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A new National Rally was on the cards to end the 2019 season. It’s the first time the final event of the year had been moved since Jeff Smith was a lad and what a controversial move it became. Many Scooterists wanted a change, a move away from the over commercialism of Bridlington. A chance to explore new establishments and ride different roads. A chance to shake things up a bit. The Nationals are meant to move and adapt occasionally but organisers are damned if they do, damned if they don’t so it’s easy to get stuck in a rut.

 

Heading west

 

Not everybody was happy to leave Yorkshire. Before the move was even set in concrete at the BSRA meeting in Brid 2018 the licensees of the East Coast resort had resorted to desperate measures and advertised their own ‘Scooterfest’ to tempt people to stay in Yorkshire, to rebook B&Bs whilst they were still in town. Tempted them with false promises of a £1000 cash prize on the flyers handed out during that 2018 rally. Even if it meant going against the National Rally on the same weekend on the opposite coast (why it couldn’t just have moved a week either side to keep everybody happy I’m not sure). The once defunct Yorkshire Scooter Alliance jumped on board (resurrected especially for the occasion). This decision split the scene, it was scootering’s equivalent to BREXIT. We voted to leave but many remained and there would be losers on both sides of the country. 

 

Anyway, that’s enough of the politics for the time being, let’s see how Southport 2019 went…

 

Waiting for the chairman to arrive so we can get off before it rains... that didn't pan out too well!
Waiting for the chairman to arrive so we can get off before it rains… that didn’t pan out too well!

 

God seemed to be spewing his venom onto us all for upsetting the equilibrium, daring to move a rally out of Yorkshire! To say it rained all the way to Southport would be an understatement of biblical proportions. It pissed down in buckets for the whole journey, a trip made even more exciting by the farm tracks, green lanes and dirt tracks picked out by Matty’s malfunctioning sat nav. Rivers burst banks, roads were waterlogged, mud-covered and slippery, fog covered the Cat & Fiddle, then it got even wetter.

 

The trip was made a little more exciting by me running out of fuel in the middle of nowhere… just seven miles from home. I’d filled the other half’s Series 2 up at home, I’d also filled Ann’s Dragster up (she’d ridden up in the rain on Thursday alone from Dorset to stay at ours and break the 350-mile journey up). I’d assumed my Quattrini’s 11-litre tank was still full from the last time it was out at the Teeside Endurance event a few weeks previously where it was to be used as the spare race bike.

 

I’d assumed very wrongly. Luckily we had a 1-litre can of fuel with us, it was 15 miles to the nearest garage along the way and I freewheeled downhill to Matlock to fill up. Putting over 11-litres in the 11-litre tank…

 

We weren't posh enough to have an underground car park like Col
We weren’t posh enough to have an underground car park like Col

 

Aside from that little episode the trip went very well, if not a tad moist, although to be fair our waterproofs worked a treat (we both wore Tucano Diluvio – as featured in our mammoth waterproofs test), my Richa gloves would have stayed dry if the rain hadn’t filled them up from the sleeves of my jacket but not to worry and my hands still felt warm enough. We got there, found our Travelodge, locked the scooters and covered them up – rumours about a few local scrotes nicking scooters were circulating so we weren’t taking any chances. Both scooters also have a MoniMoto tracker fitted for added peace of mind. Upstairs we soon filled the room with two lots of wet kit, (plus spare gloves etc.) to dry around the single radiator. Steamy.

 

Happy camper?

 

If there was one consolation about the day’s extra-wet weather it was when I bumped into Booga later, he’d ridden up from Portsmouth, got soaked to the skin and despite his advancing years was camping for the weekend. The thought of kipping in a wet tent in a monsoon then sticking wet gear back on again on Sunday wasn’t very appealing. 

 

Belgium's Eurovision entry wows the crowds...
Belgium’s Eurovision entry wows the crowds…

 

Off to sample the town…

 

Ok, Southport isn’t an unvisited scooter rally town, we were last there for a pre-season two years ago and knew it had a lot to offer. I’ve also been to rallies there since the early 1990s NSRA days when the campsite was beside the long gone fairground but even so, we’d barely scratched its surface. 

 

It made a refreshing change to be in a town where you could do a pub crawl in the centre without tripping over ska and mod tribute bands. In fact, I didn’t see a single pub band all weekend. That’s not to say there wasn’t the odd Scooterist track being played in the pubs, or sung on the karaoke but it wasn’t ‘in yer face’ everywhere you went. Just how I like it. Sometimes less is more.

