B owners who nurtured a dying scene back to life. It was fellow Scooterists who were prepared to put hard work, determination, time, trouble and money into making our scene great once again.
Make your choice
If you want something different but with a familiar feel, Southport National Scooter Rally is where it’s at. The LCGB will be hosting their huge custom show at the beautiful Floral Halls, with more space to display your scooter than was available in The Spa. VFM will also be using the venue for both the evening events, advance tickets are just £6 (see flyer above for full details). There are also plenty of new pubs to explore around the town, take a look at this Southport pub guide.
If you prefer a rally in a familiar town without much emphasis on actually owning or riding a scooter then the publicans of Bridlington will welcome you with open cash registers. We’d be interested to hear how many of the people going back to Bridlington this year are from out of the county of Yorkshire though and also how many Yorkshire Scooterists will be riding across the Pennines? Both towns will be busy over the 25th October weekend and no matter where you are I’m sure we’ll all have a great time.
2020 BSRA National Scooter Rallies – provisional calendar
Going against tradition, some of the 2020 National Scooter Rallies have already been announced but others are still up in the air. Here’s a provisional list of dates and venues we already know. These will, of course be confirmed at Southport so try not to book accommodation on a rumour.
Easter 10th April-14th April: Whitby (I’d bet a goth’s stash of antidepressants on it)
Mayday 8th-10th May: Welsh National
Spring Bank 22nd-25th May: Kelso (unless the Scottish have something new up their kilts)
June/July: Big 7 – date to be announced/confirmed
24th-26th July: South West Scooter Clubs – brand new rally in Weymouth (already advertised)
August Bank Holiday 28th-31st August: ? Could it be something new, nothing at all or a new direction for the Isle of Wight?
25th-28th September: Woolacombe (already announced)
October: Who knows where we’ll be…
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