BSRA #3 Kelso Scottish National Scooter Rally | RALLERY
The third National Scooter Rally of the 2017 season was in the Scottish Borders town of Kelso – a firm favourite destination on the rally calendar for many riders across the UK and Europe.
If you like a scooter rally with an all inclusive campsite, stacked with facilities, in a very welcoming town, full of pubs and eating places, only a short stagger away from your tents and scooters, then Kelso will be right up your street. This year however the ever-so welcoming Scots had excelled themselves – they`d organised some very un-Scottish like weather. Wow what a scorcher!
Eeey, meenie, miny, mo
Up at daft o’clock on the Friday morning of the rally, and I’m raring to go. I quietly open my garage door so as not to annoy my neighbours, and there facing me is my motorised family of Vespas. I wheel out my GTS 300 then push my Cosa 200 out, followed by my trusty PX200E. All glistening in the morning sunshine. They are all going straight back in the garage though, because “Project PX 125” has got the luggage strapped to it and is going to transport me to Scotland to meet up with all the usual wrong ‘uns for a a little tipple or two, more than my fair share of laughter, and a little bit of sadness thrown in for good measure…
Made in Scotland from girders
Again, an indicated 53 mph is the happiest speed to sit very comfortably at on this standard scooter. I cruise up and down hills and through small villages heading north. By the time I hit my first fuel stop I’ve already had two stops for a sip of the water bottle out of my rucksack. I’m feeling the suns’ heat already and most normal people aren’t even up for work yet. This journey is going to be a warm one.
I meet up with an old mate on his immaculate unrestored 1977 Rally 200 who also loves the ride to Kelso. He agrees to let me tag along and make his journey far slower than it really needs to be. The miles pass fairly quickly and petrol stops are cheap, cheap, cheap! Soon we arrive at the Scottish Borders, and realise we are within tasting distance of a welcoming vodka and Irn Bru at the campsite bar.
Loads of tents are already set up as we pull onto the campsite at the Union Showground. This venue has hosted every Kelso rally so far, the mix of scooters attending this rally never fails either – differing syles for all tastes. The camping area is more than big enough to accommodate, and virtually every tent this year has someone (or group) outside it drinking and larking about in the sunshine, in a way only fellow scooterists would understand.
Plenty of epic journey stories shared as many people head into the local town to party on down. Walking into town against the flow of traffic means you get to see hoards of scooters still arriving – it’s impressive to see how we must look to outsiders watching our multi coloured circus of scooters. The camararderie within scootering has got to be the best of any lifestyle surely? One of the favourite Kelso pub crawls is The Queens head, The White Swan, The Black Swan and then onto the British Legion club – all bursting at the seams with very thirsty riders. The view from the balcony at the back of the Legion down over the River Tweed and surrounding small valley is the best view from a pub from any UK rally (fact).
Night time Skabab
It’s back at the showground night disco where I must apologise to the headline band ‘The Skababs’. I was far too mashed to appreciate how good your set was, but judging by the audience jumping about, it seemed to go down very well.
Saturday mornings’ heat was the same as Friday’s, if not hotter – and yet still more scooters arriving. Lots of traders setting up stalls with all sorts of goodies, literally tons of scooter parts, old and new, up for grabs. Both the inside and outside bars are open and doing roaring business. Walking past tents en-route to the toilet and shower block, I must have been offered drinks from five different groups of people. Kind genuine people – people who`s path in life I would never have crossed had it not been for the common love of scooters…
Makes you kind of proud doesn’t it?
As the morning goes on, the custom show starts shaping up. I always get envious seeing show winning bikes lined up. The ideas behind some of the detailing is unreal. 14 trophies up for grabs this year, very bespoke ones at that.
I spend a couple of hours walking round and round the site taking photo`s and chatting to people, when I’m waved over to a double gazebo type affair in the middle of the main field. I’m beckoned over for an enforced large drink by some of the Scots lads I’ve known for years. It normally results in English versus Scottish mickey taking banter, but this meeting is far more sombre than that. The whole group, a big group, are the lads and lasses that I recognise and describe as the big hitters in the Scottish scooter scene. To coin a phrase…
The guys that put the miles in
all stood proud, many with tears in their eyes, remembering their mate Stu Bousie from the Lone Sharks SC in Fife. Stu died tragically riding home from the Berwick Border Bash rally a few weeks earlier and this particular gathering is remembering him with some very good tales of his commitment to the scene. Respect and loyalty runs deep in Scotland – very deep. After many nice words the music is cranked up, the drinks are flowing and the gazebo starts to shake… I didn’t know Stu personly but he was one of the faces I always saw at the rallies. The amount of friends he leaves behind and the monies kindly donated to his family prove what kind of a lad he was.
R.I.P Stu Bousie. A very sad loss.
Custom Show results
The custom show had 12 different winners across the categories. Every bike in the show worthy of a trophy in my eyes. You can read the results and see more photos in the Rallery at the end.
What The Dicksons went on?
Drifting in and out of the main building during the afternoon I think it was The Dicksons on stage performing a good mixed set. But as the afternoon wore on my world got a bit blurry, and I don’t remember a lot of the night in detail. But headliners, The Signatures whom I’ve seen before, were superb. In the wee small hours the silent disco was full of, surprise surprise, mad Scottish folk. Make no mistake the Scots are born to drink. They make a fortune from this mythical, make believe, non existant creature called the Loch Ness Monster. Well, let me tell you this – Nessie will turn up at the Isle of Wight on a Lammy chop, before the day comes that you find a teetotal Scotsman, now that really is the stuff of make believe.
Sunday dawned and so did the early departures, the hardcore stay on for some Sunday club partying, but for me it was time to take down my (dome sweet dome) tent, load up and head for home. All in all an exceptional Scottish National Rally.
Many thanks to all the Scottish Number Ones and clubs that make this superb event happen… And of course, all of you that support it too.
See you all next year? You bet…
It’s the Big 7 National Rally in Tonbrige Kent in about 7 days time??? Ooh go on then…
Ride safe Slukers
Rallery by Iggy – on the road
Rallery by Col – at the rally