 

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Trade & Custom Show

 

The Lambretta Club of Great Britain have traditionally run the end of season Trade & Custom Show in Bridlington and naturally, they’d moved across to Southport with the rest of the BSRA for 2019. The Floral Halls provided a great venue for the Saturday daytime event (and for the VFM evening entertainment). With 63 scooters on display, it gave a very good selection of some of the latest customs, like the just-finished Macca sprayed, Simply Retro built, Sean Pedelty owned, Jeremy Howlett Nike Racer (a scooter causing some controversy already over the origins of the Howlett purchased frame). Either way, it’s a stunning recreation and sits nicely alongside Sean’s other tasty custom, Block. It gets a big tick from me.

 

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The Floral Halls was busy throughout the day but you could actually get to see the scooters. The Spa at Brid was always a bit too cramped to see things properly and you ended up being carried around by the crowd.

 

It was good to see SIP making the trip over from Germany and entering three of their scooters in the show. They also had an impressive trade stand with their 25th-anniversary Vespa sprinter on display. Plus plenty of parts to drool over. 

 

Check mate

 

Trade wise there were plenty of stands in the main hall and the foyer, plus the two other rooms to help entice you to spend money on parts, accessories, get you home spares, patches/t-shirts and clothing. A good varied selection of stuff for the scooter rider rather than weekend fashion victim dressed like a chess board.

 

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Back for good?

 

Two days and nights of pub crawls saw us visiting places I didn’t know existed in Southport and there were still plenty more to find. It’s a much bigger town than you initially imagine so it’s certainly not short of pubs, bars, night clubs, restaurants, fast food outlets, B&Bs, hotels and caravan sites. Just as well really because Southport was voted back in for 2020 as the final National of the year (read more about the BSRA meeting and 2020 National Rally dates here). and I for one will be looking forward to it. If you want to get some accommodation we suggest you keep an eye on Booking.com, Southport is well worth a visit. 

 

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Band-aid

 

I must apologise to the bands who performed in the Floral Halls over the weekend, I really wanted to see Marquis Drive again after their blistering performance at Weston earlier this year. I also planned to get in early to see The Corsairs on Saturday night but enjoyed the atmosphere, banter, dodgy karaoke and laughs around the pubs so much that we didn’t get into the do until the bands had finished. You’ll also notice that there are no photos from their performances, that’s because myself, Booga and Col were all holed up in the same bar. Booga was in charge of the photos (so we’ll blame him) and was trying to make his excuses and leave but he was having fun. Even so, I was told that both bands smashed it.

 

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When we finally did get into the do the band were just leaving the stage, both the soul room and main room were still busy with similar numbers as The Spa used to have on both nights at Brid. The venue worked really well for me, the two rooms were on the same level of the building, with a large bar area and foyer separating them. This meant if you wanted to flit between the two, have a chat or just stay in the middle you could. There was a very nice atmosphere around the place as well and so far I’ve heard no complaints other than about the bar.

 

Teething trouble

 

By 11 pm on Saturday night the venue had run out of draft lager and a few other drinks, we’d virtually drunk the place dry. That’s one of the teething problems you get with a new town/venue. The management choose not to listen when the organisers tell them how much (and what) Scooterists drink. They also charged too much for drinks in the do, but both of these problems will be ironed out for 2020. I for one had a good time in Southport, as did the people I travelled with and the group of friends we hang around with. 

 

If it ain't broke...
If it ain’t broke…

 

Homeward bound

 

God seemed to either be having a day off (who works on a Sunday?) or had forgiven us for leaving Yorkshire. Maybe he realised that the decision had been made for the right reasons? because Sunday I woke up feeling refreshed despite a heavy weekend (and after an extra hour in bed thanks to the clocks going back), the sun was shining, it was a beautiful autumnal day for a ride.  

 

Aside from a clutch cable swap on Linsey’s Series 2 as we filled up before leaving town (to be fair it had plenty of life left in it, she’s just got a weak wrist) we had a fantastic ride home. It was one of those rides that just makes you smile. It left me with a warm feeling, what more can you want than a great weekend away with loads of friends and a lovely ride to blow away the cobwebs? What made it even sweeter was to arrive home with both scooters still running and nothing more than a bit of routine maintenance to do over winter. 

 

Words and photos: Iggy

Additional photos Booga and Col

 

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BSRA rallies

 

That’s it for another year of National Scooter Rallies hosted by clubs and Scooterists from the BSRA – British Scooter Riders Association. The BSRA is a loose collection of organisers who took over when the NSRA packed up back in 1996 (and others who have come along and put events on to fit in with the calendar since).

 

Back then the BSRA was responsible for dragging a dying scooter scene up out of the gutter. Some rallies would see less than 600 people attending. Times were hard and it could have all been over for large scale events. Hard work, loyalty and determination brought a new lease of life to the scooter scene and numbers flourished.

 

Tough times

 

The 1990s were the toughest decade for scootering. It was also the time when lifelong friendships and bonds were formed. Back then nobody would even consider putting an event on to clash directly with a National Rally. Never mind put one on in the very town the BSRA had voted to give a rest. Why would you? 

