Cold, wet and snowy conditions blighted Nick Prince as he and wife Helen headed down from the Isle of Man to sunnier (hopefully) Dorset for the annual Modrapheniacs SC rally. 

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The first rally of the season, the highly anticipated Modrapheniacs rally held at Sandford Holiday Park, Dorset. An early start Friday morning looked promising until it started to rain, Noah would have been proud of the downpour which lasted all day. My chosen route after the ferry included the M6, however the heavy rain caused the scoot to splutter and it was I then that I realized there was no longer a hard shoulder to seek safety on! That’s ‘Smart’ motorways for you. It dawned on me that this was too treacherous, so decided ‘A’ roads were the way to go.

Minor 'C' list celebrity Nick Prince (2nd left) poses with a few fans and seems to be enjoying the limelight.
Minor ‘C’ list celebrity Nick Prince (2nd left) poses with a few fans and seems to be enjoying the limelight.

In the Limeight

After a 10-hour ride through glorious, if somewhat sodden countryside according to the pillion, we arrived at Sandford and it was still pouring down and we were soaked, so holed up in a pub in nearby Wareham. We met some scooterists there who were just getting back into scootering, their enthusiasm for the whole scene was refreshing. We also discovered Mr Thomas from Wales could drink more shandy than anyone else we know.

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Custom show

Saturday morning dawned dry, sunny and fairly warm, so we headed straight down to the site early doors. The guys on the gate were absolutely brilliant, ready with a smile and a chat and the site was already busy. The scooters in the car park custom show were of a high standard with old favorites and ones I hadn’t seen before, like the Cornish Rattler and also some really interesting Choppers, including the Copper Chopper, as well as some nicely modded up scooters and rusterations, like the Black Pearl. A good mix, all sparkling in the sunshine.

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Get you home

Inside was the parts fair, which also had a good mix of the usual clothes and ‘get you home’ spares and at lunchtime this was getting busy as sore heads from the night before were well on the way to recovery.

The ladies manning the signing on, rally patches and rally t-shirts stall were full of humour and doing a brisk trade and the LCGB signing on sheet was filling up, as was the Modrapheniacs furthest travelled sheet. After meeting up with the usual suspects and swapping tales we had to be on our way home, however the ride out that was just leaving looked to be very well attended.

Well done to all involved in organizing, for all those that battled the awful weather on the Friday, well worth the trip down a belter to start the season with. Unfortunately my ride back was blighted by more rain and even snow but I must say this was my first time at this rally but definitely one to do again, impressed with the Modrapheniacs organization and friendliness and we met some very enthusiastic people.

Words, Nick Prince

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Our man in the south takes up the evening frivolities…

I don’t know what it is about Sandford, maybe it’s seeing lots of scoots heading to one particular destination for my first rally of the year, maybe it’s catching up with people I haven’t seen since last season, maybe it’s just the chance to drink beer and get drunk, but it’s always a bit special for me and it always delivers.

After a few drinks in our caravan on Friday night I headed down with my partners in crime to the bar to catch a little bit of of Who tribute band Who Are You, and I have to say they sounded very much like the real thing.

Then it was off to the Soul room, which is conveniently situated next to the bar, fortunately for all concerned I didn’t embarrass myself by dancing but used the time to catch up with loads of old friends.

The hard-riding Swinge family
The hard-riding Swinge family
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Saturday night was more of the same, with Ska band Double Barrel kicking off the night’s proceedings in fine style. After the awards were presented in the main room Emily Woolger took to the stage and called for her boyfriend Sean to come up. When he appeared, Emily, after a short speech, asked him to marry her… They’re now happily engaged. After the excitement of a proposal it would be hard to top off the evening, however Secret Affair managed to raise the roof, and although Ian Page has added a few pounds around the waist over the years (haven’t we all) he’s still got a cracking voice and proved to be an excellent finale to the weekend.

Evening words and main photos: Booga

The Rallery

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