#BSRA1 National Scooter Rally Scarborough 2019 | RALLERY
It’s 31 years since I first rode to an Easter rally, that particular year was 1988 and I was a fresh-faced, just turned 17-year-old on a brand new red mark 1 T5. I passed my bike test and rode it to every rally that year. Easter was to a muddy Isle of Wight, rather than the regular Scarborough/Whitby seaside exchange we have these days. Scarborough was the third National rally, coming after Great Yarmouth.
If you’d have asked me then if I’d still be doing the same thing all these years later I’d probably have said yes, but deep down would I really have believed I’d not have ‘grown out of it’ as our parents expected? All these years later and I can only ever remember missing one Easter rally. It’s in your blood.
Late night bodges
The Thursday night before Scarborough this year was still as exciting as it was back in my teens. Scooters fettled, fuelled up and a friend from down south stopping with us to break up her Vespa Primavera riding solo journey. Another mate popping in just before dark to try and fix his poorly scooter over a couple of beers. His home-made cardboard carb gasket didn’t help matters, although the actual problem was an electrical one. An accidental issue he’d caused whilst angle-grinding his exhaust whilst fitting it the previous day…
When Gods Collide
A strange thing was due to happen during Easter, the twin Gods of Piaggio and Innocenti arranged for the sun to truly shine on the righteous. Meditteranean temperatures and glorious sunshine gave us perfect riding conditions for piloting these unsuitable machines to the seaside. Making them do things the designers never envisaged.
One thing that has been noticeable over the last few years amongst our own group of friends is that fewer people are meeting up with us for the ride to the Easter rally. Whether that be age, repetition, a lack of interest or the struggle to find affordable accommodation when there is no official campsite I’m not sure. Even so, our three scooters became four, then we met up with another couple of Monsters club mates at our second rendezvous point, that number swelled by the time we arrived at the next stop in Howden to meet the Blazing Glory few. The roads were filled with other groups of scooters as we made our way to the seaside. Gathering moss along the way. Miles and miles of filtering past holidaymakers also heading to the sunshine coast.
Those two-stroke Gods also arranged for all the scooters in our party to behave themselves, no tools required and no dirty hands, a miraculous occasion. Although the exhaust on my Quattrini started blowing about 10 miles from town and gradually got louder and louder, a split clearly visible once I got there. I made it but had to send the scooter home in a van on Sunday to avoid an expensive repair bill. Despite the best efforts of local lad, Col I couldn’t find anybody to weld it for me during the weekend.
As expected when we arrived, the town was already very busy and the area between the (not so) Grand Hotel and the Travel Lodge was full of scooters, lining the pavements, parking bays and even the ornamental gardens. Even the traffic wardens gave us a nod of approval and said “It’s only once every couple of years, you’ll be all right.”
The weekend itself took on the usual rally format; shower, bar, meet up with friends, pub crawl, laugh, take the piss, head down to The Spa. Miss the bands (although I’m told they went down well on both nights), arrive back at the digs around 5 am then get woken up by the hotel fire alarm and evacuate at 8 am (ok the last bit doesn’t always happen). It was quite interesting to see just how many people ignored that alarm though, tired heads poking around doors then going back in to put a pillow over their heads to deaden the bells. Others wandering off to get breakfast, rather than waiting for a roll call. Fireman risking their lives to head back into a burning building to rescue lazy or imaginary guests. In a hotel of that size, with lots of corridors, it could have ended up in an almighty BBQ. Luckily it was a false alarm and nobody melted, although some of the guests looked slightly disfigured in their ‘just got out of bed’ makeup.
I’ve been to every Scarborough rally since 1988 and I’ve never seen the area leading up to The Spa as packed as it was on Easter Saturday. The access road is around 3/4 of a mile long and scooters lined both sides of it all the way down. They also crammed into the area leading up to the venue and a long queue of scooterists waited patiently to get into the custom show and parts fair. Busy isn’t the word.
Once you were in, the crowd carried you around the main hall, through the stall-lined corridor, into the custom show and back out into the Sun Court where more stall holders were busy basking in the sunshine. On an ordinary Easter they’d be sheltering from wind, rain and snow.
The custom show itself was busy with quite a few new scooters on display. Favourites for me were the crackle-glaze coated Vespa Faro Basso, everybody who walked by it had to touch that one. Then there was the stunning and well engineered Lammy chop, Cerberus, the Leicester City tribute GP (football isn’t my thing but it looked lovely). A beautiful Pacemaker also caught my eye. It was also good to see sparkly metalflake Series One, Asylum getting a chance to show off properly in the well-lit room (the RDC sprayed scooter was missed by many in the dull light at Bridlington).
Custom show results Sponsored by
Best of show: Scar Tissue ScooterNova Magazine
Punters choice: Leicester City South West Scooter Clubs
Best ridden scooter: Nosferatu Scootering Magazine
Best Lambretta custom: Stellify LCGB
Best custom Vespa: Witches Brew VCB
Best auto/hybrid: 7 Lambretta GP On 2 Wheels
Best chop/cutdown: Cerebus Crusader Promotions
Best display: Top Banana Lexham Insurance
Best restored: SX 200 Scooter Restorations
Best original scooter: Rallymaster Classic Scooterist Scene
Best Mod/accessories: Vespa GS Talk of the Grape Vinyl
Best street racer: Sole Racer Mansfield Monsters SC
Best engineering: The Beast Scooter Lab
Best mural/paint: Psychological Damage Lexham Insurance
Best engraving/plating: Sentinal VFM
Outside the venue, hundreds and hundreds of daytrippers enjoyed the sunshine, whilst holidaymakers wandered around and looked on in wonder and were amazed at the variety of machinery on display. From fully modded up Modenas (one had so much on the front end I’m surprised it hasn’t snapped the legshield clean off) to classy and well turned out classics, cutdowns and chops to full-custom head-turners. A great display of old and new, classic and custom, home built to standard.
After a good wander around and leaflets for our forthcoming joint SLUK/ScooterNova Scooter Expo show distributed it was time to knock off and head out for the rest of the day whilst our Sardinian friend, Giacomo took care of the photography for us.
One of the least salubrious pubs in town, but also one full of character (and characters) is The Golden Last. It comes complete with a Jeremy Kyle guest list of regulars and staff and a beer ‘garden’ with plenty of vegetables but no plants. The perfect place for the local smackheads to relax within the peeling whitewashed walls after a busy shoplifting spree and boast about “I’ve just done an effing full pipe Tracey” and “He’s gerrin’ iz head kicked in the dirty bas….”
They made us feel posh. We retreated after a swift pint and left them to their warm cans of lager and wafts of cheap stolen perfume. Luckily the rest of the town is a bit more upmarket for us scootery types and we enjoyed an evening in various bars before heading back down to The Spa for round two where a busy dancefloor awaited us.