 

Sadly times seem to have changed and many of the folks attending Bridlington won’t realise the reasons behind leaving. They won’t realise that it’s done for the good of our chosen lifestyle. Rather than a simple foot-stomping exercise. Sometimes over saturation, and familiarity can start to dilute what we do. We all have a choice of where we go and Brid is a great town but sometimes you need to make a smart choice rather than the easiest or most familiar.  

 

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Southport Custom Show 2019 Winners & Sponsorship List

 

A big thanks to all those that supported the event, in particular

 

  • The trophies & sponsors – Rob Miller & affiliated LCGB scooter clubs
  • The judges – John Ronald, Norman Ronald, Jon Ashford Smith & Darren Ashford
  • The show marshalls who worked all day from 7 am until 4 pm
  • The entrants – 63 scooters were on display (from 70 scooters entered)

 

The winners of each trophy listed below are shown by:

 

Scooter Name – Registration Number – Owners Name

lcgb logo
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  • Best of Show – LCGB *(Plus £75 cash Prize)

Winner: Breaking Rocks in the Hot Sun – A152 OVG – Gary Wickham

 

  • Best Ridden Scooter – East Lothian SC

Winner: Midnight Oil – OIL 4237 – Dave Corbett

 

  • Spectators Choice – Rob Miller Trophies

Winner: Breaking Rocks in the Hot Sun – A152 OVG – Gary Wickham

 

  • Best Custom Lambretta – Mansfield Monsters SC

1st: K2 Blue – 404 YUN – Will Aitkin

2nd: Tomcats Forever – CME 374A – Kevin McDonnell

 

  • Best Custom Vespa –  Lambretta Chopper Owners Club

1st: Amazon Warrior – G773 XRT – Michael Kershaw

2nd: Grimly Fiendish – B268 PJA – Alison Phillips

 

  • Best Custom Street Racer – Selby Moving Targets SC

1st: Nike Racer – GWC 32H – Sean Pedelty

2nd: Always Dreaming – AUM 19J – Mick Robinson

 

  • Best Custom Engineered Scooter – Modrapheniacs SC

1st: Time Will Pass You By – KLY 68D – Stuart Dean

2nd: Torn Apart – C932 MRA – Simon Rickers

 

  • Best Custom Scooter with Accessories – Bark & Growl SC

1st: GTS Pordoi – SIP

2nd: VNB Glorious Bastard – SIP

 

  • Best Custom Chopper/Cutdown – Small Faces SC

1st: Time Will Pass You By – KLY 68D – Stuart Dean

2nd: K2 Blue – 404 YUN – Will Aitkin

 

  • Best Custom Lambretta Pre 1959/Series 1/2 –  Derby Central SC

1st: Model A – KXS 914 – Brian Clough

2nd: Series 2 Florence May – 775 XUF – Steve Brodie

 

  • Best Custom Lambretta Series 3/SX Range –  Leeds Central SC

1st: Tomcats Forever – CME 374A – Kevin McDonnell

2nd: SX200 – BBD 97E – Nick Colman

 

  • Best Custom Lambretta GP Range – Crawley SC

1st: The Stone Roses – ORP 878M – Adrian Reed

2nd: Phantasmagoria – PNT 715G – Gary Dickenson

 

 

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  • Best Custom Lambretta/Vespa Small Frame – Luna Owners Club

1st: Model A – KXS 914 – Brian Clough

2nd: Model B – LXS 614 – Mark James Price

 

  • Best Custom Vespa Pre- P Range/T5 – Manchester Lyons SC

1st: VNB Glorious Bastard – SIP

2nd: Only 1 entry in this category

 

  • Best Custom Vespa P Range/T5 onwards – Manchester Lambretta Club

1st: Grimly Fiendish – B268 PJA – Alison Phillips

2nd: Revival – D617 BDD – Craig Frost

 

  • Best Custom Paintwork – SRP Scooter Club Somerset

1st: Dredd – SKR 459G – Gary Dickinson

2nd: Phantasmagoria – PNT 715G – Gary Dickenson

 

  • Best Custom Chrome/Engraving/Plating – Frontline SC

1st: Tomcats Forever – CME 374A – Kevin McDonnell

2nd: Phantasmagoria – PNT 715G – Gary Dickenson

 

  • Best Ridden Lambretta – Darlington SC

1st: Midnight Oil – OIL 4237 – Dave Corbett

2nd: Lucky 7 – MNN 655E – Nick Prince

 

  • Best Ridden Vespa – Orgasm Addicts SC

1st: Apocalyptic Prelude – B403 DGT – Ricky Cruttenden

2nd: Malossi – YG52 FTZ – Nigel Dolphin

 

