BSRA #2 Weston-Super-Mare National Scooter Rally | RALLERY
It’s Friday morning and four of us from the midlands are blasting down south, heading to Weston-Super-Mare. Our chosen modes of transport for this particular 170-mile motorway journey are the Vespa GTS and a Yamaha TMAX. Perfect tools for a monotonous thrash but not half as much fun as the geared scooters we left behind.
If you’ve never been, (or are from overseas), Weston is a seaside town bang on the South-West Riviera, a land of promise, hope and scooter clubs from deepest-darkest Southern England Shire. Black-shirted hill billy country. Welcome to the south, the South West. An area where they like both kinds of music, psychobilly and rockabilly, usually played on an old banjo.
With no traumas on the way down we were soon riding into town, as were many other scooterists. Although the roads on the way down were almost devoid of scooters until we got close to Weston. Our only fun during the trip was seeing ‘Seize up Sid’ on his ochre Lambretta GP on the M5. Blasting through the traffic at speeds to match ours, wearing a grin from ear to ear. Thankfully, (despite losing him before the exit) Sid didn’t live up to the name signwritten on his panels (on this trip) because he arrived in town at around the same time as us. Get in touch Sid and I’ll send you a SLUK T-shirt, just for looking cool and having fun.
The Grand Pier
Although Weston isn’t a new town for a rally and the rugby club campsite was the same as in previous years there was at least a new venue to explore. Thanks to the redevelopment of the Winter Gardens, the South West Scooter Clubs had secured use of the fantastic Grand Pier. A 400-metre long structure jutting out into the Bristol Channel and boasting an entertainment centre, as well as two perfect venues for a horde of hedonistic scooterists looking for seaside fun after dark.
Over the weekend The Rocker Covers and Bad Manners tribute The Special Brew entertained a packed and atmospheric main room. A banging main room, the likes of which you don’t get to see too often these days on a National Rally. Now there are a few factors which help to make a do go down as well as this one.
- Firstly it has to be the right venue, The Pier scored highly in that regard. The main room just had that ‘feel’ to it.
- Secondly there needs to be a reason for people to go to the do. At Weston the organisers (SWSC) have a gentleman’s agreement with the local pubs. That agreement means they’ll happily encourage people to use the local pubs and they can put discos, or bands on if they like, as long as it’s during the day, and finishes by 9.30pm. That gives the local pubs a chance to coin it in without diluting the official do by having wall-to-wall, or pub-to-pub tribute bands and DJ’s.*
- Thirdly having too many rooms catering for varying factions of music is great in theory but means friends are split up from each other, according to musical persuasion. Half your friends go in the soul room, a few in the Darkside or reggae room and the rest in the main room. It’s musical apartheid. Weston did have a soul and main room but both were chocka-block and had a great atmosphere. To me the main room felt like an old-school scooter do with everybody enjoying partying to different sets and styles of music.
*Seaside towns and publicans take note. Getting involved in a rally by providing entertainment is one thing. Trying to take over and keep scooterists in your pubs all night isn’t good for our scene. The South West threatened to boycott the town if the landlords didn’t play ball. No rally equals no money, so please don’t get too greedy chasing the scooterist pound or it’ll be taken to another town.
Despite the do being busy and the campsite being quite full, the town itself seemed a little spread out during the daytime, with only the usual Wetherspoons and York Hotel being full of scooterists during our tour of the local pubs. Although I dare say other parts of town were rammed, judging by the numbers in the do each night. Surely scooterists haven’t taken to sightseeing and ‘normal’ touristy type pursuits have they?
Not to worry though we managed to amuse ourselves and found a local gem, a back street boozer run by a bewildered Italian, Giovanni Ferrari as he turned out to be called. From a very quiet start, to full on session, his bar with two scruffy locals and a scabby mongrel suddenly became the place to be. Before long his oddly placed staircase saddle was being ridden by willing ‘cowboys’ and his suspect home brew was consumed (and later regurgitated) by many of us. Cheers of ‘Geno, Geno, Geno’ rang around the pub on a regular basis as he collected the many empties and counted his Lira. A great couple of hours spent in what started out as a just an empty and dingy pub. Much better than spending an afternoon in just another faceless Wetherspoons, or listening to ‘yet another’ ska band in an overcrowded town centre bar.
After two good nights and our fair share of laughs, like most people we headed home on Sunday morning, leaving the die-hards to keep the Sunday Club going. A dry but very windy ride home with a semi-conscious pillion to keep me company.
Thanks to all the South West Scooter Clubs for a cracking weekend, fantastic organisation, entertainment and hospitality. As always.
Words and photos: Iggy
Additional Rallery images by: Regular SLUKER, Booga, Pebbles Bradbury and SLUK newcomer, Mike Oxley. You can see more of Mike’s images by liking his group: Scooters & Riders on Facebook.
Rallery by Iggy
Rallery by Mike Oxley – Scooters & Riders
Rallery by Booga