Kelso National Scooter Rally | RETRO RALLERY
Who: British Scooter Riders Association – BSRA
What: Kelso National Scooter Rally 2016
Where: Border Union Showground, Kelso
When: Spring Bank Holiday weekend
Why: The only Scottish National Rally
With nearly 800 miles ahead of us for the round trip to Kelso and the Scottish National Scooter Rally, our fingers were crossed for dry weather book-ending the weekend. As we all know, it’s not much fun putting a tent up in the rain after 8 hours on the road.
Our fingers worked!
After the obligatory Kelso sign photo we camped up, checked out our neighbours and headed into town.
Kelso is small and almost perfectly formed – the ‘almost’ relates to eateries – as with previous years if you wanted to sit and refuel your body with solids, you either got chips from the takeaway and dined al fresco in the cobbled town centre square or did your best to get in early at one of the few restaurants. Eating aside, there are plenty of quality pubs and bars to whet your whistle while you talk scooters with your friends, sharing stories of rides and adventure en route to this town situated around 40 miles outside of Edinburgh.
From our point of view, the A68 linking the A1(M) to Jedburgh, more than makes up for the monotony of the aforementioned trunk road. Its stunning scenery, swooping curves, blind summits and sudden crests is pure scooter riding heaven. Friends who rode up from the West of England reported the A7 to be a delight as well. One noted for future investigation.
Back to Kelso and whether it’s the new micro pub in the town square, one of the two Swans, or the infamous Royal British Legion club with two floors and the balcony overlooking the River Tweed which gets packed solid on the Saturday of the Bank Holiday scooter rally, the town always welcomes us with open arms and keeps our glasses topped up. They certainly kept us more than happy on Friday night, as the last orders bell seemed to ring more than once before we eventually left.
Back across the river in the Showground, the campsite boasts good facilities with the main hall hosting both evenings’ entertainment as well as the custom show on Saturday. There were plenty of scooters to catch your eye from both sides of the border, Vespa and Lambretta and a few autos too. The variety of styles was also mixed from restoration to full blown customs, chops, racers and it was good to see some first time entrants. The Gatch painted LML Star, Dismaland, was cleverly done and well executed. Scottish tipples Irn Bru and Buckfast were both represented. Kudos to all the ridden customs, especially Start Me Up and Avatar, with their intricate engraving, both of which were ridden hundreds of miles and meticulously polished before being shown.
Saturday night saw King Kurt entertaining the masses with much singing along and little bit of wrecking from the appreciative audience. A second hall hosted the soul room until 1am at which time local licensing laws kicked in and the silent disco took over the night’s fun with three channels of tunes for the revellers.
Those of us with a long ride home, however, got our heads down earlier than usual for, despite it being down hill all the way back to the South, we still had a full day’s ride to look forward to.
Congratulations once again to the Scottish No 1s for a well organised event. Keep up the good work.
Words & Photos: Southern Scooter Riders