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  • Best Ridden Lambretta Street Racer – Wide Boys SC

1st: Torque of the Town – MXG 182L – Dene Longstaff

2nd: Lucky 7 – MNN 655E – Nick Prince

 

  • Best Ridden Vespa Street Racer – New Forest SC

1st: Master Plan – DX51 OAO – Craig Shenton

2nd: Malossi – YG52 FTZ – Nigel Dolphin

 

  • Best Ridden Engineered Scooter – Bristol LC

1st: Sin – Y634 RVR – Michael Street

2nd: Lucky 7 – MNN 655E – Nick Prince

 

  • Best Ridden Scooter with Accessories – Andy Francis Scooters

1st: Series 2 Li150 – WSV 395 – Rhiannon Donnelly

2nd: NYPD Patrol – JHN 231H – Alan Smith

 

  • Best Ridden Chopper/Cutdown – Scooter Nova Magazine

1st: Old Skool Classic Cut – OJE 62J – Tony M Beeton

2nd: Sin – Y634 RVR – Michael Street

 

  • Best Ridden Lambretta Pre 1959/Series 1/2 –  First Kick Scooter Collective Morecambe

1st: Model D – 424 UXV – Brian Clough

2nd: Model B – 162 UYF – Brian Clough

 

  • Best Ridden Lambretta Series 3/SX Range – Stone SC

1st: SX200 – RRJ 230H – George Revie

2nd: NYPD Patrol – JHN 231H – Alan Smith

 

  • Best Ridden Lambretta GP Range – Wearside Wanderers SC

1st: Breaking Rocks in the Hot Sun – A152 OVG – Gary Wickham

2nd: Lucky 7 – MNN 655E – Nick Prince

 

  • Best Ridden Lambretta/Vespa Small Frame – Doncaster Hunters SC

1st: Model B – 162 UYF – Brian Clough

2nd: LDA 150 – 624 UYU – Alan Mills

 

  • Best Ridden Vespa Pre- P Range/T5 – Smugglers SC

1st: GS160 – USL 371 – Antony Gotts

2nd: Only 1 entry in this category

 

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  • Best Ridden Vespa P Range/T5 onwards – Wisemen SC

1st: Top Banana Re-Peeled – PLM 366W – Darren Simmonds

2nd: Pure Nostalgia – VCD 4Y – Mark Davies

 

  • Best Ridden Paintwork – Colchester DVLC

1st: Breaking Rocks in the Hot Sun – A152 OVG – Gary Wickham

2nd: Psychological Damage – TNA 273J – Tufty Betts

 

  • Best Ridden Chrome/Engraving/Plating – SIP

1st: Midnight Oil – OIL 4237 – Dave Corbett

2nd: GS160 – USL 371 – Antony Gotts

 

  • Best Mural – Scootermaniacs SC

1st: Midnight Oil – OIL 4237 – Dave Corbett

2nd: Breaking Rocks in the Hot Sun – A152 OVG – Gary Wickham

 

Best Auto Engined Scooter – Scooter Restorations

1st: Spartacus – EGZ 3261 – Thomas Clooney

2nd: The Beats – MF51 MXA – Jon Patterson

 

  • Best Vinyl/Graphics – Crusader Promotions

1st: Lucky 7 – MNN 655E – Nick Prince

2nd: Gitanes Racer – ABW 26D – Mark Kendall

 

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  • Best Un-Restored Scooter – Essex Lambretta Club

1st: GS160 – USL 371 – Antony Gotts

2nd: Master Plan – DX51 OAO – Craig Shenton

 

  • Non-Vespa/Lambretta – Scooter Center

1st: Triumph Tigress 250 – Brian Crook

2nd: Zundapp Bella – 85 MTM – Brian Crook

 

  • Best Indian Scooter – A19’s SC

1st: Breaking Rocks in the Hot Sun – A152 OVG – Gary Wickham

2nd: Midnight Oil – OIL 4237 – Dave Corbett

 

  • Best Spanish Scooter – Wigan Bluebeats SC

1st: Amazon Warrior – G773 XRT – Michael Kershaw

2nd: Spanish Gold – V-190 353 – Chris Richardson

 

  • Best Individual Display – Lincoln & Newark Scooter Riders Collective

1st: Midnight Oil – OIL 4237 – Dave Corbett

2nd: Top Banana Re-Peeled – PLM 366W – Darren Simmonds

 

  • Best First Time Entrant – Keighley SC

1st: Dredd – SKR 459G – Gary Dickinson

2nd: Series 2 Li150 – WSV 395 – Rhiannon Donnelly

 

  • Best Club Display – Trojan SC

1st: VMSC

2nd: Flatlanders SC

Rallery by Iggy

Rallery by Booga

Rallery by Col

Useful scooter products and riding gear that works…

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