Exmouth still conjures up happy memories for me. Red hot summer days as an excited seventeen year-old scooterboy doing his first full season of rallies on a brand new shiny red Vespa T5. The Deer Leap pub thronged with thirsty scooterists. Friendships for life being forged in far-away towns. Under-aged drinking was the norm and fun on the beach was something we looked forward to once the pubs closed for the afternoon.
Other delights from those heady days included a couple of nights on a noisy litter-strewn campsite full of earwigs, followed by the early morning high-volume ear-worm ‘Toe-Knee Blackburn, Toe-Knee Blackburn..’ blasted out by the Groove Records stall at daft o’clock in the morning, just to add insult and injury to a poorly hungover teenager’s head.
With rose tinted specs firmly in place I was really looking forward to Exmouth this year – 28 years since my first rally there, safe in the knowledge that the South West Scooter Clubs always put on a good event. Sadly the forces of gravity, a lack of talent and mountain biking stupidity conspired against me a few days before, leaving me with a broken shoulder and a weekend recuperating at home, arm in a sling (something my friends found highly amusing as they donned makeshift slings for an afternoon photo to send me from the rally). As I sit here typing painfully one handed we’ll let Bill Mac take up the story of Exmouth 2016 and let you enjoy photos from him, Simon Plant and Booga.
After months of preparation and hard work by the South West Scooter Clubs (SWSC) team the Exmouth rally kicked off as Stuart and a team of local scooterists turned up on Thursday to set up at the site, put road signs up etc. The campsite was further out of town than usual, approximately 1.5 miles away and up a big hill but it had toilets, a shower, food van, scooter dealer/fixer etc. What else do you need or expect for £2.50 a night?
In town, things centred around the Pavilion on the sea front with a scooter do on the Friday night but as usual the pubs did a roaring trade as many scooterists who love the Exmouth rally started to arrive early on Friday from all parts of the UK.
The Pavilion, which has had a revamp, was selling selected lagers and ciders at £3 a pint all weekend, which was great, as many places seem to put their prices up when there’s a scooter rally in town… Nice one Exmouth!
Also lots of the local pubs seemed to be laying on their own scooterist entertainment with ‘comedy mod’ cds playing. A few of the pubs made arrangements (eventually) with Andy of SWSC to curtail their entertainment at 9pm so the main do wouldn’t suffer. Others weren’t as accommodating and preferred to make a quick buck. Back at the Pavilion the All-Nighters band did a rip-roaring northern set and a great night was had by all.
Next day the sun shone and the outdoor custom show attracted the crowds to the Pavilion gardens, with dealer stalls inside and outside – all for free with cheap beer on flow and a DJ.
Saturday night was ace, a ska outfit – Orange Street played a set at the Pavilion and everyone had a blast. A great way to end a great rally. On Sunday morning Stuart, Cala and a small team of volunteers from the Confederates and Isca scooter clubs started working at 6am (I had only gone to bed at 4:30 am) to help clean and pack up the campsite.
To those and all the others who worked, we are all indebted to you. See ya in Exmouth in two years hopefully
Around 1500-2000 scooterists enjoyed the rally. I saw a lot of old mates who say it is still one of their favourite rallies and one of the few they still make the effort for, even though they came from Manchester and further north. I have to say there were other contingents from Scotland, France etc. as well. I have also found out both the Deer Leap/Bathouse and the Beacon Vaults pubs were drunk dry on both the Friday and Saturday nights and every hotel and guest house in town was overbooked, which also shows just how popular a rally this one is.
As we go to press (well internet), local club the Confederates have found another nicer campsite along the seafront past the Pavilion by 1.6 miles (an improvement on the uphill 2 miles of this years). This may mean the Exmouth rally is safe for 2018.
Custom show results
Best of Show: Start me up
Best Lambretta : Go with moon
Best Vespa: Prelude
Best streetracer: Lambretta ’68 sprint
Best engineered: Lambretta trike
Best cutdown/chopper: Illusion
Best Restoration: S Type Lambretta
Best paint: O’neill
Best Mural: Blackadder
Best auto: HonBretta – Honda 600cc auto Lambretta
Bill Mac’s Exmouth gallery…
Thanks to Simon Plant for the following images
Booga sent us these final rallery images