As the National Scooter Rally circus heads off to Cleethorpes this weekend here’s a later than planned look back at the last National, Big 7 Scooter Rally in Kent. A backlog of SLUK features and rallies after our recent trip to the Euro in Spain (and touring holiday afterwards) means we’re still catching up a bit.
Big 7 Scooter Club member and rally organisers, Mark and Sue Knapman give us their take on this year’s rally and a bit of its history. It goes to show that with hard work, a decent venue and plenty of commitment a new National Rally can become a success, give it a go…
We’ve got loads of photos by Booga and Scarborough Col, see if you can spot yourself in our Rallery. Feel free to share the post and photos on social media, and of course tag yourself and friends.
From small acorns
The Big 7 Scooter Club’s annual rally was first held only eight years ago in a pub garden in Sevenoaks Kent. It was basic to say the least and run on a budget of a few hundred quid, there wasn’t even enough money to pay the DJs and bands, all of which played for next to nothing and in some cases nothing. No one would have thought that within four years we’d be hosting a National Scooter Rally at one of the most iconic landmarks in Kent, the Hop Farm and on top of that, donate over £15,000 to charities to date.
How did that happen? Well it’s probably down to a few things, value for money, great entertainment, good facilities, targeted promotion and the lack of a decent sized scooter rally in the South East of England. Oh, and one other important thing, the organisers continued commitment to providing a rally for ‘scooter riders’ and not the lazy people that jump in cars at every opportunity but still claim to be dedicated scooterists.
The rally location is set amongst the old hop fields around the 400-acre Hop Farm, with the distinctive oast houses dominating the skyline around the site, which by the way is the largest collection of oast houses in the world. We run four music venues at the rally for the evening’s entertainment, one of which hosts six live bands over the weekend and boy do we have some quality bands! There’s also a huge reggae room for the ska and Trojan fans, a skool disco room, advertised as playing ‘classic and shit music from the 70s, 80s & 90s’ as well as the main venue playing mainstream and Darkside tunes.
As well as the music rooms there are also restaurants, pubs, bars and a huge food court, not forgetting the animal and adventure park on site, to keep the kids happy. There’s the usual ride-out through the Kent countryside, a custom show and a free dyno throughout the day on Saturday.
People are important but scooters are importanter
For those that haven’t been to Big 7 yet it’s an old skool camping rally and just when you thought we were all getting too old for all that, this rally continues to grow each year. To the organisers though people numbers are not the number one priority, it’s the number of scooters on the site that’s more important and this year it topped over a thousand.
Since their first rally in 2012 Big 7 have aimed their promotion at riders. A spokesman for the club said “The day our rally gets more cars on the site than scooters is the day we pack it all in, we’re not interested in 99% of the excuses and why ‘Four wheeled Fred’ had to bring the car so he could get his fully-carpeted luxury 20-man tent in.”
This year’s rally was held on 8th and 9th of June and was their best yet, the weather was great, the entertainment was second to none, the rally had a fantastic atmosphere and the diversity of those that attended was inspiring, as is the number of youngsters on the site riding scooters.
Adding all the entertainment together, twenty quid for the weekend will probably be the best twenty quid you’ve ever spent and as the slogan says ‘If you miss it, you’re a twat’ because if you haven’t been to this rally yet, you probably are.
Thanks for coming
Big 7 would like to thank you all for coming, also thanks to their members and sponsors who helped to put on this cracking rally and are pleased to be donating to the Veterans with Dogs and the National Coastwatch charities. We hope to see you all all again next year.
Words: Mark and Sue Knapman
Photos: Booga and Col, Big 7 club photo, Estelle Thompson
Rallery by Booga
Rallery by Col
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